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SCO Hints at *BSD Lawsuits Next Year, And More 971

Posted by timothy
from the and-son-light-a-match dept.
shystershep writes "Apparently attacking one Unix-like OS isn't enough. According to Darl McBride, SCO has plans to target BSD. "The more yarn you pull out the more you see," according to McBride. They're a little preoccupied with the IBM litigation right now, though, so "we probably won't file any suits against BSD until sometime in the first half of next year." Hmmm. I can't imagine why SCO executives feel that they need to hire bodyguards." How to get at the *BSDs? vireo writes "In this Newsforge story, we learn that Boies, Schiller & Flexner will directly attack the 1994 AT&T/BSD settlement." Read on below for another handful of updates on the giant SCO lawsuit frenzy.

osullish writes "The Financial Times reports that SCO is indicating it will sue an as-yet un-named Linux-using corporation within the next 90 days. Also mentioned in the article is possible action against Novell, which recently purchased Ximian and SUSE Linux."

Iaitos points to this rather stiffly-worded notice from Novell (on their site) regarding the non-compete agreement SCO claims would taint Novell's acquisition of SUSE:

PROVO, Utah Nov. 18, 2003: Novell has seen the November 18 InfoWorld article in which SCO CEO Darl McBride refers to a supposed non-compete agreement between Novell and SCO. Mr. McBride's characterization of the agreements between Novell and SCO is inaccurate. There is no non-compete provision in those contracts, and the pending acquisition of SUSE LINUX does not violate any agreement between Novell and SCO.

Novell has received no formal communication from SCO on this particular issue. Novell understands its rights under the contracts very well, and will respond in due course should SCO choose to formally pursue this issue."

slavitos points to a ZDNet article covering the same ground, writing: "A characteristic SCO twist in the story: "McBride added that lawsuits likely will be preceded and possibly prevented by communications offering businesses an opportunity to get right with SCO. "We'll be communicating with users what our expectations are," he said.". Oh, that's helpful, Darl - and no, we didn't really expect you to be any more specific."

If your lips aren't yet too tired, ansak writes "PJ has done it again -- okay, "co-ordinated it" would be the better phrase. The transcript of SCOG's conference call is now available (and in danger of being slashdotted without slashdot's help, even!).
#include <std.thanks.to.volunteers.h>"

Another legal theory being thrown about is that SCO's lawsuit (the one against IBM, that is) all leads back to Sequent. Petrol writes "The Inquirer has a story about SCO's action against IBM. 'Sources close to the action describe a trail of code that might well be the target of SCO's ire against IBM and the Linux community.'"

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SCO Hints at *BSD Lawsuits Next Year, And More

Comments Filter:
  • by corebreech (469871) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:31PM (#7512356) Journal
    ...of an unladen SCO bodyguard is?
  • Diagnosis (Score:5, Funny)

    by k98sven (324383) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:33PM (#7512371) Journal
    "The more yarn you pull out the more you see," according to McBride.

    Yup... Paranoia's like that.
    • by afidel (530433) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:43PM (#7512488)
      I thought he was talking about the yarns he's been pulling out of his arse for months now =)

      Note to mod's:
      A yarn is a newengland colloquialism for a tall tale.
    • by Rimbo (139781)
      Eventually SCO will have no clothes left and die of exposure.
      • Eventually SCO will have no clothes left and die of exposure.

        I think most of us came long ago to the conclusion that Emperor Darl has no clothes.
    • by dipipanone (570849) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:47PM (#7512531)
      Yup... Paranoia's like that.

      And lest we forget, paranoia is a symptom of cocaine psychosis [policecent...aining.com].

      Put that pipe down now, Darl, before it's too late.
    • by thrillbert (146343) * on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:48PM (#7512541) Homepage
      Actually, you might not be that far off. In many cases, a brain tumor can cause a distorted perception of the truth and/or paranoia. And given how Mr. McBride has acted these past few months, I would greatly encourage him to get a CT scan to ensure that he's not going to croak in the next few hours.

      I know that it sounds a bit far fetched, but it might not be too far off the truth..

      ---
      You will be surprised by a loud noise.
    • Re:Diagnosis (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jd (1658) <imipak@yaCOLAhoo.com minus caffeine> on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @04:28PM (#7513623) Homepage Journal
      Paranoia, as a clinical diagnosis, doesn't seem likely. (For a start, after launching a billion unjustifiable lawsuits, he has every right to be scared of everyone.)


      Now, there are real clinical diagnoses that do fit McBride's behaviour, but there's not enough evidence to back these up as real.


      The first is something called "Borderline Personality Disorder". It's hard to diagnose, very difficult to treat (so much so, many psychs won't even try) and from those people I know with it, seems to be related to random bursts of hostility and a very high level of denial.


      The second is "schizo-effective disorder". This is not schizophrenia, although it is related. It describes a partial split with reality; being aware of what's going on, but simultaneously living in a world that exists only in the person's mind.


