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SCO Targets US Government, TiVo 1539

Posted by simoniker
from the latest-salvo-in-demented-cabaret dept.
An anonymous reader writes "According to SCO, if you have a TiVo set-top box, or those models of Sharp Zaurus which use Linux, someone now owes them $32, since the company wants money 'for each embedded system using Linux.' SCO also says government agencies must pay up to $699 for each copy of Linux that they use."
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SCO Targets US Government, TiVo

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  • by Blue Lozenge (444566) * on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:34PM (#6629629) Homepage
    SCO reported declines in product and services revenue in the six months ending April 2003 compared to the same period last year. However, those declines were offset by $8 in new licensing revenues.
    Whoa! No wonder they're so desperate for new licensing revenue. :)
    • by Sim9 (632381) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:49PM (#6629828)
      Now you too can easily pay your expensive $32 license fee, in four easy installments of $8! :P
    • by madshot (621087) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:53PM (#6629875) Homepage Journal
      http://www.sco.com/company/feedback/index.html visit their webpage and tell them were they can stick their license fees.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:53PM (#6629888)
      Has no-one else noticed the SCO exec's dumping their stock over the weekend?

      They know they'll now be crushed out of existence by this move - hence the selling of stock.

      This is nothing but simple stock fraud.
      • by ediron2 (246908) * on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @08:44PM (#6630315) Journal
        Except for this guy, Kevin Skousen [sco.com]... he's exercising an option at $10, if I read this right. What sort of upside does he see and what color is the sky in his world?!

        Incidentally, can someone point me to a better spot that ir.sco.com to see 'SCO exec's dumping their stock over the weekend'... most edgar-ish sites seem to be a month or more behind in reporting compared to this page? Is the 24th the weekend AC meant?!

        Hmm... I despise SCO enough that I'm finally found something journal-worthy... Details for the masses off http://ir.sco.com/edgar.cfm on my /. journal here in a few minutes... who had what # of shares when, etc. Otherwise, it's too much work to dig out a macro-trend for most people to waste all this effort tracking individual SEC filings.

        PS: I propose a different kind of DDOS to the sco pages... lots of legalese asking for clarification of license terms for OpenLinux, FreeDos, BSD, or anything else. The tougher the question, the better. I suspect this is a method (overwork) that Shakespeare would feel applied when he said: First thing, let's kill all the Lawyers. (Henry IV or V?)

        --
        Advaitavedanta, and don't you forget it.
        • by mec (14700) <mec@shout.net> on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @09:04PM (#6630479) Journal
          SEC reports from SCO [sec.gov]

          The insider purchases and sales are "Form 4". Insiders have to file these within 48-72 hours or something like that.

          If you wanna learn a little bit about being a stock geek ... read on.

          First, how to find the stuff. Start at www.sec.gov. Look in the second section, "Filings and Forms". You can read the "Quick Edgar Tutorial" if you want, or go straight into "Search for Company Filings".

          Click on "Companies & Other Filers" and type in "SCO".

          Choose "Sco Group Inc".

          Click on all the filings and start reading financialese. Hell, if you know any programming languages or scripting languages, financialese is not that hard to figure out.

          Form 4 is "insider sales and purchases".
          Form 10-Q is "quarterly report".
          Form 10-K is "annual report".
          Form PRE 14A and Form DEF 14A are the "proxy statement".

          The proxy statement is where you find out how many shares and options the executives and directors get.

          The form 4 is where you see many SCO execs selling mucho stock.

          An executive can be fined or serve jail time if they lie in these reports, or if they fail to provide required information, so the quality of the information is better than other stuff they say which is NOT under penalty of perjury.

          Watch out for the "risk factors". The way that companies get around the "must tell truth" and "must tell whole truth" requirements is to swamp their risk factors with extraneous crap. Like, for instance, the risk factors might say: "1. Martians might invade and disrupt our market. 2. Microsoft sells a product just like ours. 3. Airplanes might fly into our headquarters in Duluth. 4. Our top executives might catch Ebola." Only #2 is a real risk factor but they swamp it.

          About 80% of the financial information available on the web is derivative of these reports, so if you read them on sec.gov, you get better info and cut out a lot of crap. Anything news-related takes a good long time to get into an SEC-report so you still have to read the news, but you can dig a lot of information out of the forms.

          Have fun!

          • by esarjeant (100503) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @09:54PM (#6630819) Homepage
            I must say that after playing with stocks for a little over 2 years now I have found the SEC reports (especially 10Q's) to be very informative.

            If you're even thinking of investing in a company, read a recent 10Q first. This will clue you in on the state of the company, you'll find out if there are any external forces that may jeopardize the business and -- best of all -- it will point you in the direction of their competition.

            Look at the competetors. Weed out the weak companies and get the one that is most likely to succeed in a sector (not necessarily the one that your "gut" tells you to go with).
    • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:54PM (#6629890) Homepage Journal
      Ummm

      Where can I buy one o' them there SMP Tivos?

    • by SmackCrackandPot (641205) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @08:47PM (#6630338)
      SCO announced that they would be attempting to shut down all network servers allowing users to download Linux patches and updates free of charge. They also mentioned that they would be offering a subscription service where users could download updates for $1 per file, and that they would also be resorting to legal action in order to make university network administrators disclose the names of students running illegal Linux systems on campus.
  • Next up... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mike the Mac Geek (182790) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:34PM (#6629632) Journal
    SCO is demanding 5$ from everyone who has talked about Linux in the past year, and 75 cents from people who have walked by Linux displays in retail stores.

