“Almost no one knows what’s really going on. Very few people know what’s in both Linux and Unix source code, and most of them aren’t talking, and the ones who are talking aren’t providing specifics. Some Linux advocates say that SCO is somehow being unfair in not disclosing its evidence now, but if SCO is indeed the wronged party then they have no obligation to do any favors to the people who wronged them. So what happens if SCO is right?” Read the article at Internet Week.
What If SCO Is Right?
2003-05-17 SCO 73 Comments
“What If SCO Is Right?”
Nice to see some people are taking a calm look at things and not passing judgement before all is done.
Is that a joke, there have been so many papers showing just how wrong SCO seems to be only from what they said so far, just imagine if they get into details. LOL! From what they said so far they will be lauged out of court, before they even get a change to speak!
SCO can’t even seem to get its story straight, they constantly change their accusations!
It is clearly FUD that they are spreading and very little much more.
Here is a particularly interesting position paper on the SCO vs IBM case conecerning many of their fudalicious statements: http://opensource.org/sco-vs-ibm.html
This is writen by Eric Raymond, a well known and trusted author in OSS.
… isn’t this what happened to BSD with AT&T? well linux vendors could always switch to NetBSD or FreeBSD or OpenBSD
What about if SCO is yet another company trying to suck money out of another because they’ve failed to turn a profit even after buying SCO.
SCO/Caldera/what ever, are a group of whingers who have failed misserably. Atleast with SUN they’ve now toned down the anti-Microsoft rhetoric, however, SCO, since the first statement made by Ranson Love (yes, I know, is that really his name?) regarding GPL, they have been on a rapid decline.
Lets look on the otherside, we have Redhat now turning a profit, which pisses SCO off so instead of trying to do something about it, why not try to punish the competitors with a huge suite based on some “mysterious” code that can’t even be revelled.
The whole point of copyright law is so that the offending party can correct themselves. The SUITE should ONLY happen when the offending party fails to heed the request of the intellectual property owner. Considering this is out of the blue, and there was no pre-negotiations with the accused, this suite should be thrown out.
Even if SCO was right, the code would be removed immediately and replaced with OSS code in a week, there all better. Now die SCO… and leave the rest of us alone
It’s time for linux to get the kick in the ass it deserves. long live BSD.
they are right, but like the article says, they have already lost due to their legal incompetence; the “supposed” souce was already released as GPL.
But then, Linux developers can change the codes somehow.
SCO/Caldera has participated in building Linux for how long without disclosing their intellectual property?
Should we start watching the trash bins behind SCO to see how much evidence they are shredding?
Even if SCO has something… like RAMBUS they will rapidly be replaced by truly open technology and the world will move on.
One can only wonder if Microsoft (who used to own part of SCO) is behind these recent anti-Linux moves. It makes no business sense for SCO to sue all the other Linux companies as SCO is never going to do any business with anyone again.
Linux deserves a kick in the ass? Shut up troll.
Making these stupid claims giving nothing as a proof, and sending their own business to the dump so fast, I can’t thing anything else: all these FUD are either, a desperate move to make somebody buy them or a well calculated action orchestrated by “Microbesordid” (and who knows more) in the hope that people will stop use free/open software. And if you think about the last possiblity, the moment could not be better (nor the strategy).
As somebody else already pointed, they distributed their own linux brand giving all the rights to the users to do whatever with the source code as far the LGPL was respected, what really was done.
Apple kicked BSD in the arse and look what came of it. A well-placed boot can work wonders.
IIRC, Caldera Systems, a LINUX COMPANY, bought SCO then used the SCO name. I don’t know about anybody else, but I smell a rat, a very large mutated rat.
I thought that Caldera was UNIX, not linux?
I agree that this all does smell very fishy, and if Microsoft are indeed behind it as some suggest, I doubt very much anyone could prove it. They are the only people who could stand to benefit from this whole affair, but that in itself isn’t proof.
Well, here is what I have ot say about this topic:
Asking question like “What SCO is right?” is just yet another impossible scenario like “What if Microsoft open sources Windows?” or “What if Apple dumped PPC and moved over to x86 architecture?” It’s simply ridiculus to ask such a thing. As far as ridiculus question is concerned my favorite is “What if UFO landed on the the front lawn of the White House?” At least it’s more probable than all the other ones I’ve heard in OSNews.
