The SCO Group plans to announce Monday that it is escalating its campaign to collect license fees from corporations using the Linux OS, with warning letters to the companies. Supporters of Linux, including IBM and other companies, say that SCO’s interpretation of its claim over Linux is exaggerated.
SCO Sends Second Letter to Linux Users
2003-12-22 SCO 53 Comments
The new letters, signed by Ryan E. Tibbitts, SCO’s general counsel, name more than 65 programming files that “have been copied verbatim from our copyrighted Unix code base and contributed to Linux.”
Somebody have a list of these files? I suppose newsletters can’t be protected by a NDA.
no, because then we could just rewrite those files and be done with it.
just because the open source community can rewrite all those files overnight doesn’t mean that they can “erase” all evidence of it or undo what they have done. if they are guilty, they will STILL be liable, even if they modify it.
that is, if SCO’s allegations are correct… which is questionable
…and archives with these files would still exist, anyway. I’m just curious to see what are those files.
“The company asserts that Linux, a variant of Unix that is distributed free, violates SCO’s license and copyright.”
Anyone else think this sentence is wrong ? How is linux a variant of Unix ? It may be Unix like but in no way is it related to Unix.
“On Dec. 5, a federal district judge in Utah ordered that within 30 days, SCO had to show the court and I.B.M. the Linux code to which SCO claims it has rights and where IBM has infringed upon it.”
Ten more working days without code and SCO’s claims and court case will be going do the drain.
Scox’s earning are going to be disasterous. Scox desperately needs a distraction so that investors don’t worry too much about earnings. Investors are supposed to think: “Forget about this quarter’s earnings, now that scox has this solid evidence, all these companies are bound to pay scox for linux licenses.”
Of course there is no real evidence, but few investors/traders are very technical. Scox has brought their share price from $0.78/share to $18.00/share with these sorts of misleading statements. The idea is only to pump the stock price, scox doesn’t expect to exist long term.
Please read groklaw.net.
“The warning letters come after David A. Boies, a lawyer representing SCO, said on Nov. 18 that the company intended to single out and sue a large corporate user of Linux within three months.”
Who are they going to sue next? One would think that whoever it will be, it probably won’t be a *particularly* large company — it would make more sense for them to sue someone with name recognition, but who doesn’t necessarily have a large war chest for legal defense. It would make sense for SCO to sue a small/medium sized company for absurd amounts of money and press hard for a comparitively tiny settlement. Something like that might scare the hell out of many of the other companies to whom they’re sending letters.
If they do try something like that, I wonder if anyone (IBM perhaps) will offer to help fund a legal defense for the targeted company.
actually that would remove liablity. the first step to any infringement claim requires that the wrong doer be notified and asked to stop the infringement. SCO has yet to do that one. they say “some code ” infringes. BUT they make sure the maintainers cannot discover what code it is, therefore preventing their ability to fix the problem. this is especially important in the case of accidental copyright infringement, Linux / Alan didnt make the decision to steal code and distribute it the kernel. someone submitted it, and in good faith they applied it. (for the moment, lets pretend SCO has a legit claim). yes, accidental crimes are still liable, but in the world of IP, accidental is a factor that is important in how you deal with it. notify and attempt to right the wrong, then sue if actual money is lost (ie Redhat could be claimed to have profitted from the infringement) but again, since intentional infringement was not present, the money is more based on reality as opposed to fictious punishment figures.
SCO is probably telling the truth but yes they are over exagerating. Furthermore, their attorney’s SUCK. I doubt they will win any lawsuit. They need a good PR campaign not a bad one toward linux. thanks to SCO we are now seeing a faster adoption of linux in the enterprise. I mean look- linux is on TV now (mainstream even!)
SCO is not going about it the wrong way. They should sue the hell out of the companies that broke their contractual agreements and leave linux alone.
David Bioes (cannot spell) is a du|/|mb$h!t.. They are going about it all wrong. The only thing SCO will get accomplished is this.