  • SCO (Score:5, Funny)

    by Vargasan (610063) <swhisken@@@rogers...com> on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:34PM (#6629635) Homepage
    Trying to piss EVERYONE off, are we, SCO?
    • Re: SCO (Score:5, Funny)

      by Black Parrot (19622) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:41PM (#6629717)


      > Trying to piss EVERYONE off, are we, SCO?

      I heard they sent shake-down e-mail to Superman, Batman, and Darth Vader just before quitting time today.

      Glad I don't live in that neck of the woods.

    • Holy Fucking Shit (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:46PM (#6629786)
      It's like they have a deathwish. They have gone beyond ordinary corporate scum, beyond pump-and-dump parasites and have painted a great big bullseye on their own ass with this one.

      This is not selfish. It is not stupid. It is downright crazy. They must be laying the groundwork for an insanity defense for when the SEC picks them up.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @09:26PM (#6630631)
        You don't understand the psychology here. (And yes, that's a good thing.)

        SCO *really* thinks they are right or *really* thinks they have nothing to lose. The indication is the rapidity of their announcements--it's gone schoolyard--nah nah, nah nah, nah.

        One PR to counter another announcement. The Red Hat announcement got them, SCO responds, SCO throws in some ridiculous licensing terms, SuSE came back with RH support, SCO annouces expanded targets including TiVO.

        Look, these people are idiots and still look like idiots even if they manage to win--but they're employing hostile business tactics that work--they're boosting their own stock so their wealth on paper goes up. If they reach settlement with IBM, the stock skyrockets and they're richer. If they don't reach settlement with IBM or anyone else, it goes to court. During the court case, it will become very clear whether they are going to win or lose, and they'll be on the front lines with their cell phones to their brokers telling them whether to short the stock or hold.

        If they lose the court case, they lose very little on paper--their initial stock purchases were worth shit to begin with. It's a PR move (which /. is buying heavily into with all the announcements, but also for good reason). I hope there are now some legal remedies for false boosting on stocks and if you get hosed--maybe illegal announcements of intellectual property could lead to a civil case by stock holders.

        Damn, SCO's actions are distasteful at best...and I really dislike the GPL and most people involved with it.
    • Re:SCO (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DetrimentalFiend (233753) * on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @08:01PM (#6629979)
      I for one am QUITE glad that SCO's done this. They've gone from seeming credible and aggressive to humorous and generally a giant joke. I think next they should sue every member of their company that ever worked on Open Linux and, after that, call for the death penalty to be used against RMS and Linus.
    • Re:SCO (Score:5, Interesting)

      by pjack76 (682382) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @08:08PM (#6630026)
      It really does seem like they want to piss the world off. My boyfriend, who would simply roll his eyes when I went on a rant about the evils of SCO and the threat to Linux, is now completely outraged and wanting to give money to lawyers. If I only I had realized sooner that "Linux=Tivo" would convince nongeeks of the severity of SCO's unethical behavior...
      • Re:SCO (Score:5, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @09:14PM (#6630549)
        "My boyfriend, who would simply roll his eyes when I went on a rant about the evils of SCO and the threat to Linux....

        Marry me.

      • Uh oh (Score:5, Funny)

        by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @09:34PM (#6630681)
        You just admitted to Slahsdot, a crowd of largely single male geeks that:

        1) You are female.

        2) You are a geek.

        3) Your boyfriend is NOT a geek.

        Better hope your home address isn't easy to find you'll find him dangling from the roof tied up in Cat-5 cable and a line of geeks wating to woo you. ;)
  • by SUB7IME (604466) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:35PM (#6629643)
    In further news, the US Government replied that, "SCO owes us $2,000 per day of liberty, retroactively to 1789. Failure to pay will result in 'legal action' from our tactical nuclear warhead supply."
    • by Austerity Empowers (669817) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @08:06PM (#6630012)
      Wooo, time to liberate SCO! I'll start printing the playing cards.
    • Better Yet... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MacGabhain (198888) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @08:20PM (#6630113)
      Two words: Emminent Domain.
      When someone's property is needed by the governement for the public good, the government can appropriate it for pretty much whatever they deem it's worth. (Courts rarely prevent this, no matter how egregious an abuse by a governmental entity.)
      Linux is used in National Security situations and powers a good deal of the Internet. Having Linux remain free is of serious national interest. Claim emminent domain over SCO's intellectual property. If they fork over the disputed code, just take that and put it in the public domain. If they resist, raid them and take all of Unixware.
      I'll leave it to the bean counters to determine the appropriate worth of a dying piece of software from a dying company.
  • Linux routers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mrseigen (518390) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:36PM (#6629647) Homepage Journal
    I'm sure Linksys/Cisco will really love the idea of having to pay SCO some money to be able to ship some of its more recent wireless routers. SCO is going to be crushed by a big company like Cisco; it's only a matter of time (and how much we let them whine).

