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Caldera Software Linux

SCO: Code Proof Analyzed, Linus Interviewed 890

Arker writes "Bruce Perens has now obtained a copy of the entire slide show from which the recently scrutinized SCO-related Linux code excerpts came, and has analyzed the remainder of the 'evidence' they presented there. Their other code exhibit turns out to have been the venerable Berkeley Packet Filter(!), and their revised line-counts are consistent with simply adding together all the lines of code that have been contributed by Unix licensees." Also, Iphtashu Fitz writes "A new interview with Linus Torvalds has been posted on In it he slams SCO over the recently leaked source code. Among other things, he points out in the interview that some of the code in question has been removed from the 2.6 kernel ['because developers complained about how "ugly" it was'] before SCO even started complaining."
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SCO: Code Proof Analyzed, Linus Interviewed

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  • Mirror (Score:5, Informative)

    by ( 156602 ) * on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @10:45PM (#6751016) Homepage Journal
    Man, the site's already slow even though it's "slashdot effect ready" (har). Here's a couple mirrors:
    • Re:Mirror (Score:5, Informative)

      by Saint Aardvark ( 159009 ) * on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @10:49PM (#6751037) Homepage Journal
  • by rgmoore ( 133276 ) * <> on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @10:46PM (#6751022) Homepage
    Torvalds: They are smoking crack. Their slides said there are [more than] 800,000 lines of SMP code that are "infringing," and they are just off their rocker.

    Come on Linus, stop dancing around the issue. Tell us what you really think about their claims.

    • by bwt ( 68845 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @11:01PM (#6751112) Homepage
      Well, they are smoking crack.

      The funny thing about this whole mess is that it just doesn't seem to matter how clear it becomes that SCO is just completely insane -- people in the press still put on a game face and act like they are serious. That is truly, truly sad.

      I want to see an article from a non-open source advocate called "SCO is Smoking Crack". Maybe the judge will hold as much.
      • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Thursday August 21, 2003 @12:38AM (#6751635)
        That's the "fallacy of a balanced story" in action. Usually you see this effect in politically controversial coverage - one "side" makes a fairly reasonable, if a bit biased, statement and the other side says something totally whacko that sounds like it might be reasonable if the only background in the topic you have is the news coverage itself.

        I bet if I were to actually cite such a case in current events I'd get modded up to +5. Instead, I'll just do something equally inflammatory and say, "turn to any major news channel - CNN, Fox, MSNBC, Al-Jazeera - and you'll see it in almost every story they carry." You just might not recognize it as such since your background in the story topics is probably as limited as the general population's background in unix/linux.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 21, 2003 @12:44AM (#6751673)
        I want to see an article from a non-open source advocate called "SCO is Smoking Crack". Maybe the judge will hold as much.

        SCO now offically stands for "Smoking Crack Operation"
      • by paganizer ( 566360 ) <.moc.liamtoh. .ta. .1evorgeht.> on Thursday August 21, 2003 @12:47AM (#6751702) Homepage Journal
        In fairness to all the crack smokers out there, I believe Mr. Torvalds needs to issue a public apology.
        It's a definite libel case, don't you think? do you think ANY crack smoker wants to be associated with this sort of activity.

        Be fair, Linus.

        FREENET=FREESPEECH (even if it is kinda busted right now)
        • by randyest ( 589159 ) on Thursday August 21, 2003 @02:01AM (#6752130) Homepage
          Seriously -- when and how did this "crack-smoking" thing start? I though it was a thoroughly slang-only thing, but this is borderline mainstream use. As hard as is it to admit this, I've smoked crack, and freebase cocaine, and damnit it neither one ever made me feel SCO-crazy (did I get ripped off?). The main effect is more like a paralysis than any sort of inspiration to active idiocy.

          How did crack get such a wrong stereotype? Don't you kids even bother to use a drug once or twice before adopting it as the nominally definitive slang for "acting wrong"?
          • by dipipanone ( 570849 ) on Thursday August 21, 2003 @03:02AM (#6752345)
            Hmm. Well, I've smoked crack as well, and I don't think Linus is so off beam. Lets look at the facts:

            Smoking crack is expensive. You need a fair few dollars if you're going to have a decent binge. For some people at least, they'll do pretty well anything to get that money. Lie, steal, whore.

            Smoking crack makes you obsessive/compulsive. After that first hit, all you think about is more crack. You talk and think about it obsessively, and when you aren't making progress towards your goal of getting more crack, you're kinda depressed.

            Now look at SCO. No integrity at all. Prepared to do or say anything to get more crack (an increase in stock price.) Talk obsessively about it in the media, even though their tales are demonstrably filled with lies.

            I'll accept not everyone reacts in this way, so perhaps Linus should have been a bit more careful in his characterization. SCO isn't just smoking crack. SCO is the Skanky Crack hO, hustling a nasty bony ass that nobody but other crazy crackheads wants to buy.

            Now where's that motherfucker who keeps on boasting about his SCO stock? I hope he's been on to his broker in the last few hours.
    • by bwt ( 68845 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @11:04PM (#6751137) Homepage

      I wish someone would analyze the IBM patent claims. Unlike SCO, IBM has named specific patents. It should be rather easy for someone familiar with SCO's products to assess whether these are hair-brain patents or real-deal patents.

      I understand people don't like software patents (I don't either), but given that the law is otherwise, I'm interested in how credible IBM's counterclaims are going to be.
      • by mikeee ( 137160 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @11:41PM (#6751327)
        They're silly but probably valid under our current system; e.g., one of them is a patent on tree-structure GUI widgets for system configuation.

        And they have a million more. I'm infringing about twenty-three IBM patents just by posting this.
      • IBM (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TWX ( 665546 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @11:41PM (#6751332)
        Remember, IBM as a company has made their money by keeping their "i"s dotted and their "t"s crossed. Several world governments contract IBM to handle very important and sensitive data. I doubt that IBM does anything of the scale that this is on without reasearching very carefully what they're doing.

