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Caldera Government The Courts News

Darl McBride Interview 463

Posted by michael
from the yap-yap-yap-yap dept.
mpsmps writes "vnunet.com has a long interview with SCO CEO Darl McBride devoted entirely to the SCO/IBM suit. McBride radiates confidence, describing SCO's contracts as "bullet-proof." He says he thinks IBM is desperate to buy SCO because "the last thing [IBM wants] to hear is the testimony that is going to come out," but that SCO isn't interested in being acquired. Read the interview for much more on these and other topics." See also part 2 and part 3 of the interview.
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Darl McBride Interview

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  • by Buran (150348) on Monday June 30, 2003 @04:54AM (#6329293)
    ... that is to say, they're a living oxymoron.

    If SCO isn't interested in being acquired, then why are they sure acting like they are? All this posturing is pointing to wanting to be bought out to make them shut up.
    • by Bowie J. Poag (16898) on Monday June 30, 2003 @05:04AM (#6329327) Homepage
      Kind of an odd strategy, isn't it...To be the thorn in the side of the company you're trying to entice into purchasing you?

      Personally, I don't think it's gonna happen. SCO has made itself a pariah, and no company is stupid enough to fall for the scam. That goes for IBM, Sun, Microsoft, you name it -- At the end of the day, no one needs SCO.

      Nice legacy. Heh.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 30, 2003 @05:50AM (#6329434)
        STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL
        My Dear Friend IBM,

        I am highly compelled upon strict recommendation, to write you this very urgent and confidential letter.I do hope my letter will not embarrass you since I had no previous correspondence with you.I hope this mail will not come to you as a surprise.I am sending this proposal with due sense of humanity, responsibility and with few awareness that you will give it a sympathetic attention. I regret to the inconvenience it may cause you base on the condition that we have not met before.

        I wish to use this opportunity to introduce myself to you, I am Mr. Darl McBride,the CEO of the former proprietor of Unixware in my home city of Lindon, Utah, My Vice President Christopher Sontag had a synflood shot by the GNU rebels on his way travelling to White Plains, a city after New York, your headquarters along with my daughter, My daughter died on the spot while the HP-UX team rescued my Vice President, he was taken to hospital for medical treatment which he later died about three months now.

        Fortunately, My Company has Ten million and Five hundred thousand United States Dollars(US$10.5 million) cash, which he intended to use for investment purposes overseas. This money is kept with private security company in Europe since two years ago. It is only my son and myself that know where the money is kept and has the documents for it.

        Due to the current situation in the market concerning GNU's vendettas towards my family, we seek your assistance to transfer the ownership of this fund to you so that you can asisst us to claim it and used for the purpose of investment as intended by my Vice President.

        My family is currently being probed by this present GNU for alleged involvement in misappropriation of GPL code during his regime.

        Towards this effect, an embargo restricting my family members from traveling or carrying out financial transactions without their express permission is in force. Right now, my son and myself have concluded plans and decided to take immediate claim of this fund so that we can use it to better our lives and alliviate our present suffering hence this contact.

        However, I have an arrangement on how you can help us to recieve this money after receiving some assurances from you. The money personally belongs to my Vice President and he intended that it still be used for investment. No record ever existed concerning this money, neither is the money traceable by the GNU rebels because there is no documentation concerning the funds in the SEC reports. Bearing in mind that your assistance is needed to transfer this fund, we propose a commission of 20% (Twenty Percent) of the total sum to you for the expected services and assistance. While 5% is mapped out for miscellaneous expenses.

        On your positive consent, I shall expect you to contact me urgently to enable us discuss about this.Your urgent response is highly needed. I must use this opportunity to implore you to exercise utmost indulgence to keep this matter extraordinarily confidential, while I await your prompt response.

        Best regards,

        MR. DARL MCBRIDE, SCO LINDON UTAH

        • by RenHoek (101570) on Monday June 30, 2003 @08:10AM (#6330007) Homepage
          DEAR DARL,

          I HOPE I REACH YOU IN GOOD HEALTH.

          SINCE I HAVE RECEIVED A NUMBER OF SIAMILAR EMAILS BEFORE, I CAN GIVE YOU A FEW POINTERS TO MAKE IT MORE CONVINCNG.

          YOUR EMAIL SHOULD BE IN ALL CAPS, FOR ALL THE EMALS I'VE RECEIVED ALL SEEM TO BE NI THIS FORMAT!

          A FEW EXCLA1MATION MARKS WOULDN'T HURT EITHER!!

          ALSO YOU SEEM TO RUN A SPELLCHECKOR, THIS IS VERY BAD, SINCE THESE EMAILS ARE USUALLY WRITTEN WHILE FLEEING THE COUNTRY, YOU DO NOT HAVE TIME TO SPEELLCHECK!

          WHEN YOU ARE SUCCESSFULL PLEASE WRITE TO ME MY FRIEND, FOR I HAVE $45 MILLION DOLLARS (US) IN GOLD IN A DEPOSIT IN IRAQ, AND I NEED SOME MONEY TO BRIBE THE CUSTOM OFFICIALS. I CAN GIVE YOU 15%!!!

          KIND REGARDS FROM YOUR FRIEND
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 30, 2003 @05:30AM (#6329394)
      SCO is a public company (I actually shorted their stock at $11), and the CEO has little say whether his company will be acquired as long as someone offers a good deal. It is up to the shareholders to vote. The CEO has a little room to turn down an offer, but if it is a good offer, shareholders can sue the CEO for breach of fiduciary duty (duty of care state violation).

      If you want to hear some info on how SCO makes money, listen to their conference call here: http://biz.yahoo.com/cc/0/30510.html

      They said Caldera Linux was only 3-5% of their revenue, with the rest coming from UNIX licensing.

      - P.S. I'm in the legal profession.
    • I don't think they are going to outright say it because it would probably be used against them in court.
    • Sounds like he took lessons from "comical Ali", the Iraqi information minister, in "how to deny what is obviously going on with a straight face".
  • Vote (Score:5, Funny)

    by cb4b (683827) on Monday June 30, 2003 @04:55AM (#6329297)
    Vote McBride for minister of information!
  • by calebb (685461) * <[ten.leifeneb] [ta] [todhsals]> on Monday June 30, 2003 @04:55AM (#6329298) Homepage Journal

    You've been living in a dreamworld, Mr. McBride.

    Have you ever read some code, Darl, that you were so sure was yours? What if you were unable to prove it? How would you know the difference between your code and GNU's code?

    What is yours? How do you define yours? If you're talking about your opinion, how you feel, taste, smell, or see, then all you're talking about are conjectures - mere electrical signals that are likely misinterpreted by your brain.

    ...do you believe in OSS, Darl?

    Is it so hard to believe? The code is different; The open relays in the binaries and daemons are gone. Look at the time & date management; they weren't Y2K compliant a moment ago.

    Darl: No! I don't believe it. I don't believe it...

    SCO's investors He's gonna pop...

  • by Black Parrot (19622) on Monday June 30, 2003 @04:55AM (#6329299)


    That seems to have an "it's not about sex" ring to it.

    • by Mr2cents (323101) on Monday June 30, 2003 @05:47AM (#6329427)
      .. who always misreads this guy's name as "McBribe"?
    • That seems to have an "it's not about sex" ring to it.
      Indeed. If you read through the article, you can see that he is actively threatening to make as much as nuisance of himself as possible:
      • Auditing IBM's customers...I strongly doubt that SCO has a leg to stand on, unless they have a direct contract with them as well.
      • Going over IBM with a fine-toothed comb to see what comes up...right. If they are so sure of themselves, they should push for a fast trial, which they obviously don't.
      I think IBM is actually very smart in not doing anything at all while letting SCO run up legal bills and make more and more unwise threatening statement. Sooner or later, SCO will be deflated, and then the company actually will be totally bust.
    • by ralphclark (11346) on Monday June 30, 2003 @07:08AM (#6329683) Journal
      Surely.

      Here's the most telling remark of all. McBride:

      "You go back to SCO's brand in the 1990s and it was Unix on Intel. SCO was primed to seize the multibillion-dollar server market of Unix on Intel that hit in the early 2000s that has in fact shifted over to Red Hat."

      Ah. So now we begin to see what this is all about. Linux ate their lunch and they want revenge, but they can't attack Linux directly because "Linux" doesn't own any cash for them to rob.

      Then he volunteers the idea that IBM want to buy them out, and then immediately denies that SCO would have any interest in such a deal.

