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McBride Speaks, In Person And In Print 782

Posted by timothy
from the other-than-the-suit-how-was-the-parade dept.
Phil Windley writes "Darl McBride gave the keynote at CDXPO this evening and held a press conference afterwards. I've posted my summary of his talk and the press conference on my weblog. In his talk, Darl seemed to be saying "Don't hate me. I'm only doing what I had to do."" On the other hand, in this interesting interview with CRN, McBride comes one whisker from likening Linux users to drug users, renews threats to sue end users, and says "all the big guys" are out to get SCO.
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McBride Speaks, In Person And In Print

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  • dmca? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @10:58PM (#7507928)
    "The GPL is in violent collision with the DMCA. That's why Linux guys are opposed to the DMCA."

    What's he mean by that?
    • Re:dmca? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Geek of Tech (678002) on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @11:41PM (#7508207) Homepage Journal
      No, I'm opposed to the DMCA, because of the way it has been used as a threat against people with views on technology opposing to a company's view.

    • Re:dmca? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by aug24 (38229)
      We discussed this at GrokLaw [groklaw.net] a month ago.

      It's my opinion that Darl et al will argue that: because the GPL requires a licensee of GPL code to give up the rights they have under copyright law to their additions/derivatives (instead of giving up money) then it is not an allowable license.

      It's total bollocks when you think about it - after all, any copyright owner gives up rights they have under copyright law when they accept money from a publisher! However, that's my tuppence (like 2 cents, but English).

  • by cscx (541332) on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @11:00PM (#7507947) Homepage
    You guessed it... Frank Stallone
  • Tinfoil time (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @11:00PM (#7507950)
    and says "all the big guys" are out to get SCO.

    Right. But apart from paranoia, SCO also seem to suffer from Multiple Personalities Disorder (once they were a Linux vendor, now they hate the GPL), therefore they'll be fine because they outnumbers their ennemies 2 to 1.
  • Always Wondered (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Preach the Good Word (723957) on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @11:01PM (#7507951)
    I've always wondered about people like Darl McBride. Obviously, they are paid a great deal of money to put a certain spin on things, and they try very hard to do it. What I've never understood about the psychology of it is this: do they actually believe themselves? Do they start out knowing they are lying, then convince themselves about it along the way? Or does the notion of truth not even cross their minds, as they are busy trying to define the reality they want?
    • Re:Always Wondered (Score:5, Interesting)

      by tinrobot (314936) on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @11:21PM (#7508108)
      Darl seems to be of the same mindset as lawyers who defend mass murderers. He simply represents the tiny subset of the truth that best serves his client. I would imagine by repeating that small subset of the truth day in and day out, Darl sees it as the entire truth, regardless of how truly true that truth is.

      You also pointed out that he makes a great deal of money. I'm sure that helps a lot.
      • Re:Always Wondered (Score:5, Informative)

        by mcrbids (148650) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @01:00AM (#7508542) Journal
        Darl seems to be of the same mindset as lawyers who defend mass murderers.

        Not the same at *all*. A lawyer who defends a mass murderer is almost always appointed by the court. This lawyer is there to ensure that the legal rights of the defendant are secured. It's a basic and fundamental part of how our legal system works.

        With this in mind, it's easy to be vigorous in defending the legal rights of somebody you detest. It's not self-interest, it's moral duty.

        On the other hand, McBride is in a different ballpark altogether. Here's somebody who's clearly seeking personal gain at other's expense.

        We're talking about something worse than a scum-sucking lawyer... the PR man!

    • Clueless! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mabhatter654 (561290) on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @11:47PM (#7508241)
      Working at a smaller business now, I'm beginning to realize that Executives can play the game, but tend to be both insulated from reality and clueless. They tend to live in a world where "Their Word" is right or wrong...and things like ethics, laws, honor just get in the way. It's a growing problem I see as I've learned to look for it. Especially the higher ups tend to do what they want, then buy their way out. If they made contract they didn't like...pay a lawyer to get out of it. EPA hounding you...pay the fine and carry on as normal.

      It's the cost of "playing the game" of business...sitting around board tables, jet setting to last-minute meetings--it's a drug of "power".

      Guys like him start out "at the bottom" in the old boys network. They typically go from newbie to boss in a short time...he's probably never actually researched ANYTHING to do with copyright or patent on his OWN...delegating doesn't count. Guys like him deal in what they WANT...not what's REAL. I find executives as a class get a surprising amount of info from word-of-mouth, Forbes [& such], and CNN...far more often than say..googling for a copy of the LAW, or court cases/common practice to support their claims.

      I find they're like the kids in school that don't know the game really well, but can argue the rules 'till everyone is bored and gives up.

    • Re:Always Wondered (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Lodragandraoidh (639696) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:16AM (#7508386) Journal
      I think he actually enjoys what he is doing; its all a very big [high stakes] game to him. This is indicated by his allusion to 'David and Goliath' and the 'grasshopper'/'master' remarks at the end of the CRN interview. Alot of money is being made by shareowners because of this play.

      Several items point to the hypocrisy behind the whole issue:

      1. His allusion that the 'big boys' opposing SCO were purely motivated by Capitalism - while his poor little company was merely pursuing their righteous imperative.

      2. Then, he states that he has no responsiblity to 'sing kumbaya around the campfire' with the linux users - not customers he is quick to state ["There are only two industries who use the term 'users,' computers and drugs"] - only a responsibility to increase shareowner value (sounds like capitalism to me, particularly as he went on to brag about the SCO stock going from $1 to $14).

      • Re:Always Wondered (Score:4, Insightful)

        by arkanes (521690) <arkanesNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @05:54AM (#7509499) Homepage
        He's playing to his audience. The people who's opinion he cares about are the hardcore buisness Wall Street types ("greed is good"), who'll snap up a companies who do things like pay fines instead of complying with law cause it's cheaper. At the same time, alot of em have very John Wayne sorta mentality and they like the idea of a company coming from behing and beating the super blue-chips like IBM. He says a bunch of stuff in that artical which just barely falls short of being outright false - the way he misrepresents Perens statements about the code shown at the SCO roadshow, for example. If I hadn't been following this story, and especially if I weren't familiar with Linux, I'd be pretty heavily swayed by this kind of interview. He doesn't talk about specifics. He plays the underdog card VERY heavily. He sounds very reasonable and very straightforward. It's too bad so much of what he says is unsupportable.
  • by grasshoppa (657393) * <skennedy@nOSpam.tpno-co.org> on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @11:01PM (#7507957) Homepage
    CRN: How can you win suing customers and what happens if you go after HP customer?

    McBride: The interesting scenario is, do you go after an HP customer or an IBM customer? That's what David is the master of. That's his final decision


    So, if I am understanding this, the lawer is in charge.

    Anybody else shocked?
    • by tkrotchko (124118) * on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:03AM (#7508311) Homepage
      "Anybody else shocked?"

      No, because he's lying.

      One of the reasons to hire a lawyer is to give yourself plausible deniability. If I want to cause you pain, you hire a lawyer, sue you, and then claim "Its not me, its the lawyer". The lawyer doesn't care; its his job, and you get to pretend like you're an innocent bystander.

      Really, think it through. Darl has the strategy, the lawyer is providing tactics, but ultimately, Darl is approving of those tactics, regardless of what he says in public.

      I'm more shocked that people are surprised that Darl is lying. Darl is lying every time he makes a public utterance. Darl doesn't care about Unix, Linux, bits, bytes, he's only trying to raise money, and if you look at it through that immoral mindset, then you say anything as long as it maximizes profits.
    • by TrombaMarina (712932) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:16AM (#7508383)

      If you're baffled, it's probably because you see SCO as a company who profits from selling things as apposed to suing people. Their latest shareholder statement seems to really emphasise their Intellectual Property as one of their three main sources of income, but they don't have much exciting to say about the other two. In that light, suing their "customers" is just fine. And so is letting their lawyer set their "business" strategy.

