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IBM Countersues SCO, And More! 1156

Posted by michael
from the house-of-cards-gets-a-push dept.
mr.crutch writes "Few details are available, but CNet is reporting that IBM has filed counterclaims against SCO. CNet also has an interview with Red Hat CEO Matthew Szulik..." Jizzbug writes "Thanks to the folks of K5, we can all obtain our rights to use the Linux kernel from SCO, and without paying up to SCO's extortion. If kernel.org kernels aren't safe, sco.com kernels certainly ought to be." LWN has a copy of SCO's Linux License for your perusal. Bruce Perens is speaking of the dangers of patent portfolios to open source software, notable because IBM's counterclaims include patent infringement. And finally, a company is selling SCO Check, a tool to de-SCOify your Linux system, if SCO ever presents any evidence whatsoever of infringing code in Linux. Update: 08/08 00:16 GMT by T : SCO's public response to IBM's counterclaim is short and to the point. Among other things, it says "If IBM were serious about addressing the real problems with Linux, it would offer full customer indemnification and move away from the GPL license." Given the other links in this story, perhaps SCO should go first on that count.
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IBM Countersues SCO, And More!

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  • by eyegor (148503) * on Thursday August 07, 2003 @12:49PM (#6636001)
    Geez... this is better than watching Battlebots!

    I think that old Darl (www.tubdarl.com) bit off more than he can chew! IBM has more seasoned lawyers that specialize in patent cases than SCO has employees.

    Anyone notice that SCO's stock slipped another 11% today? heh.

    • by TedCheshireAcad (311748) <ted@@@fc...rit...edu> on Thursday August 07, 2003 @12:52PM (#6636046) Homepage
      I can see it now, after the trial is over, and SCO is decimated, IBM's chief attorney:

      "0wn3d!!"
    • Re:better and better (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MuParadigm (687680) <jgabriel66@yahoo.com> on Thursday August 07, 2003 @01:10PM (#6636281) Homepage Journal
      IBM's finally opened the patent portfolio. Boies must have known this was coming; he worked on the IBM anti-trust case for years. I wonder if he already has plans for dealing with this.

      Part of the claim demands that SCO stop shipping all of the software infringing on IBM's patents, which is essentially all of SCO's software. I think SCO may have decided that they are not really in the software business anymore but intends to just pursue licensing, contract, and IP infringement claims for years.

      If that's the case, then they won't be upset even if they lose the right to distribute their software due to the patent claims.

      OTOH, SCO is screwed. I'm waiting for a pacer account to show up in the mail so I can read the counter-claim online. If anyone already has a pacer account, can they download the file and post it someplace where we can all see it?

      • Re:better and better (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Seanasy (21730) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @01:52PM (#6636757)
        Boies must have known this was coming; he worked on the IBM anti-trust case for years. I wonder if he already has plans for dealing with this.

        I wonder if Boies is just sitting on his ass and that's all he's supposed to do.

        I'd be willing to bet that this whole charade by SCO is just a shell game to pump and dump stock, and earn a bit of scratch from MS and SUN, while plowing the company under. Hiring Boies was a PR move. They never really intend to use him. I'll bet SCO doesn't expect to got trial. That's OK for Boies, he won't get a cut of $3 billion (like that would've happened, anyway) but I'm sure he's getting paid and doesn't have to do a damn thing except let his name be associated with the suit. SCO gets PR pump from his name, Boies gets a little cash (and the appreciation of Canopy, MS and SUN) for doing nothing. Win-win.

        I've course, I'm just speculatin' on a hypothesis.

      • by iceT (68610) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @02:20PM (#6637148)
        Part of the claim demands that SCO stop shipping all of the software infringing on IBM's patents, which is essentially all of SCO's software.

        To both customers? What is that, 2 licenses?

        They'll be devistated!
      • by JudgeFurious (455868) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @05:38PM (#6639648)
        I don't think IBM is finally opening their patent portfolio. I think the damned thing is so big that they've been going through it since SCO first started making noise and they've just now reached some entries in it that are applicable.

        When you say "patent portfolio" and "IBM" together in the same post I get this mental picture of the warehouse from the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. They've probably got a small mountain of stuff in there they can destroy SCO with. It just takes them a while to dig it out. It's like getting the Death Star in range, it takes a little while but once it's there you're done.
    • Legal DDoS attack? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by gotan (60103) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @05:46PM (#6639729) Homepage
      This surely looks like SCO has bitten off more than they can handle. At the moment they've got three big lawsuits going: their own initiative against IBM, Redhat and now IBMs countersuit. Not to mention that in some countries they have been forced to shut up alltogether or pay huge fines (i'm really wondering if they can be forced to take a definitive stand about their Linux license in Germany). It'll be interesting to see if they can afford to pay all the lawyers. That brings up the question who else can increase the heat by bringing up some litigation against them. If they're entangled in enough lawsuits now that'll bring them down quite effectiveley: They have to pay all those lawyers, every time another lawsuit against them is announced their shares fall (so they'll have a hard time to pay all those lawyers), and they'll have to weigh any statement with respect to all those lawsuits (but i wouldn't expect them to).

