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Novell Bombards SCO with Summary Judgment Motions

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the ratatatatat dept.

Caldera 98

rm69990 writes "Novell has filed 4 motions for Summary Judgment against SCO, which essentially ask the court to toss the remainder of SCO's case that isn't already being arbitrated between SUSE and SCO. One seeks a ruling from the court that Novell transfered none of the copyrights in Unix to SCO, which is backed up by many exhibits and declarations from people who negotiated the deal. Another, along the same lines, asks the court to toss the portions of SCO's Unfair Competition and Breach of Contract claims pertaining to the Unix copyrights. The third asks the court to rule that Novell did not violate the Technology License Agreement between SCO and Novell, and last and also least, the fourth seeks to toss the Slander of Title for the additional reason that SCO has failed to prove any special damages. These motions follow 2 motions for summary judgment filed by Novell late last year on 2 of their counterclaims."

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I remember (5, Insightful)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831621)

I remember the time when software was just software and no politics...

Re:I remember (5, Interesting)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831679)

Is the first post automatically scored -1 now or something? This is on topic and I'm sure a TON of us feel the same way. I am extremely sick of all the BS lawsuits, patents, and all the other non-programming crap.

I used to -hate- the GPL. Now, I like the LGPL and I'm starting to think the GPL is the right way to go after all. Could RMS actually be a visionary and not just a zealot? It's already undeniable that he's done the entire software industry a world of good by sticking to his beliefs.

And all because the world of corporate greed has managed to get a toe-hold on the world of programming.

I personally think they should make patents only good for 5 years, give everyone that currently has a patent 5 years remaining, and be done. In 5 years time, we'd see such a monumental growth in the software industry that it will be amazing. The simple stuff that was costing tons of money would come out as open source projects, and commercial products would in turn work on stuff that's truly innovative.

Re:I remember (4, Interesting)

dvice_null (981029) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831727)

> I used to -hate- the GPL. Now, I like the LGPL and I'm starting to think the GPL is the right way to go after all.

I think that for libraries and other software that can be used in various different applications, "public domain" is the way to go. Just like SQLite has done. Even it can be used in closed source, it still helps the human kind in general, because the less is needed to invent the wheel again. Of course there are other licenses which are equally good for this purpose.

For games and applications which codebase can't be used much for anything else except for forks of the application itself. GPL sounds like a good way to go.

Re:I remember (4, Insightful)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831783)

"
I think that for libraries and other software that can be used in various different applications, "public domain" is the way to go."

Why?

What's wrong with the GPL?

Consider; we're talking about a legal case in which one company, whose primary business is GPL software (Linux) is being sued, and countersuing, another company who raised a fortune on GPL software (Caldera), and then bought a dying closed source business.

Now, I'm not saying all software should be mandated GPL. However, for libraries and software used in various different applications, I definitely think that the LGPL is the way to go. This helps maintain compatability, and what we need, as a economic society, is for software to become less proprietary and more commodity. Like every other aspect of modern industry, software should adhere to standards, and packages with similar functionality should be compatible with each other. LGPL libraries for the majority of software functions will get us there.

Re:I remember (4, Interesting)

swillden (191260) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831795)

I think that for libraries and other software that can be used in various different applications, "public domain" is the way to go. Just like SQLite has done.

The downside to putting your software in the public domain is that it gives you no way to disclaim liability for any damages that your software might inadvertently cause. If you want to give your software away without any strings at all, it's still better to retain copyright and distribute it under a permissive license like X11 or BSD that gives you the opportunity to attach a liability disclaimer.

For games and applications which codebase can't be used much for anything else except for forks of the application itself. GPL sounds like a good way to go.

I don't think the deciding factor is as much the purpose of the code as it is the goal of the author. If your goal is just to give a one-time gift to all of humanity, then X11 or BSD is a good choice. If you'd like to structure your gift to encourage others to give, then LGPL or even GPL are appropriate.

It's like the difference between giving cash to everyone who wants some, homeless and corporate CEO alike, or setting up a trust to give your money away in a controlled fashion. Both are good things, it's just a question of what your goals are. The analogy is imperfect, of course, because however wealthy you are your money is finite, so each dollar you give to a CEO is a dollar you can't give to a homeless guy, a constraint that doesn't apply to software, but you get the idea. Maybe a better analogy is giving all of your money to the homeless now, or setting up a trust that invests your money and uses the return to feed the homeless forever.

Re:I remember (3, Interesting)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18832037)

Where did you get the idea that you cannot disclaim liability from public domain software? That seems to go entirely against the idea of public domain. If public domain software causes problems, who do you sue when nobody owns it? Please do answer this. I have downloaded several pieces of public domain software with disclaimers of liability attached. I'm sure the authors would like to know if those disclaimers are illegal.

Re:I remember (1)

bigpat (158134) | more than 7 years ago | (#18834843)

I would think that liability, if any, would be with whomever is actually distributing the public domain software. Being that it is in the public domain, someone could take it and redistribute the software without the disclaimer. But the person distributing could simply have the receiver of the software agree to the disclaimer. I would be skeptical that a liability claim could be made successfully against the original writer of the software even if the person distributing the software failed to include the disclaimer. I think most courts would use the 'you get what you pay for' criteria for determining liability.

Re:I remember (3, Interesting)

swillden (191260) | more than 7 years ago | (#18835085)

Where did you get the idea that you cannot disclaim liability from public domain software?

From a lawyer. As a friendly recommendation, mind you, not legal advice. Still, I take what he says seriously.

If public domain software causes problems, who do you sue when nobody owns it?

If a piece of software causes harm, it's certainly not beyond imagination in our litigious society that the author may be sued, even if he has disavowed copyright on it.

I have downloaded several pieces of public domain software with disclaimers of liability attached. I'm sure the authors would like to know if those disclaimers are illegal.