      Three very common diagnoses for geeks are:


      Bipolar disorder: There are 3 main types of bipolar, and 16 different subcategories. This has led some people to suspect that the people working on diagnostic tools have Obsessive Compulsive disorder. Bipolar people tend to work in bursts of high activity, with roughly equal periods of low/no activity. They also tend to drink heavily, as alchohol smooths the ride.


      Higher Functioning Autism: Part of the (suspected, yet to be proved) Autism Spectrum. Typically, the person will be extremely brilliant at a very few things. They will be prone to information overload, and often learn quickly to focus on very specific things. They're oblivious to anything outside of that, or near enough. Because they are focussed, and often very passionate about those things they concentrate on, they're hard to get along with. They're often not good at reading body-language, or other subtle non-verbal communication. Likewise, they will often tread on the toes of those who don't comprehend HFA, because the non-verbal signals from an HFA person can be highly confused. Their brain doesn't recognise that type of communication.


      Asperger's Syndrome: This is also believed (by some) to be on the Autistic Spectrum, and to be a milder form of HFA. Virtually everything that's true for an HFA is true for an Asperger sufferer, the difference is largely in the degree.


      The national average for people with autism of some kind or other is about 1:100. The average in Silicon Valley is about 1:20, some say even 1:10.


      I don't believe McBride is Autistic, to any degree. Nor do I believe he is bipolar. This matters only insofar as it means that he doesn't fit the common pattern for geeks or geniuses. In turn, this means he physically cannot comprehend the mindset of those in the industry.


      If I am correct in believing him schizo-effective, then this may well explain his lawsuits. He doesn't understand the industry, and his split with reality makes it impossible for him to make rational decisions in response.


      This is not an official diagnosis, by any means, but were he to be seen by a competent professional, then that's the conclusion I would expect. If I'm right, then Darl doesn't need to be running a company. Schizo-effective disorders can worsen with stress, so if I'm correct then his mental health will only worsen with the stress of the multitude of lawsuits, the price crash, the increasing suspicion of the media, and the perilously-low turnover.

      • Bipolar Disorder (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Rimbo (139781) <rimbosity.sbcglobal@net> on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @07:56PM (#7515732) Homepage Journal
        Bipolar disorder: There are 3 main types of bipolar, and 16 different subcategories. This has led some people to suspect that the people working on diagnostic tools have Obsessive Compulsive disorder. Bipolar people tend to work in bursts of high activity, with roughly equal periods of low/no activity. They also tend to drink heavily, as alchohol smooths the ride.


        For those of us who are most definitely bipolar, there are other things that help to smooth the ride.

        1. Regular sleep. Absolutely vital. If it's past 11PM, you're reading this, and you're bipolar, save a bookmark on this and come back and read it after you've had 9 hours.

        2. Healthy diet. Plan a trip to the grocery store once or twice a week to get lots of fruit and salad; try to cut caffeine AND alcohol out of your diet.

        3. Regular exercise. Do something regularly that helps keep your average activity level high -- such as biking or walking to work -- and once or twice a week do something that actually involves strenuous exercise, such as playing tennis.

        4. Express yourself. Bipolar folks are typically more creative than non-bipolar folks -- something having to do with being able to see both sides of the issue. Pick an art -- an instrument you play, writing, painting, anything -- and improvise on it regularly. You don't have to record it, you don't have to let anyone hear or see what you do, you just have to do it to let that expression get out.

        OK, and a beer now and then doesn't hurt. Unless you're an alcoholic bipolar. Then it does.

        Well, anyhow, this works for me. And when I don't do it, it doesn't work for me. Any time you can avoid the ups and downs without using drugs is good.
  • by ultrabot (200914) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:33PM (#7512372)
    We *know* you want to show everybody how big a pain in the ass you are and that someone should just buy you out. It's just not going to happen.

    I'm also starting to hope that Boies will share the cell...
    • by Zeinfeld (263942) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:56PM (#7512627) Homepage
      I'm also starting to hope that Boies will share the cell...

      I find it very strange that Boies has reached this superstar status on the back of what is by any measure a lacklustre litigation record.

      Boies first came to prominence in the Microsoft case. Athough the case was initially 'won' it was overturned on appeal. This has been Boies best result so far.

      In the Florida recount case Boies lost what should have been a slam dunk case, demanding that the state perform a recount required by the election laws. Boies lost in this case because he was outmaneuvered by the Republican party lawyers who ran rings arround him.

      Boies next took the Napster case, in this case he was successful in gaining a temporary stay of an injunction against Napster. But we later find this was only because one of the Appeals court judges was anxious that Napster survive long enough for the appeals court to be able to make a really important rulling in the copyright area...

      I cannot think of a better council for SCO in this particular case. The court will require SCO to reveal the exact code fragments it claims are subject to copyright claims sooner rather than later. At this point the SCO case will quickly unravel since the fragments in question will be rewritten.

      There are absolutely no grounds for supressing the specifics of the SCO claim. The whole point of the copyright bargain is disclosure in return for a limited term monoploy on exploitation.

      • by Brandybuck (704397) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @03:49PM (#7513203) Homepage Journal
        The problem with Boies is that he does just what his clients tell him to do. This is good lawyerly behavior, but if you don't choose the right clients, you're the one who ends up with egg on your face. Examples of this can be seen in each of the cited cases.

