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Caldera Software Linux

SCO Might Sue Linus for Patent Infringement? 1154

An anonymous reader writes "[Darl McBride, SCO's chief executive stated] that unless more companies start licensing SCO's property, he may also sue Linus Torvalds, who is credited with inventing the Linux operating system, for patent infringement." It's right at the end of the story and it's quite a statement.
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SCO Might Sue Linus for Patent Infringement?

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  • by Sergeant Beavis ( 558225 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @07:08PM (#6062058) Homepage
    Oh yea, I can see every script kiddie on Earth going after them now. GEEZ what a dumb statement to make.
  • by rushfan ( 209449 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @07:08PM (#6062061) Homepage Journal
    In short, Novel thinks SCO has lost it's gord, SCO knows they are hosed, and are creating MS style FUD by saying anything to get their lame company in the news....

    I hope Novell is right in:
    "We believe it unlikely that SCO can demonstrate that it has any ownership whatsoever in those copyrights," said Jack Messman, Novell's chief executive, in a statement Wednesday

    But anyway, I'd pay a couple of bucks, especially if we get a Pay-Per-View event of Linus kicking McBride upside the head.

  • Think I'll go pattent "Hello World!"

    I always wanted to name a band "Special Guest" too.
  • by graveyhead ( 210996 ) <{fletch} {at} {}> on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @07:09PM (#6062088)
    A while back, I posted this [] joke:
    I don't know which planet YOU are from, but in my book SCO (the f**kedcompany formerly known as Caldera) is an extremely innovative company. I mean, when I installed their version of Caldera Linux back in 1998, they had a game of Tetris that you could play while the installer ran. Tetris! WHILE YOUR OS INSTALLED! Now, if that's not real innovation worthy of IP protection, I don't know what is. So don't you dare come along mister and say that SCO has no real effective Unix IP to license :P

    The thing is, I got two interesting replies that went largely unnoticed:

    dvNull (235982) [] wrote:

    BTW i knew people who worked for The Tetris Company who planned on making a case against Caldera for infringing on the Tetris copyright.

    and An Onerous Coward (222037) [] wrote:

    I would be so happy if IBM stole that bit of IP and got it into every distro. That would be schweet, and well worth another billion dollar lawsuit.

    OK, so why not? I second Onerous Cowards' motion. Except, instead of stealing, IBM should immediately obtain a contract with The Tetris Company to redistribute Tetris. Then they should file lawsuits against SCO for infringement. Even if the lawsuits are frivilous, it would still be a thorn in the side of SCO when it is realized publicly that they very blatantly stole the IP from The Tetris Company.

    On a side note, it seems to me that Caldera has a serous history of copying technology... DOS and Tetris are the ones I know about, plus they came up with a Linux distribution... ooh there's originality at work. Also, I believe they bought those rights to UNIX (acquired when they bought the original SCO, IIRC) How can this company turn around and sue IBM for infringement?! It doesn't make any sense. As far as I can tell, that install+game really is the most innovative they've ever been as a company. God that was brilliant. I hate waiting.

  • by Andorion ( 526481 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @07:09PM (#6062089)
    I'm suing everyone for everything. Details at 11.

  • by gsfprez ( 27403 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @07:11PM (#6062112)
    Darl McBride has been unmasked as the Iraqi Information minister []!!!

    Thank Allah... i thought he had died at the hands of the infidels that were not in Iraq!
  • by dogfart ( 601976 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @07:13PM (#6062129) Homepage Journal
    I always wanted to name a band "Special Guest" too.

    I remember a band named "Free Beer". Clubs were always careful to put their name in double quotes.

  • by necrogram ( 675897 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @07:14PM (#6062142)
    if this didnt involve linux, and now Linus, i would think is down right hilarious. I just cant wait to see the season finale
  • Funny... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Kirby-meister ( 574952 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @07:16PM (#6062164)
    Just about everybody on Slashdot hates SCO with a passion.

