Home > SCO > SCO Responds to IBM SCO Responds to IBM Submitted by Roberto J. Dohnert 2003-08-08 SCO 80 Comments Newsforge is carrying a response to the IBM suit from the SCO Group. Our Take: SCO has one valid point: this case may well rest more on defining IP rights in an internet age than anything else. Of course, whose IP remains to be seen. About The Author Adam Scheinberg Vice President, Information Technology at Massey Services, Inc • President, Board Member, The Mockingbird Foundation • All Things Web, Umphrey’s McGee • Web Developer • Father • Foodie • Music Snob • OS enthusiast Follow me on Twitter @sethadam1 80 Comments 2003-08-08 11:57 am Valid points?? Move away from the GPL? For what? The GPL is the best thing that could of ever have happened to the computing public. Move away so these grave robbers and the people who are really behind this M$ to try stop LInux and the open source movement. I am sorry but the writing is on the wall. Rome is burning and this is all they got? Man LInux is in better shape than I thought with these kind of rationale. M$ must be really reallly concerned. What a waste of money and time this all is. It is not going to stop LInux at alll. Windows domaination is coming to an end. You are only getting back what you did to all by tring to enslave us all. Remember that always as you watch all you worked for dwindle away. Sco is going to be picked piece by piece by IBM. 2003-08-08 12:01 pm For example ? 2003-08-08 12:01 pm Valid points? I don’t think so. I posted this on another forum I requent: SCO’s response makes me giggle like a little girl. We view IBM’s counterclaim filing today as an effort to distract attention from its flawed Linux business model. That would be the flawed business model which earned IBM $1.5 billion in revenue in 2002. The same business model which earned HP $2 billion revenue in the same period? If IBM were serious about addressing the real problems with Linux, it would offer full customer indemnification and move away from the GPL license. I’m not quite sure why IBM would want to do that, given that the GPL is one of the reasons why IBM can work with Linux. As the stakes continue to rise in the Linux battles, it becomes increasingly clear that the core issue is bigger than SCO (Nasdaq: SCOX – News), Red Hat, or even IBM. The core issue is about the value of intellectual property in an Internet age. This is the “omg, they’re terrorists hell bent on destroying our capitalist company withe evil communist ideas” card. It sucks. In a strange alliance, IBM and the Free Software Foundation have lined up on the same side of this argument in support of the GPL. They’re strange bed fellows, but for some reason I’m strangely comforted by the GPL being “approved” by IBM’s army of trained attack lawyers. IBM urges its customers to use non- warranted, unprotected software. As, indeed, does virtually every software company. Ever read an EULA? This software violates SCO’s intellectual property rights in UNIX, and fails to give comfort to customers going forward in use of Linux. They keep saying this, but nobody actually knows what IP is being infringed (and SCO sure aren’t telling). Contrast this to IBM’s claims, which cite products and patent numbers, and it’s obivous SCO’s hands are “dirtied” – their actions actually prevent prompt remedial action. SCO has shipped these products for many years, in some cases for nearly two decades, and this is the first time that IBM has ever raised an issue about patent infringement in these products. Well, Caldera/SCO shipped and funded Linux for many years. They never raised an issue before and I don’t seem them accepting the same excuse from IBM. Patents don’t work like trademarks. They don’t have to be strictly enforced to remain valid (cf. Unisys) Furthermore, these claims were not raised in IBM’s original answer. So what? SCO’s claims are more fluid than the Atlantic. SCO reiterates its position that it intends to defend its intellectual property rights. SCO will remain on course to require customers to license infringing Linux implementations as a condition of further use. This is the best and clearest course for customers to minimize Linux problems. SCO are fucked and they know it. Really, the level of hypocrisy in that statment is absolutely staggering. All we need now is the SEC to do some sniffing and we’ve got a happy little clusterfuck. 2003-08-08 12:07 pm Only in American people keep filing lawsuits without any evidence and more than likely without a case at all. These lawsuits are all gonna be funny. I can just imagine the judge asking for evidence and SCO reps start crying little little babies. 2003-08-08 12:09 pm I agree fully that IP rights are the crucial point. I disagree that SCO has valid points in this statement. Like most of their public relations effort, they are simply blurring the concept of IP to the point of meaninglessness. There is no law on intellectual property. There are laws on copyright, patents, contracts, etc. To make any kind of case, SCO must state clearly what basis they claim intellectual property rights. The frightening part of this is the possibility that someday a company will get away with claiming intellectual property without having to reveal what that property is. “We own parts of your software, but we won’t tell you what they are.” That would be disastrous. We have to remember to reason intellectual property rights are granted: to encourage inventions. It is not to enrich bottom-dwellers like SCO. Indeed, if the laws aren’t working, they need changing. Sadly, our miserable Congress has caved in to the big companies on this, and given away rights we used to have in old copyrighted material that should by now be free. If the SCO case gets people thinking about what IP really should mean, it would be quite positive. 2003-08-08 12:12 pm Even if SCO ever did have a legitimate claim (and that’s highly doubtful), the way they’ve handled this looks like Bungled Lawsuits 101. The fact that they themselves continue (as of yesterday, anyway) to make their own version of the Linux kernel available for download at their FTP site sort of precludes them from doing a whole lot of pot callin’ kettle black. One of the latest twists is that Novell retained certain rights over Unix and specifically told SCO *not* to revoke the license for IBM’s AIX. SCO went ahead and did it anyway. Interesting that they didn’t mention this in their response; the legal opinions that I’ve read said this is a key point. It’s pretty obvious that SCO was hoping that IBM would either buy them out or give them a quick settlement just to get rid of a gadfly. The reason why SCO’s stock is tanking now is because IBM just announced to the world that they ain’t settling and they ain’t negotiating — that, in fact, they’re going to *crush* SCO in court. This lawyer has been issuing instant legal opinions on the SCO case every time there’s a new development. See http://lamlaw.com 2003-08-08 12:15 pm http://radio.weblogs.com/0120124/ 2003-08-08 12:20 pm Please explain which points you believe to be valid? SCO uses overly broad and vague terms like IP in place of trademark, copyright, and patent in order to confuse less astute people. They are critical of IBM for failing to indemnify people for a product IBM does not make. Exactly what is the level of indemnification that SCO provides for their products? Most software companies only indemnify up to the amount of your purchase price, not for additional damages or legal fees. Most software companies try to dodge any responsibility at all in their EULAs. Anyone who knows anything at all about Linux knows that dropping the GPL is absurd. It is not an option. IBM can enforce its patents in the time and place of its choosing. To its credit, it typically does so defensively instead of basing its business model on litigation. Customers are only being threatened because SCO is doing the unprecedented by threatening to sue end users for purchasing a product in good faith. As usual, SCO’s comments are rambling nonsense. They are either terribly stupid, ignorant and/or uneducated people, or they are shameless liars. Valid points? You don’t have to give credit where none is due just to give the appearance of being fair and open-minded. 