      Really, what would he be expected to say if a buyout was exactly what he *was* after? He would pump up the notion that a buyout was desirable to IBM and then play hard to get so as to negotiate a good price. Which is exactly what he did.

      This is just so blatantly obvious I'm having a hard time deciding whether McBride is truly stupid or if this is some kind of feint intended to divert everybody from his real intentions.

      • by bklock (632927) on Monday June 30, 2003 @07:35AM (#6329801) Homepage
        "You go back to SCO's brand in the 1990s and it was Unix on Intel. SCO was primed to seize the multibillion-dollar server market of Unix on Intel that hit in the early 2000s that has in fact shifted over to Red Hat."

        He's falling for a logical fallacy here. 'Unix on Intel' caught on largely because of Linux and its liberal licensing. No proprietary Unix vendor ever made substantial in roads in this area, and I doubt any would have. When ever asked about the benefits of Unix-on-Intel, the answers people give for it are the general openness of the platform and it being less expensive than a proprietary solution. This is not compatable with a license-fee-extorion scheme.

        Its no different than saying "We just sold a million foobars for a dollar each. If only we had charged a million dollars each, we'd be gazillion-ares!
        • by IntlHarvester (11985) on Monday June 30, 2003 @01:34PM (#6332676) Journal
          No proprietary Unix vendor ever made substantial in roads in this area, and I doubt any would have

          It was a chicken-and-egg predicament. As long as Unix-on-Intel meant "SCO", it was perpetually going to be a nitch product. Those guys were always dodgy and expensive.

          But, back in 1995, Novell announced they were going to merge UNIXWare with NetWare to form something called "SuperNOS" and compete directly with Windows NT in the "mixed use" server market. At this time, Novell had > 50% marketshare and would have had incredible leverage to push UNIX on corporate customers and line-up hardware and political support. With the Internet boom, the timing would have been perfect.

          But instead Novell went for this insanely stupid WordPerfect-based client strategy and scotched UnixWare. The rest is history -- Novell's now a minor league vendor and they are crawling back to SuperNOS, except this time with Linux and 8 years too late. And Microsoft pretty much owns the low-end corporate server market.

          This was a huge missed opportunity that set Unix adoption back by probably 5 years. Unix-on-Intel never had a real "push" until the late 90s with Linux. Sure, the liberal licencing helps, but so does the support network and the hardware and vendor support that SCO and Sun never had.
      • by DrXym (126579) on Monday June 30, 2003 @07:47AM (#6329861)
        The thing is, SCO was never poised to seize anything on Intel platforms. I recall evaluating it at the time and was disgusted at the licence costs and unimpressed by it using SVR 3.2 when BSD4.3 and SVR4 systems were already more advanced than it. Compared to a Sun operating systems at the time, it was a steaming heap of shit. It wasn't Minix bad but frankly I thought it wasn't up to much. In fact the only thing it had going for it was it was a known quantity with some tangible sense of being supported and someone to blame if it broke.


        Now to be fair to SCO, I haven't looked at their more recent offerings. But since they badly fumbled the ball there has been no need to either. Linux (and the BSDs) have long provided everything that any Intel developer would ever want, for a low costs, with no withering licence fees or odious licence issues attached.

        • by Arker (91948) on Monday June 30, 2003 @11:43AM (#6331703) Homepage

          I don't have much direct experience with SCO, but perhaps a couple of interesting anecdotes at least.

          My first brush with it was the same time as my introduction to Linux, early 90sish I don't remember the year right off. A guy I knew, a friend's step-dad, was an old unix guy and after getting sacked from Honeywell where he had worked for decades he was trying to make a business on his own around Unix on Intel. He had a SCO dealership for a couple of months. He was constantly bitching about it, poor performance, crazy to set up, crashing for no reason, damnable intrusive copy protection system built in, and the price was pretty high too. We were experimenting with slackware at the time and showed it to him... a month later he threw SCO out the window and never went back.

          Much later, only a couple of years ago, I worked a bit for a place that used SCO to drive a couple hundred dumb terminals. That was just a temp job while I found real work, and I wasn't in on the Admin side of it, but I know that the guys that were started cursing whenever you mentioned SCO. They were working on moving the system to Redhat instead, but of course it was proprietary no-source stuff, and while they had it running it was still freezing and doing odd things occasionally and they hadn't figured out why yet, so it was just in testing still. They were planning to junk SCO as soon as they could get it working stable too, and gritted their teeth and screaming a lot about exactly the same things my friends stepdad had been bitching about nearly 10 years earlier it seemed to me.

  • The people that have looked at this - both our legal teams as well as independent people coming from the outside - say: 'These contracts are bullet-proof. This is a very strong contract right you have.'

    Wonder what he means by "people coming from the outside". Did they say something like: "This is a very strong contract right you have. I would like to clarify a simple fact here: How can you lay siege to a whole company? Who is really under siege now? SCO cannot be besieged. UnixWare cannot be besieged. O

  • by GrouchoMarx (153170) on Monday June 30, 2003 @04:56AM (#6329301) Homepage
    "The IBM infidels are not in Utah! And if they are, we are driving them back, and they are falling before us! We cannot be defeated by the infidel Penguinistas! The people of Unix will never fall to the Linux infidels!"

    *glances over shoulder, sees 500 IBM lawyers licking their lips and advancing, carrying briefcases, with black crows taking off before them.*

    "As I was saying, the IBM infidels are not here, and if they are, we are driving them back, and they are falling before us!"
  • Bottom Line (Score:5, Interesting)

    by idiotnot (302133) * <sean@757.org> on Monday June 30, 2003 @04:57AM (#6329303) Homepage Journal
    It is not a matter of reeling in compensation for this. It's a question of what form it takes - the form of settlement - if it goes all the way to litigation. Those are, to me, more the unknowns.

    IBM is going to string this out as long as possible, and won't settle. Why? Because SCO's continued existence as a company depends upon revenue from this case. It's the same reason they aren't suing other people (Apple, Microsoft, and the BSD's have been mentioned as targets, and one can infer from other comments that SGI is a target too); they don't have the money to carry on this long litigation.

    In some respects, going after IBM first is unwise. If, in fact, SGI is a target, there would be a much greater chance of SCO winning, and getting some money. SGI doesn't have much money to give, but you start to establish some precedent.....
    • Re:Bottom Line (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ultrabot (200914) on Monday June 30, 2003 @05:08AM (#6329339)
      they don't have the money to carry on this long litigation.

      Dunno. Boies is not paid by the hour, but by a portion of their hypothetical winnings from this case. They can stretch it forever, and the money pumped in by MSFT and (possibly) Sun isn't hurting.

      If there is any justice in the world:

      1) SCO will be no more after this is over

      2) McBride and Sonntag will be serving jail time in a maximum security penitentiary. (ah, well, one can always dream)
      • Re:Bottom Line (Score:5, Insightful)

        by m_evanchik (398143) <michel_evanchikATevanchik...net> on Monday June 30, 2003 @08:37AM (#6330154) Homepage
        It's very unlikely that Boies' law firm is taking this case on a contingency basis. That kind of business arrangement tends to be for individual tort. There wouldn't be any sense in taking a case like this on a contingency basis, since a good outcome for the client may be somthing very different than a paid settlement. How would Boies collect on a buyout, to take one example?

        Corporate law is practiced on a pay-as-you-go basis.

        On that basis, SCO does not have enough money in the bank to have this stretch out indefinitely.

        That may be one reason IBM is letting this stretch out. McBride's bluster is costing his firm mucho dollars.

        If someone (not me) wanted to be really sneaky, they would buy a share of SCO (that's the cheap part) and then hire a good lawyer (EXPENSIVE, let's say high 5 figures to start) and initiate a lawsuit against McBride and SCO and the board of directors for some corporate executivemal feasance against shareholders (hence the need to own a share of SCO). Then you too can have fun with the "discovery process" and go over SCO with a "fine-toothed comb"!

        Think of the fun of delivering a subpoena to Lindon, Utah. Think of the excitement of getting to have YOUR VERY OWN SHYSTER get his meaty hooks on SCO corporate documents. HIRE YOUR FRIENDS as expert witnesses that must look over the SCO proprietary source without signing an NDA. You don't need an NDA, because you've got your very own legal shark swimming his way up SCO backside.

        Sounds fun, doesn't it?

        Maybe Commander Taco would do it if all those VA Linux stock certificates weren't only useful as toilet paper and he wasn't a FORMER dot.com millionaire.