        This isn't to say that I especially trust IBM over any other vendor, but they have a much greater tendency of putting their money where their mouth is, delivering good business products and supporting them.

        Remember that Aptiva that you played around with for a while and hated back in your introductory computer gaming phase? It probably still works, doesn't have capacitors that blew out like ABIT and Gigabyte have had, has drivers for every major OS from Windows 3.1 and OS/2 2.1 to XP, and will run for the next ten years without much trouble. They build computers, not consumer appliances.

        I have an IBM PS/2 Model 95 at work that I still have powered on. It's a 50MHz 486 with Microchannel architecture. It's probably the best built computer in my office. IBM doesn't do things half-assed.
        • Re:IBM (Score:5, Funny)

          by Stonent1 ( 594886 ) <stonent@stonent ... t c l a r> on Thursday August 21, 2003 @12:19AM (#6751533) Journal
          Remember, IBM as a company has made their money by keeping their "i"s dotted and their "t"s crossed.

          A former boss of mine was a retired IBMer. He used to give us handwriting "lessons". He kept a master copy of his own handwriting with all letters and numbers written. If he didn't like the way we filled out paperwork, we'd get a sheet in our inbox. So "i"s dotted and "t"s crossed is right on the mark.
        • Re:IBM (Score:5, Interesting)

          by child_of_mercy ( 168861 ) <johnboy AT the-riotact DOT com> on Thursday August 21, 2003 @12:50AM (#6751722) Homepage
          " It probably still works, doesn't have capacitors that blew out"

          Umm, remember this story [] from the start of the year?.

          We had a number of IBM boards fritz with deformed, malfunctioning capacitors.

          Having said that IBM were very professional in coming out quickly and changing the boards free of charge.

          Your point is valid but your example spectacularly poor.
        • Re:IBM (Score:5, Funny)

          by Simon Garlick ( 104721 ) on Thursday August 21, 2003 @02:51AM (#6752314)
          IBM doesn't do things half-assed.

          My one-word rebuttal: DESKSTAR.
        • Re:IBM (Score:5, Insightful)

          by vandan ( 151516 ) on Thursday August 21, 2003 @04:08AM (#6752555) Homepage
          Remember that Aptiva that you played around with for a while and hated back in your introductory computer gaming phase? It probably still works, doesn't have capacitors that blew out like ABIT and Gigabyte have had, has drivers for every major OS from Windows 3.1 and OS/2 2.1 to XP, and will run for the next ten years without much trouble. They build computers, not consumer appliances.

          Such quality is important in some areas. Cars for example. But with computers, I would prefer to buy something which costs a quarter the price, and take my chances on it's life expectancy. Who really has a use for a 486 now? Sure you can use it for a print server, or a mail server, or whatever. By why? Your new 2Ghz will do this just as well, and won't skip a beat while doing it.

          Computers should work well for the first 5 years of their life, and then ... who cares what. Maybe they should self destruct and turn into some non-hazardous biodegradable dust that sweeps itself up. But as for IBM having an advantage because their stuff lasts longer than ASUS's or Gigabyte's ... I just don't see that as an advantage. In fact it's a disadvantage, because the benefit you get from it ( being able to run a print server on it 15 years after buying it ) is outweighed by the initial cost, which is about 4x the cost of a regular computer.
      • by Error27 ( 100234 ) <error27@gmai l . c om> on Thursday August 21, 2003 @04:45AM (#6752664) Homepage Journal
        IBM has four patent claims to cover SCO's four most important products. IBM chose the four patents out of hundreds of possible patents that SCO infringes on. The patents they chose are meant to serve as a warning.
        • IBM has patent on a compression technique that SCI uses everywhere and so it will take months and months to remove.
        • IBM patented a tiny feature in an email program from an operating system that is distributed with hundreds of programs. All the programs probably infringe on IBM patents.
        • IBM has the patent for the start menu... And everything else as well.
        • IBM owns the patent for the whole idea behind SCO's clusterring software, and legally they can shut SCO down.

        The idea is it only takes four patent to shut SCO down and IBM can find more if it has to.

    • by MegaFur ( 79453 ) <[wyrd0] [at] []> on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @11:59PM (#6751418) Journal

      Actually, while I find this quite funny, I also find it a bit odd (and perhaps telling). I have read several previous interviews with Linus Torvalds on various topics and he almost never says something like this. (At least that's how I remember it. I'm sure many will correct me if I'm mistaken.) Although he always clearly states his opinion, he usually avoids getting into this sort of direct attack on an organization or person. This quote from him could mean a few different things. It's possible his nerves are getting a little frayed from all the SCO threats and related media blitz. I know I'm starting to get tired of it and I'm just a random, lazy slashdot poster. It must be much more uncomfortable where Linus is at. Also, although MS has frequently tried to marginalize Linux or say it doesn't count for anything, they never actually tried to claim ownership of it. Perhaps Torvalds considers that more of a personal attack.

      • by lpret ( 570480 ) <> on Thursday August 21, 2003 @12:41AM (#6751654) Homepage Journal
        Perhaps he's just now realizing how rock solid his case is. When SCO comes out with code that he wrote himself, he can point and laugh at them with no excuse needed. Basically he's fearless.
      • No, good behavior. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by twitter ( 104583 ) on Thursday August 21, 2003 @12:42AM (#6751660) Homepage Journal
        Although he always clearly states his opinion, he usually avoids getting into this sort of direct attack on an organization or person.

        You can only attack what you can see. Until recently, SCO had put nothing real on the table. What can anyone say about nothing? Now that there's something to talk about, Linus accurately describes it. There is nothing at all odd about that, he simply refused to speculate about what kind of fairy tale SCO was going to make up or their motives.

        While it might be obvious that SCO's leadership is deranged, fruadulent and bribed, Linus has been smart enough to keep his mouth shut about things he can't prove. Good for him, he's got better things to do.

        • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Thursday August 21, 2003 @02:50AM (#6752313) Journal
          Notice that Linus did a joke about emacs and put a smilely face after the quote towards the end of the debate and did not make personal attacks. Tanenbaum on the other hand was the one getting pissed with remarks like " would not make good grades in my class..". Linus remained cool.

          Also Tanebaum wrote a book and Linus bought it and asked him to sign it about a decade after the debate broke out. He refused and was still angy with him! Linus was dumbfounded.

          Linus is not an angry or ego driven person. Its not in his personality. He even decided to get involved in the drm debate only after he was forced to take a stand. His stand was, I don't care and will not impose my views on anyone else. To do so would destroy the spirit of Linux itself. If anyone wants drm let them add it as a kernel module. Its their choice.

          RMS even called Linus only an engineer and not an advocate.

          Only one time I have ever seen him angry. That was from someone demanding again and again to add his patch to the kernel. He finally got angry and told the reasons why he would not accept the patch and he would ignore this person further unless the patch was accepted by more distro's and users.

          My guess is he hates nonesense and wants this nightmare to end. Also his job could be on the line if SCO files an injunction to close If Linus can't share his tree then OSDL will have nothing for him to do and will probably can him.

          • by abe ferlman ( 205607 ) <> on Thursday August 21, 2003 @07:57AM (#6753199) Homepage Journal
            RMS even called Linus only an engineer and not an advocate.

            While the point RMS was making is valid in a strict sense, the larger effect of their positions is complementary.

            RMS holds the ideological line, he gives people a reference implementation for programming ethics. You don't have to think precisely the same way, but he'll tell you if you're not conforming to spec.

            On the other hand, Linus, in his public comments and in his approach to linux development and licensing, is more like an optimized implementation with a few out-of-spec hacks included to keep things greased.

            Put together, their public personae add up to a goodcop/badcop act that works pretty well. RMS will fume about all sorts of things, while Linus will maintain a more zen attitude about it all. Even if RMS is right about whatever he's talking about at any given moment, people have a way of filtering out the Free Software gospel because it requires them to do things that may not be in their personal interest, even if it's the right thing to do. But when the stars align properly and Linus is as angry as RMS, the full fury of the FSF is unleashed.

      • by Feztaa ( 633745 ) on Thursday August 21, 2003 @03:20AM (#6752395) Homepage
        I have read several previous interviews with Linus Torvalds on various topics and he almost never says something like this.

        Well, how would you respond to somebody who is basically claiming that your entire life's work is a fraud? I'd be pretty peeved.

        Torvalds: "Hey everybody, look at the results of all my hard work! Freedom for computer users everywhere!"
        SCO: "Shut up you dirty thief! You stole our code!"
        Torvalds: "WTF? Stop smoking crack."
    • Punches pulled. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by twitter ( 104583 ) on Thursday August 21, 2003 @12:59AM (#6751798) Homepage Journal
      He's been smart enough to keep his mouth shut about things he can't prove. In this interview, he did not tell us that McBitch and friends are trying to get rich off a stock market fraud of massive proportions. Nor did he tell us that Microsoft is behind the whole thing as a means of scaring people away from free software. We know that these things are true, but it's impossible to prove another person's motives or negative existance. He simply said, what's here is bullshit, show us the code please and it will be replaced before you lose another nickel.

      Those are some big punches to pull and the only reason to pull them is to cover your ass in case someone really presents something infringing. If you say it's all BS instead of demanding a look, you hurt your credibility. By continuing to demand an honest answer from SCO, the free software world continues to show that SCO is not being honest. You can only refute SCO's nonsense as they put it before you. You can demolish claims on end users, you can show monitary damages don't exist, you can show revealed code is public, but you can't prove that there's no infringing code at all. If you do that, it makes you look irresponsible and that is something free software coders are not.

      The "smoking crack" phrase is just a figure of speech for deranged and fradulent, which the current claims are based on the code presented. It would be very difficult to prove that cocaine is actually part of McBitch's Microsoft compensation package, so I doubt someone level headed like Linus would use the phrase literally. Not yet at least.

  • by downix ( 84795 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @10:47PM (#6751026) Homepage
    SCO has committed the most vile of sin. They not only created FUD, not only stole our source code, not only tried to steal our limelight, but they revealed that we used ANCIENT BSD CODE!

    The evil ones must die!
  • by MakoStorm ( 699968 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @10:47PM (#6751028)
    I think I have one of those on in my bedroom so my sinuses dont clog up. :-)

    Filter the packet... drop drop drop...

  • Please! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Znonymous Coward ( 615009 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @10:48PM (#6751031) Journal
    let the major media outlets catch on to this.

    • Re:Please! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Gherald ( 682277 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @10:52PM (#6751056) Journal
      After the initial anouncement that the claims were bogus, the media will probably just forget about this and never mention SCO again.

      Meanwhile SCOX will plumment and leave a lot of angry investors.

      I doubt the SEC will get involve though, as this is looking less and less like a stock "pump and dump" scheme and more and more like an average case of sheer corporate idiocy.
      • Re:Please! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by stephanruby ( 542433 ) on Thursday August 21, 2003 @12:02AM (#6751439)
        I doubt the SEC will get involve though, as this is looking less and less like a stock "pump and dump" scheme and more and more like an average case of sheer corporate idiocy.

        SCO executives have already been dumping their stocks. I doubt the SEC will get involved too, but that's because they're understaffed and have bigger fishes to fry.

    • Re:Please! (Score:5, Funny)

      by Farley Mullet ( 604326 ) on Thursday August 21, 2003 @12:38AM (#6751636)
      let the major media outlets catch on to this.

      Yep, I can see it happening now:

      Lance: And, in our top story, linux guru Bruce Perens claims that linux code that SCO alleges was stolen in fact is the Berkley Packet Filter, and an old malloc() implementation.

