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Caldera Software Linux

The Power Behind the SCO Nuisance 821

akahige writes "Forbes has a fairly detailed story about the sordid history of The Canopy Group and all the various companies they've sued -- Microsoft (who they beat) and CA (this case is still pending), among them. Before joining Caldera, Darl McBride sued IKON Office Solutions, for whom he worked -- and won. And it also seems that a bunch of Canopy power players also sit on SCO's board of directors. The short summary is, 'these guys are professional litigious bastards -- be exceptionally wary.'" A local user's group is planning a protest for tomorrow. Reader myst564 writes: "After reading all of this SCO press I remembered that SCO once offered up all of their 'Ancient UNIX' (their words, not mine) source to the world while retaining all copyrights (i.e, no OSS license). Interestingly enough it WAS located here but isn't any longer: SCO's Ancient Unix. What's more you can read about the original release here at: Linux Today. I downloaded the source myself way back then but never did anything but delete it! Anyway, check out this comment. It's interesting that this was predicted in 2000!"
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The Power Behind the SCO Nuisance

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  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ ( 559379 ) * on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:11AM (#6242429) Journal
    You did not count on the Way Back machine Herr Doktor SCO?

    Here's a working link.. [archive.org]

    • by myst564 ( 196476 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:17AM (#6242480)
      Yeah that's right, you can still download the code [planetmirror.com]
      • by MickLinux ( 579158 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:32AM (#6242666) Journal
        So isn't this the place to start with the MD5 hash checking? I mean, that's something to work with.

        Unfortunately, I am *not* a coder any more, and probably don't have the space, and definitely don't have the time to do this. But someone else could.
        • by eXtro ( 258933 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:39AM (#6242738) Homepage
          It depends really. A MD5 hash will only tell if entire files were misappropriated verbatim. So throwing on a GNU header, adding in a changelog entry for a bug fix etc would all invalidate the MD5 hash. I do not believe that there is any truth to the SCO claims, but MD5 hashes wouldn't be proof in favour of linux either.

          A first step would be to use a regexp to spit out all the comments into a file sorted by some key. Do this for both the SCO and linux code bases. Toss out all the comments which aren't in both lists and you now have a file with common comments. This would be where to start looking, if you see non-trivial verbatim comments then further investigation would be needed.
          • by mikeee ( 137160 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:50AM (#6242846)
            No, no, this was gone over before; you MD5 hash each consecutive five-line set (including overlapping ones) for each set of source, sort the list of hashes, do the same for Linux, and then run through the list of MD5s looking for matches.

            That'll give you hits for any five-line segment of code that matches anywhere between the two.
            • by maelstrom ( 638 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @11:51AM (#6243542) Homepage Journal
              A simple run through indent would mask code copying this way. As an undergrad our software engineering class had us write a cheat detector for C source code. Our code removed white space and comments and then tokenized the C code. It compared the tokenized versions across multiple lines. You could move functions around, change variable names, add white space and comments and our program could detect a similarity.

              Running a MD5 hash is quite frankly useless. Almost certainly the two kernel trees have different code styles. Linus uses an 8 space indent, which as far as I can tell is pretty rare. Any code that would have been inserted would have at least been ran through indent.

              • by xneilj ( 15004 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @01:56PM (#6245063)
                Taken from '/usr/src/linux/Documentation/CodingStyle':

                "Chapter 1: Indentation

                Tabs are 8 characters, and thus indentations are also 8 characters. There are heretic movements that try to make indentations 4 (or even 2!) characters deep, and that is akin to trying to define the value of PI to be 3.

                Rationale: The whole idea behind indentation is to clearly define where a block of control starts and ends. Especially when you've been looking at your screen for 20 straight hours, you'll find it a lot easier to see how the indentation works if you have large indentations.

                Now, some people will claim that having 8-character indentations makes the code move too far to the right, and makes it hard to read on a 80-character terminal screen. The answer to that is that if you need more than 3 levels of indentation, you're screwed anyway, and should fix your program.

                In short, 8-char indents make things easier to read, and have the added benefit of warning you when you're nesting your functions too deep. Heed that warning."

                Not that I personally agree, but that's what the Linux coding Standards says...
            • by lspd ( 566786 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @01:21PM (#6244575) Homepage Journal
              If you strip the whitespace before hashing it does turn up a few interesing things.

              Comparing the code from the PDP kernel in sys3.tar.gz and the Linux 2.4.21 kernel there is a good match between the mfree function in usr/src/uts/pdp11/os/malloc.c around line 69, and the atefree function in arch/ia64/sn/io/ate_utils.c around line 187. It certainly looks like the version in SYS3 was used to create the version in 2.4.21. Take a look at the comments in these files, they're almost identical.

              The copyright on the Linux version attributes this file to Silicon Graphics. Anyone want to grep for the same comments in a BSD kernel or provide a history of this file?
          • by Bazzargh ( 39195 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @11:07AM (#6243009)
            He's talkin about MD5 hashing of small sections, as someone suggested the other day here [theinquirer.net].

            If you actually have the source code, there are other fairly quick ways to find copy & pastes, eg the BWT-based [dogma.net] method I implemented in CPD [sourceforge.net].

            That method is pretty fast - it mainly depends on the file scanning time, not the sort we used to find the duplicates (eg using a suffix tree sort instead of quicksort won't gain you much here). However its a bit of a memory hog. I originally wrote the algorithm in perl, though, and it used a lot less - it would probably work on something the size of Linux.

            I've come up with a new variation based on rysnc [sourceforge.net] that will be quicker than the original MD5 suggestion, still requires no access to the original source, and sucks a hell of a lot less memory than the BWT method. Its also possible to do incremental checks (extremely quickly) using this method, something we couldn't do before.

            There are other interesting techniques [c2.com] based on gzip and the like if this kind of thing interests you.
        • by Xoro ( 201854 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:54AM (#6242891)

          Unfortunately, the MD5 checking won't lead us to the core of SCO's complaints. After reading this inteview, [business-standard.com] it seems that they claim IP rights to all licensed derivatives of SysV, not just their "ancient" codebase.

          That is, they say their license agreements w/ IBM, Sun, etc. give them control over the bits in AIX, Solaris, etc. that were developed by the licensee. So it seems that if IBM develops a special memory locking scheme for AIX then shares it with linux, SCO still claims a violation even though they played no part in developing the code.

          Here is the relevant comment:

          When we take a top-tier view of the amount of code showing up inside of Linux today that is either directly related to our Unix System 5 that we directly own or is related to one of our flavors of Unix that we have derivative works rights over--we don't necessarily own those flavors, but we have control rights over how that information gets disseminated--the amount is substantial. We're not talking about just lines of code; we're talking about entire programs. We're talking about hundred of thousands of lines of code.