1) short period of high stock value
2) alot of press, benifiting linux more.
3) they will make alot of people angry.
4) old SCO linux customers will be pi$$ed.
5) they will loose their legal battles probably
6) lawsuits can be filed against SCO due to their stupid actions
SCO is a young little company that needs to learn that althouigh this can benifit them in the short term they will die in the long run. I guess thats what you’d expect from crooks like mcbride.
>>Who are they going to sue next?<<
Maybe nobdoy. IMO: scox is a stock scam, and all of their statements are designed to boost stock price. Scox has made many such statements that have been proven to be outright lies.
>>One would think that whoever it will be, it probably won’t be a *particularly* large company — it would make more sense for them to sue someone with name recognition, but who doesn’t necessarily have a large war chest for legal defense.<<
Scox has successfully sued msft already. Scox’s parent company (essentially the same company) has successfully sued CA. Of course, now scox has sued IBM. Canopy/scox is not afraid of the big fish.
>>It would make sense for SCO to sue a small/medium sized company for absurd amounts of money and press hard for a comparitively tiny settlement. Something like that might scare the hell out of many of the other companies to whom they’re sending letters. <<
The letters are jokes to big companies. The letters don’t even make sense. But, speculitive “investors” may think scox has a big settlement coming and buy up scox stock. This makes scox’s stock price go up 1700% which makes insiders very happy.
>>If they do try something like that, I wonder if anyone (IBM perhaps) will offer to help fund a legal defense for the targeted company <<
IBM won’t need to. OSS community will help. OSS community was sending donations to redhat legal defense fund.
You’re likely right. I guess the reason I just *can’t* get my head around the idea that all of this is nothing but a stock scam is — well, as a stock scam it’s just so transparent! I mean, if there’s really absolutely *nothing* behind all of this — not even SCO’s misguided belief that all of this has some merit — don’t these guys realize they’re going to be in huge legal trouble a couple years from now? I mean, are they planning to run off to countries that have no extradition treaties with the U.S. or something? I just don’t get it.
[i]If they do try something like that, I wonder if anyone (IBM perhaps) will offer to help fund a legal defense for the targeted company.[i]
Don’t forget the million dollar defense fund that Red Hat started. That should be able to help out even the little guy. SCOx will not have any easy time against anyone.
I don’t know but… maybe all this will turn out to be just a publicity stunt from the Post Office to promote writing.
Seriously, SCO knows it doesn’t have a case against Linux or IBM. That’s the only reason for trying to lure users into paying.
is to actually catch said fish.
The SCO Group haven’t shown any proof so far, and the whole thing is going to come up in court shortly.
If any company gets these letters, my advice would be to take the SCO Group to court for Mail Fraud. A.S.A.P. And the more the merrier.
Anyone tired of this saga yet? We need something new to keep us entertained, SCO is like so yesterday now. Forget about em…
MS must be desperate. Longhorn is a long way down the track. Linux Kernel 2.6 on its way into the market. Goverments evaluating Open Source and thinking out loud to replace their WinNT servers with Open Source and employ OpenOffice.org
Lindows and others are scratching on MS’s home desktop. Novell and Ximian building Desktops for Enterprises ….
I love it. the more competition there is the more freedom of choice for the consumer, the better the products and of course the more inexpensive.
Go ahead SCO! Whatever publicity you make for Linux is good publicity. It keeps it in the headlines and more and more peoplr wonder what it is. Go on SCO, let’ talk Linux, mate
“It may be Unix like but in no way is it related to Unix.”
But they “look” the same and to the average joe (e.g., clueless biz weenies) this is all it takes for it to be considered a copy of Unix. Think in terms of non-techies and you will soon begin to understand how SCO has managed to keep their propaganda campaign alive for so long.