    A week ago I saw a banner ad for SCO Unix on the top of the front page...

  • Re:wow (Score:5, Funny)

    by tomreagan ( 24487 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @07:16PM (#6062168)
    Legal Fees to Prepare a Spurious Lawsuit : $25000

    Filing Fees in the Plaintiff-Friendly States of your Choice: $1000

    2 Months of Free Press when the entire Tech Community goes apeshit: Priceless

    For free and open source software, there's GNU. For everything else, there's SCO BastardCard.
  • by taniwha ( 70410 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @07:20PM (#6062221) Homepage Journal
    For the city of Santa Cruz to get SCO (based in Orem Utah) to stop using their name
  • Re:Huh? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @07:22PM (#6062248)

    What happened to the "it's not patents, but licensing" arguement?

    It's Wednesday afternoon (please try to keep up)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @07:24PM (#6062264)
    Everyone was forgetting who they were, this is all just a big stunt to get front page publicity on slashdot.
  • by Eggplant62 ( 120514 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @07:25PM (#6062273)
    Whatever McBride's smoking, I wish he would tell ME! It's gotta be some good shit.

    Or the mushrooms this year are particularly fine.
  • by linuxguy ( 98493 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @07:25PM (#6062279) Homepage
    > "McBride added that unless more companies start licensing SCO's property, he may also sue Linus Torvalds, who is credited with inventing the Linux operating system, for patent infringement."

    I pictured Darl McBride holding a gun to a stuffed penguin's head and shouting to the crowd :

    "Give me your money or the Penguin gets it!"

  • Re:hmm (Score:4, Funny)

    by themassiah ( 80330 ) <> on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @07:26PM (#6062288) Homepage Journal
    Probably not, the editors would just post more duplicates.
  • by El_Ge_Ex ( 218107 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @07:26PM (#6062294) Journal
    This is better than Reality TV!

    Just when you thought you knew how the story would end (with IBM buying SCO to quit being annoyed by them). SUDDENLY A PLOT TWIST! Novell could end up getting SCO for FREE!!! :)

    This is the best Reality Show yet!
  • by twitter ( 104583 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @07:33PM (#6062355) Homepage Journal
    Does this mean that 95 cents of each MS $ of it's undisclosed "Unix" licensing fees are going to Novell? Does M$ know this?
  • by Darth_brooks ( 180756 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <773reppilc>> on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @07:35PM (#6062363) Homepage
    Swing for the fences.

    The SCO is starting to remind me of Dean Wormer from 'Animal House.' First they put the linux world on double secret probation. Now, as the majority of the IT world is walking out on them humming the star spangled banner, they're shouting "You're all expelled! No more fun of any kind!"

    I guess that leaves microsoft as as the preppy frat boy stuck banging the gavel.
  • by alonsoac ( 180192 ) * on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @07:36PM (#6062387) Homepage Journal
    How would you feel if you got sued because of what you did for _FUN_.

    If I'm getting sued for something I sure hope I at least had a fun time doing it!
  • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @07:38PM (#6062399)
    > Linus could end up owning SCO. Now *that* would [be] justice. -rick

    "Some people have told me they don't think a fat penguin really embodies the grace of Linux, which just tells me they have never seen a angry penguin charging at them in excess of 100mph. They'd be a lot more careful about what they say if they had."

    - Linus Torvalds.

    "Darl McBride, I'm pleased to have you as my new employee. Mr. McBride, could you please move two feet to the left. Yes, there. Perfect. No, you don't have to do anything else, just stand there."

    - What I imagine Linus' first words would be at the shareholders' meeting after he becomes the new majority shareholder of SCO.

  • by Soko ( 17987 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @07:39PM (#6062409) Homepage
    ...questions about possible lasuits (all ridiculously frivolous), dragging the lawyer further and further into the realm of stupidity, then..."

    This typo is strangely appropriate. As in:

    "SCO is really in la-la land."


