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Caldera Software Linux

SCO Invokes DMCA, Names Headers, Novell Steps In 770

Sparky writes "We've already heard that SCO have invoked the DMCA via 'letters sent to select Fortune 1000 Linux end users.' The specifics come via a copy of the letter reprinted at LWN.net - they've decided that they own the copyright to about 65 header files contained in Linux - largely errno.h, signal.h and ioctl.h." balloonpup also notes "CNet News has reported that SCO has reported a fourth quarter loss of $1.6 million, owing mostly to hefty legal fees in its war against Linux. SCO said they would have reported $7.4 million in earnings, if not for the $9 million payout to their lawyers. Way to go, SCO!" Many readers also point out a Groklaw article indicating Novell has registered for the copyrights on multiple versions of Unix with the U.S. Copyright Office, so that "both the SCO Group and Novell have registered for UNIX System V copyrights for the same code."
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SCO Invokes DMCA, Names Headers, Novell Steps In

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  • by rkz ( 667993 ) * on Monday December 22, 2003 @02:30PM (#7787709) Homepage Journal
    This article really shows why it is time for the DMCA to go. Anyone who happens to create any sort of device that someone figures out a way to use it to circumvent anything can be sued under the DMCA. (See also the Sklyarov incident.) Remember when someone discovered that you could use a Sharpie to circumvent the copy protection on a CD?
    Manufacturers/programmers/whatever should never be responsible for what anyone does outside the intended uses.
  • Big Red takes aim (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Crashmarik ( 635988 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @02:32PM (#7787732)
    This is just novells first step.

    The next step will be their own series of letters to SCO reminding them of their contractual obligations to Novell.

  • by mpost4 ( 115369 ) * on Monday December 22, 2003 @02:32PM (#7787734) Homepage Journal
    I doubt that they are lossing money only over the lawsuit. Also the info for erron could be derived by other methodes, it would be considered comman knolage for all unix programmers, so if they had to implement a compatablity layer, they could do it from memory.

    also with Novel's Copyright on it, it seams to me that Novel's came first, so SCO could be a nice target if (big IF) they win this case, it has seamed to me that Novel does not want to see this case go though.

    SCO is a dead company that just wants to be bought out, and they did not get IBM to buy them out liked they hoped.
  • clue me in.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22, 2003 @02:32PM (#7787736)
    arent the headers (especially some of those, like errno.h) published publically as ISO/ANSI C and/or UNIX Definition documents? Hence, if they look similar, it's because they're defined standards from various standards committees? Perhaps someone should point out the document name and number and page numbers.
  • by bethane ( 686358 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @02:35PM (#7787769) Homepage Journal
    The DMCA was created in the spirit that new forms of electronic media were not safe from potential copyright violations, and the act did what it set out to do. Yet it also did a great deal more as special interests and corporate schmoozers managed to get their paws on the bill and turn it into more of a "dominant market player protection act" than anything else. We all agree that the amount of innovation stifled using the DMCA as justification is staggering. Yet electronic media should also be protected from the loopholes the bill originally solved. Here are a few potential solutions:

    1) Remove the current DMCA and amend it such that only specific uses of media are prohibited. Allow for the use of back-engineering tools with HARSH punishments for people who knowingly use them to break copyrighted material with intent to distribute. This leaves the burden of proof with a prosecutors instead of the "guilty-til-proven- innocent" tactics of the RIAA et. al.

    2) Make a specific statement for "loser pays": anyone suing under using this legislation who loses the case pays for the legal costs of both parties. Settlements don't count, and this will outright favor the bigger players, but in the American climate of "legal attrition" as a business strategy I see no other effective means of trying to relieve this aspect of the DMCA problem.

    3) Allow publications on computer security to be done freely and thoroughly if tied to legitimate academic or corporate entities. Hold computer manufacturers liable if one of their components has a security flaw that causes eggregious commercial/monetary damage but which could have been fixed by repair of one of these published flaws.

    4) Ensure that American laws apply only to American citizens with the express wording that products purchased in other parts of the world which belong to the consumer are theirs to do with as they please. A clause allowing rightful action to take whatever steps necessary to use that product would be nice (mod chips et. al)

    Pointing fingers makes us feel good, but unless we propose alternatives and compromises, are we really doing anything but venting? Does anyone else have potential solutions/thoughts on how to resolve this issue?
  • by nocomment ( 239368 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @02:35PM (#7787771) Homepage Journal
    GO NOVELL! GO IBM! :-) It may seem strange, but I really am feeling some sort of loyalty to these two companies. I am way more likely to use them in future than I think I would have before the whole SCO debacle. Although I'd still never ever in the coldest darkest hour in hell use netware or AIX again(blech).
  • by greechneb ( 574646 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @02:37PM (#7787783) Journal
    Larry Gasparro is the last to cash out with nearly $500k in December - Look at the latest holdings of the insider roster

    Chief Investment Officer
    8-Oct-03 214,243 Shares Left

    Senior Vice President
    17-Sep-03 95,000 Shares left

    Vice President
    10-Dec-03 0 Shares Left

    Vice President
    13-Aug-03 20,494 Shares Left

    Vice President
    11-Nov-03 47,330 Shares Left

    Senior Vice President
    14-Jul-03 0 Shares Left

    Senior Vice President
    15-Jul-03 0 Shares Left

    Notice How little the insiders still actually own (Aside from Robert Bench)? Smells fishy to me

  • not just Linux... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheSHAD0W ( 258774 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @02:38PM (#7787792) Homepage
    SCO has now asserted ownership over not just Linux, but every single C/C++ compiler out there, and every OS based on C, including the BSD variants and all the other versions of Unix out there.
  • by willtsmith ( 466546 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @02:38PM (#7787802) Journal
    SCO just keeps getting funnier every day. I've stopped being angry and have chalked it all up to entertainment.

