Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Linux Software

SCO Extorting Unixware Licenses to Linux Users? 576

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the but-i-don't-want-unixware dept.
An anonymous user noted that SCO will sell you Unixware if you want to "Legitimize" your usage of Linux at your company. If you buy the license, you will be held blameless for your transgressions against SCO! Pricing has yet to be determined for the special licenses, but I suspect that for any value greater than zero, there are going to be a fair number of angry users.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

SCO Extorting Unixware Licenses to Linux Users?

Comments Filter:
  • If I were a CIO or CTO debating the TCO of *nix vs. Win2K3 to a CEO, would IBM vs. SCO be the TKO that stops the CEO from approving A/P to pay my PO for RH's LGX?

    FWIW, even if OSS is FAIB, if the DOJ considers *nix IP with a TM, then it basically become's SCO's LIC, meaning our OSS becomes a CSS OS, which would RSTBO.

    AIBO going w/ an ASP that manages our OS? BTA, we might end up w/ a BOFH giving us ZA, which WWAD PMS.

    AFAIK, INMP if SCO wants to be ITM by enforcing its supposed IPR - *nix IP should be PD
    • by Dr. Bent (533421)
      Seeing as how the VP is such a VIP, shouldn't we keep the PC on the QT because if it leaks to the VC he could wind up MIA and then we'd all be put on KP.
      • Re:GMV (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Directrix1 (157787) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:58PM (#6500890)
        I would really hate any company to read this, and think that SCO has any legal ground vs. the linux community whatsoever, so I will repost my message, from yesterday, here to clarify SCO's idiocy:
        Here, is where I think SCOs major flaw in their argument is, the GPL circa Jan 28, 1999 explicitly states in its preamble:
        To protect your rights, we need to make restrictions that forbid anyone to deny you these rights or to ask you to surrender the rights. These restrictions translate to certain responsibilities for you if you distribute copies of the software, or if you modify it.

        For example, if you distribute copies of such a program, whether gratis or for a fee, you must give the recipients all the rights that you have. You must make sure that they, too, receive or can get the source code. And you must show them these terms so they know their rights.

        Refer to way back machine: http://web.archive.org/web/19990128195748/www.gnu. org/copyleft/gpl.html [archive.org]

        And seeing as how SCO has been distributing Linux which had their code in the kernel. They have thusly, knowingly or not, distributed their rights, to the GPLd code in question, to the public. Because, of the statement above. Or if you want to hear it straight from GNU's statement:
        ... [gnu.org]
        Moreover, there are straightforward legal reasons why SCO's assertions concerning claims against the kernel or other free software are likely to fail. As to its trade secret claims, which are the only claims actually made in the lawsuit against IBM, there remains the simple fact that SCO has for years distributed copies of the kernel, Linux, as part of GNU/Linux free software systems. Those systems were distributed by SCO in full compliance with GPL, and therefore included complete source code. So SCO itself has continuously published, as part of its regular business, the material which it claims includes its trade secrets. There is simply no legal basis on which SCO can claim trade secret liability in others for material it widely and commercially published itself under a license that specifically permitted unrestricted copying and distribution.
        ...
        • It's not a problem for the latest tactic. If a Judge determines that SCO bought Calera -- without knowing that Caldera was distributing their stolen copyrighted code -- and they continued the normal operations of Caldera until such time as they figured out that "Hey, this is our code!" , then they promptly took legal action, it could be argued that they did not knowingly agree to the license.

          Under this tactic, SCO is saying "well, fine, we won't distribute Linux (thus we won't be subject to the GPL), we'

    • I've been online way too long. I understood that, save the very last. I got as far as
      If I Told You What I Mean Would You Be ...

      Obfusticated until it makes sense. Just like the SCO situation.
    • by Citizen of Earth (569446) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @10:41AM (#6499086)
      Not quite as funny as the first few times this comment was posted.
    • by mirko (198274) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @10:45AM (#6499151) Journal
      -1 : Redundant [slashdot.org]
  • Uhm.. (Score:4, Informative)

    by GearheadX (414240) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @10:31AM (#6498972)
    Didn't we hear about this yesterday? This isn't exactly new, news. How about waiting for a new bit on it until we actually have some new information. Like IBM or some other simliarly large corporation bending SCO's back the wrong way until it crumples like tin foil?

    Seriously.

    We know that SCO is being a naughty boy.

    We don't need to be reminded about it every day.
    • Re:Uhm.. (Score:3, Funny)

      by jkrise (535370)
      Didn't we hear about this yesterday?

      1. Yes, but /. has a quota for SCO stories, and for weeks the quota is lying un-utilized.

      2. SCO realises that getting abused at /. is the best way to spread their FUD.

      3. CIOs and PHBs in the US are already writing checks to SCO.

      4. CIOs and PHBs in Germnay, France, Asia and elsewhere are ROFLTAO...

      5. Tune in for daily updates on the SCO extortion fund - brought to you by /.

      -
    • by TrekkieGod (627867) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @10:44AM (#6499137) Homepage Journal
      Didn't we hear about this yesterday? This isn't exactly new, news.

      I see that you are new amongst us. Welcome. What you're referring to is what we slashdotters call a "dupe". Please report to the re-education center where you will learn many things including, but not limited to, "profit lists", and jokes about non longer in existance soviet nations.