    SCO: "NO! Our source! I don't care about what Novell says, OURS!"
    Novell: "Look in the agre-"

    Should be added to the Jargon File or something:

    lasuit (lô' soot) n : A litigation over Intellectual Property based on ridiculously frivolous grounds, dragging the complaintant further and further into the realm of stupidity. See: SCO.

  • by idontgno ( 624372 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @07:39PM (#6062410) Journal
    I suggest counter-suing for defamation of character. Just how much is an international reputation worth? Linus could end up owning SCO. Now *that* BE would justice. -rick

    Geez, like "I hope I can countersue the drug dealers so I can own their crackhouse." Ick!

  • June 1, 2004. Santa Cruz, CA: SCO threatens to sue yet more icons of goodness and decency In yet another move calculated to antagonize virtually the entire world, SCO announced today that they would pursue multi-billion dollar lawsuits against basketball legend Michael Jordan, all kittens less than a year old, and Jesus Christ, for failure to pay royalties on all revenues that "might even conceivably be gained by exploiting our intellectual property in some fashion or another." SCO CEO McBride, speaking from behind the door of a reinforced bunker in an undisclosed location, stated that although none of the parties have used UNIX or Linux as far as he is aware, the decision was made to pursue litigation anyway "for the hell of it. I mean, we're already suing fifty thousand parties as it is, from IBM to a rusty tricycle in Ai, Alabama. What's three more?" The last year has not been good to SCO. Novell and IBM both filed $10 billion lawsuits against the company, and their stock was delisted after the share price dropped from $8.30 a share to about eight cents a share. This led SCO to file a series of bizarre lawsuits against figures in the Open Source and computing world, including Eric Raymond, Bruce Perens, Richard Stallman and Tux the Penguin. Eventually, SCO ran out of people in the computing world and started targeting smaller, less fortunate users and groups, starting in early 2004 with a class of 12th graders in Portland, Oregon, for maintaining a Linux laboratory as a school project. Starting from there, they began to sue "everyone conceivable" who might have derived profit, use, or fun from Linux. The public reaction has been overwhelmingly negative. Two months ago an unknown terrorist organization detonated an atomic bomb over SCO headquarters in Orem, UT, and then immediately received a pardon from US Attorney General John Ashcroft. Vigilantes and bounty hunters now scour the Rocky Mountains for company employees, who fetch rewards of $1000 to $1,000,000. SCO executives are featured every night on FOX's "America's Most Wanted." Last week, Time named McBride the Most Hated Man in America, beating out even Osama Bin Laden and Michael Bolton for the title. "We're not discouraged," said McBride. "Eventually, the judge will see things our way and we'll start collecting royalties. And then the world will be MINE! ALL MINE!" McBride then broke out into hysterical laughter, which continued into the lonely night.
  • by SphynxSR ( 584774 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @07:52PM (#6062544) Homepage
    It is called a cluster fuck.
  • by Morel ( 67425 ) <eugenio@pere a . com> on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @07:54PM (#6062569)
    Would you please refrain from polluting our self-righteous ranting with your precise facts?
    Sheesh...some people.
  • by RatFink100 ( 189508 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @07:56PM (#6062577)
    Linus is treating this with the level of seriousness it deserves. I think that's a fine example, to the community and everyone.
  • by Ryan Amos ( 16972 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @07:59PM (#6062618)
    Linus could end up owning SCO.

    So you mean he'd lose and owning SCO would be his punishment?
  • by leeet ( 543121 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @08:07PM (#6062683) Homepage
    SCO should sue his mother for giving birth to such an evil! Giving away software for free, what kind of idea is that! :)
  • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Funny)

    by two_center ( 676833 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @08:15PM (#6062743)
    The threat to sue Linus is an "I'll get your little dog too" move. Can the flying monkeys be far behind? Hypothetical: if Novell shows up at the courthouse with a suit against IBM identical to SCO's, who gets to sue?
  • by PsibrII ( 671768 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @08:15PM (#6062744) Journal
    Why bother playing fair ? just circulate a rumor that one of the offending SCO people has a stolen shi'ite relic in their office building.
  • Re:WTF? (Score:3, Funny)