I don't think the disclaimers are illegal, it's just that users of public domain software have no mechanism to try to require users/distributors of the software to honor, or even read, the disclaimer. With copyrighted software it's reasonable to expect that people who are relying on your license to have read the license in question, which includes the disclaimer. That may still not provide any protection against pure users who don't need to rely on the license (because they're not doing anything which copyright would otherwise prohibit), and all disclaimers are subject to the limitations of relevant law, but the idea is to get as much protection as you can.

The other point here is that while the advantage to retaining copyright and using a permissive license may be small as compared to releasing the software into the public domain, there is *no* disadvantage, either to the author or to anyone else.

Re:I remember (2, Interesting)

truckaxle (883149) | more than 7 years ago | (#18832173)

Has there ever been a case, anywhere, where someone was sued because of some defect found in freely available software. Such a case would make headlines (and maybe even make SCO look like a slightly lighter shade of complete black).

It seems to me to be a bit paranoid.

Re:I remember (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18833309)

The analogy is imperfect, of course, because however wealthy you are your money is finite, so each dollar you give to a CEO is a dollar you can't give to a homeless guy, a constraint that doesn't apply to software, but you get the idea.


What are you smoking? Your time is finite. It's much more finite than money, actually. You can always earn more money, and, if you do well enough, you can have an effectively limitless supply, in theory. Money isn't even necessarily a physical concept. On the other hand, in 100 years, you will be dead. The analogy is not perfect, but that is not the flaw.

Re:I remember (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 7 years ago | (#18839161)

The downside to putting your software in the public domain is that it gives you no way to disclaim liability for any damages that your software might inadvertently cause.

Liability dosn't appear to be a big issue in the first place.

If you want to give your software away without any strings at all, it's still better to retain copyright and distribute it under a permissive license like X11 or BSD that gives you the opportunity to attach a liability disclaimer.

Such a disclaimer is subject to the "law of the land". Whilst the copyright still exists a court ruling or statute could render such a disclaimer null and void. Which would be rather harder to do if there is no copyright holder...

Re:I remember (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 6 years ago | (#18842129)

Such a disclaimer is subject to the "law of the land".

Yep.

Whilst the copyright still exists a court ruling or statute could render such a disclaimer null and void. Which would be rather harder to do if there is no copyright holder...

The existence or absence of a person who claims copyright isn't relevant. If they can track down the author, they can sue him.

Re:I remember (2, Insightful)

salimma (115327) | more than 7 years ago | (#18832031)

I think that for libraries and other software that can be used in various different applications, "public domain" is the way to go. Just like SQLite has done. Even it can be used in closed source, it still helps the human kind in general, because the less is needed to invent the wheel again.


But you *are* reinventing the wheel when you have to reimplement a closed-source addition that some company did to the original code without sharing, or sharing it with a more restrictive license (like FreeBSD cannot take in changes that Apple make verbatim, because APSL != BSD). As an earlier reply said, what's wrong with LGPL for libraries?

Re:I remember (1)

udippel (562132) | more than 7 years ago | (#18832099)

Public Domain is the ideal license ! in theory - Just like communism is the ideal society ! in theory.
In practice we live in the period of unlimited and condoned greed.

If you allow Greed Unlimited (R) to use your public domain software, that you generously donated to mankind, you

  - open yourself to being sued by the greedy user for shortcomings; like lost data.
                Meaning, that you could end up as a bankrupt.

  - invite the greedy industry to suck it up, add a few intelligent lines, and make it proprietary.
                Meaning, that your donation is lost; and helps lining the pockets of the already wealthy.

Just don't do it, don't 'public domain' your software. GPL intends to pre-empty these two dangers. Donate to GPL instead !

Re:I remember (4, Informative)

GodWasAnAlien (206300) | more than 7 years ago | (#18832277)

"- invite the greedy industry to suck it up, add a few intelligent lines, and make it proprietary."

"public domain" did not create this problem.
The 100 year copyright created this problem (software is obsolete in how many years ?)
The 1980(?) ruling that allowed binary software to be copyrighted created this problem.

Imagine if copyright for software is 15-20 years, and to copyright binaries that do not come with source, the source must be placed in a government approved repository (which releases software when the copyright expires, or before with company approval or company end).

As for being sued, a simple disclaimer works.

Re:I remember (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 7 years ago | (#18839245)

Imagine if copyright for software is 15-20 years

Even that term is quite long in terms of the useful life of software. Especially software produced as a "widget" rather than that custom written for a specific situation. (With the possible exception of embedded systems, assuming the hardware is capable of lasting that long.)

the source must be placed in a government approved repository

The appropriate entity in the US would probably be the Library of Congress, considering that this is akin to it's originally intended function.

(which releases software when the copyright expires, or before with company approval or company end).

There would need to be some mechanism to track the current copyright owner.

LGPL helps prevent "embrace and extend" (1)

AJWM (19027) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833991)

While LGPL allows application developers to release closed source apps, if they change any of the LGPL libraries (say, to embrace an extend a protocol or API), they have to release source to the modified library. With public domain, vendors are free to subtly modify the protocol to their own ends without releasing the changes.

Now, if you don't care about that, then public domain or a BSD type license is fine.

Re:I remember (2, Insightful)

KitsuneSoftware (999119) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831733)

It doesn't matter how short patent terms are if it's still possible to get new patents on inventions that have already been patented one or more times before. Patent offices need more appropriate targets than the "how many have you dealt with this week" I've heard about; if court processes were not so slow, I would suggest penalties for patent examiners who pass patents that are subsequently invalidated.