    *toggles off Caldera news*
    • Re:Linux routers (Score:5, Interesting)

      by El (94934) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @08:33PM (#6630222)
      Just Cisco? Try Sharp, HP, and several other multi-billion dollar companies that are currently shipping Electronics devices based on Linux 2.4... If, as Inder Singh claims, this "is extortion based on fraud" then I think it's about time to start pressing criminal charges against Mr. McBride. If nothing else, he is deliberately attempting to depress the stock valuations of many of the largest companies in the US, through fraudulent claims in the media. Doesn't that subject him to arrest for securities fraud?
    • Re:Linux routers (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Adam9 (93947) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @08:37PM (#6630248) Journal
      As of April 26, 2003, Cisco has about $3,940,000,000 [yahoo.com] in cash. As of March 31, 2003, IBM has about $4,195,000,000 [yahoo.com] in cash. SCO sure knows how to pick a good fight.

  • by BrynM (217883) * on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:36PM (#6629651) Homepage Journal
    I think this is all just a way to make us run out of SCO jokes before the trial. McBride is such a clever bastard.
    • by mrseigen (518390) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:38PM (#6629684) Homepage Journal
      Don't worry, now that the US gov's on our side, they can relegate their best propagandists to coming up with SCO jokes.

      "Why did SCO cross the road?"
      "To get to the courtroom!"
      "BWA HA HA HA HA! That's a keeper"
      • by Pseudonym (62607) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @09:30PM (#6630661)

        Oh, no. It's way harder than that.

        First, the Department of Comedy Appropriations Committee commissions an analysis on the current state of government humor. They appoint a consulting firm to investigate the effectiveness of current jokes, baseline requirements for replacement jokes plus evaluation of the risks of producing new jokes.

        This report goes back to the committee who then approve the tender process. The tender duly goes out, where prospective contractors reply with details of past jokes, resumes of key comedy writers and detailed costings for writing of the joke.

        The proposals go back to a subcommittee which produces three recommendations to return to the appropriations committee. The recommendations are announced and subjected to three months of public comment. After this, the committee meets again and formulates a single proposal which is then sent to Congress for approval. The proposal sits in committee for three months, during which it is amended to include extra benefits for certain committee members' pet comedic projects. Once approved, the contractor is appointed.

        The contractor will almost certainly subcontract out some of the work, of course. If the joke requires a pun, for example, they will work closely with a specialised synophonic engineering corporation. At each stage, of course, the oversight committee must reconvene to approve the new subcontractor and possible budgetary implications.

        After six months comes the first deliverable: a detailed design document outlining the scope of the joke, full details on how the joke is to be delivered, any training which the joke's target audience may have to receive beforehand, plus a full analysis of the joke's structure. Once this is approved, the joke moves to the comedy writers, who proceed to write a prototype joke. This is then sent out to simulated audiences where the prototype joke is tested for comedic effectiveness. The results of the tests are sent back to the comedy engineers who then rework the joke.

        By this time, the Department of Comedy's Appropriations Secretary has been replaced. When the new secretary reviews the project, they see problems. Certain humorous allusions which are vital to the success of any replacement jokes have not been factored in. The project specifications are changed and new project deadlines are set. The prototype joke is amended, however, in the process, the new joke loses some of its satirical quality. After obtaining approval for more budget, a new quality assurance oversight group is commissioned to audit the joke and the writing process.

        Once the new joke has been fully audited, it is ready for field testing. Specialised test comedians are employed to determine the joke's comedic value, plus to determine the most effective mode of delivery under various comedic conditions.

        Finally, the joke is delivered, six months late and millions of dollars over budget, along with 26 volumes of JokeSpec-compliant supporting documentation. After a further round of testing by Department of Comedy test comedians, the joke is approved and ready for initial field deployment. At first the joke is used carefully at informal meetings. When problems are found, comedy writers are shipped out on-site to fix minor wording issues.

        After six months of this, the joke is ready for prime-time use.

        I'd tell you what the joke actually is, but unfortunately I'm under an NDA. Sorry.

  • Phone calls (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mrpuffypants (444598) * <mrpuffypants@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:36PM (#6629657)
    Everybody should call SCO now and demand:

    1) WHAT you get by paying them
    2) WHAT part of linux infringes
    3) TO SEE PROOF of infringement

    When they don't provide it then it's time for lawsuits out the wazoo!
  • Cannonballs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sean80 (567340) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:36PM (#6629659)
    Well at least you've got to hand it to them for having balls the size of cannonballs.

    Call me an idiot, but I can't imagine that they'd go down this path if they knew they were only bluffing. Who would honestly be stupid enough to take on the US government on a money issue like this, just when the electioneering is getting started for '04, without thinking they could win?

    Maybe SCO, maybe not.

    • Re:Cannonballs (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MisterMook (634297) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:45PM (#6629776) Homepage
      Let the Lawyer-Fu begin. Somehow I think that no matter who is 'right' here, 50 states and the entire Federal government are going to win. At some point Congressmen have to consider the idea that just putting everyone at SCO in jail for some pretext would be easier than explaining to all of their constituents that they have to raise taxes again to pay for some jackass suing over a computer program.

      Agent Smith:"That's right your Honor, after our thorough investigation we found that the code in question is nothing more than fiendishly hidden links to terrorist organizations and kiddy porn sites placed in the program by SCO."
    • Re:Cannonballs (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fireboy1919 (257783) <rustyp.freeshell@org> on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:46PM (#6629778) Homepage Journal
      What have they got to lose? A good product? No. A company? It's already in the toilet - they could lose it at any time. Personal holdings? No, the company is doing the charging.

