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More Criticism of SCO's Claims To UNIX 400

Posted by timothy
from the wouldja-believe-we-own-say-half dept.
inc_x writes "GROKLAW has a compelling analysis that shows that SCO's claims that it owns the UNIX operating system are not very truthful. The Open Group confirms this position: "Statements that SCO "owns the UNIX operating system" or has "licensed UNIX to XYZ", are clearly inaccurate and misleading." It seems that SCO finds it increasingly difficult to distinguish facts from fiction. Last week SCO claimed 'This IP battle is only one part of SCO's business and is an add-on component. The core of SCO's business is profitable,' not bothered by the fact that they had claimed the opposite in their SEC filing: 'If we do not receive SCOsource licensing revenue in future quarters and our revenue from the sale of our operating system platform products and services continues to decline, we will need to further reduce operating expenses in order to maintain profitability or generate positive cash flow.'"
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More Criticism of SCO's Claims To UNIX

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  • I guess they've succeeded because now I see them as this [dailydarwin.com]
  • by Lieutenant_Dan (583843) on Saturday September 06, 2003 @08:36PM (#6890321) Homepage Journal
    I think the Open SCOurce developer community would greatly benefit of having full access to the code for the greatly-acclaimed UNIX operating system. It would enable academics all over the world (especially in cold Scandinavian countries) to release their low-cost operating systems that are similar to UNIX. Some kernel components such as memory management could be enhanced instead of using 30-year old algorithms that may be misinterpreted by certain corporations as being propriatery.

    We must encourage the grass-roots developers to add to the global intellectual property by releasing great variants of UNIX-based operating systems so that we can topple the dichotomy that Microsoft presents to computer science progress.

    Only when we liberate the high memory block in the Expanded memory pool can we launch the necessary TSRs for MSCDEX support.

    Which is nice.
    • by DickBreath (207180) on Saturday September 06, 2003 @09:26PM (#6890549) Homepage
      Make UNIX open source?

      Wrong answer McFly!

      Haven't you seen SCO's new television commercials to be aired soon?

      Well, the commercial has this kid in a large white room....

      Well, you'll just have to wait and see it. But the commercial is awesome. It ends with the words...
      The Future Is Closed

      and then fades to the word...

      SCO
    • Open SCOurce
      >>>>>>>>>>
      That would be something like MS's"shared source."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 06, 2003 @08:38PM (#6890333)
    Since at least August [cbronline.com], SCO have been floating the idea of sending invoices to Linux users. It's even been reported, seemingly incorrectly, back in August, that SCO was beginning to send invoices [commentwire.com]. The invoice story has been taken up with a vengence in the last few days, for example, here [vnunet.com], here [newsfactor.com] and here [computerworld.com].

    SCO Australia says the invoicing plan doesn't "ring true" [zdnet.com.au] and contradicts very recent strategy discussions. Unfortunately, SCO USA's Blake Stowell, doesn't seem to have yet responded to SCO Australia's request for clarification. SCO Australia also says [theage.com.au] that they're unsure about the question of invoices being sent in the US even though there are reports on the web [examples: here [vnunet.com], here [newsfactor.com] and here [computerworld.com]] about just such a thing being planned.
    • by gnutechguy (700980) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:05AM (#6891222)
      Isn't it funny that no one is able to even throw money at SCO for a "Linux License?" I emailed scoinfo@scosales.com and asked about these magical mystery linux licenses and got no answer but an offer to buy "SCO Unix" and threat to be billed for asking so many questions.

      NO ONE has actually been sent an actual invoice; SCO has merely made threats in the press to do so.
      I do not think they have any intention to actually send any real "invoices"; that would be fraud. They just want to make headlines and grab fast cash.

      With the The Open Group, who even Darth McBribe ackowledges hold the trademrak to "UNIX", I do not know what wild claim is left for SCO to make. They will probably claim next that their IP claims to Unix trumps the Open Group's Unix trademark. Because of course, SCO claims always trump all other claims.

      I am a former Microsoft guy who is in the process of converting to Open Source, and I will enjoy watching SCO die a horrible death at the hands of the Open Source/Free Software community.
  • by sokk (691010) on Saturday September 06, 2003 @08:39PM (#6890342)
    A little offtopic:
    Who buys the stocks that SCO "dump"? Anyone in their right mind would back off from this company. I for one, wouldn't have bought a sinking ship.
    • by FreeLinux (555387) on Saturday September 06, 2003 @08:48PM (#6890385)
      On the contrary. For short term investors, SCO has been a good buy since they first filed the suit. Look at this [yahoo.com] SCO stock chart.