      Note that SCO did that to themselves: they are shooting their mouth off every which way and opened themselves up to dozens of ways of litigation. I'd say: hand it to them now, draw them into court for any case which has a good chance of winning (if they win the cases it'll only help them publicitywise, and for SCO publicity is boosting shares which equals money).

      It'd be nice if the FSF could join the fray for copyright infringement (do they still distribute Linux? since their Linux License invalidates the GPL they'd be violating the copyrights of any kernel-developer out there).
  • Finally (Score:5, Funny)

    by Trigun (685027) <evilNO@SPAMevilempire.ath.cx> on Thursday August 07, 2003 @12:50PM (#6636012)
    Hope SCO managers cashed in ALL of their stock.
    Sco is going down like Justin Timberlake at a Nambla meeting!
    • Re:Finally (Score:5, Interesting)

      by isn't my name (514234) <slash@threenort h . c om> on Thursday August 07, 2003 @12:58PM (#6636129)
      Hope SCO managers cashed in ALL of their stock

      Unfortunately for them, right now is the time between the close of last quarter and the official annoucement of results. The SEC generally frowns on insider sales during this time period. Gotta love Red Hat's timing.
  • by E1ven (50485) * <e1venNO@SPAMe1ven.com> on Thursday August 07, 2003 @12:50PM (#6636013) Homepage
    "SCO said it revoked IBM's license to ship AIX in June. In its countersuit, Big Blue reasserted its position that its AIX license is irrevocable and perpetual, but then added a new twist involving Novell, the company that owned Unix copyrights until selling them to SCO's predecessor in 1995.

    IBM's suit revealed that Novell on June 12 effectively forbade SCO from terminating IBM's AIX license. SCO said it revoked the AIX license on June 16. Novell maintained the right to issue such instructions to SCO under the terms of the Unix sale, the suit said. "

    Does anyone know anything more about this?

    I know tht Novell apparently DID sell the copyrights, but this is a news Item...

    Bruce Perens might want to help clarifiy this for us ;)

    -Colin
  • by oscast (653817) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @12:50PM (#6636017) Homepage
    Considering the fact that IBM popularized the practice of litigating a company till they run out of money to fight... it shouldn't take long for this one to end.
  • by kuwan (443684) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @12:51PM (#6636023) Homepage
    There's another story here [yahoo.com] that has more details, including:

    In its 45-page complaint, IBM claims SCO Group's products violate four IBM patents and claims SCO Group doesn't have the right to revoke IBM's Unix license. IBM also claims SCO Group has violated the general public license, or the GNU GPL, under which Linux is distributed.

    The Armonk, N.Y., computer giant seeks unspecified monetary damages and an injunction requiring SCO Group to stop violating IBM patents and refrain from misrepresenting its intellectual-property rights.


    It also says that a spokesman for SCO wasn't immediately available to comment, I guess they haven't recovered from being bitch-slapped yet. I suppose that this means we'll also have the obligatory conference call tomorrow, or soon after, where Darl will blow some more hot air out of that ass that sits on his neck.
    • Before we go "Yay, GO IBM!" realize that IBMs patents are potentially as harmful to Open Source Software as they are to SCO. Fortunately, IBM pays a bit more than lip service to open source at this point, so it's not like they necessarily will use their patent repetoire against OSS, but just keep in mind that they *could*.

      On the other hand, part of my really is saying:

      "FSCK DARL MCBRIDE AND SCO! KICK 'EM WEAR IT COUNTS, IBM!"
      • by Zathrus (232140) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @01:04PM (#6636212) Homepage
        Well, actually, they can't.

        IBM can't use the patents against the Linux kernel anymore than SCO can -- as IBM points out in its own brief, distribution of the source under the GPL prohibits you from certain legal tactics... like licensing. You are implicitly licensing any IP (copyrights, trade secrets, patents) that you may own that are applicable to the source you distribute. Don't like it? Don't distribute. Also don't use GPL code in a distributed product, since doing so requires distribution of the source.