      This could make them all wildly rich! Why not go for it, just in case somebody buys it?
    • Re:Cannonballs (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jason Earl (1894) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @08:07PM (#6630018) Homepage Journal

      SCO's other option is to try and compete with Linux with OpenServer and UnixWare, both of which suck. This will be especially difficult considering the fact that SCO has almost no R&D personnel.

      The fact of the matter is that SCO's tactics are actually working. Before the lawsuit SCOX stock hovered around $1.00/share, and now it's at $12.00/share. Canopy Group has already used SCO's high stock price to rid themselves of Vultus. SCO essentially paid top-dollar (then some) for Vultus in stock (mostly to Canopy Group) this stock was then cashed for more than $3 million dollars. The kicker, Canopy Group owns SCO as well. In essence the Canopy Group took $3 million of investor's money and bought out one of their other worthless companies, putting the proceeds in their own pocket. Not to mention all of the SCO executives that have been selling their personal shares while the stock is up.

      SCO has years before the case even goes to trial. In the meantime they simply threaten the world and watch their stock price go up. Canopy Group and SCO executives can use the inflated stock price in a myriad of ways, and since the trial won't happen for years there is very little chance of SEC involvement. SCO management simply has to pretend like they believe they have a case.

      Not to mention the fact that the government oftentimes loses court cases. Juries apparently don't mind picking the pockets of Uncle Sam. In the meantime, it's good press. Investors love the idea of some company dipping their hands in Uncle Sam's pockets.

  • by unicorn (8060) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:38PM (#6629677)
    Personally I find SCO's management style refreshing.

    No wishy-washyness. It's damn the torpedoes, and full speed ahead. Never a moment of doubt that they may be making a huge mistake. No second guessing themselves. We know what we want, and we know where we're going. And we'll be damned if ANYTHING is going to dissuade us. Full court press, lads.
  • by loucura! (247834) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:38PM (#6629680)
    [... snip out boring stuff...]

    Sources close to the controversy report hearing SCO CEO Darl McBride screaming and then loud thumps, before noting a non-descript black van leaving the SCO compound.

    Administration Spokesperson Dill Franken had this to say, "While we cannot reveal the identity of the individuals for reasons of National Security, we can safely say that we have thwarted a terrorist network in their attempts to threaten the government, and our way of life."

    He then went on to check his watch and remarked, "they should be arriving at Camp X-ray, right... about... now!" He then took some questions and concluded the press conference.
  • You know... (Score:5, Funny)

    by grasshoppa (657393) <skennedy@nOSpam.tpno-co.org> on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:38PM (#6629681) Homepage
    ...it's stupid enough pissing on big blue's shoes, but when you start trying to bully the US government, you get called a terrorist, and we all know what happens then.
  • Three Points (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dukeofshadows (607689) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:39PM (#6629692) Journal
    1) Maybe if SCO actually made something linux-based for the mass market worth purchasing they would reap some of those "lost profits" they moan about

    2) Linux code should be de-SCOed to prevent this sort of problem from continuing to flair up

    3) Would someone please investigate the RIAA to see if they're using any Linux systems? Personally I'd love to see the RIAA and SCO duke it out in court instead of on consumers who have to settle on their terms...
    • by mrseigen (518390) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:44PM (#6629754) Homepage Journal
      3) Would someone please investigate the RIAA to see if they're using any Linux systems? Personally I'd love to see the RIAA and SCO duke it out in court instead of on consumers who have to settle on their terms...
      They're not Daleks! You can't kill them by running them into each other. With our luck, they'd probably combine into some sort of uber-litigious company and destroy all computer technology. We'd all be reduced to writing on stone tablets by fire!
  • Crap (Score:5, Funny)

    by pokka (557695) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:39PM (#6629699)
    Well this sucks. Has anyone hacked the Tivo yet to run Windows?
  • Exorbitant... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:40PM (#6629700)
    $699 per license seems rather pricey considering SCO can at best only claim responsibility for a fraction of the code.

    Anyone want to crunch the numbers line-by-line to discover how much a boxed linux version should set you back if SCO's per-line cost is translated across the entire code?
    • by macrealist (673411) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @09:06PM (#6630496) Journal
      SCO is not trying to make money from the licences, if they were, the fee would be more like $10 per cpu.

      For some reason they are trying to kill linux. The point isn't to ransom money, but to keep users from using Linux. The government is not going to ante up $699 per copy of linux until there is proof that it MUST. HOWEVER, no government purchaser watching this linux/SCO soap opera should approve new linux boxes to be bought (and for that manner, any big business IT department). This happening at a time when linux was just starting to get on a roll and look to be a real force.

      The exorbinate fee sure seems to make that agreement with Microsoft seem even more sleezy...
  • by morven2 (5718) * on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:41PM (#6629720)
    Read the article. They're demanding $32 a copy from the OEM; in this case, the TiVo company themselves. Individual users are NOT liable for this, they cannot demand this and they won't get it. If TiVo ships code it shouldn't have, then they are liable, not their customers.