          Where people get a little confused is when they think of SCO Unix as just the Unix that runs the cash register at McDonalds. We think of this as a tree. We have the tree trunk, with Unix System 5 running right down the middle of the trunk. That is our core ownership position on Unix.

          Off the tree trunk, you have a number of branches, and these are the various flavors of Unix. HP-UX, IBM's AIX, Sun Solaris, Fujitsu, NEC--there are a number of flavors out there. SCO has a couple of flavors, too, called OpenServer and UnixWare. But don't confuse the branches with the trunk. The System 5 source code, that is really the area that gives us incredible rights, because it includes the control rights on the derivative works that branch off from that trunk.

          And they say the GPL is viral!

          Now I have no idea if this claim is true, if it's in the contract or if it's enforceable, but it make SCO's claims seem a little less bizarre.

          • by MickLinux ( 579158 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @11:23AM (#6243223) Journal
            First, let me point out that IBM does not have the right to transfer the rights of individual developers the world over, to SCO. So even if they put SCO code into the kernel, SCO could at most require it to be removed. Whether that would require the removal of whole programs, or individual sections of code, is up to individual lawsuits of SCO against individual developers. Those lawsuits, in turn, would probably turn on such things as whether the developer knew that this was SCO code.

            If I sue John in a court of law, I can't ask the court to award me Bill's house. That lawsuit has to be against Bill. And I *definitely* can't sue Mary for living in the house that she rented in good faith from Bill, especially before said lawsuit against Bill reaches a conclusion.

            Nonetheless, the MD5 hash checking [of the 5-line segments, as described on slashdot]] still will be useful. First, it will tell us what code coincides. That allows us to look for BSD coincidences: BSD source automatically cleans that code. We don't have to worry about it. Next, it allows us to track down and start talking to individual developers, to find out where the code came from: published material in a textbook that predates SCO's work cleans code also. Finally, for those programs that remain unsure, it allows us to immediately start recoding those programs or finding alternatives, so that even before any decision [like my hypothetical lawsuit vs. Mary vs. Bill vs. John above] the code can be clean. In that way, no work is ever legally held to be derivative. Only former work is held to be derivative, which is a major difference, especially against Microsoft's / SCO's / Forbes' FUD.

            Just out of wondering, I wonder how to get a Sourceforge "code cleaning project" going. Could that be done?
            • by ichimunki ( 194887 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @11:57AM (#6243631)
              Why go to all that trouble? If SCO wants to claim infringement it is up to them to prove that a) there is duplicate code and b) that the flow of code was from SCO into Linux and not vice versa (or from some pre-existing code base into both SCO code and Linux). So far, they've been very reluctant to even say which pieces of Linux are infringing. They don't have to show anyone there own code base to do that. And if they aren't going to at least say which parts of Linux are in violation, I think the best thing to do (unless maybe you are part of the IBM legal defense team) is ignore them until they do.
          • by the gnat ( 153162 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @11:25AM (#6243241)
            it make SCO's claims seem a little less bizarre.

            No, it makes them seem a little more bizarre. SCO is still claiming that large chunks of original SysV code ended up in Linux, and that this predates IBM's involvement in the kernel. They have only recently amended their claims to cover technologies developed as add-ons to SysV but not originally part of it, which might be covered under some contract. Darl's bluster about the Linux community's indifference to IP rights has no real basis if the only violation were along the lines of IBM adding JFS or RCU to the kernel.

            I'd say this is actually the most bizarre claim made by SCO yet. I find it hard to believe that companies like IBM would have ever signed a contract that gave away so many potential pieces of IP, but this is almost more plausible than the idea that IBM would have allowed wholesale copying of original SysV code into Linux. I've heard of contracts this dumb, but IBM has produced many operating systems in the past fifty years and there's no reason for them to sign away their future for a not-particularly-advanced chunk of code like SysV.

            Regardless, SCO's credibility is pretty much gone due to the way they continually change their claims to be even more nonsensical.
          • by tetra103 ( 611412 ) <tetra103@yahoo.com> on Thursday June 19, 2003 @11:55AM (#6243595)
            Maybe it's just me, but it sounds like the death of System V UNIX. I believe the statement to be correct. Most all commercial Unix vendors branch from System V. Even Linux has a fair amount of roots tangled with System V. Just because most Unix OS's are dirived from System V doesn't make SCO's case any more legit though. That's just my opinion.

            Although I think SCO's lawsuit is nothing but FUD with the backing from Microsoft. In court who knows what will happen. O.J. got away clean and so did Microsoft. When it comes to the justice system, I have very little confidence that justice will be served. So maybe we do have something to fear.

            I don't know too much about what SCO is battling over, but I think the only safe Unix's out there are ones based off the BSD Lite tree. As far as I know, FreeBSD and NetBSD are totally free of System V source code right? So SCO couldn't even in their wildest dreams touch them with their sue happy plans could they? I'm not a *BSD advocate, but is this not true? I know BSD Lite wasn't a complete OS, but after the court battles in the early 90's with ATT and BSD, I'm under the impression that BSD did indeed purge ALL System V code from their tree. The kernel is totally free of ATT code as I understand it.
            • by urulokion ( 597607 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:03PM (#6245166)
              I don't know too much about what SCO is battling over, but I think the only safe Unix's out there are ones based off the BSD Lite tree. As far as I know, FreeBSD and NetBSD are totally free of System V source code right? So SCO couldn't even in their wildest dreams touch them with their sue happy plans could they? I'm not a *BSD advocate, but is this not true? I know BSD Lite wasn't a complete OS, but after the court battles in the early 90's with ATT and BSD, I'm under the impression that BSD did indeed purge ALL System V code from their tree. The kernel is totally free of ATT code as I understand it.

              No that isn't quite right. Unix System Laboratories (USL) and Novell brough a suit against several parties including Univ. of Calif. Berkeley and Berkely System Design, Inc. over large portions of 4.4BSD. The lawsuit was for trademark violations, copyright infringement and disclosing trade secrets. (Sound familiar?)

              The case was settled after it was found that USL and Novell incorporated large swathes of BSD code going back to before 1985. This included code was in violation of the BSD license because the BSD copyrights and license attributions where removed. BSD threaten to countersue, and the judge indicationed that BSD was very likely to win.

              The settlement terms were sealed, but depending on who you ask, the settlement only affected 3 or 4 BSD files out of 16,000+ source files. That code base went to become 4.1BSD Lite. The common code base that today BSDs derive.

              According to Eric Raymond (from 6/10 TheLinxShow.com, 1:00:00 timemark), AT&T and Novell effectively lost propriatary claim to a large part of the System V code. The code that was common to the System VR4 and 4.1BSD releases. This is due to the 1993 lawsuit settlement. SCO is contrained by that settlement as well.