Re:I remember (0)

ronanbear (924575) | more than 7 years ago | (#18832333)

They should just charge a large deposit (in addition to the fee), refundable when the patent is granted. Then the patent office would have an incentive for examining and rejecting spurious patents. Some companies seem to have a throw everything at the wall and see what sticks approach to patent applications.

This discourages spurious (and non-novel patents), reducing the workload on the patent office while giving the patent offices more resources to examine patents.

Really, of course they just shouldn't have software patents, period. Both ideas would lead to a better functioning patent system.

Re:I remember (1)

amber_of_luxor (770360) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833063)

>I would suggest penalties for patent examiners who pass patents that are subsequently invalidated.

Skip that.
Make their pay dependent upon their productive performance.
Pay $10.00 per rejected patent. Deduct $5.00 for each patent that is granted.
Add a $10K bonus for every 5,000 patents that are processed in one month.

Amber

Re:I remember (1)

idesofmarch (730937) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831849)

Interesting suggestion about patents. Are you convinced five years is enough time to reap the benefits from an invention? You know, sometimes it takes tens of millions of dollars to come up with something. All that aside, isn't this a copyright case, though? SCO is claiming code was lifted straight off.

Re:I remember (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831981)

"SCO is claiming code was lifted straight off."

That would be theft, yes, and DOES deserve to go to court. (Copyright infringement, whatever.) Assuming it really happened, of course. The reasons this case is going on so long is because SCO hasn't really been wronged, and it will -never- be possible to prevent idiots from attempting to sue. (Unless nobody can sue, ever, and that would pretty much defeat the point.)

"Are you convinced five years is enough time to reap the benefits from an invention?"

For the majority of them. For the remainder, if it took the company 5 years to get it working, how would another company manage to do it enough better to screw the original company out of their investment? And honestly, if they can, shame on the original company.

In the end, I think it comes down to this: Patents help 1 high-investment exist while thousands of small investments reap way more benefit than they should.

Mandatory car analogy: Ford patents the car. With no competition, he doesn't bother to improve it much. Would cars be ANYTHING like they are today if Ford had managed to have the only car for YEARS? (Like all proper car analogies, this one has flaws. But it shows my point.)

Re:I remember (3, Informative)

Curtman (556920) | more than 7 years ago | (#18832025)

All that aside, isn't this a copyright case, though? SCO is claiming code was lifted straight off.

SCO claims different things depending on which day of the week it is. Sometimes they claim direct copying, sometimes they claim that IBM wasn't allowed to put their own code in Linux. Sometimes they claim "methods and concepts" means that everything that looks like Unix is theirs. Sometimes they claim up is down, and black is white.

Re:I remember (4, Funny)

simcop2387 (703011) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833183)

quick someone take them to a zebra crossing!

Re:I remember (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18841295)

"Sometimes they claim up is down, and black is white."

But black *is* white -- it's just white with an extremely low albedo.

Re:I remember (2, Insightful)

Curtman (556920) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831929)

Could RMS actually be a visionary and not just a zealot?

Or maybe he's a zealous visionary. Why is that a bad thing?

Re:I remember (1)

rohan972 (880586) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837537)

Or maybe he's a zealous visionary. Why is that a bad thing?

Commitment to principles, passion and forward thinking shows other people up for their apathy and shortsightedness. Rather rude of RMS to make others feel bad like that. Must never make people feel bad, even if they are, didn't you know?

Re:I remember (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18832213)

Is the first post automatically scored -1 now or something? This is on topic and I'm sure a TON of us feel the same way. I am extremely sick of all the BS lawsuits, patents, and all the other non-programming crap.


Check his posting history. His posts start at -1 because his karma is so low for being a First Post troll. I'm sure that this post was simply a case of accidental insight.

Re:I remember (4, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 7 years ago | (#18832245)

While I do not believe in moderating comments down simply because they are inane, this comment was probably moded down because it is not true. The lack of truth is proven by your statement
I used to -hate- the GPL.

The fact that someone has such strong feelings about a voluntary document is what makes politics. Politics often happens when one not only believe that it is a bad choice for oneself, but a bad choice for everyone. We then engage in a process to insure that no one has the choice. That is certainly one side of politics.

Technology, like most things, exists inside a political framework. By implying that this is a new development, one is also implying that it might once again be independent. This is a dangerous and naive inference. Political and market forces have brought us the technology we have today. To keep what we have, we must be part of those political forces.

It is like sex and marriage, and the presumption that the political process should stay out of it, and that such invasions are recent. The truth is that sex and marriage form the basis of civilization, and the control of it forms that basis of the stability of a predominant regime. Just look at how many ancient cultures from of marrying outside the clan.

Re:I remember (1)

cmacb (547347) | more than 7 years ago | (#18832321)

Could RMS actually be a visionary and not just a zealot? It's already undeniable that he's done the entire software industry a world of good by sticking to his beliefs.


Both I'd say. I think of him as the founding father of Open Source and clearly a very smart dude.

Being a founding father of something doesn't imply perfection though. I think his "attitude" sometimes does more harm than good. Mixing software issues with the politics of Cuba doesn't help much. There are enough people who equate Open Source with "Communism" already and RMS political statements don't help in that regard.

I personally see Open Source as being more at home in a Capitalist system. Then you get into the argument over ideal political systems versus real-world ones. In the real world we have our choice between all-powerful governments that treat people like cattle, or companies that do the same thing. Given the realities I'd rather have many powerful entities than just one. Living on the edges of such entity's domain can yield almost total freedom. Even so called benevolent dictatorships don't have a very good track record by comparison.

Re:I remember (3, Insightful)

Progman3K (515744) | more than 7 years ago | (#18832465)

>> [...] I personally think they should make patents only good for 5 years, give everyone that currently has a patent 5 years remaining, and be done. [...]

I think you are right. Patents were originally put in place to protect the little guy, but now they are used exclusively to keep the "littler" guy out.