    A company truly serious about a genuine claim would't be behaving this way, IMO. SCO wouldn't be trying to shake down users in advance of a judgment; rather, they'd get a judgment, and then, armed with that, their shakedown would have MUCH more teeth.
    • by ncc74656 (45571) <scott@alfter.us> on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:53PM (#6629874) Homepage Journal
      Read the article. They're demanding $32 a copy from the OEM; in this case, the TiVo company themselves. Individual users are NOT liable for this, they cannot demand this and they won't get it. If TiVo ships code it shouldn't have, then they are liable, not their customers.

      Last time I checked, TiVo used one of the 2.1.something kernels. The underlying hardware (in a Series 1, anyway) is a single PowerPC 403GCX running at (IIRC) 53 MHz...less power than an old PowerMac 6100. Out of the box, it's equipped with 16 megs of RAM (but you can bump that to 32 if you're good with a soldering iron).

      I strongly doubt that TiVo used any of the technologies that $CO claims it owns (no SMP, no RCU, etc). Then again, $CO doesn't seem to be constrained too much by the truth.

    • by RevMike (632002) <revMike.gmail@com> on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:54PM (#6629893) Journal
      They're demanding $32 a copy from the OEM; in this case, the TiVo company themselves.

      Hmm. Maybe not. TiVo licenses their technology but the actual OEMs are Sony and Philips. Sounds even better!

  • by incom (570967) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:42PM (#6629727)
    Surely there must be some criminal charges that can be laid against SCO in some jurisdiction.
  • please create (Score:5, Insightful)

    by squarefish (561836) * on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:43PM (#6629742)
    sco.slashdot.org

    so much sco stuff has been happening lately and there's no sign of it going away anytime soon. The big shocking ones can make the main page, but I'm willing to bet there's so much sco stuff that you guys are turning away some of it.
    You've recently done this with apple and games. I think a sco option would be useful.

    Thanks!!!
  • by wjr (157747) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:44PM (#6629758)
    They used to use a 2.1.24 (plus mods) kernel, so they should fall outside SCO's demands. I don't know if the latest TiVos are using 2.4-based kernels, but I'd be surprised if they are.
  • by polaris852 (686050) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:44PM (#6629759)
    SCO wants $13 from anyone who has a shirt or sticker with the word Linux on it.... film at 11:00..
  • sweet (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MattW (97290) <matt@ender.com> on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:45PM (#6629767) Homepage
    I'd say it's time for the esteemed Attourney General John Ashcroft to prosecute SCO and its executives for Racketeering. In the 20s, they used guns. In this century, they use unsubstantiated IP claims. But either way, they're demanding 'protection money' they aren't entitled to. Maybe we can re-open Alcatraz and put Darl there as a tourist attraction.
  • by Dr_LHA (30754) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:45PM (#6629774) Homepage
    For charges related to purchasing alcohol based screen wipes due to excessive coffee stains splattered on computer monitor.
  • by mrpuffypants (444598) * <mrpuffypants@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:48PM (#6629814)
    Here's some things from their IP FAQ:

    Does the SCO IP License for Linux include a media kit?
    No. Nothing needs to be installed on the server or embedded device.

    Excellent. I just purchased $700 of nothing. That'll be easy to justify to the boss

    I have Linux servers deployed in my organization. What options do I have besides purchasing a SCO IP license?
    There are 3 options for you to evaluate:
    You have the option to do nothing, adopt a "wait and see" attitude, and hope that SCO is not serious about enforcing its intellectual property rights in the end user community.
    You can replace all servers, desktop and embedded uses of Linux.
    You can obtain a license from SCO to use SCO IP in binary form in Linux distributions

    Cover your ass, install Windows, or pay up, bitch!

    How are the licenses activated?
    Licenses are activated by registering the license with SCO and identifying the system covered by the license. The identification of the system can follow whatever identification conventions you use internally. (i.e., by name, by location, etc.)

    See your wallet becoming lighter? Good! Now you are compliant! Get on your knees!
  • by ENOENT (25325) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:49PM (#6629830) Homepage Journal
    I have a weird uncle who is always going on about how he's going to sue the government about some dumb thing from back in the deep past. Now, SCO is turning into my weird uncle. Maybe I can get my weird uncle in touch with Darl McBride, and they can hang out. I'll have to send along enough medication for both of them.
  • by Chordonblue (585047) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:51PM (#6629856) Homepage Journal
    Yet another stock pump and dump. They're not hoping for a buy out anymore - this is suicide.
  • A story (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jeremi (14640) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:53PM (#6629878) Homepage
    Once upon a time there was a village in the countryside. It was a pleasant enough village, but there was no convenient source of running water. In order to get a drink of water, the villagers had to walk five miles to the nearest river, which was very inconvenient. So one day all the villagers got together and decided to build a water pipeline from the river to the village. Everybody pitched in, from the richest to the poorest. After several years of hard work, the pipeline was finished. Now everybody in the village could enjoy fresh, clean water any time they wanted, without having to trudge five miles. Everybody was happy.


    Then, one day, one of the villagers announced that certain pieces of the pipeline were his, and had been used without his permission. Because of that, he said, the pipeline belonged to him, and anybody who wanted to get water from it had to pay him ten dollars for each bucket of water they took from the pipeline. The villagers offered to replace his stolen pipe sections with their own spare sections, and return the stolen ones to him, but the villager didn't want that -- in fact, he refused to even tell the other villagers which sections were the stolen ones. "Just pay me the money you owe me", he said, "and I'll let you use my pipeline."


