Home > SCO > SCO sues AutoZone SCO sues AutoZone Submitted by Ressev 2004-03-03 SCO 49 Comments SCO Group Inc. Wednesday said it has filed a copyright suit against auto-parts company AutoZone Inc., alleging the chain runs versions of the freely distributed Linux operating system that contain code belonging to SCO. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 49 Comments 2004-03-03 8:09 pm it’s only me or they’re getting boring over time? hey guys you have to find a new hobby i think! 2004-03-03 8:14 pm SCOX has sued Autozone because it believes the latter is using System V shared libraries on Linux. Yesterday we heard that EV1 has signed up for SCOX’s licence. Could it be because EV1 too are using System V shared libraries on Linux as SCOX alleges Autozone is doing? 2004-03-03 8:15 pm IBM Autozone DaimlerChrysler … Couldn’t get any smaller, SCO? Seems you are fighting on too many fronts with too many Goliaths. 2004-03-03 8:26 pm Let’s try to count how many enemies SCO has so far. Looks like they like only Big Names. IBM, RedHat, Novell, Autozone, DaimlerChrysler are their names. Did I miss someone? Feel free to complement with the missing names 2004-03-03 8:28 pm First of all the RIAA is totally different from SCO, the RIAA has valid claims, SCO does not. Read the article at groklaw about a former autozone employee. This lawsuit is about then using SCO’s libraries on linux or something.. Seriously, when you people put the RIAA and SCO in the same category its pretty low. Just because you cant download illegal music anymore… 2004-03-03 8:31 pm I think you got it all. It all comes down to a bad battery in McBride’s car! He drives a Chrysler. The battery went bad, making him mad. He went to Autozone and got a new one, and it went bad, making him madder. He found out that Autozone uses Redhat Linux, with a Novell network, on IBM machines. This made him even madder, so he got out the army of lawyers, and has been spewing BS ever since. It’s all coming into perfect view now… On a more serious note, hopefully Autozone can countersue the pants off of them. 2004-03-03 8:39 pm On a more serious note, hopefully Autozone can countersue the parts off of them. 2004-03-03 8:40 pm Actually by the time Autozone and Diamler chrysler get to SCO there isn’t going to be much left. Though SCO can’t do or say anything about linux in Germany and Diamler is a German company, being sued in the US. Yea this is going to og real well. Autozone redid their eniter software platform for linux, No shared libraries. Also at one time Caldera sold Shared libraries to help people transition from Unix to Linux, $149 dollar cd. 2004-03-03 8:43 pm http://business.newsforge.com/business/04/03/03/1632221.shtml?tid=8… Apparently it’s both AutoZone and DaimlerChrysler that are being sued. 2004-03-03 8:44 pm Sloppy reporting begins — SCO alleges that AutoZone used SCOs proprietary Open Server libraries when they switched from Open Server to Linux. SCO as yet makes no claim about Linux itself being any kind of violation in this case. SCO is suing one of their own customers based on their own proprietary license that customer agreed to when they originally purchased SCO Open Server. This is in fact an excellent reason to go all open source – and stay away from such licenses. As the nature of this SCO action sinks in with businesses everywhere some will move away from software that uses such punitive proprietary EULAs. People involved in the switch at AutoZone said that they did not move any Open Server libraries during the move. So maybe SCO sued again without checking all the facts. 2004-03-03 8:45 pm Hasn’t it been hinted that Microsoft runs linux? So shouldn’t SCO sue Microsoft too? I would like to see that battle. I might even bring popcorn. 2004-03-03 8:48 pm I mean you already hit the big computer company, one of the bigger car companies (no GM or Ford, but Chrystler is big enough), might as well go after GE.. more chances that one of them will just buy you out of pity! 2004-03-03 9:52 pm I do not understand how SCO can sue for something they have not proved it is theirs? Could I sue Microsoft and claim it is using some of my code? Wouldn’t I have to bring forth some proof in fornt of a court to issue the law siute? I’m so confused… 2004-03-03 9:57 pm SCO basically picks a company off its list and says “Stop using Linux or pay up?” And if it should be found that there is no stolen code in Linux and that none of SCO’s copyrights have been infringed upon, but that SCO has already collected money from companies based on an idle threat, then what? 2004-03-03 10:10 pm Does SCO offer rewards to turn in organizations that use Linux? I mean I don’t have any qualms about narc’ing on people if I get some cash out of it. Seem like out of $5B they could offer some bird dog money. 2004-03-03 10:15 pm What’s the matter? Doesn’t the postal service pay enough? I use Linux, turn me in. 2004-03-03 10:18 pm … one does wonder if all of this is designed to stall companies from moving to non-Wondows platforms as their service and upgrade agreements with MS expire(d) around this time and Longhorn lows softly in the future. from the article – which should appear on the AP website I think: [i]Also Wednesday, SCO said that after paying dividends on preferred shares, it lost $2.25 million, or 16 cents a share, in its fiscal first quarter ended Jan. 31. The company recorded a loss of $724,000, or six cents a share, in the same quarter last year. Revenue fell 16% to $11.4 million from $13.5 million.