        For one example, consider the Florida election. There was a legitimate dispute and a genuine recount needed to be made. But Boies and company didn't want a genuine recount, they only wanted a recount of selected counties. If they would have instead argued for a statewide recount, they would have gotten it with virtually no objection from the other side. And since the vote was so freaking close, statistics would have given them 50% odds of winning the election. But instead they argued over trivialities until the clock ran out.
      • by bettiwettiwoo (239665) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {oowittewitteb}> on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @03:50PM (#7513215) Homepage Journal
        Boies first came to prominence in the Microsoft case. Athough the case was initially 'won' it was overturned on appeal.
        In all fairness to Boies, I think you are overstating your case just a tad.

        As far as I can remember but is too lazy to look up right now, the Microsoft case wasn't so much 'overturned' on appeal as it was remanded back to a district court for a new trial. Due to Judge Jackson's publicly stating that Bill Gates was a lying bastard (I'm paraphrasing) the Court of Appeal (cannot remember which one) felt that Microsoft may not have recieved a fair and unbiased trial. It therefore ordered a retrial. However, in the meantime George W. Bush had not only won the election but also been inaugurated. His administration decided to settle the case rather than pursue litigation. (Incidentally, during the Reagan/Bush I administrations the joke was that the Justice Department never met a business practice it didn't like. It may seem the Bush II Justice Dep. sought/seeks to operate along the same line.) This outcome may be seen as 'losing' the case. I suppose it's a matter of opinion. However, the outcome can hardly be blamed on Boies.

        Parenthetically, I disagree with the Court of Appeal assessment of what might constitute an obstacle or impediment to a fair trial: if a judge conclude after hearing the testimony of a person, that said person is a lying bastard then that is a conclusion based on fact, as opposed to a judge 'concluding' before any testimony that a person is lying bastard, which would seem be based on prejudice (or possibly prior personal knowledge, in which case the judge should recuse him/herself). The latter case obviously imperils an unbiased trial, but the former case? I don't think so. Why should it? The judge has heard the evidence and drawn a conclusion. In that way it appears to me no different than any other conclusion, based on fact, that the judge has to make in a particular case. It may not be very flattering for the person in question, bu massaging of egos is not necessarily the prime objective of litigation.
      • by jazzsupe (725453) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @03:50PM (#7513221)
        I would not write off Boies nor take him lightly. He came to prominence well before the Microsoft case. Previously he was the star litigator for, arguably, the most respected and venerated law firm in the U.S.: Cravath, Swaine & Moore. For quite a while he has been considered one of the top 3, or so, litigators in the U.S. The Microsoft case simply brought him attention from the non-legal community.

        When Boies left the Cravath partnership, it was somewhat of a scandal in the legal community. No one walks away from a Cravath partnership (so goes conventional wisdom) -- the average annual salary for Cravath partners is somewhere in the neighborhood of $2.0 million.

        IBM has long been one of Cravath's largest and most loyal clients -- in fact, I noticed that Cravath is representing IBM in the SCO matter. I can't help but wonder if one of the main reasons Boies agreed to represent SCO is to go head-to-head with his former parters at Cravath. It wouldn't surprise me if that is his main motivating factor. Boies does not need the money or any more notches in his belt.

        The fact that Boies lost a couple prominent cases speaks more to his willingness to take on tough cases with unpredictable outcomes that he finds interesting or challenging.

        But do not write off Boies or dismiss him. Don't get me wrong -- I hope he loses the SCO case big time. But he is to be feared.

        • If so, bad idea (Score:5, Interesting)

          by siskbc (598067) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @04:34PM (#7513679) Homepage
          IBM has long been one of Cravath's largest and most loyal clients -- in fact, I noticed that Cravath is representing IBM in the SCO matter. I can't help but wonder if one of the main reasons Boies agreed to represent SCO is to go head-to-head with his former parters at Cravath. It wouldn't surprise me if that is his main motivating factor. Boies does not need the money or any more notches in his belt.

          If that's the case, I couldn't imagine a worse scenario for him - a client he can't control, and an opponent with unlimited resources and the resolve to smash him like a bug on the great IBM windshield.

          I know /. seems to have a bit of groupthink going on here as regards SCO's success. That said, I really do think Boies best-case scenario is to drag things out long enough to get everybody on their side mucho dinero. But that's not going to impress the former partners.

          Folding SCO's case everyone cashes out won't make him look good. Losing in court after the same will really make him look bad. Either way, it's a lose/lose situation in the prestige department - it's only in the rankings of "America's top ambulance chasers" that he'll increase his standing.

          The only way I see him increasing his legal prestige is either winning in court or strongarming a great settlement. IBM has made it pretty clear that the chances of either of those is near nil. So while you may be spot-on regarding Boies' motives, I can't see what he's thinking. Or the whole thing could be coincidence.

          Great post, btw.

      • > I find it very strange that Boies has reached this superstar status on the back of what is by any measure a lacklustre litigation record.