I can’t wait till I see IBM crush SCO with their army of lawyers. Went to the local Java group 2 months ago and was talking to a SUN Employee about the whole situation and basically I said in a nutshell that IBM has the highest lawyer to coder ratio; any code submitted would have gone throw 100 fine tooth combs. In a nutshell, IBM can crush SCO without them even lifting a finger.
SCO might as well have closed up shop and asset stripped itself to pay off creditors. Atleast the creditors and share holders would get a crust of money rather than nothing which will be the end result of this escapade.
“The SCO Group plans to announce Monday that it is escalating its campaign to collect license fees”
… so that it may go relatively unnoticed that same (to)day when they publish their financial results, and their core business turns out to be, “handing cash over to Boies’ law firm”.
If you listen carefully, in slightly over two hours (11:00 EST) you can hear SCO crashing.
“SCO is not going about it the wrong way. They should sue the hell out of the companies that broke their contractual agreements and leave linux alone. ”
That’s just it. Their actions seem to indicate that they really don’t have a case. Try to ruin the reputation of Linux because they don’t have a leg to stand on in a bunch of law suits with potential violators of their contract.
>>don’t these guys realize they’re going to be in huge legal trouble a couple years from now? <<
The execs probably won’t be in any legal trouble. USA legal system is happy to turn a blind eye to these sorts of white collar crimminals. Only one exec from enron is doing any time, and that was a much bigger scam than scox.
>>SCO is relying on the corruption in America to get some kind of a victory, except that America probably isn’t that corrupt. We’ll see what happens. <<
The whole idea of the scox-scam is to pump the stock price so canopy can back out of a bad investment (canopy owns over 40% of scox). And it is working like a charm!
Average estimates: scox was supposed to earn $0.36/share this quarter. Instead scox losses $0.12/share. That’s a *huge* $0.48/share miss. That’s is more than enough to tank most small cap stocks, instead scox is up.
Scox has gone up from $1/share to $19/share since the scam started. That is a huge victory for the scam artists. Forget the USA justice system – they’re happy to look the other way.
America probably isn’t that corrupt? Maybe you should reconsider that assertion.
Suing Linux vendors is one thing… But suing Linux users? (SCO plans to single out and sue a large corporation that is using Linux). That’s quite another. I have a hard time believing SCO can sue a user for using a product that they have not yet established violates their copyright. If SCO did establish that, then perhaps they could sue users that continued to use it. But without that being established, I don’t see how they can do it.
Were SCO to win this, who in the world would ever willingly sign a contract with them again? People would instead work feverishly to find ways around infringing on any ownership they might have, simply because of the kind of scum they would have to deal with otherwise.
I’ll tell you something else; in all my 25 years of experience in the computer industry, I’ve never seen such rot as the people who run SCO right now…and believe me, I’ve seen some rot.
In fact, I’m beginning to suspect that these letters may indicate that *SCO* have stolen code from *other people* and are trying to turn that around to suit them.
” Ten more working days without code and SCO’s claims and court case will be going do the drain. ”
SCO has already provided the files to IBM, the court ruled that IBM could not disclose those files in any way to the Open Source community.
Basically they got a protective order for their code which if many of you that know me will recall, this is exactly what I said they would do. Just because we havent seen it doesnt mean they havent disclosed.
SCO hasn’t provided the files yet. Yes, when they do it will be under a protective order because there simply wasn’t any point in IBM objecting to that (as long as IBM gets to see the files there’s no reason to object that anyone else won’t see them), in spite of the fact that it is ludicrous for SCO to claim files are confidential after SCO itself agrees they have already been disclosed on a worldwide basis in the Linux kernel.
SCO has said it is refusing to disclose the files publicly because then they could be changed in Linux to “cover the tracks” of the violations. This of course is another absurdity, since code submissions to the Linux kernel are public. It’s not as if IBM, Linus, or anyone else can suddenly fake years’ worth of kernel mailing list archives (and even if they were to try, all SCO has to do is make its own local copy, thus preserving all records of any alleged violations).