      Sherry: BPF Lance? Isn't that licensed under the GPL?

      Lance: Actually, the BSD license, Sherry.

      Sherry: And malloc()? Source has been available for that since the '70s for goodness sake!

      Both laugh

      Sherry: Next in sports: the Yankees play the royals, and Jimmy will tell you all about what it means for the playoff picture!
      SCO v. linux, coming to the evening news.
  • Classic Linus (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sethadam1 ( 530629 ) * <adam.firsttube@com> on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @10:53PM (#6751062) Homepage
    eWeek: For its part though, SCO has said that there are so many lines of code, and a variety of applications and devices that use that code, that simply removing the offending code would not be technically feasible or possible and would not solve the problem. Do you agree?

    Torvalds: "They are smoking crack"


    You gotta love Linus. It's not just that he speaks his mind, it's that he's just cavalier about what he says.

    On a serious note, I'd like to see some the guys involved with SMP or JFS or NUMA get together and *sue SCO.* Tell them they want a cut of any license they collect on unless they can PROVE they aren't claiming ownership of parts of their GPL/BSD contributed code.
    • Re:Classic Linus (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @11:04PM (#6751138)
      Thinkgeek needs to put this priceless quote on a t-shirt and donate the proceeds to the legal fund RedHat created.
  • by Arker ( 91948 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @10:55PM (#6751071) Homepage

    I actually mentioned this in my submission, but it got cut out.

    The 'SCO' slide of their 'own' code shows the Berkley Packet Filter. The Linux code they showed, they claim is an 'obfuscated copy' but it is in fact a well documented clean implementation written from the published spec. The interesting issue is that SCO seems to be under the misapprehension that the BFP is their own code to begin with - that seems to imply that they illegally stripped a copyright notice somewhere along the way.

    • by mandolin ( 7248 ) on Thursday August 21, 2003 @12:01AM (#6751432)
      The interesting issue is that SCO seems to be under the misapprehension that the BFP is their own code to begin with - that seems to imply that they illegally stripped a copyright notice somewhere along the way.

      With the information given, it's quite plausible that AT&T originally copied BPF into sysv (sans copyright notice), and never bothered to put it back after the UC Berkeley settlement. Then SCO inherited the sysv mess.

      They still deserve to burn, especially after Darl's fervent claims that "we are not talking about BSD code"! Talk about willful ignorance..

  • by fidget42 ( 538823 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @10:57PM (#6751083)
    Here []. Nuff Said.
  • by thammoud ( 193905 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @10:58PM (#6751088)
    misinformation. For example,

    "SCO's legal theory fails, because they ignore the fact that if a work doesn't contain some portion of SCO's copyrighted code, it is not a derived work. This is especially glaring on slide 20, in which SCO claims ownership of JFS, IBM's Journaling File System. The version of JFS used in Linux was originally developed for the OS/2 operating system"

    JFS actually came from AIX to OS/2 and not the other way around. Do a google search on "JFS OS/2 AIX" and you can confirm this. e.g

    • by Arker ( 91948 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @11:13PM (#6751185) Homepage

      IIRC, it was originally developed for AIX, yes, but the OS/2 version was not a port, it was a clean room implementation from the spec sheet instead. And it was the OS/2 code that was the basis for the Linux port. So, in fact, the article is correct.

    • by sjbcfh ( 611594 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @11:22PM (#6751234)
      JFS actually came from AIX to OS/2 and not the other way around. Do a google search on "JFS OS/2 AIX" and you can confirm this.

      Or you can go straight to the source [] (no pun intended).

      The relevant portion:

      Historically, the JFS1 file system is very closely tied to the memory
      manager of AIX. This design is typical of a closed-source operating
      system, or a file system supporting only one operating system.

      The new Journaled File System, on which the Linux port was based, was
      first shipped in OS/2 Warp Server for eBusiness in April, 1999, after
      several years of designing, coding, and testing. It also shipped with
      OS/2 Warp Client in October, 2000. In parallel to this effort, some
      of the JFS development team returned to the AIX Operating System
      Development Group in 1997 and started to move this new JFS source base
      to the AIX operating system. In May, 2001, a second journaled file
      system, Enhanced Journaled File System (JFS2), was made available for
      AIX 5L. In December of 1999, a snapshot of the original OS/2 JFS
      source was taken and work was begun to port JFS to Linux.
  • Call the FTC! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @10:59PM (#6751095)
    Repeating this from the last SCO story, needs more exposure...

    I just got off the phone with the FTC. If everyone calls and complains then the chances they will investigate SCO goes up. They look for patterns. In other words, if the majority of their calls are about SCO then they will investigate. It is time to take the Slashdot effect to the phones.

    These are the key points to make:

    -You did not purchase software from SCO
    -The company that "produced" your software did not purchase it from SCO
    -It was not marketed or packaged by SCO
    -Despite this SCO is asking for $199 from home users (You) and $699 from business for 1 CPU

    They will ask for your name, phone number, address etc. That is mostly to verify your identity and citizenship I think.

    Here is the number:

    1-877-382-4357 option 4

    They are nice and listen well. The lady I talked to even took the time to get a better understanding of what Linux is. The best quote from her "You didn't purchase it from them and they want you to pay them? That sounds crazy."
    Call FTC 1-877-382-4357 opt 4
    -You didn't buy from SCO
    -Vendor didn't either
    -They want $199 ...

    Here's some information that may help. They actually asked for this info:

    The SCO Group
    355 South 520 West
    Suite 100
    Lindon, Utah 84042

    801-765-4999 phone

    The guy I spoke with was actually somewhat familiar with what Linux is. One of his first questions was how this company got involved with me, which my answer was "Well, that's the problem. They didn't."

    He eventually asked if SCO has contacted me personally with regard to this situation, which they have not. Don't lie to them. Be completely truthful. At the end of the call I got a reference number, and he said that if SCO does contact me personally, I should call back and let them know.