      Now, I feel that this won't last for too long but, it will likely last for as long as they can keep their name in the news. Once it finally goes to court, probably in 2004, it will all be over. But, for the next three to six months, SCOX is still a good buy.
      • Once it finally goes to court, probably in 2004,

        I was under the impression that it was April 2005. So we should have at least another year of this commedy routine.

        One +1 Insightful observation I'll make: Slashdot SHOULD CREATE AN SCO SECTION. This nonsense is going to go on for long enough that those of us who wait on the edge of our seats constantly checking slashdot for each new commedic bit of PR from SCO could check a special subsection like sco.slashdot.org.


        Why, oh why, oh why hasn't SCO g
    • Apparently (according to one story) one of the biggest recent investors in SCO is a company that has Bill Gates' wife on the board. Unfortunately, that's about all that I remember about it.
      • No one single company can buy more than 5% of SCO before having to file with the SEC a document stating their intentions.

        Now some hypothetical company could file the necessary forms to buy more than 5%...

        SEC, our intent in buying up SCO stock is to artificially inflate the market price for the purpose of enriching the principals of SCO in exchange for them helping us to cause restraint of trade in the Linux market.

        But if you can get each of some companies that you indirectly control to each stay un
    • by Dunark (621237) on Saturday September 06, 2003 @09:05PM (#6890460)
      Who buys the stocks that SCO "dump"?

      Read the Friday August 29th page of Groklaw. There's a company called Integral Capital Management V that's bought enough recently that they had to file a 13G with the SEC. Curiously, shortly after they bought a big interest in Drugstore.com no long ago, a person by the name of Melinda French Gates was appointed to a seat on that company's board or directors. Hmmmm....
    • by Crispy Critters (226798) on Saturday September 06, 2003 @09:06PM (#6890469)
      'Who buys the stocks that SCO "dump"?'

      Not many sensible investors looking for long-term profit would invest in SCO. But they aren't the only ones who buy stock. As an example, say some company or person wanted to reward the SCO execs for their litigious nonsense. This company could do so legally and largely unnoticeably by buying SCO stock. With the execs dumping stock which is really worthless, money is just going from the purchasers to the officers' pockets.

      After all, SCO is being sued by IBM for patent infringement, and they will almost certainly lose. They are going down. It is merely a question of when.

      • Then they get a big tax bonus for a capital gains loss. That makes it practically free money.
      • by DickBreath (207180) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:23AM (#6891282) Homepage
        Not many sensible investors looking for long-term profit would invest in SCO. But they aren't the only ones who buy stock. As an example, say some company or person wanted to reward the SCO execs for their litigious nonsense. This company could do so legally and largely unnoticeably by buying SCO stock. With the execs dumping stock which is really worthless, money is just going from the purchasers to the officers' pockets.

        If, hypothetically, there were some large American monopolistic company, and let's further suppose that such a hypothetical company were willing to buy SCO stock at outrageously high prices to reward the investors, then I would observe two things. (1) they cannot buy more than 5% of SCO before having to file with the SEC as to their intentions. (2) they would lose the money they spent on the stock when it crashes.

        If there were such a hypothetical company doing such a thing, then they would have to file with the SEC as to their intentions. I can just see the filing: Our intent is to make the SCO principals rich in exchange for restraining trade in the Linux market.

        As for item 2, there are some American companies with enough money in the bank that they wouldn't even notice some few millions of dollars.

        Maybe multiple companies in collusion could each buy under 5 % of the stock? Or maybe the SCO principals don't own more than 5 %? But then the other 95% holders would be yelling Sell! Sell! Sell! And someone must be buying at those prices, because that's what determines the prices.

        (being that this is slashdot, I should have said "loose the money" instead of "lose the money".)
    • by dnoyeb (547705) on Saturday September 06, 2003 @09:13PM (#6890500) Homepage Journal
      Most on the yahoo forum have come to believe SCO has put someone up to buying stock to keep the price high. This allows them to continue to cut deals by offering the option to buy SCOX stock at a highly reduced price (stock options) in exchange for business favors (i.e. SUNW).