          • by Drakonian ( 518722 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @01:33PM (#6244741) Homepage
            Wow. If their claim is true and enforceable those are pretty amazing rights.

            Actually, I have some bad news for you all. I have copyright and full dsitribution rights to the "Hello World" (c) program. If any of you have ever started off a project with "Hello World" (c), regardless of what your program eventually became, then I own the full rights to your program. And I'm gonna sue you all for a combined 1 gazillion dollars.

      • by scsirob ( 246572 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:36AM (#6242704)
        Before you know it, you receive an envelope from SCO on your doorstep, as you now have seen their sources, and you might be working on Linux..

        Caveat emptor!
      • The reason for the moniker "ancient UNIX," note the EULA, section 3 (SysV is specifically excluded):


        The SOURCE CODE PRODUCTS to which SCO grants rights under this AGREEMENT are restricted to the following UNIX Operating Systems, including SUCCESSOR OPERATING SYSTEMs, that operate on the 16-Bit PDP-11 CPU and early versions of the 32-Bit UNIX Operating System with specific exclusion of UNIX System V and successor operating systems:

        16-Bit UNIX Editions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 32-bit 32V

      • by foo(foo(foo(bar))) ( 263786 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @11:10AM (#6243046) Homepage
        And on this linke http://web.archive.org/web/20000816145931/www.sco. com/linux/ [archive.org]

        you will find this... "A corporate sponsor of Linux International, SCO has always supported open standards, UNIX Systems and server-based technologies and solutions that benefit business computing. Our engineers have continuously participated in the Open Source movement, providing source code such as lxrun, and the OpenSAR kernel monitoring utility. We offer a free Open Source software supplement that includes many Open Source technologies as well as making our commercial UNIX products available free for non-commercial use. "
      • by valisk ( 622262 ) * on Thursday June 19, 2003 @11:32AM (#6243310) Homepage Journal
        Or maybe you could look here [tuhs.org] for a whole list of mirrors containing the v6, v7, 2.2BSD 4BSD etc releases and sources.
        All helpfully provided by the Unix Heritage Society
    • FYI (Score:5, Informative)

      by Andy Dodd ( 701 ) <{atd7} {at} {cornell.edu}> on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:26AM (#6242592) Homepage
      "The Santa Cruz Operation, Inc. P.O. Box 7745
      San Francisco, CA 94120-7745
      United States of America"

      The current SCO is NOT the same as the former SCO. (Now the Tarantella Group.)

      If you read the article, you'll see that the current SCO was formerly Caldera. Caldera bought the Unix rights from SCO, the old SCO became Tarantella (which was one of their products IIRC...), and then Caldera renamed to The SCO Group.

      That source offer was made by people with no management connection to McBride...
      • Re:FYI (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @11:00AM (#6242953)
        That source offer was made by people with no management connection to McBride...

        So? That doesn't make it any less valid of an offer, nor any less applicable to the current situation. (Not that I necessarily believe that it is particulary applicable, but for the sake of argument) If the code was once given away by the owner, any new owner can't just revoke and/or retroactively criminalize the original offer. They can only change the terms going forward.
      • And Then... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by oldstrat ( 87076 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @11:35AM (#6243357) Journal
        If you read the article, you'll see that the current SCO was formerly Caldera. Caldera bought the Unix rights from SCO, the old SCO became Tarantella (which was one of their products IIRC...), and then Caldera renamed to The SCO Group.

        Which pill makes me small?

        Seriously though, this is going to be part of what hurts NewSCO if this ever get's to the courts.
        They are going to have a darned hard time showing what they really own, what they stole, and what was borrowed... long before they ever became NewSCO.

        The wiggle room that they have built into thier complaint is they are not really using copyright, or patent as the basis for the suit, they are using contract law.

        And they are alleging the transfer and or use of 'Unix Methods and proceedures'. This is a fuzzy area that may not even be answerable.
        Part trade secret, part dogma. If you didn't know about how to do something, or that something could be done, you might never have developed it yourself, even without using the original Unix code, or seeing the affect.

        Might be true, might not, but the contract kinda binds you up and makes you liable, even if you didn't peek under the covers.

        These are the kind of arguments that RMS had for creating GNU in the first place.
        Owning code is one thing, controlling ideas is another, and what SCO is attempting is not protection of code, but restriction of ideas.

        The temptation is to throw out the phrase UnAmerican right about here, but that's not right. Corperations are not American, or Canadian, or Egyptian... they are just big money making machines that have more rights, fewer morals, than individuals and total disregard for anything but more profit/power.
    • by peteo ( 681853 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @11:01AM (#6242959)
      Heres their press relase.
      Those F'in bastards. You cant hide from your lies. Once its on the net its out there for EVER!

      240 West Center Street
      Orem, Utah 84057
      Fax 801-765-4481

      January 23, 2002

      Dear UNIX® enthusiasts,
      Caldera International, Inc. hereby grants a fee free license that includes the rights use, modify and distribute this named source code, including creating derived binary products created from the source code. The source code for which Caldera International, Inc. grants rights are limited to the following UNIX® Operating Systems that operate on the 16-Bit PDP-11 CPU and early versions of the 32-Bit UNIX® Operating System, with specific exclusion of UNIX® System III and UNIX® System V and successor operating systems:

      32V UNIX®
      16 bit UNIX®
      Versions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
      Caldera International, Inc. makes no guarantees or commitments that any source code is available from Caldera International, Inc. The following copyright notice applies to the source code files for which this license is granted.

      Copyright(C) Caldera International Inc. 2001-2002. All rights reserved.

      Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:

      Redistributions of source code and documentation must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer. Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.
      All advertising materials mentioning features or use of this software must display the following acknowledgement:
      This product includes software developed or owned by Caldera International, Inc.
      Neither the name of Caldera International, Inc. nor the names of other contributors may be used to endorse or promote products derived from this software without specific prior written permission.

      Very truly yours,
      /signed/ Bill Broderick
      Bill Broderick
      Director, Licensing Services

      * UNIX is a registered trademark of The Open Group in the US and other countries.
  • by zptdooda ( 28851 ) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `mjpnaed'> on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:12AM (#6242434) Journal
    Itâ(TM)s a small fish that feeds on big fish. Not symbiotically either.

    âBut it is very good at getting what it wants from other companies.â

    Thatâ(TM)s because (law) practise makes perfect.

    So then SCO isnâ(TM)t suing IBM because IBM is illegally interfering with implementing their business model, suing (IBM in this case) is their business model.

    What then are they really contributing? Is SCO really a software company? What is it? Maybe it contributes within Canopy, but not for a wider good.

    • by TopShelf ( 92521 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:25AM (#6242574) Homepage Journal
      So then SCO isnâ(TM)t suing IBM because IBM is illegally interfering with implementing their business model, suing (IBM in this case) is their business model.