      Keep in mind that if McBride does not do what is arguably best for the bottom line of the company, his shareholders can sue him. If you have a bunch of SCO stock and about a billion dollars lying around you can probably sue him for taking a short-sighted approach to keeping his company profitable. Not too many people are in that position though.

      The thing that kills me is that SCO's stock is still around $14 (up from $1 in March but falling the past week) - which means that most investors believe that SCO will be worth more in the future. Are they banking on a buyout or a win in court? Yes, I'm shocked, but over the public's reaction. Not McBride's statements.

      • by Frodrick (666941) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @08:06AM (#7509797)
        Keep in mind that if McBride does not do what is arguably best for the bottom line of the company, his shareholders can sue him.

        Yes, but there is "bottom line" and there is "BOTTOM LINE". McBride has sacrificed long term corporate viability for the possibility of a lottery-type payoff (at pretty much the same odds).

        I don't think he was counting on IBM and the open-souce folks being utterly unwilling to settle, and able to account for every line of code as well as being able to show its history - in some cases right back to the founders of Unix and before. In other words - he doesn't understand open-source in the slightest.

        And since SCO has so thoroughly blotted it's copybook with the Linux/Unix community, when SCO loses this fight THEY. ARE. HISTORY. Their revenue stream will vanish like a soap bubble and their stock go into negative values.

        That is the bottom line - and it, too, is actionable by shareholders.

        I suspect that Boies and Co. think so too. Did you notice - they aren't working on contingency. They want money up front, now. If they truly believed in their cause I would think that they would prefer to wait for the big payoff.

  • Medication? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Empiric (675968) * on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @11:02PM (#7507961) Homepage
    Hmm... self-contradiction, baseless claims, conspiracy theories, projection, delusions of grandeur... aren't these primary symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia?
    • Re:Medication? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ScrewMaster (602015) on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @11:21PM (#7508106)
      I don't know ... I'm not a psychologist but it seems to me that McBride is more of a sociopath than anything else. He probably knows the difference between right and wrong, but simply doesn't care. I mean, if he were a true psychopath he would probably have murdered a few people by now and have ended up with a life sentence. On the other hand, there are many shades of sociopathy: the neighbor that borrows all your power tools and never returns them, or the realtor that knowingly sells you a house infested with termites. These people know that what they are doing is wrong, but they do it anyway because it gets them what they want. McBride has to know that what he is doing is wrong and is hurting a lot of individuals and companies, but he's doing it anyway because it gets him what he wants. And if he has convinced himself that his actions are correct and aboveboard, then he is mentally ill and should be checked into a good sanitarium. Better yet, make it a third-rate facility ... maybe they'll give him ECT for practice.
    • by enthused i swear (641133) on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @11:38PM (#7508184)
      No, you're thinking of a Slashdot discussion...
  • by ericandrade (686380) on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @11:02PM (#7507962)
    1. Attack everybody you know
    2. Claim you're doing what you got to do (voices?)
    3. P .. .
    3. . .. p p p .rrr. . .

    3. .. ..... PRISON!!!!!
    • Has it occurred to you that, under US law, a CEO must act in the best interests of his shareholders? Bear in mind that the company would have folded within a year without the lawsuit. With knowledge of possible IP infringement by IBM and others, it would have been illegal for these gentlemen not to follow up on it as agressively as possible.
      • Under US law, the CEO must ALSO obey the law. The law has a few things to say about fraud and misrepresentation, not to mention frivolous lawsuits.
      • by Jerf (17166) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @01:02AM (#7508549) Journal
        With knowledge of possible IP infringement by IBM and others, it would have been illegal for these gentlemen not to follow up on it as agressively as possible.

        You meant to say "as aggressively as is still legal." Being a CEO does not give you the right to engage in extortion or to make untrue statements.
      • by swillden (191260) * <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @01:03AM (#7508555) Homepage Journal

        With knowledge of possible IP infringement by IBM and others, it would have been illegal for these gentlemen not to follow up on it as agressively as possible.

        Unfortunately for Darl, libel, tortious interference with trade and willfully misleading potential investors are *also* illegal, among other recent SCO actions. A CEO has a legal responsibility to lead his company aggressively, but that doesn't give him license to break the law.

        As far as copyright infringement goes, SCO has now been spouting about this for a year and thus far SCO has revealed *one* legitimate infringement -- and it was an ancient and trivial bit of code that was removed from Linux without even replacing it, because better code already existed in the kernel.

        With respect to the other IP issues, patents and trade secrets, well, the former is really funny because SCO doesn't appear to possess any applicable patents and the latter has also not been revealed, even though SCO has a legal obligation to do so. IBM has now filed *two* separate Motions to Compel, trying to get SCO to say just exactly what IBM did wrong. Early next month, those motions will almost certainly generate a court order. We'll see if SCO can finally invent something plausible when their other option is to be held in contempt of court or to admit that their case is groundless.

        In case any true SCO apologists want to point to the million pages of code and the list of Linux files as evidence that SCO *is* complying with discovery, consider:

        • Although SCO's own filings mentioned that IBM would need access to an electronic copy of the SCO code in order for IBM to do the analysis required, SCO *printed* all of the code on paper and had it delivered on a *truck*. In other words, they went way out of their way to make it unusable to IBM even though they had already admitted their obligation to provide it in an electronic format.
        • The list of Linux files lacked specificity in multiple ways. It didn't specify which version of the kernel it was from. It didn't specify what parts of the files were problematic or why. It didn't even specify the file names correctly -- they were all mangled and some of them were misspelled! And, finally, the list of "files containing trade secrets" included gems such as:

        include/asm-m68k/spinlock.h

        #ifndef __M68K_SPINLOCK_H
        #define __M68K_SPINLOCK_H

        #error "m68k doesn't do SMP yet"

        #endif

        What, does SCO own C pre-processor macros?

        There was another funny one (which I can't find right now), which happened to mention IBM in a comment regarding a hack used to work around some misfeature of ancient IBM hardware. The file was a driver for said hardware, and wasn't written by IBM.

        Pah! It's clear that SCO just grepped the Linux source base (which the community has deduced was version 2.5.59, BTW) for SMP, NUMA, IBM and JFS, excluding matches related to architectures pushed by companies who have been cooperative with SCO (Sun and HP).

        You really think a CEO has a fiduciary responsibility to engage in crap like that?

        • by JonnyCalcutta (524825) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @07:54AM (#7509766)
          A CEO has a legal responsibility to lead his company aggressively

          This just isn't true and seems to have grown into another one of those self-replicating Slashdot myths. A CEO only has a responsibility to act in the best interests of the company. Whether that is aggresive or passively and frugaly is not a matter of law. Shareholders are welcome to vote out execs who's methods they don't agree with but they only have recourse to the law if the exec(s) act _against_ the interests of the company, whether to line their own pockets or those of another company. In other words they would generally have to act fraudulently to be legally culpible. Losing or making money, and the speed or agressiveness with which they do it is a matter purely between shareholders and execs.

      • by nathanh (1214) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @07:07AM (#7509664) Homepage
        Has it occurred to you that, under US law, a CEO must act in the best interests of his shareholders? Bear in mind that the company would have folded within a year without the lawsuit. With knowledge of possible IP infringement by IBM and others, it would have been illegal for these gentlemen not to follow up on it as agressively as possible.

        Sure, but he doesn't have to destroy Linux in the process. If SCO has been wronged then SCO will be compensated. But Darl is doing his level best to ruin everything good about Linux in his attempt to make money.

        Oh yeah, he says he doesn't want to "destroy" Linux. He's lying. In the CRN interview he states without ambiguity that he wants SCO to be paid for every installation of Linux. He publicly defames the GPL. He attacks the development process. He attacks the developers! He makes critical but not constructive statements about Free Software.