      Besides >45% of the stock is held by insiders, and probably another 20%-30% is held by funds. its a VERY illiquid stock with small public holdings. Practically you could call it a private company.

      And for those that think SCOX stock is or was a good buy because the price is so high need look no further than the liquidity of the stock. Todays price may be $16 but sell 100,000 shares on the market and the price will drop instantly $2. So if your tossing around 100-10,000 shares, you can probably make a little change. any more than that, and you wouldn't be able to effectively cash out reliably.
      • Apropos the sibling post, I'm thinking of shorting a few hundred dollars worth of SCO stock. Partly on principle and partly because it seems like easy money. Can anyone offer any concrete advice on whether this is a good or bad idea? It doesn't seem like the price could inflate that much more so I'm not worried about losing say more than twice what I put in (in the absolute worst case). I'm also willing to wait to buy back the stock for as long as it takes for the lawsuits to settle. What's the worst
    • Who buys the stocks that SCO "dump"?
      As someone smarter than me said: "Anyone who believes there's one more fool beyond them who'll buy."
  • always lying and back pedalling while damage continues to happen..

  • by weston (16146) <westonsd@can n c e n t r a l.org> on Saturday September 06, 2003 @08:40PM (#6890351) Homepage
    They could become an entertainment company: a source of drama and amusement for the tech industry. There's a big gapping hole in the market for tech-industry oriented soap operas.

    Start by offering low-bandwidth real media clips of goings on, move up to high-bandwidth, premium, see-it-before-anyone-else scubscriptions. Maybe for extra cash, even be able to influence the plot or participate in being threatened interactively!
  • by Zocalo (252965) on Saturday September 06, 2003 @08:41PM (#6890356) Homepage
    we will need to further reduce operating expenses in order to maintain profitability or generate positive cash flow.

    So, if I read this right, if no one pays any license extortion money to SCO then they will have to cut costs to remain in the black. One might suggest they start by dismissing their over-priced lawyers, dismissing their frivolous lawsuits, and trying to kick the collective crack habit they seem to have developed.

    Then again, they are well on their way to becoming the poster child to show that taking drugs leads to criminal behaviour. I wonder if they could claim royalties on all the eventual "Don't do drugs or you'll turn into SCO" posters in schools and police stations... ;)

  • by Billly Gates (198444) on Saturday September 06, 2003 @08:42PM (#6890361) Journal
    Dear Sir/Madam:

    I am Mr. Darl McBride currently serving as the president and chief executive officer of the SCO group, formerly known as caldera systems international, in Lindon, Utah, united states of America. I know this letter might surprise your because we have had no previous communications or business dealings before now. My associates have recently made claim to computer software worth an estimated $1 billion U.S. dollars.

    I am writing to you in confidence because we urgently require your assistance to obtain these funds. In the early 1970s the American telephone and telegraph corporation developed at great expense the computer operating system software known as Unix. Unfortunately the laws of my country prohibited them from selling these softwares and so their valuable source codes remained privately held. Under a special arrangement some programmers from the California university of Berkeley did add more codes to this operating system, increasing its value, but not in any way to dilute or disparage our full and rightful ownership of these codes, despite any agreement between American telephone and telegraph and the California university of Berkeley, which agreement we deny and disavow. In the year 1984 a change of regime in my country allowed the American telephone and telegraph corporation to make profits from these softwares. In the year 1990 ownership of these softwares was transferred to the corporation Unix system laboratories. In the year 1993 this corporation was sold to the corporation Novell. In the year 1994 some employees of Novell formed the corporation caldera systems international, which began to distribute an upstart operating system known as Linux. In the year 1995 Novell sold the Unix software codes to SCO. In the year 2001 occurred a separation of SCO, and the SCO brand name and Unix codes were acquired by the caldera systems international, and in the following year the caldera systems international was renamed SCO group, of which i currently serve as chief executive officer. My associates and I of the SCO group are therefore the full and rightful owners of the operating system softwares known as Unix. Our engineers have discovered that no fewer than seventy (70) lines of our valuable and proprietary source codes have appeared in the upstart operating system Linux. As you can plainly see, this gives us a claim on the millions of lines of valuable software codes which comprise this Linux and which has been sold at great profit to very many business enterprises. Our legal experts have advised us that our contribution to these codes is worth an estimated one (1) billion u.s. dollars. Unfortunately we are having difficulty extracting our funds from these computer softwares. To this effect i have been given the mandate by my colleagues to contact you and ask for your assistance. We are prepared to sell you a share in this enterprise, which will soon be very profitable, that will grant you the rights to use these valuable softwares in your business enterprise. Unfortunately we are not able at this time to set a price on these rights. Therefore it is our respectful suggestion, that you may be immediately a party to this enterprise, before others accept these lucrative terms, that you send us the number of a banking account where we can withdraw funds of a suitable amount to guarantee your participation in this enterprise. As an alternative you may send us the number and expiration date of your major credit card, or you may send to us a signed check from your banking account payable to "SCO group" and with the amount left blank for us to conveniently supply. Kindly treat this request as very important and strictly confidential. I honestly assure you that this transaction is 100% legal and risk-free. SCO CEO McBride
    • Darl McBride
      SCO GROUP INC
      355 South 520 West, Suite 100
      Lindon, UT 84042