      Hopefully, this is where common sense kicks in during the suit. Let's say SCO actually wins its suit against IBM. The damage award would become hotly contested, with each side throwing out their fictitious numbers to be considered. Since SCO is the plaintiff here, they have to put a dollar value on the damages first, and $1 billion just sounds mammoth, but not totally out of this world, considering that IBM is a $20 billion a year company.

      Are they contributing anything to the IS industry? Of course not. But this is America, dammit, where playing the victim can often be the quickest means to success.
    • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:31AM (#6242655)

      > What then are they really contributing? Is SCO really a software company? What is it?

      Sounds like the so-called "technology firm" - a bunch of lawyers with a big patent portfolio and nothing better to do for society than shake down innocent passers-by, and use the proceeds to buy up more patents.

  • by monkey_tennis ( 649997 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:14AM (#6242443)
    Quote: "these guys are professional litigious bastards"

    Given the statement that's a fairly brave thing to say in a public forum :)
  • by PhysicsGenius ( 565228 ) <physics_seeker AT yahoo DOT com> on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:14AM (#6242447)
    No wait, hear me out.

    The GPL has never been tested in court. SCO's claim that they own the Linux source code is clearly ridiculous--how can a person own an idea? So there's no doubt in my mind that Linux will emerge victorious in the end, which makes GPL, and therefore GPL/Linux, even stronger!

    So bring it on, we welcome the test! Any thoughts?

    • by ldspartan ( 14035 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:18AM (#6242498) Homepage
      I disagree. This court case will not be a test of the GPL at all, it will be a test of the lawyers on either side. My understanding is that SCO alleges that IBM breached their license of whatever it is that SCO owns and inserted it into the Linux kernel. It has nothing to do with the GPL, and the case promises to be so mind numbingly complex that little quality case law will come out of it.

      I used to think of SCO as a drunk in a knife fight, wildly stabbing about in the hope of drawing blood. This article indicates to me its more like a duel between two masters. I now understand why IBM has been so slow to act in this case, they understand their opponent and are preparing for a fierce battle.

      This is very much bad news.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:40AM (#6242753)
        There's an article [vnunet.com] on vnunet that hints at what is really going on. It's sleazier than most have even imagined. When IBM, SCO and Sequent got together for project Monteray, the Sequent code for RCU, NUMA and other scalability enhancements were integrated in to the SysV OS they were building. While Sequent, and later IBM, owned their own code, SCO owned the rights to determine its continued usage. This is a result of the rather odious old ATT license agreements.

        So, what SCO is claiming isn't that Linux has code taken from anything SCO ever created. They are claiming that Linux has code that was created by Sequent (now owned by IBM) and IBM and that the Unix licensing agreements give SCO rights over that code. SCO is suing IBM for giving away its own code because a goofy licensing agreement says they can.
      • by hendridm ( 302246 ) * on Thursday June 19, 2003 @11:08AM (#6243029) Homepage
        For some reason, all I can picture is that scene from independence day where a bunch of people (SCO) are standing on top of the building cheering for (taunting) the big alien ship (IBM) that is slowly hovering over them, and without warning, emits an enormous death ray [thehollywoodstore.com] that quickly vaporizes them and destroys most of the city. IBM might move slowly, but they carry a big stick.
      • by zurkog ( 96881 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @11:11AM (#6243055) Homepage
        This article indicates to me its more like a duel between two masters.

        IBM: [struggling to keep SCO away] There's something I ought to tell you.
        SCO: Tell me!
        IBM: I'm not left-handed either.
    • God, not again (Score:4, Insightful)

      by siskbc ( 598067 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:20AM (#6242521) Homepage
      Let's not, eh? A weak test isn't a test. And I don't really think IBM gives that much of a shit about the GPL compared to beating the shit out of SCO. Also, as mentioned ad nauseam on here, allowing SCO to even make the braindead contention that the GPL screwed their IP could be nothing but bad for Linux in general. Look, if SCO's CEO says the GPL screwed them, other companies' CEO's might listen and prevent their CIO's from implementing linux. We'd just as soon avoid that, I expect.
      • by MickLinux ( 579158 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @11:51AM (#6243551) Journal
        I can imagine that IBM might care about the GPL. After all, it gives them:

        (1) a free, very dedicated, and huge developer base for code that runs on their systems

        (2) A ton of good will from said coder-base, thus sales into the future are much more likely

        (3) It helps keep down that upstart competitor from the NorthWest.

        At this point, there are just too many computer-savvy people to make "Only IBM" a reality. The code will be developed, one way or another. So IBM's best bet is "IBM at the head of the stack of everyone." Since IBM has invested in Linux, IBM does have reason to push development under Linux.

        These reasons lead me to believe that yes, IBM does care about the GPL. Not for the sake of the GPL, but for the sake of their own business. So I'd say that their motivation is dual, and if given a choice between "let SCO destroy Linux, and we squash SCO" and "squash SCO before SCO destroys Linux", they'll likely choose the latter, even defending Linux in court.

        When it's the masse rabble against the castle, it's usually a ton better to be the guy directing the rabble, than to be the guy in the castle. Especially if the guy directing the rabble also has access to a ton of munitions. I think IBM has already chosen their spot, and that's where they'll be. This one doesn't look to me like what America pulled on Iraqi Sikhs ("yeah, rise up, and we'll support you, probably").
  • by worst_name_ever ( 633374 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:14AM (#6242451)
    these guys are professional litigious bastards

    Thanks for the libel, we were wondering who we were going to sue today. See you in court!

    The SCO Corporation

  • Impressive !!! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by da5idnetlimit.com ( 410908 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:15AM (#6242462) Journal
    Bill Baxter - Subject: Not Open Source, I'm afraid. ( Feb 23, 2000, 00:01:50 )
    Note that these releases are not open source. SCO retain rights to the source code. Maybe they even hope that some of their code will wind up in linux, so that they can then sue, and render the Linux license terms invalid. Or would they be that spiteful? My guess == yes.

    Really a good hunch, this one...

    But, even if they retain the rights, the fact they had them published publicly make the source open knowledge, no ?
    • Re:Impressive !!! (Score:4, Informative)

      by Xentax ( 201517 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:21AM (#6242533)
      Hit the "wayback" links and read the License Agreement SCO was offering these sources under.

      It's sufficiently restrictive such that you most certainly can't copy the code into a GPL'd product -- not legally, at least.

      Of course, that's assuming the source SCO's providing you (for 100 bucks, by and large) is your ONLY way of accessing the code. The case IBM and the Linux community at large will make (I'm pretty sure) is that the violations SCO claims are NOT violations because SCO's code wasn't the only means of obtaining that code, or at least the algorithms in question.

    • by FreeUser ( 11483 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:59AM (#6242934)
      But, even if they retain the rights, the fact they had them published publicly make the source open knowledge, no ?

