Home > SCO > SCO Shows IBM the Code SCO Shows IBM the Code Eugenia Loli 2004-01-15 SCO 30 Comments Lawsuit will hinge on SCO and IBM’s definition of ‘derivative works,’ not copyright infringement. Also, SCO is to take Linux licensing to SMB, international users: Some advise waiting for resolution of legal issues before paying license fees. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 30 Comments 2004-01-15 5:46 am I though this was all about IP infringement? 🙂 To be fair, the case as it was presented to the courts wasn’t about copyright infringement. SCO’s McBride and Stowell kept those accusations for the media, where it doesn’t risk being cited for contempt of court or perjury. So, if they admit that there’s no direct copying of Unix code in Linux, how in heck do they figure out that people will buy their illegal Linux license? Because IBM may not be guilty of copyright infringement, but SCO surely is, as it has not respected the terms of the GPL and therefore distributed copyrighted material without the permission of the rightful copyright holders… I can’t wait for the markets to open tomorrow to see SCO’s stock tank (though it might not do so right away, as investors aren’t always quick to realize they’re being hoodwinked). 2004-01-15 5:58 am You can read the notice of compliance yourself. http://www.sco.com/ibmlawsuit/noticeofcompliance.pdf It’s really a notice of non-compliance though. They clearly admit they didn’t comply because of holidays. This pretty much translates to “Dog ate my homework”. They are suing for $3 billion dollar and this is what they come back with? It’s pretty clear this whole thing was a pump and dump stock scam from the beginning. 2004-01-15 6:07 am …where are the copyright/IP infringement? Where are the line for line code theft by the linux community? Where… 2004-01-15 6:11 am The information is not public because its a closed court case. I’d love to see transcripts, but don’t hold your breath. Groklaw has a nice discussion about the situation, as always: http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20040113155313281 2004-01-15 6:22 am So it moves from a lawsuite claiming a copy and paste to one regarding “derived works”. When one hears “derived works”, it sounds as open ended as, “how long is a piece of string”. The fact is, unless they have the algorithm or technique patented OR it is a straight out copy and paste, SCO has absolutely NO case what so ever. Using the SCO logic HP/Compaq could turn around and claim that NT is derived work from VMS, or Microsoft could claim that Wine is derived work from Windows. I think the biggest issue I have is this, SCO has been shipping the 2.4.x kernel for over 3 years, they have contributed code to the kernel for over 3 years and have seen EVERY patch that has been submitted by IBM and others for over 3 years, why has it taken them 3 years to even whisper an accusation? The question is, was this bought up when Ransom Love was CEO but the decision was made that the case was too flimsy and as a result he became the sacrificial lamb and lost his job. The fact that SCO is now down to its last dollar and in a vein attempt to secure more money they sue a legitimate competitor using false pretenses. Worse still, they’re down to their last dollar and STILL do not respose to equiries regarding the purchasing of their software. They’re a software company, down to its last dollar, refuses to reply to customers equiring out their products and now expect a dollar from big blue because they (SCO) would rather sit on their ass and do nothing instead of laying down a viable business plan, improving their product line up and cutting costs in areas that count, like bloated management salaries. I am sick and tired of hearing SCO like businesses complain when they aren’t successful. If it isn’t the fictional monopoly it is blaming so-called “derived works”. People will USE UnixWare if the hardware support wasn’t so shit, the performance was better and was priced a level that a mear mortal can pay without needing to float shares to fund the purchase of a license. SCO create their own demise through bad management. It has nothing to do with Windows, Linux or some other external factor. 2004-01-15 6:23 am Interesting article\story. 2004-01-15 6:40 am case not dealing with copyright violations? what a bunch of lies! that’s not what they were originally claiming! they are definitely switching angles here! 2004-01-15 6:51 am “SCO admitted that it had failed to provide IBM with “files of certain officers and directors for whom SCO could not obtain the requested materials during the holidays with sufficient time to review the documents.” It is obvious that SCO is playing with the court. With the most important court case in front of them, and they could not get all the documents? Bull! A basic stalling tactic. I hope the judge nail them for that. The judge would have to be an idiot, if he cannot see this. I suppose that their idea is that IBM will make the wrong conclusion, and then they will nail them with an unseen document. They might as well have said that their dog ate the document. What a lame excuse! This again keeps showing how little they got. I suppose that they are also trying to intimidate people in the meanwhile to get more money to pay the lawyers. Like no one would be able to notice that move either! These guys are as dumb as they come! 2004-01-15 7:52 am Whoever is REALLY in charge at SCO, including Mr. McBride are only really concerned with 2 things: 1. Buy Low. 2. Sell High. Every time they make a new FUD case against GNU/Linux, and the whole community is busy sh*tting itself, their share prices inflate. Meanwhile the GNU GPL is further invalidated, to be abused by money-makers as they see fit, such as SCO, or Kiss Tech. (MPlayer). 