      My Dear Friend,

      I hope this letter finds you in good health. This is the letter of the Unix past. It will bring you great fortune. All you have to do is pay the party mentioned above, a small sum ff $699. Then immediately send this letter to six other friends. If you do so, you will have great luck.

      Mr. Scott McNealy of Santa Clara, CA immediately paid the above mentioned money and sent the letter to his friends. Great luck came to him. The sun will always shine in his little kingdom

      William Gates of Redmond, WA paid the sum immediately. All his legal troubles melted away. He became extremely rich and powerful.

      Samuel Palmisano of Armonk, NY ignored this letter. Great ill luck be fell him. His rights were aixed. The great plague of Boise swooped down on him. He lost everything.

      So please don't ignore this letter. Immediately do as directed and have the Lady Luck of Unix smile upon you.
  • by grasshoppa (657393) <`gro.oc-onpt' `ta' `ydenneks'> on Saturday September 06, 2003 @08:43PM (#6890366) Homepage
    If SCO setup an entertainment program, I would be more than willing to chip in a few bucks.

    I mean, you just can't make this stuff up.

    Well, unless you are SCO, I mean.
  • ``Okay, okay! Why are we dancing around the obvious? I know it, you know it. SCO are wrong, okay? Wrong as a post! Think they're happy about it?''
  • by Mr. Darl McBride (704524) on Saturday September 06, 2003 @08:46PM (#6890380)
    "It seems that SCO finds it increasingly difficult to distinguish facts from fiction"

    Darl here, and I'm afraid this is one shortcoming we've got to own up to. The explanation for our warped perception is pretty straightforward, however -- You see, we here at SCO have started reading Slashdot.

  • SEC filing (Score:5, Informative)

    by LinuxInDallas (73952) on Saturday September 06, 2003 @08:48PM (#6890387)
    Yes, that SEC filing was pretty interesting. Here is a quote:

    "Due to a lack of historical experience and the uncertainties related to SCOsource licensing revenue, we are unable to estimate the amount and timing of future licensing revenue, if any. If we do receive revenue from this source, it may be sporadic and fluctuate from quarter to quarter. SCOsource licensing revenue is unlikely to produce stable, predictable revenue for the foreseeable future. "
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 06, 2003 @08:52PM (#6890404)
    Cash incentive for open source community from SCO? [slashdot.org] (Wednesday August 26, 1998 @07:45PM)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 06, 2003 @08:57PM (#6890427)
    Look, SCO news is a must read. Why should you care? Simple: even if you are burned out on SCO you need to know enough to be able to defend against it.

    K, so you just don't care about Linux. Do you care about Open Source in general? It's not just a Linux problem, it's an open source problem. Sure, Linux is the blame stick here, but Linux is just the tip of the iceberg. Linux is just a proxy for the whole Open Source way of doing things. Where do you think the next 'lines of code' will be found? Who owns the copyrights for main()? Old Bell labs? K&R? SCO?

    Yeah, you think that's silly question.

    What this whole SCO thing is about is modern day robber barons. CEO-theives who think they can create a high level of fear and uncertainty from suits; enough that they will listen, enough that they will wonder, enough that they will pay.

    Unfortunately, this is not the scary thing; the scary thing, sad though it sounds, is that they are doing this with legal means. We can bitch and moan about how wrong they are, but you don't see them in 'cuffs do you? This is the exact same sort of tactic (RIAA, Microsoft, and a cast of thousands) that is used to circumvent freedoms of ideas, ideals, and individuality.