Indeed, if you follow these steps:
a == b
a^2 == a*b
a^2 – b^2 == a*b – b^2
(a + b)*(a – b) == b * (a – b)
(a + b) == b
(a + b) – 1 == b – 1
Set a = b = 1, so
1 == 0
SCO’s comments on how Red Hat recommended UnixWare libs be installed to allow software of some kind to run just shows how desperate they are for any shreds of evidence. How can this even be classified as evidence? No source code has been copied, no binaries have even been distributed by Red Hat. Its just a plain referral. There are many other places that look suspect and this is only one of them.
SUN buyout SCO Group, BSD the whole Unix line they have, which includes OpenServer, UNIXWare and even their OS addon software. It would be a two fold thing, first, one less Linux distro, secound, I could see SUN replace SCO in the POS system through the use of touch screens, Java and Solaris for the backend server, thirdly, it would finally stop the stupid tit-for-tat UNIX revenge suits that occur. The UNIX code would be once and for all completely free of the legal bullcrap. I could even see UNIXWare moving forward through an BSD like opensource programme.
Pretty much. The “evidence” on their own website is just as pathetic – so pathetic that it’s worth reading, if only for laughs. This is all pure FUD. The unfortunate and scary thing? The appearance of articles like this one suggest that it might be working. It won’t help them win in court, but it has the potential to damage a lot of people in the process.
Having not seen it on the site, I am not to sure, however, knowing what Redhat are like they would have explicitly emphasised that one requires the appropriate licenses to use the libraries they are specifying. Redhat is one of the few companies I know of willing to help customers protect themselves by advising them potential licensing issues.
> Redhat is one of the few companies I know of willing to help
> customers protect themselves by advising them potential
> licensing issues.
True, especially with programs like xmms, xine and mplayer that utilize patented formats.
“if SCO is indeed the wronged party then they have no obligation to do any favors to the people who wronged them”
Just one little example, and they would have some credibility. They haven’t showed anything. Why should we believe them?
I talked to a coworker of mine today whom used to work for SCO. He was there for a while, not sure how long, but I know he was there even during the 80’s (he quit in the early 90’s I think). The things he told me, which were only the tip of the iceberg, blew my mind. I was getting worried that might SCO might be right, but after talking with him I got the impression that if any code was stolen at all, it was stolen from Linux.
One thing I will mention, however, is that according to him, a great deal of code that went into SCO’s UNIX, even since the 80’s was stolen.
We currently do not work in IT, however, after the stories he told me, I now understand why he doesn’t want to, if I had gone through a similar experience, it would sour me on IT too.
I plan to get more stories from him about his SCO days, he could write a novel, or at the very least, give an interesting interview…
I don’t think anyone should buy out SCO. They should be brought to court, and have their case shredded to bits. If they were bought out or if they managed to negotiate a settlement, I think it wouldn’t bode well for Linux and Open Source in general.
AFAIK, its called precedent. If they actually win/get a settlement/buy out/etc, other companies will follow suit, thinking that they can sue larger competitors, in hopes of making money. And they would most likely win too, because the judge would refer to this case and note the outcome.
SCO needs to die, and die horribly to send a message to others who are thinking of doing the thing.
If SCO is right, I stop using Debian GNU/Linux, and switch to Debian GNU/HURD or Debian GNU/FreeBSD or Debian GNU/NetBSD… I get the same userland, and I am not breaking the law…
These 3 projects are well under way, from what I have seen GNU/HURD is pretty stable (albeit slow), and to me, nothing much in general will change.
The way I see it, if SCO wins, one of the *BSD’s will gain momentum, or GNU/HURD will finally get some mention. Either way, Debian still keeps going strong while all other comercial linux’ die. Oh wells… doesn’t concern me…
1) please point out the patents that the likes of XMMS and Xine utilise.
2) Most companies don’t care about freebie applications using their technologies, what they do get pissed off about is when companies use these technologies and do not pay royalties on the profits THEY make off ANOTHER COMPANIES R&D.
I read thru the posting at http://opensource.org/sco-vs-ibm.html It’s really interseting…SCO doesn’t have a chance! During the whole ATT/BSD lawsuit, it came out that ATT used BSD code improperly! That’s why BSD got such a sweet deal. I wonder if that’s the Linux code they’re comparing!