2004-01-15 10:33 am surely this comparision is stupid, here you stand with the biggest sh*t(sco) and a totally other thing(kizz). jojo do you even know the difference between the two cases? 2004-01-15 11:06 am Sco would it seems be doing the world a favour by dying quickly… BTW since when have court cases been “closed” as standard? Doesn’t that kinda throw into question the whole system of open and fair justace for all? 2004-01-15 11:42 am It’s a cival and not a criminal case, hence it doesn’t have to be open. 2004-01-15 12:01 pm If I’m not mistaken, the case against IBM is about donating JFS to Linux. It was developed by a company IBM once bought. The UNIX license of that company stated that the original SCO would own derivative works. The question now is whether the file system once developed for UNIX is still a derivate product if it’s neither bundled with UNIX nor contains any UNIX code. The other FUD SCO is spreading about their IP being in the Linux kernel doesn’t have much to do with this case. AFAIK SCO did never actually sue anyone over it. It only made press releases and sent threatening letters. 2004-01-15 12:52 pm Here you get into a problem place. What is alledged is that IBM derived some of its Linux contributions from UNIX code that they weren’t allowed to do that with. This really looks a lot like plagarism. Did some software engineer go through the code that he wanted to contribute to Linux and then close all those windows and try to reconstruct it? Did he take the code and then alter it to look different? Would the contract between SCO and IBM preclude IBM from ever developing similar technologies to the ones covered by the contract? How could IBM ever prove that their works weren’t at least inspiried by the code that they had seen? This isn’t a copyright violation case and that bodes well for SCO. Copyright rests on the execution. This case is one in which IBM voluntarally gave up some of its rights. I know that my professors wouldn’t be too happy if I had read someone else’s essay and then tried to recreate it on my own (even though that wouldn’t be a violation of copyright). SCO is probably full of it, but it’s still interesting to think about the issues. Does anyone think that commercial OSs haven’t plagarized Linux in a way that doesn’t violate copyright? Granted one can think of the derivitave works section of the GPL as precluding this, but if you recreated the code, line by line, slightly differently you get into an area where common sense says that you took the code, but copyright law seems to say otherwise. I have no conclusion. Just random, rambling thoughts. 2004-01-15 1:08 pm It’s not quite like that. Let’s call the Unix codebase U, and the Linux codebase L, and JFS2 J. J was originally developed for OS2/Warp. What IBM did was, it made combinations J+U and J+L. Does that make J+L a derived work from U? That is what SCO/Caldera claim. If that’s legally correct, the Unix copyright is more viral than the GPL is in Steve Ballmer’s worst nightmares. If the GPL were like that, this would happen: the Gimp uses the Open Group’s JPEG library, and Windows GDI+ uses that same library. Windows XP therefore falls under the GPL and has to be open-sourced. Of course, that’s absurd. Yet it’s what SCO claims, regarding Unix derivatives. 2004-01-15 1:13 pm Did anyone else think SCO had started looking angrily at Samba, or was it just me ? 2004-01-15 1:34 pm In case you didn’t catch it, Novell has excercised their privileges under the Asset Purchase Agreement with SCO to waive SCO’s right to sue IBM, or anyone for that matter, for IP infringement or the distribution of “derivative works.” Novell also is laying clam to 95% of SCO’s licensing money from Microsoft and Sun (SCO only gets to keep 100% of the FIRST license from a licensee, and both Sun and Microsoft have SysV licenses going back at least a decade). More at Groklaw.net. 2004-01-15 1:41 pm Good to hear the good news, however, the question is, where does SCO go from there? Now, if the Canopy Group have half a brain, they would concede defeat, asset strip SCO, pay off creditors and be done with the whole mess. The question is raised, who then would purchase the UNIX IP that is owned by SCO? IMHO, IBM should purchase SCO and simply BSD the whole UNIX line that is owned by SCO and desolve any patents held by SCO. This will ensure that in future these legal things don’t re-appear. 2004-01-15 2:13 pm >Good to hear the good news, however, the question is, where does SCO go from there?< Chapter 11. 2004-01-15 2:59 pm I don’t think scox is showing ibm any code. Scox has made a big fuss out of “this is not about copyright.” and “we need to see ibm’s code first.” Scox has publicly stated that they have complied. But, even scox, has not claimed to have shown any code. In fact, from what I have read, scox seems to saying that they have not shown any code. 2004-01-15 3:00 pm “Did anyone else think SCO had started looking angrily at Samba, or was it just me ? ” I thought the same thing. 