        Of course, one day a patch could come along that IBM doesn't like and it would cease to provide newer kernels including that patch in order to preserve its rights... but that's a battle that would have to be fought when that time comes. Most likely IBM would inform the relevant people of their rights and their intentions, and the code wouldn't be integrated into the kernel. I'm not saying that this is a good thing, or that software patents are a good thing, just pointing out how it would work.
        • by pavera (320634) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @01:16PM (#6636352) Homepage Journal
          while true that "one day" that could happen that someone will write feature that infringes an IBM patent that they don't want open source, IBM has also openly stated their goal to replace AIX with Linux, this to me means anything that AIX has Linux will get shortly, and then it will be their main platform so all of their patents will go directly there.
        • by Ami Ganguli (921) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @01:23PM (#6636426) Homepage

          My understanding is that IBM's Linux distribution policy is specfically crafted to make sure IBM doesn't lose the right to enforce it's patents, at least not on code they don't explicitly release.

          Specifically, IBM doesn't actually distribute Linux, it partners with Suse and RedHat who do that for them. Sure they produce patches, but that's all you'll get from them, not the whole kernel.

          So IBM has decided to give up the right to enforce the patent on, for example, RCU. They distributed the RCU patches as GPL. But if, for example, RedHat contributes some code to the kernel that contains IBM patented techniques, IBM can still enforce those patents because it never distributes non-IBM code.

      • by Greyfox (87712) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @03:09PM (#6637893) Homepage Journal
        Unlike SCO, IBM is actually making money from Linux. A lot of their customers are buying IBM's big blue iron in order to load Linux on it. SCO is in no such position. Now I'm going to tell you a story.

        Back in '95 I used to be both a contractor for IBM and a member of TeamOS2. At the 95 Atlanta COMDEX (Which I attended on my own dime to do OS/2 advocacy and provide installation support to the team,) one of their marketing guys demoed the latest neat stuff for the operating system. At the presentation, he mentioned that IBM's vision was to provide the same OS across the board. It was to be OS/2 on the laptop (PDA? Notebook? hah!) OS/2 on the desktop and OS/2 on the big blue iron. This would result in a significant decrease in training costs because the employees would always know the platform no matter how big the iron was that they were running on.

        8 years later their vision has been realized. Sure the OS has changed, but a single corporation-wide OS deployment is now possible. The radical learning curve necessary to use their big stuff has been smoothed out. The search for that last 90 year old guy who knows how to administer MVS has been eliminated. A much deeper talent pool (of people who know UNIX) can now be tapped.

        At the moment it looks like the IBM/Open Source Community relationship is pretty stable. Of course we should be wary -- a corporation can turn on you in a heartbeat if it'll make them a buck. Right now this relationship is making IBM a buck, so I don't see that happening in the immediate future.

    • by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @01:01PM (#6636174) Homepage Journal
      IBM also claims SCO Group has violated the general public license, or the GNU GPL, under which Linux is distributed.

      Will this be the first time that the GPL has actually been used as part of a court preceeding? As far as I am aware all companies, who did not orginally comply, have felt that their public image was more important than a challenge of the GPL, and respected the contract of the GPL, even if it did take the FSF or public pressure.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 07, 2003 @12:51PM (#6636025)
    Generally, I would say that linking to a 25 meg file from the front page of Slashdot is unconscionable. But in this case, perhaps it should be seen as an act of patriotism.
  • SCO Check (Score:4, Funny)

    by mopslik (688435) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @12:52PM (#6636035)

    And finally, a company is selling SCO Check...

    I'd be more than happy to sell my own de-SCO-ifier program for a mere $699 per license.

  • by freedommatters (664657) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @12:52PM (#6636038)
    sell your shares in SCO and IBM, buy shares in the lawyers!!!

    (i am not a lawyer and any advice given here is purely to take the piss out of everything and everyone, i will not be held responsible for anything, even my own actions)

  • Unspecified? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phorm (591458) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @12:52PM (#6636039) Journal
    BM is seeking unspecified monetary damages and an injunction stopping SCO from shipping its software

    I'm guessing that in the end, this will be a big number, but perhaps IBM will go for a settlement that involves SCO execs, bricks, and deep water.

    Seriously, if anything this whole fiasco is probably as much good publicity for IBM as it is bad to SCO. IBM gets to lay on the smack-down, and they end up looking very much like a hero in the eyes of the linux users/developers.
    • Re:Unspecified? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by anthonyrcalgary (622205) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @02:03PM (#6636940)
      I'm guessing that in the end, this will be a big number, but perhaps IBM will go for a settlement that involves SCO execs, bricks, and deep water.

      SCO's been pretty pretty careless with the libel. The damages could add up to a lot.

      Seriously, if anything this whole fiasco is probably as much good publicity for IBM as it is bad to SCO. IBM gets to lay on the smack-down, and they end up looking very much like a hero in the eyes of the linux users/developers.

      IBM has realized that karma whoring is an effective business practice. Good for them.
  • De-SCO (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 07, 2003 @12:53PM (#6636047)
    I just bought a tool for $699 to De-SCO my windows 98 box. I'm not taking any chances.