    The fact that they are now claiming copyrights on HEADER FILES is the ultimate testament to the weakness of their cases.

    I mean, how could one re-engineer APIs without replicating headers. If Linux is in violation, than BSD must be in violation as well. They should be suing Apple.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22, 2003 @02:39PM (#7787809)
    Manufacturers/programmers/whatever should never be responsible for what anyone does outside the intended uses.
    Hi, I invented asbestos acoustical ceilings, thalidomide, and phen/fen. I never actually intended for anyone to ingest my inventions though. Thanks for the absolution!
  • Hrm? Facinating (Score:4, Interesting)

    by downix ( 84795 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @02:39PM (#7787811) Homepage
    SCO is claiming that those headers were retrieved from BSDi. Well, there are folk out here that know more about headers than I, where did they come from?

    Also, someone told me once that the BSD and GPL licenses were not in-exclusion, but that they could co-inhabit the same code. BSD has one set of limits, namely giving of copyright notice while GPL has other limits tied to it, but they were not mutually exclusive.
  • by cmcguffin ( 156798 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @02:40PM (#7787819)
    In this interview [mozillaquest.com] from February, SCO themselves claimed the ABI code was GPLd:

    MozillaQuest Magazine: Regarding binfmt_coff, abi-util, lcall7, abi-svr4, abi-sco; are any of these modules SCO IP?

    Blake Stowell: No, none of the code in the Linux ABI modules contains SCO IP. This code is under the GPL and it re-implements publicly documented interfaces. We do not have an issue with the Linux ABI modules. The IP that we are licensing is all in the shared libraries - these libraries are needed by many OpenServer applications *in addition* to the Linux ABI.
  • Re:clue me in.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by msgmonkey ( 599753 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @02:41PM (#7787826)
    Generally all those C/Unix headers come under general umbrella of POSIX compliance. I think what they are saying is that the files are directly lifted from BSD and that the settlement with BSD forbode redistribution.

    This is strange in that 1) the full outcome of the settlement was sealed AFAIK and 2) the headers in question are licensed under the BSD license which would have been known of in 1.

    Like has been mentioned earlier by many people here, maybe SCO want to re-open the BSD case as this seems to be there only line of defense.
  • The smear continues (Score:4, Interesting)

    by crimethinker ( 721591 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @02:42PM (#7787840)
    Can't you just feel the love?

    The company has not made available for export, directly or indirectly, any part of UNIX covered by their agreement to any country that is currently prohibited from receiving supercomputing technology, including Syria, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and any other such country, through a distribution under the General Public License (GPL) for Linux, or otherwise.

    That's right, boys and girls, the GPL is a tool for TERRORISTS and COMMUNISTS!

    Every day I see SCO's stock price and I mutter to myself, "it's just not fair."


  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22, 2003 @02:45PM (#7787862)
    From /usr/include/sys/ipc.h

    * Copyright (c) 1988 University of Utah.
    * Copyright (c) 1990, 1993
    * The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.
    * (c) UNIX System Laboratories, Inc.
    * All or some portions of this file are derived from material licensed
    * to the University of California by American Telephone and Telegraph
    * Co. or Unix System Laboratories, Inc. and are reproduced herein with
    * the permission of UNIX System Laboratories, Inc.
    * This code is derived from software contributed to Berkeley by
    * the Systems Programming Group of the University of Utah Computer
    * Science Department.
    * Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
    * modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions
    * are met:
    * 1. Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright
    * notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.

    The Linux code I just looked at is lacking the copyright notice like the above.

    If taken from BSD or SYSV, it is a licence violation because of clause #1.
  • by Dr. Spork ( 142693 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @02:46PM (#7787869)
    Novell might be thinking: "Hey, if the millions of legal fees actually produce some settlements for SCO, we can ride their gravy train with no investment at all; If a judge rules that someone owes SCO money, we will be owed that very same money. That would be money for nuthin, who can turn that down?"

    So, I hope Novell has their heart in the right place. But really, this depends on the judges. To sue over header files is so damn crazy, the real winners are obviously the people who ran off with $9 million in legal fees. What did the lawyers tell SCO that made them think this is a good investment when the case is so absurdly flimsy? That must have been a home-run sales pitch!

  • by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @02:46PM (#7787870) Homepage Journal

    A lot of those delays stem from the simple fact that legal staff usually haven't got the vaguest understanding of how software is architected or compiled. They don't know that half the headers mentioned are part of ANSI and ISO C/C++ standards.