2003-08-08 12:22 pm “SCO grows your business“, or so they inform me on their web site. And horse sh*t grows my tomatoes! And strawberries, did I forget to mention! It’s just that I’m a bit careful just when I put the horse sh*t on the strawberries – never when I want eat some. SCO’s got to be good for something. At least it should get the stupid question of whether or not the GPL can stand up in court settled – after all, IBM likes it, and IBM does have a reassuring number of lawyers. Some of them at least, must be honest men. And IBM has hit back, and now SCO’s crying foul. It reminds me of a Punch cartoon I saw ages ago – big fat woman and little man sitting in a marriage counsellor’s office, and the woman is in tears – “And then the brute hit back!” 2003-08-08 12:26 pm I did not get this “valid points” note. What ever they might be? Please list. 2003-08-08 12:29 pm Not to start out a religious war or flames of any kind, but i read somewhere that there is a connection between SCO and mormons, only the comment i read was pretty much flamebait. I am not a religion-interested type of guy, but this seemed like an interesting connection to me. Just do a google search to see what i mean http://www.google.com/search?q=SCO%20mormon&sourceid=mozilla-se… Could anyone please explain a little more about why the Mormon movement/education would influence SCO and why it would explain SCO’s current behavior 2003-08-08 12:32 pm Off Topic but I had a long comment typed out and because I forgot to put in a Subject I lost all I wrote when i tried to submit it. Is there no way to to take the poster to a page with their comment still intact but just put a red comment by the Subject field like “please fill in the subject field” instead of making them type the whole thing again to add a one line comment? 2003-08-08 12:33 pm //It repeats the same unsubstantiated allegations made in Red Hat’s filing earlier this week.// How about SCO’s unsubstantiated allegations? //If IBM were serious about addressing the real problems with Linux, it would offer full customer indemnification and move away from the GPL license.// If SCO were serious about addressing the problems of its Unix then they would offer full indemnification. //IBM urges its customers to use non-warranted, unprotected software.// Ever read the MS EULA? You are rarely covered for any damage that software may do. //This software violates SCO’s intellectual property rights in UNIX, and fails to give comfort to customers going forward in use of Linux.// No. Why is this at least the second time I have seen this in print. There is no proof whatsoever, that has been released to the general public, that Linux is infringing on any IP. //Regarding the patent accusations — SCO has shipped these products for many years, in some cases for nearly two decades, and this is the first time that IBM has ever raised an issue about patent infringement in these products.// That’s funny because SCO shipped the very product (and still offers it on their FTP) that supposedly infringes on their IP, for quite a while, nontheless. //SCO will remain on course to require customers to license infringing Linux implementations as a condition of further use. This is the best and clearest course for customers to minimize Linux problems.// It’s going to be damn messy if they lose. Any company that buys a license is going to sue them for extorting money out of them. So where are the valid points? This is almost as bad as the article claiming “Linux less secure than Windows” in the title. Not only was the title crap but the article was awful. 2003-08-08 12:38 pm Regarding the patent accusations — SCO has shipped these products for many years, in some cases for nearly two decades, and this is the first time that IBM has ever raised an issue about patent infringement in these products. Furthermore, these claims were not raised in IBM’s original answer. Patent’s don’t have to be defended like trademarks. Enforcment of patents is entirely dependent on the patent owner’s whims. It is perfectly legal for IBM to let everyone use certain patents (essentially royalty free) for any amount of time. It is also perfectly legal for them to, whenever they want, point a finger at a company and basically say, “Uh, you’ve been infringing on our patents for X years……pay up.” It is entirely up to a company that is developing a technology to perform the necessary checks to ensure that they aren’t infringing on any patents. The patent owner is not required to constantly police their patents. 2003-08-08 12:46 pm I have changed the press release from SCO and made it look like it came from IBM. PRESS RELEASE We view SCO’s claim filing months ago as an effort to distract attention from its calamitous Linux business model. It repeats the same unsubstantiated allegations made in Redmond previously. If SCO were serious about addressing the real problems with their management, it would offer full customer indemnification (if asked) and respect the terms of the GPL license. As the stakes continue to rise in the Linux battles, it becomes increasingly clear that the core issue is bigger than SCO, Redmond, or even IBM. The core issue is about the misappropriation of Linux developers work by SCO in an Internet age. In a strange alliance, SCO, Microsoft and Sun have lined up on the same side of this argument decrying the GPL. SCO urges its customers to use what they call “warranted, protected” software. This software (OpenServer and Unixware) violates Linus Torvalds copyright related to Linux, and fails to give comfort to customers going forward in its use. If SCO wants customers to accept the risks of deploying OpenServer or UnixWare, it should indemnify them against that risk. The continuing refusal to provide customer indemnification (exemplified by SCO’s Linux license, paragraphe 8.0) is the truest measure of SCO’s belief in its recently filed claims. Regarding the IP accusations — IBM has shipped Linux products for many years and this is the first time that SCO has ever raised an issue about IP violation in these products. Furthermore, these claims haven’t been substantiated in any way by SCO. IBM reiterates its position that it intends to defend its intellectual property rights. IBM does not feel the need to require customers to license any Linux implementations as a condition of further use. This is the best and clearest course for customers to enjoy Linux solutions. END OF PRESS RELEASE Now, can anybody tell me if it doesn’t sound right ? 