    • Re:Uhm.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bigjocker (113512) * on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @10:51AM (#6499221) Homepage
      We have heard some of it, but mostly from user's comments. The article from this morning was focused on code and a way to track some contributions by Caldera employees to the kernel.

      I for one welcome any news regarding this issue. Slashdot is known for it's huge Linux audience and is very handy to have a unified source of information and comments.

      Why bother? A lot of us work on companies that use Linux (myself included), even some of us have helped our employers move from proprietary Unices to Linux (myself included), and in my case I also work as a independent consultant and have helped a lot of clients to make UN*X->Linux and WIN->Linux transitions (I make all the solutions using free software and license them under the GPL to my clients, if they want to redistribute the system or a modified version of it they must release the source, if not they are free to keep it secret) so this SCO issue is affecting (and has a lot of potential to affect really badly) my job and bussiness.

      You never have too much information, and in any case, you can always not click on the link and let it pass. A lot of us even want to see more stories about this issue.
  • Hrm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @10:31AM (#6498974)
    This couldn't have been edited onto the previous SCO story this morning?

    It's getting to be a bit much, especially since attention is what they're after in the first place, Slashdot...
  • by cruppel (603595) * on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @10:31AM (#6498976) Homepage
    It will now offer ... run-time, binary use of Linux for all commercial users of Linux based on the 2.4 kernel and later.

    Ok, maybe I don't understand, but isn't supplying a binary-only copy of Linux w/o source the exact opposite of every ideal GNU and the FSF stand for? Maybe I read the article wrong, if anyone can clue me in I'd appreciate. Is this a violation of the GPL?

    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @10:40AM (#6499082) Journal
      Not quite. They are not selling or licensing the binary (which would be in violation of the GPL, unless they accepted the GPL in which case they could only sell one of these licenses then the person who bought it could give away as many as they wanted). What they are doing is selling indemnity frm prosecution.

      They are still claiming that the Linux kernel (or whatever part of SCO/Linux they are claiming today) contains their code, and that it is being used illegally, however if you give them money then they will ignore your violation. I'm not convinced that this is legal, since it sounds a lot like blackmail to me, but that doesn't seem to stop SCO.

      • by Oriumpor (446718) * on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @11:18AM (#6499525) Homepage Journal
        IANAL so, STFU
        In the united states it is illegal to threaten litigation. However, it is not illegal to surruptitiously mention litigation, and then offer an "alternative" (a cash settlement for instance) or ... in this case, a license.
      • by Troy Baer (1395) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @11:26AM (#6499624) Homepage
        They are still claiming that the Linux kernel (or whatever part of SCO/Linux they are claiming today) contains their code, and that it is being used illegally, however if you give them money then they will ignore your violation. I'm not convinced that this is legal, since it sounds a lot like blackmail to me, but that doesn't seem to stop SCO.

        I'm not sure if it's legal either, but it sure reeks of a protection racket to me. (It's especially galling given that they haven't even established in court that they do in fact own what they claim to.) I've complained to my state attourney general about it. I'd like to think they'll look into it, but my state AG is one of the ones who caved on the MS antitrust settlement...

        --Troy
    • by ajs (35943) <ajs@ a j s . c om> on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @10:53AM (#6499261) Homepage Journal
      They are saying that they will license your existing binary version of Linux. They will not grant you a source license, however.

      This is perfectly legit. Only SCO's silly and rather toothless claims are bogus, the licensing idea is fine. Keep in mind that if SCO's claims were true, the GPL goes poof on Linux, and no one has a license to distribute. What's more, everyone would have to destroy their existing copies, since they got it in a manner that is legally equivalent to downloading a copyrighted song from Gnutella.

      All SCO is saying is that THEY won't come after you for continuing to use Linux, if you pay them up front. It's a protection racket, but a legal one.

      Still, pointless and ignorable. See my previous comments on why [slashdot.org]
  • by iapetus (24050) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @10:31AM (#6498977) Homepage

    Even if the price is zero, then I'm personally likely to be angry enough as it is. This is all about accepting that SCO is in the right, and until such time as they've taken this through court and proven that to be the case, I have no intention of doing anything to suggest that they have the right to impose restrictions on my use of Linux.

    If they're truly that confident of their position, they should be rushing through the court case, and then asking people to license Unixware, with a suitable judgement behind them to back it up.

    As it is, their case is built mostly on hot air, so I can see their motivation in pushing for payment in advance.

    • by Shiblon (25972) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (nolbihs)> on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @10:43AM (#6499109) Homepage
      Even if the price is zero, then I'm personally likely to be angry enough as it is. This is all about accepting that SCO is in the right...

      Actually, it's a bit more than that. Since nothing has yet been proven and all of this is allegation, isn't this just a form of blackmail? Isn't that illegal? Here is a definition of "blackmail", which I find very interesting indeed:

      Extortion of money or something else of value from a person by the threat of exposing a criminal act or discreditable information.

      It isn't much of a stretch to see how today the threat of "exposing a criminal act or discreditable information" has the same effect as "threatening to sue the pants off of someone for alleged and unproven wrongdoing." Perhaps even more interesting is the relationship of this next definition to SCO's current approach:

      Tribute formerly paid to freebooters along the Scottish border for protection from pillage.