    by macdaddy357 ( 582412 ) <> on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @08:24PM (#6062816)
    Everyone SCO is threatening should sue them for harassment, and seek SCO's gross assets+10% in damages. Maybe that would put an end to their crap.
  • by suntse ( 672374 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @08:55PM (#6063050)
    In a press release today, the SCO corporation said, that if more people don't buy SCO Unix, they will kill a puppy.
  • by Skapare ( 16644 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @09:16PM (#6063218) Homepage

    It's more like they are tossing all the chairs and breaking all the glass in the room because they are upset over the rest of us wanting to play with someone else's toys.

    It reminds me of a short skit I saw on a kids' TV show. It started with 2 kids fighting over who gets to play with a toy. The mother comes in and takes the toy, sets it aside, and demands "You two solve this like adults!". One of the kids then says to the other "You're gonna hear from my lawyer".

  • Everytime you masturbate, SCO sues a Linux developer....
  • by wowbagger ( 69688 ) * on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @09:29PM (#6063332) Homepage Journal
    A troll with a lawyer is still a troll.

    Incorrect. A troll with a lawyer is 2 trolls.

    A troll with a law firm is a whole-mess-of-trolls.
  • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jeremiah Cornelius ( 137 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @09:32PM (#6063356) Homepage Journal
    Buy my software, or I'll shoot this penguin!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @09:48PM (#6063459)
  • by Bowie J. Poag ( 16898 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @11:03PM (#6064209) Homepage

    By most people's accounts, I not only hold the "annoyance" patent, but i've got market cornered on annoyance-related technologies.

    I think i'll call my lawyer tomorrow. SCO is treading on my territory.

    On a serious note, I think we're seeing the beginning of a new trend when it comes to business management. If Chapter 11 is imminent, as has been the case with SCO in recent years, file lawsuits! File as many as you can, for as much money as humanly possible. It buys you time, and if by some stretch of bizarro-world luck you happen to win, the money you get comes straight out of the pockets of your competitors!

    With all this, keep one thing in mind:

    We live in a world where the most profitable company in the world sells bug-infested software, while another company who goes belly-up selling a product that can't crash.

    Figure that one out.
  • by Marsala ( 4168 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @11:04PM (#6064216) Homepage
    Tell you what, folks. If no one comes down here to Crazy Darl's Unix Emporium and buys a license in the next hour, I'm gonna club this baby seal. That's right, I'd club a baby seal to make a better deal. And I'll do it, too... cuz I'm Craaaaazy Darl.
  • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Zeinfeld ( 263942 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @11:09PM (#6064253) Homepage
    Ok, so what, exactly, are they planning to sue him for?

    In other news John Ashcroft announced that terrorism charges might be brought against both motherhood and apple pie under the Patriot act. David Boies, representing the administration stated on behalf of his client, "These people have to learn that their actions have consequences".

  • by RedWizzard ( 192002 ) on Wednesday May 28, 2003 @11:57PM (#6064641)
    Does this mean that 95 cents of each MS $ of it's undisclosed "Unix" licensing fees are going to Novell? Does M$ know this?
    I believe it does. And not only that, but if hell froze over and SCO got their billion dollars from IBM I think Novell would have a pretty good claim for $950M of it.
  • by Phoenix666 ( 184391 ) on Thursday May 29, 2003 @12:02AM (#6064680)
    SCO announced today that after Linus, they're going after von Neuman for having invented the computer. "It's clear that his research was specifically designed to lead to the machine which is responsible for violating our intellectual property rights," SCO spokesmen were quoted as saying.

    When asked if SCO had considered that without von Neuman's work they wouldn't have any intellectual property to begin with, the spokesman chided the journalists present for splitting hairs and using legal mumbo jumbo to confuse the issue. "The fact is, everyone in the world owes us a living, and they better pay up before we sue the bejeezus out of them. We have legions of lawyers ready and waiting."