    It was very easy to do, and took about 5 minutes of my time. The recording while I wated for the counselor to pick up the phone did say that the FTC does track trends in complaints. If we get enough people to complain, something will happen. Please, take a few minutes and call!
    • Re:Call the FTC! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by FattMattP ( 86246 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @11:15PM (#6751199) Homepage
      It might be a good idea to write to the Utah attorney general office as well.
      • Re:Call the FTC! (Score:5, Informative)

        by demachina ( 71715 ) on Thursday August 21, 2003 @12:03AM (#6751443)
        > It might be a good idea to write to the Utah attorney general office as well.

        I did this last week as well as the AG in NY, Eliot Spitzer and my home state AG. I received a reply from Utah yesterday. The gist of the response was they viewed it as a Federal copyright law issue and not in their domain, it was up to the courts to decide or congress to change the copyright laws. They suggested I contact a congressman.

        I haven't given up yet since they overlooked the main issue in my inquiry, that SCO is demanding money from consumers under threat of legal action, which borders on extortion, and that they today have shown their infringement claims are, at least so far, false. I also pointed out the possibility Microsoft is using SCO as a proxy in an effort to exterminate one of the few remaining threats to their monopoly.
    • Re:Call the FTC! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @11:36PM (#6751307)
      Or you can file a complaint online [].
      • Call, don't email! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by bahamutirc ( 648840 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @11:54PM (#6751393) Homepage

        I would think that calling people would have a bigger effect than emailing, don't you? Somebody calling me leaves more of an impression than if they just send a couple of angry emails.

        Let them hear the tone of concern in your voice!

      • by cmacb ( 547347 ) on Thursday August 21, 2003 @01:38AM (#6752042) Homepage Journal
        Problem with that FTC form is that there is a dropdown list that you have to fill in for "How Did You Pay the Company", and "mailed them a shoe box full of cow dung" doesn't show up on the list!
    • Re:Call the FTC! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by lpret ( 570480 ) <> on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @11:39PM (#6751319) Homepage Journal
      I just called them and it was pretty simple. I explained that I was calling and wanting them to investigate SCO because of the aforementioned issues and the guy was like "yeah, I've gotten a lot of these." So it seems like slashdotters are doing something. Or at least someone is.
  • by b17bmbr ( 608864 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @10:59PM (#6751097)
    'because developers complained about how "ugly" it was'

  • Aggressive! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mao che minh ( 611166 ) * on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @10:59PM (#6751099) Journal
    Is it just me, or is Linus perhaps the most up front and direct figure in IT today? I suppose that the founder/creator of the most progressive and aggressive OS/kernel in the world would be just as tenacious as his creation.

    I really respect the guy. I hope that he is around when Linux finally overtakes the OS world once and for all.

    • by DataPath ( 1111 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @11:27PM (#6751264)
      For his kids' sakes I sure hope he is. he oughtta be around for AT LEAST another 10 years.

      Ten years from now, Microsoft is going to be aggressively marketing their Windows API for *nixes, and making cash off IP and Patent licensing to corporate solutions providers working in Linux.

      Twenty years from now, we're going to see Microsoft pulling a SCO and trying to squeeze a few extra cents on their shares so Bill Gates can have enough money to retire on, claiming that Linus Jr. allowed Microsoft IP into the Linux kernel. The claims will be obfuscated, just like the example code on the Impress slides showing the "stolen code".

      Thirty years from now, Bill Gates will be remembered fondly as the person who first brought computers to the common man, back when computers were"young" and still crashed. And back when 64GB of RAM should have been enough for anybody.

      Fourty years from now, rumors will be going around, and inevitably, said rumors getting forwarded by everyone's mother and best-friend's sister, about how Bill Gates's brain has been preserved and there's a $4 billion cash account willed to the team that can successfully transplant his brain into a genetically cloned and grown body. And Linus Torvalds's name will be in every 1st grade computer textbook along with Babbage, Turing, Von Neumann, and that Apple guy whose computers still hold onto 6% of the desktop computer market.
  • Drawing it out... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by chill ( 34294 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @10:59PM (#6751100) Journal
    First SCO said they weren't going to show the code because they had to "protect their secrets" -- those secrets being the copyrighted code itself.

    Then they went on extortion trips to Japan and around the U.S. Neither panned out, with major companies like Oracle, Fujitsu, Mitsubishi and H-P calling their bluff. Accusations without proof are meaningless.

    They showed code snippets under super-tight NDAs, mostly to non-geeks, who promptly said "yep, they look the same". Of COURSE they looked the same! Would SCO show code that doesn't match? The fact that it was all out of context didn't seem to matter.

    When THAT didn't convince anyone, they started showing bits of code without an NDA -- and the rest of the world found out why IBM, Oracle, Fujitsu, et. al. isn't afraid and why SCO was so reluctant to show the code in the first place.

    SCO is clueless. They have no idea what they own and what they don't. They don't know what they, as Caldera and SCO, gave away and what they "borrowed" from others for their own. They simply assume that any .c file written by anyone at Sun, SGI, H-P, IBM, Sequent, Cray or any other licensee belongs to them.

    Somebody just did a "diff" between the SCO source and a Linux kernel and went off from there.

    Just watching them escalate the claims day after day gives a clue. First it is dozens of lines, then hundreds, then thousands, and now MILLIONS!

    The truth is SCO probably had NO intention of this getting to the discovery phase -- they were hoping for a settlement or buyout before all this came to light.

    They are quite desparate now.

    Damn! I wish I bought SCOX back in November.
  • by technomom ( 444378 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @11:00PM (#6751101)
    SCO Sues Linus Torvalds for Libelous Crack-Smoking Comment

  • by teamhasnoi ( 554944 ) * <.teamhasnoi. .at.> on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @11:01PM (#6751106) Journal
    After reading Linus's's's comment's, I think he is just going to replace the 'offending' code with a big ASCII middle finger. like this,-> 'n|m m|n' only way bigger.