        I just wish someone would fight back legally at SCO. They are fucking with Linux and a case can be made that they are doing so wrongly and maliciously. Won't somebody please take the fuckers to court?

        Do you really trust IBM to look out for your interests? They're not into Linux for the goodness of it.

        • Re:Bottom Line (Score:5, Informative)

          by shadowbearer (554144) on Monday June 30, 2003 @11:44AM (#6331707) Homepage Journal
          • by siskbc (598067) on Monday June 30, 2003 @01:42PM (#6332750) Homepage
            SCO's legal costs are being paid under a contingency arrangement (about halfway down)

            Good link - that being publically known, though, I still don't know if it changes IBM's strategy. Basically it means that Boies has a vested interest in settling as soon as possible, to get as much cash per time spent as possible. It's kind of like when you have a real estate agent - they get a fixed percentage of the sale price, and underpriced houses sell faster - so it's in their best interest to sell your house at 5% under value if they can sell it twice as fast. Same with Boies.

            So if I'm IBM, the first thing I intimate to Boies is that there is NO settlement. What does he do then? Best get this thing to trial and try to get whatever he can, huh? I would say then that the more IBM stalls the more desperate Boies gets to not spend years on this thing when they may get nothing in return except losing a high-profile case, wasting time and killing his mystique. I believe he isn't anxious to try that on.

            The other reason Boies has to hurry is that the investors who stupidly drove this thing up to $11/share are going to get restless eventually - I would bet that if this thing gets badly dragged out, share price goes down, shrinking the cash pie that is shared among Boies, Darl, etc.

            Ultimately, I don't think Boies is a moron, so I bet a lot of this is starting to sink in. I'm sure he's also apprised Darl of the situation, and that's why Darl is sounding crazier than ever - and from the sound of things, trying to convince shareholders of value more than anything. He knows their share price is a bubble, and if it pops, the company comes apart.

            I can't wait. Might just pop a beer and watch MSNBC all day when it goes down. ;)

          • Re:Bottom Line (Score:3, Informative)

            by PolR (645007)
            This could mean Boies is not that involved in the case after all. He may have been hired for his notoriety and ability to publicly plea in court while other lawyers are doing the bulk of the work from the shadows.

            Note the deliciously ambiguous statement:

            the company revealed Wednesday that it doesn't have to bear the brunt of much of its legal costs.To pursue its case against IBM, SCO hired high-profile attorney David Boies, famous for his antitrust victory over Microsoft as well as his loss in the vote

      • Re:Bottom Line (Score:5, Interesting)

        by cdrudge (68377) on Monday June 30, 2003 @08:48AM (#6330229) Homepage
        IBM fought to have the venue changed from Utah's courts to the Federal system and won. This results in two things: Everything takes longer and it's more expensive. While Boise might not need/take his cut of the winnings until after they have won, others are still going to want to be paid. Researchers and experts are going to want paid whether they win or not. Legal/court fees will start to accumulate and they get paid either way. While SCOs pockets can be deep, they are not bottomless.
      • Re:Bottom Line (Score:5, Insightful)

        by vidarh (309115) <vidar@hokstad.com> on Monday June 30, 2003 @09:15AM (#6330419) Homepage Journal
        Boies is the least of their cost factors. Remember that as part of this action, they've shut down their Linux sales, they're going through an unprecedented PR backlash that got to affect their sales (people might be worried about Linux, but SCO customers should be seriously worried about what happens to SCO if they either get bought out - IBM doesn't need their technology, and would be likely to just shut them down - or lose, and likely end up on a slippery slope to bankrupcy), as well as the huge costs they'll be incurring in making large parts of their management team spend most of their time focusing on a case that is drawing all attention away from driving sales.

        SCO will be extremely lucky if they manage to survive long enough to benefit from any semi-positive outcome (for them) of this case.

      • Re:Bottom Line (Score:3, Insightful)

        by El (94934)
        You're forgetting something: SCO will will do a discovery, asking IBM for "all documentation you have on this". Now, if there is one thing that IBM is good at, it's generating documentation! Remember, these are the guys that invented "This page intentionally left blank." IBM will show up at SCO's doorstep with 20 Semis full of files, and causually remark, "Here it is... by the way, you're going to need to lease a 100,000 square foot warehouse to store this in... for about the next 12 years!" IBM dragged out
    • Re:Bottom Line (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jkrise (535370) on Monday June 30, 2003 @05:39AM (#6329416) Journal
      "In some respects, going after IBM first is unwise."

      OTOH, consider the possibility that Microsoft is the one sponsoring this case. Whom would they sue? HPaq is already at their mercy - besides after Compaq's Digital takeover, the alpha series was consigned to oblivion. SGI was enslaved by MS for a while (they made some MIPS workstations running NT with Cobalt chipsets - remember), and only recently moved towards Linux.

      Dell doesn't have a Unix/Linux strategy worth talking about. Sun (even if SCO had a case against them) doesn't compete in the PC game. Their 'Java PC' talk was just that - talk. That leaves only IBM - since IBM has a Unix AND a Linux strategy with their Lotus Notes and Websphere; IBM could be the juicy target to go after.

      Now, I doubt SCO really intends to follow-thru on their hollow claims. Their main objective seems to build some sort of credibility and nuisance-value with their suit against IBM, and help MS attack the Corporates with threatening letters, Gartner reports, FUD etc.

      It would thus appear SCO isn't keen on making any money from the IBM case directly, their only interest is to bad-mouth all and sundry in the Open Source game - Linus, RMS, RedHat, LUGs, users, Corporates etc. This alone can explain their strange crazy idiotic conduct over the past few months.
      • Re:Bottom Line (Score:3, Interesting)

        by idiotnot (302133) *
        OTOH, consider the possibility that Microsoft is the one sponsoring this case.

        Re-read my post. Chris Sontag said that Microsoft could be a future target; the agreement between MS and SCO is only for a few libraries. SCO's main thrust here is that every modern OS since SysV violates SCO's "intellectual property." If they do the same things that SysV could, they're infringing. In effect, then, any multi-user POSIX-compatible system would be fair game.

        Yes, MS's move to license Services for Unix probably
        • Re:Bottom Line (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Catiline (186878) <akrumbach@gmail.com> on Monday June 30, 2003 @06:14AM (#6329507) Homepage Journal
          SCO's main thrust here is that every modern OS since SysV violates SCO's "intellectual property." If they do the same things that SysV could, they're infringing.
          If that's true it's the funniest thing I've heard in a long time. POSIX is a published standard (IEEE 1003) and as such those concepts cannot be "trade secrets" (they're definitely not secret). Anyway, in the interview - you did RTA, right? -- Darrl says it's all all about the code, not about UNIX methods.
        • Re:Bottom Line (Score:5, Interesting)

          by jkrise (535370) on Monday June 30, 2003 @06:20AM (#6329527) Journal
          "OTOH, consider the possibility that Microsoft is the one sponsoring this case... Chris Sontag said that Microsoft could be a future target"

          The first rule while decoding statements from SCO should be to match it up with their actions. I agree that SCO indeed claimed that MS could be a future target. But their actions --while sending 1,500 letters to big Corporates about the dangers of using Linux, but omitting Windows, seem to indicate that the MS-target statement was mere eyewash.

          "the agreement between MS and SCO is only for a few libraries. "

          Then why didn't SCO mention Windows in their infamoust Letters to Corporates?? After all, there are more stupid Windozers than brainy Linuxers out there.

          "Yes, MS's move to license Services for Unix probably was a token to SCO. But SCO seems eager to bite the hand that feeds it."

          SCO never owns any of the stuff related to Services for Unix - nfs, X-Window environment etc on Windows. Most of these are owned by Sun. There is no clear indicateion from SCO, MS, Slashdot or the press - as to what exactly did MS license or negotiate or deal with SCO. All this is conjecture.

          SCO doesn't appear eager to bite the hand that feeds it - it is trying to deceive people into thinking it's a dirty crook that can outwit bigger crooks (such as 800lb gorillas).Reading your post, I get the impression SCO has claimed atleast one victim.

          Unfortunately for SCO, most Linux users have enough chutzpah, and a healthy Dirtier-Than-SCO attitude - so all SCO's bluff will lead them nowhere.
        • Re:Bottom Line (Score:3, Interesting)

          by budgenator (254554)
          SCO's main thrust here is that every modern OS since SysV violates SCO's "intellectual property."