2003-08-08 12:51 pm I think SCO is really starting to sound confident about this affair. This means they probably have partially right and can actually win in court. Very interesting development. I also read somewhere that many companies are moving away from Linux… it’s simply not trustworthy anymore (now that someone questionned it finally). Big Blue might very well be up to loose another battle, just like they lost the battle of OS/2 vs Win. Keep up the good work SCO! 2003-08-08 12:55 pm C’mon Roberto, give us those valid points, please!!!! We are curious, mate! 2003-08-08 12:57 pm I wondered if all this IP law stuff was going to come back to haunt some companies. Live by the sword, die by the sword. However, I’m not sure how comfortable I am with IBM saving the day using Patent Law. Could the cure be worse than the disease? -bogey 2003-08-08 1:03 pm “We view IBM’s counterclaim filing today as an effort to distract attention from its flawed Linux business model. It repeats the same unsubstantiated allegations made in Red Hat’s filing earlier this week” Well if SCO knows about anythign they know about unsubstantiated allegation. They have done nothing but make unsubstantiated claims for the past year. “If IBM were serious about addressing the real problems with Linux, it would offer full customer indemnification and move away from the GPL license.” What this really means is drop linux as they know there is no way to move away from the GPL License while continuing to use the Linux. “IBM urges its customers to use non-warranted, unprotected software. This software violates SCO’s intellectual property rights in UNIX” Dont you mean “SCO claims this software violates SCO’s intellectual property rights in UNIX” as this has yet to be proven to stating it as fact only adds to Redhats lawsuit. “Thursday August 07, 2003 – [ 11:44 PM GMT ] Topic – Press Releases – Sent by SCO’s PR agency, Schwartz Communications – We view IBM’s counterclaim filing today as an effort to distract attention from its flawed Linux business model. It repeats the same unsubstantiated allegations made in Red Hat’s filing earlier this week. If IBM were serious about addressing the real problems with Linux, it would offer full customer indemnification and move away from the GPL license. As the stakes continue to rise in the Linux battles, it becomes increasingly clear that the core issue is bigger than SCO, Red Hat, or even IBM. The core issue is about the value of intellectual property in an Internet age. In a strange alliance, IBM and the Free Software Foundation have lined up on the same side of this argument in support of the GPL. IBM urges its customers to use non-warranted, unprotected software. This software violates SCO’s intellectual property rights in UNIX, and fails to give comfort to customers going forward in use of Linux. If IBM wants customers to accept the risks of the GPL, it should indemnify them against that risk. The continuing refusal to provide customer indemnification is the truest measure of IBM’s belief in its recently filed claims. Regarding the patent accusations — SCO has shipped these products for many years, in some cases for nearly two decades, and this is the first time that IBM has ever raised an issue about patent infringement in these products” And Linux Kernal 2.4has been distributed for years including by SCO itslef yet it doesnt seem that SCO has taken any notice of this. “Furthermore, these claims were not raised in IBM’s original answer.” So there, Nyaaa “SCO will remain on course to require customers to license infringing Linux implementations as a condition of further use. This is the best and clearest course for customers to minimize Linux problems” Umm I dont think so. I think the GPL is the only license that Linux users need and SCO cannot touch them but can only go after the original contributor and at most require that the code be remove from Linux. What SCO is saying is like someone buying a book and then someone bringing a copyright infringement case against the author. Even if they were to win the case it would not mean that anyone who buys and reads the book is liable for the copyright infringement and coundn’t read the book in its current form without paying the plaintiff a license fee. SCO are saying “lets have a fight about this, we have these weapons and are going to use them” then when the opposition shows it weapons SCO whines “Why didn’t you just talk to us about this. We could have worked something out, but we are still going to try to hit you with this brick” 2003-08-08 1:08 pm Close the bar and call a Taxi to take SCO home before someone gets hurt. 2003-08-08 1:11 pm You’ve just found the best way to describe this whole mess 🙂 2003-08-08 1:23 pm Why does it actually take so long to go to court ??? Can’t they just get on with it and have it done and over with, I mean it is ridiculous enough for SCO to be allowed to spread allegations without showing evidence (in germany they were told to put up or shut up, they decided to shut up – interresting) but this going on can cost the Linux vendors real money (especially that win 2003 server is now being shipped, coincident?) and customers. i mean there must be sth. that can be done quicker, similar to what they’ve done in germany. all the while this is going on the guys in redmond are just laughing … 2003-08-08 1:26 pm “while this is going on the guys in redmond are just laughing …” Well they ponied up about ten million or so dollars to buy that joke 2003-08-08 1:30 pm “Well they ponied up about ten million or so dollars to buy that joke” Yes, but that is just pocketmoney for MS (unfortunately) 2003-08-08 1:32 pm As I understand it: Canopy Group controls about 20 different companies, including SCO. All of these companies are located in the same area of UTAH, sometimes even in the same buildings – buildings owned by Canopy. All the canopy companies are ran by Mormons. The top execs are all graduates of BYU, they all have long business histories with each other, they all sit on each others BODs. All of these companies have stock in each other, and they very actively trade those shares of stock between each other. Canopy also shifts around ownership of these companies. For example, when scox “bought” vultus, that was actually just one canopy canopy company be traded for freshly minted shares of another. Canopy Group is closely affiliated – some say owned – by another group called “Angel Investors.” Angel Investors is very closely affiliated with the Mormon church. As I said, that is my understanding. 2003-08-08 1:34 pm “The core issue is about the value of intellectual property in an Internet age” While I personally disagree with SCO’s actions, I happen to feel the above statement is true. Even if they are proven to be flat-out thieves – this case may well be a benchmark for future GPL claims and certainly for general “intellectual propoerty” cases. What the hell is intellectual property? How can you argue over an intangible such as knowledge? I fear that the future of Linux, while certainly not in jeopardy, is going to be effected by this. We will learn the limits of the GPL in the courtroom, plus we will learn if a company’s “IP” is an entity or an fancy corporate illusion. 2003-08-08 1:41 pm SCO hardly talked about their IP, all they did was attack the GPL. You should be able to see past that. A holder of IP shouldn’t care what license is used in a competing product, only if their IP is hijacked. SCO is at war with open source, and the GPL, probably just to damage IBM as much as they can … IMO because they didn’t get an easy settlement. They’re causing as much pain as they can on their way down the drain. 