      It certainly nukes any 'trade secrets' litigation that references that code, but with SCO's ever mutating rhetoric and accusations, it really amounts to just another stone in the pile which as become a mountain of evidence that SCO has no case, no legitimate claims whatsoever, and is merely grandstanding dramatically in a burnout that will amuse those watching, enrich their patrons (Microsoft and the other mystery party that I am becoming convinced may well be Sun Microsystems), and in the short term hurt, but in the long run vindicate with a vengeance, both GNU/Linux and the free software/open source paradigm.

      We know their claims are nonsense. We know their complaint (while it must be taken seriously and fought) is groundless. We know that, were the government at all willing to enforce anti-trust law, Microsoft would not be daring to underwrite this, and we know that, were the justice department at all interested in enforcing corporate law in general (against, say, the likes of Enron and WorldCom), that most of the board of directors of this letigious group would be under serious investigation for stock market manipulation and insider trading, starting now and continuing through the end of the trial, when it will with near certainty be proven that (a) they never had a case, (b) they knew this and (c) they have violated the copyright of Linux and perhaps other projects consistently, over a long period of time, and continue to do so today (they are still distributing Linux today even while claiming their alleged code isn't under GPL).

      With respect to the article itself, these people are certainly letigious thugs, and they should be taken seriously, but lets not forget the author's bias, where he frequently refers to free software developers and enthusiasts dismissively as "crunchies," so while it is interesting to know what sub-human filth comprises SCO and its umbrella group, this isn't really anything new, and the article's spin (which is an underscoring of FUD, really) contains a rather transparent and quite significant anti-free software bias.
      • by Mansing ( 42708 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @11:51AM (#6243540)
        the other mystery party that I am becoming convinced may well be Sun Microsystems

        Not likely ... even SCO admits that Sun is the only company with a perpetual license where Sun owns all the rights to the derivative works.
  • by MongooseCN ( 139203 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:15AM (#6242464) Homepage
    Lets all invest our money in SCOs stock!! Then they are guaranteed to tank and go out of business in no time! It's time we made this tech bubble burst work FOR us.
    • by Tenebrious1 ( 530949 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:25AM (#6242579) Homepage
      Lets all invest our money in SCOs stock!! Then they are guaranteed to tank and go out of business in no time! It's time we made this tech bubble burst work FOR us.

      Hell, why not just get all /.ers to toss in $20 and BUY SCO? Then we could forget about all this crap and get on with news that really matters... (what's Natalie up to these days?).

  • For the /.'ed (Score:3, Informative)

    by Gortbusters.org ( 637314 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:15AM (#6242466) Homepage Journal
    This is what Linux Today says:

    Santa Cruz Operations often referred to as "SCO" but known internally as "S-C-O" has made a number of straight UNIX source codes available to the public. The source code for:

    Mini UNIX
    UNIX V6
    UNIX V7 (which also covers Editions 1-5, and the 32V)
  • by peripatetic_bum ( 211859 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:19AM (#6242509) Homepage Journal
    These guys in Utah are no dummies. The crunchies in the Linux community should be paying more attention.

    I know which side I'm on, and I know everyone is pretty sure they know what side they are on, but I cant help getting the feeling that Linux side is relying way to much on the Fair principle and forgetting that it is quite difference from Justice in the legal systems.

    What I am trying to say is that
    Justice does not equal Fairness.
    Ie It may not be Fair what SCO is trying to pull, but the legal courts are also concerned with what is Just and in this we are talking money and if the legal courts are about anything, they are about money. Making sure there are legal grounds to protect property (money).

    Thus, What I see is the linux community simply yelling ,"That's not Fair!" while SCO continues to pound away. How many of us had the "Life-isnt-always-Fair" revelation?

    Is the Linux community about to get the same?
    • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:33AM (#6242677) Journal
      "Thus, What I see is the linux community simply yelling ,"That's not Fair!" while SCO continues to pound away."

      It's not just the Linux people yelling it, but Big Bad IBM as well! SCO may be in for a serious pounding themselves.

      The burden of proof is on SCO here, and I cannot imagine that they'll be allowed to block use of Linux because of a copyright infringement, without disclosing the offending code portions to Linux developers so they can replace/remove them. That would be like them sueing you for using patented and unlicenced building materials in the construction of your house, and demanding that you vacate the place and tear it down, rather than pointing out the offending bits, because that would be contrary to their trade secrets. No court would stand for that, especially if the material has been publicly published previously (without granting a license, mind), as has happened with the SCO code.
    • by Fnkmaster ( 89084 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:40AM (#6242752)
      "The Linux side"... oh, you must mean this Linux side [ibm.com]. Yes, I'm sure their lawyers are sitting back and saying "well, we don't really need to sweat this case, because we're in the right, and we know that always leads to victory." Heh. You do realize that "SCO vs. Linux" may be going on in the court of public opinion, but in the justice system, it's "SCO vs. IBM", right?

      The problem is this is a lawsuit between SCO and IBM. The Linux community may have an opinion on that suit, but a community can't really bring a suit for somebody verbally defecating on their common favorite product - this isn't Germany, and we don't have strong laws in the US against verbal diarrhea (note that there are now injunctions against SCO in Germany for some of their behavior in this conflict - because the Linux community there DID do something about it). The Linux community can't do much except chest pound since SCO hasn't done much except chest pound, unless a specific commercial organization (like Redhat for example) decides to sue SCO for interfering with their business relationships, defamation, libel, or something else. If I was the CEO of Redhat, I think you'd see that I have a rather big swinging dick, and I'd get my lawyers on these fucks in no time. Of course, IBM still has a hell of a lot more money to litigate this and it makes some sense to let SCO continue to attack those who can well afford an excellent defense (and counter-offense) until SCO moves to actually do anything except blabber their mouth at anybody else.

    • by dnoyeb ( 547705 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:51AM (#6242856) Homepage Journal
      I disagree. I have YET to hear anyone on slashdot say anythign to the affect of "thats not fair." What people are saying is "Thats not right." People are pointing out lies and misrepresentations they believe SCO is making. Nobody is simply crying foul.

      more than 1/2 the work of the lawyers will be research into the issue. The community has already produced mounds of information that lawyers can and WILL use in court. Look at what was found today about the Anchient UN*X code being shown, and the predicition of law suit.

      I think the Linux community is not a bunch of kids but intelligent working professionals that know exactly what is going down here and is offering their help in the best way they each know how.
  • Joining the protest? (Score:5, Informative)

    by lynx_user_abroad ( 323975 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:21AM (#6242529) Homepage Journal
    From the protest link:

    To close, let me re-iterate that this needs to stay legal:

    1) Go onto their property
    2) Talk to ANY customers entering and leaving the premesis
    3) Disturb normal business activities
    4) Block traffic or people on the sidewalk

    Perhaps there was meant to be a NOT in there somewhere?