    The villagers gathered together again, to determine what to do about this new problem. After several minutes of debate, a plan was devised. That night, they went to the villager's house with torches and pitchforks, burned it to the ground, and fed the villager to the stray dogs.


    And they all lived happily ever after.


    The End.

  • stocks (Score:5, Interesting)

    by chimpo13 (471212) <slashdot@nokilli.com> on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:56PM (#6629916) Homepage Journal
    Just trying to push up the stock prices. The SCO executives will be selling off all their stocks soon enough.

    Did SCO get bought by the guy who bought Pabst, closed all the breweries and leased the Pabst name? Charles Hurwitz, the same guy who bought the logging companies in Northern California, upped the logging, sold his stocks high, and then the logging companies went under when they logged out everything. Maybe it's 2 guys and I'm just thinking (hoping) it's just one evil guy.
    • by Groovus (537954) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @09:00PM (#6630447)
      " Just trying to push up the stock prices. The SCO executives will be selling off all their stocks soon enough."

      You know I thought it was as simple as this, up until yesterday. Yesterday mention was made that McBride had started mentioning targeting Stallman as one of those responsible for infringing on SCO IP. Stallman is certainly well known to most of us here, however to the stock broker and day trader monkeys he and his ideas are way too esoteric (for better or worse) to have any meaning at all in an attempt to manipulate stock price. Indeed Stallman has gone to great lengths to distance himself from the linux kernel (the only part of the GNU/linux package currently under contention by SCO), and is deeply involved in developing the independent HURD kernel - in these ways he is a completely incorrect target for the stock manipulation purpose.

      I'm starting to think (with credit to others who have ruminated on the idea as well) there's something more insidious to all this than just a stock manipulation scheme. We've heard it before a dozen times - we'll just switch to a BSD, or we'll just remove the offending lines of code, or we'll just drop in HURD for the kernel instead of linux - our linux "problems" from SCO's perspective are seemingly easily solved, and in the short run you'd probably be right. But the scope of the SCO attack is too broad based (and seemingly getting more broad daily) to be simply focused on corrupting the linux kernel now - that is too easily thwarted - and if we can see it I'm sure someone at SCO sees it too. (Sorry chums we're not the only +5 insightful people on the planet)

      I think that this is more about someone (and it has been suggested before on these boards by others, but bears repeating) is trying very hard to cut the legs out from under the entire OSS movement here and now. I think interested parties have come to realize that the time is near when it will no longer to be possible to perpetuate the proprietary program for rent business model of software development due to OSS having gained far too much momentum and widespread adoption. Even despite things like the SCO suits, we get more reports of more and larger businesses, governments and institutions committing firmly to integrating OSS and OSS products into their infrastructures on an almost daily basis. If those who wish to stop this are going to do so, they must do so now. I think this isn't only a last desperate gasp by SCO for some money, I think its a desperate gambit by proprietary software interests to kill OSS before it kills them. The stock manipulation thing is too transparent to be the only goal of the SCO attacks.

      Or maybe I'm just giving too much credit and being too conspiracy theory. What the heck, it's interesting to consider.

      As an aside, how bitter is the cup of vindication Stallman must be sipping from right now? And those who thought he was a bit too evangelical in his stance must at least be taking a moment to reflect that what he has been warning and working against is now beginning to happen right in front of us. Additionally, had people been more willing to acquiesce to the idea of using GNU/Linux as the name of the package used, it may have been more readily appearant to even laymen that even were SCO's claims valid their "contributions" still represent a ridiculously small amount of the overall package and thus their claim would have been more obviously worthless. I'll leave that for others to debate.
  • done for (Score:5, Funny)

    by austad (22163) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @07:58PM (#6629946) Homepage
    This whole thing reminds me of elementary school. I was pretty little, but I was a smart-ass and I liked to piss people off. So I would go an taunt the big kids and they would chase me around and then all beat the snot out of me. SCO seems to have taken this (somewhat stupid) idea from me. I should sue, that idea is my intellectual property.
  • Dust off Kernel 2.2 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lavorgeous (191087) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @08:00PM (#6629959)
    While we're all waiting for plague to descend on good 'ol Darl and his league of flying monkeys (read legal department), what about creating a "clean" kernel that they don't have claims against?

    Since 2.2 apparently doesn't infringe, why not create a super 2.2 kernel and swap it in for the (allegedly) infringing newer kernels on as many systems as possible?

    Here's what I'm thinking/wondering:
    1. How many Linux users actually need/use the components that IBM contributed?
    2. How much non-infringing post-2.2 stuff can be back-ported to the 2.2 kernel?
    3. If you managed to back-port as much as possible and polish-up a 2.2 kernel as much as it can be polished, will it meet the needs of most users?
  • by NanoGator (522640) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @08:00PM (#6629961) Homepage Journal
    A couple of SCO reps knocked on my door this morning demanding I pay them. I just whipped out a Mentos and we all smiled.

  • by Greyfox (87712) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @08:09PM (#6630031) Homepage Journal
    Maybe a class acton lawsuit against SCO on behalf of the thousands of people whose work they're trying to hijack is in order. And while we're on that subject, how about digging through their system binaries to make sure they're not also infringing on copyrights -- as lazy as programmers are and as abundant as free projects are, I wouldn't be surprised if some of their guys "borrowed" something somewhere.