          The crux of the matter seems to revolve around three main issues.
          Firstly is the widely reported clause in the AT&T System V license, that all derivative works of System V belong to the license grantor, SCO actualy exist in an enforcable form, or is it an urban legend? If the clause is in existance and is enforcable, then IBM will need to prove that the aleged copied code in both System V and Linux, came f
    • by velophile (661890) on Monday June 30, 2003 @06:36AM (#6329573)
      Don't get me wrong, I'm as happy as anyone of IBM's support of Linux but that doesn't mean that I trust them out right.

      What if IBM is guilty? What if they did misappropriate some proprietary code, on purpose or other wise? Sure the kernel folks will replace it and life will move on, but that will be very damaging to Linux. While we are all throwing stones at SCO maybe we shouldn't completely turn our backs on IBM. Their "support" of Linux may end up doing a lot of harm. Plus they may already be cooking up something they intended to replace AIX and Linux in the next five years or so. Before there was MS there was IBM.

  • by Xpilot (117961) on Monday June 30, 2003 @04:57AM (#6329305) Homepage
    I posted this before, but I made a typo so I'll post it again just for karma. Go ahead, mod me down :p

    ----

    This is how it's going to be settled : IBM sends grim looking men in black suits to SCO, and a representative named "Smith" (who looks oddly familiar) confronts Darl Mcbride.

    Smith: As you can see, we've had our eye on you for some time now, Mr. Mcbride. It seems that you've been living...two lives. In one life, you're Darl McBride, CEO of what used to be a respectable software company, you have a social security number, you pay your taxes, and you help your landlady carry out her garbage. The other life is lived in lawsuits, where you go around accusing everyone that they are guilty of virtually every computer crime we have a law for. One of these lives has a future, and one of them does not. I'm going to be as forthcoming as I can be, Mr. McBride. You're here because we need you to cut it out. We know that you think you can get your ailing company to be bought out. Now whatever you think you know about intelluctual property laws is irrelevant. You actions are considered by the open source community to be the annoying and disruptive. My colleagues believe that I am wasting my time with you but I believe that you wish to do the right thing. We're willing to wipe the slate clean, give you a fresh start and all that we're asking in return is your cooperation in dropping your stupid lawsuits against IBM.

    Darl: Yeah. Wow, that sound like a really good deal. But I think I got a better one. How about I give you the finger... and we see you in court.

    Smith: Um, Mr. Mcbride. You disappoint me.

    Darl: You can't scare me with this Gestapo crap. We own UNIX IP rights. I want my lawyer.

    Smith: And tell me, Mr. McBride, what good is your IP rights... if your company has violated so many of our patents.

    (Smith drops a huge pile of legal papers on the desk with a thud)

    Smith: You're going to help us, Mr. McBride whether you want to or not.

    (Darl screams hysterically)



    • I don't even think Mr. Smith even needs to exist. I think SCO is painfully aware that they're on their last legs, AND the fact they're in violation of so many patents that it would be completely ridiculous to even go down that path with IBM.

      IBM files what, 20,000 patents a year? I'd give it a week before IBM had a list of at least a hundred patents SCO sits in violation of.. The only thing stopping them is the reluctance to come off looking like a bully.

      Besides, IBM isn't the boogy-man.. They're actually
    • And once again dude, you (and The Matrix) have made the same mistake. IBM's lawyers don't wear Black suits. They wear Dark Blue suits!

  • SCO -5; Nuisance (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jkrise (535370) on Monday June 30, 2003 @04:58AM (#6329307) Journal
    Not long ago, SCO said that buyout by IBM was an option. They'd said that trade secrets were violated when IBM sent code to Linux. A mysterious contract amendment with Novel was discovered, with just the right wording to bolster SCO's case.

    All these and more SCO statements have been competely reversed now. Why should we listen to this never-ending story of lies from SCO. If they can't say something and stick to it, they do not deserve attention, only contempt.

    In fact I fail to u'stand Slashdot's motives in continuing this sequence of non-articles about SCO. News for nerds? Gossip, maybe. Stuff that matters? Matters to whom? No one but SCO.

    Interestingly, far away from all the court cases, the Gartner group is pumping more nonsense urging the masses to eschew Linux for mission-critical uses. These are the real evil-doers who need to be exposed. Have any of Gartner's predictions proved accurate? Did they predict the success of Linux, apache or PHP? Except sending out the odd report slamming IIS, they've done lots of damage to the OSS.We should watch out for more of these Gartners and less of SCO.
    • I disagree. Executives have some sense of how to evaluate Gartner reports--when to take them seriously, when to take them with a grain of salt. If Linux seems appealing, perhaps because it seems cheaper, it is easy to try it out and test how it works.

      Executives do not know how to evaluate SCO's legal claims. A potential lawsuit will cause them to steer clear of Linux until they know there is no threat.
  • No evidence of... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ctve (635102)
    "Yeah. That one is a no-brainer. When you look in the code base and you see line-by-line copy of our Unix System V code - not just the code itself, but comments to the code, titles that were in the comments and humour elements that were in the comments - you see that everything is taken straight across."

    There has been no evidence provided of this copying. Those who have independently seen both copies of the code have no evidence that it was copied from System V to Linux, that the code was originally in Sy

  • past-its-prime technology company files frivilous patent infringement lawsuit against mega-corporation, seeks billions.

    story at 11.

    When you have what people would call nuisance cases then you usually go in and try and knock those out with a summary judgement motion, or something to cause them to be dismissed. IBM has actually done none of that.

    sorry, but that's NO basis for a solid claim. this case will ultimately set a precedent and i believe IBM is acting wisely in taking its time to address the laws
  • At the moment im not really worried on the impact on Linux.
    As it has been said before, the tainted code will be found and rewritten.
    But how will this affect IBM, in the case that SCO does have a right to the code IBM wrote on AIX and distributed in the Linux kernel?
  • by pytheron (443963) on Monday June 30, 2003 @04:59AM (#6329311) Homepage
    It has said publicly that it moved, and is moving, key parts of AIX, and in fact is willing to move all of AIX over into Linux.

    Surely he can't believe that all of AIX would be moved over ? Maybe that's why he believes his contracts are cast-iron.. perhaps because he is CEO, nobody dares tell him "Hey Darl, our code is crap, and the linux community wouldn't want it anyways"

  • by Bowie J. Poag (16898) on Monday June 30, 2003 @05:01AM (#6329316) Homepage
    ...But the guilty have everything to hide.

    It's hard for me to look at SCO's CEO as anything but a cock-jerker. He himself knows for a fact that making such allegations puts a question mark on alot of things..And alot of good work...Honest work that honest people did.

    The world is filled with assholes, and this guy apparently has no problem counting himself among the ranks. Thats the most disturbing part of all.
  • by expro (597113) on Monday June 30, 2003 @05:01AM (#6329319)

    There have been good submissions over the last several days containing new information and perspectives on the SCO case. This is not one of them. This is SCO trying to stay in the news and Slashdot editors resurrecting his interview again a number of days after the interview. In terms of SCO news, this is very tired and old.

  • by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Monday June 30, 2003 @05:02AM (#6329323)
    I think one thing's clear, which is that everytime Darl McBride talks to the press, he comes off sounding like an asshole.

    It's a unique situation when a company as powerful as IBM has somebody coming at it with such strong claims as we have in a very public forum. So maybe its supercomputers haven't spat out an algorithm yet on how to respond to this kind of situation. I don't know.

    Haha.
  • Best quote (Score:2, Funny)

    by spacefight (577141)
    Are you still saying categorically that there is offending code in the Linux kernel?
    Yeah. That one is a no-brainer.

    Uh, we'll see...

  • Sir Comical McBride.

    "We will slaughter IBM."

    "We will great Linus with death and shoes."
  • by Noryungi (70322) on Monday June 30, 2003 @05:05AM (#6329332) Homepage Journal
    SCO CEO: that thing is bullet-proof!
    IBM lawyer (pointing fingers at CEO's chest): Bang.
    SCO CEO: Aaaaaaaaarrrrgghhhhh...