      (All of these from dictionary.com [dictionary.com]) That last one is all about what SCO wants: "We're the pirates, pay us and we won't harm you."

      I may be wrong (hey, it's happened before), but I find it interesting that the people who shout most loudly about their legal rights are often those quickest to disregard the rights of others.

      • by jd (1658) <<moc.oohay> <ta> <kapimi>> on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:26PM (#6500417) Homepage Journal
        #include "IANAL.h"


        I believe the "formal" definition is "demands with menaces", where "demands" and "menaces" are roughly the definition you gave, though perhaps with a little more scope.


        (eg: neither the demands nor the menaces have to be actually stated. They can be implied, provided it is reasonable to interpret the implication as an actual threat of some kind, unless the person coughs up.)


        SCO certainly seems to qualify under the "menaces" part. Just because they've not named a sum, or directly stated that Linux users would be prosecuted, is irrelevent. Their action towards IBM, and their association of Linux with illegal activity, may well be sufficient.


        The demands may also be inferred, from their repeated reference to SCO UnixWare licenses and license fees.


        While I think it likely that SCO has enough money to blast any suit a /. reader is likely to bring, the fact nonetheless remains that SCO's practice is skirting the edge of illegality and may well have crossed that line.

    • Yes but... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by sterno (16320) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @11:15AM (#6499491) Homepage
      See the thing is, attorneys cost money. May as well use the licensing to get your money. Also it makes you look confident that you will win which doesn't hurt the stock price.

      My thought, is that if SCO starts going to companies using Linux and threatening them saying they will sue if they don't license their code, the correct response is, "show me the code." If I'm not mistaken they have to proove you KNOWINGLY violated their copyright, and given the legally indeterminate nature of this case right now, that doesn't seem plausible.

      Maybe I should go and claim that my IP is in Linux too. It's not, but as long as nobody else knows that for certain, maybe I can get a few litigously nervous companies to write me nice checks.
  • Grace (Score:2, Funny)

    by L. VeGas (580015)
    I, for one, am grateful for this opportunity to come clean. Where do I send the check?
  • is it possible that microsoft are paying sco to become 'most hated business ever' so that we stop beating up on the redmond boys? i'm running out of logical alternatives for this story. i mean... does sco really believe that anyone believes that linux belongs to them?
  • Q: "What UnixWare are you running?"
    A: "I really don't want to concern myself with what UnixWare."

    • First, you spelled it wrong. The word is 'eunuchs [reference.com]', a name for a man who has been castrated (yikes!).

      Second, your 'Q:' is really 2 questions, not one, given the pun.

      Your 'Q:' was:
      What UnixWare are you running?

      But, given the pun, it would be interpreted:
      What Eunuchs wear? Are you running?

      Meaning the answer, originally:
      I really don't want to concern myself with what UnixWare.

      Becomes:
      I really don't want to concern myself with what Eunuchs wear. And, no, I'm not running.
      Or, even:
      I really
  • by eXtro (258933) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @10:34AM (#6498996) Homepage
    whatever that means. Even if I ran a business and I believed that SCO had a strong enough case to cause me worry I wouldn't buy into this. Say my business runs RedHat, I purchase a license and I'm held blameless. Fine, but RedHat itself isn't, so SCO goes and sues RedHat at a later date.


    A few things can happen. 1) SCO loses, my license purchase was pointless then but I'm only out some money. 2) SCO wins and RedHat pays the licensing fees. My license purchase was pointless again because RedHat's aquisition of a license covers me. Not only that but RedHat will past the cost on to the consumers. 3) SCO wins and RedHat can't afford the licensing fee. RedHat goes out of business and I'm left with an orphaned product.


    Basically unless I roll my own internal variant of linux I don't see any positive benefit to purchasing the license unless they intend to go after each business individually in court.

    • by nightsweat (604367) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @10:38AM (#6499059)
      3) SCO wins and RedHat can't afford the licensing fee. RedHat goes out of business and I'm left with an orphaned product.

      But that's the beauty of Open Source. You can't be truly orphaned.

    • by steveha (103154)
      ...I don't see any positive benefit to purchasing the license unless they intend to go after each business individually in court.

      However, they are hinting that they will do exactly that. They sent letters to 1500 companies they believed were running Linux, saying that the companies themselves might be liable (i.e. that SCO might sue them later).

      In practice, it would be a very big job to go after a bunch of companies, each in turn, one at a time. But that's the threat they are using to encourage compani
  • What about a license to indemnify me from trangressions of SCO against Linux..oh wait IBM gives those out for free!

    Thanks IBM!
  • Well.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Squidgee (565373) <squidgeeOO1 AT hotmail DOT com> on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @10:34AM (#6499009)
    Well, now we know what their plan was. As everyone suspected, it's not to sue.

    This way, they make money without legal fees, and don't need to prove anything. The only thing that can stop this is a countersuit...which I very much hope we see.

    • Exactly. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ins0m (584887) <ins0mni0n@@@hackermail...com> on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @10:43AM (#6499117)
      Why spend money on a primary injunction? While some predicted that this may have been a ruse to get bought out, others held to the premise that SCO is on a sinking ship and just wants money. Since the controversy started, their stock price has gone from $1.09 to upwards of $12 per share. Coincidence? Nope; controversy sells.

