Linked by Eugenia Loli on Tue 13th May 2003 18:23 UTC
SCO, Caldera, Unixware SCO executive pleads case against Linux distributors using pieces of Unix. Read the interview.
Order by: Score:

"Basically, he said that IBM will exploit its expertise in AIX to bring Linux up to par with Unix and went on to say a lot of other things, like trying to help obliterate Unix. "

SCO does not have a smoking gun.. They just have some statements that IBM made as LinuxWorld. It is my guess they are going to harp on those few public statements and try to build up their case around them.

Correction
by Aki Kolehmainen on Tue 13th May 2003 19:01 UTC

Not about Linux distributions using pieces of Unix, but about them _allegedly_ using pieces of Unix.

Seems that when you repeat something long enough, even the sharpest people start to talk about it as truth, unnoticedly.

Still Waiting for Proof
by RJDohnert on Tue 13th May 2003 19:16 UTC

Still waiting, cmon show us the stolen code. Give us some examples

nothing yet offered
by the arbiter on Tue 13th May 2003 19:21 UTC

Thanks, Aki. Very good point. SCO has not publicly or in a court filing offered one piece of evidence that anyone has used any part of their property.

The strategy is clear...offer innuendo and PR as an attempt to sway public perception their way...and then bully the little guys into paying up rather than fighting in court. They do have leverage over IBM vis-a-vis the AIX licensing issue, and they could cause some trouble for Big Blue this way-there's the bully leverage.

All in all, I think this is one of the more futile strategies I've seen-but they can cause a lot of trouble for a a lot of people by pursuing it.

I hope they sink.
by Joe on Tue 13th May 2003 19:28 UTC

I really hope Sco collapses. But I am also affraid of IBM buying the rights to Unix. I think the big reason Sco is doing this is for IBM to buy them, but IBM would rather purchase them when they are bankrupt. The only good solution that could come of this is IBM purchasing the rights to Unix from SCO and releasing them under GPL or something like that.

Re: Joe
by RJDohnert on Tue 13th May 2003 19:34 UTC

IBM if they bought UNIX would never make it GPL, also if IBM was to buy SCO that would just prove Big Blue has something to hide. IBM is letting SCO sink themselves, in the last two interviews done by Chris Sontag he basically gave IBM the proof it needs to sink SCO in court, also without seeing the code it proves SCO is talking a load of crap. SCO should not be rewarded for their actions, beat em in court and let them die.

It's all about INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY people
by drunkahol on Tue 13th May 2003 19:54 UTC

Despite looking like a rag tag outfit, SCO *may* actually have a point.

One of their contentions is that nearly everyhing in the /sbin directory is ther INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY. The code may have changed, but the method and engineering is their IP.

That's how a SCO contractor described it to me anyway. So it doesn't look like SCO are looking at the actual lines of code. They claim they developed things and own the IP for those developments. IBM, HP & others license those parts of their individual Unix from SCO.

So SCO simply claim that IBM used their expertise with the SCO licensed code to help develop the Linux /sbin code.

That doesn't seem too unreasonable to me!

Either way, buying a few SCO shares may be an idea - they'll probably be worth a bit more with a buyout on the menu. You could loose though.

IBM have been a bit quiet for me - so really not very many people in the community know what the score is.

Dunk

Re: I hope they sink.
by DoctorPepper on Tue 13th May 2003 19:57 UTC

I'd rather see IBM buy SCO than Microsoft buy SCO. Can you immagine the problems we will have if Microsoft suddenly owned all those UNIX patents?

Think about it.

I honestly cannot see how SCO can possibly justify their position that they can distibrute 'their IP' to their customers under the GPL without respecting it with regard to the ability of those users to use, modify and distribute it under the terms of the GPL.

It really sounds like they are either trying to put the GPL itself to test in court, or they are truly clueless about what terms they are obligated to distribute Linux under.