The UnixWare libs they do have a chance on. About a year ago, I remember reading that years ago Linux required ACTUAL SCO libs for SCO compatibility-and many people downloaded them. Again, unfortunately for Caldera, their own company was probably actively engaged in that practice too!
>a == b
>a^2 == a*b
>a^2 – b^2 == a*b – b^2
>(a + b)*(a – b) == b * (a – b)
>(a + b) == b
>(a + b) – 1 == b – 1
>Set a = b = 1, so
>1 == 0
🙂 in step 4. dont u have to explicitely say “when a!=b we can continue step 5” , or am i wrong?:).
Talking about RedHat, how come xmms and mp3 patent is a problem for RedHat and not a problem for any other Linux distribution or any other OS.
By the way Alex (IP: —.client.attbi.com) you made me laugh yesterday with your (The unoriginal) beside your nick hehe.
Sorry for going off topic, anyway yeah, if SCO is right, then god help the Linux community
Yes. In that step, you are dividing by a-b, but you have presumed a=b, so you are dividing by zero, which is not defined. So you’ve proved 1 != 0 by contradiction instead
I’m getting tired of those people helping SCO (and whoever else hides behind them, because there it must be one or more) spreading the FUD on Linux and open-source.
This kind of articles is probably sponsored by the same source sponsoring SCO’s action againt the opan-source community.
I can’t read the article – Mozilla 1.4b says it can’t open jhtml files!
Not only did they release “tainted linux code” but they also released a lot of the unix code under a BSD license.
Greg Lehey brings this point when blogging about the subject:
“On 24 January 2002, Caldera, at the time the owners of the Seventh Edition source code, released it and all earlier versions, also 32V and System III for 16 bit platforms, under a BSD-style license.”
I don’t think they have a chance!
See what Greg has to say about SCO at http://www.lemis.com/grog/sco.html
> 1) please point out the patents that the likes of XMMS and
> Xine utilise.
XMMS uses patented MP3 technology while Xine uses DVD decoding algorithyms. In fact, Xine uses code that is technically illegal.
> So what happens if SCO is right?
Hell will freeze over, pigs will fly, Apple will move to x86, Microsoft will release windows under an OSS licence, RMS will shave his beard and Bill Gates will grow a beard.
Could SCO be using the IBM suit to be trying to kill 64-Bit Linux? With Itanium 2 and Opteron creating “cheap” 64 Bit Servers, SCO, actually never having been a mainframe player EVER, could then move it’s own UnixWare into that market all alone.
The fact that they won’t say what IP has been “stolen” by Linux freezes the market, the development and locks out competitors for now.
Also, like someone mentioned, if they came out and said what was their IP in Linux, the rush to rip it out and replace it would happen too quickly for SCO to win against IBM and maybe pull this against Red Hat and SuSE afterwards.
I hope their involvement in UnitedLinux comes back to bite them in the arsh. We already have one HUGE software bully in the market.
Have you read the license regarding MP3 technology? do you also ignore the fact that Redhat DOES NOT ship an mp3 decoder OR a xine plugin so that people can play DVD’s on their distro.
How about looking at the facts rather than trying to come up with bullcrap to support your anti-anything-that-isn’t-proprietary-or-microsoft fanboy ethos.
Yeah, what if the two year old throwing the tantrum in the corner is right?
>>Announced in October 1998, Project Monterey
>>is a major UNIX operating system initiative led by
>>IBM, along with SCO and Intel. The objective of the
>>Project Monterey initiative is to establish a
>>volume, enterprise-class UNIX product line that
>>runs across Intel IA-32 and IA-64 processors and
>>IBM’s POWER processors in systems that range from
>>departmental to large data center servers.
IBM drop-kicked SCO at the same time Oracle joined the project and Project Monterey dissapeared. Guess what this suit is really about?
How about this, they’ve been pumping money into UnixWare and OpenServer and they still can’t turn a profit, yet, on the other hand we have Redhat who have already turned a profit and making inroads onto the turf once dominated by SCO.
No, it has more to do with sour grapes than anything substaintial.
You know, he did have list, right there in his hands, of 57 card-carrying Communists with high ranking positions in the State Dept. Only nobody got to see the list.