        But the worst act of all. The most despicable and heinous act. Darl refuses to help the Linux developers remove the alleged copied code. Darl seems content to allow the alleged infringements to continue in perpetuity so as to line his own pockets. Linux will be destroyed by that act alone. Darl doesn't give a fuck about that. It's his money, right? Linux is his bitch and he can charge whatever he damn well likes. Bad luck to all the millions of developers who poured their heart and soul into creating a community owned project. It's his! He gets to charge $699 for it. Nobody else. Just him!

        These are immoral acts. He has every right to defend SCO's property. He has every right to get compensation for use of SCO's property. He has every right to sue IBM so a court can decide the truth of that matter. But he's a fucking prick in the way he's going about it.

        I hope he goes to prison.

  • by instantkarma1 (234104) on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @11:02PM (#7507969)
    and I quote:

    McBride: Our goal is not to blow up Linux. People ask why we don't go after the distributors...'If you have such a strong case, why not shut down Red Hat?' Our belief is that SCO has great opportunity in the future to let Linux keep going, not to put it on its back but for us to get a transaction fee every time it's sold. That's really our goal.

    • by TWX (665546) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:24AM (#7508414)
      I've never purchased a mainstream commercial distribution. Other than dabbling with demonstrative releases of RedHat and SuSE for about a total of six months, I've used Slackware or Debian since I started using Linux back in 1996. I think that once I ordered a Cheapbytes CD of Slackware for 8.0 or something like that, but it was less than the cost of a large coke at a fast food restaurant.

      So, Darl, faced with a product that is very often free to hobbyists or companies willing to support themselves internally is going to gain revenue from this how? If I never touch anything to do with Caldera Systems, the only way that they're going to even know that I have my copies of Linux would be to stage a BSA-style raid on my home or business, count the machines, audit the software, and the like.

      This does scare me. Not in the sense that I think that Darl and his other brother Darl will win, but that if they were to somehow squeak by with a court victory, establish precedent, and continue winning court victories that somehow gave them rights to that which they shouldn't otherwise, what's to stop them from being even more asinine?

      I have no love for the company whose operating system has the most market share, but at various times, when working for computer companies that sold product, if something were amiss, an actually friendly representative would come in and identify himself as a rep, tell us how the product distribution for the product (usually the OS) worked (like, minimum pricing put into the wholesale distribution), cite our ad if the price were lower than the initial wholesale price, and if something were amiss, he'd inspect the product. A couple of times we had forged copies, which was noticeable on the booklets on further inspection, and he traded us all of the faulty software for good copies, all that he wanted to know was where we got them. No fuss, no muss, no lawyers talking, even for software that would be fairly easy to prove as illegitimate if it came down to it.

      Compare this to Caldera in their approach. They're huffing and puffing about $600+ licencing fees for the OS. Everone who bends and pays encourages them to seek out everyone else that has "product", regardless of origin. They'll be querying webservers, looking at NAT and Masquerade data that they find, and making a big pain out of themselves. They'll call the FBI to attempt to root out the "piracy" of what they "own" in BSA-style raids. They'll make a mockery of the criminal justice system the same as they have the civil system.

      Yes, I'm being extremely paranoid, but a little paranoia now is better than a terrible situation later, especially if ways to combat this can be found.
      • by gmack (197796) <gmack@innerfir e . net> on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:53AM (#7508520) Homepage Journal
        You may want to start reading Groklaw [groklaw.net] if your really worried about this.. I'm getting less worried the more I read.. IBM is being VERY carefull and methodical about all of this while SCO is too busy undermining their own case by making a lot of public noise.

        IBM has always been very dangeorous to mess with and while SCO may gain some stock value in the short term anyone who bets on them surviving in the long term is going to lose.
  • "Users" (Score:3, Informative)

    by SpaceRook (630389) on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @11:04PM (#7507977)
    In case anyone thinks Darl McBride is more clever than he actually is, the "drug users and computer users" joke is pretty old.
  • by MavEtJu (241979) <slashdotNO@SPAMmavetju.org> on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @11:04PM (#7507981) Homepage
    David comes on, he's now a shareholder, he's rowing with us, and let's face it, he's added significant value to our company since February. Our stock was around a buck, now it's $14.

    And what are the end-products your company makes?
  • by Spytap (143526) on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @11:05PM (#7507993)
    From the blog, copied and pasted.

    "Carl McBride: Linux Won't Remain Free

    The evening keynote at CDXPO is by Darl McBride. On the way in they handed out a pamphlet from WIPO entitled "Intellectual Property: A Power Tool for Economic Growth." I'm not sure who decided to hand it out, but I think its a little silly.

    Darl starts out with a history of SCO. He says "SCO = UNIX." (Note: in the interest of my fingers, I'm going to stop typing "he says" and just type the essence of his speech. If I add commentary of my own, I'll note that.) A year ago, the answer to the question "who owns UNIX?" would have gotten a variety of responses. While there are many branches of UNIX, they all tie into the same tree trunk. AIX, HPUX, and others are licensed products of SCO. There are more than 6000 licensees with access to UNIX source code. Now he world knows that SCO owns those licenses.

    When Darl joined SCO, its market cap had gone from a billion dollars to 6 million and had about 6 months of operating funds in the bank. When he looked at the assets, he saw $60 million in revenue, a channel of resellers, and intellectual property. He didn't think the company was getting the most from its IP assets and saw IP infringements from "the upstart Linux."

    He was told when he examined this space that going after Linux infringements would bring down the wrath of the Linux community on the company. He didn't see the Linux community as one of his assets. His constituents are his shareholders and customers.

    SCO set up a licensing program to put UNIX libraries on Linux. IBM threatened that they would not support SCO on their products if they didn't retract their licensing program. 20% of SCO's operating systems ship on IBM hardware. IBM thought the program would imply licensing issues with Linux. IBM was talking about taking major parts of AIX and moving it into Linux. Since IBM makes a large portion of its revenue from its IP, SCO thought this was unfair.

    SCO got to the point where they had one option left: litigation. That set in place a chain of events that led to the last six months. What is not in dispute:
    SCO owns all UNIX System V source code
    SCO owns agreements to all UNIX vendors
    SCO owns all UNIX System V copyrights
    SCO owns all claims for violation of UNIX licenses.
    SCO controls UNIX System V derivative works.

    SCO doesn't own the derivative, but they have rights to confidentiality that are the same as for the original work.

    The Linux infringements include literal copying, obfuscated copying, derivative works, and non-literal transfers.

    Darl takes on what he calls urban myths surrounding SCO.
    I am not a Penguin Slayer or a Suit-Happy Cowboy.
    SCO does not want to destroy open source or Linux. With the appropriate checks and balances, open source has merit.
    End users are not safe in taking a wait and see position. SCO is contacting customers and asking them to take a license of litigate position.
    Linux infringements cannot be fixed by simply removing or changing it.
    The GPL is at risk, but IBM put it on the table, not SCO as part of the litigation.

    Some other points:
    There's no free lunch or free Linux. The value proposition of Linux is UNIX for free. Free models such as free music, free Internet, free bandwidth, and free love haven't worked.
    Giving away a UNIX-like OS for free isn't a problem. What is a problem is giving away UNIX or pieces of it when you don't own it.
    Free software removes the incentive for innovation. There will lost jobs and lack of competition. SCO is in a tug-of-war between those who want software to be free and those who support proprietary software. SCO is a bellwether for this giant tug-of-war.
    This country was built on the notion of property ownership and being about to protect one's property. What's left in this company are concepts and ideas. If you take away the ability to protect that, we're reduced out ability to compete as a country (cue the break out the flag, someone).

    Predi
    • by lenski (96498) on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @11:44PM (#7508216)
      The business for which I work is perfectly happy with the GPL as it stands right now. We are profitable, we have some proprietary code, and we use and enhance GPLed code with a clear understanding of its value proposition. We value the rate of progress that comes with membership in the community.

