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.
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.
The UPS man rang my buzzer. I sat in my chair sweating bullets. Do I even dare? Despite better judgment, I buzzed him in. "Did anyone see you?" I asked in a nervous voice. "Uh, just sign here." He gave me an annoyed look and after getting my John Hancock, he handed me the package. I hurriedly closed my blinds, fearful someone might see the contents as I opened it. The package sat on my coffee table for about an hour while we (that is to say, me and the package) stared each other down. A scene from the cult classic Terry Gilliam movie Time Bandits came to mind: "Mum! Dad! Don't touch it! It's pure evil!"
IBM won a tactical victory Friday in a legal battle with SCO Group when a judge ordered SCO to show within 30 days the Linux software to which it believes it has rights and to point out where it believes IBM is infringing.
SCO could get an injunction that would prevent Utah neighbor Novell from shipping Linux, but it won't try to derail the planned Novell-SUSE merger--at least not legally, an SCO spokesman confirmed. Elsewhere, Ransom Love shared his Linux views in a discussion with CNET News.com.
"Since they cannot show infringement of SCO Unix code, SCO now plans to challenge the 9-year-old settlement between AT&T and BSD. If it can successfully do that, then its claims that Linux contains tainted code can be substantiated. If it can't, SCO is dead meat." Says NewsForge. *Updated*
Subpoenas are flying in the high-profile lawsuit between the SCO Group and IBM, as both companies try to buttress their legal claims by turning to third parties for information. SCO said Wednesday that it has filed subpoenas targeting six different individuals or organizations. Those include Novell; Linus Torvalds, creator of the Linux kernel; Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation; Stuart Cohen, chief executive of the OSDL; and John Horsley, general counsel of Transmeta.
EWeek has an interview with Ransom Love, Caldera's co-founder, wherein he gives some interesting background to Caldera's original aims, the immediate aftermath of the SCO acquisition, the beginning of the feud with IBM, and his views on the GPL. He thinks the lawsuit is a bad idea.
In the continuing SCO/Linux saga are responses from Linus Torvalds and Bruce Perens and Eric Raymond to Darl McBride's open letter of a few days back.
In an open letter, SCO Chief Executive Darl McBride tells open-source developers they need to do a better job of policing themselves and sets sights on SGI.
SCO Group, which has sued IBM for more than $3 billion for allegedly moving Unix code into Linux, may also have Silicon Graphics in its crosshairs. SCO on Friday declined to comment on future legal action, but Chris Sontag, the senior vice president in charge of SCO's effort to derive more revenue from its Unix intellectual property, has said two things that suggest SGI is a likely target. SCO said sometime ago that "their" NUMA code found in Linux, has come from SGI engineers working in the Linux kernel.
The SCO Group said today it had never planned to sue any Linux companies, had no concrete plans to sue anyone and also no current plans to take a commercial Linux customer to court. The company was responding to questions routed through its PR people in Sydney. Full story at TheAge.
SCO's own Chris Sontag responds to the recent remarks about SCO's presentation of "stolen code." My Take: Is there an IT professional left in America who would ever consider buying SCO software again? Update: It never ends. Novell has joined the fray.
The first publicly released sample that The SCO Group claims was improperly added to the Linux source code has every right to be in Linux, according to open-source advocate Bruce Perens. In analysis that he's published on his web site, he notes that the code in question is copyrighted by AT&T, but has been released under the BSD license...twice! See tecChannel and lwn for an overview. In other SCO News, McBride has stated his intention to start lawsuits against "illegitimate" end users of the Linux OS.
SCO showed the disputed code at their SCO Forum conferece in Las Vegas to their partners and customers. SCO's CEO Darl McBride said tat they have hired pattern-recognition experts to find infringing code in linux, and that they have found "a mountain of code" and that "The DNA of Linux is coming from Unix" and thus Linux is more competitive because of it. They have also announced new version of their OpenServer code-named "Legend". More at news.com article. Heise News shows the code. The code seems to come from arch/ia64/sn/io/ate_utils.c, copyright by SGI. Possibly from here or here?
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.
Listen, and you can hear the collective sigh of relief as news comes that IBM has finally countersued The SCO Group. No real news on the details yet. Stay tuned for updates. Update: Lycoris has announced that its Desktop/LX distribution is "immune" from the recent moves by The SCO Group to force Linux users to license its intellectual property. For those who have used Lycoris, the installer comes right out of Caldera's Linux installation code.
"We believe it is necessary for Linux customers to properly license SCO's IP if they are running Linux 2.4 kernel and later versions for commercial purposes. The license insures that customers can continue their use of binary deployments of Linux without violating SCO's intellectual property rights." SCO will be offering an introductory license price of $699 for a single CPU system through October 15th, 2003. UPDATE: SCO may countersue Red Hat, SuSE joins the fray. Read it at Slashdot.
An anonymous contributor writes "An interesting legal commentary on SCO can be found at web page for the Law Office of Lewis A. Mettler which includes some highly critical comments about SCO, their actions, and their legal approach. Another attorney, Tom Carey warned that SCO needs to include some interesting terms in its new licenses. Otherwise, "SCO will have committed the business equivalent of extortion, assuming they lose their case against IBM..." Mark Radcliffe, from the same firm as Carey, although he appears to have some doubts about Eben Moglen's OSDL position paper, also points out some issues with SCO's position in the same article."
SCO shares fell nearly 10% Friday, after an IBM memo rejecting SCO's Linux claims turned up. Meanwhile, Andy Butler of Gartner said "Users should not start waving their cheque books" in apparent contradiction of earlier comments by his colleague George Weiss. GROKLAW lists several other analysts taking anti-SCO positions on Linux licensing. Form-4 filings with the SEC reveal SCO Executives have been cashing out stock. They made $398,833.90 in June, and $781,964.70 in July.