Things move so fast today, patents cannot logically hold for so long, they must lapse and benefit the people. Anything else is surely a way for monopolies to be kept alive.

Re:I remember (2, Interesting)

renoX (11677) | more than 7 years ago | (#18832619)

What you're saying is very weird:
> I used to -hate- the GPL

Uh? How can one hate a software license?? You can choose not to use it and to avoid software licensed under the GPL, but *hating* it?

> Now, I like the LGPL

Strange, because that's a bad license: the no-static linking restriction is quite stupid IMHO..
And I'm not the only one to think this: there's dozen of LGPL-derived license which keep the intent of the license but without the static-linking restriction, the number of these LGPL-derived license show that there is really something wrong with the LGPL..

Re:I remember (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833025)

Because it's a viral license. If I use project X's code in my project, and I improve that code, I have -no- problem with returning that improvement. If I have to also give away my entire project because of it... No. Just no.

The no-static-linking clause is mainly to allow upgrades to that library for the people using your application. If it's statically linked, and you don't release your code, I'm stuck with an app on my system that I can't upgrade the libraries for. The main reason to want to upgrade them would be to remove security holes, but added features, improved performance, and other fun stuff are also good reasons.

There's something wrong with ALL licenses. There's no such thing as the 'perfect' license because each developer wants to give different permissions.

Re:I remember (1)

renoX (11677) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833221)

>Because it's a viral license.

"viral license" is a stupid wording, you can choose to use GPL software or not. I'd really like it I could choose not to have real viruses..
I call it myself an 'fair exchange license' to use this code, you have to release your own code (BSD being the gift license).

>If it's statically linked, and you don't release your code, I'm stuck with an app on my system that I can't upgrade the libraries for.
I see but if this is really the issue, wouldn't it be enough to require a way to recompile the application in case of static linking not just disallow it?
Plus, changing an application's libraries from which you don't have the sources is a really tricky things: you can break it easily..

Re:I remember (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833461)

"I see but if this is really the issue, wouldn't it be enough to require a way to recompile the application in case of static linking not just disallow it?"

Sure, that license is called the GPL. The ONLY way to recompile the application is to distribute the source. The LGPL, as it is, allows you to keep your source closed but use LGPL libraries. That is MUCH better than requiring the source to be distributed.

And yes, library upgrades don't always work. But in the case of a bug fix, you can backport the bugfix to the library without changing the API and then use that with the application as if it were the original library. With static linking, this is not possible without the source code for the entire application and every library it static linked to.

"Viral license" is not "stupid wording." It is descriptive. It only means that anything that is touched by it is affected by it. You can't use GPL code without your entire application being GPL'd. If someone had chicken pox on their left arm, do you say 'He's got chicken pox, but only on his left arm'? No, you just say 'He has chicken pox.' It affects the entire body, not just the left arm. The GPL is the same way.

Notice that people don't say the LGPL is a viral license. That's because the only way it is viral is if you compile the code into your own. If you link it as a shared library, the LGPL does not affect your code. Since you have the option of using it either way, it is not viral.

If the code is GPL, you only have the option to use or not use it. The same as a virus. You CAN choose to not get a virus. All you have to do is build yourself a little germ-free bubble and take the most insane safety precautions.

Re:I remember (2, Insightful)

renoX (11677) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833555)

"The ONLY way to recompile the application is to distribute the source."

OK, I shouldn't have said recompile but rebuild, relink for this you need only a set of object files (which can be obfuscated).

As for the 'viral license', it's still a very poor analogy: 'chosing' not to have a real virus is very hard: it requires you to 'take the most insane safety precautions', but it's *totally up to you* to choose to use GPL code or not in your application..
So this is a flawed analogy, not neutral at all, used to put the GPL in a bad light.

Re:I remember (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18833625)

You actually can, effectively, use GPL code without your entire application being GPLed. Of course, the way to do this is to be even more permissive (for example, your code BSD, their code GPL), but it's possible.

Re:I remember (1)

JFitzsimmons (764599) | more than 7 years ago | (#18835141)

How?

Viral my a@@ (1)

jotaeleemeese (303437) | more than 6 years ago | (#18842281)

Since when you have got a choice not the get a viral infection?

The allegory is idiotic, it is enough to know who enunciated it first to understand it.

Re:I remember (1)

ZombieRoboNinja (905329) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833645)

"I used to -hate- the GPL. Now, I like the LGPL and I'm starting to think the GPL is the right way to go after all. "

After all, none of this SCO crap would have started if only Linux was licensed under the GPL!

Re:I remember (1)

Buran (150348) | more than 7 years ago | (#18834143)

Is the first post automatically scored -1 now or something?

I think it must be. I made a perfectly valid comment about something, and it was first because I happened to load the site just when the story popped up, and I got modded as offtopic ... just for being the first to comment.

I don't think that's fair, and I don't moderate someone down just for having commented first. I only moderate down first-post posts if that's all they say, or something else equally silly that is obviously an attempt to post first.

No such thing (4, Insightful)

Shadowlore (10860) | more than 7 years ago | (#18834279)

There is no such thing as corporate greed. There is greed. Humans have greed corporations do not. One of the worst episodes in the history of the US was when the US Supreme Court decided corporations, a fiction created by government, were tantamount to people. And continuing to anthropomorphize them only perpetuates the real problem. Corporations don't have soul, emotions, etc.. People do.

So why do socialists and "anti-capitalists" and so on continue to refer to them as if they were human? Because it belies the problem to socialism. The actions taken are done by humans. Humans can be greedy. Sometimes greed can be good, often it is bad. Pretending that corporations have greed, feelings, emotions, desires, etc. lets people feel good about humans while feeling bad about corporations.