No one responding to this item has mentioned in any detail what SCO’s latest notice is saying. According to SCO, it has notified recipients of the notice of 65 “application binary interface” files (that’s right, *not* API) in Linux that infringe SCO’s intellectual property rights. These files are apparently identified in an attachment to the notice. SCO additionally mentions that the 65 files were involved in the AT&T vs. BSD litigation that was settled years ago. So if anyone can get hold of a copy of a notice, we’ll all know at least 65 files that SCO claims infringe on its rights, and we can all look at the publicly available sources to see when and from where they got into the Linux kernel. Ask your friends if they’ve received a notice!
“SCO has already provided the files to IBM, the court ruled that IBM could not disclose those files in any way to the Open Source community.”
The judge also instructed them that the manner in which SCOx gave the code to IBM was unnacceptable. SCO submitted the code on 1,000,000 sheets of paper. The court has since ruled that it was unnacceptable and they need to provide electronic copies so a thorough analysis could be completed. SCO was just tyring a stall tactic. http://www.newsfactor.com/perl/story/22813.html
“no, because then we could just rewrite those files and be done with it.”
It doesn’t quite work that way. Because if SCO wins, then Linux (probably major Linux vendors) are going to be liable for billions of dollars in damage that previous violations have already done. Simply changing the code isn’t going to get them off the hook over the damage they have already done. (If SCO wins).
i wish SCO would send me one of these, i would sue them for mail fraud…
>Anyone else think this sentence is wrong ? How is linux a variant of Unix ?
Well, they both end in “ix.” SCO will soon be suing a local dominatrix, St Croix, people who wear a crucifix, the city of Phoenix and the number six. 🙂
Many people claim that SCO is just trying to get money in the short run and that its case is baseless. I doubt that is the case. They originally sued IBM for $1billion and they upped the ante to $3billion. I’m sure if they’re suing for so much, there just to be something behind it. I do wonder, though, why they haven’t shown the Unix code in question. I guess it has something to do with FUD and scaring potential Linux customers. In this sense they have been pretty successful. Remember the report Gartner issued telling corporations to be careful with Linux because of the suit? On the other hand companies like Novell and IBM have not been scared by SCO’s claims.
Why is it that Linux users who complain so badly about the SCO issue just can’t seem to spell or express themselves in a proper way? After reading all comments I seriously have trouble understanding how SCO can sue someone over this for the three following reasons
a) From the looks of it the users of Linux are just children who scream a lot but with no real use of the system
b) The very children don’t have any money to pay
c) Who will be able to read the response if it’s all “Ya M$PenguinW@nnaBees w@nn@ B So penguin w00t w00t”…
Ehrm… that legal procedure is indeed madness.
Anyway, good luck SCO assuming you have a real case!
>>SCO is probably telling the truth but yes they are over exagerating.<<
What makes you think scox is telling the truth? Scox has been caught in numerous lies.
>>Furthermore, their attorney’s SUCK. I doubt they will win any lawsuit.<<
Boies is a famous attorny. Scox has already won a lawsuit settlement from msft. Canopy (scox’s parent – essentially the same company) has won a lawsuit settlement from CA.
>>They need a good PR campaign not a bad one toward linux.<<
Scox’s PR campaign has boosted scox share price from $1 to $18. That’s about as good as you can get.
>>SCO is not going about it the wrong way. They should sue the hell out of the companies that broke their contractual agreements and leave linux alone.<<
Scox “investors” don’t want to wait until IBM case is settled. Scox need to make suckers believe that scox has a sustainable source of revenue now. It is very doubtful that anybody broke scox contract agreement – read groklaw.net.
>>David Bioes (cannot spell) is a du|/|mb$h!t.. They are going about it all wrong. The only thing SCO will get accomplished is this.
1) short period of high stock value <<
Might as well stop there. That’s all scox wants, and scox’s scam is working like a charm.