    Even if those pig-fuckers had an airtight case, Debian-Hurd and Debian-BSD are an easy mkfs away. Do you think for one second that the kernel you're running makes a huge difference versus the software on top of it? And I'd go back to fucking CPM much more readily than I'd consider paying SCO's extortion money.

    (Yes, I said pig-fuckers. I think they get up on pigs and they fuck them. Squeeeeee! Anyone wanna disagree?)

  • by jcdr (178250) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @08:11PM (#6630049)
    I would like to see how SCO can charge for code that are not in the binary image. Embedded system like Tivo have very little probability to compile NUMA or RCU code. This have no sense. Remember that SCO licence is for binary use (to be compilant with the GPL, as there say...).

    SCO is crasy if there expect to charge for somthing that don't even exists!
  • by bopo (105833) * <[bopo] [at] [nerp.net]> on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @08:12PM (#6630059) Homepage

    Is anyone else waiting for the televised press conference where the CEO or spokesperson or whoever starts banging on the podium with a shoe and screams "WE WILL BURY YOU!!!"? Is it just me?
  • Amazing... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by idontgno (624372) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @08:13PM (#6630065) Journal
    This begins to look like some elaborate corporate version of "suicide-by-cop".

    You know, dude in wife-beater t-shirt and cutoffs starts a loud confrontation, barricades and arms himself, gets armed representatives of The Authorities (tm) sucked in, and then threatens said representatives with his weapon. SWAT dude has to pull the trigger, and then it's goodbye cruel world.

    Damn near foolproof way to off yourself once the hardcore tactical team is on scene, and it's technically not suicide!

    So, We've got SCO (bad mullet, tank-top, and raggy jeans) waving his 9mm around at everyone, including some folks that just finished getting heavy-handed on some folks between the Euphrates and Tigris. Like I said, suicide-by-cop.

  • And in local news... (Score:5, Informative)

    by An Onerous Coward (222037) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @08:19PM (#6630108) Homepage
    SCO has been getting fairly positive coverage from the Deseret News. Today, they ran a story [deseretnews.com] that basically regurgitates their party line.

    A couple of interesting tidbits from the story:

    "Red Hat thinks that we should show them every line of infringing code so they can make changes and go forward with a complete disregard for our business rights," [McBride] said[...]"
    IOW, the Linux community shouldn't be allowed to correct the infringement, but should instead be forced to pay royalties to SCO until the end of time.

    Also, it says that the suit against IBM isn't going to trial until April 2005.

    The Salt Lake Tribune takes a more pro-community stance in this story [sltrib.com]. It quotes Bruce Perens as saying, "Let me make it clear how dangerous the SCO license is to customers. If you buy it, you can be sued by each and every copyright holder of GPL software in a Linux system for infringing upon their copyright and violating the terms of their license. That's tens of thousands of potential plaintiffs."

    Oh, and Laura DiDio compares Linux developers to a 60's hippie commune. It's a fun read. Could someone please remind me why this woman is qualified to have an opinion on anything?
  • by msgmonkey (599753) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @08:19PM (#6630110)
    This is one for the MS-SCO conspiracy people. SCO suing the US federal gov is a great for Microsoft, they can now point at this and say "I told you so".

    Even if (well more like when) SCO lose, Microsoft can now bring up this case when it comes to any kind of OSS competition with regards to government contracts they will just say:

    "Hey remember that whole SCO thing? How do you know it won't happen again but next time with a valid claim?"
  • I love the USA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by theolein (316044) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @08:20PM (#6630114) Journal
    The theatrics and plain, blatant, obvious abuse of the "little man" by anyone with a fair amount of money is stunning. I compare a number of things:

    Today on slashdot, there was an article on the 20 year old left wing loudmouth who gets a year in jail for linking to a website with bombmaking instructions while the despotic bastard CEO of SCO can make claims and threats about a computer operating system while offering no evidence whatsoever and not only get away with it, but also make a fair amount of money at the same time.

    Compare the above to an article in the Washington Post about gangland killings in Washington DC, where gang members, who are all armed and are all involved in criminal activities are hardly prosecuted and the case of Germany, where a legal injunction forced SCO to withdraw it's claims in that country, completely.

    I personally think that whatever happens to Linux in the USA in terms of SCO being able to legally enforce payment of licences, those will have no effect outside the USA and I will personally piss in my pants laughing when SCO attempts to do some enforcing in the EU.
  • Me too! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Eric Smith (4379) * <eric@brouhaha.cDEBIANom minus distro> on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @08:38PM (#6630261) Homepage Journal
    What a great business model, I think I'll use it too...

    If you're running MAME, you owe me $32. Pay up! MAME includes some code I wrote, in violation of the GPL license on my code. Unlike SCO, I'm actually willing to publicly identify which lines of code are at issue.

    I'm joking about the $32, although they really did violate my license. However, I'm NOT going to sue them. In fact, I think I'll grant the MAME project a license to use the code under the MAME license instead.

    So much for my chances of making billions of dollars on it! :-)

  • by MichaelCrawford (610140) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @08:45PM (#6630326) Homepage Journal

    While the lawsuits being defended by IBM [sco.com] and filed by Red Hat [redhat.com] are likely to put an end to The SCO Group's [sco.com] menace to the Free Software community, I don't think simply putting the company out of business is likely to prevent us from being threatened this way again by other companies who are enemies to our community. I feel we need to send a stronger message.