The problem with governments and corporations are the same, and for the same reason. The more humanity is separated from itself via fictions such as corporations and government, the more they people can justify things they would not do themselves in a more personal situation.

So whine all you want, but put the blame squarely where it belongs - on the people, not the fictions called corporations.

This particular problem is exacerbated by the fiction of "intellectual property". Here we have two fictions being combined to control others. For all the frailties of humans, it gets worse when we exclude humans. At least humans have qualities that limit or hinder the damage of our frailties when we are involved

Software pantents are BS (1)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837611)

The idea behind a patent is simple: an inventor invents something, and shares it with everybody in return for a short term monoply. The inventor makes (lots) of cash, and society gets a new technology that is owned by all in the long term.

I say sure, lets have some software patents. You produce the source code that will be shared with the world, and I'll grant you a patent. The code gets dumped on the net, and in a couple years, anyone can use it for whatever they want.

Re:Software pantents are BS (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18838425)

The manufacturing process and design of a product don't get put in public domain when a patent expires for a device. Why should software be any different?

Re:I remember (1)

lpontiac (173839) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831955)

I remember the time when software was just software and no politics...

Perhaps if people had paid more attention to the politics back then, things wouldn't have become as bad as they are now.

Re:I remember (1)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 7 years ago | (#18837055)

I remember the time when software was just software and no politics...

When was this?

well, normally i'd be happy (1)

eneville (745111) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831653)

normally this news would make me happy, but since novel is in bed with other big corporates i'm not so pleased.

Re:well, normally i'd be happy (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18831673)

They're all in bed with each other, it's like some giant technology orgy. Mostly slightly smaller companies wanking Microsoft off.

Re:well, normally i'd be happy (2, Funny)

Mondoz (672060) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831707)

Don't worry. SCO will probably just sue them for it.
It's been at least 20 minutes since they've filed suit against someone. They're probably getting all fidgety.

Re:well, normally i'd be happy (2, Funny)

Glowing Fish (155236) | more than 7 years ago | (#18832481)

20 minutes...the time between SCO lawsuits, and the time between smoking crack and then needing to smoke it again.
Coincidence?

Re:well, normally i'd be happy (2)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831709)

I'm extremely happy with this, mainly because it puts a HUGE stake through the heart of the SCO v. IBM case. Novell has provided testimony from the lawyer who drew up the SVRX contract with SCO that blows holes in all the SCO claims. The lawyer also provided draft copies of the contract, including notes & comments regarding changes, reasons for the wording, etc. This should once and for all provide the legal decision that SCO does NOT have any claims to own unix, which basically guts the remainder of their lawsuits.

Re:well, normally i'd be happy (2, Interesting)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#18832553)

I'm extremely happy with this, mainly because it puts a HUGE stake through the heart of the SCO v. IBM case.

You write like the judgments have already been ruled for, but this is unlikely. The Microsoft Whore Novell will win the case in the end, but with patent law as it now stands, Linux will lose as more and more Patent Kings come out of the woodwork for their slice of the pie. Unless there is patent reform, in the years to come, for businesses Linux will be no freer than Windows.

Re:well, normally i'd be happy (1)

ms1234 (211056) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831761)

Funny that Novell is fending off someone funded by the same fellow that they are in bed with :)

Re:well, normally i'd be happy (3, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831843)

Thats because they didn't goto bed with them willingly. Novel was raped in essence.

Novel only made the deal with microsoft to make developing stuff that can interact easier. If balmer hadn't started this proof of IP violations thing, No one would have thought different. Mozilla is in bed with MS, they ever jointly agree the browser wars are over and that they need to focus on security more then anything else. Yet no one complains and I think it is because there hasn't been any accusations of IP problems yet.

The thing with novel is how microsoft reacted with it. Not how novel went into business deals or anything. I'm a little surprised the novel is still willing to help the free software community out after all this. And there had been quite a bit of FUD being passed by the free software community concerning stuff in the GPL that didn't exist and mudding Novel's name and intentions and such. This must be a fondness of IBM more then OpenSource or anything. But I'm not sure.

Re:well, normally i'd be happy (1)

DannyO152 (544940) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833743)

Novell's number one motivation for aggressively defending the slander of libel suit was to not cede the Unix copyrights (whatever those might be) to Caldera/SCO.

The copyrights had a value, Santa Cruz/SCO didn't have the scratch to pay, and so Novell didn't sell them. I suspect Novell bought SuSE to nail the point that whatever Unix ip had escaped (and it could be none) into Linux, Novell's Linux customers had a clear, unambiguous license to Linux. In other words, Novell had no interest -- in 2003/2004 -- to be the Tripoli Pirates to Linux, but they sure as h e double hockey sticks weren't going to let Caldera/SCO get away with any plundering.

Today, Novell's problem is making money with what they have, and I offer this merely to provide perspective and not absolution. As for Microsoft, they may have gotten the point that they are unable to kill Linux, so without closing the Plan A playbook, they've started plan B which is to establish a revenue stream for Linux use by customers.

Variations on a theme - Novell and EV1 (4, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 7 years ago | (#18832837)

The Microsoft + Novell deal is just SCO + EV1 servers all over again. The schemers are running out of creativity. Both deals are more smoke than fire. Neither is meaningful because their secret nature precludes people from making rational decisions about them. How do you put a value on the products of either SCO or Novell, when they've entered agreements that prohibit them from disclosing who owns what? Is the point of this to allow both of them to sell you the same thing, twice? When your marketing approach is "Sign this contract or we'll sue you out of business whether our claims have merit or not," people have to start wondering what makes you morally superior to a mugger and whether being in an enduring relationship with you is preferable to going directly to court or cheaper than settling you with a different kind of "contract.". Eventually these people are going to try this with the entirely wrong victim and it won't take the courts to sort the matter out.