    They don't know that every single platform with a C compiler since the early '80s has had an "errno.h" header file.

    It's about time some limits were imposed in US courts, as in:

    You have 12 months to prepare your case, unless the defending party opts to extend. Under no circumstances may the preparation extend beyond 24 months. Should your claims prove false, you will be responsible for all legal costs and damages direct and incidental, not only for the defendant, but for any business in the court's jurisdiction whose financial performance can reasonably be presumed to be affected by the accusations.

    Then maybe the world can get back to doing business instead of letting these useless "IP companies" affect billions of dollars of purchase and deployment decisions, without fear of repercussions for their fraud.

  • by codepunk ( 167897 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @02:46PM (#7787871)
    Now isn't this funny, Novell can sue SCO former Caldera for copyright and contract breach. Caldera placed the old SYS V code under a open source license and made it available for download. So what gave Caldera the right's to do this if the code is Novell's?

    Makes for Interesting Thought!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22, 2003 @02:49PM (#7787897)
    I wonder how many of these headers are from System 7 and the ancient code that SCO itself made available?
  • by jonbryce ( 703250 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @02:52PM (#7787932) Homepage
    Which of course is rubbish. The BSD licence allows you to put a GPL copyright header on it, or even an MS EULA on it.
  • by compactable ( 714182 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @02:52PM (#7787940) Homepage
    ... previous pump-n-dump speculation mentioned that there needed to be 4 quarters of profitabliy before Darl got a big bonus kick-in - this appears not to have happened. Am I missing something obvious, was this 100% fabrication, or did Darl get nailed here?

    Thanks for clarifying, if possible

  • by Jerf ( 17166 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @02:56PM (#7787963) Journal
    How about instead of patching the law with new special cases for electronic media, we recognize that the law is fundamentally broken and come up with coherent answers for the general case [jerf.org]?

    We've passed the point where the law can be patched back into usefulness; it's time to rethink on a more fundamental level.
  • by El_Smack ( 267329 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @02:57PM (#7787971)
    After Darl and Co. had finished, but before most of the FUD could settle, was a Q and A period.
    One of the most interesting questions was "Of the really large Linux users, how many have licenced from you?" The answer was "We haven't had anyone over the 5000 CPU amount buy a licence, but a couple of them are thinking about it."

    Or, in other words: "No one big is buying our BS, cause they have a legal team that knows we are full of it. Or at least is willing to wait it out and see where the chips fall, rather than believing our hype."
    To me, that speaks volumes about their case.
  • No substance (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RDPIII ( 586736 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @02:59PM (#7787987) Journal
    So they're claiming they own the copyright on errno.h. This is insane. Even if there are substantial similarities between Linux's various errno.h-s and SCO's version, how many ways are there to implement errno.h? It's a bunch of friggin' macro definitions with more or less standard names and more or less standard values. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought one could only copyright original works, but what's original about a bunch of #define-s?
  • trump cards (Score:4, Interesting)

    by thoolihan ( 611712 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @03:00PM (#7787991) Homepage
    Novell should have a pretty powerful position in this. Having formerly possessed the code, they could site a lot of examples of exposing the code to various companies and members of the public. Thus negating the strength of SCO's claims that these things are trade secrets or other types of information that *in legal eyes* deserves special protection. But, with as many companies as there are involved, who knows how this will shake down.

  • Re:not just Linux... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by musikit ( 716987 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @03:05PM (#7788037)
    i see this alot in text book examples of writing C code. i never understood it other then the fact that using parens () forces the evaluation of what is in them before continuing with the rest of the statement. however i could have sworn that return had the lowest priority of all operators.

    I ask because 1. i am not a C/C++ expert (i do program in it alot) and 2. i've very interested

    Q: can anyone provide me with sample code that will return one result with using parens () and a different result without the parens ()?


    return X
    return (X)

    can someone give me an X for which

    return X != return (X)

  • Headers (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tiny69 ( 34486 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @03:06PM (#7788039) Homepage Journal
    So SCO is claiming ownership of a bunch of #define, #ifdef, #ifndef, and struct statements. What happened to the millions of lines of code that Linux was infringing on? Even IF (big if) they can prove ownership of those files, about all they can claim is Copyright infringement. I don't see how trade secrets, methods, or know-how (SCO's words since they can't claim anything stronger) can be found in header files.

    The lawsuit against IBM is still a contract dispute. Even though SCO claimed they would be adding Copyright infringement claims against IBM, they have yet to do so. My guess is they haven't made any Copyright infringement claims yet because even they are not 100% sure if they really own any of the code. And making false claims in court would kill their lawsuit.

    When Caldera first obtained the old UNIX source code, they wanted to release ALL of it under an Open Source license. But they were not able to because to many other people and companies still have rights via Copyright to the code the other parties added.

    The letter that SCO is sending out is just one more thing that will come back to haunt them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22, 2003 @03:11PM (#7788086)
    5) Require that copy protection be shown to be removable when the copyright expires.