      By spreading FUD and insisting everyone cease and desist without actually seeking an injunction, it seems that the dynamic duo of Sontag and McBride are hoping to make some money without doing any dirty work. However, as was noted before, we have seen the GPL stand up to the legal tests (remember Progress and MySQL fighting over Gemini?). I hope someone eventually nails these guys with a libel suit. They haven't proven anything and they talk about this magical "discovery" phase like the dirty laundry is about to be aired... but it hasn't. As of the time of this post, SCO still has GPL'd Linux up on their FTP: ftp://ftp.caldera.com/pub/scolinux/server/4.0/upda tes/SRPMS/ [caldera.com]. If that's not donation, I don't know what is.

  • by levik (52444) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @10:35AM (#6499016) Homepage
    Having submitted a patent for biological respiratory systems, we have gone back and looked over some evidence, and are pretty confident that the majority of the world population (not limited to homo sapiens) may be infringing on our intellectual property.

    Pending the outcome of our patent application we are offering carbon-based lifeforms to protect themselves from possible litigation by lisencing out technology for a low upfront fee based on the cell count of the organism.

    By chosing to forgo purchasing a lisence, you may be opening yourself to a potential injunctive action down the road.

  • What if? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by C_Kode (102755) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @10:36AM (#6499025) Journal
    What if SCO loses in court? What happens to all the companies that buy these licenses to license linux via Unixware? Do they demand a refund? Will SCO just claim "Hey you licensed SCO, not Linux" and keep their moneies?

    Secondly, What happens if SCO loses and now since they are *licensing* Linux technologies? I'm sure proper wording can eliminate this all, but several companies could get screwed out of hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars.
  • by ivanmarsh (634711) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @10:36AM (#6499029)
    If I buy this SCO license it means I own Unix right? Do I own Linux? Netware is thrown in there somewhere too isn't it? What about the Brooklyn bridge?

    You can have my Linux when you pry it from my cold dead hand.
    • While funny, the Brooklyn bridge is a pretty good analogy. Here's the plan: File suit claiming that, due to some mixup in the past, you are the rightful legitimate heir and owner of the Brooklyn bridge. While this suit slowly winds it's way thru the halls of justice toward an inevitable dismissal, set up a toll both and start collecting. Simply act like you're the owner while the outstanding judgement gives it an air of potential legitimacy and you can probably make a few bucks.

  • Heh. (Score:3, Funny)

    by American AC in Paris (230456) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @10:36AM (#6499030) Homepage
    "Yeah, it'z a real trad-jedy what happened to old Mr. Smith and his hosting bidness down da street. Poor guy. Hoid he was gonna retires in a few weeks. Simply tragic. So, bidness seems do be brisk today, eh? That's great news, iddnit, Bennie? I was was just sayin' to Bennie, 'Gosh, we loves seein local bidness thrive,' I was sayin'. 'Cuz ya know, we's all gots a stake in bidness bein' good, don't we? And we wants ta help make sure that your fine shop doesn't fall victim to the same thugs what so ruthlessly beat an' murdered Mr. Smith, God rest his soul..."
  • by stand (126023) <stan@dyck.gmail@com> on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @10:37AM (#6499033) Homepage Journal

    Ahh! so finally we can fill in the blank at point 2.

    1. Latch on to/buy into someone elses idea
    2. Extort unsuspecting user community
    3. Profit

    We'll see how it works out.

  • by Noryungi (70322) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @10:37AM (#6499038) Homepage Journal
    What part of "GNU is not UNIX" don't you understand, SCO??

    There... I feel better... ;-)
  • by yamla (136560) <chris@@@hypocrite...org> on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @10:38AM (#6499063)
    Rather than buying a license, why not just go to their ftp site and download the source code to the Linux kernel? SCO is still distributing the Linux kernel sources under the GPL.
  • by countach (534280) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @10:39AM (#6499068)
    Even giving SCO the best case argument. Even arguing that their distribution of of Linux didn't put their IP into the GPL domain.... Neither did their distribution of Linux absolve them from obeying the GPL surely?

    What I mean is, even if they didn't put their IP into the public sphere automatically by distributing Linux, surely they are now contractually obliged to do so by the GPL, at risk of being sued by 10,000 angry kernel developers?

    i.e. They distributed under the GPL, mustn't they now follow the entire GPL at risk of severe IP violation to kernel rights holders? Surely their agreement to the GPL by their act of distribution is a stronger case than whatever they've got against IBM and their contract?

  • Bender says (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @10:39AM (#6499069)

    SCO can kiss my shiny metal ass.
  • by opkool (231966) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @10:40AM (#6499080) Homepage
    See it here. [redhat.com]

    A sample of this, in perfect "Management-Speak":

    * Do I need to buy a SCO license?

    SCO has not demonstrated that any infringement exists, nor has it established that it owns derivative works in UNIX. Nothing has been proven to establish that such a license is needed.

    Which, translated into English says:

    * Do I need to buy a SCO license?

    Not at all

    You go, RedHat!

    Peace!

  • by walterbyrd (182728) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @10:42AM (#6499100)
    At what point can SCO finally be charged with fraud, extortion, and stock manipulation? When can SCO at least be sued in a civil court?

    This is the most blantant racket I have ever witnessed. And the USA legal system seems to be completely incapible of doing anything about it. Frankly it is beginning to look like another huge failure of the USA legal system.

