Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sun 15th Jun 2003 22:07 UTC
SCO, Caldera, Unixware Another major hardware maker is likely to be added to SCO's legal battle against IBM and others over what it claims is illegally appropriated source code in Linux. In the meantime, Novell backs off copyright claims against SCO.
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When will this end?
by Mike on Sun 15th Jun 2003 22:14 UTC

This is getting too complicated to track.

Re: When will this end?
by elver on Sun 15th Jun 2003 22:17 UTC

Agreed. Eugenia, mind writing a summary of the whole thing between SCO, IBM and Linux?

Re: When will this end?
by Eugenia on Sun 15th Jun 2003 22:18 UTC

I can't write a summary, simply because the thing hasn't ended yet. ;)

by Sean on Sun 15th Jun 2003 22:22 UTC

Well, SCO holds the copyrights. Now did IBM put their code in Linux? Did anyone else put their code in Linux?

RE: Well
by Jason on Sun 15th Jun 2003 22:26 UTC

My guess would be that SCO put their code into Linux. As stupid as it sounds...they did have a Linux distrobution that they have recently pulled off the market. Yes that' right...they may have GPLed themselves into a losing case.

re: well
by Simba on Sun 15th Jun 2003 22:26 UTC

"Well, SCO holds the copyrights. Now did IBM put their code in Linux? Did anyone else put their code in Linux?"

Sure. And that code isn't what is in question. The only code that in question is that which either came directly from AT&T UNIX, or was ported from BSD (which was originally itself, a port of AT&T UNIX)

re: GPL'd code from SCO
by Simba on Sun 15th Jun 2003 22:27 UTC

"Yes that' right...they may have GPLed themselves into a losing case."

Not necessarily. Because on the code they recently added and specifically GPLed would be exempt from lawsuits. Anything else fair game for them to sue over.

SCO did
by Richard James on Sun 15th Jun 2003 22:30 UTC
I dont think IBM will purchase SCO
by reduz on Sun 15th Jun 2003 22:32 UTC

If that was the case, they would have done that before,
isnt SCO worth a lot more after all this?

how dumb was it
by Debman on Sun 15th Jun 2003 22:41 UTC

for SCO to sue IBM? they have invested more than a BILLION dollors in Linux...BILLION with a B.

that means they have a long way to go in legal fees before they give up....and the fact taht IBM has made back their investment already signifies that IBM will go for years. SCO will either go out of business or they will drop the law suit.

How to boil blood...
by Tugrul Galatali on Sun 15th Jun 2003 23:04 UTC

"The whole concept of getting something for nothing just doesn't hold up," he says. "The notion that you're going to run a Fortune 1,000 company on something that in the end could be more like Napster than an enterprise software system, it's a big question mark."

Oh this is low. Am I hot head for wanting to physically harm this man?

I hate this condescending theory these suits hold that common men are incapable of building complex systems. Its not like their own pool of engineers are not selected from these men.

And the idea that we might give these systems out for free, this must really freak them out. What are suits without their control of the engineers and their product?

Damn them.

v Welcome to Utah
by Armand Winter on Sun 15th Jun 2003 23:22 UTC
sco being counter sued
by Dopey on Sun 15th Jun 2003 23:31 UTC

ha ha ha im loving this

read here:

linux kernel authurs are striking back.. read it..


thank you and i hope scop get a real good butt ***** they are going on rampant im so glad linux coders are striking back at them.


re: SCO being counter sued
by Simba on Sun 15th Jun 2003 23:38 UTC

"linux kernel authurs are striking back.. read it."

It doesn't mean anything really though. It's standard legal procedure to immediately file a countersuit when you get sued.

by Anonymous on Sun 15th Jun 2003 23:50 UTC

SCO is making a power grab here folks. Nothing more, nothing less. They hope to either derail Linux and be the company sitting in the drivers seat at the end or be bought out by IBM or Microsoft (possibly Sun)
While its all going down they hope to do a pump and dump on the stock market. Look at it as the low blow it is.

RE: Well
by Chip on Sun 15th Jun 2003 23:54 UTC

It would be a loosign case in a normal country, but don't forget: (If I know well,) It will be in the U.S.

SCO proof
by Anonymous on Mon 16th Jun 2003 00:19 UTC

This guy (german) claims its the "sched.c" in


Re: Re: Well
by chemicalscum on Mon 16th Jun 2003 00:55 UTC

"It would be a loosign case in a normal country, but don't forget: (If I know well,) It will be in the U.S."