    The U.S. Constitution grants copyright protection only for a limited time. Information should not be in a locked box so society can never use it freely.

    If Newton had legal protection for the Calculus, how much would science have progressed while unable to use it? And if the Calculus became unavailable when Newton died?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22, 2003 @03:11PM (#7788087)
    When will you Libertarians just give up?! The LP (and I should know... I've been reading their newsletter for a year now) is hardly the party to join if you care about reforming things like the DMCA. The vast majority of the LP membership seems to believe that works of authorship (i.e. the stories, source code-- the ideas themselves) are the product of labor and deserving of the same protections as any other sort of property. This mentality is one that would not only endorse the current copyright regime, but strengthen it to the point where copyright infringement was legally indistinguishable from actual theft and where copyright terms were indefinite.
  • by Hornsby ( 63501 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @03:14PM (#7788105) Homepage
    The DMCA is unconstitutional, anti-competitive, anti-innovative, and anti-american; however, after a careful perusal, I can't find anything inherently homosexual or happy about the law. Maybe you can enlighten me.

    (Score:-1, Homophobic)
  • by rograndom ( 112079 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @03:15PM (#7788119) Homepage
    Most of all this hubbub from Darl was that if managed to get four straight profitable quarters then he would get a fat bonus. A loss this quarter is a major, major setback.
  • Re:9 million? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by michael_cain ( 66650 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @03:15PM (#7788120) Journal
    I love it... 9 million to lawyers, -1.6 to report to it's investors and they are no where. If they win I imagine they stand to make 10x whatever they pay for lawyers but how much do they have to put out before it is not longer worth the risk?

    The investors must be getting worried.

    There are multiple reasons why you might purchase a particular stock. Sometimes it's because you believe it's a good company with great products. Sometimes it's because you're willing to risk some money speculating on a low-probability high-return outcome. If you bought SCO recently for the first reason, well, you're an idiot. If you bought it for the second reason, you don't really care what the share price or the operating results are -- you care what the judge in the case has said recently. If SCO were to eventually win $1B from IBM, the bulk of what remains after the legal fees will almost certainly be distributed as a special one-time dividend, enriching the insiders, the Canary Group, and some gamblers who were willing to hold on through all of the legal proceedings and appeals. Roughly 75% of SCOX is held by insiders and institutions.

    For the right kind of fund, buying 50,000 shares back when it was selling for $3 might have been a very reasonable gamble. Suppose the dividend is $100 per share -- that's a 33-to-1 payoff and might justify "backing" a legal case with 20-to-1 odds. At today's price of about $18, the potential return would only be 5.5-to-1, no longer worth the gamble.

  • by gamma male ( 723893 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @03:20PM (#7788155)

    Not only do they need more money, but they need the money to be free. If they accept additional investment, like PIPE's, Boies' firm would get a contingency payout, and Baystar/RBC has the right to then veto the action as it would dilute the value of their PIPE.

    About the only way that SCO can get money, is thru their existing heritage UNIX business, and their joing UNIX and Linux SCO Source venture. While SCO's got 15 million or so total from UNIX SCO Source, that appears to be dried up, and I doubt even MS will buy more of it. SCO seems to not yet have made a single dollar from Linux SCO Source.

    I guess in theory, MS could realize that they've got a few linux machines for the purpose of knowing their enemy, and decide to fork over some money for them, but as MS won't admit to over a few hundred (at most!) linux boxen they won't even be able to cover Darl's $250K/year salary.

    It looks increasingly like all the real cards have been played, and SCO is left grasping at straws trying to play out this game a bit longer.

  • just explain this: (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gotem ( 678274 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @03:20PM (#7788160) Homepage Journal
    what is the diference between those headers and the ones in the 2.2 series? suposedly 2.2 kernels are "clean"
    Every open letter from SCO should come with a default +1 Funny modifier
  • by Inode Jones ( 1598 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @03:27PM (#7788223) Homepage
    A few months ago I took a guess as to what the misappropriated IP was, and the only thing I could come up with is errno.h, signal.h and syscall.h.

    Linux was/is a derivative of Minix. There is no real Minix code left in Linux, but back in the 0.9x days, Linux was still evolving. You can still download Minix from here. [cs.vu.nl]

    Now, here's the key point: although the NAMES of the various system calls, IOCTLs, error numbers and signals are part of the POSIX standard, their numeric assignments are not. The implementor is left to define them. Not all implementations define these the same way - take a look at the Linux/FreeBSD/SYSV emulation code in NetBSD to see the kinds of translations that need to be done to provide cross-platform compatibility.

    Now compare the Minix include files with those of Linux and FreeBSD. You will notice very much the same error code and signal numbers. The Linux code dates from 1991 and is pre-ATT/BSDI settlement. It's likely that Tannenbaum is also in violation of AT&T's IP, and Linux has just inherited it. Of course, there's no money in SCO suing Tannenbaum.

    Does this damage SCO? Not really. Is it worth US$699/seat? Definitely not. Can SCO collect damages? Probably, knowing the U.S. legal system.