The declaration of Novell's outside attorney that did the deal, Tor Braham [groklaw.net] reads like death to SCO's claims. Basically he was there, wrote the draft that got signed. He signed it himself. He kept drafts of what the Old SCO asked for and the edits where they were struck, and explains why very clearly: SCO just didn't have the cash, Novell wasn't interested in selling the Unix copyrights, Novell needed to protect its interests in case of an OldSCO bankruptcy.

It's interesting that just 1/2 hr before the close of market two days ago somebody unloaded 466,000 shares of SCOX, just over 2% of the company. As of December 31, 2006 yahoo lists only seven companies and two insiders [yahoo.com] with that much of a stake. I wonder who....

Left hand versus right hand (1)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 7 years ago | (#18832175)

It's interesting though, because now Microsoft is actually on both sides of this fight.

They just recently partnered with Novell [slashdot.org] , and were funding SCO through Baystar. [com.com]

Wouldn't it be great to just have 1% of the money that Microsoft has wasted on this? I'd retire.

Re:Left hand versus right hand (1)

eneville (745111) | more than 7 years ago | (#18832337)

It's interesting though, because now Microsoft is actually on both sides of this fight.

They just recently partnered with Novell [slashdot.org] , and were funding SCO through Baystar. [com.com]

Wouldn't it be great to just have 1% of the money that Microsoft has wasted on this? I'd retire.

lol, that's a great way to think about it. retiring. although you could probably find a cure for aids and cancer with that sort of money, which is what i'd opt for. mind you, retiring at 26 would be great too.

Re:Left hand versus right hand (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18835831)

Wouldn't it be great to just have 1% of the money that Microsoft has wasted on this? I'd retire.

That's not good enough. I want more. I want to see my bank account do this [nationalpriorities.org] ! That's some serious fundage... dude.

It's marketing money well spent (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 7 years ago | (#18836117)

You don't count it like that. SCO was about keeping linux from gaining too much share before Vista was released. It worked.

Novell is about keeping linux from taking the fore until Vista is replaced with something that works. It's working so far - some large customers are taking the bait. Probably in a year they'll set the hook. Sooner maybe if the mainstream press picks up on the "Vista is Windows ME 2.0" meme, which seems to be gaining buzz. Hopefully a few more OEMs will join the "XP available for all" train in fear of losing share to Dell. It's just one short step from there to "Vista? What vista?" That will accelerate their schedule with Novell and hopefully limit their catch to outfits where they have highly placed insiders. Right about then the people on Software Assurance should be joining a class.

Yes, it would be nice to have that much money personally, but you can't say it's wasted. They're getting their money's worth, and Baystar's too. They usually do because they leverage their power, and for this sort of thing power is better than money.

Layers file for summary judgement all the time (0)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831689)

It's sort of what they do, if nothing else then to say "We think our case is so clear, the other party can't possibly win". I wouldn't be surprised if SCO has put in motions of summary judgement against IBM too. Just tell us when some of those motions are actually granted, mmkey?

Jerking off and now she's crying (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18831697)

Hai Slashdot
I have a problem.
I live with a girl. We live in a small 2 bedroom apartment. I kind of like her and she kind of likes me back, there is def. something going on between us. Well, about 2 weeks ago, I couldn't help myself, so i went into her bedroom and masturbated over her sleeping body (she sleeps in this kinky teddy..HAWT) Well, I started doing it every night, then last night, I went into her room like usual and started masturbating only to find out that she was awake! I almost ran out of the room and but she stopped me and said that she knew I had been doing it for the past week! I was really embarrassed. I couldn't say anything, until she asked "so are you gonna fucking me instead of FAPPIN' off to me?" I couldn't believe it! I went over and got in bed with her and we fucked most of the night! The next morning, I was awoken by her screaming. She didn't know why I was in her bed. On top of that she thinks I raped her in her sleep! Now she's crying and threatening to call the cops on me!
Slashdot, my old and trusted friend, what should I do???

Re:Jerking off and now she's crying (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18831731)

Take it to /b/ please.

4ailchan had to rebuild this weekend (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18831887)

and OP has no life. I'm glad I don't manage their servers. Please mod to -1.

Re:Jerking off and now she's crying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18831915)

You just broke rules 1 and 2!

IANAL but I don't think this means much (2, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831739)

IIRC, every single litigant involved in cases with SCO has filed motions for summary judgement.

I think they're filing them more in hope than in expectation - in the hope that it will close the case fast and minimise legal fees. Novell, IBM et al are a lot of things, but I can't imagine they want to hand over any more money than they have to to their lawyers.

You're right: for the wrong reason (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18831857)

The declarations that Novell just filed would gut SCO's case all by themselves. SCO's case is so feeble that there are many things that would independently destroy it. All SCO has to do is lose on any of about ten different things and they lose the whole shooting match.

Consider the declarations of Braham and Amandia. These are both people who were directly responsible for negotiating and writing the contracts with Santa Cruz. They clearly remember the events that took place and have original documents to back them up. They say there was no intent by Novell to transfer the copyrights and they made darn sure the contract and the ammendment did not transfer the copyrights. Santa Cruz asked that the copyrights be transferred and Novell agreed only that Santa Cruz could use the copyrights to develop and sell the product they were developing.

These declarations directly contradict SCO's theories and the half remembered garbage of their witnesses who weren't actually involved in writing the contracts.

So, Novell could very well get their PSJ. In fact, Novell could get the psj even without these declarations because the wording of the contract and ammendment is clear and there is no written conveyance of the copyrights. The latter is required by law and the judge can decide the case as a matter of law (which is necessary for a psj). So you could be right. The new filings might not be necessary to decide the case.