😉 2004-01-15 4:05 pm (Speculation) What I find interesting in all this is, is who appears to “really” be benefitting (surely not SCO). From the beginning I think it’s been pretty clear that the SCO claims against Linux or specifically IBM where a lot of hot air, but yes we need to wait for the courts to decide this once and for all, but in the mean time there are the lingering doubts (for some). Now, Sun has had a pretty serious investment in SCO last I remember and from the beginning it was declared by by both SCO and Sun that Sun was in full compliance with its licencing, and SuSE Linux is in the clear as a result of its United Linux membership, but I’ll get to that. About a year ago, it looked like IBM was in a key position to drive the Linux revolution and benefit from it the most. It was the clear leader and is/was betting the farm (a rather big farm at that) on Linux. At that time Sun was looking like it was in pretty bad shape, and speculation was abounding that it was looking like a possible aquisition target. Then came the SCO suit and since, Sun has embraced Linux on the desktop and gotten some good traction with it in the market (like 500k+ licences to China, something big in Britain etc.). Thier JDE distro is also based on SuSE. Hmmmm It may be possible that Sun has been behind this all along with the goal of using the SCO FUD machine to slow IBM (or anyone else) down, so it could pick up the ball it dropped a while ago and get back into the race. 2004-01-15 4:26 pm There is nothing wrong with SCO, they have some really good software and they are the best. 2004-01-15 7:02 pm Good to hear the good news, however, the question is, where does SCO go from there? Now, if the Canopy Group have half a brain, they would concede defeat, asset strip SCO, pay off creditors and be done with the whole mess. The only assets they have are based on the Enron accounting methods – the rest of us call them debts ;-P The question is raised, who then would purchase the UNIX IP that is owned by SCO? IMHO, IBM should purchase SCO and simply BSD the whole UNIX line that is owned by SCO and desolve any patents held by SCO. This will ensure that in future these legal things don’t re-appear. Why would IBM want to buy SCO??? UNIX is copyrighted by Novell (http://www.novell.com/licensing/indemnity/legal.html). The sooner that is understood the sooner this whole ugly attempt at misdirection from SCO can be put to rest. 2004-01-15 7:23 pm …to the issue of a “derived work” However, if the case in question were say… the FSF vs. a company which wrote a closed source module for the Linux kernel but refuses to release the source code under the GPL (i.e. Broadcom), a module which is clearly a derived work of the GPL’d Linux kernel, wouldn’t everyone here be championing the FSF? This is certain to be a precedent setting case regardless of which way it goes… 2004-01-15 11:03 pm Misleading & untrue headline. They DID NOT make good on their claims by producing evidence when ordered to by the court. Get your facts correct. 2004-01-16 12:42 am SCO never claimed anything about line-by-line copying or copyright infringement IN COURT. learn to distinguish between court filings, press releases, and what Darl McBride tells MSNBC… 2004-01-16 1:33 am SCO never claimed anything about line-by-line copying or copyright infringement IN COURT. learn to distinguish between court filings, press releases, and what Darl McBride tells MSNBC… Oh yes he did. At the SCO conference he showed line for line copying. He has now realised that this angle won’t work so he’ll try and cause some trouble from another angle. All this tells the man on the street is this person is despirate. When a person starts splitting hairs, they’ve instantly lost the case before going to trial. If the blatent copy right infrindgement was so deliberate then it should be a simply open and cut case of SCO disclosing the information, showing the simularities, presenting all relevant contractual arrangements to back up their case. The fact is, they’ve done none of that. They sent in a wet behind the ear lawyer on the first day and was ripped to shreads by IBM and now they can’t tie down what they’re actually suing IBM over. If they had a water tight case they should have been able to make accusations and provided the evidences when required, the fact is, they have no case. This is yet another example of a company dying because of poor management but instead of the management being shoved out and replaced, the shareholders stick around hoping that the impossible will happen. If these shareholders had half a brain they would have sold out long ago or better yet, got a new board appointed. 2004-01-16 1:59 pm I don’t see the FSF going after NVIDIA, even though it distributes a non-free module. That’s because modules are not in themselves “derived work”…I think the only sane interpretation of derived work is one where you take actual code and modify it to make a new piece of software. SCO’s definition of derived work is anything that runs on the OS! That’s way too encompassing, and the court will throw their case out if they make this the crux of their argument. 2004-01-16 10:19 pm If SCO wouldn’t have just made more selling off whatever Unix copyrights they do own, rather than engaging in risky litigation. Certainly they must be worth more than they were when SCO bought them, right?