  • Also... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:22AM (#6242543)

    > And it also seems that a bunch of Canopy power players also sit on SCO's board of directors. The short summary is, 'these guys are professional litigious bastards -- be exceptionally wary.'

    I can't find the link, but someone posted to one of the (many) Slashdot SCO stories last week with a link showing that about half a dozen board members had bought large numbers of shares at greatly discounted prices just a few weeks before SCO gave IBM the original ultimatum. (When I say "discounted" I mean far below even the 60Â/share that SCOX was worth back then.)


    Someone please post that link again, if you have it.

  • by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:23AM (#6242547)
    Check out all the Canopy-funded company : only one is viable, and it's Center 7.
  • by lederhosen ( 612610 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:23AM (#6242560)
    OS, Web Server and Hosting History for sco.com
    OS Server Last changed IP address Netblock Owner
    Linux Apache/1.3.14 (Unix) mod_ssl/2.7.1 OpenSSL/0.9.6 PHP/4.3.2-RC 17-Jun-2003 NFT
    Linux Apache/1.3.14 (Unix) mod_ssl/2.7.1 OpenSSL/0.9.6 PHP/4.0.3pl1 28-Nov-2002 NFT
    Linux Apache/1.3.14 (Unix) mod_ssl/2.7.1 OpenSSL/0.9.6 PHP/4.0.3pl1 12-Aug-2002 NFT
    SCO UNIX Netscape-FastTrack/2.01 26-Mar-2002 Caldera, Inc.
    SCO UNIX unknown 24-Mar-2002 Caldera, Inc.
    SCO UNIX Netscape-FastTrack/2.01 10-Oct-2001 Caldera, Inc.
    SCO UNIX Netscape-Enterprise/2.01 30-Mar-2001 Cable & Wireless
    SCO UNIX unknown 29-Mar-2001 Cable & Wireless
    SCO UNIX Netscape-Enterprise/2.01 23-Dec-2000 Cable & Wireless
    SCO UNIX unknown 22-Dec-2000 Cable & Wireless
  • by ReelOddeeo ( 115880 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:25AM (#6242577)
    It has now become clear to me that SCO has a very good chance of winning every single one of their claims.

    By observing the public statements made almost daily by SCO and their spokespeople, the secret of their strategy has emerged and I now clearly see it. There is a very real and serious danger here.

    Really, I must hand it to SCO. A brilliant legal strategy.

    I don't believe the open source community has previously contemplated this particular type of legal attack.

    SCO's strategy is simply this: they will win all claims, because IBM's lawyers will be unable to present a good defense, because IBM's lawyers are unable to concentrate, due to their inability to stop laughing. This will be especially unfavorable if this laughing behavior carries over into the courtroom.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:53AM (#6242879)
      SCO's strategy is simply this: they will win all claims, because IBM's lawyers will be unable to present a good defense, because IBM's lawyers are unable to concentrate, due to their inability to stop laughing. This will be especially unfavorable if this laughing behavior carries over into the courtroom.

      Don't worry. IBM's lawyers have *NO* sense of humor...
  • by jazman ( 9111 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:26AM (#6242598)
    Never mind that stuff about decaffeinated coffee. What about weaning people onto deSCOffeinated Slashdot once this is all over? There'll be millions of geeks worldwide going "need..... SCO...... news......." and shaking.
  • poor Tux (Score:5, Interesting)

    by KingRamsis ( 595828 ) <kingramsis@gmail. c o m> on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:27AM (#6242602)
    it is ironic that the OSS movement main goal is to avoid corporate lock down and give freedom for the end user.
    ...until Tux became the darling of IBM and that dragged us into a sleazy corprate war, i think the whole matter stinks especially when lawyers creep in.
    Maybe its time to question the benefit of corporate support to Linux.
    IIRC SCO said that whatever IBM put into the kernel magically turned Linux from a "toy bicycle" OS to an enterprise grade OS, and in another /. article the source code that found its way to the kernel was like 60 lines of code, so I'm suppose to believe that 60 lines of code is all what is needed to make an enterprise OS out of a toy OS?
    yeah sure..
  • by tizzyD ( 577098 ) * <tizzydNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:28AM (#6242612) Homepage
    It's not the legitimacy of the case, whether or not IP was stolen from SCO. It's all about lawyers, people who make their money be suing, buying, and financially bullying others. Thus, I predict there is no real IP violation here. The reality is that the case is vague enough and can be argued effectively by effectively lawyers to make it look like there is a violation. Whether or not there is one or not is immaterials, not germaine to the case.

    Does this strategy perhaps demonstrate the lack of any real basis to the case? Or is it that the case is vague enough so that there's the opportuninity for legal FUD to churn cash?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  • by burgburgburg ( 574866 ) <splisken06NO@SPAMemail.com> on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:29AM (#6242622)
    Canopy companies sometimes share more than a common parent. They form joint ventures and buy and sell one another's stock.

    So they're buying each other's stocks, raising the prices and then selling them to outsiders at a profit.

    In this cozy company, SCO even leases its office space from Canopy--a fact disclosed in Securities and Exchange Commission filings, along with the fact that SCO's chief financial officer, Robert Bench, has a side job as a partner in a Utah consulting firm that last year billed SCO for $71,200.

    So they're renting space from the parent company, at possibly below market rates, making their own profits look bigger OR at above market rates making the parent companies profits look bigger.

    But I'm confused how the CFO, who has a fiduciary responsibility to the shareholders of SCO, can also be a partner of a company (hence having a fiduciary responsibility to his partners) that consults for SCO. He has cross-loyalties. Either the contracts with the firm are too generous, benefiting his partners at the expense of the shareholders OR the contracts are too strict screwing over his partners to the benefit fo the shareholders.

  • by clonebarkins ( 470547 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:34AM (#6242680)

    I almost wish now that I had been using SCO's products all along -- Just so I could make a declaration about how "I will never use them again!"

    But alas, some malevolent twist of fate has conspired to keep me from such bliss....

  • by radio4fan ( 304271 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:38AM (#6242726)

    In other words, like many religious folk, the Linux-loving crunchies in the open-source movement are a) convinced of their own righteousness, and b) sure the whole world, including judges, will agree.

    In other words, like many religious folk, the money-grubbing fsckwits in the sue-the-world movement are a) convinced of their own righteousness, and b) sure the whole world, including judges, will take their word for it.

    Doh! I've been trolled by Forbes!
  • Forbes stupidity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Brian Blessed ( 258910 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:41AM (#6242758)
    The Forbes article is unbearably basic and takes the view that SCO have a good chance because Caldera won a previous case against Microsoft.
    No attempts to examine any facts are made, with the assumption being that Caldera won the DR-DOS case only because the judge agreed with them and not because Microsoft actually did anything wrong. Whilst the judge's decision does determine the outcome, if you want to analyse the situation before the end of the case then you must look at the facts yourself, i.e. they are not irrelevant!