If they were right and had an excellent legal case against IBM, don’t you think they would disclose the violations publicly? And why did they change directions and start going after Linux vendors and customers, just a couple months after saying they weren’t going to do so? Seems like they are afraid of community review (or even IBM review) of their infringement findings, and are winging their game plan on a daily basis.
The bigger question is why SCO didn’t approach these companies quietly and point out that there may be some intellectual property violations. Had they done that, the offending parts would have been replaced and life would have moved on.
Again, this is more the actions of a despirate company trying to suck money out of a giant because they (SCO) can’t run their business properly and turn a profit.
So what happens if SCO is right?
Bill Gates would get a good haircut.
Than, may god have mercy on us all or FOR CRYING OUT LOUD
SCUM (sorry I mean SCO) went down this road of going after the Linux communiity. Can you imagine going in front of a judge and saying Linux stole our code and having the judge (and jury) read the Linux license. That is bad enough, but to have the slightest chance of being taken seriously SCO probably HAD to stop shipping SCO Linux and probably had to go after all Linux vendors or it would have been too obvious (duh!) that this was a ploy.
I think the correct response is for all Open Source groups to boycott SCO (sorry SCUM) by changing every free license to exclude the use of the software on SCO products. In other words its “free” except if you use SCO.
Better yet, it should be unfree on SCO products AND unfree on the products of any company that buys SCO.
>XMMS uses patented MP3 technology while Xine uses DVD >decoding algorithyms. In fact, Xine uses code that is >technically illegal.
No the plugin does, not Xine itself….
I think SCO would not sue any BSD org 😉
Yea and all the Linux defense has to do is have them read the M$ license and half way through, there will be a hung jury, literally.
yeah! just like they said they were not after Linux. They are after IBM. Red Hat, SuSE, and other are next because they are an ‘unauthorized derivative of Unix” )
what if microsoft is right?
after all. . . microsoft invented the GUI’s, the TCP and the internet.
The speculation that Microsoft is somehow behind the SCO action is just silly. Microsoft has the best/smartest lawers on the planet. They would never be stupid enough to sue over source that they themselves released as GPL…
Also, SCO claims to have stopped distributing their Linux distro. But as recently as yesterday I followed working links for the iso files… It’s much too late anyway; under the Linux license can’t anyone who already the disks freely copy and distribute them? That is the agreement SCO made with end-users. Is SCO willing to buy it’s way out of that agreement with every user?
The actual ramifications of SCO being right are
worthwhile to contmeplate however frightening they might be.The probability of them being right seems to be pretty lowbased on the available information.
The proper way to square these two observations would be
asking “What if a Judge in a monumental act of cluelessness awards the case to SCO?
If that happens? They’ll lose on appeal, I’d hope.
You don’t understand… the whole point of the MS conspiracy theory is that they want to create FUD without it being traced back to the mother-nerd. If the lawsuit wins or not is not the point.
Linux was a written-from-scratch operating system. SCO has no case except to tie up other vendors in court, or settle for money out of court(THEY WISH). SCO needs money. Microsoft needs to slow down Linux development. Who would want to deal with a company that has seperated itself from Linux with a hate agenda? No linux company will do buisness with SCO anymore. Who’s left? MICROSOFT. SCO and Microsoft will soon be one and the same. SCO’s is betting on selling Unix to Microsoft. IT AIN’T HARD TO SEE, FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE BRAINS.
Their case is worthless, and so are their products, reputation, and very soon their stock price (as if it weren’t worthless enough already).
Can businesses based around Linux file a class-action suit for damages based on loss of revenue due to the lies SCO has been spreading?
“Can businesses based around Linux file a class-action suit for damages based on loss of revenue due to the lies SCO has been spreading?”
The answer is YES. But first SCO has to lose the case, or the case has to be thrown out. I think companies mentioned by name in SCO releases (Linux distributions and IBM specifically) would have a very good case.
End users who have indirectly suffered would have a harder time, say a company that spent money replacing Linux and retraining.
“re: MS involvement is unlikely” by anonymous
I don’t think MS would go to the trouble. They’d get better results just making a press announcement. When Bill Gates talks, people listen. When SCO talks…
MS buy SCO?
