This essay describes a visit to SCO, to discuss SCO’s claim that Linux infringes on its intellectual property rights. Elsewhere, Eric Raymond says he has evidence that could undermine some of SCO’s legal arguments. Raymond claims to have collected the names of 60 Unix users who are willing to sign affidavits that disprove SCO’s contention that its Unix System V source code, which forms the basis of IBM’s AIX Unix, contains trade secrets.
A Visit to SCO; ESR Vs SCO
Submitted by Garp 2003-06-20 SCO 40 Comments
I hope ESR succeeds, it is true that you really couldn’t call System V a trade secret today, however the challenge is getting a techno-boob judge to understand this.
I think the whole thing is being hopelessly confused by SCO’s press releases and the anti-SCO responses.
according to the initial reports of the IBM lawsuit, SCO didn’t even mention SysV sources being misused. they started off by stating that IBM misappropriated trade secrets revealed during Project Monterey. it was only a few weeks to a month later that SCO started making the copyright infringement claims and threats to start legal action against the Linux distributions and end users.
if that’s the case, how would this help IBM’s case?
If you have the means, sell SCOX short. It’s trading at about $11/share now, and it’s probably not worth more than $0.01/share.
Stop worrying SCO really has a very poor case, I’v read over 20 articles from both sids and they have a very weak case.
Please, everyone who has ever believed SCO had a chance read this article which unlike SCO’s claims is backe dup with hard evidence:
That’s exactly what I was thinking. Dunno if I’ll do it, though. I don’t trust our judgicial system anymore than I trust our legislative branch. And as the for executive? Well, I don’t even consider them part of my government anymore.
We’re so fucked.
that’s kind of what I’m talking about. the pro-Linux guys have clouded the subject as much as SCO. I’ll wait until SCO actually shows its case before I assume that they have no case against IBM. IBM has always been as evil as MS, just slightly less ruthless, so I’m not particularly worried about what happens to them.
as for whatever cases are brought up against Linux companies, they do seem to be hopeless for SCO to win.
SCOX discussion board: http://messages.yahoo.com/bbs?action=t&type=r&board=yahoo.84.08.160…
SCOX daily chart:
“IBM has always been as evil as MS, just slightly less ruthless, so I’m not particularly worried about what happens to them. ”
My dad worked at Sperrry Univac back in the ’60s,and along with all the guys who worked at Burroghs, Digital, Honeywell and the rest of the “seven dwarves”, I don’t think that ANY of them would characterize IBM as “less ruthless than Microoft!”
Raymond claims the Unix source code has been so loosely guarded over the last 20 years that it is now impossible to legally prove SCO’s code contains trade secrets.
I total agree with this. It’s too late for SCO, they shouldn’t wait too long for that.
What ESR is doing will do more harm than good. It’s going to give SCO a reason to present Linux and Unix users as software “pirates” because they pass around source code without a license. ESR should *not* be the guy representing the Open Source community. He’s going to shoot himself, and everyone else, in the foot or worse.
where does that link say anything about IBM or MS misbehaving? you could have provided a better link. IBM would have gladly crushed all who opposed in the desktop market, had they not been out foxed by MS and the clone makers. besides, MS crushing a few companies cannot possibly compare with IBM helping the holocaust along.
Hey, Linux users are in the millions, why don’t we just get a project going to collect donations and just buy SCO and put all this Unix crap in the public domain?
If every unix/Linux user could donate a few dollars this should be possible.
ESR has not done anything wrong. Your logic is flawed. Maybe you are tired or you didn’t read the stories carefully. Passing code around without a license does not a pirate make. Have you heard of Public Domain? Besides nobody is passing around code. The signatories are just indicating that they have had access to Unix Source code without an NDA — this aims to bring down the “Trade Secrets” aspect of the case. There can be no trade secrets if the information is widely available.
I think ESR is doing just fine now. If you have a real bone to pick with him mention it, this one won’t fly.
Just my $0.02
Remember that Microsoft and SCO claimed that Active Directory is going to be added to Unixware/Openserver. According to what SCO have been saying about the IBM case (adding NUMA and JFS to the linux kernel) is that as soon as Active Directory is added to Unixware/Openserver source, SCO immeadiately gains control of it. Then Microsoft may have to pay royalties to use their own software.
But if Microsoft doesn’t lose control of it, what implications will this have on the IBM case?
But then again, If Microsoft do lose control of it, will they join IBM and stop SCO’s court actions?
Can someone clear this up whether it is true or not?
Based on SCO’s definition of derivative works, if you are an author who has read someone else’s book before writing your own, you owe them money!
How could a person go through life without being influenced by copyrighted material? If the OS/2 JFS project was a new project, and a new code base, saying it is a derivative work of Unix is equivalent to saying those engineers can never develop journaled filesystems again (without indebting their employer to SCO), because they are infected with the Unix knowledge.
“What ESR is doing will do more harm than good. It’s going to give SCO a reason to present Linux and Unix users as software “pirates” because they pass around source code without a license. ESR should *not* be the guy representing the Open Source community. He’s going to shoot himself, and everyone else, in the foot or worse.”