    I recommend you all buy the utility, the website is http://www.caldera.com/ [caldera.com]
  • It's about time. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Znonymous Coward (615009) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @12:53PM (#6636052) Journal
    We can only assume that it took IBM this long to prepare the suit because they wanted to ensure a crushing blow to the SCO extortion ring in one quick sweep.
    • by harley_frog (650488) <harley_frog.yahoo@com> on Thursday August 07, 2003 @01:21PM (#6636400) Journal
      Extorion is a good choice of words. After reading Professor Moglen's [osdl.org] paper on SCO's claim, which was posted on Slashdot last week [slashdot.org], a well at this article [slashdot.org] and this one [slashdot.org], I think that SCO is using a combination Mafia-like protection tactics and FUD in an effort to force companies and users that don't a warehouse of lawyers to pony up the money rather than using sound business practices to try and save their company. And now with the recent targets of the U.S. Government and TiVo [slashdot.org], they may have just bitten off more then they can chew. I would not be at all surprised if the courts find that SCO does not have a case and that charges of extorition are filed at SCO. I just wonder if SCO's actions could fall under the RICO act.

  • Big guns (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ebh (116526) * <ebh-slashdot&hyperreal,org> on Thursday August 07, 2003 @12:53PM (#6636054) Journal
    In a way, I'm glad it's IBM fighting the first big GPL court battle, rather than any of the advocacy organizations, which while strongly motivated and highly expert, are also woefully underfunded and would almost certainly lose in a drawn-out war of attrition.

    For once, a corporate behemoth on our side...
  • When SCO dies... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 07, 2003 @12:53PM (#6636063)
    When SCO dies, who will snatch up the assets it has (including if any valid IP)?

    Who has more cash floating around than most?

    M$... and that could get messy quickly.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 07, 2003 @12:54PM (#6636065)
    Darl McBride: "We can't comment on the action yet. Our attorneys are still reviewing the court filing."

    No Mr. McBride, your attorneys are already dead
  • by QuackQuack (550293) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @12:55PM (#6636081) Journal
    All Linux distros need to do is place bright yellow sunburst stickers on their packaging claiming to be Guaranteed, 100% free of infringing SCO code, "for your piece of mind".

    SCO really can't dispute that claim without offering proof, and once they offer proof, the distro can issue a patch removing the code from the system, assuming that there really is problem code
  • Good tactic.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by benjiboo (640195) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @12:56PM (#6636091)
    SCO distributed a version of Linux under the open-source General Public License (GPL), it can't claim that Linux software is proprietary. IBM also argues that SCO software violates four IBM patents and that the company interfered with IBM's business by saying it had terminated IBM's right to ship a Unix product, AIX.

    Wow, that's enough to keep SCO's lawyers busy until the money runs out :)

  • Haha (Score:5, Funny)

    by brsmith4 (567390) <brsmith4&gmail,com> on Thursday August 07, 2003 @12:56PM (#6636092)
    Looks to me that big blue wont have to buy SCO. They will simply be awarded what's left of the company as a settlement. How poetic.
  • I, too ... (Score:5, Funny)

    by DogIsMyCoprocessor (642655) <dogismycoprocessor@noSPAM.yahoo.com> on Thursday August 07, 2003 @12:56PM (#6636096) Homepage
    have a program that determines if any infringing SCO code is present in your Linux system -

    /usr/bin/false

  • by isn't my name (514234) <slash@threenort h . c om> on Thursday August 07, 2003 @12:56PM (#6636099)
    According to the press reports I've read, there is no mention in IBM's counterclaim that it has the right to sell derivative software created by it. Now, it is just possible that the press reports are not the result of a careful reading of the filing, but I am surprised there is no mention of that and would be even more surprised if that were not in IBM's filing.

    Anyone know of an online copy of the filing yet?
    • by Col. Klink (retired) (11632) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @01:08PM (#6636255)
      there is no mention in IBM's counterclaim that it has the right to sell derivative software created by it.

      From the CNET article:

      SCO has argued that IBM doesn't have the right to take Unix software IBM created--so-called derivative works--and move that software into Linux. IBM, however, labeled as "frivolous" SCO's argument that it has ownership rights with respect to all of the code in AIX.
  • Wow (Score:5, Funny)

    by pogle (71293) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @12:59PM (#6636134) Homepage
    Finally some decent action outta Big Blue. And coming soon, 1200+ /. comments to keep me busy reading for the rest of the day!
  • by Picass0 (147474) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @12:59PM (#6636138) Homepage Journal
    Hey Dale!!!!

    I don't think IBM is going to buy your company!

    This isn't working out like you wanted, is it?

    If I were at IBM, I would have seen to it that we mentioned four patents are being infringed, but SCO will have to agree to our terms to find out what they are.