>>SCO is a young little company that needs to learn that althouigh this can benifit them in the short term they will die in the long run. I guess thats what you’d expect from crooks like mcbride. <<
There is no long term for scox, never was. If not for this scam, scox would be bankrupt already. 13 months ago scox was around $0.78 a share and falling. Before scam, scox never had even one profitalble. Scox was *gushing* red ink – and was down to $4.9 million in cash.
any people claim that SCO is just trying to get money in the short run and that its case is baseless. I doubt that is the case. They originally sued IBM for $1billion and they upped the ante to $3billion. I’m sure if they’re suing for so much, there just to be something behind it. I do wonder, though, why they haven’t shown the Unix code in question. I guess it has something to do with FUD and scaring potential Linux customers. In this sense they have been pretty successful. Remember the report Gartner issued telling corporations to be careful with Linux because of the suit? On the other hand companies like Novell and IBM have not been scared by SCO’s claims.
SCO has repeatedly shown that they have no understanding of neither technology and history. My guess is that they want to be bought out. The idea might have been to hit Big Blue with a hefty lawsuit. IBM solves the problem by buying SCO. Didn’t work and now they have to figure out something else.
Oh, btw, Gartner doesn’t have much of a clue either. Sadly the higher-ups listen to them.
>>I’m sure if they’re suing for so much, there just to be something behind it.<<
LOL!! Good one! Er, that *is* a joke isn’t it? I mean, why would anybody think that a big number makes a case more credible?
“Why is it that Linux users who complain so badly about the SCO issue just can’t seem to spell or express themselves in a proper way? After reading all comments I seriously have trouble understanding how SCO can sue someone over this for the three following reasons….” etc.
Well! Guess you told us! Whew!
BTW, since when did having money = being ethical or honest or anything like that?
It’s cheaper, healthier, and more honest for me to make my own cookies or bread or whatnot. I don’t have to pay for packaging, advertising, or other forms of marketing. I don’t have to run the risk that my work will contain various items that might have been slipped in there by unscrupulous, underpaid, unhappy workers (analogy: 1992, viruses in production versions of popular, *proprietary* software.)
But my predisposition to home-made products might anger some company that would prefer I bought several times as much *sugar* from them as I actually would want to eat?
This is a far, far deeper and more serious issue than you seem to understand. Is it easier to lump the illiterate, maybe overzealous, posters to these forums in with the rest of us, than it is to understand what this is all about?
Maybe you work for a publishing house, or Disney, and would like the Congress to let you play Monkey in the Middle with us about works of art, possibly to the tune of 10 thousand years? Something like that would make SCO “right” about what they saty, would it not?
Well, the errno.h files appear to be little more then associating errors with error numbers. Are they flipping because they use the same numbers for the same errors? Thats pretty nit-picky.
Still looking at files…
You heard me, SCO is “all bark & no bite”
Whoever posted the “files,” it’s a riot!
For those of you unfamiliar with UNIX/C, those files are all mostly just headers that map symbolic error and parameter names (ENOMEM, for example), to integers that the API works with directly. Linux supports a number of UNIX API standards, like BSD and most importantly POSIX. Those standards dictate the symbolic names and the numbers that they map to. So *any* implementation of POSIX or the BSD API would have segments that look substantially the same, because frankly, there is only one way to establish the mapping in C: through a #define directive. So the files in question all look like:
#define ENOTSUPP 524
#define ETOOSMALL 525
#define ESERVERFAULT 526
I’ve got code that looks substantially similar to some glibc header files because they both implement the ELF standard. The ELF standard doesn’t just give named constants like the above, but it gives complete C structures, member names and all! It even has little functions for getting various pieces of information out of a single bitfield. That kind of stuff is all over UNIX (and many other standards, for that matter) so its no surprise there is lots of code around that looks the same.
The list of files provided by SCO in their letters, such as <errno.h> and <signal.h> and their contents are directly derived from the POSIX standard
check under the headers section.
Is it just me, or do none of the listed files actually contain any functionality whatsoever?
Are they genuinely using compatibility driven constant definitions as representing a violation of their IP?