        Maybe it's because we're all mesmerized by his eclectic blend of haunting lyrics, thumping funk, and infectious grooves... Oh wait, David Boies? Nevermind...
    • by Trepalium (109107) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @03:00PM (#7512674)
      Well, at least the BSD snobs can stop saying, "Use BSD instead because SCO has no claim over that." I think most BSD folk believed this was going to happen someday, and were just hoping that it wouldn't. SCO believes everyone owes them a cut, because no OS could exist without precious code from SVR4. I wouldn't be surprised if SCO threatens all the embedded OS makers and Microsoft before this is over.

      As a side benefit, the bigger and more grandious SCO's claims become, the less believable they become, and sooner or later the press will pick up on this.

  • by blackmonday (607916) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:33PM (#7512373) Homepage
    Darl McBride now claims ownership of the new Finder in Panther, and Final Cut Pro.

    • by wintermute740 (450084) <wintermute@nitem ... m ['afe' in gap]> on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:59PM (#7512664) Homepage
      "Darl McBride now claims ownership of the new Finder in Panther, and Final Cut Pro."

      In other news, SCO is planning on bringing suit with God next. "This God person," SCO CEO Darl McBride is quoted as saying, "has used stolen SCO code repleatedly in the design of Creation."

      Since Darl likens Linux users to drug users, and Darl wants to license Linux to said users, what does that say about Darl? Druglord! I knew it!

      • by Slime-dogg (120473) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @05:28PM (#7514278) Journal

        Then God gets pissed off because Darl called him a "person."

        Of course, Darl could use "In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God." as proof. No one back there knew what that a word was just four nibbles, and God should have recognized that "word" was used in SCO's Source.

        Of course, God then gives proof of using SCO code by causing a segmentation fault right under Lindon, Utah. He wasn't too pleased with those Mormon people either, so it was like two birds with one stone.

  • by ericspinder (146776) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:33PM (#7512374) Journal
    Darl is like a blind man on the street, swinging a bat, hoping someone will pay him to stop. Hopefully, the cops will get him before he does any real damage.
  • Apple? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mgs1000 (583340) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:33PM (#7512377) Journal
    So does this include OS X? That should be an interesting fight.
    • Re:Apple? (Score:5, Informative)

      by k98sven (324383) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:47PM (#7512524) Journal
      Possibly..possibly not..
      OS X was based off NEXTSTEP, which was based on Mach, which was a completely new kernel, with BSD ported to it.

      But compared to Linux, i'd say it's less of a stretch to say that OS X is UNIX than Linux.

      I don't mind if they go after Apple.. just one more company joining in the fun of beating SCO up.

      • Re:Apple? (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        OS X was based off of NEXTSTEP, yes.

        However, it did base off of BSD. "Mach" is not a full kernel. It's something called a "microkernel"-- a very thin abstraction layer that rests between the hardware and the real kernel, so that the real kernel is more easily portable to different hardware. It's like the Windows NT HAL. On top of Mach, NEXTSTEP had to have an actual kernel, and for this they used BSD. Plus, as I'm sure RMS would tell you, an operating system is not just a kernel, and the base associated to
      • Re:Apple? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by IPFreely (47576) <mark@mwiley.org> on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @03:21PM (#7512891) Homepage Journal
        I don't mind if they go after Apple.. just one more company joining in the fun of beating SCO up.

        I'm sure Apple would think differently about it. Mostly what the SCO fiasco is going to do is make a lot of noise for the press, keep a lot of court clerks busy, and move a LOT of money from computer companies to lawyers, money that could be used for product development.

        Noone wants to get involved in litigation, no matter how fun it looks from the outside. It's too damned expensive.

    • Re:Apple? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by LnxAddct (679316)
      I would love to see that. Apple users will really carry out the threats that are made. I mean linux users love their OS and will do whatever it takes to protect it, but I know some OS X users who are just nuts about their OS. I mean unbelievably insane. Not only would Steve put SCO to shame, but he would do it in such a way that he'd look like a god, thats just the way he is.
  • *Yawns* so (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:35PM (#7512389)
    When do SCOs actions, threats to sue linux customers, and harrassment of linux customers reach the point where they become some kind of illegal thing? I'm sure there's some kind of line between marketing to your competitors customers and harassing them.

    If the harrassment/lawsuit threats are already covered under the lanham act suit redhat/ibm (?) is bringing, then what line does SCO have to cross before redhat/IBM can start asking for injunctions, as opposed to having to wait until their lawsuits start?

    And doesn't the SCO case verbal arguments begin on december 6? Once that happens, how long will it take for SCO's ball of yarn to fall apart?
    • Re:*Yawns* so (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ReelOddeeo (115880)
      When do SCOs actions, threats to sue linux customers, and harrassment of linux customers reach the point where they become some kind of illegal thing?

      When they do something that Microsoft does not like.

      I hope that sufficiently answers your question.
  • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:35PM (#7512394)
    I guess the litany about suing Linux isn't working for them anymore.

    So now they're declaring that they're broadening the cases.

    So far, they've only filed one lawsuit.