      What Darl wants, and I will fight to the end of my days to prevent, is a return to the hugely inefficient days when every Tom, Dick and Harry company could build their own unique, incompatible-with-the-universe, expensive custom OSes. Only in the rarest of cases were those systems worth anywhere near their costs. Digital, Data General, IBM, AT&T, Sun, Apollo, (reaching back in history here) Interdata, Xerox, Burroughs, Sperry, RCA, all spent *huge* numbers of their customers' dollars funding their slick research OSes. It was interesting for some, but terrifically expensive for the majority of businesses. On the other hand, the openness implicit in GPLed (and to a lesser extent BSD licensed) code provides an excellent mechanism for encouraging the boad adoption of open standards. These standards lead to portability, interoperability, and the dissemination of the knowledge needed for full participation in information-intensive societies.

      <repeating a prior comment>I dropped a fully-paid UNIXware license, converting to Linux in 1996 due to UINXware's inadequate support of then-current hardware. It has only fallen further behind since then. If you want to compete with the big boys, then be prepared to perform up to their standards.</repeat>

    • McBride is a stock manipulator, shyster, confidence trickester and a copyright pirate. He is probably an ill person. He is also deeply ignorant about computers, programs and operating systems.

      First, there is no concept under US law called "Intellectual Property". There is patent law and copyright law and that is it. As far as trade secrets are concerned, that is a matter between contracting partners. McBride has no claim against partners with whom his company or their predecessors weren't contracted.

      The

  • by Jesrad (716567) on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @11:06PM (#7507999) Journal
    Attendee: Critics have said SCO previously participated in open source. Did SCO give its own code away?
    McBride: From a legal standpoint, this is not an issue, but its a PR issue.


    Nice dodge, we'll see if it works as well in court.
  • by MarcQuadra (129430) * on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @11:06PM (#7508000)
    I don't know. I hope something very personal and very scary happens to people like McBride.

    The law is obviously going to take a long time to work, and his army of lawyers working on huge sums of borrowed money will just keep leeching from the Linux camp. This might be something you and I can brush off, but the PHBs out there are REALLY not going to take on OSS software so long as shit like this keeps happening.
    • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @01:34AM (#7508677)
      I don't know. I hope something very personal and very scary happens to people like McBride.

      Whatchayall need is to get SCO to claim copyright infringement against the Church of Scientology. Somebody tell Darl that the Church's highest level doctrines contain SCO intellectual property. The $cienos will lay his company to waste.
    • It Doesn't Matter (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DG (989) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @01:54AM (#7508777) Homepage Journal
      See, here's the thing - it doesn't matter.

      The GPL is based on copyright law. It's solid. A lot of very smart people spent a lot of time working on it, and it has been around in the wild for a long time as well. Nothing SCO can do will overturn that.

      And even - if we play devil's advocate for a second - if SCO managed to somehow overturn the GPL, then the copyrights revert to the original authors and they STILL cannot steal it. And in the meantime, Stallman and the FSF will go to work on GPL Next Generation that patches whatever hole managed to get punched in it.

      The Code Is Out There. It cannot be made to go away, and more importantly, the culture of Free Software/Open Source is established and entrenched. If necessary, Linux could be re-written from scratch and the project would carry on.

      It's not going to come to that... but even in the worst possible case for us, SCO cannot stop us. At best, it can only slow things down.

      What you are seeing and hearing are the first of the death throes of the former Big Players. Microsoft's death will likely be even more messy... but it doesn't matter in the end. The horse carriage makers and sailing shipbuilders died hard too.

      We really are invincible - that's what has these people so scared. The only question is "when?" and... well, who cares? If you're reaping the benefits of Linux, then YOU have already won. So it takes a little while longer to make it to everone. *shrug* Big deal. When victory is inevitable, don't complain that it doesn't arrive fast enough.

      Personally, I'm thanking my lucky stars that the first big opponent in the battle between Big Business Proprietary Software and Free Software - the case that is likely to set all kinds of precidents - is against an opponent so painfully and obviously in the wrong. They're centered around a *stock scam* fer crissakes, and they're abusing the judges. Read Groklaw for a taste of just how poorly this battle is being fought by the "other side" and how well by "our side".

      We could have wound up fighting somebody much, much smarter with a better case, purer, and uncontaminated with by market foolishness. Instead, we got SCO. That's cause for celebration in my book.

      DG
  • by commodoresloat (172735) on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @11:06PM (#7508006)
    At last, a CEO not afraid to break the silence about Linux. I was a linux user, so I know the kinds of pressures that you succumb to. You wind up using crack to check the security of your system. And to detect intrusions, you snort.... It only gets worse from there. Listen to this man, before it's too late.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @11:11PM (#7508047)
    I'm posting anonymously from a coffee shop so I don't end up getting a subpoena. A looong time ago, I used to work for SCO. When I started, I didn't think it was a bad company, but my opinion changed gradually. It's hard to put my finger on any one thing, but it seemed like the corporate culture was a little...strange. I had never worked at a tech company before, but I found it odd that upper management would get defensive when they read a bad review on SCO Unix. It seemed to me that they should have been taking the criticism to be constructive, so they could improve their product. But they took a "we know what's best for you, because we're smarter than you" kind of attitude. Not everyone agreed with them, as I found out at many an exit interview. It makes me wonder if this attitude blossomed and overtook the company.
    • by Xtifr (1323)
      A looong time ago, I used to work for SCO.

      Unless it was a pretty short "looong time", you didn't work for the same company. The company you worked for, The Santa Cruz Operation, is now called "Tarantella", and they're out of the OS business. The company that's suing IBM is the company formerly named "Caldera", now The SCO Group (no "Santa Cruz" in the name any more). They purchased some assets (name and SYSV source licenses) from the old SCO, but they're a completely separate company.
  • by fermion (181285) on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @11:13PM (#7508064) Homepage Journal
    The issue is not so much that all the big guys are out to get you. For instance, all the big guys are out to get North Korea, but creative management and secrecy has kept it relatively safe. For instance, we are pretty sure that N Korea is ruled by as much of a maniac as Iraq, and we have been more sure about Koreas nuclear capability for many years, but there N Korea sits, not invaded.

    So, it is not important that all the big guys are out to get SCO. In any business sector all the big guys are always out to get all the other competitors. The problem is that SCO has said that there can be only one *nix distributor, and the authority of all other *nixes must come from it. While this benefits certain firms, and those firms have provided as much help as they can, it does not benefit most of the sector, and actually threatens their survival. Which is just common sense. It is one thing to compete against the big guys. It is another thing to publicly call for their death. Such a thing tends to turn the fight into a death match. And no one feels sorry for the guy who starts it.

  • Faaaaark (Score:5, Funny)

    by trouser (149900) on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @11:14PM (#7508068) Journal
    Our belief is that SCO has great opportunity in the future to let Linux keep going, not to put it on its back but for us to get a transaction fee every time it's sold. That's really our goal.

    I can see that happening in a hurry. Hell I bet nobody would be interested in reverting to an older kernel and then working back to where we are today with new source. And nobody would look at alternative kernels (eg. the BSDs). And nobody would just throw in the towel and run Windows. No way, we'll just pony up a butt load of money to McBride and Co. to use the kernel they're trying to steal from us. Cock smoking bitches.

    • BSD (Score:3, Informative)

      by smiff (578693)
      And nobody would look at alternative kernels (eg. the BSDs).

      From the article:

      We need to get our arms around the BSD front. We can only focus so much with our limited energies. Right now, we're focusing on Linux.
      We'll get to BSD next year.
  • My impressions (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @11:14PM (#7508069)
    Well, first off, Darl McBride shows that he *completely* misses the distinction of free-as-in-speech Free Software and reduces the GPL to Free Beer. Sad. Granted, it is kinda hard to sell GPL software, but he doesn't seem to understand that a lot of what people love about Linux has less to do with price and more to do with freedom. The ability to get access to the source code at no additional charge. The ability to create 'derivative works' from GPL software as you please (well except that it too has to be GPL'ed of course), and the ability to distribute those changes. To fork projects when necessary.