  • Al-Sahaf? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Vajsvarana (238818)
    Ok, now I'm pretty sure... the real "Comical Ali" is not the old man interviewed some days ago.
    He has obviously escaped Iraq to take the guide of SCO... but all his fans cannot be fooled by this McBride camouflage. He's the man! He's back! :)
  • by thelandp (632129) on Monday June 30, 2003 @05:08AM (#6329338)

    SCO - Source code's ours!
    IBM - I'm being mugged.
    Linux - Let's ignore the nuisance use of extortion.
    MS - Monopoly secured. Money stashed. Mess sidestepped.
  • How hard is this? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pubjames (468013) on Monday June 30, 2003 @05:10AM (#6329347)

    One thing I find really annoying about this case is that the Open Source community hasn't been able to point to a bit of code and say, look, there's the problem. Or alternatively, we've looked, and there is no problem. I mean, how hard can that be?

    Let's just remind ourselves of the issue here:

    SCO's lawsuit claims that IBM broke its contract with SCO by allowing parts of SCO's Unix V source code, licensed to IBM for use in AIX, to be used in the rival Linux operating system kernel.

    Ok, I appreciate that SCO's Unix V source code is closed source, and so it is not widely accessible to the OSS community. But someone must have a copy or access to a copy, surely? I'm sure there must be people in the OSS community that actually worked on the original code, isn't there?

    At the very least, can't we just highlight the code that IBM has contributed, and then say, if there is a problem, then it must be in there. As far as I am aware, IBMs additions are for "enterprise ready" systems. If that is the case, then I'm sure they could be taken out without affecting the majority of instances of Linux use.

    If we had a distribution that was free of the IBM code, then doesn't that mean we have a distribution that is legally untouchable by SCO? I know IBMs contributions are probably very valuable and all, but are they worth risking Linux to vagaries of the increasingly irrational legal system?
    • Re:How hard is this? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Ian Lance Taylor (18693) <ian@airs.com> on Monday June 30, 2003 @06:58AM (#6329643) Homepage
      There are two different kinds of code here.

      One is code which SCO claims has been directly copied from Unix into Linux. This is the basis for the letter sent to Linux users.

      The other is code which SCO claims that IBM has contributed to Linux in violation of its contract. This is the basis for the lawsuit against IBM.

      The former code is what could be discovered using source code comparisons.

      The latter code is known: it is JFS, NUMA, etc., which IBM developed and then contributed to Linux. SCO claims that these projects are derived works of Unix, and, per the IBM contract, SCO claims ownership over that code.
    • Re:How hard is this? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DragonMagic (170846)
      It's a novel idea. However, SCO's FUD has stated that somehow IBM or its independents' contributions have included journaling and multiprocessor support, among other things, which are part of the main kernel and not just enterprise level.

      A huge chunk of the open source movement realizes this is false; however, since they claim that these are the problems, it dilutes what IBM code could be infringing, if any at all.
    • linux as a system, would simply replace that code which is offending. they are suing ibm over misplaced unix intellectual property, which they may or may not own. they have not presented a cease and desist to the linux community, nor could they without describing explicitly what is offending. "...but are they worth risking Linux to vagaries of the increasingly irrational legal system?" they've been told in germany to put up, or shut up... which did they do? vigilance is rational; paranoid is not. as the vil
  • This is a CEO (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 30, 2003 @05:10AM (#6329348)
    who was handed the keys to a company in dire straits. It was circling the bowl rather fast. This guy was probably lured into position by the smell of money. $$$ for signing, $$$ per annum, $$$ for rescuing the stock owners value and $$$$$ for rescuing the company.

    So if he looses the lawsuit he would receive $$$$$$. If he wins, he gets $$$$$$$$$$$$$$.
    Now he is posturing, showing a good face. Reporting that the company is healthy. What would you do if offered $$$$$$$$$$$$$$?

    No news here....Please move along and post more comments on how windows sucks...
  • Since huge portions of the Linux kernel are apparently NOT copied from the original source code, assuming the inverse of SCO's statements, is it possible to revoke the right to use or distribute those portions of the code covered under GPL?

    If this is possible it would, in effect, leave SCO with about 100 or so lines of working code, nothing surrounding it.

    No one has used such a death sentence yet that I am aware of, but does such a "weapon" exist (provided the judge has a stroke and sides with SCO on this
  • Street rumours? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mccalli (323026) on Monday June 30, 2003 @05:13AM (#6329354) Homepage
    From the article: "Those guys know what is going to come out in discovery, and you hear a lot of rumours on the street that they are going to buy us out."

    A more blatant attempt to plug the share price could not be found. If IBM were to try and buy, the share price would shoot up. Here's our friend Mr. McBride making that even more explicit to his current stockholders (don't sell) and potential buyers (buy us, we're going to go skywards).

    Besides, I hear no rumours on the street (what a marvellous phrase, unattributable yet pseudo-meaningful...) that IBM are interested. In fact, everything IBM has done so far has shown a complete lack of interest in that outcome.

    Cheers,
    Ian

  • Bullet-proof (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anthony Boyd (242971) on Monday June 30, 2003 @05:14AM (#6329358) Homepage
    McBride radiates confidence, describing SCO's contracts as "bullet-proof."

    Yeah, it sure has IBM's lawyers in a panic.

    /me rolls eyes....

    You know, at first, I thought that McBride was insane -- totally reckless or totally corrupt. But now, I'm starting to think the man is just stupid. I mean, sometimes I talk to people and I disagree with them, but I feel nervous because they might be smart enough to prove me wrong. I don't feel that way with McBride. I read his comments and I just think he's stupid, and the courts will tell him he's stupid, and he just won't get it.

    The last time I felt this way was with the pet-store guy who sued anyone who said anything critical about his terrible service. He was dangerous because he intimidated some people into settling, but mostly he just lost lawsuit after lawsuit. The poor fool probably still thinks he'll somehow turn everything around. McBride is just a reincarnation of that pet store guy.


    • > You know, at first, I thought that McBride was insane -- totally reckless or totally corrupt. But now, I'm starting to think the man is just stupid.

      A whiff of fresh green cash tends to have a detrimental effect on some people's IQ.

      Recall the lady who stole $4,000,000 from her employer in hopes of coming out ahead in the 419 scam. This boils down to the same thing, ultimately.

    • Re:Bullet-proof (Score:4, Interesting)

      by pla (258480) on Monday June 30, 2003 @05:40AM (#6329417) Journal
      You know, at first, I thought that McBride was insane -- totally reckless or totally corrupt. But now, I'm starting to think the man is just stupid.

      I've pondered SCO's motivation in this, and come up with two possible answers...

      First, SCO realizes it will soon die, and in a manner similar to some dying humans, it has gone a tad batty. Started giving houses, boats, and cars to 3rd cousins, while suing its brother over a 25-cent bet made a decade ago. All the while trying to reconcile itself with its creator ("Our Shareholders, Who art on Wall Street, hallowed be Thy Capital") by not actually "dying" but rather getting "bought out". A sort of "saving face" in failing miserably as a corporate entity.

      Second, SCO thinks it might win. Since IBM hasn't already bought and dismantled them, we can presume with reasonable confidence that SCO has nothing. So I suspect their "hundred lines of code" will amount to a coincidentally-identical textbook implementation of some common algorithm, and they've bet the farm that they'll get a judge who can't tell the difference. "Why yes, Mr. McBride, it would appear that IBM did release code substantially similar to your... now what did you call it... ''quicksort'' routine. For shame, IBM!".

      I just have difficulty considering both McBride and SCO's entire legal department as either stupid or insane. A few of them, sure, but the whole lot of 'em? Not likely. So, they have either decided to save face in death, or bet it all on a spin of the roulette-wheel-o'-US-justice (Hey, if OJ got off, Bush won in 2000, and the xrispies have gotten to "Roe" of "Roe vs Wade", anything can happen). Nothing else makes any sense.
  • by AtariDatacenter (31657) on Monday June 30, 2003 @05:21AM (#6329368)
    [b]Have you considered what would happen if you lost the case?[/b]
    [i]I have nightmares about it. We're talking about the utter destruction of our company. But really, we have no place else to go. This is a balls-to-the-wall strategy. All or nothing. But it isn't like I can't jump ship if things go sour.[/i]

    [b]Do you plan to sell Linux ever again?[/b]
    [i]Don't be silly. That is a low-return activity. Our job will be to shake people down for money. That's a high-return activity.[/i]

    [b]Would you actually like to be bought?[/b]
    [i]God, yes! We'd love to be bought out. But it isn't going to happen whatsoever. Given that, it is best that I said that we don't want to be bought out, because it makes our case look that much stronger.[/i]

  • Novell (Score:5, Interesting)

    by thejackol (642922) on Monday June 30, 2003 @05:21AM (#6329369) Homepage
    I'm more interested in what The SCO Group had to say about Novell's letter to them [theinquirer.net]. There seems to be not much talk about it. The last I heard Novell was going to challenge SCO on Unix ownership.
    • Re:Novell (Score:4, Informative)

      by Simon Kongshoj (581494) <skongshoj@oUMLAUTncable.dk minus punct> on Monday June 30, 2003 @06:04AM (#6329474) Homepage

      I'm afraid that's ancient history by now, though.