Yes but in the U.S. whoever has the biggest pockets to spend on lawyers wins - IBM vs SCO it is obvious on the basis of US legal precedent who while win. IBM will win in spite of the fact they are in the right.

it;s just license fees they're after
by jodie on Mon 16th Jun 2003 00:59 UTC

I dont think SCO's intention is to derail Linux or stop development. They know Linux cant be stopped now, so they sue, claiming their code and trade secrets are a core part of linux AND even derivative works. (so, even if there is a cleaned version of linux, they can keep claiming it's based on their unix secrets). This way they can keep milking the unix license fees well into the future in this manner. All this philosophical discussion about ethics and evilness of SCO is so out of place. If IBM were the owner of unix, and SCO the linux pusher, IBM would have done exactly the same thing.

re: jodie
by Visitor on Mon 16th Jun 2003 01:14 UTC

If IBM were the owner of unix, and SCO the linux pusher, IBM would have done exactly the same thing.

Are you implying that IBM is as stupid as SCO?

by jodie on Mon 16th Jun 2003 01:22 UTC

no, it's not about being stupid. it's just being a business. business have only one purpose, to make a profit. IBM isnt exactly the most innocent sheep in the business world. It's surprising how many people who condemn MS or Amazon for their evil software patents cheer on IBM, one of the biggest software patent collectors.

RE: sco being counter sued
by Jason on Mon 16th Jun 2003 01:43 UTC

Go get'em...down with SCO.

Thank you SCO!
by Tyr on Mon 16th Jun 2003 02:16 UTC

Until now distributions have always had warnings that some material may be of uncertain legality - when this lawsuit is over Linux will get a clean legal status (like the bsd's got after their lawsuit)
And the best thing is : IBM is picking up the bill :-) So thank you SCO, may your death be quick and painless.

re: Thank you SCO!
by Anonymous on Mon 16th Jun 2003 02:23 UTC

"So thank you SCO, may your death be quick and painless."

I would rephrase that to:

So thank you SCO, may your death be quick and may you suffer much pain during the process.

re: jodie
by Sagres on Mon 16th Jun 2003 02:28 UTC

Are you implying that IBM is as stupid as SCO?

They certainly were stupid enough with os/2 and microsoft or intel and pc.

The SCO 'powertrip'
by manuel on Mon 16th Jun 2003 03:27 UTC

Well, as a Linux user... what are they going to do... sue me? Or come and take my box away and all my software that I bought and put in from other sources?
I don't think so. Linux is too well established in the public domain. I notice that they are not (as far as I know as yet...) trying to sue Linus. Are they now going to claim that they own the C language that it was written in?... in my mind it is just a powertrip from a desperate corporate structure and has nothing to do with helping the computing community... Linux is still gaining ground as the worlds most used server OS... so to SCO I give a really big 'raspberries'... oh and don't forget the 'sour grapes'!
Penguins will still run free.

In SCO's defense
by Sean on Mon 16th Jun 2003 03:28 UTC

They may just go after IBM for a breach of contract. Any ruling would, most likely, make IBM pay SCO money for wrongly putting SCO code in Linux without their approval, but leave Linux with being allowed to use the code beacuse of IBM's forced restitutions.

Countersuits are common. They don't mean anything more than the 'no you're the jerk' comments we made in 4th grade.

The infraction may not be in anything important in Linux or may be something easily replaced by code from another project that doesn't infringe. This could simply be a case of IBM breaching a contract rather than something that is damaging to Linux.

I mean, if someone added illegal code to the Linux TCP/IP stack, it would be easy to cut that out and replace it with any number of other, non-infringing projects. This could be IBM's problem without it being Linux's problem.

RE: sco being counter sued
by Anonymous on Mon 16th Jun 2003 04:32 UTC


Take note... Your niche... Your business plan... is falwed.

Give up SCO... You lose.

Arent you guys glad
by Roberto J Dohnert on Mon 16th Jun 2003 04:59 UTC

That IBM did not pay Novell a billion dollars for copyrights that Novell did not actually own like some people in past posts suggested. It will be interesting to see how this turns out and now the GPL is being put to the test. But everything happens for a reson and what doesnt kill you makes you stronger.

old IBM
by Richard James on Mon 16th Jun 2003 05:32 UTC

If the IBM of the past was still in power. We would be using green screen IBM terminals that connect to a IBM mainframe. And would be paying IBM $70 a week for it.

But after 8 billion US, IBM turned around and now they have hopefully learned from their wrong ways in the past.

IBM ex-monopoly.


"The complaint for the case U.S. v. IBM was filed in U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York on January 17, 1969 by the Justice Department. The suit alleged that IBM violated the Section 2 of the Sherman Act by monopolizing or attempting to monopolize the general purpose electronic digital computer system market, specifically computers designed primarily for business."

I think that Cringley has it nailed...
by Michael Dollbaum on Mon 16th Jun 2003 05:33 UTC

Check out this article...