If the contents of the /sbin directory truly are SCO IP, as another poster claimed, then this would mean that the BSDs are also infringing their IP claims, as most of the same commands are present.

I don't see how this can be the case, however, as it seems pretty clear that BSD is considered an entirely separate system from Sys V.

All the code in Linux has been written from scratch to avoid exactly this situation, and it is very clear that implementing a UNIX look and feel does not make an OS UNIX.

If this was the case, then AT&T/SCO would have had to defend their UNIX trademarks against the UNIX-like OSes which must have been infringing.

Not defending a trademark means you lose it, so I think SCO are up the creek here.

Also, they would have to actually register copyright on the contents of the /sbin directory, and it is rather unclear that such a construct - a series of commands like 'ls' and 'cat' could be copyrighted at all.

Certainly the idea that filenames can be copyrighted is a pretty thorny one, especially since it would presumably restrict the rights of end users to name the files on their own systems.

I just can't see how they can possibly have a case here based on the contents of the /sbin folder. I very much doubt there is UNIX code in Linux, and unless this case really is about SCO UNIX binary compatibility modules, then that stuff was almost certainly distributed under the GPL by SCO itself.

Its just baffling to me where they see an infringement, beyond a statement from IBM that 'we like Linux and see it eventually replacing UNIX in most if not all markets' which must annoy them as it means a loss of revenue for them.

It is sad that the UNIX trademark no longer has any value, but that is SCO's fault because they have let it die.

/sbin
by Anonymous on Tue 13th May 2003 21:44 UTC

maybe they are talking about FDISK or FSCK ?

FUD
by SeanParsons on Tue 13th May 2003 22:23 UTC

Would you look at this, it has gone from us being highly insulted that SCO would claim IP infringement on Linux to us trying to guess what the infringement is. I refuse to believe that infringing code exists in Linux.

{ One of their contentions is that nearly everyhing in the /sbin directory is ther INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY. The code may have changed, but the method and engineering is their IP. }

Method and Engineering is not IP, If it was, Ford would be able to sue all auto makers and MOPAR would be able to sell everyone who makes Auto Parts. The only thing that can be considered IP is code and if it was written by SCO and AT&T. Doc Searls from Linux Journal said it best, common idioms are present in code, they are all over the place. Also if SCO was so concerned about IP they should have buckled down the System V code years ago, as it stands I can send you to about 50 download sites for the System V source code. They also released the System 7 code years ago under a Free Software License so how do they know that any UNIX modifications were not brought about by the System 7 code.

{ That's how a SCO contractor described it to me anyway. So it doesn't look like SCO are looking at the actual lines of code. They claim they developed things and own the IP for those developments. IBM, HP & others license those parts of their individual Unix from SCO. }

They are stating actual lines of code in their Lawsuit, if Method and Engineering are what they are witching about then hey happy day, SCO WILL LOSE. Plus I want to know how much they actually took from Linux and put in UnixWare. As it stands in Chris's interview yesterday he said they were happy to distribute the code with their distro of Linux, well thats all well and good but once you release code for the Kernel of Linux it becomes GPLed unless you state otherwise. SCO didn't Im pretty sure Linus and RMS as well as IBM are prepared, they have their evidence SCO claims to have theirs. I have seen evidence contradicting SCOs claims than I have seen from SCO claiming they were violated.

{ That doesn't seem too unreasonable to me! }

Well it seems very unreasonable to me, as stated if SCO had a problem they should have addressed it years ago, not wait until its almost broke and then come up with bogus stories and lawsuits and expect us to feel sorry for them. I dont feel sorry for them at all. Thats part of working in free software, sometimes you make it sometimes you dont.


{ IBM have been a bit quiet for me - so really not very many people in the community know what the score is. }

Whats there to say? SCO has yet to release any solid facts so whats IBM going to respond to, I have read the Lawsuit. I have read the contracts because they are all public record now and SCO never made any arguments in the claim, all they say in the lawsuit is the same thing they say in their interviews.