    Until they file another, this is just PR crap.
  • by IvyMike (178408) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:36PM (#7512402)
    ...because no way does SCO still exist in the second half.
  • bodyguards (Score:5, Funny)

    by Dreadlord (671979) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:36PM (#7512403) Journal
    Hmmm. I can't imagine why SCO executives feel that they need to hire bodyguards.

    Isn't it clear why? Linux peguin looks quite friendly and isn't harmful at all, BSD daemon on the other hand...

    • Let's see: threatening global commercial powers with ruin unless they succumb to his outrageous demands, central headquarters filled with an army of evil bodyguards and assorted henchmen......Darl's only a monocle and kitty cat away from true super villainy. Wonder where he's hiding the huge frickin laser? (hmmmmm)
    • by Piquan (49943)

      Some people have told me they don't think a fat penguin really embodies the grace of Linux, which just tells me they have never seen a angry penguin charging at them in excess of 100mph. They'd be a lot more careful about what they say if they had.
      -- Linus Torvalds

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:36PM (#7512407)
    An answer to "What is up Darl McBride's ass?"
    The more yarn you pull out the more you see
    Turns out it's an entire ball of yarn!
  • by dhomoney (725171) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:37PM (#7512416) Homepage
    SCO hasn't put out a viable product in years, and frankly neither had Caldera. To me this just seems like SCO is using the legal system as it's new business model. Can't make a profit the ol' fashioned way? Now you can sue yourself to a profit. What a bunch of ass clowns.
    • by obsid1an (665888) <<moc.ishcm> <ta> <naidisbo>> on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @03:34PM (#7513029)
      Correct, in fact they actually admitted to it [crn.com]: VAR Business: Other than the suit, how's business? McBride: 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 we look at monetizing this two-million-user installed base, we can sell product for a $800 to $1,000 dollars, whatever. We're talking about a couple of billion dollars in upgrade opportunities. From a financial standpoint. The first part was cleaning the company up. We've done that. Going forward we have three dials. The core business, we think that's bottomed out and there's upside now with new products coming. We haven't had a new product in our OpenServer base in years and years. 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 opportunity 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.... That's in a Utah courtroom 18 months out. That's a down the road revenue opportunity but the first two dials are going right now, and today's announcement today with Boies will really help move the second dial along.
    • by tbone1 (309237) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @04:08PM (#7513396) Homepage
      This just in: Darl McBride was seen dumping a cup of coffee on his lap at a McDonald's drive-thru and immediately sued McDonald's, Juan Valdez, that old biddy who did it in the 90s (making an infringement of SCO's copywrong), Starbuck's, DuPont as the inventor of styrofoam, British comedienne Denise Coffey, Minnesota farmer Ole McDonald, and Marvin Percolator (sole heir to the fortune).

  • by sisukapalli1 (471175) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:38PM (#7512419)
    This could be a fairly good thing. Now, there is enough outrage from the BSD camp too, and ofcourse Apple will also jump into the fray soon.

    Kinda like the ents in the lord of the rings against Saruman.

    S
  • Watch out! (Score:4, Funny)

    by BJZQ8 (644168) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:38PM (#7512420) Homepage Journal
    I hear that SCO has found gratuitous use of the letters S, C, and O in BSD source code! Obviously there must be payment rendered!
  • by gearheadsmp (569823) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:39PM (#7512431)
    SCO just doesn't know when to stop. To show how ludicrous they are, make a timeline in your head of all the SCO threats. Also, a list of every company/non-profit organization SCO has threatened would be an added bonus. To get started, do a query [slashdot.org]. Hell, a compilation of all SCO threats made this year would be even better.
  • BSD network code (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kmahan (80459) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:40PM (#7512444)
    So does this mean that they intend to sue microsoft too?

    Thought microsoft's TCP stack had a little of the *bsd stuff in it.
  • interesting tactic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pyros (61399) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:41PM (#7512457) Journal
    Going after the BSD settlement, they hope to reverse it. If they can do that, then some of the laughable examples of infringing code may suddenly become legally enforcable. What it tells the rest of the world is that they are running out of claims, and need to work on finding something to back themselves up. I think it means they've realised that the racketeering isn't working. Noboby is going to buy them, marque coporations aren't going to buy their licenses. So they need to either implode or find a new angle.
    • by canajin56 (660655) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:56PM (#7512635)

      The new angle won't work any better. The settlement also protects THEM from BSD suing for stolen BSD code. If they attack it, the holders of that copyright can sue SCO right back.

      Plus, you can't just void a contract that legally binds you because you don't like it. They are not the original people who entered into it, but it came along with the code they bought. If they don't LIKE that, they should have looked into it more closely before they bought it. It's called due diligance. If they CAN just nullify a contract for no reason, Novel should nullify their rights to the code.

      • by cgreuter (82182)

        The new angle won't work any better. The settlement also protects THEM from BSD suing for stolen BSD code. If they attack it, the holders of that copyright can sue SCO right back.

        IIRC, AT&T only settled after the judge turned down their request for a preliminary injunction because it was likely that their improper handling of the licensing had put the code into the public domain. If they open that can of worms again, chances are that they could lose the copyrights to much of Unix.