    1. Sue IBM
    2. ???????
    3. Run for your life!

  • by Dausha (546002) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @12:59PM (#6636143) Homepage

    Considering the fact that Redhat recently filed a lawsuit, it looks like the "Linux Allies" are mobilized and are opening multiple fronts. What is interesting here is IBM's fighting for GPL, which means a team of highly paid attorneys will argue the viability of GPL. If this makes it to court, then GPL will have its test.

    On another point, perhaps IBM holds the patent "process of suing other companies for patent violations as a means of revenue." If so, SCO is definitely in violation.

    • by tuffy (10202) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @01:31PM (#6636518) Homepage Journal
      which means a team of highly paid attorneys will argue the viability of GPL. If this makes it to court, then GPL will have its test.

      If the GPL isn't a viable license (for reasons I cannot fathom, since the copyright holder gets to determine the conditions of its copying), ownership of the code reverts to the original copyright holders. This means SCO would still have no legal right to charge money for the Linux kernel since most (all?) of the code isn't theirs to sell.

  • by WCMI92 (592436) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @12:59PM (#6636148) Homepage
    http://investor.news.com/Engine?Account=cnet&PageN ame=QUOTE&Ticker=SCOX

    If the theroy holds, that every negative thing that causes SCaldera stock to fall prompts an even MORE bizzare release from SCO to get it back up, I wonder what we'll get by this evening?

    SCO claiming that because AT&T once owned Unix that everyone with a phone owes them $700 for a license?
  • by ihummel (154369) <ihummel@gmail. c o m> on Thursday August 07, 2003 @01:00PM (#6636156)
    For a legal, SCO Linux kernel (copied from K5):

    "cd /usr/src/
    mkdir silly_sco
    wget ftp://ftp.sco.com/pub/updates/OpenLinux/3.1.1/Serv er/CSSA-2003-020.0/SRPMS/linux -2.4.13-21S.src.rpm
    rpm2cpio linux-2.4.13-21S.src.rpm > sco.cpio
    cpio -i --file sco.cpio
    bzip2 -d linux-2.4.13.tar.bz2
    tar -xf linux-2.4.13.tar

    You'll find the license agreement in linux/COPYING

    Compile, install, enjoy."
  • by burgburgburg (574866) <.splisken06. .at. .email.com.> on Thursday August 07, 2003 @01:01PM (#6636165)
    We've all been wondering if this all was a "legitimate" attempt by SCO to try and get some money or if it was purely a financed FUD campaign, an attempt to muddy the OSS waters and benefit the MS and SUN, the two companies that have actually licensed stuff from SCO.

    The fact that Novell specifically, explicitly forbade SCO from revoking the AIX license, and the fact that SCO ignored this (despite knowing that they were contractually obligated to respect Novell's orders on this issue) shows that there was never an expectation that this would lead to a payout. This is all about the FUD. Case closed.

  • Note the goofy IBM patents. "The patents cover a data compression technique, a method of navigating among program menus using options arranged in a graphical tree, a method for verifying that an electronic message was received and a method for monitoring computing systems linked in a cluster." Of course this is no less goofy than claiming you own RCU, or that somehow IBM would have gotten it out of SCO sources. But most importantly, navigating among program menus using options arranged in a graphical tree? Everyone does that. A method for verifying that an electronic message was received? I think we've seen just about every way of doing that already. Monitoring a cluster? PUH-lease. My point here is that the prophecy has come true. As has been stated previously IBM owns a zillion patents and they don't enforce the obvious ones until someone talks a little shit, then BAM, they lay their shit down on the counter and invite someone to bring up a ruler, and would anyone else like to make a measurement?

    This is the beginning of the end for SCO. You could argue that the end began when they first made their claims, but that was just a prelude. There's no story here, of course; We go right from ONCE UPON A TIME straight to THE END. But somehow we still get a bunch of fun implied drama.

  • So, who shorted? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jaywalk (94910) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @01:04PM (#6636220) Homepage
    And the plunge is on! As everyone on Slashdot knew, SCO's press releases were a pump and dump. And it looks like those who got in early (before March [yahoo.com]) look like they've made out big with a ten-fold gain in their initial investment. Some SCO execs have already done their dump and taken their gains, but time is running out. Looking at this week [yahoo.com] you can see that SCO's peak has been reached. The news that Red Hat was on the counter-attack [yahoo.com] sent the stock down early this week, but it partially recovered. But now it looks like the nosedive has begun in earnest. With Big Blue weighing in with a lawsuit any chance of a buyout has been snuffed out. SCO has yet to produce any evidence and the number of True Believers who think there might be something there is dwindling fast.

    So the big question; who shorted the stock? What was the price point and when do you plan to cash in? C'mon, fess up. We're all rooting for you to make a killing from SCO's flameout as we get the pleasure of watching Darl's FUD machine go crashing into the sea.