    The interview was cut short when a copy of an otherworldly book dropped out of the sky and landed on the stage with a thump. When examined it appeared to be an almanac or encyclopedia of otherwordly origin, and curiously enough it had fallen open on the following entry: "SCO: a dirty bunch of swindlers whose backs were first against the wall when the revolution came."
  • Re:WTF? (Score:4, Funny)

    by rifter ( 147452 ) on Thursday May 29, 2003 @12:40AM (#6064910) Homepage

    Trade secrets are different than patents as they can have no expiration date, but if it gets out, you have no recourse. Which is why you don't see patents for Coca-cola. It's a trade secret. If you know the secret and ever divulge it, there's probably enough legal paperwork you signed to make you wish you were in pound-me-in-the-ass prison instead of the hell the Coke lawyers will send you.

    Or to paraphrase the immortal words of Sgt "Bat" Guano, they will have to answer to the Coca Cola company. ;)

    Dr Strangelove rocks...

  • Dear Linus (Score:2, Funny)

    by hkg4r7h ( 468346 ) on Thursday May 29, 2003 @03:03AM (#6065568)
    Dear Linus,

  • Re:WTF? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anti-HanzoSan ( 637209 ) on Thursday May 29, 2003 @03:25AM (#6065632) Journal
    Q: Why can't you circumsize Darl McBride?

    A: Because there's no end to the prick.
  • A pride of lions, a flock of birds, a gaggle of geese, a _______ of trolls ?

    Answers below, please.

  • by rowanxmas ( 569908 ) on Thursday May 29, 2003 @05:01AM (#6065957)
  • Re:WTF? (Score:4, Funny)

    by mr_z_beeblebrox ( 591077 ) on Thursday May 29, 2003 @08:42AM (#6066608) Journal
    The last I heard from the SCO Information Minister was that three independent (yet unnamed) groups have reviewed the code bases and found similarities.

    1. The infidels claim that there is Linux, there is no Linux
    2. There is no reason to be afraid of Linux, am I afraid...NO!
    3. The infidels claim Linux is in every business. Do you see Linux, I do not see Linux.
    4. We will destroy Linux. The linux that is in businesses. We have lured it into those business and will crush it with our Ip rights...
    (whispering in background)
    4a. Yes of course I meant with our copyrights and licensing management authority
  • by moojin ( 124799 ) on Thursday May 29, 2003 @09:24AM (#6066822)
    May 29, 2003 - Salt Lake City Utah -

    Today, SCO Inc. filed a lawsuit against former vice-president Albert Gore for inventing the internet, which is the most widely used vehicle to distribute the Linux operating system. Recently, SCO filed a lawsuit against IBM for donating UNIX intellectual property to Linux development. SCO claimed to be the owner of the intellectual property of UNIX, until Novell corrected their incorrect assumptions.

    Al Gore, who was once attributed to saying that he had invented the internet, released the following statement, "Contrary to SCO's assertions, I, Albert Gore am not the inventor of the Internet. Not only would a quick check of Scientific Journals reveal this fact, but a review of the U.S. Congressional record confirm that I voted to pass the law in which the predecessor to the Internet was funded. To my knowledge, the law which help fund the DARPA NET did not make a party to inventing the next phase of the project which was the Internet. I believe it unlikely that SCO can demonstrate that I was directly involved in the scientific, financial or legislative development of the Internet. Apparently, SCO must share this view, since over the last few months it has repeatedly asked me to transfer my non-existent patents for the Internet to SCO. I have rejected these requests adamantly. Finally, I find it telling that SCO failed to assert a claim against the true inventors of the Internet or its predecessors."

    SCO could not be reached for comment because it is still answering questions from yesterday's past quarter results conference call in which 250+ people listened to, which is more than their usually 7 to 10.

Beware of Programmers who carry screwdrivers. -- Leonard Brandwein