    Care or not care, but understand what you are doing, understand the implications, and understand that you or someone/something you care about may be next.
    • What this whole SCO thing is about is modern day robber barons. CEO-theives who think they can create a high level of fear and uncertainty from suits; enough that they will listen, enough that they will wonder, enough that they will pay.
      Exactly. It's not just Linux, IBM, Open Source, or IT. It's everything from ball-bearings to matchsticks. It's about what the 21st century should be as opposed to what the 19th century was.

    • The thing that makes the RIAA and Microsoft troubling and SCO not troubling is that there is no legal basis for SCO's claims and SCO has insufficient funds to create one. SCO doesn't have the revenue to survive long enough to bring a case to trial, and they don't have any foreseeable future income, having stopped selling products and lacking a process for receiving licensing fees. There's really nothing to SCO except PR (legal means? They're almost certain to lose all of their suits against others and the s
  • by Llywelyn (531070) on Saturday September 06, 2003 @09:02PM (#6890451) Homepage

    Can be found here:

    Lamlaw.com [lamlaw.com]

    The guy keeps an ongoing watch for the news articles and makes legal commentary wrt what's happening. He tends to be very insightful and makes good points.

  • is it useful? See, the lawsuit is about a contract breach, i.e. whether it's legal for IBM (and possibly SGI?) to put UNIX Sys V code in Linux, not the name. It would be more useful to discuss the facts such as: the code was written by Sequent - now part of IBM; UNIX Sys V source came with a retarded license; etc. Exactly who owns the name "UNIX" is completely irrelevant.
    • by Meowing (241289) on Saturday September 06, 2003 @09:17PM (#6890514) Homepage
      GROKLAW articles probably won't make too much sense unless you follow the site over time. Its whole purpose is to dissect the details, to sift the reality from the PR. In this case, it all goes back to the complaint SCO filed against IBM. Much of SCO's argument hinges on the assumption that the reader will buy the idea that "UNIX" as a generic term is the same thing as "UNIX" the SCO-owned code base, hence the analysis that attempts to squash that notion from any conceivable angle.
  • by tjstork (137384) <todd.bandrowskyNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday September 06, 2003 @09:05PM (#6890464) Homepage Journal

    While we are all in a foment over SCO lying about its extent of owning everything, should we even really be surprised?

    Can you name one corporation that actually seems like it ALWAYS tells the truth? By truth I mean, through its communications never seeks to misrepresent the reality of a situation.

    There are not any out there.

  • by Pharmboy (216950) on Saturday September 06, 2003 @09:07PM (#6890472) Journal
    Seems to be the usual overload of people bitching about too many SCO stories. Here is a simple answer:

    Don't read them. Some of us want a daily SCO update. It's ok that you don't want daily stories, but you can read the other stories instead of filling up the place with complains.

    It's just unnecessary.
    • by Lieutenant_Dan (583843) on Saturday September 06, 2003 @09:09PM (#6890488) Homepage Journal
      When you see roadkill on the road, don't you feel tempted to poke it with a pointy stick? Well, it's the same with the SCO stories. It disgusts us, but we cannot help ourselves from jabbering about it.

    • by Mr. Darl McBride (704524) on Saturday September 06, 2003 @09:27PM (#6890559)
      Kudos to the parent post. In all seriousness, this is a very personal issue for many of us. And even for the folks who don't believe the outcome has the potential to steer free software in a new direction, it's still every bit as engaging as sports are for your average guy: every tiny change and detail is fascinating. Many of us are learning about how the legal system really works for the first time by digging into these updates, many others are coming to understand the protections really offered by the GPL, and for once the geeks have something really substantive to chat about around the water cooler.

      I think the Slash editors have done a great job of spacing these stories so that they aren't even beginning to overwhelm the site, and I hope they keep it up through to the case's conclusion. And if the ongoing high comment count for each SCO story are any indication, I'm not the only one who thinks this way.

      Please, Slashdot, keep up the good work. Through everybody's efforts, we can win this, and UnixWare will once more come out on top.

      -- Darl

      • by Pharmboy (216950) on Saturday September 06, 2003 @09:39PM (#6890600) Journal
        I had commented previously that it is like a cheap soap opera, but a good, cheap soap opera for nerds. It is a compelling story, with good guys and bad guys, and all kinds of plot twists, unusual characters, and viewpoints.