2003-08-08 1:46 pm When Adam says that they think SCO has valid points, it is the opinion of OSNews not my opinion. I just submmitted the story 2003-08-08 1:46 pm shall I need to sign a NDA to see them ? 2003-08-08 1:46 pm It certainly makes a bit more sense than the original, but that doesn’t really surprise me now after all SCO have said. 2003-08-08 2:02 pm Actually, it is only my opinion, not necessarily those of other OSNews editors. 2003-08-08 2:06 pm “Our Take: SCO has some …” So you were using the ‘pluralis majestatis’ i guess (-; 2003-08-08 2:06 pm I saw ZERO responding to IBM’s claims (I may not get this exactly right) that by distributing code under the GPL, SCO has given up proprietary rights in what they distributed, under the terms of the GPL. Also, common sense tells you can’t have a “trade secret” in something that you’ve publicly distributed. No response to that. They complain a lot abou the GPL, but they voluntarily agreed to be bound by it by distributing code under it. It’s a little too late to complain abou the terms now. Also, I saw nothing responding to IBM’s claim that SCO can’t revoke their UNIX license because Novell directed SCO not to do so and apparently retained the rights to do so when it licensed/sold UNIX to SCO. 2003-08-08 2:14 pm The reason IBM won’t do this, or is reluctant, is that it would make SCO’s claims more valuable for the purpose of a settlement. I mean if SCO has to go out and sue a zillion people using Linux, that costs a lot. For many “infringers” the legal costs would be way higher than the damages. Even suing hundreds of large users would be difficult and costly. If IBM were to indemnify, then this whole hurdle would be removed. SCO could just sue IBM. I think a settlement is possible here. It’s always possible. The only question is the amount. If IBM were to idemnify, then the starting figure for settlement would just go higher and SCO would have much more leverage on IBM. It would be a realbad idea for IBM to make things easier for SCO and give them more leverage. So IBM’s refusal to indemnify has nothing to do with how strong they think their claims are. That’s just rhetorical, BS from SCO. 2003-08-08 2:16 pm Can someone please show me where SCO made valid points if any ? All this sounds like to me is that SCO is now running scared. If SCO wants to play hard ball it better know how to take a punch in the face and not cry like a little girl. 2003-08-08 2:23 pm The posting shows that there is nothing new in SCO’s position or statements. By all accounts, when you have an IP claim, you take it to court; and depending on the outcome, you settle your claim in one way or another. That’s not what’s happening here. SCO is jumping from start to finish without even showing what their claim is about. I don’t think that up to now this case has anything to do with IP, but with ruthless individuals making “unsubstantiated” claims. How can anyone say that they (SCO) have a point, if no one really knows if what they are alleging is true to begin with? FUD for money is what this is all about, nothing else! 2003-08-08 2:26 pm Why is it that people are so crazy about the GPL license? I mean when you think about it, it just is worthless. Be happy instead that the actions of SCO might kill a lot of GPL licensed stuff and we might enjoy free licenses instead. 2003-08-08 2:28 pm SCO takes IBM to task for making unsubstantiated statemens and then makes its own unsubstantiated statement. SCO has refused to make the disputed code public. Therefore, saying it owns the code is entirely unsubstantiated. I could say it belongs to me – does this make it so? No. I can file papers applying for a patent or copyright on an object – does this make me its owner? No. SCO needs to make the code public. They say they don’t want to for legal reasons pertaining to any upcoming court case. Maybe there is another reason. If they made it public and someone realized their claim was true, they coul rewrite the offending code and SCO would then not be able to intimidate people into paying greenmail. Even if the code in SCO Unix/IBM AIX is the same, that still does not make SCO the owner. Maybe someone took Linux code and put it in as an upgrade to Unix, not the other way around. Unlikely? Perhaps, but many people work on both sets of code. How do we know if no one will step forward and put the code out there for people to see? SCO claims that Linux progressed too rapidly on items like SMP. I say, that once an object is invented the underlying ideas are understood and can then be duplicated easier and quicker that if they are developed from scratch. This does not mean anyone copied another persons code. If I take CS courses at school, I am taught all of the principles of those courses. I can then write code to perform a function without copying code because my insttructors/mentors taught me the primciples involved and I can then duplicate the end result. Can you build a bicycle? You see them everyday. Someone has already invented them. I just need to see them, buy come components, make others with some readily available tools and materials and I have a bike. I stole no ones copyrights or patents. I just saw what is already there and made my own. Once SMP code is developed and people attend conferences or attend some sort of class/training sessions, I’ll bet a smart programmer could then write SMP code rather quickly, in fact much quicker that it the original person to come up with the coding processes in the beginning. This is not theft or a miracle, merely hard work by intelligent people. So if SCO wants people to believe them they need to show us and document their code as original with proof, not unsubstantiated statements. 2003-08-08 2:28 pm Linux on IBM machines is always from Red Hat or Suse. Advertizing is clear that IBM machines “running Linux” are popular…it’s never, ever specified as any form of “IBM Linux” Therefor any indemnification cannot come from IBM…They are mearly reselling a product that a customer asked for! They can’t warranty what’s not theirs! Unlike with SCO, you can’t download linux from IBM’s website…IBM’s been planning on this suit for a while now. SCO users have no indemnification from the IBM patent claims unless the EULA expressly allows it, dudes! In most patent cases, the plantiffs ‘follow the money’ and sue the supplier, but as in the Unisys .gif case, they can and do sue the user if they know the distributors don’t have any money to get. SCO is barking up the wrong tree here. And again, we find SCO “disappointed” about IBM adding claims to their countersuit. This is obviously for comic effect to keep us netizans from getting bored with the case. SCO has changed their tune almost weekly since this began..IBM is working to protect their “users” by calling SCO out on several of their wilder claims… one thing to remember here is that nobody currently making accusations was actually in charge at SCO when Caldera was actively promoting linux. They’re looking at their cards in a poker game and now trying to play “go fish”–and crying because everyone else doesn’t want to play! 2003-08-08 2:29 pm Can someone explain to a simpleton *WHY* SCO has chosen not to provide public display of the alleged infringing code ? If the LINUX community replaces the offending code overnight there will always be evidence of such cover-up in the archives. Thus (to a simpleton’s mind), revealing the code should not spoil SCO’s legal evidence towards its IP claim. (This is one case where evidence is *not* easy to be tainted) Can one