      SCO found some mysterious amendment to their contract that said they do in fact have those ownership rights, and while Novell couldn't find a copy of the file in its own archive, it had a valid Novell signature.

      Quoth McBribe: "Novell took its ball and went home."

      • by leonbrooks (8043) <SentByMSBlast-No ... .brooks.fdns.net> on Monday June 30, 2003 @08:26AM (#6330089) Homepage
        TSG unearthed Amendment 2 from the bottom of a locked filing cabinet in a disused lavatory marked "beware of the leopard" located in a dark stairless basement (the Planning Department) on a planet circling Alpha Centauri. Nobody else has an original of this fabled Amendment or any other record of it.

        The Amendment purports to cede some copyrights to a predecessor of TSG. Even if the document hasn't been drawn up very recently and artifically aged, the copyright transfer has not been registered with the USPTO so it isn't (yet) valid. They don't yet actually own any related copyrights.

        Dollars to doughnuts this is the mysterious transfer of copyrights that they were polling Novell about (and denied so doing) just before they whipped Percival out and shoved him into the legal meat grinder.

        They have no patents at all, and no claim to any patents.

        Also, if Amendment 2 turns out to be a forgery, the only share trading D'ohl will be doing is trading shares of his posterior for the opportunity to stay alive and relatively unhurt in a Federal penitentiary. Given his arrogance so far, he may not survive long enough to be offered even that.

  • I Call Sillies!!! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Alexander (8916) on Monday June 30, 2003 @05:25AM (#6329383) Homepage
    "He says he thinks IBM is desperate to buy SCO because "the last thing [IBM wants] to hear is the testimony that is going to come out," but that SCO isn't interested in being acquired. "

    Uhhh, yeah....

    1.) As if the $$$ it would cost IBM to buy SCO wouldn't be pocket change.

    2.) As if SCO shareholders wouldn't JUMP at the prospect of trading their stock for IBM.

    It sounds like to me this should read

    "We're really just trying to get someone to buy us. This whole OS thing has been a fUx0r since the Caldera/SCO merger, neither OS sells very well at all. For the life of me, I can't figure out why IBM won't just put down a little cash and buy us to shut us up."

  • Delerium (Score:5, Informative)

    by Znork (31774) on Monday June 30, 2003 @05:26AM (#6329386)
    Now, this must be the final proof that McBride is delerious:

    "You go back to SCO's brand in the 1990s and it was Unix on Intel. SCO was primed to seize the multibillion-dollar server market of Unix on Intel that hit in the early 2000s that has in fact shifted over to Red Hat."

    SCO was primed to go down the drain, even without Linux anywhere. Most people were already migrating or had migrated off SCO before Linux became a contender; migrating to Solaris or Windows, or basically anything that wasnt quite as bad as SCO.

    The man is completely delusional and should be locked up in a small padded room for his own good.
    • by MosesJones (55544) on Monday June 30, 2003 @05:52AM (#6329437) Homepage

      I can tell you that this is totally and utterly...

      True.

      It was a pile of rubbish, we had it running our net connection, all it had to do was act as a mail server and dial-up modem. It fell over on a regular basis and was generally a pain to work with. I also had to develop some Curses applications on it and ended up developing them in Eiffel with a thin layer onto Curses which meant I could do the work on Solaris.
      • by MrMickS (568778) on Monday June 30, 2003 @06:01AM (#6329465) Homepage Journal
        I too went through a lot of pain with SCO, from Xenix up to SCO Unix (with the optional IP layer). It was awful.

        SCO was less poised to make money with SCO Unix than Sun were with Solaris for Intel. In the areas I worked in 2000 SCO was just not an option. Too many people had had bad experiences with it over the previous decade and it wasn't really considered.

        The Unix on Intel market has been pretty much made by Linux because it was free (or relatively low cost). Without Linux this market wouldn't exists Unix would still primarily be on custom hardware.

  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Monday June 30, 2003 @05:37AM (#6329413)

    VNUNET.COM

    We're sorry, but vnunet.com is temporarily unavailable while we conduct essential upgrades.

    Our technical team is working hard to restore the site as quickly as possible.

    Please come back to vnunet.com shortly.

    ©VNU Business Publications Ltd

    Essential upgrades huh ? I didn't know replacing melted-down ethernet cables counted as upgrading ...
  • SfCuOd (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SeanTobin (138474) <byrdhuntrNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Monday June 30, 2003 @05:56AM (#6329451)
    Background - I'm an avid linux user. I like to think that I can see through marketing hype, inappropriate tests, legal absurdness etc... My opinion is that SCO is on its way out, and like a dying star (note the deliberate lack of the use of sun) its trying to go out with a bang.
    But some of the things in the interview just threw up some 'red alert' flags. Some select tidbits:

    The way IBM is responding is very interesting. They haven't filed for an injunction; they haven't filed for the summary judgement enforcement to be dismissed.
    When you have what people would call nuisance cases then you usually go in and try and knock those out with a summary judgement motion, or something to cause them to be dismissed. IBM has actually done none of that.

    Although I obtain *all* of my legal knowledge from slashdot :grin:, I don't believe that IBM's lack of filing a summary judgement is a sign that they believe thier case is in trouble. SCO has time and time again denied to release exactly what code was infringing, saying that it will only relesase that at trial. My view of the situation says that IBM is trying to get to the discovery phase as soon as possible. Due to the nature of the case, a summary judgement will probably be denied, which SCO is undoubtably waiting for so they can spin into a huge storm about how IBM lost its first legal battle over the code. IBM isn't letting them have that victory. SCO will have to go to trial and have thier bluf called.

    Now, as of 16 June, we also increased our claims amount to include all AIX-derived hardware, software and services, given that they are now - in deriving that revenue - on an unauthorised route for use of the software.

    Oh, this is good. IBM develops faster/better/cheaper hardware that runs AIX. IBM improves AIX specifically for that hardware. SCO calls the hardware a derivative work and claims it as its own? God, I'd pay to be on this jury.

    Wouldn't you like to get this resolved quickly?
    I would love to have this behind us and move on. IBM has put the brakes on to try and slow things down. And to the extent that it wants to do that, I am saying that we are prepared to go the distance on this. But I would prefer to get this resolved and move forward.

    Yeah, IBM is soooo slowing this process down. Not filing for that summary judgement must have delayed this case by -1 or -2 months. Bastards.

    We have other rights under the contract that we are looking at. For example, we can audit IBM customers. SCO has audit rights on its customers. The reality is that we are going into discovery right now and that might be the vehicle to be able to investigate what we need there anyway.

    Just what I want from a company. Although its happened before where a company has gone in and audited software, it has always resulted immediately in backlash against that company. See Microsoft and some western school districts. What is interesting is that SCO could/will be auditing IBM's customers. I'm glad that no entity has any right to barge into my business and conduct random audits. If I plunked down half a dozen 0's for some big iron I'll be damned if any SCOpunk is going to get within 200m of any of my equipment. I'll consider it a test of my internal security measures and tell the guards to shoot on site.
    But really, if SCO tried that it would be a act of desperation. Public opinion is already against them. A stunt like this will end all the credibility they have left. Plus, it will also blacken IBM's eye. I'm pretty certain that IBM will fight this one to SCO's death. Which is probably what SCO is betting on.

    Are you still saying categorically that there is offending code in the Linux kernel?
    Yeah. That one is a no-brainer. When you look in the code base and you see line-by-line copy of our Unix System V code - not just the code itself, but comments to t

  • What if... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tellalian (451548) on Monday June 30, 2003 @05:58AM (#6329456)
    ...IBM is indeed guilty of what SCO claims? McBride makes a good point in that IBM has made no motions a company would normally make if it thought this case was frivilous. Naturally, I understand /. can be a somewhat jaded forum, but are we that confident in our legal system that we assume the impossibility of injustice?
    • Re:What if... (Score:3, Interesting)

      For IBM, standard practice has usually been to shut up until the lawsuit, which is exactly what they're doing now. We should probably be more worried if they were hissing and screaming like SCO.