    Germany shut down SCO a long time ago. Germany said put up or shut up - show us some evidence or stop making claims. Predictably, SCO ran away with it's tail between it's legs.

    I have always been a bit patriotic. Honorably discharged from the US Air Force and all. It pains me to see how patheticly inept the US legal system really is.
    • The system works (Score:3, Interesting)

      by FreeUser (11483)
      I have always been a bit patriotic. Honorably discharged from the US Air Force and all. It pains me to see how patheticly inept the US legal system really is.

      The system works.

      It is the best in the world.

      We are a shining beacon of justice to humanity.

      As we recall, when we demonstrated to the world how perfectly the American legal system works, showing the rest of humanity once again How to Live Properly(tm, Bush & Co.) with the historical supreme court ruled that a Florida recount really wasn't nece
  • No need to pay. (Score:5, Informative)

    by mcgroarty (633843) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `ytraorgcm.nairb'> on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @10:44AM (#6499141) Homepage
    SCO has acknowledged that they make claims against 2.4, not 2.2. They also haven't yet made the specific claims public.

    For desktops and servers, stay the course, but do your research now and be sure you're able to step back to 2.2 should SCO's claims prove valid. With 2.2, you give up some performance and compatibility with a few newer peripherals. But ducking down to 2.2 while the allegedly offending code is removed from 2.4 will cover your business. Be very surprised if it takes more than just a few weeks for an untainted 2.4 branch to be released.

    The one thing you should not do is to purchase an SCO license without your legal department fully reviewing the terms of the license. By entering into a license agreement with SCO, your company could find itself vulnerable in all kinds of new ways. If SCO is turning into a pure litigation company, you don't want to be on their customer list!

  • by ajs (35943) <ajs@ a j s . c om> on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @10:47AM (#6499170) Homepage Journal
    Check out this posting [slashdot.org] from yesterday. You can download a GPLed copy of the Linux kernel from SCO, if you feel you need a license from them.

    Problem solved, let's go back to writing code.
  • by PenguiN42 (86863) <taylork AT alum DOT mit DOT edu> on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @10:48AM (#6499187) Journal
    Let's suppose that SCO's claim is valid and IBM put some code in Linux that shouldn't have been there.

    Why are the end users responsible for licensing SCO's code? They got the product (the linux kernel), under a license from the linux developers, and they're following the license they recieved the product from. If there was a license violation, it's on the developer's head (in this case, IBM).

    Think about it: If closed source software stole code and sold it, could the company that originally owned the code sue all the users of that code for violating their license? This doesn't make sense to me -- they'd sue the offending closed source company, and perhaps have them issue some sort of recall or licensing program for the code, but they wouldn't go oafter individuals who thought they bought the software legitimately...

    How about another example: if a magazine puts some copyrighted content that they're not supposed to use in their magazine, is the copyright owner going to go after every single person who bought the magazine? No! They're going to go after the distributer, who did the illegal *copying* in the first place!

    I really don't understand why companies are giving money to SCO under their legal pressure, when it seems like they have absolutely no legal leg to stand on.

    anyone know the real legal implications here? IANAL, Obviously :P
  • by rindeee (530084) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @10:49AM (#6499197)
    ...things are not always as they appear.

    I am confident (though possibly wrong of course) that SCO is doing ALL of this for one reason and one reason only. Stock price manipulation. Look at the following issues and contrast them with the timing on this whole fiasco.

    52 week stock price of SCO (SCOX)

    Price of stock after each insane press release (while SCO has yet to show anything of substance, press releases feed the hungry speculative buyers out there).

    Issuance of stock options at very low ($.6x) prices.

    Exercising of options.

    Sale of stock from exercised options.

    I mean come on, most of these guys got options when the stock was at $.66 just before all of this craziness started. Then they crank up the stock price (fueled by nothing more than baseless accusations in the form of press releases) to $10-$12/share, exercise and dump. Where the heck is the SEC on this!!!

    I believe that basically the execs at SCO new the ship was going down. They are doing what they're doing to squeeze what blood they can out of the turnip that is SCO. Once they have gotten what they can from stock games, they'll pull an "Oops, I guess we were wrong about that whole Linux intellectual property thing.", turn out the lights and call it quits...money in the bank.

    Anyone disagree?

    ER
    • I mean come on, most of these guys got options when the stock was at $.66 just before all of this craziness started. Then they crank up the stock price (fueled by nothing more than baseless accusations in the form of press releases) to $10-$12/share, exercise and dump. Where the heck is the SEC on this!!!


      Fine, so let's all get together and contact the SEC and request they look into this. If they get enough e-mails and phone calls, they might just take it seriously... at worst, it gives SCO executives a
    • by walterbyrd (182728) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @11:56AM (#6500015)
      >>most of these guys got options when the stock was at $.66 just before all of this craziness started.