        Its not really a simple "SCO v IBM" situation, but a tangled legal mess that includes Open Group, SGI, Sun, OSX, BSD, MS, OSS, the GPL, RMS, and lots of other acronyms. You can't write fiction this good.

        I would agree with your evaluation of /. editors on the pacing as well. Its probably a good compromise to keep all parties in balance. Can't wait 'til tomorrow's episode ;)
    • than just SCO... the GPL itself is likely to get tested if this ever goes to court too. I think that is something that we all WANT to happen to build some case law in support of the GPL.

      So, although we all think that SCO is a joke and not worth paying attention to, the issues that are raised in the process are VITAL to the survival of open source software.

      MadCow.
  • Acronym (Score:2, Funny)

    by soliaus (626912)
    This IP battle is only one part of SCO's business and is an add-on component.

    Kind of like how SCO execs claim they have taken advantage of the penis upgrade, but wont let anyone see the source unless they sign an NDA.

  • "The core of SCO's business is profitable,' not bothered by the fact that they had claimed the opposite in their SEC filing: 'If we do not receive SCOsource licensing revenue in future quarters and our revenue from the sale of our operating system platform products and services continues to decline, we will need to further reduce operating expenses in order to maintain profitability or generate positive cash flow.'"

    This is not an incorrect statement by SCO. They are saying IF they do not receive SCOsource
    • Well, if you actually read the 10-Q, you would see that minus the Sun+MS licensing infusion, they lost money. Those two also are the only "IP" licensing revenue they received.
    • by inc_x (589218) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @11:23AM (#6892978)
      Nice spin, but in the 10-Q [sec.gov] filing you can read that without the 8.25 million SCOsource revenue (kindly donated by SUN and Microsoft) SCO would not have been profittable that quarter but would have made a 3.68 million loss. This has been the first quarter they have been profittable and the only reason for that profitability is the SUN/Microsoft sponsoring. You can also read that Microsoft has promised them another 5 million to be spread over the next three quarters.
  • It doesn't matter (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Shamashmuddamiq (588220) on Saturday September 06, 2003 @09:40PM (#6890610)
    ...if SCO's claims are truthful. If they get a jury trial, Linux is doomed. All they have to do is show two similar blocks of code (doesn't matter where they come from), say one side is Linux and the other side is SCO's, and the jury's 2nd-grade ethics will take over (STEALING IS BAD!). We all saw how it went the last time they pulled that stunt, and most of those people should have known better!

    Sorry if I seem cynical, but democracy only works if more than half the population makes intelligent decisions.

    • jury trial? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by twitter (104583)
      ..if SCO's claims are truthful. If they get a jury trial, Linux is doomed.

      "If the case is shit, you must aquit." Dayrl may not go to jail if he manages to get a "jury trial", but Linux and free software are not doomed.

    • Re:It doesn't matter (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Empiric (675968) *
      I'm also concerned about the possibility of a misinformed or apathetic jury.

      Which leads me to think, could the Open Source community go on the offensive on this issue? Is there anyone out there familiar enough with the relevant compilers to determine if there is Linux code inappropriately incorporated into software and products claimed to be of SCO origin/acquisition? I know this possibility has been conjectured, but proof would be outstanding. I know decompiling isn't as straightforward as disassembly
    • by wkjel (654114)

      Oh, I don't think it will be that simple. The members of any jury will more than likely be forced to learn far more about backup schedules, verifcation of tapes, source-code control systems and the like than they would ever want to know about. Do really think IBM's lawyers will let SCO get away with the simple "here's two block of similar code - they must have stolen it" trick without raising a single question in cross-examination? SCO will have to provide excruciatingly detailed histories for every line o

    • by fava (513118) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:42AM (#6891342)
      SCO's case against IBM has nothing to do with copyright. SCO is intentionaly trying to confuse 2 different issues
      1) a contract dispute with IBM
      2) alledged copying of UNIX code into Linux
      When SCO refers a million lines of code they are talking about code that is copyright by IBM and other unix licencees that SCO beleives should not have been added to Linux. SCO does NOT own the copyright to that code, and has admitted it publically. Even in IBM is found guilty of innappropriatly copying the code into Linux, SCO still will not own the copyright to that code.