So, has anyone tried to discuss this with him?
They want a billion for starters.
Shame all it takes is non-linux users in a jury.
If there are 80,000 lines of code in a modern distro then how are 4 or 5 lines worth a billion?
I heard they now want over 3 billions now because IBM is still distributing AIX with a invalid licence (according to SCO).
The last bid was 50 Billion (some Article at yahoo news).
I once watched a program during which a lawyer explained that he earned a living suing big business. The trick was he always asked his mother to be the plaintiff in cases involving polluted water, defective products and so on. The most important thing was not the case per se but the routine this mom and son team elaborated over the years.
Likewise, here we have professional gold diggers (the Canopy Group) performing the same stunt they have perfected throughout the years : sue some rich business till they settle out of disgust. However, this time the prey won’t be slain willingly. After all, even before McBride came to existence, there was a behemoth called IBM.
I’m keeping my head down on this one. Every piece of information is nit picked by biased armchair lawyers it’s getting boring. At the end of the day the court’s there to examine the facts and legal argument, and no public discussion will effect it one way or another. Wake me up when the Judge delivers his summing up.
[i]Passing code around without a license does not a pirate make. Have you heard of Public Domain? Besides nobody is passing around code. The signatories are just indicating that they have had access to Unix Source code without an NDA — this aims to bring down the “Trade Secrets” aspect of the case. There can be no trade secrets if the information is widely available.[i]
I never said passing around code without a license makes one a pirate–notice I used quotes around the word. At any rate, this code is not in the Public Domain. As I understand, ESR is saying that many people have access to the Unix source code because companies and universities, that bought a license to the code, allowed anyone to see it. It doesn’t mean that the owner of the code showed it to people without a license. There’s a difference, you see. They can and will use this to make the Open Source community look like pirates, you can bet on it, whether it’s right or not.
Agreed. My old man worked for the Burroughs NZ Office and believe me, back then IBM made Microsoft look like a reasonable organisation.
As for the copyright issues, the issue is relating to code being copied from AIX to Linux. That is the issue being discussed NOT the copying of code from SYSV to Linux.
Well, he sure drew a sharp reaction from Sontag: his project is “a big waste of time” and “baseless”. I take that to mean he’s onto something 🙂
And let’s not forget the books and articles out of Bell Labs publicly documenting Unix architecture:
is just one example.
THat isn’t the issue. There is over a million lines of code and the issue is ONLY relating to the Linux kernel NOT the GNU userspace software.
Secondly, when this was bought up initially we have people who claimed that SCO was lying, why do they show us the code. Well, SCO should the code to a number of journalists and everyone of them have said, “bugger me, thats a direct copy!”. Now here we are weeks later and there is a new defensive angle by the Linux community and now it is from the point of view, “finders keepers”. IIRC, there has never been a court case of “Finders Keepers vs. Losers Weepers”.
If IBM was behind this copyright violation then SCO has all the rights under the law to persue the perpertrator and recover any lost profits due the action of the individual or business.
Like anyone cares what ESR thinks? A lot of Linux users want to distance themselves from ESR. I’m sure SCO isn’t going to care at all what ESR thinks. Many Linux users don’t. He’s already done more harm than good to the image of Linux.
“One of the last things Chris Sontag said before he left is SCO is not against Linux. SCO likes Linux. SCO wants to get to the point where Linux can move forward. ”
Yes, SCO is not against Linux. Yes SCO, likes Linux. Yes, SCO wants to get easy money from Linux.
IRC, there has never been a court case of “Finders Keepers vs. Losers Weepers”.
Ever heard of international salvage law?
ESR started doing this when the whole lawsuit thing first came up, its hardly “the new” stratagy.
That and no journalists have seen all the facts. They were just showed code that looks similar, (Although its worth noting the German guy who said the actual concrete implementations were very different), without it being in the context, or with proof of where the actual code came from.
They have been shown the code. One doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to see a line for line direct copy including comments.
“They have been shown the code. One doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to see a line for line direct copy including comments.”
Fair enough. One does need a certain amount of training to decide eg, whether or not a set of lines of code from fs/supernode.c is directly copied from mm/vm_init.c, or vice versa. One would also need a certain amount of integrity to let people know that the code performed separate purposes.
And if that is indeed the case, one would then need to know whether or not the similarities are from direct copying or the use of the same algorithm with the same variable names forced on one because the existence of published works on those algorthms that have made those variable names canonical.
There’s a lot more than meets the eye.
>>If you have the means, sell SCOX short. It’s trading at about $11/share now, and it’s probably not worth more than $0.01/share.<<
scox has a book value of $0.67/share, so $0.01 may be a little low. Or maybe not, scox total assets are about $10 million, and scox losses at least $25 million a year.
if you short be very careful. scox stock does not move based on valuation. scox was insanely over valued at $4, yet scox still moved up to $11.
also, scox may have more fud money coming from msft and sunw. this money makes a huge difference in scox’s financials. last quarter scox was profitable based a large unix licence payment from msft.
if scox doesn’t get more fud money. then scox will certainly go bankrupt before this lawsuit is settled.