Where's the beef?
by Chuck Bermingham on Wed 14th May 2003 02:24 UTC

"Whats there to say? SCO has yet to release any solid facts so whats IBM going to respond to, I have read the Lawsuit. I have read the contracts because they are all public record now and SCO never made any arguments in the claim, all they say in the lawsuit is the same thing they say in their interviews."

The saddest thing about this is that they have been so deceitful about their relationship to the rest of the Linux developers. For the length of time Caldera has been around, you'd think someone over there would have brought up the infringement issue long ago (if there is one.)

As for SCO's concerns about IBM and the future of Linux and UNIX, why did they wait until now to present Big Bad Blue that way? *Nothing* about the Linux kernel is secret. Very little that goes into /sbin is, either.

Want my opinion? I think Unix-type archictecture is old enough and common enough that everyone can (and should) do it, without having to pay *anyone*. That's what those people are afraid of.

We don't have to pay anyone extra money to build houses anymore (unless, of course, the architecture is really new style and technology....) why should we have to pay anyone to do a system that uses concepts that have been in textbooks for over 30 years?

my point exactly
by RJDohnert on Wed 14th May 2003 02:52 UTC

{ We don't have to pay anyone extra money to build houses anymore (unless, of course, the architecture is really new style and technology....) why should we have to pay anyone to do a system that uses concepts that have been in textbooks for over 30 years? }

Nothing is secret anymore. Its in textbooks and anyone can find the full source to System V anywhere on the net and download it and the thing is UNIX was a hand me down none of the original architects even work on it anymore. SCO knows nothing about the past and all they are trying to do is rake in some quick cash.

It's all in the timing ...
by PcGoober on Wed 14th May 2003 02:54 UTC

If you read between the lines "the arbiter" has hit the nail on the head. The interviewer of the article is also hot on the trail because he asked "why was the 'issue' brought up now and not a year ago?". This is a (pathetic) strategic maneuver by SCO to 'extort' money from anyone they can. Because IBM laid out there future direction to scrape the license leaches (SCO) off their backs by going full-blown Linux SCO knew it had to do something drastic...hence the coincidental filing of the lawsuit just before license renewal time.

Come on people! We are talking about lame, MBA toating, weenie executives that have no idea how to run a technology company and are trying to line their pockets anyway they can before they bankrupt the company.

But the one thing they DO have is good TIMING!

two points
by RJW on Wed 14th May 2003 05:32 UTC

drunkahol:
One of their contentions is that nearly everyhing in the /sbin directory is ther INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY. The code may have changed, but the method and engineering is their IP.

In order to control those "methods and engineering", they would have to own patents on them, wouldn't they? AFAIK they don't.

Anonymous, you're very misinformed. This case has nothing to do with trademarks, and in fact SCO does not own the UNIX trademark, the Open Group does.



Re: two points
by waaaa on Wed 14th May 2003 08:06 UTC

Correct, SCO doesn't own the UNIX trade mark, as far as I know they have the original sources. That is it....

As far as IP and patents, I am afraid those are still owned by bell labs. And I am sure most of those patents are expired or about to expire.

I found an interesting discussion on the subject here:
http://www.opensource.org/sco-vs-ibm.html

The main problem with SCO's law suit is that they themselves did sell Linux. Therefore they accepted the GNU license covering the kernel (I dunno if the lawsuit covers every aspect of a specific distro). And most of the code, if not all the code in the base Linux system is linked against glib/libc which is also covered under the GNU license.

Re: two points
by drunkahol on Wed 14th May 2003 08:14 UTC

RJW:

I have only written what was told to me by a SCO contractor. He comes down on the SCO line of thinking, but if what he CLAIMS is true, then SCO COULD have a point.

I'm not going to say anything I said was the gospel truth, because I didn't read it or discover it myself. It's purely 3rd hadn knowledge.

I personally can't fathom what SCO are trying to do. They do indeed look like a fish out of water - desperately trying to figure out how to breath in the different atmosphere. Flapping and thrashing around for a while before ultimately dying. Shame they couldn't have done it a bit quieter really!