      By repeating there allegation regarding a million lines of code they are trying to strengthen thier argument for users to pay for licences. Nobody outside of SCO knows how much code they are claiming is copied from unix into linux.

      So it is unlikley that the copied code issue will even be put before the jury.
  • Would the Monty Python guys sue me if I sarted referring to McBride and friends as The Black Knights?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 06, 2003 @10:05PM (#6890705)
    Link to an article I found which pretty much tells it like it is:
    http://madpenguin.org/modules.php?op=modload&name= News&file=article&sid=410 [madpenguin.org]

    These guys really need to get a grip. The whole world is laughing at them, and it's time they come clean with the code they claim they have. Torvalds stated that he would personally REMOVE/REPLACE the offending code IF it was found.... so what's the issue? $$$$$
  • by dark-br (473115) on Saturday September 06, 2003 @10:10PM (#6890719) Homepage
    This headlines are getting boring. I have some sugestions:

    SCO to Sue God

    Darl McBride Caught in Bizarre Love Triangle With Bill Gates, Penguin

    Darl McBride to Rename Self Darth McBride, Builds Death Star

    SCO Accidentally Sues Self For 10 Billion

    Local Man Wonders What Is This SCO Shit

    SCO Enters Partnership With Gorzo the Mighty (subtitle: New Corporate Motto: "Seize Him!")

    Infinite Number of Monkeys Write UNIX, Sued by SCO

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 06, 2003 @10:14PM (#6890733)
    The CEO of Novell, the company that "sold" Unix to SCO, was recently quoted as saying, "they're confused about what they actually own."
  • If SCO truly has claims, then they should send out the rabid pitbull of the software industry, the BSA [bsa.org]. I'm sure they'd love to sink their teeth into some of these infringers.

    I'm personally betting diamonds to dollars that the BSA will never touch anything SCO related, now or in the future.
  • by SteveOU (541402) <sbishop20.cox@net> on Saturday September 06, 2003 @10:18PM (#6890750)
    So either SCO was untruthful in its 10K filings, violating SEC regulations and its obligations to its stockholders and the financial community in large. Or....SCO is publically overstating its profitablity and assets (consequently boosting their stock price) while its executives dump all their holdings.

    Either way, what they've done is illegal. The question for us - the open-source community - is finding someone with legal standing to make an issue out of it. Find two parties, one who would have been injured by the allegedly incorrect 10K filings, and other who would be injured by price pumping (recent buyers of SCOX). If each party sues for $XX million, someone would win and SCO should loose a big chunk of their relatively small cash assets, either by damage awards, SEC fines, or legal fees. Either way, it puts them out of our collective misery.

    Of course, IANAL. But it sounds good, doesn't it?
  • by Artifex (18308) on Saturday September 06, 2003 @10:25PM (#6890781) Journal
    It's obvious that they're deliberately misleading people in their press releases/conferences and even in their legal filings. They're damaging the trademark, and Open Group needs to respond a lot more strongly. Threatening to remove SCO's ability to use "UNIX" would be a nice first step.
  • by Mr. Darl McBride (704524) on Saturday September 06, 2003 @10:51PM (#6890921)
    I'm still a bit baffled by why these IP lawsuits are still going on. I mean, surely IBM is using DNS for all important operations. Can't they just give SCO its IP back and purchase a new C block on ebay like everybody else? Seems safer than letting a $3 billion claim go to court, and a whole lot cheaper too.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 06, 2003 @11:17PM (#6891024)
    In this article "SCO's next target: SGI?"
    (http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1104_2-5072061.h tml), we find this gem:

    In his August presentation, [SCO senior vice president Chris ] Sontag
    said XFS in Linux includes 173 files and 119,130 lines of code that
    infringe the company's intellectual property.

    Oh reaaaaly?

    Hm, how many lines are in Linux XFS?

    [nobody@penguin xfs-kern-2.6.0]$ find . -name \*.[c,h] | xargs wc --lines
    133482 total

    Yay! SGI still owns 14,352 lines I guess.

    Wait, but they said lines of code... strip comments & blank lines:

    [nobody@penguin xfs-kern-2.6.0]$ find . -name \*.[c,h] | xargs stripcmt | grep -v ^$ | wc --lines
    92618

    So, they claim to own 26,512 more lines of code in Linux XFS than -actually exist- in the codebase.
  • by rufey (683902) on Saturday September 06, 2003 @11:23PM (#6891053)
    If SCO is indeed considering sending Linux invoices to end users, be it commercial entites or the home user, how in the heck is SCO even going to obtain a list of Linux users?