        And wouldn't that

    • by DaveAtFraud (460127) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @05:01PM (#7513955) Homepage Journal
      You need to look at this in the context of their attack on the GPL. My guess is that their ultimate goal is that anyone who "buys" a free OS (Linux, *BSD) has to pay SCO a licensing fee. This is why SCO is not suing any of the distros but is suing IBM for IP infringement and they will sue an end user for unlicensed use of their IP. Assuming they can win the IBM case (not quite as bad as assuming division by zero, but close), they establish ownership of IP incorporated in Linux. If they can collect from an end user, they establish that they are entitled to a license payment for use of Linux.

      Likewise, I'm guessing their ultimate goal in attacking the AT&T-BSD settlement is to establish ownership of some IP in *BSD. At this point SCO would establish that users of *any* free/open source OS owe them a licensing fee for using it. Contributing to open source then becomes a form of slave labor for SCO. If that doesn't kill open source, SCO milks the profits of other people's labor and, if it does kill open source, they're in better shape competition-wise than they are now because they only have to compete with the likes of Microsoft, Sun, etc.

      Let me state that again on its own: SCO doesn't want to kill open source, they want to turn contributing to open source into a form of slave labor (no compensation) that benefits SCO.
  • by Idou (572394) * on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:41PM (#7512458) Journal
    Welcome to the club. Glad to have you aboard.

    Where shall we meet to plan the complete and utter extermination of SCO?

    Sincerely,
    Tux
  • by sl3xd (111641) * on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:41PM (#7512459) Journal
    One thing that SCO is obviously ignoring is one rather simple fact: You have to be absolutely, completely, utterly INSANE to sue a university; for any reason. I have yet to see anyone do it successfully. AT&T couldn't do it 9 years ago, so what makes SCO think they can do it now? AT&T had a MUCH better table to stand on.

    There are plenty of examples of stupidity in suing a university.

    How 'bout the 'copy-protection' that could be foiled by holding down the 'shift' key? (Sued a student of Princeton University; charges dropped after the University stepped in on the student's behalf)

    There are THOUSANDS of cases a year where people sue medical students; just about every one ends up in the student's favor, because the university steps in. You can't get new doctors if you can't train new students; and part of the learning process is making mistakes.

    And BSD is still techinically property of the Regents of the University of California.

    Go ahead; sue them. Nobody looks kindly on a mad Chihuahua biting everyone that won't give it the world. Espescially when it starts nipping at schools. SCO has once again proven that they have nothing.
    • You're assuming SCO are going after one of the parties involved - maybe they're planning on suing the judge for reaching the wrong decision, or AT&T's lawyers for handling the case badly?
    • by Zeinfeld (263942) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @03:30PM (#7512992) Homepage
      have yet to see anyone do it successfully. AT&T couldn't do it 9 years ago, so what makes SCO think they can do it now? AT&T had a MUCH better table to stand on.

      Particularly since the case has already been litigated and closed. Getting the courts to re-open a settled case is near impossible. The only claims that SCO owns are through the AT&T copyrights. If the courts allowed a losing plaintif to avoid negative judgement by selling the IP to another party there would be no way to achieve finality.

      Courts tend to make finality of judgement a very high priority. Once a case is closed it is closed, the only way to reopen it is usually to show that there was something wrong with the process at the first trial, usually knowing use of false evidence, bribing a juror, judge etc.

      I just do not see the courts accepting an attempt to re-open this case, particularly if the plaintif refuses to even specify what is allegedly infringing.

      This looks like yet another SCO attempt to extract money through legal threats that are highly unlikely to succeed. It would be interesting to know the extent to which this type of threat would fall under insurance policies.

  • by pknoll (215959) <[slashdot.pk] [at] [grapefish.org]> on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:43PM (#7512477)
    we learn that Boies, Schiller & Flexner will directly attack the 1994 AT&T/BSD settlement

    How do you attack a settlement, exactly? Get one of the parties to the agreement to reneg?

    A settlement isn't something that can be appealed, as far as I know; and even if it could be, I'd bet certainly not by an uninvolved party.

    • by Zathrus (232140) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @03:09PM (#7512787) Homepage
      A settlement isn't something that can be appealed, as far as I know; and even if it could be, I'd bet certainly not by an uninvolved party.

      Even if it could be appealed (and I forgot that it was a settlement, not a judicial ruling), we're long past the final date for filing an appeal.

      As for an uninvolved party -- that's not true. AT&T sold all rights on the source code in question to Novell, who then sold it (with strings) to the company that is now SCO. So they are an involved party, albeit several purchases removed. Of course, that weakens their case -- they should damn well have known what they were and weren't purchasing, along with the legal entanglements involved. Failure to do so may very well be illegal, but in this case it would be the stockholders suing the company over failure of due diligence rather than the company suing anyone.

      The more I read on this the more I wonder wtf is going on. It has long since passed the point of being rational. SCO may very well have a beef with IBM and contract violation, but it ends there. All the ranting and raving against Linux, BSD, and the rest of the industry is insane.