[/u] Terrible times for their business I’m sure. 2004-03-03 10:39 pm Linux Hawk, In their ammended lawsuit SCO did provide lines of code and file names as to what they believe is theirs. The Linux community has as I expected disputed those lines of code and the files. So now it will have to be settled in court. This lawsuit against AutoZone has very little to do with IBM’s lawsuit and the allegations different than the IBM lawsuit. SCO is alleging against AutoZone, that AutoZone used the shared libraries that SCO provides for Linux users under EULA that is not Open Sourced or under the GPL to perform their migration over to Linux, and that they in fact are still using those libraries. Now, they had an AutoZone employee disput that on Groklaw, so is it true or not none of us know because none of us helped AutoZone with their migration nor are we privilege to anything in their servers. Daimler Chrysler: SCO is alleging that DC misappropriated their UNIX source code and violated their UNIX contracts. Until more information is available, the Open Source community cannot say the case is without merit in either of these lawsuits and it is not very smart of ESR to say that the Linux community will help them all that they can without being aware of what the specific allegations are. I pretty much disagree with the assertation that they sued AutoZone because they are mad that they went from SCO Point Of Sale solutions to Linux. 2004-03-03 11:01 pm “McBride said the first two lawsuits were filed against U.S. companies because “the cornerstone of our legal team is based here. This is clearly not just a U.S.-only situation; there are licensing and copyright violators in Europe and Asia. We will be pursuing our legal rights here first, however.” The only reason why they are suing in the darn us is cause our justice system sucks. SCO got shut down in germany, its a shame it hasnt here for these baseless litigations. 2004-03-03 11:18 pm Some points of clarification from Roberto’s response gleaned from listening into the conference call (a torrent file is available to the mp3). AutoZone: Darl explicitly said that the suit against AZ is identical to any future suit they will bring against ANY user of the Linux Kernel. In addition, there is a dispute regarding the use of SCO shared libraries used by AZ in the transistion from SCO to Linux. Although they do not have any a priori evidence of the libraries being used. Chrysler: The meat of this suit is that SCO sent out letters (~3000 or so) to all license holders that are using Linux demanding that they certify that none of SCO IP has been migrated into Linux. Chrysler did not respond to their letter. This is the basis of the suit. Darl also said that over 50% of the companies did not respond. Darl also said that when SCO showed portions of the offending code to the public (I assume he was referring to the obfuscated Berkeley Packet Filter stuff presented at SCO’s Las Vegas convention) , it was certified by “programmers in the Linux community” that it was in the kernel and did belong to SCO. He refused to say which programmers and as far as I can tell, I haven’t heard anyone with knowledge of the kernel support this claim. 2004-03-03 11:40 pm A man who is drowning in the ocean will grasp at any piece of kelp or drift wood he can in order to try to keep afloat. SCO is suing every one they can and has instituted this as their main business model in order to grasp at the vanishing dollars in their unix business. Just give it a while, they will eventually sink. Bye bye SCO. Oh and Boycott SCO Unix. That’ll show em. When the money dries up, the lawyers will blow away. 2004-03-03 11:42 pm These sco people are out of control, are we sure they aren’t on the MS payroll? 2004-03-03 11:42 pm SCO can sue any company in the country. Daimler may have originated in Germany, but they currently have legal business in the US, that CAN be sued in the US. 2004-03-03 11:50 pm <<< These sco people are out of control, are we sure they aren’t on the MS payroll? >>> We are positive that they are not on Microsofts payroll. 2004-03-04 12:00 am This is off topic but to the person who said people are ticked because they can’t download illegal music anymore… The RIAA has _not_ sued anybody for downloading music, to my knowledge. Every person who is being sued is being sued because they _shared_ music illegally. You’re not the one breaking the copyright law by downloading it, it’s the person who shares it who is distributing it. Nobody seems to note the distinction. I’m not saying it’s okay to download it, per se, but everyone with everyone talking about downloaders getting sued I think it’s worth a mention. pete 2004-03-04 12:38 am “Until more information is available, the Open Source community cannot say the case is without merit in either of these lawsuits and it is not very smart of ESR to say that the Linux community will help them all that they can without being aware of what the specific allegations are.” Actually, I think the real issue is that if SCO thinks their code is in Linux, why don’t they go to the source, the OSDN and try and force them to change it instead