      Actually, in January, when scox was still planning the lawsuit. SCOX insiders gave themselves a boatload of shares for - get this - $0.001 each. So insiders could sell shares for one cent each and still make 1000% profit. SCOX stock is now $13/share. Insiders are selling like mad.

      http://www.nasdaq.com/asp/Holdings.asp?symbol=SC OX &selected=SCOX
  • Dear SCO, (Score:5, Informative)

    by yeremein (678037) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @10:49AM (#6499198)
    First, the premise of your case--you claim that your UNIX on x86 market share was unfairly eroded because enterprise features which you claim as your IP (including NUMA and RCU) were misappropriated into the Linux kernel. This argument doesn't hold much water, for two reasons:

    (1) These features were never present in your own UNIX offering. They were not even developed by SCO/Caldera; they were developed by Dynix, which is now a subsidiary of IBM. Because these features were developed for SVR5, you claim they are derivative works of SVR5 and therefore your own intellectual property. The legitimacy of this claim depends upon your contracts with IBM; it is not as black and white as you make it out to be. When asked whether the code supposedly copied from SVR5 originated in BSD, you respond that this is high end "enterprise" code which isn't present in BSD--but it's not present in SVR5 either. Your claims on this matter are misleading.

    (2) To state that Linux stole your market is preposterous, since you yourself were a Linux value-added reseller. In fact, you actively contributed to the development of enterprise features for the Linux kernel. You even cooperated with IBM in the Trillian Project (SMP on Linux). Your previous CEO, Ransom Love, spoke of unifying UNIX and Linux into a single platform. Now you turn and say that an enterprise-ready Linux took you completely by surprise, even though you helped bring it where it is.

    You portray yourself as a protector of intellectual property rights, but then you seek to wrest control of Linux from its creators on the basis of unproven allegations of copyright infringement. Your arrogance and hypocrisy know no bounds. Linux development has been very transparent, as Linus Torvalds has said. If you were really interested in protecting the intellectual property of all parties involved, you would work with the kernel developers to find out which parties contributed your intellectual property to the kernel and seek relief from them and/or allow the infringing code to be removed. Even if this would disable Linux SMP for a time, there are millions of Linux users running uniprocessor systems who were never infringing on your IP in the first place, and should not have to pay you a license fee. Furthermore, your move to collect license payments from Linux users without identifying specifically what they are licensing or even proving that you have a claim on Linux at all is fraudulent.

    Your proposed Linux licensing program amounts to the wholesale theft of years of effort from thousands of Linux contributors. You have profited from their efforts for nearly a decade, and now you stab them in the back and bite the hand that fed you. Since you could not compete in the marketplace, you resort to barratry, racketeering, and extortion.

  • by bc90021 (43730) * <bc90021@bc9002 1 . net> on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @10:53AM (#6499256) Homepage
    You can mod me down as a paranoiac, but think about this for a second...

    What is the one major difference between MS software and OSS software from a business standpoint?
    Licensing.

    What has Microsoft had so much trouble getting their customers on board about?
    Licensing.

    What is the one thing that SCO is now saying that Linux users must now purchase from them?
    Licensing.

    If you're the average run of the mill CTO, and you were thinking of switching to Linux... you now must think about licensing.

    Furthermore, you must think about licensing it from a company embroiled in a lawsuit with IBM, whose future is uncertain.

    So, given the choice between free software with no one company behind it, or closed-source software with a company behind it, and licensing on both sides... which do you pick?

    The answer is obvious. And that is why Microsoft must be sitting pretty, grinning to themselves - they have effectively nullified the main argument for going with OSS. (Since some of the software can be at least considered on par, technical merits are equal.)
    • Sun even more so. Unlike Msft, Sun insisted that their contributions remain confidenctial. Also, unlike msft, Sun got a buttload of option given to them by scox.

      Sun is saying that they were just buying drivers from scox. Since when does a purchase like that come with a few hundred thousand options? The options are for $1.83, SCOX now selling for $13.
  • by jobsagoodun (669748) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @10:54AM (#6499268)
    I include it verbatim, to save you using the link [yahoo.com]
    SCO has made a big noise about registering SVR4
    copyrights and announced their linux liscensing
    plan, which they call a UNIX liscensing plan. Looks
    like they're going for $1500 per LINUX seat for Unixware
    liscense to emdemnify from lawsuit.
    HOWEVER everything is not as the media is reporting...

    The copyright they registered is a 20 page revision
    to SVR4 (i.e SVR4.1ES) registration number TX-5-705-356.
    You can verify this at:

    http://www.copyright.gov/records/cohm.html

    The original UNIX copyright was never registered to Novell,
    and is currently registered to (SURPRISE!) AT&T.

    I'm not sure about the legal ramnifications, I believe
    that SCO has the right to copyright derivitive works
    in their aggreement with Novell. However, a search at:

    http://www.copyright.gov/records/

    under the tab "Copyright ownership documents,
    such as name changes and transfers" shows no
    record of any copyright transfers to SCO Group.

    In short, despite what is being widely reported,
    SCO still has not acquired (and may not be able
    to acquire) the copyright that they are
    threatening to use to sue LINUX users.
    (Copyrights MUST be registered before lawsuits
    may be filed).
  • Darl McBride's word (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bigjnsa500 (575392) <{moc.oohay} {ta} {005asnjgib}> on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @11:00AM (#6499324) Homepage Journal
    I think we should hold this guy to his word. For those of you who didn't get this month Linux Journal, here's a quote:

    "Obviously Linux owes its heritage to UNIX, but not its code. We would not, nor will not, make such a claim."

    Darl McBride, CEO, The SCO Group, August 2002 Linux Journal Article #6293 [linuxjournal.com]

  • by overshoot (39700) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @11:02AM (#6499339)
    If they'd just offered an "SCO License" for Linux, they'd be up against fraud (they don't have the right to license Linux).