Dunk

greed
by Walt on Wed 14th May 2003 08:38 UTC

Well fellows, Sco is on it's last legs... The whole thing was a scam from the go. Caldera had been banking on receiving big payback from their lawsuit against Microsoft from OpenDos and I guess that didn't work out to well.
Now, they see another chance to do the same thing. I truely
wondered when they bought unix what they had in mind !
Caldera Linux while it was good initialy fell behind because they were a little too greedy. Even embedded Linux which they got into big time could have been good if only they hard afordable tools. They were bleeding when they saw
in Sco a chance to get some cash and IP which they can then use to hold up IBM and others...

The funny thing is given the number of unix license holders out there, they can't really threaten IBM that much; although like some people have mentioned, they wmay want IBM to buy them. Even if IBM's license were revoked, they could simply buy another company that holds a valid license or tie up the case in court long enough for them to move their critical apps to linux.

Guilty by association
by Anonymous on Wed 14th May 2003 09:42 UTC

Those SCO people have watched too much Fox TV. They basically argue that there just has to be a smoking gun somewhere, and that they are sort of going to defend themselves pre-emptively against all the other conspiring infidels who surely *must* be guilty of SCO's approaching chapter 11. Instead of making viable products the legal cannon will have to do. Familiar huh.

It's so absurd a judge might actually swallow it. Welcome to the 21st century where anything goes except reason and sanity.

It's clear SCO is seeking "bilateral" agreements. Question is, will one of the bigger distros (SuSE?) be chickened into a license agreement with SCO (long before IBM stomps SCO out of court or drag them back into court over 101 patents)? If so, we have a divide and conquer situation and Linux as a whole will be gravely damaged.

SCO's /sbin claim so much hot air
by Wesley Parish on Wed 14th May 2003 10:01 UTC

This is the contents of a standard Linux distro (Mandrake)'s /sbin and /usr/sbin directories. It's up to SCO to prove that the code is indisputably SysVRx; it's certainly not up to the distros to disprove it.

And with the existence of *BSD, and the settlement of that case a decade or so before, most of those utilities that you can also see in the equivalent *BSD directory/ies, are under no such shadow. Besides, cloning the Unix utilities was a major part of the GNU project, and they specifically requested that those with Unix source code knowledge of such utilities please not use it, to avoid this sort of fsck-thy-neighbour. And many of those utilities will be GNU-sourced. If not sui generis - let SCO try to explain samba or resize_reiserfs or drakesound as an IP theft from SCO ... (Can you lock up a buggy, malfunctioning CEO or PR until he's been debugged? I think we have a need to know.)

Try not to laugh too hard - it can be fatal.