Maybe but I doubt it. They could sit back and wait for the liquidation auction. And there are so many holes in the Unix chain of ownership that there’d be other ways. They could easily write their own…
SCO dreams of charging license fees for parts of the code. That’s the end motivation. I believe it’s nothing more complex than a money grab.
On second thought… Here’s my conspiracy theory for the day:
What if SCO recently offered to sell Unix to MS? MS would have certainly checked code; clearly SCO never did. Microsoft would have obviously declined to buy because portions of the source code have been released GPL. SCO, having lost their opportunity to sell, now or ever, want to get even and they don’t care with who…
…and here we are.
if i was a lowly SCO employee …. what would i be thinking… what would i be doing? seeking asylum? looking through the job ads?
I assume that’s a rhetorical question. By now, we all know why they haven’t done that (present the Linux community with a list of infringements that need to be fixed). “Be careful what you ask for, you might just get it”. So they’re not asking. But also, I’m skeptical that they do have anything proveable that’s significant in monetary terms, aside from the fact that they may have shipped it under the GPL.
So much FUD…
They have released their own linux distro covered by GPL.
This makes their code fair game, even if they owned it.
So much Unix and BSD code has been released to the public and/or published in university papers over the last 25 years…
I am looking forward to the evidence they will present, and would like to remind all the wannabe FUD spreaders that their case is against IBM and concerning breach of contract.
As another said, Put up or shut up.
By the rights of the GPL, by having been a Linux vendor, they have
been releasing the source code of their priprietory Linux under the
GPL. Now, they suddenly go “hey, wait, this code belonged to us!” and
want it back. Well, they should have been more careful, and chalk it
up to experience.
I happen to have a few Caldera Linux CD-ROM here, versions 1.0 and
1.1. I quickly grew past them, but still have the CD-ROM’s. If it
comes to a court case, you’re free to have them for evidence.
Why do people think that SCO selling Linux would magically nullify their case (if they had a case to start with that is)?
It would only do so if they knew that Linux contained their IP at the time they were selling it. No sensible person, and more importantly no court could ever claim that they could be considered to have released their IP under the GPL if they were unaware that their IP was present at all.
In addition, even if they were considered to have released their own code under the GPL, they would still have a case against any parties who infringed on their IP before such time as they applied the GPL to it.
On the other hand, so far they haven’t brought up much to support their case, so these points may well be moot.
Why do people think that SCO selling Linux would magically nullify their case (if they had a case to start with that is)?
Because it’s true.
It would only do so if they knew that Linux contained their IP at the time they were selling it.[i]
True. And they were selling it until way after they filed suit.
[i]No sensible person, and more importantly no court could ever claim that they could be considered to have released their IP under the GPL if they were unaware that their IP was present at all.
It’s OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE. If they released their own code under GPL without properly considering the ramifications, TFB — they’ve agreed to be bound by the conditions of the GPL. Nowhere in the GPL do the words “unless you were asleep at the wheel” appear.
A few people here seem to be confused… SCO developes three (3) operating systems:
OpenServer: SCO’s own Unix varient… closed source
OpenUnix: Historically linked to UNIX developed at Bell Labs… closed source…
OpenLinux: Caldera’s old product under a new banner, GPL.. (supposedly) ceased a week ago…
These are very different, SCO is sueing due to IBM supposedly releasing code based on the 2 proprietary OS’s listed above. I don’t know if they have a good case, noone here, and curtainly not the author do for that matter. If SCO wins, Linux will die, if IBM wins SCO will cease to be. The judge is basically deciding which he will allow to proceed. I don’t think IBM have anything to worry about, but I really don’t think anyone using Linux has anything to worry about.
Linux, on most people here’s system’s, is far less then 1MB in total size. The total code base is just over 50MB. My own current kernel is exactly 312KB, its an infintessimal factor in a complete system, if it dies, its not hard to recreate once the community figures out what is illegal in the code and what is not.
I fail to see the big deal. Linus Torvalds’ name is on the line in a very public ordeal, the rest of us will see nothing dramatic come of the case. Please cease this discussion, its pointless and entirely speculation either way.
Then I will be sipping drinks and watching the pigs fly backwards off the ski jumps in hell
As for the GPL distribution fumble the big problem is that they continued to distribute Linux under the GPL after they first made their charges of infringment.