Interesting. Looking at change logs none of the ioctl.h files have changed since the 2.0.38 kernel. Those can not be the files as SCO has stated in the lawsuit that the discrepancie only exists in 2.4 and later kernels, which immediately makes that list of files irrelevant, since they existed in earlier kernels as well as they exist today. The first changes to some of them since 1995 were made recently for the 2.6.0-test5 kernel. Unless I am missing something glaringly huge?
Anyone seen the presentation by Daryl McBride (sp) on the SCO site? He claims that they have sown the code to a bunch of different companies who have demanded to see it, and SCO hasn’t heard back from any of them.
He also says that even if you remove the code and replace, you’re still in trouble because you’re still violating the ‘concept’ of their IP, or something like that?
Comments? Especially to the first point? I’m curious to know just how many companies have seen the code.
is probably killing their business more than floating it. they might be succeeding (right now) in floating their stock price to stratospheric levels with the (false) expectations they’re creating. but when this case is all over, whether they WIN or LOSE, nobody will want to deal with them anymore. maybe not even their most loyal of customers and distributors. they’re building a culture of animosity and they’ll certainly reap the “benefits” pretty soon
someone claimed in an article i read (was it in groklaw?) that SCO simply grepped the source files looking for all instances of the word “SMP” and they listed all that they found, including those files having the word SMP only in comments ugh. how lame!
It’s really just one big really bad joke. First off, if I as a Linux user want to buy a license from SCO so that I’m not in “violation” of their IP, strangely they’re in no hurry to sell me one because I’m an individual and not a coporation, so honesty in this case gets me nowhere. But that of course is if I choose to believe them that the code belongs to them which I’ve no proof of, only their word and their threats of litigation. But I can rest assured their threats are mostly aimed at the richest entities (IBM) and countersue those who try and come after them (RH).
Meanwhile corporations and governments all around the globe are using, distributing, copying, altering, selling Linux. Where will SCO draw the line between whom they’re going to sue and who isn’t worth the bother?
Somebody else has already said it. Somebody explain to me how it is that users of Linux would liable and not distributors as should be. Ostensibly I pay for Linux from some two bit distributor, and then I get sued by SCO even though I’ve been sold hypothetically stolen goods. Where’s my recourse?
Basically they got a protective order for their code which if many of you that know me will recall, this is exactly what I said they would do. Just because we havent seen it doesnt mean they havent disclosed.
Sorry, but I believe you are mistaken. IBM has said that SCO hadn’t identified the actual code, just provided the files. IBM filed a motion to compel SCO to be more specific, and the judge granted IBM’s request.
So in fact they haven’t disclosed: they’ve just submitted a ton of files and said: “the code is in there somewhere.” The judge didn’t buy it, and now SCO must identify the code. The fact that we don’t get to see it is irrelevant – they haven’t identified the code and now they must do it or risk having the case thrown out.
Let them dig their grave a little deeper.
Not only did SCO provide whole files instead of specifying code they claimed to infringe, they provided printouts of the files on *one million sheets of paper*, making any timely analysis by IBM impossible.
Providing the files on paper rather than in electronic form allowing timely analysis and response qualifies as a childish stunt by SCO’s lawyers. It would have very negatively impressed any of the Federal judges I ever worked with or for, and I am quite sure the judge supervising discovery in this case felt much the same way. She did in fact grant the portion of IBM’s motion asking that SCO be ordered to produce the requested material in electronic form.
She did in fact grant the portion of IBM’s motion asking that SCO be ordered to produce the requested material in electronic form.
It seemed that, at the time of the hearings for the motion to compel discovery, the matter of the electronic vs. paper support had already been taken care of.
I agree, the fact that it was first presented on paper was ridiculous, but even when the files were given as electronic documents the judge still granted IBM’s motion.
If memory serves correctly, SCO submitted the documents as .jpg files. The judge was neither sympathetic to SCO or amused by this ploy.