    And dammit, why does Linus Torvalds have to have 'S' at the end of his first and last name? I can't figure out where the apostrophy goes. ;)

  • by Maul ( 83993 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @11:01PM (#6751115) Journal
    While this still seems like a pump and dump for SCO's execs, the biggest danger here is that SCO lands itself in the courtroom with a stupid and/or tech ignorant judge who will agree with their baseless, stupid claim that they own this code.

    It may be one heck of a long shot for them, but dumber rulings have been made before.

    Suddenly SCO not only owns Linux, but that could also qualify them as owning BSD as well as anything that even closely resembles UNIX in one way or another. They might even be able to lay claim to parts of every operating system out there so long as that OS borrowed concepts from UNIX (or BSD, Linux, etc.) Doesn't Windows have code copied from BSD too? Or maybe that is what Microsoft "lisenced" already...
    • by MegaFur ( 79453 ) <[wyrd0] [at] []> on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @11:51PM (#6751373) Journal
      It's true that, in this imperfect world, Bad Things sometimes happen to Good Software.

      But, while the judge might not know much about Linux or malloc() or any of that, the judge most likely knows quite a bit about copyright law. (probably has three or four books citing copyright related case law in his chambers too) If Perens can lay out a fairly convincing argument in a single web page, I think IBM and it's army of vicious attack sharks/lawyers should be able to more or less decimate SCO's claims without every getting much into the technical side of things. The case is about ownership and copyright more than it is about what the malloc() function actually does.
  • by harlows_monkeys ( 106428 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @11:01PM (#6751116) Homepage
    The Caldera license Parens cites as allowing the use of code in Linux does no such thing, according the FSF. It is similar to the original BSD license, which is NOT GPL-compatible, according to FSF, because of the advertising clause.
  • A good quote. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aardvarkjoe ( 156801 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @11:03PM (#6751128)
    Linus says:

    Hey, until they can be bothered to show something real, I don't think it's even worth discussing.

    I agree with the guy. There are three SCO stories on the front page right now. Do we really need to debate SCO's every (rather predictable) move? This is worse than the days when every other story was a dupe.
    • Re:A good quote. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Pharmboy ( 216950 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @11:33PM (#6751299) Journal
      I agree with the guy. There are three SCO stories on the front page right now. Do we really need to debate SCO's every (rather predictable) move?

      I find it entertaining. Its kind of like WWE Pro Wrestling. Yea, you can tell who is going to win before the real battle starts, and its mainly about the trash talking from IBM and SCO, plus all the paid and unpaid advocates. But I like a couple SCO stories a day. August is a boring month for politics, usually, since congress is on recess, so this works as a nice substitute.

      You don't HAVE to read the SCO stories. has lots of great stories other than SCO, as well. But some of us are hooked on this, like a cheap soap opera. Except it ain't cheap.
  • by Anthony Boyd ( 242971 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @11:08PM (#6751155) Homepage

    In Bruce's commentary, there was a link to an Infoworld article/interview with Bruce []. It's pretty good. Bruce disputes SCO's claims, and the reporter didn't minimize/trivialize it. Coupled with the eWeek interview, I think we might stand a fighting chance in the court of public opinion.

  • How to handle SCO (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dillon_rinker ( 17944 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @11:13PM (#6751183) Homepage
    This came up in the recent Samba discussion, but I think it's worth reiterating.

    If you have hold the copyright on any GPL code that SCO is distributing, sue SCO. They have stated that they do not intend to be bound by the GPL; their actions show that they do not plan to adhere to the terms of the GPL. It is reasonable to believe that they intend to violate the license (indeed, I think they have already). I think it would be reasonable to seek an injunction against SCO to prevent them from redistributing your code unless they agree that the GPL is valid and they are bound by it.

    Imagine a beowulf cluster of lawsuits, hackers in jurisdictions all around the USA (or around the world) filing suit against SCO. Their stock price will plummet - that's a language they'll understand. They will be forced to respond.

    What are the possible outcomes? These come to mind off the top of my head:

    - They capitulate and agree publicly that the GPL is valid and they intend to adhere to it in redistributing GPL software. Major PR victory for free software.

    - They agree to stop redistributing GPL software because they agree that the GPL is valid. Major PR victory for free software; major loss for SCO because they then have no viable product. This seems unlikely. Without product, SCO's sole source of income is lawsuits. Furthermore, in acknowledging the validity of the GPL, they open themselves up to further lawsuits seeking damage for their violating the GPL (which I think it is clear they have, in DEMANDING fees for GPL software). Their stock price plummets.

    - They refuse to acknowledge the validity of the GPL. A judge (or judges) grant injunctive relief and force them to stop redistributing GPL software, affirming the validity of the GPL. Minor PR victory for free software. SCO no longer has products to distribute. This seems unlikely simply because I don't think SCO would go this far; again, without product to sell, their stock price plummets.

    - Other companies avoid dealing in or distributing GPL software, fearing a Beowulf cluster of lawsuits. This seems quite possible; care must be taken in pointing out that suits are filed ONLY because SCO has violated and has stated their intention to violate the terms of the license.

    So head down to your local library and check out a couple of legal texts. Find out how to file a copyright infringement suit in federal court in your jurisdictin. Learn to use "Whereas" in a sentence. Pay the filing fee, and pay a process server to Fed-Ex a letter to SCO to let them know they're being sued. Specify damages if you wish, but the goal (IMHO) is their acknowledgement of the validity of the GPL.

    Most importantly, publicize what you've done; email every Linux news site out there, as well as major tech news sites. Get the information out there where the mainstream tech and stock analysts can find it and be disturbed at the liability that SCO has incurred in declaring that they do not intend to abide by the GPL.

    • by dorko ( 89725 ) * on Thursday August 21, 2003 @12:02AM (#6751436) Homepage
      Imagine a beowulf cluster of lawsuits ...