    This gives them a nice out: they don't offer a "linux license" but they threaten you if you don't have a Unixware one.

  • by The Slashdolt (518657) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @11:21AM (#6499557) Homepage
    I work at a software vendor who produces software for numerous large commercial instituations such as banks, telco's, etc. We have recently had a number of these companies request that we sign an agreement stating that software we have provided them DOES NOT contain any "Free Software". This has been a headache as of late, especially for my team. We work in Java and have used numerous LGPL libraries from various locations in our product to save time during development. We now have to get rid of all of these and rewrite it ourselves. Not fun.

    • by stud9920 (236753) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:29PM (#6500471)
      stating that software we have provided them DOES NOT contain any "Free Software".
      Buhahahahahahaha ! I guess once you have purchased a special non existing MSWindows version without MIT Kerberos and BSD TCP/IP (and possibly other I ignore), you will have to rewrite those for your customers. Where do I sign up for a IT job in your company ? It seems they will need all the available help.

      I do not know of ANY OS that doesn't contain at least a bit of free software.
  • by Azureflare (645778) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @11:38AM (#6499789)
    How in blazing hell will SCO ever figure out who is using linux? Do they have police spy-bots to go around the internet monitoring all the Linux computers connected to the internet? Am I going to come home one day to find a letter from SCO saying I have an illegal copy of linux and I need to buy their UnixWare license?

    If that's the case, I'm moving to europe (or at least canada) where they don't have legal systems where parasite companies can take advantage of people and businesses.

  • by PetoskeyGuy (648788) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @11:39AM (#6499806)
    The real question here is what is more viral - SCO's Unix licenses or the GPL.

    SCO's license is for Derivitive Works of UNIX. IBM developed AIX from the Unix source tree. They can't just come up with AIX version 2 and decide not to pay SCO.

    The GPL says that any software released under GPL must be released under GPL in any and all future versions and source code must be given. BOTH says all Derivative works must fall under the same license.

    SCO is implying that IBM tried to take UNIX technology, put it into Linux and then ditch SCO licenses. Assume they are correct in their allegations. IBM, SCO or someone else released some code from a SCO Derivitive Work into the Linux Kernel.

    Does Linux then become a Derivitive work of UNIX? Do parts of UNIX suddely become GPL? What if the code was originally from a 3rd party and in UNIX first, but freely available elsewhere? How much code must be transferred for these licenses to apply? Do the licenses cover the actual implementation or the algorithms used? Is removal of the code an acceptable solution when the order to do so may come down years later? What person or method could we trust enough to audit the code bases and decide what goes and stays?

    Whatever the case may be, this long and drawn out lawsuit is bound to set some important precedents. The longer we wait, the more work that will be required *IF* code must be removed in the future after being built upon. The results of the Microsoft Monopoly case may have been disappointing, but this is IBM vs SCO battle with a Billion dollar prize.

    In the end only the lawyers will be left standing.
  • by ctid (449118) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:09PM (#6500190) Homepage
    There's a lot of useful legal information in this linuxtoday article [linuxtoday.com]

    Amongst many gems there is this,

    Still, Moglen believes that, "If SCO really wishes to enforce these claimed copyright rights. I would suggest that they sue a Linux distributor. If the FSF distributed Linux, I would welcome such a lawsuit." And, speaking for himself and not the FSF, "I have renewed my offer to assist free software developers who may feel the need for legal assistance" because of SCO's recent actions.


    I would strongly recommend reading the whole of the article I have linked. Moglen's stuff starts with the heading "Legally Speaking". It is very informative and quite reassuring.
  • ...but I figured this was the best approach for figuring out exactly what SCO is trying to sell. Nowhere on the SCO page could I find any reference to this new "license" for UnixWare. In fact, the only place I could find any of their EULA information was by trying to download some of there software (I decided to check the EULA on UnixWare 7.1.3).

    The only place that I can even see a mention of source code is here:

    "Software" is the machine-readable (object) code portion of the Product and any human readable code contained on the media.

    which reads to me that they don't give out their source code. Also, they have admitted here:

    Caldera, the Caldera logos, Caldera OpenLearning, Caldera Volution, OpenLinux, Lizard, Webmin, SCO, The SCO Group, and associated logo, SCO OpenServer, SCO Open Server, ODT, Open Desktop, AIM Benchmark, and Hot Iron Awards are trademarks or registered trademarks of Caldera International, Inc. in the U.S.A. and other countries. Caldera Global Services is a service mark of Caldera International, Inc. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. UNIX and UnixWare, used under an exclusive license, are registered trademarks of The Open Group in the United States and other countries. SCO Legal Notice [sco.com]

    that Linux is not SCO, and SCO is not Linux. As well as a reference in the EULA that there may be free software adhering to the GNU Public License included with their products.

    So unless someone who was authorized to view their code (ie a real SCO developer), there should be no way that SCO Unix code could have found its way into the kernel. They also make no claims about Unix being SCO property in either their legal documentation or their EULA.

    Either they haven't drafted this new license, or they're talking out of their asses. Any votes as to which??