the “complextons” shed some light in this ? Thanks 2003-08-08 2:47 pm I think SCO is really starting to sound confident about this affair. I disagree. I think they are starting to sound desperate, in addition to changing their claims (first they had “copyrights”, not they have “control rights”…) This means they probably have partially right and can actually win in court. The confidence someone displays before going to court is no indication of their chance of winning. If you ask me, IBM, RedHat and the whole Linux community sound a lot more confident than SCO. Following your logic, this would mean that they are sure of winning… I also read somewhere that many companies are moving away from Linux… it’s simply not trustworthy anymore (now that someone questionned it finally). Wishful thinking. Actually, Netcraft has printed a story showing just the opposite: Linux usage has continued to rise. I think you’re mistaking Gartner propaganda for reality. Big Blue might very well be up to loose another battle, just like they lost the battle of OS/2 vs Win. Actually, looking at their countersuit, I’d say SCO’s days are numbered. Keep up the good work SCO! Yeah, keep digging your own grave, SCO! 2003-08-08 2:47 pm Not to start a flame war here but “Free Licenses” are nice if you don’t care about maintaining any control or ownership over the code you put out for others to play with. I have nothing against “Completely 100% Free Licenses” especially if you don’t care about someone else profiting and later on locking you out of your own code, hey that’s your choice to make in the end. GPL is nice in that you can share your work and not get ripped off or locked out. Again GPL is cool if that is what you are looking. Yet no one is forcing you to use it for your own projects or make it part of an existing project. 2003-08-08 2:50 pm Why don’t they say which code infringes? I dredged through a bunch of Slashdot postings, and the thing that made the most sense was that SCO thinks they’ve got an anti-open-source strategy. That is, say you have an infringement, name a large ($699) value on the infringement, but keep the infringement secret for years (trial set for 2005?) before making it public. The open source guys would remove any infringement you let them know about, so you don’t let them know. You keep it secret. You claim that it was there all those years, hurting you, and you couldn’t make them stop. 2003-08-08 2:50 pm If SCO releases the code, Linux distributors will change it and move forward in complete disregard to SCO’s business rights. That’s what Darl McBride says. SCO has a “business right” to make sure Linux doesn’t stop infringing and a “business right” to be paid before any court rulings in their favor and before Linux developers get a chance to prove they are the ones who wrote the code. 2003-08-08 2:50 pm AFAIK they didn’t counter the claims made by IBM about SCO’s violation of IBM’s IP (the patent infringement alleged in IBM’s complaint). Though perhaps in time they will. But picture it: SCO tries to pull the license for AIX, which represents some tiny slice of IBM’s revenue, founded on shadowy and contestable IP claims. And now we have IBM threatening basically every revenue-generating product released by SCO based on what I presume are less dubious IP claims. It’s like SCO pushed the “fire” button but it turned out to be the self-destruct button. And I’d bet IBM’s response was measured — that IBM has more legal challenges ready to lob in SCO’s direction at the appointed time. SCO is putting a brave face on it for the sake of their stock price. It’s not easy standing on a soapbox while you’re being pushed inside. The lid is not on the box yet, but we can see it coming. 2003-08-08 3:04 pm If SCO releases the code, Linux distributors will change it and move forward in complete disregard to SCO’s business rights. That’s what Darl McBride says. Well… here is a second simple question then: What does it matter if distributors change and move forward in disregard to SCO’s business rights ? SCO should still be able to prove the change based on the archives and they should be able to collect damages for at least up to the point in time where the change occured. Furthermore, they might even argue in court that “if the evidence was not revealed when it would not have been subject to change”. Thus they might be able to collect damages for the entire time-bracket up to the court date. 2003-08-08 3:18 pm What does it matter if distributors change and move forward in disregard to SCO’s business rights ? SCO should still be able to prove the change based on the archives and they should be able to collect damages for at least up to the point in time where the change occured. They are in a catch-22. In order to win big bucks, they need to prove that the SCO code is worth $699-$1399 a seat. If they let the word out, and the code is easily replaced, was it really worth $699-$1399 a seat? You see, they need to keep SCO code in Linux, so they can claim Linux cannot run without SCO code. I really hope the courts are smart enough to defuse that game. 2003-08-08 3:21 pm I also think there was no valid points by SCO here. In fact they dont sound nearly as confident and arrogant as they usually do too. I personally think their IP claims are painfully weak as well considering they hold very little if any patents (those are still with Novell) and they only hold a small number at best of the actual Unix copyrights. Im also willing to bet a buffalo nickel that we havent heard the last from Novell yet either. 2003-08-08 3:22 pm I saw a lot of people here complaining about what are the SCO “valid points”, but the original post up there said “ONE VALID POINT” (no S), being: “this case may well rest more on defining IP rights in an internet age than anything else. Of course, whose IP remains to be seen.” 2003-08-08 3:27 pm 1) Linux has a version control system and has had one since day one. 2) Any code claimed by SCO could then be back traced to it’s author. This type of information is stored in the above version control system. 3) The GPL places the responsability for making sure the code is releasable on the author; thus, Linux isn’t at fault! The author must pay all the damages. 4) The author most likely doesn’t have very much money. In a court case, it’s important to list everyone you can to increase your chances of getting money. 