      Now that I've seen those words, my time at Slashdot is done. I can move on.

    • by cornice ( 9801 ) on Thursday August 21, 2003 @12:02AM (#6751441)
      Is this the best way to legally test the GPL - a flury of suits by small groups with little or no funding? Don't let SCO draw out the weakest (financially) to test the GPL. Either make them fight IBM over this or at least file a class action or pool funds or something. This is not something that is worth challenging unless victory is near certain.
    • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Thursday August 21, 2003 @12:34AM (#6751609)
      Legally suing SCO will take time and resources. Something that we can do as programmers is to stop supporting SCO completely. A number of others have already announced that they will no longer support SCO systems. Imagine if all third parties stopped supporting SCO. Samba, sendmail, and the like. SCO could try to support these items but they don't have the resources fort it. Their customers will go away in droves.
    • Re:How to handle SCO (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 21, 2003 @12:56AM (#6751778)
      I tried to sue a company that was, in my view, in blatant violation of copyright law awhile back.

      A company by the name of Head Games Publishing had downloaded a couple hundred Quake levels that had been created by a number of gamers, stripped their copyright notices, burned up a bunch of CDs with the levels and sold it as their own. The question that the lawyers kept asking me was "How much money did you lose as a result of their violating your copyright?" Because my primary objective in enforcing my copyright was to insure that anyone could download and enjoy my levels free of charge, I couldn't really name a dollar amount.

      This apparently made it difficult to sue. I had $10,000 of my own money that I was willing to spend on this, and I could not convince the attorneys at Lane Powell Spears Luberski in Seattle to take the case. The impression that I came away with was that because of the lack of money involved with keeping the intellectual property "free", they didn't think that I (or they) would get anything out of winning the suit, and they weren't willing to take my paltry 10 grand to demonstrate that to me, which I guess I appreciate.

      The situation that I was in may be similar to the SCO/JFS situation. Individual copyright owners of the JFS could have as much difficulty suing SCO as I had trying to enforce copyright ownership of intellectual property that I wanted to make freely available under a particular license.
  • by LinuxParanoid ( 64467 ) * on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @11:15PM (#6751200) Homepage Journal

    Poor SCO pointy-haired-bosses... I can see it now (names omitted to protect the guilty):


    PHB1: "Hey PHB2, I'm putting together this PowerPoint. I suppose I should slap some code in there to make this suit look more legit."
    PHB2: "Yeah, good idea." (PHB2 goes to Etrade to dump a bit more stock)
    PHB1: "I've got this copied code the IPI [Intellectual Property Investigative --ed] Team passed on to me, but Legal says we can't release it."
    PHB2: "Yeah, $600 an hour to tell us we can't disclose it to the press and claim it's top-secret priceless intellectual property at the same time."
    PHB1: "No kidding." (pause) "You ever seen code like this?"
    PHB2: "Linux hippies. I dunno, it's all greek to me."
    PHB1: "Genius! What a brilliant idea, I'll show those hackers the code in Greek!"
    PHB2: "Hey, you're good..."
    (peck, peck, peck)

    --LP ;-)
  • by The_Dougster ( 308194 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @11:17PM (#6751206) Homepage
    I have personally ran SCO OpenServer in the past and I was really not impressed at all. Their kernel sucks and blows (kind of like a suck-blow if you know what that is). This was in, oh 2000 I believe, and SCO OpenServer reminded me of the ancient UNIX system I used to toy with at Penn State in the 80's except it wasn't as good. My former employer paid out some tremendous sum to run this crap.

    They had installed a UniBasic system which ran the company database, written for the TeleVidio terminal family which was being emulated by Wyse-30's. Naturally I found this intolerable so I modified the UniBasic code and inserted VT100 escape sequences to fix the most important screens so that we could telnet to the SCO box instead of using the Wyse-30's which were blowing up and not being replaced.

    That was until I dumped the entire UniBasic system. I wrote a terminal macro to repeat a sequence of keypresses and logged the session to a text file. Then I wrote an awk script to parse the text file into a bunch of smaller files. Then I prepended and html-ized these little files, and finally I indexed them with Glimpse.

    Man it rocked. You could do a glimpse search and get exactly the same info that you would have gotten by using the Unibasic from the Wyse-30 right from your web browser.

    Right after I did this ( I was a temp ), the parent company completely shut down our company and moved it to Massachussets, firing everybody at my factory. Unfortunately, they still haven't figured out how to connect the SCO box back up and make it work again. Eh? Fixed IP what the hell is that!?! Hahahahah you dumb asses!

    SCO is so ass-backwards I can see how this whole thing came about. They must have fired anybody with brains decades ago, and they are just milking their cash cow until it dies.
  • DMCA (Score:5, Funny)

    by slobarnuts ( 666254 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @11:22PM (#6751235) Homepage
    SCO further obfuscated the code on this slide by switching it to a Greek font, but that was easily undone. It's entertaining that the SCO folks had no clue that the font-change could be so easily reversed.

    next thing you know SCO sues perens for DMCA violation.

  • A ditty (Score:4, Funny)

    by teamhasnoi ( 554944 ) * <.teamhasnoi. .at.> on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @11:44PM (#6751344) Journal
    Old Da-rl McPrisonBride, S-C,S-C-O
    CEO of the company, S-C,S-C-0
    With snip, snip here, and some very questionable source code whose origin that cannot be determined and most likely taken out of context while backed up with ludicrious claims that have no bearing on reality and in fact show a complete disregard for sanity in conjuction with alienating their customers and angering those who created it in the first place while simultaneously suing those who use it and impressing on the community the need to imprison the asshats who are pumping and dumping their stock at the expense of the shareholders and in spite of FTC rules there,
    Here a line, there a line, everywhere a stolen line!
    Old Da-rl McPrisonBride, S - C, S - C - OOOoooo!

    Second verse, same as the first! Everyone!