Also for Jodie who says that SCO does not want to derail Linux... I believe that you're wrong considering the following several facts... SCO is a UNIX company which competes DIRECTLY with Linux... SCO has sent out 1500+ letters to various companies saying that they may be next... They have said that they *may* go after companies such as RedHat for infringment...


mike - dollbaum at techie dot com
(remove spaces & insert appropriate symbols for email address)

by Anonymous on Mon 16th Jun 2003 07:22 UTC

Never know what the American courts will do, they often help out the criminals, however Linux is not an American phenomenon, it's actually more popular outside of the US, as far as I've read. I'll never stop using Linux until there is a quality replacement. At this time there is none, we just have a dying Microsoft and Sun Microsystems, and a steady Apple computer (who is now also being sued). Looks to me like the American technology sector is going down hill. IBM is probably the only company in the USA with good will and popularity with open source developers..and that's the very company that's Americans are dragging down.

by Anonymous on Mon 16th Jun 2003 07:27 UTC

The Americans are paranoid, they are frozen, and this is a time in IT where you have to adapt to change in order to survive. People are not going to buy when they can get just as good of a deal or much better through open source. So you need a service organization, and nobody knows that better than IBM.

SCO must loose
by yopippie on Mon 16th Jun 2003 08:16 UTC

Otherwise the justice must change. There is a bug in the system what should be solved. With this 'selling rights' action the justice gives way to the dirtiest movements ever.
A company like SCO can allow that, they aren't do anything (no SW developing) just using their rights to bother normal workers, and live from lawsuits. This isn't lead to the IT industry improvement. It just throws back everything in years.

Stupid. And they want to use this in Europe. I hope they'll not be successful with this.

Did SCO bite more than it can chew ?
by Mark on Mon 16th Jun 2003 08:39 UTC

Maybe SCO has made a mistake by threatening linux coders. SCO is acting as if linux was something developed solely in the US. They've forgotten that a lot of developers live abroad. Until now, only Germans have taken SCO to court. But, what happens if that company is sued for anti-competitive practices in every country where they have a branch office ?

by Anonymous on Mon 16th Jun 2003 09:09 UTC

I hope Germany kicks the SCO out of their country.

: Michael
by jodie on Mon 16th Jun 2003 09:33 UTC

no. Michael. SCO competes with linux, true, but what they want to do with this whole thing, is not to stop development of linux, etc,, but to claim a perpetual ownership on linux and derivatives. This way, they can continue sucking license fees forever. They know that they cannot stop the open source movement, but they can certainly force companies distributing linux to pay license fees for their intelectual property for many years.

This thing will take years to solve in court, but in the meantime, the whole linux code should be audited to make sure there are no more potential threats hidden.

RE: : Michael
by Wesley Parish on Mon 16th Jun 2003 10:44 UTC

And that's why SCO must be stopped.

"SCO ... want ... to claim a perpetual ownership on linux and derivatives."

Last time I looked, that was termed theft. SCO haven't been a majority developer of Linux; they have gradually been sidelined. They have contributed stuff, admittedly, but that was in the early days of Caldera. They've been so far below the radar over the last few years that if they had got any lower, they would've crashed and burnt by now.

By the sounds of it, from what the anonymous non-NDA'ed guy says, SCO may well have copied some of that stuuf themselves - either direction.

That's perjury as well.

by Anonymous on Mon 16th Jun 2003 11:43 UTC

That's why a place like Germany will probably be where everyone sends there money for Linux distributions in the future. Americans don't do good business, so don't put any investment into their market.

last sco news
by Anonymous on Mon 16th Jun 2003 12:36 UTC

Why SCO decided to take IBM to court (long interview)

SCO Needs to Put Up or Shut Up,3959,1127003,00.asp

SCO Mobilizes for IBM Unix Battle,3959,1126982,00.asp

Legal Maneuvers in the Dark
by Justin on Mon 16th Jun 2003 14:35 UTC

SCO/Caladera might be one brilliant, if machiavellian, company.

Pause for a second: when was the last eDesktop distro released? Two, maybe three years ago? 2.19 or something kernel, right? I remember it being old, even by Debian standards.

So, imagine: SCO's linux team grabs some code from the UNIX team, in effect releasing a portion of Unix code into the wilds. This had to be deliberate. SCO is small, so it's not as if the brass doesn't know that the engineers are swapping code.

When linux first started getting recognized, Caladera was a player, as was Corel, RedHat, etc. So, my sales are falling, I need to bolster my revenues somehow.

Releasing the code does not negate my copyright: I don't see anything in the GPL that says that I transfer copyright to you, only the code. I still retain the rights.

So I have three choices:

1)Since linux competes with Unix, and I know that Linux has Unix code in there (I put it there), I can sue everyone for infringement.