“It’s OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE. If they released their own code under GPL without properly considering the ramifications, TFB — they’ve agreed to be bound by the conditions of the GPL. Nowhere in the GPL do the words “unless you were asleep at the wheel” appear.”
It doesn’t matter what the GPL says or does not say, if such points would fall outside of the law.
The claim made by SCO as regards their distribution of Linux is that they were supplied with a product which had no reason to believe contained anything illegal, they repackaged it and sold it. There is no reason why they should go trawling through the code to see if any of it matched their IP unless they had reason to suspect this, and since they therefore would not have known that their IP was in this product supplied to them by someone else, they cannot be considered to have licensed it.
If you had a shop, and someone broke in and stole some of your stock. Then later you got a delivery, you happily start selling what’s in the delivery, then you notice that it contains items that were stolen from you, would the fact that you had been selling them mean that no crime existed? Would it mean that any of the items which were on sale elsewhere would suddenly become legal? No it wouldn’t, no matter what the warranty and the bill of sale said.
“As for the GPL distribution fumble the big problem is that they continued to distribute Linux under the GPL after they first made their charges of infringment.”
This I think may be a more difficult problem for them (if there is any legitimacy to their claims), although there are two points to remember.
1) The original claims made against IBM concentrated on the Enterprise aspects of Linux distributions, are they going to claim that the Linux they distribute does not contain those infringements they originally found, but contained other infringements they found later, whereupon they withdrew it from sale?
2) If they did release their own code under the GPL, it would only apply to their distribution and any derived from it. The hundreds of thousands of copies of Linux which are not derived from the SCO distribution would not be covered, they would still be illegal.
I find SCOs claims highly dubious to say the least But people seem to think that the GPL has some magic properties which really don’t make sense.
Also it’s interesting to note that a lot of GPL fans are very dismissive of SCO’s rights in this matter, seemingly feeling that it even if their IP was stolen they’re just a bunch of money grabbers complaining about it, but when a company is suspected of having GPL code in their software the whole community seems to go ballistic.
“The claim made by SCO as regards their distribution of Linux is that they were supplied with a product which had no reason to believe contained anything illegal, they repackaged it and sold it. There is no reason why they should go trawling through the code to see if any of it matched their IP unless they had reason to suspect this, and since they therefore would not have known that their IP was in this product supplied to them by someone else, they cannot be considered to have licensed it”
SCO has been distributing the kernel for half a decade before making their claim. They continued to distribute the kernel for > 3 months after making the claim. They are making no effort to stop the distribution of their alleged IP with linux by not indicating what is in violation. They have even been approached by the FSF to show the violating code so it could be removed and they refused which implies they have no intension to stop its redistribution. This absolutely has nothing to do with IBM. (Remember SCO said at the beginning that it had nothing to do with Linux?) They can’t even get their story straight. First they said they had not hired David Boies, then they admitted hiring his firm. Then they said they were only interested in the SCO libraries, then they claimed IBM was misappropriating their trade secrets, then they said it did not involve the kernel only the periphery, then they claimed it was all over the kernel and everywhere in Linux. Yet they continued to distribute their version of Linux. Just a few weeks ago they released OpenLinux for Itanium.
About the GPL, if SCO sold OpenLinux to clients under a License (GPL), that license is legally binding. It is a contract between SCO and the client. They can not just decide to revoke the license without consequences — They should have known. Withdrawing their linux products was too little too late. The OSI figured it out and outlined the ramifications on their home-page long before SCO released OpenLinux for Itanium.
If they are not on pot/crack, I don’t know what else. The reactions of the OSS community is highly justified and appropriate so harden that soft-spot you have for SCO.
So you are saying that you are happy distributing the kernel because the offending code belongs to you anyway, as I understand it?
Since it seems so easy to be overlooked: The article in question does NOT carry the title “Is SCO right?” but rather “What if SCO is right?”.
This looks like another evil empire M$ scheme a futile stab at linux.
M$ cannot beat linux with technology and cannot buy it either so they are in their evil doing now.
SCO started life selling Xenix, which it got from guess who? Microsoft! That’s right. The original Xenix distros came from not SCO but Microsoft. SCO later aquired USL and with it, Unix System Labs. Could MSFT be pushing someone at the current “SCO” to kill Linux? Story at 11!
“All your source are belong to us!”