    I don't think that Red Hat, SuSE, or any of the other Linux vendors are going to give SCO a list of people who have purchased Linux so that SCO can turn around and send out invoices.

    Sure, SCO can assume that some Fortune 500 companies are using Linux in some way and send out invoices to those, but, I don't see how SCO will have any solid proof that any of them is using, say, Red Hat Linux unless someone tells SCO first that such and such company is using Red Hat.

    So company X gets an invoice from SCO and ignores it. What is SCO going to do? Send someone out from SCO, unannounced, that just shows up and expects to be able to do a thourough audit of the companie's computer networks to find any trace of Linux? Even though SCO may have said that they'd do audits like this, do you really think that SCO is going to have the manpower and money to audit literally thousands of companies?

    If you think SCO can do that, I'll show up at your company Monday morning and demand an on-site audit so that I can do a complete network audit and look for any Linux machines that might be running any code that I have personally written. I expect full cooperation. I'll send my bill to you the day before I get there.

    The bottom line is that while SCO may send out invoices to customers for using Linux, SCO doesn't have much of an idea which of those customers are using Linux, unless Linux vendors have shared their customer list with SCO in the first place. That, or SCO is doing some sort of Internet scanning looking for Linux systems. And don't think for a minute that most companies will put up with SCO coming to do a audit of all their computers.

    Its time that SCO puts up or shuts up. I'm getting tired of reading the SCO posts on /. and in the media, even for their entertainment value.

  • by Tristan Tzara (704894) on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:20AM (#6891273)
    So, SCO claims 2 million lines of code to be infringing, which, without conversion to elephant intestines, looks like a mighty large figure. Instead of calculating the total code in supposedly infringing sections (as some have done), why not just take 2.2 and 2.4+ side by side and enumerate the differences? This might give us a better idea of just how much crack SCO is smoking.

    Excuse me if I'm missing something...
  • by bernywork (57298) <bstapletonNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday September 07, 2003 @12:51AM (#6891366) Journal
    Yes, yes, this is the conspiracy theorist in me sure, but read this and make up your own mind.

    " We initiated the SCOsource effort to review the status of these licensing and sublicensing agreements and to identify others in the industry that may be currently using our intellectual property without obtaining the necessary licenses. This effort resulted in the execution of two license agreements during the April 30, 2003 quarter. The first of these licenses was with a long-time licensee of the UNIX source code which is a major participant in the UNIX industry and was a "clean-up" license to cover items that were outside the scope of the initial license. The second license was to Microsoft Corporation ("Microsoft") and covers Microsoft's UNIX compatibility products, subject to certain specified limitations. These license agreements are typical of those we expect to enter into with developers, manufacturers, and distributors of operating systems in that they are non-exclusive, perpetual, royalty-free, paid up licenses to utilize the UNIX source code, including the right to sublicense that code.

    The amount that we receive from any such licensee will generally depend on the license rights that the licensee previously held and the amount and level of our intellectual property the licensee desires to license. The two licensing agreements signed by us to date resulted in revenue of $8,250,000 during the quarter ended April 30, 2003, and provide for an aggregate of an additional $5,000,000 to be paid to us over the next three quarters. These contracts do not provide for any payments beyond 2003, except that Microsoft was granted the option to acquire expanded licensing rights, at its election, that would result in additional payments to us if exercised. In connection with the execution of the first license agreement, we granted a warrant to the licensee to purchase up to 210,000 shares of our common stock, for a period of five years, at a price of $1.83 per share. This warrant has been valued, using the Black-Scholes valuation method, at $500,000. Because the warrant was issued for no consideration, $500,000 of the license proceeds have been recorded as warrant outstanding and the license revenue associated with this arrangement has been reduced for the fair value of the warrant. "

  • Not surprisingly so. It would be interesting to see a company based solemnly on profits from lawsuits -that company- against -rest of the world-. Let me suggest a business plan without the tricky '???' part.

    1. Start a company, without any real production but with bunch of lawyers.
    2. Patent whatever you can, most common daily use items recommended.
    3. Sue EVERYONE!!!
    4. PROFIT!!!

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