      What worries me is exactly the justice system you guys have running over there. SCO has claimed that it might attempt to get a "friend of the court" brief because Linux is allegedly used by terrorists, as well as the fact that one of their lawyers happens to be the son of Orrin Hatch.

    • Re:What if... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by janda (572221) <janda@kali-tai.net> on Monday June 30, 2003 @06:57AM (#6329639) Homepage

      Just my personal opinion:

      IBM hasn't filed for dismissal, a stay, and the rest for one simple reason: They want this to go to court.

      Why would they want this? Because it will set precedent, and finish the thing off now, (or maybe after a couple of years, in the appeals process). If they got a dismissal of these charges, all SCO would have to do is claim that IBM has done something else, and they could file another lawsuit.

  • by theolein (316044) on Monday June 30, 2003 @05:59AM (#6329460) Journal
    Reading Darl McBride interviews always have a siilar effect on one. Mostly the first reaction is simple utter jaw dropping amazment at the guy's bravado and his ability to make statements contradicting himself on statements he had made only a few weeks or days before. The second is usually the suppresion of the wish to throttle the guy.

    While one should perhaps send UUNet an email questioning their journalistic integrity in asking only innocuous questions and failing to point out SCO's self contradictions, it is interesting to note the increase from Darl, the man's man, as time goes by and absolutely nothing happens or is heard from by IBM.

    Darl very neatly contradicted himself in this interview claiming that "IBM is desperate to buy us out", when he can be quoted in nurmerous sources as having said a few weeks ago that "If a solution involves IBM buying us out then that's fine by us".

    Another clue is provided by his incredible machismo in his statement that "IBM threw Novell out into the traffic and Novell got run over by the bus".

    After reading these statements (The Novell one borders on libel I would think but IANAL) I think the picture is slowly starting to come into focus:

    It is indeed a scam intended to raise SCO's ratings on the stock market. A scam that relies on day traders and the usual absolute cluelessness of analysts in general. SCO needs the publicity in order to keep pumping those stocks. The reason Darl is becoming more and more shrill and profane in every interview is obviously because the guy is terrified by the fact that IBM is simply ignoring him for the most part. Claiming to know what IBM is "desperate" to buy or not would require insider information that I'm pretty sure he doesn't have. Not only this but while SCO's stock is very high compared to it's real worth at the moment, eventually SCO is going to run out of things to say that don't cross the border into libel cases, When that happens SCO's stock is going to start sinking. He as much as acknowledges this in saying that a court case is not going to happen tomorrow and IBM can afford to wait and let SCO run out of money as the case slowly rumbles on towards an actual case in court.

    I would say that if anyone is desperate, it's SCO, not IBM.
  • by Epeeist (2682) on Monday June 30, 2003 @06:00AM (#6329464) Homepage
    I can understand that in the early days of the case the likes of VNU and ZD would want to provide coverage of this. But, bar SCO mouthing off, nothing is happening in the case.

    So why are the rags still providing enormous amounts of coverage? Is it SCO pestering them, are they besieging SCO to provide information or are third parties putting pressure on them to continue with the coverage.

    Inquiring minds want to know!
  • by Bowie J. Poag (16898) on Monday June 30, 2003 @06:05AM (#6329480) Homepage
    Lets think about the notion of shame for a moment.

    Sometimes, you just get tired of something. You get tired of thinking about it, you get tired of dealing with it, and you get tired of having it done to you. Thats about how I feel when it comes to SCO, and i'll tell you why. It comes down to shame, and how SCO should be f*&@^$ing ashamed of themselves for what they're doing to us AND themselves.

    SCO has actively and intentionally put some very dark clouds over a group of people who would have gladly extended a hand to help them. A group of people who have absolutely no vested interest in asserting "ownership" over what they make--However, SCO does....and they will continue to do so, even at our expense. They will cast a shadow over the Linux community for the sake of pumping cash into their organization, for as long as they can. Shameful.

    The Linux community is largely made up of people who could care less about the concept of "market share" and "trade secrets". We build because it's fun. It's fun to build. It's fun to make stuff work. Yet, SCO wants to derail that, and take part of that away from us. They want to throw a wrench in the gears of open cooperation and the open exchange of ideas. They want to stifle the process that benefits all, and stifle it in a way that only THEY will benefit from. Shameful.

    We, as a community, don't go out of our way to step on people's toes, yet, SCO steps on our toes.
    By their actions, they have shown their true colors, namely,their contempt for the process, for us, and for Linux in all that it represents. This isn't an accident on their part. It's an intentional tug at the carpet underneath the feet of the Linux community. An attempt to beat up on something that has never raised a hand in anger--Not to SCO, or to anyone. Shameful.

    Well, SCO can tug all they want, the carpet isn't going to move an inch. They can cast as many clouds as they want, hell, they can make it rain if they want to. Thats fine. We'll just build umbrellas. Openly. And freely. The process of building won't stop, and the process of cooperating won't fail.

    That being said, it's important to note that SCO's real enemy isn't a person, or a big blue company full of big blue ideas, or even Linux -- SCO's enemy is itself. By doing what they've done, they have shamed themselves, and the shamed the people who support SCO. They have even shamed their own product, and the people who put in the years of work needed to build it.

    In nature, given time, problems like that tend to "fix" themselves. I'm not worried, and you shouldn't be either. SCO is cartwheeling out of control, and they have no one to blame but themselves. It's not our fault, or IBM's fault, or SGI's fault, or anyone's fault.. Their fate as a company was sealed the instant they decided to fight change rather than embrace it.

    It's just a shame they can't figure that out, and a shame they never will.

  • by Alsee (515537) on Monday June 30, 2003 @06:34AM (#6329568) Homepage
    July 1st, 2003:
    IBM serves SCO for infringing of ONE IBM patent.

    July 2st, 2003:
    IBM serves SCO for infringing of ONE IBM patent.

    July 3st, 2003:
    IBM serves SCO for infringing of ONE IBM patent.

    July 4st, 2003:
    Happy independance day USA!
    IBM serves SCO for infringing of ONE IBM patent.

    July 5st, 2003:
    IBM serves SCO for infringing of ONE IBM patent.

    .
    .
    .

    Janyary 1st, 2004:
    Happy new year everyone!
    IBM serves SCO for infringing of ONE IBM patent.

    -
    • by Kjella (173770) on Monday June 30, 2003 @09:44AM (#6330696) Homepage
      July 1st, 2003:
      IBM serves SCO for infringing on ONE IBM patent.

      July 2st, 2003:
      IBM serves SCO for infringing on TWO IBM patents.

      July 3st, 2003:
      IBM serves SCO for infringing on FOUR IBM patents.

      July 4st, 2003:
      Happy independance day USA!
      IBM serves SCO for infringing on EIGHT IBM patents.

      July 5st, 2003:
      IBM serves SCO for infringing on SIXTEEN IBM patents.

      .
      .
      .

      Janyary 1st, 2004:
      Happy new year everyone!
      IBM serves SCO for infringing on Life, The Universe and Everything, as patented by IBM.

      Kjella
  • by kevin lyda (4803) * on Monday June 30, 2003 @06:58AM (#6329641) Homepage
    go read /etc/termcap:

    # Some information has been merged in from a terminfo file SCO distributes.
    # It has an obnoxious boilerplate copyright which I'm ignoring because they
    # took so much of the content from the ancestral BSD versions of this file
    # and didn't attribute it, thereby violating the BSD Regents' copyright.

    sco's been trying to hide the infringing code. now i've found it so i get to put words in mcbride's mouth: curses! foiled again.

    this is such silly evidence that it proves what we've known all along - sco is in terminal condition.
  • IBM strategy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by panurge (573432) on Monday June 30, 2003 @07:10AM (#6329691)
    IBM is doing precisely what any 800lb gorilla would do in the circumstances. Very little. Why bother?

    SCO is doing this to try and inflate, and keep inflated, a share price based on an extremely thin balloon. To keep that going, they have to keep shouting. If IBM makes specific replies, then SCO has something to use in the next press release. If they don't, it all has to come from within SCO. The longer it goes on, the greater the chance of SCO coming up with manifest contradictions, allegations that can easily be shown to be untrue in court, actual libel. SCO cannot afford to shut up and cannot afford simply to repeat themselves over and over, as with no new content the press will lose interest.