5) The authorship of the code could also be questionable. Please remember that a lot of the AT&T code base was copied from the BSDs. Since Linux has also copied code from the BSD, the code in question could actually belong to the BSD code base. 6) Much of the quoted lines of code are related to IBM code such as the NUMA, and JFS. This code is still in question as to who has control. The IBM-AT&T contracts state that IBM owns the code and SCO believes that they have control over it. If it’s determined in court that IBM has full control, then the number of lines of code in conflict becomes much less; this could also destroy most of their case. One a side note related to SCO IP: 1) SCO beleives they control all the UNIX IP (copy right and trade secrets). However, this isn’t very much once you start looking at it. a) AT&T UNIX has no trade secrets. AT&T gave the code away to schools which did the next logical thing and used it to teach future IT people about how OSs and computers worked. Thus every single method in the code was publicly documented. If something is publicly documented and the documentation is generaly aviable then it can’t contain trade secrets. b) The AT&T code base has been publicly aviable for years. With the exception of System V, the early versions of UNIX source were aviable for public download. (This is the same source that BSD used and was later copied into Linux.) Until SCO filed suite, it was even aviable from the SCO web site for free. c) Thus what SCO really owns is the copyrights on the AT&T source + Novel source + SCO source – BSD source. There is no longer any trade secrets in the OS. 2) Through contracts they also have a say over what Licenced UNIX venders can do with their in-house code; this is what they are basing the IBM case on. However in the IBM case, IBM has a side contract that says IBM owns the code and can do what ever they like with it (this will have to be settled in court). Even this isn’t absolute, Novel retained the right to override SCO’s inforcement of the contracts (this is where IBM claims that SCO is in contract violation since Novel told them not to revoke IBM’s AIX license and SCO revoked it anyways). SCO is correct that IBM can’t give away SCO code; however, IBM only gave away code that they had control over. a) The AIX JFS code would only have SCO code in the interfaces between the block device drives and the file system APIs; this code had to be removed and replaces with Linux compatable version (thus I don’t thing anything is left). b) The NUMA support was IBM code and methods; this has more to do with how to design the schedular and not any actual code. c) IBM is very careful with they do things. I can’t beleive that they would let any SCO code slip into Linux. Also, IBM’s contract allows them to do clean-room re-implementations; thus, if they documented how something worked in AIX and then give the documentation to the Linux programmers to implement, then no SCO code was given away even if the code looks very simular to the orgianal. In summary: 1) IBM and SCO need to settle the contract disputes in court. 2) SCO needs to leave the Linux people alone until the ownership of the IBM code is settled. 3) If SCO believes that there is non-IBM supplied code problems in Linux, then they need to tell the kernel maintainers what code it is and have them remove it or prove ownership of it. They can also request a list of contributers so they can sue them for copyright violations. The problem with #3 is that there’s not much money in it. If some kid in his mothers basement downloaded the publicly aviable AT&T source and then copied it into Linux, then he’ll have no money to pay SCO and the copyright would still be questionable. 2003-08-08 3:39 pm I wrote (politely) two days ago to SCO (for the Portions) and SUSE (for the distro..) to ask them if I should seriousely pay a 699$ tax for using Linux at home and nobody replied to me, did anybody had an answer from SCO or from his Linux vendor about this ? 2003-08-08 3:44 pm I think the “orignal” post has changed this morning. 2003-08-08 3:48 pm That about says it all right there. And, with Novell making a big linux play these days and apparently holding veto power on IP contract enforcement……Id say SCO is sunk in their IBM case. 2003-08-08 4:06 pm “Why is it that people are so crazy about the GPL license? I mean when you think about it, it just is worthless. Be happy instead that the actions of SCO might kill a lot of GPL licensed stuff and we might enjoy free licenses instead” Another nice Troll because i have taken the bait. The GPL is far from worthless and in fact is probably the main reason why Linux is more popular and is gaining more functions than the BSD’s. If Linux was released under the BSD License then many of the companies contributing to the linux would not be releasing that code to the community which makes the OS more and more attractive compared to BSD. Sure BSD is supposed to be more stable and more secure etc and probably could have been an all around better OS than Linux. If that is the case then why isn’t it being used more than linux? Because companies like IBM do not want to contribute code than can be placed in a competitors proprietary product the way it could with BSD. They can limit the use of their code while still allowing it to be used and improved apon by anyone who is willing to not close the source of thier improvements. You can never have as much progress with the BSD and totally free licenses as you can with GPL. The nice thing is that anyone who wants to can release their own original code any way they want including cross licensing in the GPL and the BSD license. Why is it so bad to say you can do anything you want with this code except make your modifications to it closed source or use it in a closed source project? 2003-08-08 4:09 pm 1) How can SCO justify charging $699 for a few lines of code? The fact remains that the code in question was created, developed and distributed by IBM. SCO needs to back away before it makes a real dick of itself. 2) SCO/Caldera started making Linux-threats way before McBride jumped on board. Anyone who has a decent memory would remember the uproar that was caused when Ransom Love and his comments regarding GPL vs other opensource licenses. This was only the start of a slow and slippery slope they pushed themselves down. 3) Interesting that this whole issue was raised several months after UnitedLinux 1.0 was released and SuSE became the flavour of the month in regards to SAP and Oracle certification. Is this whole suite a hissue-fit by SCO? How much has SCO made of Linux? very little if not nothing at all. 4) Linux has gone through 21 patch revisions, YET, it has taken FOUR 2.4 based SCO Linux distribution releases for them to come out of the wood work and “suddenly” scream blue murder about something which has nothing to do with their IP port folio. Conclusion: I am NO issues with businesses enforcing their IP rights, however, I do have issues with businesses who mearly bring out IP issues out of the wood works years later because they happen to be in the fiancial shit. 2003-08-08 4:33 pm I currently work for a Canopy funded company (GeoLux) and used to work for a company that received money from Angel Investors. Now, before you stop reading, let me add that I think SCO made a mistake. I just wanted to clarify two things from this post: As I understand it: Canopy Group controls about 20 different companies, including SCO. All of these companies are located in the same area of UTAH, sometimes even in the same buildings – buildings owned by Canopy. All the canopy companies are ran by Mormons. The top execs are all graduates of BYU, they all have long business histories with each other, they all sit on each others BODs. All of these companies have stock in each other, and they very actively trade those shares of stock between each other. … The word “all” in this paragraph ought to read “often” instead. Canopy Group is closely affiliated – some say owned – by another group called “Angel Investors.” Angel Investors is very closely affiliated with the Mormon church. To my knowledge, Angel Investors gives money to companies if that company will license their technology to the Mormon church for free or reduced cost. I have no problem with Ray Noorda or anyone else wants to essentially donate technology to any charitable organization. But the Mormon church isn’t “affiliated” with Angel Investors or Canopy Group in any business sense. It does not have a controling interest in either company, nor, I suspect, any interest in controlling them either. 