  • by Omicron32 (646469) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @01:05PM (#6636223)
    IBM: Do you hear that, Mr. SCO? That is the sound of inevitability. That is the sound of your death. Goodbye, Mr. SCO.

    SCO: Oh shit.

  • SCO stock plummets. (Score:5, Informative)

    by MongooseCN (139203) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @01:05PM (#6636227) Homepage
    In other news SCO's stock plummetted [marketwatch.com] 11.4%.
  • by rMortyH (40227) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @01:11PM (#6636301)
    IBM argues in the counterclaims that SCO is prohibited from treating any code it distributed under the GPL as proprietary, and that its current plan to require payment from Linux users isn't legal.

    Why, oh why, don't they seek an injunction against SCO contacting organizations and demanding royalties while this is pending? This is a no-brainer. They have alot more than they need!

  • Poor Darl (Score:5, Funny)

    by SLot (82781) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @01:12PM (#6636303) Homepage Journal
    I bet he's very "disappointed" that IBM countersued.

    Heh.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 07, 2003 @01:22PM (#6636422)
    Read this guys' analysis

    http://lamlaw.com/ [lamlaw.com]

  • by podperson (592944) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @01:31PM (#6636509) Homepage
    So in summary, SCO wants us to pay to use software they claim uses stuff they own but won't tell us what it is so we can stop using it and the rights to which they gave away but claim they can take back because they didn't know what they were giving away when they gave it.

    Seems reasonable enough to me.
  • by TexTex (323298) * on Thursday August 07, 2003 @01:33PM (#6636536)
    I'm starting to find more and more comparisons between McBride and the Iraqi Information Minister.

    "There are no IBM patents in SCO. Never!"
    "We have them surrounded in their servers!"
    "Let the IBM infidels bask in their illusion!"
    "We will own them all...most of them!"
  • by Tsu Dho Nimh (663417) <abacaxi@hotm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Thursday August 07, 2003 @01:56PM (#6636827)
    Here [eweek.com] are the instructions to the sales force ... basically saying continue on course, SCO's ass is grass and the mower has IBM engraved on the blades.

    Of EXTREME interest is the "IBM is seeking ... an injunction requiring SCO to refrain from misrepresenting its rights, and to cease further infringement of IBM's patents." part. An injunction would shut down SCO's sales of any of the identified infringing software.

  • by Trailer Trash (60756) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @01:57PM (#6636849) Homepage
    I'm serious about this. After IBM & Red Hat finish these pathetic twits off in court, their stock will be probably no more than 10 cents per share. The open source community needs to buy them (hell, everybody throw in a dollar) and then throw open their "intellectual property" completely free to the world. While we're at it, let's publicly abandon the Unix trademark (which is likely unenforcable, anyway).

    Their market cap before this was $25M. I suspect it'll be 1/10 that after this is done. It's not much money spread among all of us.

    Michael
  • by MichaelCrawford (610140) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @02:25PM (#6637204) Homepage Journal

    While the lawsuits being defended by IBM [sco.com] and filed by Red Hat [redhat.com] are likely to put an end to The SCO Group's [sco.com] menace to the Free Software community, I don't think simply putting the company out of business is likely to prevent us from being threatened this way again by other companies who are enemies to our community. I feel we need to send a stronger message.

    If we all work together, we can put the executives [sco.com] of the SCO Group in prison where they belong.

    If you live in the U.S., please write a letter to your state Attorney General [naag.org]. If you live elsewhere, please write your national or provincial law enforcement authorities. Please ask that the SCO Group be prosecuted for criminal fraud and extortion.

    It makes me very sad to write this, because I lived in Santa Cruz for fifteen years. Sam Sjogren, a close friend from Caltech [caltech.edu], was one of SCO's first programmers, and for a little while my only friend in town after I transferred to UCSC [ucsc.edu]. Many of my best friends used to work for SCO either writing code or doing tech support. I even used to sit in the company hot tub with my friends who worked there from time to time. I used to dance to the music of SCO's company band Deth Specula [deth.com] at parties around the town.

    Before I ever installed my first Linux distro - remember Yggdrasil Plug-n-Play? - I was a happy user of a fully-licensed copy of SCO Open Desktop on my 386.

    You wouldn't think the SCO Group of today is the same company that once had to tell its employees that they shouldn't be naked at work between 9 and 5 because they scared the visiting suits from AT&T. That's because it's not - the SCO Group got its name and intellectual property from SCO through an acquisition. I don't think any of the friends I once knew at the company are likely to still be working there. The SCO Group is in Utah. SCO was originally called The Santa Cruz Operation, a small father-and son consulting firm named for a beautiful small town [cruzio.com] between the mountains and the ocean in central California. The Santa Cruz Operation was once as much a bunch of freethinking hippies as any Linux hacker of today.