  • by Empiric ( 675968 ) * on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @11:59PM (#6751424)
    If SCO can simply assert that your Linux is infringing, despite the clear refutation of their "evidence", what's preventing the Linux user from just asserting their "Linux" is non-infringing?

    Like in response to a SCO letter: "Our 'Linux' is a non-infringing custom build. Goodbye."

    The burden of proof lies with them, doesn't it? How would they go about proving otherwise, assuming there's even anything there to prove?
  • by The Kryptonian ( 617472 ) on Thursday August 21, 2003 @12:34AM (#6751604)
    Has anybody noticed yet that SCO is trying the "if I say it ten times, it's so" ploy? Beyond sanity by any measure, SCO presses on. I imagine that when the dust settles and the FTC has taken a look at this, that most of the above-the-line officers of SCO will wind up in jail for their outrageous attempt to (successfully) manipulate SCOX stock.

    What baffles me is not how they can peddle this lunacy with a straight face, but why they believe that the fabric of society has broken down so much that this kind of thing is something you can do without shame.

    Even twenty years ago, nobody would have had the giant brass clangers it would take to do something like this. Have our values eroded so badly? Has society really become so decadent that literally anything goes? And if it has, how do we go about the process of healing civilization itself?

  • by niko9 ( 315647 ) on Thursday August 21, 2003 @01:13AM (#6751913)
    Taco:Yes, of course! The Holy Slashdot of OSDL! 'Tis one of the sacred relics Brother Cowboy Neal carries with him. Brother Neal! Bring up the Holy Slashdot!

    AC's chanting: Pie Iesu domine, dona eis requiem.

    Brother Neal: Armaments, chapter two, verse nine to twenty one.

    Brother Neal: And Saint Stallman raised the Slashdot up high, saying, 'O Lord, bless this Thy Holy Slashdot that, with it, Thou mayest slashdot Thine enemies to tiny bits in Thy mercy'. And the Lord did grin, and the AC's did feast upon first posts, trolls, GNAA posts, and...

    Taco: Skip it a bit, Brother.

    Brother Neal: And the Lord spake, saying, 'First shalt thou click on the holy link called Slashdot. Then, shalt thou count to three. No more. No less. Three shalt be the number thou shalt count, and the the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, nor neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then, clickest thou holy Slashdot of OSDL towards thy server [], who being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it.'

    Taco: Amen
  • by mec ( 14700 ) <> on Thursday August 21, 2003 @01:23AM (#6751966) Journal
    Okay, there are plenty of comments analyzing the code in SCO's slide show. Let's have a look at the legal argument.

    Slides 3, 4, and 5 document SCO's contract with Novell to acquire Unix IP. I don't see anything funny there.

    The funny part is on slides 6 and 7. Slide 6 contains excerpts of the AT&T License Agreement with IBM. Slide 7 contains more excerpts from the AT&T License Agreement with IBM, except that "AT&T" is changed to SCO in one place.

    However, this is just the Licensing Agreement. This just the contract that allows IBM to use AT&T Unix within its organization.

    Beyond this contract, IBM also has a Sub-Licensing Agreement. The sub-licensing agreement allows IBM to sell Unix products to its customers. SCO's presentation does not talk about the sub-licensing agreement at all, but this agreement is one of the contracts filed with the Court.

    To draw an analogy: the License Agreement is like the agreement that lets you run Windows on your PC. The Sub-License Agreement is like the contract that lets Dell sell Windows to other people. SCO's presentation quotes the License Agreement, and says that license prohibits IBM from distributing code. But SCO's presentation ignores the Sub-License Agreement, which allows IBM to sell UNIX to its customers.

    On top of that, IBM has a third agreement with AT&T which grants IBM additional rights on top of the Sub-Licensing Agreement. The third agreement explicitly states:

    2. Regarding section 2.01, we agree that modifications and derivative works prepared by or for you are owned by you.

    7.06(a) Nothing in this agreement shall prevent LICENSEE from developing or marketing products or services employing ideas, concepts, know-how or techniques related to data processing embodied in SOFTWARE PRODUTCS subject to this Agreement, provided that LICENSEE shall not copy any code from such SOFTWARE PRODUCTS into any such product or in connection with any such service and employees of LICENSEE shall not refer to the physical documents and materials comprising SOFTWARE PRODUCTS subject to this Agreement when they are developing any such products or service or providing any such service.

    You can read the contracts for yourself. They are Exhibit A, Exhibit B, and Exhibit C at SCO Lawsuit Documents [].

    So IBM has an explicit right for their engineers who have worked on the UNIX source code use ideas, concepts, know-how, or techniques in other IBM products. IBM paid good money for this right from the lawful copyright holders. (This may explain why SCO is attacking the Sequent contributions, because Sequent doesn't have as much rights in its contract as IBM has in theirs).

    This brings us to Slide #22, where an IBM engineer posts information about his experience with scalability in AIX. Under section 7.06(a) above, IBM has the explicit right to disseminate such information about Unix (let alone IBM's rights to talk about property which is purely theirs, such as JFS).

    SCO knows this. SCO filed these contracts with the Court (accessible through Pacer) and SCO also published these contracts on their web site.

    I would love for reporters to dig into the actual exhibits and ask questions based on the exhibits. Just hit the SCO Lawsuit Documents link above and read the exhibits.
  • New Rules (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mabu ( 178417 ) on Thursday August 21, 2003 @03:25AM (#6752418)
    I would like to remind everybody to not get all caught up in the details of being "right", and thinking that just because you have irrefutable evidence that the SCO claim is a sham, means in any way, they don't have a very realistic chance of screwing the Linux community hard.

    In the new United States, being right doesn't mean you're going to win. It's all about money now folks.

    Let's take this into account when we rally to protect the rights to our software, and not assume that the "facts" are going to be as relevant as the overwhelming wall of bullshit that seems to surround the amazingly fucked up stuff that the government claims is fair.

The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first. -- Blaise Pascal