Re:You're right: for the wrong reason (1)

BanjoBob (686644) | more than 7 years ago | (#18836381)

Add to this that Judge Kimbel has already said that he didn't believe the copyrights transferred because the requisite documents were never drawn up (bill of sale conveying copyrights to SCOg). So the bar was already very high and SCO failed to convince anybody otherwise.

The Novell-75.pdf [groklaw.net] [PDF] document is the order. In it, the judge says:

it is unclear under the language of the APA whether the copyrights transferred.

Re:IANAL but I don't think this means much (2, Informative)

mav[LAG] (31387) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831875)

PJ explains in the final para of TFA what Summary Judgements are for:

Keep in mind that the real point of summary judgment motions at this stage of a case is to narrow down what issues need a trial and which can be decided by the judge as a matter of law. So while Novell can win these motions, in a sense it can't lose anything by them. The worst that happens is that it all goes forward to trial. The whole idea is that after discovery, you kind of know what should be excised from the case, and both sides normally file dispositive motions right after discovery, so that everyone knows what is still viable and still needs to go to trial, if anything.

Re:IANAL but I don't think this means much (1)

rm69990 (885744) | more than 7 years ago | (#18850263)

Out of desperation? SCO doesn't have a leg to stand on here. These declarations backing up Novell retaining the copyrights are simply Novell tossing some salt in the wound. Without an express conveyance of copyright from Novell to SCO in writing, SCO simply doesn't own the copyrights. The Judge refused to toss the case when Novell moved for dismissal, but stated the APA and Amendment 2 didn't transfer the copyrights, and that SCO had better find the actual conveyance documents quick. Considering neither party could find said documents, and there is no written conveyance, this is a matter of law that does not need to go before a jury, and I find it highly unlikely it will go before a jury.

The TLA is similar. The document says that all restrictions on Novell cease to exist in the event of a change of control of Santa Cruz. Considering Caldera/SCO bought over 95% of the assets of Santa Cruz in 2001, under both the TLA and the law itself, a change of control occured and the Judge can toss the case on that basis alone, even though Novell has raised numerous other reasons.

Obligatory Groklaw Links (4, Informative)

giafly (926567) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831753)

Re:Obligatory Groklaw Links (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18831923)

Most interesting is the declaration of Tor Braham, document Novell-281. He was the lawyer for Novell who drafted the contract (APA) that transfered parts of Novell's Unix business to Santa Cruz. He explained the reason for the wierd APA language. Novell was dissapointed with Santa Cruz's payment offering (16% stock, worth $ 50 million) and was even afraid that Santa Cruz could go banrupt. Thus, Novell kept the SVRX IP and the revenue it generates and changed the original contract to exclude IP from the transfer to protect Novell in case of bankrupcy:

"We did not limit this revenue stream to a subset of "all royalties, fees and other
ammounts" such as binary royalties or sums being paid by existing SVRX customers. Further,
because we were concerned about Santa Cruz's viability and what could happen to these
revenues if Santa Cruz went bankrupt, at my direction we proposed contract language to Santa
Cruz whereby Novell would remain the equitable owner of the SVRX Royalties under the
Bankruptcy Code:
Seller and Buyer further acknowledge and agree that Seller is
retaining all rights to the SVRX Royalties notwithstanding the
transfer of the SVRX licenses to Buyer pursuant hereto, and that
Buyer only as [sic?] legal title and not an equitable in interest in such
royalties within the meaning of Section 541(d) of the Bankruptcy
Code.
(See Exhibit 3 at NOV 41922) In case Santa Cruz declared bankruptcy, the SVRX Royalties
would be protected from the bankruptcy estate and Novell would continue to receive them."

Also exciting (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833125)

Tor Braham doesn't just explain. He provides drafts to show what was proposed and the copyright transfer was proposed by Old SCO, rejected by Novell and explicitly excluded... SCO's witnesses "recall" what may have been intended. This guy knows and provides documents to prove it.

Today's The Inquirer [theinquirer.net] MOTD is nice:

The palest ink is better than the best memory - Chinese proverb

The show isn't over until it's over, but it seems like it's getting close.

Subsequent events show how wise Novell was to protect their interest in this way. The trail of successors-in-interest has grown long.

I believe Novell will be found to own the corpse of Unix, which in no way diminishes the fact that Unix is still dead.

Re:Obligatory Groklaw Links (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18832475)

Whore.

ALL RIGHT...THIS IS GETTIN' GOOOOOODDDD!!!!!! (1)

1mck (861167) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831769)

I've been waiting a long time to see who makes the first move!!! Man, I hope someone makes a movie out of this, or a book...maybe Groklaw or something, eh?

This is fantastic entertainment!!!!:-)))))

Re:ALL RIGHT...THIS IS GETTIN' GOOOOOODDDD!!!!!! (1)

sjwest (948274) | more than 7 years ago | (#18831947)

With Boy on Boy action, the manage a trois between Ron,Darl and Chair_Thrower() Mr Balmer, and small time players like Baystar not forgetting that Sco poster girl Maureem it might well be an 21+ age feature.

I thought Microsoft 'partners' (thats Darl and Ron) where not allow to sue each other. I bet Mr Balmer is going to get mad on Monday.

Re:ALL RIGHT...THIS IS GETTIN' GOOOOOODDDD!!!!!! (2, Funny)

BanjoBob (686644) | more than 7 years ago | (#18832193)

Quick! Hide all the chairs!!!

I ain't had this much fun since the pigs ate my little brother.

Re:ALL RIGHT...THIS IS GETTIN' GOOOOOODDDD!!!!!! (1)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833165)

"manage a trois"?