    If we all work together, we can put the executives [sco.com] of the SCO Group in prison where they belong.

    If you live in the U.S., please write a letter to your state Attorney General [naag.org]. If you live elsewhere, please write your national or provincial law enforcement authorities. Please ask that the SCO Group be prosecuted for criminal fraud and extortion.

    It makes me very sad to write this, because I lived in Santa Cruz for fifteen years. Sam Sjogren, a close friend from Caltech [caltech.edu], was one of SCO's first programmers, and for a little while my only friend in town after I transferred to UCSC [ucsc.edu]. Many of my best friends used to work for SCO either writing code or doing tech support. I even used to sit in the company hot tub with my friends who worked there from time to time. I used to dance to the music of SCO's company band Deth Specula [deth.com] at parties around the town.

    Before I ever installed my first Linux distro - remember Yggdrasil Plug-n-Play? - I was a happy user of a fully-licensed copy of SCO Open Desktop on my 386.

    You wouldn't think the SCO Group of today is the same company that once had to tell its employees that they shouldn't be naked at work between 9 and 5 because they scared the visiting suits from AT&T. That's because it's not - the SCO Group got its name and intellectual property from SCO through an acquisition. I don't think any of the friends I once knew at the company are likely to still be working there. The SCO Group is in Utah. SCO was originally called The Santa Cruz Operation, a small father-and son consulting firm named for a beautiful small town [cruzio.com] between the mountains and the ocean in central California. The Santa Cruz Operation was once as much a bunch of freethinking hippies as any Linux hacker of today.

    Yes, it makes me sad. But I digress.

    It seems that SCO is asking a license fee of $699 [slashdot.org] for each Linux installation. Take a look at SCO's press release [sco.com] announcing the licensing program. That's just the introductory price - if we don't purchase our licenses before October 15, the price will increase to $1399.

    I have three computers that run Linux. That means SCO claims I must pay $2097 today, or $4197 if I wait until after October 15. SCO says their fee applies even to devices running embedded linux, many of which were purchased by their owners for far less than SCO's "license fee".

    My response is that SCO is guilty of criminal fraud and extortion. I didn't violate SCO's copyright or acquire their trade secrets through any illegal means, and it is fraud for them to claim that I did. It is extortion for them to tell me I must pay them money to avoid a lawsuit.

    Even if SCO's claims are true, it is not a violation of their copyright for me to possess a copy of their code. Instead, any copyright infringement was committed by the vendors who supplied me with the Linux distributions I use.

    SCO's license is actually no license at all - if it really is found that the Linux kernel contains any infringing code, the GPL forbids everyone who possesses a copy from using it at all. No one would be allowed to con

  • Death Rattle (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RedSynapse (90206) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @09:00PM (#6630452)
    The reason for the lawsuits:

    SCOX net earings 2003 -4 million
    SCOX net earings 2002 -25 million
    SCOX net earings 2001 -131 million
    SCOX net earings 2000 -27 million
    SCOX net earings 1999 -9 million

    Right there that's 196 million dollars of debt that SCO has accumulted in the past 5 years. So when you realize that your business model just ain't working, hey, why not just sue everyone.

  • by ThyTurkeyIsDone (695324) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @10:03PM (#6630876)
    ...but since it will likely be rejected (the gods of karma are always against me), here ya go:

    An Austrian Free Software group by the name of FFS [ffs.or.at] has been talking to SCO Austria and SCO Germany, who have assured them SCO's European branches have "nothing to do" with SCO's claims, and there will be no Linux licences available from SCO in Europe. What's perhaps more interesting is that a SCO lawyer has admitted that SCO's copyright claims have little substance [pro-linux.de]. The article is in German, unfortunately. Here's a very rough translation of the title and the first paragraph:

    SCO Plays Dead: No License Fees in Europe

    As reported by Pro-Linux, representatives of the FFS [ffs.or.at] have been in touch with legal representatives of the Austrian and German branches of SCO, which has in the past few months accused Linux developers and users of intellectual property violations. These accusations, which remain as yet completely unsubstantiated, have recently culminated in SCO demanding license fees for Linux. This would amount to a misappropriation of Linux by the company, which would thus itself be exposed to accusations of software piracy. The FFS has now obtained a letter from SCO's legal counsel literally affirming that SCO's local branch has "nothing to do" with the claims. SCO's counsel, who has also admitted in a phone conversation with the FFS that SCO's copyright claims have little substance, goes on to protest that the company is doing everything to comply with the court decisions barring it from doing further damage to the reputation of Linux or its users.

    [The rest of the article then goes into a rant on software patents etc.]

    Comments on the linguistic side of my translation are also welcome, but bear in mind this was just a quickie.

    And yes, I am karma whoring. But then, isn't everyone?

  • TiVo and the DMCA (Score:5, Interesting)

    by telstar (236404) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @10:06PM (#6630896)
    So how does SCO know that the TiVo's code infringes on their IP? Can't we sick the DMCA on them for reverse-engineering the TiVo?
  • by flacco (324089) on Wednesday August 06, 2003 @10:15PM (#6630947)
    ...but I put it in a secret hiding place somewhere inside of SCO's office building.

    I'm sorry, I can't divulge the location of the $32 at this time. I am willing to provide a set of scavenger hunt clues to selected, disinterested parties who are willing to sign an NDA, though...

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