    And, most importantly, not having one central company or organization claiming total control over the OS. One of the things I love about Free Software, especially for the Operating System is that I think it is *crucial* for there to be a viable, widely used Free-as-in-speech OS Platform for everyone in the world to be able to use without it being leveraged to one company's or government's or whatever advantage. A true 'level playing field.'

    So, SCO doesn't get it. Darl wants everyone to stop 'crucifying' him and SCO for doing what they "have to" in order to survive and leverage the investment they made in Unix. Everyone is picking on him, especially IBM who are big bullies (note this isn't my opinion - I'm just summarizing McBride). Oh, also SCO likes Open Source and Linux - we aren't out to destroy Linux and Open Source - we just want $700 dollars for every CPU that runs Linux commercially. Don't hate us, we want to co-exist peacefully with Open Source.

    Oh, and the best part - the GPL is dead - Open Source isn't dead, just the GPL because it isn't friendly enough to business according to Darl. And, Free (as in beer) linux is dead (nevermind Debian and other non-commercial distros).

    Lastly, in the world of Darl McBride, the BSD's don't exist. He didn't mention them ONCE in the presentation. And there were a couple times (Unix History discussion, as well as a few other places) where it would have probably been quite appropriate to mention them. Along those lines, SCO == UNIX, and we own the copyright to ALL UNIX (again what about the BSD's?).

    Oh he did clarify that AIX, HP/UX, et al are 'owned' by the respective companies, but that SCO 'controls' all of them as the root of the unix tree.

    I dunno. I really at this point just wish SCO would put up or shut up. Show definitely that there is wide-spread infringement instead of just throwing out "We have STRONG IP claims" (Take our word for it). Basically, this issue needs to go to court and be resolved.

    Speaking of which, here's the SCO lawsuit scheme: IBM is not a copyright infringment case - it's breach of contract. But if people who use Linux don't buy Unix Licenses, we will sue them for copyright infringement. (Which is basically what they've been saying all along - no surprise there).

    So what I hear, when I hear McBride make that statement is IBM probably has the resources and expertise to discredit our copyright infringment claims - so we are going to go after small fish who (we hope) can't reasonably defend against the infringement claims, and gradually build precedent one case at a time and then go after the big companies when we have a few cases behind us that gave us favorable findings.
  • by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @11:14PM (#7508071) Homepage Journal
    You are not paranoid if everybody REALLY is against you!
  • To Quote Sontag (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TitaniumFox (467977) * on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @11:16PM (#7508078) Journal
    "...You don't have to be a programmer at all to see copying had occurred. It wasn't just ten lines of code, that example was over 80 to 100 lines of code. Later some of the Linux people said that code shouldn't have been there, Bruce Perens said it was development problem and 'we've taken it out.' My analogy is [that's] like a bank robber with posse in pursuit swinging back by the bank and throwing the money back in...

    In that one example, copyrighted code had been misappropriated and there's substantial benefit out there that has still not been rectified. There are other literal copyright infringements that we have not publicly provided, we'll save those for court. "


    Linus has always stated that we'll rip everything out if the code was shown. McBride has even mentioned that in interviews and said something like "Hey, that's great! We want that to happen, too."

    Bank robbers? Substantial benefit? The truth is that they would rather keep the IP in there and keep the linux kernel, charging us for each CPU.

    The only problem is this: What would keep anyone from forking the kernel at the point where all "infringing code" had been ripped out. Sure, the tree would be on fire, but I doubt it would take TOO long for some seriously pissed off coders to re-write the missing items.

    I can't wait to watch the flamage in court.

    • Re:To Quote Sontag (Score:3, Informative)

      by Daytona955i (448665)
      In this current article, aside from what you quoted, it seems to me he is saying... You can't take out the code because it's like a bankrobber throwing back the money... however, you can just give us money so we can stay afloat since people are now buying linux instead of SCO products.

      Talk about shooting oneself in the foot. Managers like Linux because that tech who lives in his cubicle can administer a whole bunch of them without leaving and they can put them on as many computers as they want without payi
      • Re:To Quote Sontag (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Trepalium (109107)
        It's worse than that. McBridge expects the Linux kernel developers to act as SCO's unpaid employees, producing a product that SCO can demand a cut from everytime someone downloads it.

        McBride: Our goal is not to blow up Linux. People ask why we don't go after the distributors...'If you have such a strong case, why not shut down Red Hat?' Our belief is that SCO has great opportunity in the future to let Linux keep going, not to put it on its back but for us to get a transaction fee every time it's sold. Tha

  • by mabu (178417) * on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @11:17PM (#7508084)
    His constituents are his shareholders and customers.

    Which at this point probably resolves down to his own company, their satellites and the law firm they've retained to fight their last ditch effort.

    SCO does not want to destroy open source or Linux. With the appropriate checks and balances, open source has merit.

    I think he means, if people pay with the appropriate checks, he'll consider the effort worthy of merit.

    End users are not safe in taking a wait and see position. SCO is contacting customers and asking them to take a license of litigate position.

    IOW, please pay us now so we can show some revenue long enough for the remaining shareholders to cash out before this whole thing implodes. Otherwise, the FBI will bust in your door and cart you off to Guantanamo.

    There's no free lunch or free Linux. The value proposition of Linux is UNIX for free. Free models such as free music, free Internet, free bandwidth, and free love haven't worked.

    On the other hand, the free mushrooms the guys in the legal department put in my tea this morning do seem to be working.

    This country was built on the notion of property ownership and being about to protect one's property. What's left in this company are concepts and ideas. If you take away the ability to protect that, we're reduced our ability to compete as a country

    If you don't support our desire to scare the crap out of the public in order to extort money for intellectual property my company had absolutely no hand in creating, then you're some sort of unpatriotic, filthy commie scum.

    By the way there is no truth to the rumors that I am violating any patents previously held by the Rumsfeld-Cheney group. I am operating with a legitimate license from the holder of the scare-the-crap-out-of-america patent.

    GPL will not survive. Open source will survive, but the GPL will have to be reworked in a way that is more pro-business.

    By pro business I mean pro-big-mega-corporations that deserve to profit from the innovation of others who have the audacity to claim such work that we can exploit be donated to the public domain.

    SCO will prevail in its legal battle. SCO is now worth $200 million and has $60 million in the bank. SCO is committed to seeing this through.

    Bill's check cleared! Bill's check cleared!

    We are also introducing an exciting new product in cooperation with Kool-Aid and the government of Columbia. Look for it soon.

    Linux will not be free.

    But a woman who is willing to trade "love" may be able to get a discount on the enterprise edition. I.M. my AOL handle, "sexy14yoGRRL" for more details.

  • by CoughDropAddict (40792) on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @11:28PM (#7508138) Homepage
    "Samba isn't your IP. What gives you the right to sell the copyrighted work of others?"

    What can SCO possibly answer, while maintaining that the GPL is illegitimate?
  • GPL and DMCA (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kidgenius (704962) on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @11:32PM (#7508158)
    The GPL is in violent collision with the DMCA. That's why Linux guys are opposed to the DMCA. Something has got to give. You've got to be fucking kidding me.

    I thought Darl was asinine before, but this is just ridiculous.

    Linux people are not the only people against the DMCA Darl! The reason people oppose it is because it infringes upon our rights and every Tom-Dick-and Jackass Corporation in America is trying to invoke the DMCA for things that it shouldn't be invoked for. It's akin to people filing for patents on such things as "one click shopping", etc.