2003-08-08 4:44 pm I think its a fun read: http://lwn.net/Articles/43592/ 2003-08-08 4:50 pm I currently work for a Canopy funded company (GeoLux) What a shame. How soon before your company starts using unsubstantiated predatory litigation to go after other companies? I don’t know whether Canopy Group is a Mormon industry or not. As long as they aren’t tax exempt as some religious organization, I don’t really care. 2003-08-08 5:08 pm No Adam, SCO makes NO valid points. “The core issue is about the value of intellectual property in an Internet age” Technology, Open Source and the Internet DO present a hoard of new issues in regards to intellectual property, but the SCO case has NOTHING to do with ANY of these. SCO is just trying hide it’s greedy, extortive shakedown attempts behind the current issues we are all dealing with in the face of this technological explosion. If SCO was really interested in preserving their rights to their IP they would HAVE to look to the LAW and the COURTS to seek justice and compensation. Just like everyone else. We are a nation of laws! If SCO was serious about how much they value their IP, they would be pushing it through the courts, demanding injunctions and putting all there efforts into getting a quick and favorable judgement. The definitions, rights, resposibilities and legal ramifications of Intellectual Property, can only truly be decided (and enforced) from a court of law. Since SCO seems to be reluctant to actually go to court, I think their entire scheme has nothing to do with “the value of intellectual property in an Internet age”. It’s all about the money. Money from raising the stock price. Money from irritating a big company enough into buying them out. Money from demanding people to pay for licenses they do not need. EVERY single action SCO has taken has been carefully planned to build it’s WEALTH. It has NOT been to clarify or affirm it’s “Intellectual Property Rights.” While they want us to believe that they are fighting for their IP rights for the benefit of all IP holders, the truth is they only truly care about the money that goes into their own pockets. 2003-08-08 5:14 pm What is great (very stupid) is everyone suggesting Linux vendors move away from the GPL … 2 reasons: 1 – The GPL CANNOT be moved away from, to attempt to release the GPL’d parts of the linux code under ANY other licensee would be violating the intellectual property rights of those original creators. The entire point of the GPL is that noon can hijack the code / product under a different license. 2 – The GPL is what makes linux linux … there are BSD licensed OSes (for example FreeBSD). And there are commercial OSes … see AIX, IRIX, etc … and non of these has grown into the major competitor that linux is. The GPL IS the single factor which makes linux attrictive to those who wish to use or support it (the the single factor which makes other wish to stop it). 2003-08-08 5:15 pm I currently work for a Canopy funded company (GeoLux) What a shame. How soon before your company starts using unsubstantiated predatory litigation to go after other companies? Ignoring the taunt, I suspect that as long as we’re profitable we won’t need to. 🙂 Even if we fail, I hope we won’t choose to. I don’t know whether Canopy Group is a Mormon industry or not. As long as they aren’t tax exempt as some religious organization, I don’t really care. Canopy is for-profit. I’m not sure about Angel Investors. 2003-08-08 5:24 pm After reading IBMs counter suit in its entirety, I’d have to say SCO is TOAST. IBMs complaint is completely chock full of fact and supporting evidence that pretty much demolishes any of SCOs claims thus far. Not only is IBM gonna smash them, but they are also in complete violation of their contracts with Novell. Thats right…Novell exercised their contractual right to put SCO in its place and tell them they are not allowed to revoke IBMs AIX license…..but SCO went ahead and illegally did it anyway. Boy this is really get juicy now. 2003-08-08 5:27 pm reading up on it and googling a little further i must say that canopy/Angel Investors/SCO indeed reeks fishy. It seems to me that they are walking very thin lines, sponsoring with money from dubious sources (can one use the word laundr-o-mat in english to describe this) anyways, i am not saying they are cheating, only that the more you look into it, the more fishy it seems. It might also just be a case of “like attracts like” where mormon CEO’s like to be surrounded by other mormon CEO’s (which is not so weird after all, every group prefers to hang out with ppl from the same group) maybe it’s not the mormon underlying that has anything to do with this, a few corrupt people can use the mormon church as a cover or whatever, but i would really like to see an investigation in these financials as i don’t think religion and business should be mixed when different laws apply and it’s too easy to get between hiati in the law 2003-08-08 5:42 pm I don’t think that much should be made out of the Mormon thing with SCO. The Canopy Group, founded by billionaire Ray Noorda of Novell, is located in Utah county, Utah, where Novell is also located. Utah County has a small tech community whose backbone was Novell and WordPerfect (back when they still existed) and BYU, which is also there, much like HP, XeroxPARC, and Stanford gave rise to Silicon Valley. Utah county’s tech industry is on a much smaller scale that SV of course, and is very insular. Utah County is demographically very Mormon, and as most of the students at BYU are too (BYU is run by the Mormon church), most of the well educated techies and MBA types in Utah county are also mormon. It’s just a matter of demographics. The canopy group is the most prolific venture capital-type organization in the region, so upstart tech companies in the area are likely to consider them for funding sources, and they operate a type of incubator, with office space all congregated together, and they try to use each other as suppliers and customers, which makes good sense. The Canopy Group has been accused of some shady financial dealings, and I have no info on that, though I’m sure it could be true. Caldera, a canopy group company, was always a little sleazy and not very idealistic when it came to Linux, IMO, even before they bought SCO. SCO/Canopy’s alleged sleaze has nothing to do with the Mormon connection, except to add irony, as Mormons tend to count their integrity in business as a point of pride. The fact that the Canopy companies are very incestuous is one part pragmatism and the rest due to the fact that the local tech economy is small and close-knit. The fact that they’re heavily Mormon is just demographics. I’d say that 80% of the well-educated tech or business types in the area are Mormon, so there you have it. 2003-08-08 6:07 pm SCO is the Linux problem. The SCO are not solving any problems, they are the problem. They are the most hated organization in the computer industry right now because they are trying to steal a product that belongs to the user community. The SCO is spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt by not revealing the ‘code in question’ because the SCO is only after money that they can only make through litigation. Their actions clearly put them in danger of committing a criminal offense. The SCO will never be accepted by Linux users, especially countries outside of North America, because the SCO is a parasite organization and forcing people through such a flimsy arguement to sign checks over to dirt bags just doesn’t hold any water. As far as indemnification goes, leave that to the users. If the users want indemnification than they will demand it. Personally I don’t want any one organization to own Linux, so I would rather that IBM did not try to own it, that’s why we have the GPL. It prevents a dictator from monopolizing the control over the platform and making it into a vendor product like Microsoft. 