  • by Pionar ( 620916 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @03:27PM (#7788227)
    You know, it always amazes me when Libertarians spout off on the internet. I'm sure Libertarians would frown on spending federal money for technology research when it should *obviously* be funded (and controlled) by private companies, yet they continue to use such technologies to spread their hypocritical views. If it pisses you off that the government gets involved in things, then boycott those products! That includes the Internet. The web would be a much more peaceful place.

    Plus, one of the main points of that party is protection of property. That would include such measures as the DMCA. Maybe that's why they let an Indy pastor run for city council who thought his church didn't have to pay payroll taxes because of the "separation of church and state" (dumbass must not have realized that the separation he was talking about meant that his church was to be treated like other non-profits, not given tax-exempt status on payroll).

    I know that the Libertarian dude that was running for senator in IN in 2002 (no, I didn't vote for him, he was an idiot) said he thought that the DMCA had the right ideas, it was just poorly implemented and too vague.
  • Or maybe... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @03:42PM (#7788361) Homepage
    ...they just took it from them same damn error description table. This is about as much proof as it is that Apache and IIS both return "404 Not found". Why not "404 Document does not exist" or something else? They must have stolen it, yes sir.

    Either way, this just comes out as pathetic. Even if some Linux developer copy-pasted the interface #define's from BSD (which you can't do by the old BSD licence, because of the advertising clause), it's basicly simple facts of the POSIX standard.

    It's like copyrighting "#define PI = 3.14". Now all other programs that define PI, must be infringing on mine. Yeah. Right. It's yet another bullshit tactic just like the last "proof" they showed. They're going to display stuff that is common to SCO, BSD and Linux and state "look, they took our code (through BSD and BSD settlement)". It's enough to get past the idiot test "Umm these look similar. They must have stolen it"

  • Re:Dear Santa (Score:3, Interesting)

    by thales ( 32660 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @03:45PM (#7788398) Homepage Journal
    Dear Santa,

    I Would like the SEC to implement a freeze on the buying and selling of SCOX so that the slimeballs playing the pump & dump scam will take it in the ass when the stock collapses.

  • ABI vs API code (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nzkoz ( 139612 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @03:46PM (#7788406) Homepage
    Now forgive me if I'm being stupid here. SCO's letter states that:

    Certain copyrighted application binary interfaces ("ABI Code") have been copied verbatim from our copyrighted UNIX code base and contributed to Linux for distribution under the General Public License ("GPL") without proper authorization and without copyright attribution.

    Now all these header files that they've named, are just that, header files. Which relate to the POSIX|UNIX API. These are two different things right?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22, 2003 @03:52PM (#7788456)
    It's likely that Tannenbaum is also in violation of AT&T's IP, and Linux has just inherited it.

    Except that Minix is only licensed for free educational use, so Linux could/better not have taken any copyrighted material from Minix.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22, 2003 @03:54PM (#7788468)
    By the way . . . just how gay IS the YMCA? I've never noticed any homosexual people there before.

    The Gay YMCA connection came about because back in the 60s & 70s, many YMCAs served as youth hostels with cheap room and boarding for transient men. Since all boarders at a YMCA were men, this quickly became a good hook-up scene for gay men. This is why the Village People celebrated the YMCA with a song.

    Of course, the top post is just the sort of homophobic idiocy that gets modded up on Slashdot just for speaking out about the DMCA. There's nothing nearly so "7th grade" as calling thing you dislike "gay."

    You may wish to turn your view away from the vitriol they routinely spew forth like so much bile, but you can not have an enjoyable and enlightening experience here on Slashdot until you dare to view at -1.

    No, I think I'll have to disagree on this one. I've been reading, moderating, and meta-moderating Slashdot for years, and I'll have to say that 95% of posts modded down to -1 are a total waste of bandwidth and Slashdot server resources. I wouldn't call all the over-repeated memes, racism, and namecalling "cutting-edge" or "witty." It is extremely rare that anything of substance gets modded down that far, and quite frankly, I don't need my already cynical view of humanity's worth challenged any further by yet another GNAA post.

    So, until this injustice is somehow remedied, I recommend to you all that you browse at -1. The posts you will find are wonderful, and often quite amusing. In some cases, they can even be educational. I know that I always want to find out who got the first post! Usually it's some AC though. Blah.

    Yes, there's nothing quite so "educational" as finding out who hit the freaking "Post A Comment" button the fastest, and nothing's quite so amusing as -1 posts if you have a "Beavis and Butthead" sense of humor, but I think I'll stick with the trolls that are talented enough to actually get modded up.
  • by GrenDel Fuego ( 2558 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @03:56PM (#7788484)
    I disagree.

    The DMCA also makes it illegal to "pick the lock" as well, not just the creation of the tool to pick the lock. And it doesn't distinguish between locks you own and locks you don't own.
  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @04:12PM (#7788597) Homepage
    Linux header:
    #define EPERM 1 /* Operation not permitted */
    #define ENOENT 2 /* No such file or directory */
    #define ESRCH 3 /* No such process */
    #define EINTR 4 /* Interrupted system call */
    #define EIO 5 /* I/O error */
    #define ENXIO 6 /* No such device or address */
    #define E2BIG 7 /* Arg list too long */

    And the POSIX [opengroup.org] standard says:
    The [errno.h] header shall provide a declaration for errno and give positive values for the following symbolic constants. Their values shall be unique except as noted below.
    Operation not permitted.
    No such file or directory.
    No such process.
    Interrupted function.
    I/O error.
    No such device or address.
    Argument list too long.