  • by sjbe (173966) on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @11:37PM (#7508180)
    We don't. We hate you because you're a conceited bastard.
  • by CAIMLAS (41445) on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @11:38PM (#7508185) Homepage
    is lies. Damned dirty lies. He says:

    If I'm Merrill Lynch and have a trading application proprietary to Merrill Lynch and deploy it across all my trading desks, if that deployment occurred where the Linux OS and app are distributed togetherm there are arguments that Merrill would have to provide their proprietary trading application in source form to everyone. That's a problem.

    Go read the GPL. Nowhere is that said. This is purely a lie to get people to not invest in linux, or to use it; the only other alternatives, of course, being SCO... and MS. SCO is likely to benefit little - their technology isn't capable of doing what most people use linux for. So MS gets the customers. Combine that with the SCO discount for converting to MS, and everything else...

    I'ts pretty damned obvious to those that know even the most basic things about the GPL and IP law that SCO has no case. McBride makes inference after inference, and all of which are lies. Add them up, and to most people, it's a convincing case. Now to get this thing into court and smack him in the mouth. ... but what if hte court agrees with SCO? what if money is passed under the table? this is a case of -very- high stakes, for both sides. If SCO is found in contept ,or anything like that, SCO loses big time, as does MS, as now most people see them as being in bed with SCO (at least in the tech field). The other way, linux wins, big time. Talk about a stacked deck - now it depends on how it's cut.

    Given MS's history of buying politicians....
  • by fermion (181285) on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @11:42PM (#7508211) Homepage Journal
    David comes on, he's now a shareholder, he's rowing with us, and let's face it, he's added significant value to our company since February. Our stock was around a buck, now it's $14. That's some of the best money we've spent, not even money, some of the best stock we've issued.
    This seems eerily similar to statements that might be made about the lawyers, accountants, and bankers that cooked the Enron books. They are worth every penny because they raise stock prices. They are now shareholders so they have a great incentive to make the stock price stay high using every trick in the book, legal or illegal. I suspect that even if Boies loses his license over this, and pays a fee, he will still be a wealthy man. It might even be worth a couple years in a country club jail.

    That's the great untold story no one even asks about. We have over two million servers actively running today. Customers continue to come to us. We have laid out a growth map that will be significant for our customers. In the next year expect Legend, which will take OpenServer and update it. Longer term, expect SVR 6, which will be 64-bit Unix on Intel. That is a few years out.
    as compared to
    We are informed that participants in the Linux industry have attempted to influence participants in the markets in which we sell our products to reduce or eliminate the amount of our products and services that they purchase. They have been somewhat successful in those efforts and similar efforts and success will likely continue. 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. Any of the foregoing could adversely affect our position in the marketplace and our results of operations.
    These type of cases seem to years in the making, and i am sure there will be point when Boise will stop accepting stock and want a greater portion of cash. I suspect there is also a point at which new investors might stop pouring money into SCO, and two or three license agreement only generate so much cash. Not to mention the burn of normal operating costs. Can anyone expect them to survive the 'few year' to 'SVR 6'. And if they win and actually get a couple billion from IBM, will there be any reason to develop for a 64 bit platform. It will be MS model all over again. We own your desktop. We have all the cash. We will tell you what you need.

    The second dial is the 2.5 million Linux servers out there today that are paired with our intellectual property in them. We have a licensed product $699, $1,399. Chris [Sontag] is driving that and that's another multi-billion-dollar revenue oppotunity
    The third bucket has to do with the IBM settlement. We filed that at $3 billion. Every day they don't resolve this, the AIX meter is still ticking....

    I seem to remember an interesting ruling several years ago. It basically said you cannot advertise certain things about certain products at certain prices unless a significant amount or product had been sold at that price. Although that ruling applied to the retail chain, I would think that publicly saying that revenue is going to be generated from a product that you do not even own and have no reasonable exception of owning with the constraints of normal sense would be really close to lying. The funny thing is he separates the ruling in the IBM from expected income from Linux users. The two are in fact connected. The later would tend to negate the former, though the later will not guarantee the former. One really wonders if the clock it winding down faster on AIX or SCO.

  • by Understudy (111386) on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @11:47PM (#7508240) Homepage
    I orginally posted this on the "IBM Puts Pressure On SCO" article. However I posted it very late. So I will post here again. If you don't like what SCO is doing complain about it. Here is a link to help you contact the people to complain to. http://www.understudy.net/weblog/archives/00000014 .html [understudy.net]
  • Armageddon (Score:5, Insightful)

    by earthforce_1 (454968) <earthforce_1.yahoo@com> on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @11:58PM (#7508293) Journal

    From dictionary.com:

    Armageddon ( P ) Pronunciation Key (arm-gdn)
    n.

    1. Bible. The scene of a final battle between the forces of good and evil, prophesied to occur at the end of the world.
    2. A decisive or catastrophic conflic

    Before you mod this "off topic" or rant about another SCO article, think about what the this really means for IT in general, and open source in particular. This is THE final, decisive battle between the forces of good and evil.

    MS may have a hundred billion dollars in the bank, but they have passed their zenith, and are now slowly, but surely sliding backwards. Country by country, city by city, company by company they are finally starting to lose. Like a fist full of sand, the harder they sqeeze, the more it slips through their fingers.

    I don't think the problem is guys like Darl doesn't get it. He does get it, and it probably keeps him awake at night.

  • More Darl on Crack (Score:3, Insightful)

    by red floyd (220712) on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @11:59PM (#7508297)
    SCO owns all UNIX System V source code
    SCO owns agreements to all UNIX vendors
    SCO owns all UNIX System V copyrights
    SCO owns all claims for violation of UNIX licenses.
    SCO controls UNIX System V derivative works.


    I suspect that Novell might just have a few things to say about that!
  • by twitter (104583) on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @11:59PM (#7508298) Homepage Journal
    CRN: When you talk to your VARs, partners, integrators... what are they saying?

    McBride: It's a range. Those who are directly selling SCO Unix products, are cheering us on ...

    Stop the presses, someone sold SCO Unix last year?!

    McBride: .... Those who have drifted over to the Linux camp are confused.

    Indeed, I can't figure out what those idiots at SCO are up to.

    McBride: My first reaction was we needed to create a counterbalance [to the vocal open sourcers]. We're on the side of the silent majority...

    Eh? Let's see, for ages we've all had to listen to and counter his company's Microsoft funded bullshit, press releases and amazing old media broadsides. He's been saying all sorts of stuff designed to stirr doubt deep in the hearts of PHB and it's been reported by every WinTel rag on earth, but he reagards himself as "silent". Somehow people who have to reassure their bosses not to give in to SCO's extortion of end users is somehow "vocal"? The free software's statements are all reactions to this turkey. If some people get angry, it's because of the volume of ignorant and wrong nonsense this man has been able to generate - you need to buy a $700 license for every Linux box you own because IBM put "secret" SCO code into the kernel that SCO published openly under the GPL but refuses to specify. It's madening and hardly "right".

    More McBitch: This is about our IP! ... IBM is the master of creating an illusion that they're being attacked by this big brutal bully SCO when they're the ones attacking us. They're the ones doing all the behind-the-scenes work.

    Oh sure, Dayrl, and I'm Steve Barkto. IBM must be running the Free Software Society. Tell me all about it. The whole world of knowledgable computing says you are full of it. What do you produce? Some poor woman who's BA was in French who had to sign a massively restrictive NDA to look at publically published and GPL'd code next to snippets of your ancient Unix? Give me a break. Put up or shut up and quit threatening the world and maybe, just maybe people will think your extortion and stock fraud days are behind you.

    We early on looked at GPL-related issues and felt it was an Achilles heel for IBM but we didn't open them up initially. We didn't want to confuse a clear-cut contract issue [with IBM] with the untested GPL and other issues. But when IBM dragged GPL onto the table, our lawyers started sharpening their steak knives. 'Ok, if that's what you want to talk about , we'll talk about it.'