2003-08-08 6:12 pm If there is any Unix code in Linux, lets see the code. The SCO might have a legitimate claim to some money, especially if they can prove that and organization was responsible, however instead SCO has more than likely only choose IBM because IBM is a successful organization with lots of money. This whole case is not about illegal code, it’s about trying to claim ownership of the Linux platform. Well that is not going to happen because it is illegal. 2003-08-08 6:15 pm The SCO are the last people in this world who would want to see Unix code removed from Linux. That’s why they are dirt bags and likely put any offending code there themselves. I’d bet that if there is any offending code than it is less than 1% of the gross. So lets get that code out of there if it exists and lets move on. There should be laws preventing organizations from committing extortion. That’s the only valid point to this whole debacle. 2003-08-08 7:51 pm Could this whole ‘sco-affair’ be a kind of microsoft undercover tactic to get linux down on its knees? Considering that sco clearly is not able to substantiate their complaints, but merely spits out new allegations without backing it up with evidence. The intention looks like a propaganda campaign to draw away customers from linux. 2003-08-08 7:54 pm Oh PLEASE. Anyone who has the access to SCO UNIX code (e.g. IBM) can run a string matching program to compare it with linux sources. Don’tr you think IBM has already done that? They are not revealing the results, I do not know why. My suggestion: if anyone has access to SCO Unix code, RUN THE COMPARISON with Linux kernel sources and PUT THE RESULTS ON THE WEB (preferably somewhere where SCO can’t sue you). It is about time to start removing that code (if any) from Linux. Let’s move it, people. Here are some links for string matching technologoes that can be used (I’m sure there are better things): http://www.plagiarism.org/technology.html http://www.cs.ucdavis.edu/~gusfield/strmat.html Fr theory, http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/projects/MDR/papers/part1999-monostor… (the above pdf can ve opened by e.g. xpdf, my acroread does not like it) Action, NOW ! 2003-08-08 8:41 pm Funny to see that Trolltech is also on the Canopy basket… 2003-08-08 8:46 pm The only way to make this story better would be for IBM to send threatening letters to SCO customers warning them about possible repercussions running SCO’s patent infringing products. 2003-08-08 8:54 pm <<<< licensed/sold UNIX to SCO. >>>> SCO only has an advanced license to sublicense and sell UNIX and Novell did sell some of the material for Unix, but from my understanding most of the copyrights do remain with Novell. 2003-08-08 10:34 pm However, I’m not sure how comfortable I am with IBM saving the day using Patent Law. Could the cure be worse than the disease? Why say that? There is no rule of enforcement for patents. A company that owns a patent can pick and choose who they want to license it to and, therefore, who they are willing to let just use the patent without paying. Patent’s aren’t like trademarks where you have to defend them to keep them. IBM is well within their rights to go after SCO with these patents and then just continue to let the rest of the world use the patented technology without ever bothering them (that is, until a company possibly pisses IBM off). It’s the “walk softly and carry a big stick” form of business. 2003-08-09 12:46 am That this is becoming more of a battle between two different ways to approach development when it concerns Linux. Micorosft, and other closed source software companies realise that money cannot buy them a better product to sell, so by undermining OSS, they can limit its growth. SCO could not develop Unixware to keep up with Linux, because Unixware was developed by as many people as SCO could employ, but Linux has more developers than they can bring up. Clearly, for a proprietary company, this is a problem since their biggest advantage, money to hire more developers, is nullified, so they cry foul and say they can’t cross license stuff an all. 2003-08-09 1:08 am MS is the winner because Unix involved with this kind of IP legal thing from the beginning. MS in the other hand, although the original DOS was taken from others, they face legal battle less than Unix does. And MS did innovate but Unix IP holder less innovative whereas Unix licencees was very restricted to innovate since all their work will belong th the Unix IP holder. I just nagging but could you imagine what will happened if SCO own Linux/*BSD and other good OS OS? No more innovation!!! 2003-08-09 4:00 am MS in the other hand, although the original DOS was taken from others, they face legal battle less than Unix does. Gee, I don’t know. MS has been in a lot of legal battles, the latest but not the least being the InterTrust lawsuit. 2003-08-09 9:46 am The biggest joke is that Unix itself was heavily developed in the early days by the very self-same mechanism that operates with Linux – the source code was relatively cheap and available to Universities and their students, the hackers who started the Unix ball rolling – Kernighan, Ritchie, Thompson, etc – were open to improvements and bug-fixes from the outside, and they were all intent on not letting the kill-joys (AT&T lawyers) kill their joy. *BSD took up the challenge of developing Unix further, and operated on much the same sort of principles. When the AT&T lawyers got their grubby little hands around the throat of Unix, naturally *BSD became the major important source of Unix development and improvement. Which is part of the reason why I’m not interested in letting the SCO SCAM-artists have their way with Linux. 2003-08-09 2:40 pm You know our entire Government is corrupt already right? Well I’m willing to bet that it doesn’t go as cleanly as it should. Seeing that Microsoft pretty much got away free of charge on their monopoly hearings and this is totally the opposite of what most people though would/should happen. Well MS is going to pay off the judge….watch and learn maybe. 2003-08-09 4:18 pm “hearings and this is totally the opposite of what most people though would/should happen. Well MS is going to pay off the judge….watch and learn maybe.” And you think what that IBM is incapable of influencing a few politicians? Watch and learn as IBM gets their way. By the way the bushies are on their way out, despite the US medias hostility to the democrat party. MS is screwed. What will be interesting to see will be if IBM can trace this back to microsoft and sue redmond. That i would enjoy. 2003-08-11 10:25 am “Seeing that Microsoft pretty much got away free of charge on their monopoly hearings and this is totally the opposite of what most people though would/should happen. ” Well maybe in America – in Europe Microsoft is still under trial and it looks like they have to remove MediaPlayer / IE / and include Java into WinXP – Europeans are generally not on very good footing with Microsoft and it seems they are determinded to curve MS.