    This is hogwash. Complete and utter hogwash. Even the descriptions are specified in the standard. You see some minor differences (Argument vs Arg, function vs system call) but it is simply trivial. If this is the "infringing" stuff, the replacement with completely non-infringing comments would be ready in about 30 seconds directly from the standard. I can volunteer to do a cleanroom implementation without neither SCO nor BSD code :p.

  • by Canis ( 9360 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @04:13PM (#7788607)
    They bandy the DMCA about a lot, but it's not an official DMCA 'takedown' notice. If it were, it'd be a whole lot more interesting: A 'takedown' notice requires you to make a declaration under penalty of perjury.
  • by andman42 ( 721375 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @04:17PM (#7788635)
    >> What it amounts to is a law saying that it is illegal to pick locks. Well then what do you do if you are locked out of your house or car?

    > A better analogy would be to make it illegal to make a hairpin, as it could be used to pick a lock

    Stop, you're both right. The DMCA bans both circumventing copyright protections (picking the lock) and tools for performing this circumvention (the hairpin).
  • by schon ( 31600 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @04:34PM (#7788763)
    Can SCO collect damages?

    Probably not. In order to assess damages, you determine how much damage was caused (in this case, ~$0). Then you look at how quickly the plaintiff addressed the issue (more than two years, in this case.) Then you look at how quickly the plaintiff notified the infringer, and attempted settlement. In this case - well, we're still waiting on that (Linus, Eben Moglen, and others have contacted SCO attempting to find out the specifics of their claims - all were rebuffed. SCO released this "evidence" to third parties, they never once sent it to the actual alleged infringers.)

    SCO can't collect damages because they have declared (through their actions) that they value the alleged stolen code at $0.
  • by cyberformer ( 257332 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @04:38PM (#7788805)
    I'd vote for anyone who isn't Bush, which of course means a Democrat. But even someone who hates both major parties should still vote, because independent or third-party votes do make a difference.

    If the major parties see a substantial portion of votes going to a single-issue candidate, they'll see that people feel strongly about that issue and try to adjust their platform to attract those voters. When people don't vote at all, politicians just assume that nobody cares what they do.

    I dislike the libertarians because (like Bush) they often seem to be more interested in the rights of corporations than of human beings, but the principle still stands.
  • by AllUsernamesAreGone ( 688381 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @04:53PM (#7788950)
    "The United States is going to collapse."

    All empires collapse. History allows for no exceptions. I live in the home of the previous Empire, Britain, and we got out of it quite lightly.

    Pray you don't go down like the Romans.

    "Argentina was never like the US."

    True. It was never as powerful or dangerous.
  • Re:ABI vs API code (Score:4, Interesting)

    by igomaniac ( 409731 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @04:56PM (#7788982)
    I believe the ABI part means they are claiming copyright of the specific numbers assigned to each of these standard (API) defines. They can't claim copyright on the defined names since they are ANSI/ISO standardized, but the standards do not mandate which numbers are assigned so this is (or at least can be interpreted as) original work.
  • by tiny69 ( 34486 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @04:58PM (#7788994) Homepage Journal
    http://minnie.tuhs.org/UnixTree/V7/usr/include/err no.h.html
    http://minnie.tuhs.org/VSTa/srctree/newsrc/include /errno.h.html
    http://minnie.tuhs.org/FreeBSD-srctree/newsrc/sys/ errno.h.html

    The some of the numbers in the above are identical, others are not. SCO claimed in court that there are no trade secrets in UNIX, only in the Unixware that SCO sells. So unless the different errno.h files in Linux are identical to what is found in Unixware, SCO doesn't have anything to stand on. The above files are from the same archive that contained a copy of malloc.c that SCO tried to use as proof that code was copied into Linux. It was later shown that the malloc.c code in question was released under a BSD style license at least twice and was probably in the public domain as well. So that can't make any Copyright claims.

    Even if the headers are located in Unixware, SCO already acknowledged that some of the header files in question came from BSD. Much of the code from the AT&T-BSD settlement was placed in the public domain.

    AT&T claimed this code, among other portions of its Unix OS, as infringed by the University of California in the BSD litigation, and was denied a preliminary injunction on the ground that it could not show a likelihood of success on its copyright claim, because it had published the code without copyright notices and therefore, under pre-1976 US copyright law, had put the code in the public domain.
    In SCO's letter that they recently sent, they are claiming Copyright to everything from the settlement.
    The settlement agreement between USL and BSDI addressed conditions upon which BSDI could continue to distribute its version of UNIX, BSD Lite 4.4, or any successor versions, including certain "UNIX Derived Files" which include the ABI Code. A complete listing of the UNIX Derived Files is attached. The ABI Code identified above is part of the UNIX Derived Files and, as such, must carry USL / SCO copyright notices and may not be used in any GPL distribution, inasmuch as the affirmative consent of the copyright holder has not been obtained, and will not be obtained, for such a distribution under the GPL.
    They seem to have forgotten that Caldera was founded on selling Linux under the GPL. SCO is trying to obscure that fact, in the media and in court, that they changed their name from Caldera.