    - Brian.
  • Crunchies? (Score:4, Funny)

    by sparkhead ( 589134 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:46AM (#6242802)
    "These guys in Utah are no dummies. The crunchies in the Linux community should be paying more attention. "

    I have a hard time taking seriously a writer who uses the word "crunchies".
  • by Fantastic Lad ( 198284 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:54AM (#6242886)
    If there was any question remaining about "Greedy, Self-Serving, Delusional Assholes In Charge" being the number one problem in the world today. . , --If Enron's spectacular self-destruction, (closely followed by the near identical recent fiascos by 17 other massive corporate monsters,). . , if BushCo's continuing drive to destroy the universe were not enough to convince people that it's time we started hauling psychopaths out of offices and mass-burying them, then perhaps this latest will be enough to serve notice! (Especially to the tech-geek community, so much of which seems not to 'get it' when the issue isn't directly related to the manipulation of ones and zeros.)

    But you know. . . My old plan is still a good plan.

    The game is entirely rigged, and as such, those who play by the rules are chumps. Make up your own rules, make them good ones, and then follow them. That'd be "Chaotic Good" to those of you out there with little bags of dice. The only alignment worth living!

    --With the exception of small producers with no corporate ties, (and the odd Lucasarts game when Lucas' brain was still made of grey matter), I've never payed for software in my life, much less an operating system, and I'm not about to start now. SCO can go blow.

    --And you watch! If SCO wins their little scramble, it'll be amazing to see just how fast the free software community responds. Talk about a unified force! "Linux; The Revenge"

    Sign me up for an advance copy of that!

    Sociopaths are not human. Destroy them before they destroy you. Don't waste your good conscience on them, because they haven't got one.


  • by NecrosisLabs ( 125672 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:57AM (#6242911)
    Do these people (canopy, SCO, whatever) actually produce anything, or is all their revenue generated through litigation? If this were a biological analogy, I would say that this is classic example of a parasite.
  • Lawyers (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Legal Penguin ( 114844 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @10:57AM (#6242912) Homepage
    Many have commented that this is a suit about lawyers more than about technoogy or even law. That's true in a lot of cases, but this one is especially interesting for law-geeks becaue it pits David Boies (former superstar litigation partner at a New York uberfirm) against that very New York uberfirm, Cravath Swaine & Moore.

    SCO has hired Boies, whom slashdotters will remember as lawyer who so skillfully and successfully led the Justice Department's antitrust case against Microsoft and less successfully defended Napster (as well, perhaps, as for his less successful outings in Florida representing then vice-president Gore). IBM has chosen Cravath, its longtime counsel for "bet the company" litigation. Interestingly, Boies made his career as a young lawyer at Cravath by his (successful) work defending IBM against a massive Justice Department antitrust suit in the late 1970s (and 80s, the suit went on for something like 17 years before IBM finally prevailed). There is certainly no love lost between Cravath and Boies and the fight promises to be a fascinating one for lawyers and law-watchers. In any event, SCO's choice of cousel is an extremely canny one, though Boies' typical roster of slashdot-friendly clients has now, one assumes, been somewhat besmirched.
  • by dcavanaugh ( 248349 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @11:07AM (#6243011) Homepage
    All of these facts about "Ancient Unix", predictions of SCO shenanigans, the wayback machine, etc. are obviously of some interest to IBM. Aside from commenting in Slashdot (and hoping that IBM is reading), is there a better way to share this useful research? I have nothing to offer besides a general disdain for SCO (as if there was a shortage of that), but others seem to be digging up some fine dirt.

    The OSS people have collaborative efforts on so many development projects, I think this is an opportunity to "turn the aircraft carrier into the wind" and focus the OSS "mental firepower" to sink SCO. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine myself agreeing with IBM (on anything), but here we are. Yes, I actually want a Fortune 500 company to have its way with a [former] Linux distributor. It must be snowing in Hell.
  • The Real Issue (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 19, 2003 @11:09AM (#6243031)
    This contract dispute revolves around the ancient wording of the original AT&T contracts. All AT&T contracts contain wording about them owing the "derivative works". This caused some concern "back in the day" (I remember being concerned when I had to sign one...), however these concerns turned out groundless. The contract only covers true derivative works, i.e., works which included the original sources.

    Most modifications to UNIX (V6, V7, etc.) were distributed as pure diffs, i.e., ed-diffs and did not include any of the surrounding context the way that diffs do now. That means that the modifications included only the original work, owned and copyrighted by the authors and not AT&T.

    Now, the revisionist historians at SCO want to try to enforce a much stricter definition of what constitutes a derivative work. IBM clarified the contract with the famous "side-letter", explicitly claiming all of their modifications as their own property. SCO seeks to claim RCU as their property under the strict definition of derivative work interpretation of their contract with Sequent. IBM claims that when they bought Sequent, their contract clairification overrides the Sequent contract, so they own RCU now and can donate it.

    Who wins in this contract dispute? IBM, since the long history of the AT&T contracts and the various USENIX tapes supports the idea that people who modify UNIX own their modifications, not AT&T. SCO cannot swoop in and change history to suit themselves, or the desires of the Camopy Group.
  • by theolein ( 316044 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @11:17AM (#6243136) Journal
    I try to keep an overview of the facts pertaining to this case and it seems as if the quote "professional litigious bastards" has more to it than first meets the eye. Consider the newer bits of info that become apparent in this article:

    According to the article it seems very likely that the Canopy Group is involved in some kind of scheme in which the companies it owns buy one anothers stocks in order to push up interest in that stock which is then sold to outsiders at a profit, only to be later bought back, again at a profit, when the stock tanks once again. The sudden boost in SCO stock since this case has begun is indeed very reminiscent of what is described on the Forbes page.

    Not only this, but it seems as if these groups of companies specifically look for cheap old products that they can buy and then use as ammunition in IP lawsuits. It also looks as if they specifically look for employees who have experience in litigation, such as Darl McBride, who has yet to show any knowledge of Unix or software whatsoever apart from the fact that it has lines.

    Added to all this, it seems as if this company specifically teams up with whoever is willing to be a vested interest in order to sabotage some other companies market. The mention of Redmond Wa, Vista.com as well as the knowledge that Center 7 and SCO were trying to port Active Directory to Unix says a lot to me in terms of the word Microsoft and Microsoft's common tactics of sabotaging with underhand tactics anyone who gets in it's way.

    I do start to see the MO of this suit: Go for as many points as possible, no matter how remotely removed they are from the actual suit itself, because this generates DOUBT amongst managers and shareholders, who routinely have no knowledge of computers whatsoever. No matter how long this actual suit carries on, SCO can make a profit on it's stock which it's managers are now unloading on outsiders, which they will then buy back when the stock inevitably tanks.