    Yes, it makes me sad. But I digress.

    It seems that SCO is asking a license fee of $699 [slashdot.org] for each Linux installation. Take a look at SCO's press release [sco.com] announcing the licensing program. That's just the introductory price - if we don't purchase our licenses before October 15, the price will increase to $1399.

    I have three computers that run Linux. That means SCO claims I must pay $2097 today, or $4197 if I wait until after October 15. SCO says their fee applies even to devices running embedded linux, many of which were purchased by their owners for far less than SCO's "license fee".

    My response is that SCO is guilty of criminal fraud and extortion. I didn't violate SCO's copyright or acquire their trade secrets through any illegal means, and it is fraud for them to claim that I did. It is extortion for them to tell me I must pay them money to avoid a lawsuit.

    Even if SCO's claims are true, it is not a violation of their copyright for me to possess a copy of their code. Instead, any copyright infringement was committed by the vendors who supplied me with the Linux distributions I use.

    SCO's license is actually no license at all - if it really is found that the Linux kernel contains any infringing code, the GPL forbids everyone who possesses a copy from using it at all. No one would be allowed to con

  • by frozenray (308282) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @02:40PM (#6637466)

    From SCO's quarterly report [sec.gov]:

    "There is also a risk that the assertion of our intellectual property rights will be negatively viewed by participants in our marketplace and we may lose support from such participants."
    This, Ladies and Gentlemen, has to be the understatement of this century, if not of this millennium.
  • by Ridgelift (228977) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @03:39PM (#6638278)
    SCO sues IBM, Red Hat sues SCO, IBM sues SCO, et cetera, ad nauseum, ad infinitum.

    I say forget the legal process. It's too slow. Let's get each company to build their own BattleBot [battlebots.com] and go on Robot Wars [robotwars.com] to settle this whole mess. Just imagine: "Big Blue", a huge flipper bot flinging "SCObot" through the air while a big red bowler hat smashes into SCO at every opportunity. Chunks of metal flying, flames licking up from dismembered metallic remains.

    Ah I love the smell of burnt electric motors and battery acid in the morning!
  • damn! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by all_new_turambar386 (696160) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @03:50PM (#6638401)
    I just finished my SCO timeline complete with SEC fillings. Got to go back and update it again. Oh well, here it is. Please email me if you can add to it.

    June 27 2002
    McBride becomes CEO of Caldera.
    Stock price around $0.60

    March 7 2003
    SCO sues IBM
    Stock price up from $2.21 to $3.10 but falls back to mid $2.00 range

    March 18
    SCO stocks hits low of $2.07
    Jeff Hunsaker (VP Worldwide Marketing) gets 100,000 options
    Reginald Broughton (Senior VP International Sales) gets 50,000 options
    Michael Olsen (VP Finance) gets 50,000 options
    Robert Bench (CFO) gets 100,000 options
    Darl McBride (CEO) gets 200,000 options

    Can anyone fill me in on what happened between 3/14 and 3/17 that caused the
    price to drop from $2.64? And how did the executives know that $2.07 was the
    lowest it would go?

    April 8
    Robert Bench sells 4100 shares at $2.90 each for $11,890.

    April 23
    SCO issues warning to Red Hat and SuSE
    Stock is up to $3.10

    May 2
    IBM responses to lawsuit, denies claims
    SCO claims they have proof

    May 14
    SCO stops selling Linux, sends out letter to 1500 large corporations
    suggesting that they stop using Linux.
    Stock has been steadily rising, now at $3.55

    May 15
    SCO offers to show proof under strict NDA to journalists only
    Stock shoots up to $4.55

    May 16
    SCO changes name to SCO Group Inc.
    Board of Directors gets 10,000 options each at $4.75

    May 19
    SCO announces that Microsoft has given it cash, and that M$ is
    not the first company to pay it off. Rumours are that the other
    company is Sun. Total revenue from both licences: $8.25M.
    Stock price starts to really take off.
    May 28
    Novell issues press release challenging SCO
    SCO states that they may end up suing Linus
    Stock plummets from $8.71 to $6.60

    June 3
    Opinder Bawa (VP Global Services) pancis and sells 15,000 shares at a paltry
    $6.00 each, making $90,000.

    June 5
    O. Bawa exercises 7916 in options at $1.20 each and sells them for
    $6.60 each, netting himself just over $42,000. He really should
    have waited a day.

    June 6
    SCO announces discovery of ammendment to Novell contract
    Share price shoots up to $8.52
    Giddy with glee, Jeff Hunsaker (VP Worldwide Marketing) sells
    5000 shares for $44,500.