  • by mj01nir (153067) * on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:27PM (#6500428)
    From SCO's reply to Novell's copyright allegations:
    "Copyrights and patents are protection against strangers. Contracts are what you use against parties you have relationships with. From a legal standpoint, contracts end up being far stronger than anything you could do with copyrights.... SCO intends to protect and enforce all of the contracts that the company has with more than 6,000 licensees."

    So now SCO wants me to have a contract with them, by purchasing a UnixWare license? Why, so they can use it as a more effective weapon against me later? No thanks, Darl.
  • by davmoo (63521) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:38PM (#6500596)
    For a mere 10 bucks, I'll send them a photo of me giving them the finger. Until SCO produces real evidence, fuck SCO.
  • by HotNeedleOfInquiry (598897) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:43PM (#6500665)
    I'm not a lawyer, but I've been around a lot of contracts and contract disputes. It's my understanding that if you sue someone, it's your responsibility to make a good faith effort to mitigate the damages.

    In SCO's case, the damages could be easily mitigated by releasing enough detailed information so that the offending modules can be rewritten. Now we have a good idea why SCO has chosen not to do this, it is not to their short term advantage. They are relying on FUD to boost their stock prices and provide a cash stream to pay Bois and friends.

    So the real question is, how will the court interpret the fact that they have refused to mitigate damages? Any lawyers out there that can answer this question?

  • by Jonavin (71006) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @01:13PM (#6501129) Homepage
    That's right let's all pay SCO the "license fee". Just remember to send them the right amount of Monopoly(tm) bills, because they don't give change.
  • by karlandtanya (601084) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @01:55PM (#6501633)
    Scooter is a little kid who wants ten bucks. He's bothering everybody in the family, and nobody's giving up the money. Here's a list of little Scooter's manipulations to date. See if you can predict what he does next!


    Can I borrow ten bucks?

    General Nuisance: "Let's threaten to sue the world, and maybe we'll get bought" (If I scream loud enough, Mom or Dad will just give me ten bucks to get me to shut the hell up.)

    Impotent attempt at Intimidation: "You'd better quit using Linux right now!" (Gimme the ten bucks, dammit!)

    Appeal to authority: "I'll sue you if you don't quit using Linux" (I'll tell mommy you're being a hog if you don't share!)

    Appeal to justice: "That code was developed here. Linux wouldn't exist without SCO." (You stole ten bucks from me last week. Give it back, ya big bully!). Note that Scooter's a little twerp who's way more likely to steal from someone else, than get stolen from.

    Harrassing your Target: "Dear Linux User...you're using our code." (Can I borrow ten bucks? How 'bout now? How 'bout now?)

    Appeal to pity: "How can you leave our company and all its employees without jobs?" (If you don't lend me ten bucks, I can't go see "Finding Nemo").

    Bargaining: "Just buy this cheap license. I know it's worthless, but it'll get us to leave you alone." (Just give me five bucks and I'll quit bothering you)

    Earning the ten bucks: "SCO begins developing a useful project (Maybe a financial program that interoperates with Quicken) & puts it up on sourceforge for us to all share & enjoy. Then they ask for donations to keep them afloat." (OK, Sis. I did all your chores for the week. Can I have the ten bucks now?)


    Oops--that last one was how everyone else got their ten bucks. Scooter's looking for an easier way.

  • SEC Complaint Filed (Score:4, Informative)

    by psykocrime (61037) <(ku.oc.rekcahppc) (ta) (emircdnim)> on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @02:46PM (#6502170) Homepage Journal
    Ok, I did my part and filed a complaint with the SEC, concerning the allegations that this whole lawsuit was just a scheme to artificially inflate the price of SCOX stock, so the big shareholders could bail out and profit.

    Here's what I sent the SEC:

    Names, Address, Telephone #s and Other Biographical Information
    about Individuals Involved


    Darl McBride, CEO, other executives

    How you Learned about the Transaction or other Activity

    Published media report, SEC filings, Internet postings on Slashdot.org

    Details About the Transaction(S)

    It appears that top executives at SCOX gave (and exercised) generous stock options at an artificially low price, to themselves, immediately before filing a lawsuit against IBM; regarding alleged IP violations relating to the Linux operating system. Since that time, SCOX stock has increased in value dramatically. Based on the volume of insider trades that have taken place since the suit was file, it appears that this suit was filed only to inflate the value of the SCOX stock, so they could "cash out" and pocket millions. There is also a strong possibility that these same executives know the suit is without merit, as they knowingly distributed the disputed code under the terms of the GPL license, which Linux is provided under. It also appears that if any IP made it's way from SCOX's code into Linux' code, it was done by an employee of SCOX (when they were previously known as Caldera ).

    If on the Internet, All Relevant Internet Addresses

    www.caldera.com, www.sco.com

    Any Additional Information
    Use this area to add any additional information that you wish.


    http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1102542/0 00 104746903023599/a2114384zs-3.htm

    http://www.nasdaq.com/asp/Holdings.asp?symbol=SC OX %20&selected=SCOX

    http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/07/22/1410 20 4&mode=thread&tid=106&tid=185

    http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/07/22/ 05 28203&mode=thread&tid=106&tid=185

    http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/07/21/1516 24 0&mode=thread&tid=130&tid=185&tid=187&tid=190&tid= 88

    http://linuxtoday.com/infrastructure/20030722015 26 NWBZLL

Mathematicians stand on each other's shoulders. -- Gauss

Working...