Wesley Parish

[wparish@localhost wparish]$ ls /sbin
addpart* ip* netreport*
agetty* ipchains* nologin*
arp* ipchains-restore* pam_console_apply*
arping* ipchains-save* pam_tally*
askrunlevel@ ipfwadm* partx*
badblocks* ipfwadm-wrapper@ pidof@
blockdev* ipmaddr* pivot_root*
chkconfig* iptables* plipconfig*
clock@ iptables-restore* portmap*
consoletype* iptables-save* poweroff@
ctrlaltdel* iptunnel* ppp-watch*
debugfs* ipvsadm* pwdb_chkpwd*
debugreiserfs* ipvsadm-restore* rarp*
delpart* ipvsadm-save* reboot@
depmod* kallsyms* reiserfsck*
devfs-add-mouse-entry* kbdrate* reiserfstune*
devfsd* kernelversion* remadmin*
dnsconf@ killall5* rescuept*
dosfsck* klogd* resize2fs*
dumpe2fs* ksyms* resize_reiserfs*
e2fsck* ldconfig* rmmod@
e2label* ldconfig-lsb* rmmod.static@
elvtune* lilo* rmmod_ver*
ether-wake* linuxconf* rmt*
fastboot* losetup* route*
fasthalt* lsmod* routef*
fdisk* mailconf@ routel*
fixperm@ MAKEDEV* rpcdebug*
fsck* managerpm@ rpc.lockd*
fsck.ext2* mgetty* rpc.statd*
fsck.ext3* mii-tool* rtacct*
fsck.minix* mingetty* rtmon*
fsck.reiserfs@ minilogd* runlevel*
fsck.xfs* mkbootdisk* sash*
fsconf@ mkdosfs* service*
fuser* mke2fs* setsysfont*
genksyms* mkfs* sfdisk*
getkey* mkfs.bfs* shutdown*
getty* mkfs.ext2* slattach*
halt* mkfs.minix* sln*
hotplug* mkfs.msdos@ sulogin*
hwclock* mkfs.reiserfs@ swapoff@
ifcfg* mkfs.vfat@ swapon*
ifconfig* mkfs.xfs* sysctl*
ifdown* mkinitrd* syslogd*
ifenslave* mkreiserfs* tc*
ifup* mkrescue* telinit@
init* mkswap* tune2fs*
initlog* modemconf@ unix_chkpwd*
insmod* modinfo* unpack*
insmod-DIET* modprobe* update*
insmod_ksymoops_clean* mount.smb@ userconf@
insmod.static* mount.smbfs@ uugetty*
insmod_ver* nameif* vgetty*
install-info* nash* vregistry@
installkernel* netconf@ xfs_repair*
[wparish@localhost wparish]$ ls /usr/sbin
ab* mklost+found*
accept* mkntpwd*
adduser@ mksock*
adduserdrake* mouseconfig@
advxaddmod* mousedrake*
advxdelmod* msec*
advxfixconf* mysqld*
advxlogserverstatus* named*
advxsplitlogfile* named-bootconf*
AESctl@ named-checkconf*
amd* named-checkzone*
amd2ldif* nanny.pl*
amd2sun* net_monitor@
am-eject* net_monitor.real*
amq* new_key.pl*
apachectl@ newusers*
apachectl-perl@ nfsstat*
apmd* nhfsstone*
arping@ nmbd*
atd* packer*
atrun* pfm2afm*
automount2amd* pmap_dump*
bind-chroot.sh* pmap_set*
bonobo-activation-sysconf* postalias*
callback* postcat*
camel-lock-helper* postconf*
cfdisk* postdrop*
chat* postfix*
chkfontpath* postkick*
chksession* postlock*
chpasswd* postlog*
chroot* postmap*
client* postqueue*
clockdiff* postsuper*
clock.pl* pppd*
convertsession* pppdump*
correctcupsconfig* pppstats*
create-cracklib-dict* printerdrake*
crond* print_launcher.pl*
ctl-hlfsd* privoxy*
cupsaddsmb* proftpd*
cupsd* ptal-cups*
cvspserver* ptal-init*
ddcxinfos* ptal-mlcd*
detectloader* ptal-photod*
diskdrake* ptal-printd*
dns-keygen* pwcheck*
dnssec-keygen* pwck*
dnssec-makekeyset* pwconv*
dnssec-signkey* pwunconv*
dnssec-signzone* queryperf*
drakautoinst* ramsize@
drakbackup* rcfirebird@
drakboot* rdev*
drakbug_report* rdisc*
drakconf@ rdistd*
drakconnect* readprofile*
drakfirewall* rebootin*
drakfloppy* reject@
drakfont* ripquery*
drakgw* rndc*
drakonline@ rndc-confgen*
drakperm* rootflags@
drakproxy* rotatelogs*