Hard to do, and a lengthy process. You have to display the code that was infringed upon, which, by the time you release it, the clock starts ticking. Will we be able to complete the legal process before the offending code is removed? Probably not.

I can however slow the progress of linux for a bit, in case I decide to go after end users. You could sue a few prominent end users, such as Merrill Lynch, if you really wanted to halt the spread of linux.

Even if I don't sell more Unix installs directly, Sun, SGI, or IBM will, which trickles back to my bottom line in the long run.

2)Go after my partners. I know they have to code, since I licensed it to them. If they use that code against me, I want to recover the lost value of my enterprise. Presumably, I was smart enough to include a Non-compete, or some similar remedy to prevent the code from biting me in the ass.

This is a fast remedy. Breach of contract is much easier to prove, and takes only legal fees. I don't disclose anything until trial, if it ever gets there. Most likely, the case is settled out of court, and we get a nice payout.

A new contract will have to be negotiated, which means that I lock in a vendor at the end of all of this, at terms favorable to the ongoing concern of my business.

3)I have rights, but I don't really have a claim here, since everyone knows that I released the code under the GPL. Since I took code I owned, put it into Linux, and the code is out there now, but it's not legally enforcable against everyone.

This becomes the first real test case for the GPL, which will take on US Justice Dept. v. Microsoft proportions, as the court decides who knew what, when, and what the legal remedy is. This will take forever, and its not certain that there will be a SCO after the dust settles.

I can't put the genie back in the bottle, but I can salvage something for myself and my shareholders. SCO's exit strategy: Sue a few big companies, Sun, IBM, etc., and hope that one says: screw it, we'll buy you out.

So SCO wins any way from this.

What about the Linux programmers?
by Chuck Bermingham on Mon 16th Jun 2003 15:39 UTC

"So SCO wins any way from this."

But, remember, the programmers built most of it, not SCO. They can claim investing "hundreds of millions of dollars", but they didn't do Linux, for the most part.

If the result is that hundreds of programmers are screwed out of their code after contributing all that work, there will be Hell to pay.

Do not doubt that they will build replacement parts that do not "infringe." Or they will join the BSD team. Either way, the proprietary UNIX's are dead. SCO is making sure of that.

I ceartainly hope are their earlier positive statements about Linux will work against them in this, because this is also betrayal, plain and simple.

Unix is Mine
by Anonymous on Mon 16th Jun 2003 16:05 UTC

SCO's Quarterly Report -- UNIX Is Mine, All Mine

Now They Are Starting to Look at the GPL?

RE: The SCO 'powertrip'
by slash on Mon 16th Jun 2003 16:06 UTC

>>Well, as a Linux user... what are they going to do... sue e? Or come and take my box away and all my software that I bought and put in from other sources?

No, but you don't have cash on you and you don't pay for Linux anyways. You will just be using Linux illegally until you pay royalty to SCO. On the other hand, anytime any company tries to use or sell Linux, SCO would be there to collect a check from them. If that company refuses, SCO will take it to court and sue for lots of money. I will say that this will cause quite a damper in Linux's adoption and other companies investment into Linux.

Re: pay royalty to SCO
by chemicalscum on Mon 16th Jun 2003 17:01 UTC

No one will have to pay licence fees to SCO for linux.

This whole thing is a criminal conspiracy to extort money. Both from Linux users and stock gamblers willing to risk their money on SCO shares. The senior SCO exectives paid themselves in stock options last year and now plan to capitalize on the rise in the SCO stock price due to the (almost certainly specious)legal threats.

The other party to this conspiracy is Microsoft who in paying SCO for its so called Unix "license" is paying part by putting up cash and part by buying SCO stock at $1:85 well below what it is now trading at - that way they can make a profit on subsidizing SCO for its anti Linux FUD campaign which is now also turning into an attack on all the leading proprietary Unices. Just what MS wants.

Note MS is only commited to licencing SCO Unix for 2003 obviously it reckons tha SCO won't be around for long.

The sooner the SEC starts invertigating SCO, its executives and MS for this scam the better

You're more generous than I
by Good Grief on Mon 16th Jun 2003 21:58 UTC

Anonymous (IP:

"So thank you SCO, may your death be quick and painless."

I would rephrase that to:

So thank you SCO, may your death be quick and may you suffer much pain during the process.

You mean:

"May your death be long, and lucid, and insanely painful, and may your girlfriend start dating other boys."

The problem with this entire farce is the same with Enron and WorldCom: the execs will jump ship with their golden parachutes[1], leaving the middle-managers and employees to take the hit. This sort of underhanded crap would stop if CEOs were liable to go to (and I quote Office Space) "federal-pound-me-in-the-ass prison" for this kind of stuff.


[1] Let's pretend for a second that parachutes float.