    June 8 SCO announces that they have shown 80 lines of code to some
    doofus. This is a Sunday.

    June 9 The day after this announcement, shares are up to $9.38.
    Robert Bench (CFO) celebrates by selling 7000 shares, making
    over $64,400.

    June 11 SCO gives IBM until Friday the 13th to settle.
    Shares drop to $8.65. Believing that the end is near, Michael
    Olsen (VP Finance) sells 6000 shares, earning $51,720.

    June 13
    IBM's deadline passes and SCO is still alive. The stock price shoots up
    to $11.21. Darl buys 7003 shares for one tenth of a penny each. In an
    interview, Chris Sontag (Snr VP OS) says that SCO may own BSD
    as well.

    June 16 SCO announces that they are revoking IBM's AIX license. IBM
    announces that they don't care. Shares dip.

    June 17 SCO decides that they actually want three billion from IBM and
    elaborate on what technology they think IBM stole from them.

    June 18 Sun launches ad campaign trying to get Linux and AIX customers
    to use Solaris instead. SCO criticizing Linus in a court document.

    June 20
    Reginald Broughton, needing some weekend money, sells 5000 shares when the
    stock price goes over $11, making almost $55,500. The price closes at $10.77.

    June 23 SCO says that they won't sue their own Linux customers.

    June 25 With the stock
  • by Angst Badger (8636) on Thursday August 07, 2003 @04:01PM (#6638549)
    IBM e-Business on Demand General Manager Irving Wladawsky-Berger seemed surprised to hear of Perens' comments. "The question has never come up with Linux," Wladawsky-Berger says. IBM's history of working with open communities like the World Wide Web Consortium should reassure developers, he adds, but he encourages Perens to contact IBM to discuss the issue.

    In other words -- again -- Perens started shooting off his mouth about possible bad intentions from IBM before even discussing it with IBM. That's just plain bad form, since it means Wladawksy-Berger was caught off-guard by an unexpected question from a reporter. That's not a good way to treat people whose cooperation you desire.

    I hope that someday, the Open Source/Free Software community will have spokespeople who comport themselves professionally instead of brilliant but socially-impaired people with a tendency to ill-considered public tantrums. You can get away with that as a developer, at least sometimes, but when you get into the PR business, basic manners are a fundamental requirement of the job.

    If Perens had talked to IBM at length and gotten nowhere, it would have been acceptable to say, "We talked to IBM at length and got nowhere." Just calling the press and saying, "IBM hasn't spontaneously stepped up to the plate and I'm starting to have paranoid fantasies," doesn't cut it.
  • by thasmudyan (460603) <<udo.schroeter> <at> <gmail.com>> on Thursday August 07, 2003 @07:04PM (#6640420) Homepage
    From the news.com.com article:

    "What I'm getting a sense of now is there is an effort to counterpunch," said Gartner analyst George Weiss, who has warned clients to take SCO seriously. "What I thought the (Linux) community should be doing is shift the initiative away from SCO and throw them off balance into a defensive posture. Until Red Hat started its counterclaim, all the initiative was with SCO."

    This has really suprised me. I mean, I'm not shocked at corporate opportunism of course - especially analysts and people who think of themselves as visionaries, being opportunistic is practically their job description.
    But the thing is: I always took for granted that Gartner is just an MS marketing branch, and now they turn around and say that they always thought the Linux community should really take countermeasures, and stuff like that! Wow...

    To the paranoid conspiracist mind this can only mean that MS must have realized that there is not much substance behind SCO's claims and that their activities in the fraudulent extortion department didn't go over well at all in the industry.

    Probably something like this happened:
    SCO: Hey, guess what, we can prove that Linux is just a pirated copy of SCO Unix!
    Microsoft: Wow, cool, that would make Linux illegal and discredit the whole open source community?
    SCO: Yeah, you bet. Only, if someone could give us credibility. ...and our cash kinda ran out, too!
    Microsoft: NP, we'll announce that we honor your Unix rights and pay for your initial lawyer fees with some Unix license, OK? Additionally we will buy some studies and news articles that lend credibility to your claims.
    SCO: Thanks, we feel much better now, that really helped. Initiating FUD and extortion campaign now.
    Microsoft: What? Uhm, your going to prove your thing in court soon, will you? You know, revealing the evil that is Open Source for what it really is?
    SCO: Yah, sure.
    Microsoft: SCO? You're making us all look bad.
    SCO: We know, but "the software business is binary", remember? Gotta do what keeps us alive!
    Microsoft: There is no proof, is there?
    SCO: We're still kinda working on that, sir.
    Microsoft: OK, that's it, we're bailing out. Steve, call Gartner and tell them they can switch modes from "MS fantasy sales pitch" to default "echo the public opinion" mode. Farewell, SCO.

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