of this attempt to squeeze money out of companies who may or may not have known they were using misappropriated code? It seems to me, if the code was illegally copied then the longer it stays in Linux, the more money they stand to make. Is that not so? 2004-03-04 12:53 am They’ve already been clear in their unclear fashion. They do not want the code removed. Their goal at the end of the day is to obtain licensing fees for every copy of linux out there. They have all but plainly stated this in many interviews( McBride in particular ). He was roundabout in his wording as usual but he kept looping around saying that they don’t want to show the code because it will be removed, and that they can’t charge for it if it is removed, and that they want to come up with a “solution” to the problem that works for everyone. Which is to say, they do not believe in software being free, and they want money for linux. Judging by the cost of their license, they want a truckload of money for linux. They will get what is coming to them. In the end when their litigation fails and the lawyers run away, they will be left as they were: a dying software firm that can’t market a decent product. They have, by the list of people they are litigating against and threatening, already killed their chances of having any viable business model when the smoke clears. Unless Microsoft or Sun want to buy them, that is. 2004-03-04 1:15 am So Let Me See If I Have This Straight By Argosy (IP: —.dsl.mindspring.com) – Posted on 2004-03-03 21:57:53 SCO basically picks a company off its list and says “Stop using Linux or pay up?” And if it should be found that there is no stolen code in Linux and that none of SCO’s copyrights have been infringed upon, but that SCO has already collected money from companies based on an idle threat, then what? This is exactly what i was thinking, so a company pays up, just to be on the safe side then sco get blown out of the water with their bullshit then waht happens ? IMHO sco have not proven anything they havent managed to provide one shred of evidence about copyright infringement to deal with the kernel, and taking the innocent until proven guilty theory then in all fair rights, sco should be under investigation and should have been forced to remove that crappy licence shiite off of their site, put it up if you win, but you havent shiite so you have no right to put that crap up. did you actually read groklaws disection of their eula, man it just came across as a joke, right you havent legally proven anything but, even if they lose and you bought the licence your screwed, because its got clauses for every possible outcome. This case has begun to wind me up a lot. I cant believe they are allowed to get away with this, and nothing has been done. Im sorry its just not right. put up or stfu and die. right to put an anology on what they are saying, say for example you borrowed a little radio from some one you know, you get this radio (all of the components in the radio belong to some else anyway) and add a couple of crocodile clips to the circuit boad and then through that link add all sorts of extra functionality to the radio like mp3 play ability, digital radio etc.. Then this guy asks for it back so you remove the crocodile clips and screw the thing back up and give it back, a few weeks later a mate comes along and gives you all of the components to build your own radio then you attach all your new tools to it, and show your mate how to do it to his radio. Then this guy sees what you got and says right because you attached it to my radio it belongs to me, what would your reaction be ? mine would be, go f*** yourself. get rid of the beaurocratic shite and the legal rambling and this is in essence what you have. also how what they said to the press to what they actually are suing for are again 2 completely different things, they deserve to get done for that alone. 2004-03-04 1:17 am … they are losing money. Getting licensing money for no work on their part other than suing appears to be their strategy. it was certified by “programmers in the Linux community” that it was in the kernel and did belong to SCO. This must be an old statement since how can anybody know what SCO’s source code is when they essentially refused to bring it into a US court? He could easily purger himself if he makes any statements like this in court. 2004-03-04 1:20 am also how what they said to the press to what they actually are suing for are again 2 completely different things, they deserve to get done for that alone. wtf ?? what i meant was What they have announced to the press is again different to what they are actually suing autozone for. The autozone thing has nothing to do with Linux. 2004-03-04 1:22 am Argosy: As rspickles has already commented, this case, even more than the IBM case, does not appear to allege copying of code from Unix to Linux. Roberto: Is it not self-contradictory to say that “none of us know” what went on between Autozone and SCO, and then in the same message “disagree with the assertion” that SCO sued Autozone because Autozone went with a competing operating system? If you don’t know, then what is your disagreement based on? More specifically, you are apparently saying we cannot know if the long and detailed message to Groklaw by the person claiming to have moved Autozone from SCO to Linux (without, he says, the help of SCO’s libraries, though he says SCO, which at that time was selling Linux, offered such help) is true; then you apparently proceed to disbelieve it. Again, if you don’t know, then on what is your disbelief based? 