Is that something done by business-jism?

informative GNAAGNAA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18831911)

Didn't they get the memo from MSFT not to do this? (1)

Glasswire (302197) | more than 7 years ago | (#18832115)

There's a clause in their agreement with Redmond to support the party line on this, isn't there? :-)

SCO 2.0? (3, Insightful)

hendridm (302246) | more than 7 years ago | (#18832161)

Assuming Novell wins the majority of judgments, I wonder what would happen if Novell some day decides that Linux is no longer viable as SCO did...

Re:SCO 2.0? (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#18832509)

It's unlikely they will win the judgments. But arn't they already thinking that direction with the Microsoft deal? It has little to do with the value of Linux as an OS, but rather the business of patents may make Linux an unprofitable road to go for big business.

Re:SCO 2.0? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18832521)

If Novell some day decides that Linux is no longer viable, it will stop distributing Linux, as SCO did. Novell would be a bit different situation because they have Suse Linux which, unlike SCO's Linux, they could probably sell to someone. It would be interesting if they sold Suse to MS.

Re:SCO 2.0? (1)

laffer1 (701823) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833109)

Interesting and terrible. Microsoft using Linux would not be the end of Linux, but it would sure send many people running for the hills. Well I suppose it could spark interest in BSD which would benefit me.

Re:SCO 2.0? (2, Insightful)

renegadesx (977007) | more than 7 years ago | (#18835937)

If Microsoft bought SuSE off Novell they would just close it down and put the breaks on the OpenSUSE community which would send them elsewhere. The leftovers from SuSE would most likley end up going to either Red Hat/Fedora or Ubuntu.

In the end I don't see Novell selling SuSE, I think Microsoft buying Novell is a more likley scenario.

Re:SCO 2.0? (1)

rm69990 (885744) | more than 7 years ago | (#18850353)

Who knows? This whole article is on Slashdot because Novell bought Unix and then sold it a couple years later. They did the same with Word Perfect/Quattro Pro and some other product they sold to Borland. Although SUSE sales are going up, so maybe they'll hang onto it. Normally Novell runs an aquired business into the ground before dumping it onto the next company.

Re:SCO 2.0? (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 7 years ago | (#18834899)

I wonder what would happen if Novell some day decides that Linux is no longer viable as SCO did...
I suppose they can always resurrect NetWare.

Re:SCO 2.0? (1)

rm69990 (885744) | more than 7 years ago | (#18850317)

Doubt it would affect it much.... Novell would use patents, not copyrights. Starting a whole new round of Unix vs Linux litigation would amount to beating a dead hooker. Also, Novell arguing against SCO's accusations and going so far as to file arbitration against them over it, which will likely result in a ruling giving Linux a clean bill of health, and then turning around and raising those allegations again would not impress a judge to say the least. That's the kind of thing that gets a law firm and company sanctioned, which I expect Judge Kimball will do to SCO when he rules on these and the IBM summary judgement motions.

IDo7l (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18832207)

our cause. Gay the publiC eye: rapid, clearly become session an3 join in alike to reap a BSD box (a PIII IS DYING LIKE THE users of NetBSD

This may be the beginning of the end for SCO (4, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833027)

This seems to be going on forever, but it's not. The end is in sight. SCO can stall, but the process does move onward. Discovery is over; everything significant that's going to come out has come out. Now we're in the stage where bogus claims get thrown out via summary judgment motions. That phase is well along; summary judgment motions have been made and briefed in both the Novell and IBM cases. Soon the judge will decide them.

The Novell-SCO contract says that Novell retains "all copyrights". If the judge rules that the contract means what it says, that ends the copyright issue.

Then, based on that, the summary judgment motions by IBM against SCO mostly get decided in favor of IBM.

Remember, for IBM, this is no longer a problem. Is it hurting Linux server sales? No. Are customers bothered by it? No. Can IBM afford the legal costs? IBM revenue was $91,000,000,000 in 2006. I doubt this issue gets much management attention in Armonk any more.

We sell worthless stuff (0, Troll)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833793)

Novell to court: We sold a "bill of goods" to SCO and we can prove it!

I am certain SCO knew they never had a case ... (1)

porky_pig_jr (129948) | more than 7 years ago | (#18835019)

but some of their higher-ups made some good bucks selling the inflated stocks at the right time. that was the main reason SCO went ahead suing Novell, IBM and whatever. But the whole thing is just smoke and mirrors. So - when SCO looses the battle, don't rejoice.

Re:I am certain SCO knew they never had a case ... (1)

old7 (564621) | more than 7 years ago | (#18835557)

I am certain that the SCO Group (SCOX) sued IBM in hopes of a quick settlement. They remind IBM that litigation will cost IBM $10 million, but they could be convinced to settle for say $3 million, of course bound by a non-disclosure agreement. Then they can go hog-wild suing every Linux company they can find. Who would want to fight the battle that IBM didn't want to fight. The companies that could afford to settle with SCOX would, the rest they would drain as much as they could in court and then settle without a trial.

SCOX knew from the beginning that they had no case. They counted on IBM doing the math and quickly settling, but IBM didn't. Along the way SCOX stumbled into the pipe fairy and made the best of the cards they were dealt. Bluff, bluff, raise, but never fold. For SCOX it is all in and now it appears they didn't even have a pair.

Now the best they can do is try and make it look like they thought they had a case.

Of course this is just my little theory, I could be wrong.

Sad , Sad joke (2, Interesting)

modernbob (558981) | more than 7 years ago | (#18836457)

I have been reading this farce for years now and I am taken a back by the idea that you can litigate an issue for so long and waste so many resources with no real evidence. If this whole doesn't show the need for real copyright and patent law changes then nothing does. Our legal system is a joke! A seriously bad joke!

Left hand sock puppet.... (1)

jotaeleemeese (303437) | more than 6 years ago | (#18842331)

.... let me introduce you to the Right Hand Sock Puppet.

I'll play know patent wars! What can we destroy? What about that cuddly stuffed penguin?
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