    My personal interest in this is that 20 years ago we were involved with someone whose public utterances were very like those of Mr. McBride. He came up with so many allegations that our attorney started to believe that we were the liars, on the basis that no-one would make so many claims if they weren't true. But then it came to court...the originals of documents were mysteriously not to hand (faked photocopies). Witnesses were mysteriously unavailable. Foreign Chambers of Commerce had never heard of the companies he claimed we were in collusion with, who also seemed never to have occupied the claimed addresses. The guy fired his own lawyers. And suddenly he lost the case, a judge was telling him that he was considering whether there was a possibility of perjury, and he had huge legal bills to pay for both sides. I seriously believe that this man was so out of his tree that even as he faked documents, he actually believed he was reproducing something that "really" existed in the perfect world he lived in. Never underestimate the power of human self-delusion.

    Not, of course, that I am suggesting for one moment that Mr. McBride is engaging in any improper activities, deluding himself, or seeking to rig the share price of a junk stock. I am sure that he is a totally ethical businessman and the merits of his case will soon become apparent.

  • by cenonce (597067) <[moc.cam] [ta] [t_ynohtna]> on Monday June 30, 2003 @07:24AM (#6329749)

    McBride radiates confidence

    Gee... ignorance really is bliss...

  • Enough (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Crashmarik (635988) on Monday June 30, 2003 @07:52AM (#6329900)
    To paraphrase Heinlein

    Take back your industry.

    Scott Adams once said in the right corporation it was more important to wear the right clothes than produce results. He citied an example of a man who had sent his suit to be dry cleaned and wound up directly reporting to it.

    McBride, Sontag, et all are suits wearing men. Read their histories they are nothings, less than nothings and never will be's. The very act of paying attention to them lends them greater crednce than they could ever gain through merit or labor.

    It is painfully obvious that SCO wants to be acquired. It is also quite aparent that these people hold the rest of the universe in contempt, in that they dont even come within shooting distance of truth in their statements.

    Take This for example "Sco's contracts are bulletproof". SCO's contracts are over 30 years old have entanglements with 3rd parties and legal decisions, precedents and acquiesences that have rendered them far from bulletproof. If you take a look at the law covering software in the 70's and recall that at the time the legality of copyrighting software object code was up in the air, and patenting it was a complete impossibility, the speciousness of mr McBrides statements is obvious.

    P.S. Just a note that the fact you couldnt copyright software object code or patent it at the time really didnt stop anyone from making some really great software.
  • by RALE007 (445837) on Monday June 30, 2003 @08:10AM (#6330009)
    I have had additional interest in this article beyond just OSS and my concerns of how abused the (un)justice system is. At one point I lived a few miles away from SCO's Lindon headquarters for a short period (when they were Caldera) while I worked a different software company. I even knew a few McBride's. Infact I'm sad to say there's a good likelyhood of a relation to that Darl jerk, a pity because the McBride clan I knew were good people. (Yes I said clan, it was a big mormon family grip of McBride's, with uhm, I think a thousand children or so). It has given me a bit of a personal interest in the situation. I care to make a few silver lining comments that seem to have been overlooked for the most part.

    What SCO has done (and is doing) is not completely bad for OSS and IBM, and I wish to point out some of the benefits to come of this.

    First and foremost, a horrible company is in its death throws and will succomb to them eventually. Even with M$ life support it is only a matter of time before the parasitic bug that is SCO keels over and dies.

    Secondly, and more importantly, no publicity is bad publicity. Darl McBride and the SCO Groups manical ranting is drawing a lot of attention to Linux and OSS. Eventually the bad PR will be proven for what it is. It is also showing exactly how strongly IBM stands behind and supports OSS, adding even more credibility to the community and software. I expect to see nothing less than Big Blue going toe to toe with SCO and most efficiently wiping the floor with their faces (kind of gives me a warm feeling to think about). Beyond the pleasure it will be to see this, the very public statement it will make should be a (wet)dream come true for OSS advocates. You cannot buy that kind of publicity, you cannot get a message like that across with just words, the *action* of the largest computer and technology company in the world laying themselves on the line is priceless. You can't more easily have people become aware of what a true contender Linux and OSS is to have IBM "risk life and limb, their very existence" to support it. IBM isn't risking anything, you know that, I know that, but the average person who may hear about this does not. All they know is IBM is "risking" 3 billion dollars and every bit of IBM "IP" SCO claims to own. Having a few CEO's thinking IBM is willing to "die" defending Linux is a pretty good thing in my opinion, and this FUD smear campaign will eventually do nothing more than gain Linux additional credibility and support.

    I lastly want to appeal to the comments I have come across hypothesizing (and sometimes fearing) a SCO victory. Yes, it is possible no matter how unlikely that SCO could win. Justice is blind and our justice system is very flawed and makes many mistakes. Yet a SCO victory is still a moot point. It would only be the victory of a battle, their war is hopeless. Whether through appeal, counter patent suits, or even a big rock to Darl McBride's forehead, IBM will use one of a million contingency plans available if the near impossible happens and the suit is lost to SCO.

    For anyone still concerned about SCO legally proving they owns rights to uhm, just about everything on the planet, I promise I will personally deliver a rock to not only McBride's ugly cranium, but every single one of the members of that company, their umbrella company, and moron who bought their stock. The only problem is, I'm afraid I'd have to get in a very long to carry out the task. For libel I would've actually considered noting that was sarcasm, but since SCO owns the IP of everything it's their joke so they can't sue me. *whew*
  • by eddy (18759) on Monday June 30, 2003 @08:11AM (#6330014) Homepage Journal

    Our friend Reginald Charles [slashdot.org] (VP of International Sales, SCO) seems to have sold off another 5K set of shares [sec.gov].

    He sold one set 2003-06-20, and this set 2003-06-25.

    Only 155K to go Charles!

  • by fz00 (466988) on Monday June 30, 2003 @08:25AM (#6330087) Homepage
    If they have made no attempt to give IBM the opportunity to decide whether or not they want to license the code in question, then SCO has neglected its responsibility in protecting their own IP. By their own admission, they will not show the code because it gives IBM and other Linux users the opportunity to not use the code in question and removes liability. For this alone, this suit should be dismissed!
  • by cyphergirl (186872) on Monday June 30, 2003 @08:52AM (#6330255) Homepage Journal
    This from IBM's ammended response to SCO's complaint:

    "Nineth Defense

    Caldera's claims are improperly venued in this district.

    Wherefore, defendant IBM demands judegement dismissing plaintiff's complaint and respectfully requests that the Court award IBM reasonable attorneys' fees and expenses and the costs and disbursements of defending this action along with such other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper."

  • Same old Darl (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sartin (238198) <sartin@acm.TIGERorg minus cat> on Monday June 30, 2003 @01:35PM (#6332683) Homepage

    I used to work with Darl (as in have frequent 1-on-1 and group interactions with him) when he was CEO of PointServe [pointserve.com] and I was the Chief [Software] Architect. Like most CEOs, sadly both the good ones and bad ones, he has a very large ego and strong self-confidence. This self-confidence, at least in Darl's case, is independent of that validity of the underlying facts, plans, or business conditions.

    At PointServe he routinely made claims amounting to "the future's so bright, you gotta wear shades" about our Internet business plans for scheduling and routing of mobile field personnel. The plans behind these services were never adequately developed and there was no reality behind them. He did work very hard on making sure there was hype around the plans though. He pressured us to hire (this quote might be his or the words of the VP of marketing) "Internet Rock Stars" - by which they meant a consulting firm that would look good to the possible investors in creating credible for our Internet story. One should definitely look at all of Darl's previous companies when considering his background.

    When I read what Darl is saying now, I can't help but wonder if there is a similar amount of reality, fronted by a similar amount of bluster, in his words about SCO.

    Oh yes, Darl and Rick pushed us to hire a consulting firm with which Darl had prior experience (details of which I'll leave to the lawyers). They completely failed to build anything useful, PointServe still sort of exists, and the consulting deal is, last I checked, still under litigation. Is there a theme here?

  • If I were doing an interview with the cheese at SCO, I'd want to ask stuff like, "Even if there is violating code, didn't your distribution of Linux under the GPL including that violating code mean that you obliterated its status as a trade secret?" or "Why won't you put your cards on the table and give some real experts some real freedom to examine the alleged violating code without the burden of an overly-binding NDA?" or "How do you claim to own all of these copyrights and all of this intellectual property when even in your own SEC filings your company claims it is merely a steward for Novell?"

    Why ask all of these questions where we know we're just going to get pre-manufactured FUD?

The greatest productive force is human selfishness. -- Robert Heinlein

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