2004-03-04 1:29 am More specifically, you are apparently saying we cannot know if the long and detailed message to Groklaw by the person claiming to have moved Autozone from SCO to Linux (without, he says, the help of SCO’s libraries, though he says SCO, which at that time was selling Linux, offered such help) is true; then you apparently proceed to disbelieve it. Again, if you don’t know, then on what is your disbelief based? I’d advise you to ignore Roberto. He will just continue to claim he is right and you are wrong without any proof whatsoever. He does this in every thread. If you keep bringing him evidence he’ll just ignore you and repeat that he is right and you are wrong. 2004-03-04 1:32 am Come on, Roberto, those lawsuits are directly related to Linux. It amazes me how you’re always ready to give SCO the benefit of the doubt, while quickly casting doubt on statements by Linus and others (like when Linus said that he had written errno.h from scratch – you know, one of the few files that SCO says is theirs?). Meanwhile, are your OpenServer and Unixware forks of nmap available yet? 2004-03-04 1:41 am >> They’ve already been clear in their unclear fashion. >> They do not want the code removed. Their goal at the >> end of the day is to obtain licensing fees for every >> copy of linux out there. They have all but plainly >> stated this in many interviews( McBride in particular ). This is true. In the conference call today, Darl said that he didn’t want people to have to “rip out code.” He just wanted to everyone using the Linux kernel to become compliant with SCO IP. If your interested, rather than listening to Roberto, grab a copy of the conference call (a torrent file is available). 2004-03-04 1:55 am Judge Wells has ordered SCO to indentify all lines allegedly stolen from UNIX and put into Linux. She also ordered SCO not to issue any comments. Meanwhile, she rejected SCO’s demand that IBM had to provide the AIX source first, and she limited the scope of what IBM had to provide to the files that they already said they would give to SCO (SCO was asking for all the AIX code, including all versions ever published and internal revisions…) This is not what SCO wanted…good to see that judge Wells isn’t falling for their theatrics – unlike some posters in this comments section! 2004-03-04 2:03 am Eugenia, I hope I am not taking overmuch space with the text of this message copied over from Groklaw. It was posted on February 18th by a “jbgreer” in reply to SCO’s response to one of IBM’s requests for evidence in the SCO-IBM case, where SCO said IBM helped Autozone transition to Linux from SCO’s OpenWare, and must have done so using SCO libraries, due to the smoothness of the transition. “Authored by: jbgreer on Wednesday, February 18 2004 @ 10:00 AM EST “I don’t know whether to be pleased or angry at SCO’s assertion that IBM must have assisted AutoZone’s transition to Linux due to the “precision and efficiency with which the migration occurred”. You see, I was a Sr. Technical Advisor at AutoZone, where I was an employee for over 10 years. During my tenure, I participated and led in the design, development and maintenance of many of AutoZone’s store systems. More importantly, I initiated AutoZone’s transition to Linux and I directed the port of their existing store software base to Linux. I personally ported all of AutoZone’s internal software libraries for use under Linux. I personally developed the rules by which other AutoZone developers should make changes to their code to support both Linux and SCO’s OpenServer product. I believe at one point I had as many as 35 AutoZone developers performing porting work for me, much of which was trivial, given that our code did not generally rely on SCO specific features and that the more technologically sophisticated portions of our code tended to reside in our libraries. The developers were also responsible for testing their individual applications under both SCO and Linux; I supplemented this activity by performing builds of the entire AutoZone store software base on my desktop, which I had converted to Linux. “As to the claim that SCO’s shared libraries were a necessary part of the port: false. No SCO libraries were involved in the porting activity. “As to the claim that IBM induced us to transition to Linux: false. It was, in fact, SCO’s activities that ‘greased the skids’ and allowed the business case for using Linux to be made more easily. That is a story long in the telling; perhaps I’ll share it another day. “One should remember the Linux business environment that existed at the time the AutoZone transition began. Several vendors – the original Caldera Linux distribution company, Red Hat, and Linuxcare – were offering support for enterprise installations of Linux. In fact, Bryan Sparks, then CEO of Caldera, flew to Memphis and met with me during my evaluation of the various distribution and support offerings. I also met and talked briefly with Dave Sifry of Linuxcare during the 1999 Linux Expo. AutoZone settled on Red Hat chiefly because of my familiarity with their distribution and the ease with which AutoZone could negotiate a support agreement with them. “I must add that SCO was eventually made aware of AutoZone’s transition to Linux. They responded by offering to assist AutoZone in the porting activity. By the time of their offer, AutoZone had already completed the initial porting activity and had already installed a Linux-based version of their store system in several stores. “Finally, I’ll add that I was for a time a member of SCO’s Customer Advisory Board. As such, I believe I have some useful insights as to why SCO lost AutoZone’s and several other large accounts’ business.” 