    SCO also seems to forget that they can't place their Copyrights on stuff that has been placed in the public domain. Some of the code that SGI added to Linux turned out to be from SCO who had wrongly placed Copyright notices on the files.

  • Except that Minix is only licensed for free educational use, so Linux could/better not have taken any copyrighted material from Minix.

    I don't any of this is particularly relevant to the SCO case, but FWIW, the above statement is no longer correct. Minix is now license under a very liberal license similar to a BSD type license.

    For more on the Minix license see:
    here [cs.vu.nl] and here [cs.vu.nl]
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @05:09PM (#7789117) Homepage
    Here's a start. This is a complete rewrite; only the textual identifiers and numeric values required for backwards compatibility are the same.
    • /*
      POSIX standard error return values.
      Modernized descriptions.
      enum errno_t {
      EOK = 0, /* No error was reported. */
      EPERM = 1, /* Permission denied - not the owner */
      ENOENT = 2, /* The requested file, directory, device, or socket does not exist. */
      ESRCH = 3, /* The requested process does not exist. */
      EINTR = 4, /* A system call was interrupted by a signal. */
      EIO = 5, /* General I/O error */
      ENXIO = 6, /* The requested device or device address does not exist */
      E2BIG = 7, /* An argument or argument list was too long. */
      ENOEXEC = 8, /* Incorrect call to "exec" function */
      EBADF = 9, /* The requested file descriptor is not valid. */
      ECHILD = 10, /* This process has no living children. */
      EGAGAIN = 11, /* Try again later; resources are tight now. */
      ENOMEM = 12, /* Memory is full. */
      EACCESS = 13, /* Permission denied - access not allowed. */
      EFAULT = 14, /* Bad pointer value passed in a call */
      ENOTBLK = 15, /* The requested operation (probably 'seek') is not defined for this non-block device */
      EBUSY = 16, /* Some other process is using this resource. */
      EEXIST = 17, /* Can't create - file already exists. */
      EXDEV = 18, /* Can't link across file systems. Try a symbolic link instead. */
      ENODEV = 19, /* The device number is not valid. */
      ENOTDIR = 20, /* The requested directory operation is not valid for this non-directory file. */
      EISDIR = 21, /* The requested operation (probably 'write') is not allowed on a directory. */
      EINVAL = 22, /* General bad argument error. */
      ENFILE = 23, /* Too many open files system-wide. */
      EMFILE = 24, /* Too many open files for this process. */
      ETXTBSY = 26, /* Attempt to install a new program over one that is running. */
      EFBIG = 27, /* File too large for the file system type. */
      ENOSPC = 28, /* File system full. */
      ESPIPE = 29, /* The requested operation (probably 'seek') is not allowed on a pipe or socket. */
      EROFS = 30, /* Attempt to write on a read-only file system */
      EMLINK = 31, /* Too many links to one file. */
      EPIPE = 32, /* Read failed - pipe closed by the writer. */
      EDOM = 33, /* Numeric input out of range. */
      ERANGE = 34, /* Numeric output out of range. */
      ENOMSG = 35, /* General error - no further information */

    This provides modernized descriptions of the errors, and makes errno an enum, which is still compatible with integer declarations of errno, but cleaner. The list is not complete, and should be updated with the additional error numbers defined in Linux.

    Offered under the GPL by John Nagle, the author.

  • by alienw ( 585907 ) <alienw.slashdot@NOsPAM.gmail.com> on Monday December 22, 2003 @05:20PM (#7789246)
    Guess what, the act you describe is covered by many state laws. In fact, in many states simple possession of lockpicking tools is a felony. Even if you intend to pick only your own locks.
  • by zjbs14 ( 549864 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @05:27PM (#7789334) Homepage
    From the VC++ 6.0 errno.h header:
    /* Error Codes */

    #define EPERM 1
    #define ENOENT 2
    #define ESRCH 3
    #define EINTR 4
    #define EIO 5
    #define ENXIO 6
    #define E2BIG 7
    They could have been in BIG trouble.
  • by Belegothmog ( 712435 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @05:29PM (#7789358)
    "Finally, McBride responded to a report that Novell Inc. was still pursuing its own copyright claims on Unix. "Novell is desperate," McBride said. "SCO has produced documents that say we own the Unix copyrights. Let me be real clear: SCO acquired all rights for Unix and UnixWare, includes copyrights. We see this as a fraudulent notice." McBride added that SCO sees Novell as being "all hat, no cattle." from eweek [eweek.com]

    Well, if that's not the pot calling the kettle black... They really are a joke.

  • by jasonrfink ( 193522 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @05:39PM (#7789458) Homepage
    SCO is asserting that because a BSD/USL agreement was somehow not honored that SCO is entitled to recompense. Here is the problem, SCO therfore implies that it was making an eanest effort to improve the core operating system, SCO UNIX, during said time.