      On an unrelated note, I'm glad to see IBM handling the case the way they are. I'm sincerely hoping that IBM is subpoening Canopus in order to pierce the corporate veil. This kind of intellectual property blackmail is exactly the kind of thing a large corporation doesn't want to see. It's very much in IBM's interest to burn the fields and salt the earth as a warning against anyone else who would try such spurious claims against them. They have to not only take down SCO, but also Canopus. And if the lawyers pull the same level of crap in the courtroom as they're pulling in the press then IBM will probably push to have them disbarred for conflict of interest, improper conduct, etc.

      Anyone who has a legit complaint against IBM, Redhat, Linux, BSD, etc. should certainly pursue it in court. But so far SCO has failed to prove that they have any such complaint, and they appear to be throwing up a smokescreen to hide that.
    • How do you attack a settlement, exactly?

      You can't attack a settlement per se. I'm guessing that what SCO are planning to do is to litigate some of the issues that people believe were decided in the settlement.

      Because it was an out of court settlement, you don't have any final decision. You don't have any case law arising out of it. If SCO thinks that they have legal arguments that will prevail, there's nothing at all to stop them refighting that case.

      Whether or not they'll win remains to be seen, b
    • A settlement isn't something that can be appealed, as far as I know; and even if it could be, I'd bet certainly not by an uninvolved party.

      As somebody else pointed out, SCO is USL's successor in interest to the SysV code, so they actually are an interested party in the BSD case. Beyond that, they wouldn't actually be attacking the settlement, per se. Instead they'd be attacking the behavior of the other settling party by claiming that they weren't living up to their side of the bargain.

      This might actu

  • by Crashmarik (635988) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:43PM (#7512485)
    Its just going to take alittle while for the peabrain (Mcbride, boies et al) to get the message.

    SCO's stock has gone from a high of 21 to 14 today, its no longer reacting to the press releases. Even Forbes is now referring to the canopy group as shakedown artists. McBride and company are increasingly running out of people who will buy their story or invest in their stock.

    The last time sco had a teleconference they managed a 50 percent bump in share price. This time they got a 1.5 percent bump. This is despite the fact that they have now widened their suit to include contractual control over Novell and BSD.

    The big worry will be what happens when sco does give up the ghost. Theres alot of people that depend on the software to run their businesses. They had nothing to do with the lawsuit and will be hurt when the message does at last get to the brain of the beast.
    • The big worry will be what happens when sco does give up the ghost. Theres alot of people that depend on the software to run their businesses. They had nothing to do with the lawsuit and will be hurt when the message does at last get to the brain of the beast.

      Well, judging by how much code Linux has stolen from SCO, it shouldn't be hard for them to switch.
  • by FatRatBastard (7583) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:43PM (#7512487) Homepage
    Assuming that the Inq is correct and some code violations came from the Sequent side of things this makes sense of the $50 million investment. Novell then is a distributer of the kernel, Novell has rights to the suspect code, therefor via the GPL (if I'm thinking correctly) since they're distributing everyone else gets those rights too.
  • missed one (Score:3, Funny)

    by pyros (61399) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:45PM (#7512499) Journal
    I found this [internetwk.com] about 20 minutes ago on news.google.com. My favorite Darl quote: "First it's not our customers. I would say we're suing end users. There are only two industries who use the term 'users,' computers and drugs. Not sure if there's a connection there". So now we're all communist junkies.
  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:46PM (#7512506) Journal
    The poor judge who is going to have to figure this one out.

    At least I hope this kinda of case does not go before a jury. Can you imagine the average smuck not smart enough to escape jury duty trying to make sense of all this? Worse trying to make sense of it while getting the info from two different camps?

    If it is trial by jury we better hope for a really smart and level headed judge who can properly instruct the jury.

    Can this even all go before a single court? If they are really going to sue IBM + Novell + Linux customer + BSD + Little fluffy kittens, we might end up with a dozen trials. That is not counting the appeals.

    Oh well at least now with BSD in the firing line as well we will see an end to the posts claiming BSD is safe because of some previous case. When a mad man is loose with a gun, noone is safe.


    • Can you imagine the average smuck not smart enough to escape jury duty trying to make sense of all this? Worse trying to make sense of it while getting the info from two different camps?


      The consequences of this for the technical community serve as an excellent argument for why smart people maybe shouldn't try to escape jury duty...
  • by caferace (442) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:47PM (#7512529) Homepage
    SCO, McBride and their lawyers are like Tribbles, only not cute and fuzzy.

    They keep on multiplying, getting in the way and serving no apparent purpose.

  • Great.. (Score:3, Funny)

    by deego (587575) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:48PM (#7512539)
    now SCO is targetting DEAD OSes! ;-)
  • by Infonaut (96956) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:49PM (#7512551) Homepage Journal
    The company was headed down the tubes, so in order to pump up the stock price enough to allow for some breathing room. The problem for McBride is that SCO still hasn't found a way to make money the old-fashioned way. So what was initially a tactic to hold their ground has morphed into their strategy for long-term survival.