2004-03-04 2:22 am News flash SCO has found a way to Sue ScoGroup 2004-03-04 2:28 am Will somebody shoot this rapid dog before it hurts someone? Maybe they wouldn’t need to sue every company they can think if they produced a decent OS. It kinda says something when even they won’t eat their own dogfood. If only we could do what Germany did and shut down their dumb asses. 2004-03-04 2:47 am http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20040215015800694#c78161 2004-03-04 3:18 am Most companies using linux, PAID for linux and did it in good faith SCO and until you prove something, why make worse for yourselves. 2004-03-04 3:29 am what right has SCO to demand payment from end-user companies when it is not at all yet proven by court that Linux actually stole code from SCO? isn’t it that there’s the rule “innocent until proven guilty?” so how can SCO presume that these companies are guilty when in fact they haven’t won any case in court yet? the judges should just dismiss their end-user cases! 2004-03-04 5:45 am Wouldn’t it be cheaper for a company to just hire a hit man to go after the heads at SCO then go to court? Everyone knows in America if you have lots of money you can get away with anything. Just what I would do if I was in that situation. 2004-03-04 5:47 am thats kinda hilarious. LOL 2004-03-04 6:14 am I want whatever crack their all on. 2004-03-04 10:59 am Re: man.. By Roberto J. Dohnert (IP: —.dialsprint.net) – Posted on 2004-03-03 23:50:46 <<< These sco people are out of control, are we sure they aren’t on the MS payroll? >>> We are positive that they are not on Microsofts payroll. Now that the levies are about to break, we open the flood gates: http://www.opensource.org/halloween/halloween10.html From: Mike Anderer Sent: Sunday, October 12, 2003 To: firstname.lastname@example.org CC: Bob Bench Subject: Conversation Friday Chris: […] 1) Baystar is easy as they were just a Microsoft referral and would be 2% […] I realize the last negotiations are not as much fun, but Microsoft will have brough in $86 million for us including Baystar. […] Microsoft also indicated there was a lot more money out there and they would clearly rather use Baystar “like” entities to help us get signifigantly more money if we want to grow further or do acquisitions This Microsoft deal is the Ante to the poker game…We should get this done and go after several $2-3 Million deals from the expense side of their company. […] And guess what, I know precisely what you will say. Hey, Roberto, being the Devil’s Advocate’s fun for a while, but only when you’re being unpredictable. The instant that people can predict your every word, it becomes deadly boring, a total drag. And that is usually when you have lost the case but won’t give it up. 2004-03-04 6:47 pm “Argosy: As rspickles has already commented, this case, even more than the IBM case, does not appear to allege copying of code from Unix to Linux.” I remembered that you said that, I was simply pointing out to Roberto that there was an issue of the end users being sued probably senselessly. And why, for the love of God, are some Linux sellers reluctant to indemnify? How can they sell a product that can get their clients sued? Didn’t Sun, for one, refuse to indemnify? 2004-03-04 7:00 pm “the judges should just dismiss their end-user cases!” And for that matter, seeing how the Justice Department has recently gotten involved in the takeover attempt of PeopleSoft by Oracle, then they ought to get involved in this thing which is really spiralling out of control. But once again, this is a sad testimony to not only our legal system but also the business world that these kind of tactics by SCO are not only allowed but acceptable business strategies apparently. 2004-03-04 7:42 pm Note: None of the suits is about linux. They are all about contracts and pretty far fetched at that, if you ask me. The IBM thing is about SCO claiming rights to code written, copyrighted and patented by IBM/Sequent 20 years after IBM got its UNIX license. Or did that change? Seems like they can’t make up their mind what they are suing for.. Autozone is (for the moment) about alleged copyright-infringing use of library-files, based on the “fact” that transition from sco-unix to linux went so smooth, therefore they “must” have used sco-libs. Daimler didn’t respond when sco came and made a nusiance of them selves. That’s why sco sued them. Again nothing to do with linux. Realize, it’s never been about linux in the courts, that’s just for the press. 2004-03-04 7:46 pm Thus there is no need for indemninfication, since it seems sco is primarily chasing their own old customers. Not alot the distributors can do about that.