RCU, JFS, NUMA, SMP, LVM: SCO makes no claims to have created any of that technology. Nor does SCO claim to have bought the rights to any of that technology.
Yet, SCO believes it is owed royalties from every OS distributed, that uses any of that technology. SCO insistes that they are owed billions for technology which they did not contribute to in the slightest.
And, all the while, SCO screams and cries about everybody stealing from them. Darl compares Linux users to Napster thieves, and scoffs at the idea that Linux would remain free forever.
Why does SCO think they are entiteled to billions in royalties? Because they think they found some loophole in their contract. SCO thinks this loophole will allow SCO to profit handsomely from the donanation of thousands of voulenters. If this ruins the free software movement in the process, so what?
And yet many on this board are cheering SCO on. Do these people have any sense of dencency at all?
Other professional columists shamelessly sneer at the Linux “crunchies” and smuggly assert that these “loonies” will be put in their place.
Any sense of justice? any shame? any dencency in anywhere in the world?
Borrowed from http://www.livejournal.com/community/linux/397771.html?thread=25317…
Topic in #os: hey guyz, stop pickin on irix.
<SCO> w00t! i bought unix! im gonna b so rich!
<novell> /msg atnt haha. idiot.
<novell> whoops. was that out loud?
<SCO> why r u laffin at me?
<novell> dude, unix is so 10 years ago. linux is in now.
<SCO> hey guyz, i bought caldera, I have linux now.
<red_hat> haha, your linux sucks.
<SCO> no wayz, i will sell more linux than u!
<ibm> your linux sucks, you should look at SuSE
<SuSE> Ja. Wir bilden gutes Linux für IBM.
<SCO> can we do linux with you?
<SuSE> Ich bin nicht sicher…
<SuSE> Gut lassen Sie uns vereinigen.
* SuSE is now SuSE[UL]
* SCO is now caldera[UL]
<turbolinux> can we play?
<conectiva> we’re bored… we’ll go too.
* turbolinux is now turbolinux[UL]
* conectiva is now conectiva[UL]
<ibm> redhat: you should join!
<SuSE[UL]> Ja! Wir sind vereinigtes Linux. Widerstand ist vergeblich.
<red_hat> haha. no.
<ibm> what about you debian?
<debian> we’ll discuss it and let you know in 5 years.
<caldera[UL]> no one wants my linux!
<turbolinux[UL]> i got owned.
<caldera[UL]> u all tricked me. linux is lame.
* caldera[UL] is now known as SCO
<SCO> i’m going back to unix.
<SGI> yeah! want to do unix with me?
<SCO> haha. no. lamer.
<SCO> hey, u shut up. im gonna sue u ibm.
<SCO> yea, you stole all the good stuff from unix.
<SuSE[UL]> heraus laut lachen
<SCO> shutup. i’m gonna email all your friends and tell them you suck.
<ibm> go ahead. baby.
<SCO> andandand… i revoke your unix! how do you like that?
<ibm> oh no, you didn’t. AIX is forever.
<novell> actually, we still own unix, you can’t do that.
<SCO> wtf? we bought it from u.
<novell> whoops. our bad.
<SCO> i own u. haha
<SCO> ibm: give me all your AIX now!
<ibm> whatever. lamer.
* ibm sets mode +b SCO!*@*
* SCO has been kicked from #os (own this.)
“Fair enough. One does need a certain amount of training to decide eg, whether or not a set of lines of code from fs/supernode.c is directly copied from mm/vm_init.c, or vice versa. One would also need a certain amount of integrity to let people know that the code performed separate purposes.
“And if that is indeed the case, one would then need to know whether or not the similarities are from direct copying or the use of the same algorithm with the same variable names forced on one because the existence of published works on those algorthms that have made those variable names canonical.
“There’s a lot more than meets the eye.”
Then, there’s the issue of which way the code went. Was it in SCO/AT&T code first, or did they “steal” it from us or BSD and then claim it for themselves?
NO ONE, not even these boneheaded pundits, has yet properly or insightfully dealt with the most important issue here:
How dare these proprietary software manufacturers accuse free-software developers on the issue of control? There is absolutely no way for a free-software or open-source developer to know if someone’s hidden, proprietary code has been copyright-violated.
But then again, I have a sneaking suspicion this was all settled back in the days of the USL suit, and that we’ll find out about that soon enough.
Also, has anyone offered any insight into what might happen if IBM bought them out, and why?
<p>Just a thought, I know that SCO has a ton of code from BSD, and I slso know that IBM has contributed to BSD some.
But the BSD license reads …
<p>THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE FREEBSD PROJECT “AS IS” AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE FREEBSD PROJECT OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.
So should SCO have it’s BSD license revoked?
Really. He knows that *the* comparable case is USL vs BSDi. And he has read it very carefully.
True. Common law – what the UK, the US and the Commonwealth law systems work on – gives a lot of weight to precedence.
And the USL vs BSDi is the relevant precedent in this case.