    SCO, in fact the entire Canopy Group's main line of business is simply making money. This may sound obvious, but think about what it means. It means they have no interest in any real product and simply want to make money in any way they can. They might very well have released the "ancient Unix" code years ago for the sole purpose of trolling for some suckers to misuse their code. To me, usually when some American company starts sprouting BS in the form of "so that users can share experiences and code with developers, mafiosi etc" I know it's a lie.

    I think that IBM is very right to take this case to court as was CA to continue their case. I think IBM is going to wait until enough evidence has been released in order for them to counter sue SCO and it's parent into the ground. The details of this case will be very interesting in that I expect SCO's indirect dealings with Microsoft to come to the for eventually.

    The only thing that really worries me personally, as a MacOSX user, is that Apple has based it's browser on Trolltech's Qt toolkit. If Trolltech is indeed owned by Canopy (stupid fucks, how could they let that happen), then it could very well be yet another bait. KDE might have some huge potential problems comming up as well.
  • by NeuroManson ( 214835 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @11:17AM (#6243149) Homepage
    Or does SCO seem to be more and more like the black knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail?

    IBM: You fought well sir knight, but the battle is mine.

    SCO: Tis but a scratch!

    IBM: A scratch?! I just took your arm off!

    SCO: It's just a flesh wound!

  • by Basje ( 26968 ) <bas@bloemsaat.org> on Thursday June 19, 2003 @11:18AM (#6243160) Homepage
    The SCO-IBM case is centered around two assumptions:
    1. Unix Source went into Linux
    2. This was because of a violation of an agreement SCO had with IBM

    Now that it seems that the Unix sourcecode was in the open, how will they ever prove that IBM put it in Linux, breaching the agreement? Anybody could have done that, if the source code was copied from Unix to Linux at all.
  • What Forbes misses (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Todd Knarr ( 15451 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @11:33AM (#6243321) Homepage

    The Forbes writer missed one thing: it isn't the Linux companies SCO and Canopy are suing, and against the company they are suing they're relatively small fish. IBM is the defendant named in their lawsuit. Remember the IBM-DOJ antitrust suit? The one that IBM fought to a standstill for 20 years? The one that IBM effectively won?

    The Linux people may or may not be right, but IBM's saying SCO is blowing smoke and IBM has the legal department and the paper trail and audit trail procedures in place to be certain they know what they're talking about. And this suit is a direct threat to their core business, they aren't going to take it laying down nor pull any punches in dealing with it.

    • by bstadil ( 7110 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @11:59AM (#6243658) Homepage
      The one that IBM effectively won?

      A Pyrrhic victory if indeed they won. (It was a settlement)

      IBM was so scared of antitrust that they lost all aggressiveness in the market place.

      They could have ruled the Mini by buying DG or even Dec and leverages their Mainframe SW portfolio. Similary with SQL that they invented. They were too timid, and Oracle got to be big.

      On an aside. Microsoft was much better behaved when the DOJ was breating down their neck. I was hoping this case would have gone on forever as this seems to be a much better remedy.

  • The comment [linuxtoday.com]

    Richard N. Turner - Subject: I'm Reminded of An Old Post... ( Feb 23, 2000, 15:39:02 )

    ...that someone made on an online discussion, oh, about a year ago. It cracked me up so I saved it:

    ``SCO should do the industry a favor and disband, pausing only to bulk-format all their drives so that none of the evil source code can inadvertently escape into the world. Their marketing people and their tech support people should be sent to camps to be retrained for professions more suited to their skills and their buildings should be torn down and burned.''

    I think thats a bit prophetic.
  • by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @12:04PM (#6243717) Homepage

    Hasn't RMS being predicting this since dinosaurs ruled the Earth? Remember how we all thought "Gee, Richard, aren't you being just a little paranoid?"

    He might be a slightly crazed filthy socialist hippy, but by golly, he nailed this one.

    Next up: all those RedHat "defensive" linux patents, and their sort-of-promise to temporarily refrain from suing over them. Better hope that they never get bought out by someone a little less altruistic, eh?

    • by Angst Badger ( 8636 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @01:58PM (#6245101)
      He might be a slightly crazed filthy socialist hippy, but by golly, he nailed this one.

      Damn straight.

      When I was a slightly crazed filthy socialist hippy teenager -- lo these many years ago -- one of my friends told me something that I have ignored at my peril in the decades since. She said, "Never trust anyone with sex, money, or drugs. No one. Ever."

      Like RMS, perhaps she was being just a little paranoid. But only a little. ESR, on the other hand, with his blind libertarian ideological brain lock and his belief that we could traipse hand in hand with big capital through the meadows, is the one who needs to get into closer touch with reality.

      All businessmen are about making money. Anyone who isn't finds another line of work. Some of them operate within ethical frameworks with varying degrees of rigidity. But always bear this in mind: the market is designed to be a very darwininan place. If being unethical, or even illegal (but not prosecuted), provides a business advantage, unethical and occasionally outright criminal businessmen will outcompete the ethical ones.

      Evolution does not favor the good, the fair, or the just. The reason we have a complex legal system is precisely because the good, the fair, and the just are not fit to survive on their own and require, in the form of that legal system and the larger society, a high degree of coordination and cooperation to fend off the attacks of the unfair and unjust.

      RMS sees this pretty clearly. I'm not sure his strategy -- which is essentially to win by ending the game -- can actually work when so many powerful bastards have vested interests in the game, but his basic vision is sound. ESR seems to believe that the "best" will win, but doesn't seem to realize the being the best competitor may involve exhibiting traits most of us would consider reprehensible.
  • by walterbyrd ( 182728 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @12:16PM (#6243843)
    scox has $10 million in cashes and loses at least $25 million a year. These IP cases usually take at least three years, but it looks to me as if this one will take much longer.

    It looks to me like there is only one way that scox to survive until the lawsuit is settled, and that is if scox gets more fud money from sunw and/or msft.


    btw: scox insiders are still selling.
  • by AndroidCat ( 229562 ) on Thursday June 19, 2003 @02:09PM (#6245257) Homepage
    There are strange things done under the midnight sun
    By the men who moil for gold;
    Whoops, never mind...

    I would love to have been a fly on the wall when the Caldera Board of Directors hired Darl McBride. I wonder if it went something like this:

    Chairman: Your record certain is very impressive Mr. McBride. In closing, do you feel that there is anything else about yourself that we should know to help us with our choice?
    McBride: Well, I did, uh, that is .. I sued my former employer for many millions while I was working for them and won.
    BoD: [Many looks around the table and private whispers]
    Chairman: Mr. McBride .. You're hired! You're our kind of guy!

Garbage In -- Gospel Out.