    I know for a fact that SCOs system has bugs in it that other systems and projects fixed years ago, instead, SCO was busy making up, for the most part, utterly useless, products. Their userland is horrible, the kernel clunky, and the system is riddled with bugs that should have been fixed.

    SCO claims, "they did their best" but the world owes them something.

    Sorry, you can't make money for being incompetent and then blaming someone else's good fortune.
  • by epmos ( 468595 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @05:43PM (#7789498)
    #include <stdianl.h>

    I am not a lawyer. I am not a paralegal. I do not offer legal advice to anyone, ever.
    As someone who uses Linux and BSD every day, I do have an interest in this case, and in the history of UNIX.

    Remember, copyright law has changed since UNIX was written. Be careful not to make incorrect assumptions based on what the law says today .

    I have one question: are the BSD header files subject to copyright ? I really tought that these files were declared as "no copyrightables" in 1973

    Not quite. IIRC they were not "declared 'no copyrightables'" in 1973 but in 1993 the court found that 32V may have entered the public domain due to AT&T's not following copyright rules in effect between 1978 and 1986.

    Please read this document, esp. the section titled "1. Copyright Infringement".
    http://cm.bell-labs.com/cm/cs/who/dmr/bsdi/930303. ruling.txt [bell-labs.com]
    Please note that this is a ruling denying an injunction that would have prevented distribution of BSD, not a dismissal of the entire case. So it's not as strong as we might like.

    There is a lot of information about the BSD case on the web, start here [bell-labs.com] . Of course, the settlement itself is sealed, so it's hard to say exactly what it contains. However, such a settlement would restrict USL, BSDI and the Regents of the University of California, not the Linux developers or IBM.

    And the general feeling is that USL asked for the seal because they had their ass handed to them, not because the wanted to spare the Regents a public humiliation.


    Does this help clear things up?
  • by gabe ( 6734 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @05:48PM (#7789549) Homepage Journal
    SCO Bought Xenix (a UNIX system) from Microsoft at some point. So I imagine after that point, Microsoft no longer owned the copyright on that material.
  • Re:clue me in.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TekPolitik ( 147802 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @06:41PM (#7790021) Journal
    ...I must tell you that the list of files has everyone I am hearing from falling on the floor laughing. We will be issuing a statement explaining why as soon as they recover.

    The brief reason why is that these are interface files. It has been established for over a decade that there is no breach of copyright when interface files have been copied, even if they have been literally ripped off (Computer Associates v Altai). Even I thought they'd come up with something better than this, and I've thought they were full of it from day one. That's why Groklaw are doubled over laughing - SCO have literally come up with the weakest possible argument they could have attempted.

  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @06:41PM (#7790026) Homepage
    Where does Darl come in? It's BSD's copyright; did BSD make Darl their agent? I don't think so. If there was a screwup (which remains to be shown), the quarrel is between BSD and Linux, with no room at all in there for SCO.

    I think it's part of the BSD settlement, which basicly goes like this AT&T licences to BSD, BSD licences to AT&T. Because they'd both been using eachother's work. Any code that should be attributed to both AT&T and Berkley, is SCOs business since SCO now owns the Unix code of AT&T. So their claims to a copyright notice is not without merit, the silly part is laying claims to the definitions of the POSIX standard.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22, 2003 @07:00PM (#7790219)
    From Groklaw [groklaw.net]:

    No, none of the code in the Linux ABI modules contains SCO IP. This code is under the GPL and it re-implements publicly documented interfaces. We do not have an issue with the Linux ABI modules. The IP that we are licensing is all in the shared libraries - these libraries are needed by many OpenServer applications *in addition* to the Linux ABI.-- Blake Stowell, 2003-02-05

    Think IBM will find this interesting?

  • by utlemming ( 654269 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @07:08PM (#7790285) Homepage
    What we need to do is a distributed buy out -- have every Linux user buy one or two or ten shares of stock from SCO -- privalaged with voting rights. But then it would not be a buy out perse, because it will not be a single entity doing the buy out. It will be individuals that do it and therefore not subject to the buy out clause.

    With a distributed buy out, then we simply call a stock-holders meeting. To which we propose that we are going to raze the company from within. With Darl at the meeting, then the Linux users vote to opensource all the SCO source code -- every single bit of it. Well Darl is still in shock, we vote to have Darl booted with the whole board. As Darl is picking up the bricks he just dropped out of his pants then we vote to dissolve the company.

    The way I figure is that if we get half of the /. community and the Linux users to spend a little money then we could dispatch this company to /dev/null.

    The best part is that since it is no company but a group of stock holders that are really pissed off it is not illegal. How? Because it is not a hostile take over, and it is not the actions of one entity, but in this case the actions of several thousand people -- who hold interest in the company -- making the decisions to Enron it.

  • by BitterOak ( 537666 ) on Monday December 22, 2003 @08:47PM (#7791071)
    In fact, in many states simple possession of lockpicking tools is a felony.

    Can you name any? The only one I'm aware of is the District of Columbia, which technically isn't a state.

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982