draksec* routed*
draksound* rpcinfo*
draksplash* rpcinfo-flushed*
drakTermServ* rpc.mountd*
drakupdate_fstab* rpc.nfsd*
drakxconf* rpc.yppasswdd*
drakxservices* rpc.ypxfrd*
drakxtv* rpmdrake*
edit-urpm-sources.pl* rpmdrake-remove@
exportfs* rwhod*
faxrunqd* samba*
faxsetup* saned*
faxsetup.linux* saslauthd*
filesharelist@ sasldblistusers*
fileshareset* saslpasswd*
fix-amd-map* scannerdrake*
fixmount* sendfax*
fixrmtab* sendmail@
fndSession* sendmail.postfix*
fsinfo* serial_probe*
ftpshut* showmount*
gdmaskpass* smbcontrol*
gdmconfig* smbd*
gdmopen* smbmnt*
gdm-restart* smtp-sink*
gdm-safe-restart* smtp-source*
gdmsetup* squid*
gdm-stop* strfile*
gnome-pty-helper* suexec*
gnome-system-log* supermount*
gpm* su-to-root*
groupadd* sys-unconfig*
groupdel* t1embed*
groupmod* textfmt*
grpck* tmpwatch*
grpconv* tracepath*
grpmi* tracepath6*
grpunconv* traceroute*
grub* traceroute6*
grub-install* ttf2pt1*
grub-md5-crypt* ttmkfdir*
gurpmi* tunelp*
harddrake2* type1inst*
hlfsd* unstr*
hotplugctl* update-alternatives*
httpd* update_bind.pl*
httpd-perl* update-ldetect-lst*
hwclock@ update-usb.usermap*
iconvconfig* upsmon*
inetdconvert* upssched*
in.ftpd@ urpme*
in.proftpd@ urpmi*
install-fvwmgenmenu* urpmi.addmedia*
install-fvwmgenmenu.sh* urpmi.removemedia*
install-menu* urpmi.update*
kbdconfig@ usbmodules*
kdeDesktopCleanup* useradd*
keyboarddrake* userdel*
lchage* userdrake.real*
lgroupadd* userhelper*
lgroupdel* usermod*
lgroupmod* usernetctl*
lid* utempter*
livedrake* vidmode@
lnewusers* vigr@
localedrake* vipw*
logdrake* visudo*
logresolve* wait4amd*
logrotate* wait4amd2die*
lostaltmail* win4lin-fix-bootloader*
lpadmin* win4lin-fix-bootloader.pl*
lpasswd* wire-test*
lpc@ wm-menu-config*
lpc-cups* XFdrake*
lpinfo* xferstats.holger-preiss*
lpmove* xfs_admin*
lsof* xfs_bmap*
lsusb* xfs_check*
luseradd* xfs_db*
luserdel* xfs_freeze*
lusermod* xfs_growfs*
lwresd* xfs_info*
makewhatis* xfs_logprint*
makewhatis.zh_CN.GB2312* xfs_mkfile*
makewhatis.zh_TW.Big5* xfs_ncheck*
MandrakeUpdate@ xfs_rtcp*
mcc@ xinetd@
mdk_makedev* xinetd-2.3.7*
mdkonline* yppush*
menus_launcher.pl* ypserv*
mk-amd-map* zdump*
mkdict* zic*
[wparish@localhost wparish]$

They are stating actual lines of code in their Lawsuit, if Method and Engineering are what they are witching about then hey happy day, SCO WILL LOSE.

AFAIK, in the lawsuit motions themselves, SCO had just alleged method and engineering issues, and never got as specific as mentioning source code copying. The "SCO code in Linux" stuff is what SCO has been alleging in the media, not the court.

So...
by hmmm on Wed 14th May 2003 19:04 UTC

This is great PR for Linux.

Only use Linux and GNU software unless you want some patent holder to sue you for having access to their commercial source code.

You're safe with Linux.

Stuff like that. ;)

I never saw such slime in my life. Is this what American schools teach our business leaders to do? If so, God help us.

Follow the money ...
by Anonymous on Thu 15th May 2003 09:32 UTC

When you take a look at the insider stock trades, I think this is more a case of the r... getting ready to leave the sinking ship. If you don't believe me, see for yourself:

http://biz.yahoo.com/t/s/scox.html