    Oh yeah, you were forced to call the GPL a cancer, but you hated it all along. Bzzzt! Your case of trade secret violation got blown out of the water because your company published said traid secrets openly and under the GPL. You can't fall back to copyright violations, because you can't really find any infringing code. So, you are left with this crack house attack on the GPL.

    If you take IBM out of the equation, Linux would not be growing up, it would not be SMP-enabled, it would not be multi processing, scaling up to hundreds of servers. It is IBM that is enabling that.

    There he goes again, taking credit for stuff that his crappy Unix can't do.

    VARBusiness: Are customers changing their Linux purchasing pattern since SCO sent out warning letters?

    McBride: A research report came out saying 80 percent of users had not slowed down. Our take on that is 20 percent have. So one out of five.

    Thanks Dayrl, that will come in handy when you get sued for the damages all your BS has done. I'd love to see Red Hat pin the end of their retail distro on you and strip off some of those $20,000,000 Microsoft has funded you with.

    If you look at the GPL, it couldn't be more clear, they either have to pull [the offending code] or shut down the distribution. The things we're laying claim to are things you can't pull out very easily....it's very difficult to yank this stuff out.

    Right. Everyone is begging for the proof and the code they can shut this idiot up by rewriting that supposed code. It's not there.

    OK, I hate everything this idiot says -5 flamebait article.

    • by quinkin (601839) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @04:28AM (#7509243)
      "Longer term, expect SVR 6, which will be 64-bit Unix on Intel. That is a few years out."

      Oh yeah... SCO once again pushes the envelope...

      I guess I had better pull the plug on that 64bit linux server I built, it is in "future breach" of the SCO's groundbreaking 64 bit support... Thank goodness it is not multi-CPU.

      Q.

  • by stox (131684) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:07AM (#7508331) Homepage
    What other host could it possibly feed on? They have decided to devolve into the most efficient of life forms, the parasite.
  • by Skapare (16644) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:10AM (#7508352) Homepage
    You don't have to be a programmer at all to see copying had occurred.

    Nope. You have to have both sets of source code. Now suppose you find identical code. How do you tell which direction the copying was done?

    My analogy is [that's] like a bank robber with posse in pursuit swinging back by the bank and throwing the money back in.

    The law does go lenient on criminals that turn themselves in. And in most cases it is very lenient when it is an obvious case of a mistake (not that a bank robbery would be, which is where Darl's analogy breaks down). In cases of intellectual property, where it can be shown the infringement was unintentional, courts very often are lenient, letting the "perpetrator" off easy, usually with just actual economic damages and legal costs (these things can vary depending on how well the defendant cooperates).

    So let's suppose IBM did contribute SCO intellectual property to Linux, as alleged. The case is against IBM directly, so IBM could be liable for at least the economic losses and legal costs, and maybe more if it can be show there were things like intent.

    But what about the rest of the Linux Community? In a normal case, specific infringments would be identified. Linus will most certainly tear that part of the code out and new original development will take place lightning fast, and a new version of the 2.4 kernel (maybe even the 2.2 kernel) will be out in a few weeks. The 2.6 kernel will end up being squeaky clean.

    All SCO will get is past infringement losses, possibly limited to not more than would have been earned for that piece of crap they dare call Unix. What they would never get ... will never get ... is revenue for anything in the future. They would make some money, but they would not have solid future revenues which is what actually drives up equity values. It's future earnings (on everyone else's real work) that they are trying to lock in for themselves (which they can't do if Linus tears out any questionable code, which he is sure to do once it becomes known as such).

  • by obsid1an (665888) <obsidian&mchsi,com> on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:17AM (#7508390)
    Clauses 11 and 12 of the GPL say there is no warranty. The quid pro quo of the GPL is that you get it for free, but the end user takes on the liability.

    Last I checked that's what the MS end user license agreement says:

    DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTIES. The Limited Warranty referenced below is the only express warranty made to you and is provided in lieu of any other express warranties (if any) created by any documentation or packaging. Except for the Limited Warranty and to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, Microsoft and its suppliers provide the Product and support services (if any) AS IS AND WITH ALL FAULTS, and hereby disclaim all other warranties and conditions, either express, implied, or statutory, including, but not limited to, any (if any) implied warranties, duties or conditions of merchantability, of fitness for a particular purpose, of accuracy or completeness of responses, of results, of workmanlike effort, of lack of viruses, and of lack of negligence, all with regard to the Product, and the provision of or failure to provide support services. ALSO, THERE IS NO WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF TITLE, QUIET ENJOYMENT, QUIET POSSESSION, CORRESPONDENCE TO DESCRIPTION OR NON-INFRINGEMENT WITH REGARD TO THE PRODUCT.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @12:45AM (#7508486)
    It's kind of hollow words that we are not showing code, because we have shown examples and if we keep showing it, [Linux leaders will] just take that out and say 'no harm no foul.'

    Sontag admits that SCO is not releasing the information required to rectify the situation and, if SCO shows which code might be misappropriated, Linux leaders will remove the offending code.

    But there are over one million lines of code that we have identified that are derivative works by IBM and Sequent that have been contributed into Linux that we have identified and there's been no effort by Linux leaders to start acting and rectify that situation.

    But Sontag also claims Linux leaders aren't trying to rectify the situation... Sigh.
  • Unreal (Score:4, Insightful)

    by starseeker (141897) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @01:07AM (#7508580) Homepage
    "The things we're laying claim to are things you can't pull out very easily....it's very difficult to yank this stuff out."

    Rule #1 - if you stand to gain from this claim, it's going to have to be verified by a neutral third party and proper research, because we don't trust you.

    "Our belief is that SCO has great opportunity in the future to let Linux keep going, not to put it on its back but for us to get a transaction fee every time it's sold. That's really our goal."

    There it is, in black and white. War.

    "Basically the GPL is countering U.S. Copyright law. Is IBM on the side of free software while they are one of the largest IP and IT firms in the world trying to protect their own patents and copy rights? It's just the most bizarre juxtaposition... . They're supporting something that's very unfriendly to copyrights."

    What??? Has this guy even READ the GPL? The GPL rests entirely on copyright law! It's just doing something that isn't normally done by commercial types. RTFLicense. This guy sounds like he needs to pry apart copyright and profit in his brain.

    "Underneath all this is hard-core capitalism."

    Welcome to the powerful world of volunteers. Kernal aside, a lot of the end user work in Linux is not by companies. If a company or an industry gets messed up enough, they just might find themselves competing with volunteers. Welcome to your nightmare - night of the undead competition.

    "We just said we were going to start investigating IP issues, and IBM said, 'You're just giving Bill Gates an early Christmas present.' Bill Gates? This is about our IP! What are you talking about? This was the immediate reaction at IBM and the open source guys. Unfortunately for them, it's just not reality."

    If this guy is this clueless he has no business being a CEO in the software industry. Whatever their intent, the net result is indeed early Christmas in Redmond.

    "To the extent that we have to take [Linux] down and put it on its back, we're fully prepared and willing to do that."

    Indeed. I don't SCO is ready to face what that would mean - the rise of GNU Hurd. Whatever we may think about Richard Stallman, if SCO somehow puts this through there's going to be a retreat to the hard line FSF position on a lot of fronts, and GNU Hurd in full bloom on L4 might be more than any of the unix guys are ready for. SCO might find itself utterly irrelevant, on Linux IP or SCO Unix. Hardware wasn't ready for microkernels a decade ago, and microkernels weren't ready for prime time. But if we have to start fresh, to avoid any possible "IP" contamination, they're gonna find themselves wishing they had never said anything at all. Most operating system research hasn't been implimented practically over the last few decades. Wanna find out what the future is like, today?
  • 0x01 (Score:3, Informative)

    by roman_mir (125474) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @01:49AM (#7508754) Homepage Journal
    "...You don't have to be a programmer at all to see copying had occurred. It wasn't just ten lines of code, that example was over 80 to 100 lines of code. Later some of the Linux people said that code shouldn't have been there, Bruce Perens said it was development problem and 'we've taken it out.' My analogy is [that's] like a bank robber with posse in pursuit swinging back by the bank and throwing the money back in... - oh, this is just precious. This guy, who presents himself to the media and to other companies as a David fighting Golliath with a copyright stone is still using this specific remark out of context. Shouldn't there be a law that if you obviously lie during a lawsuit that you freaking started, you just automatically lose everything, including the right to procreate?
    I would love to see this guy hanged. If I ever see him on the street, he better watch out.

  • Two Quotes (Score:3, Funny)

    by Nucleon500 (628631) <tcfelker@example.com> on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @03:20AM (#7509077) Homepage
    [When I came aboard at SCO I looked at this issue of code and asked:] 'Why don't you guys do this?' They said, 'Because the Linux community will get mad at us.'

    I tell you what, I'll give you the Linux community getting mad at us vs. shareholder value. That was the trade off. They were absolutely right, the Linux community got mad and we were right, shareholder value went up. The last time I checked the CEO was in charge of shareholder value, not standing around the campfire singing Kumbaya with the Linux world. So far, I'm pleased with where we're going..

    This shows a complete lack of any moral value whatsoever. Completely gone. Guess what - if that many people get mad, you're not doing the right thing! It doesn't matter how much money you can make, you still shouldn't do it. (To put it another way [groklaw.net], "Last I checked, it wasn't my job to sit around the table carving the roast beef for the Whos down in Whoville.")

    And my favorite, hopefully prophetic, quote which McBride attributes to IBM's lawyers:

    The skies over Utah will be blackened with attorneys before this is all done.
  • The big guys? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by phorm (591458) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @03:38AM (#7509130) Journal
    "all the big guys" are out to get SCO"

    FYI, Darl, the big guys aren't out to get you anymore than I am out to get a mosquito that keeps buzzing around my head. You keep pissing them off and eventually they will want to swat you

    Now the little guys, all of us linux users and many slashdotters alike whom you are pissing off a great deal: we'd definately like to see you suffer a painful and humiliating spiral down the corporate toilet. But the big guys have a bigger flyswatter, so you probably notice it coming a lot sooner...
  • by ajs318 (655362) <sd_resp2.earthshod@co@uk> on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @05:58AM (#7509508)
    The GPL is absolutely watertight. It in no way abridges anyone's statutory rights {which would invalidate a contract in most countries, including this one} but, rather, gives you explicit written permission to perform certain acts.

    Anyone who disputes this please state which of the following facts you object to:
    1. Copyright law grants copyright holders the right to decide, for a limited time, who should and who should not copy their work.
    2. Without explicit permission from the copyright holder or their authorised agent, it would be an offence to make and distribute copies - whether verbatim or modidied - of a copyrighted work.
    3. Section 1 of the GPL gives users explicit permission to distribute verbatim copies as per (2) above provided that certain conditions are met.
    4. Sections 2 and 3 of the GPL give users explicit permission to make and distribute modified copies and derivative works as per (2) above provided that certain conditions are met.
    You may already have certain fair dealing rights in relation to software licenced under the GPL, but such rights vary from one jurisdiction to another. Many copyright holders don't give out permission so freely, but the law doesn't stop you letting other people copy your work if you want them to. All that could ever possibly happen from the GPL coming to court would be vindication for the GPL. Contrast that with certain EULAs being tested in court. The MS EULA, for instance, would almost certainly be laughed out of UK or German courts. That would hurt the GPL's credibility, but it wouldn't do Microsoft any favours either.

    If IBM, or anyone, has knowingly placed source code in the Linux kernel {and therefore subjected it to the GPL} without having the right to, then they have violated copyright law. This will have to be debated in court, and then the disputed code will have to come to light, otherwise the case will be summarily dismissed. The Kernel Developers - who can show that they have acted in good faith and exercised due diligence at every stage - will then be able to remove any infringing code. In the unlikely event that the kernel developers are ordered to pay damages, they will have the right to sue whoever committed the original infringement. However, such damages are likely to be for a nominal sum {$1?} on account of SCO's refusal to show the code in question sooner.

    And if the unthinkable happens - if, and it could only ever happen by some massive brain-fart, the GPL is ruled invalid, the disputed source code is not shown and Linux is declared illegal in all versions - then there is always FreeBSD, already proven not to be SCO's property.
  • by WillRobinson (159226) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @08:57AM (#7509929) Journal
    Looks like Daryl and friends are really afraid of you. http://www.sltrib.com/2003/Nov/11192003/business/1 12207.asp
  • by theolein (316044) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @10:51AM (#7510574) Journal
    I get so violently irritated every time I read yet another Darl McBride piece that I have the impulsive feeling to go up and smack him him in the face, my fist between his astonished eyes, when I see the slime bag standing in front of an audience in a suit that is two sizes to big for him (canal rats are not used to the daylight it seems). I gather that many other feel the same way as I do or else Darl McFuck would not now have bodyguards to save his arse when he opens that sewage pipe he calls his mouth.

    After reading his waffling and calming myself down a bit, I realise some things, which follow:

    1.Every time a question is posed about SCO's products he comes out with very obvious marketing speak and hubris about how exited SCO resellers are and about the supposed 2 million servers (do cash registers count as servers?) running SCO warez. This should be blindly obvious. It would be marketing suicide and almost unheard of for any CEO to admit that the SEC filings were in any way truthful about the true state of the company. Why hasn't anyone thought to ask him about the SEC filings his own company made????

    2.SCO's case, as far as I can tell from the respective IBM and SCO court filings, is on weak ground at best. SCO has yet to answer IBM's request on a line for line clarification of exactly which files are infringing SysV R4 copyright. They have claimed in their answer to IBM that some 531 files are infringing, with some 30'000 lines. This is not anywhere near the "half a million lines" that he talks about in public. But he hasn't specified any lines directly. Why???????????

    3.SCO distributed Linux for a long time after they had started their legal proceedings, and I'm damn sure this is going to have an effect on the case. Why isn't this point raised in press interviews???

    4.SCO's public accusations and threats are almost certainly going to be taken into account in the case. One must note that McBride has not once talked specifically about any company that he will threaten with the $699/$1399 charge. This is obviously because once he does that, he faces being sued by that company for extortion. Almost all of SCO's public speech is stock value influencing bluff. And no one thought to ask him about a specific company???

    5. McFuck finally mentioned that BSD is in the clear, but in the same sentence mentions that BSD code is in Linux without the copyright information, yet makes no mention about SCO products using the same code. And no one thought to ask????

    6. McBrat says that Samba is not infringing anything, so SCO can use it. Nice of him isn't it? It fits in with his strategy of trying to weaken the GPL by appealing to marketing greed that is so fucking rampant on Wall Street. He wants it "friendlier" to business. It should be obvious that he wants to save his arse for distributing stuff under the GPL for so long, and the fact that he faces copyright infringement of his own even if the GPL is invalid.

    I realise that many prominent GPL contributors don't want to frighten off businesses by suing SCO for copyright infringement or breach of contract, including Linus. Yet everyone who has been accused publicly of something by SCO has gotten involved whether they wanted it or not. And this irritates me. Why do Linus and Co not defend themselves? Why do they not start legal action against SCO? Why is it that almost no one from the OSS crowd ever tries to speak to standard industry rags and make decent legal points about SCO? I get so fricking mad when Linus does his dumb hippy free love act in the press interviews until he finally gets subpoenaed by SCO's team of legal drug dealers. Why the fuck does no one stand up in public for fuck sake?

    Sorry for the rant, but this whole SCO thing is so publicly damaging for the GPL and Linux, and the fact way the media and the stock markets work is that one is automatically guilty when one makes no good comment.

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