    But they've overreached. In fact, they've managed to do what even Microsoft has been unable to do so far; they are directly threatening almost everyone in the *NIX world, which will only bring the disparate camps together. There's big money behind Linux, and there are a lot of companies interested in keeping BSD alive as well.

    The mouse that roared is going to get stepped on eventually. Whether they can make enough money in the mean time in order to carry on after their legal shenanegans are put to a stop is the real question. If they can't, I expect SCO to die quite rapidly as soon as they lose in court.

  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@@@lynx...bc...ca> on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:49PM (#7512556) Journal
    ... when they keep changing their focus every time their last statements get countered.

    SCO will be history by this time next year.

  • BSD Code Settlement (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rstultz (146201) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:51PM (#7512583) Homepage
    Wasn't that case settled because of the fact that AT&T had copied a bunch of BSD code, and the realization had been made that both had screwed up and the easiest course of action was to say "From this day forth..." both were legal? that's always been my understanding of that settlement.

    If SCO attacks it, don't they also open themselves back up to claims against AT&T (which SCO would now have to defend) of stealing code from BSD and putting it into their codebase (UNIX, SVWhatever)?

    My question would be, can they really open up that can of worms again? And if they do, don't they open themselves up to accusations of IP infringement? Would they have to then clean up the UNIX codebase to remove any infringement that the settlement allowed?

    Ryan Stultz
    • by mengel (13619) <mengel AT users DOT sourceforge DOT net> on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @04:24PM (#7513566) Homepage Journal
      Not exactly; the BSD case was settled because:
      • AT&T had a fairly weak derivative code claim (surprisingly like the current SCO one, actually) saying that even though all of the actual AT&T code had been removed from BSD's Net-4 release, somehow by a process of transitive derivation it was still a derivative work.
      • Berkely had a much stronger, classic copright case on the printed manuals for vi, netstat, etc. that would have required AT&T to apologize publicly, and hunt down and destroy all System V based User Guides (i.e ones for AT&T System V, IRIX, HP-UX, etc. etc.)
      Berkely really didn't care to press their case except to make the AT&T one go away.

      As somone pointed out earlier, never sue a University with a good law school.

    • by stefanb (21140) * on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @04:54PM (#7513901) Homepage
      Wasn't that case settled because of the fact that AT&T had copied a bunch of BSD code, and the realization had been made that both had screwed up and the easiest course of action was to say "From this day forth..." both were legal? that's always been my understanding of that settlement.
      I think the case was much in favor of BSD: System V contained loads of BSD files, which AT&T conventiently had lost the copyright notices to, and had also forgotten to give due credit in the documentation for; on the other hand, the Net/2 release was found to contain only minor copyright infringements, which could be healed by removing three files, and making minor modifications to a couple of others.

      The exact terms of the settlement remain secret, but Marshall Kirk McKusick wrote this nice history summary [oreilly.com].

      If SCO really has any way to re-start the proceedings on this, I somehow feel Berkeley lawyers will have none of it...

  • War (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jamesmartinluther (267743) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @02:56PM (#7512639) Homepage
    This is more than a corporate-on-corporate war. At stake is the ability to for people to create content and to invent technologies on their own terms.

    - JML
  • by Teahouse (267087) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @03:00PM (#7512681)
    What going after BSD means is that SCO has no case unless they can blow up an agreement made between AT&T and BSD before SCO was even involved. Basically, they will need to meet the IBM/Red Hat motion that they provide offending code as a part of the discovery process. When that happens, IBM will move for dismissal because all the "IP" SCO claims will be found to be BSD covered in some way. Basically, this just confirms that the emperor has no clothes.

  • BSD? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GearheadX (414240) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @03:01PM (#7512688)
    Doesn't taking aim at BSD put SCO into the position of aiming it's sights at Apple?
    • Re:BSD? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Firehawke (50498)
      Maybe. It really depends on what chunks of BSD this lawsuit is going to be covering-- the kernel of MacOS X, IIRC, is based on Mach rather than BSD.

      However, in any case, they're trying to strike at BOTH of the big free competitors to Unix. If they can somehow succeed, it could put the Big Hurt on free software in general.
  • Desperation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Archangel Michael (180766) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @03:03PM (#7512718) Journal
    To me, this is increasingly sounding like SCO desperately seeking a buyer. While I know that the /. crowd has often raised this flag especially in the early stages, but when it was clear that IBM wasn't biting the bait (drinking the koolaid) the tactic seemed to shift.

    Now with the attack on BSD, I think they are trying to get APPLE to bite. I doubt very much that Apple will bite, because Apple knows apples and this one is poisoned.

    No company in their right mind is going to purchase SCO at this point. McBride and Co, have tainted with so much vile crap that it will be impossible for SCO to ever come out smelling like a rose. (enough cheezy oneliners yet?)

    Anyway, the BSD attack is directed at Apple, and Apple should understand this.
  • by yellowstone (62484) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @03:10PM (#7512792) Homepage Journal
    "Only an idiot fights a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts."
    Londo Mollari
  • by Gannoc (210256) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @03:13PM (#7512819)
    When I was a kid, and explaining to my parents that I needed a modem to call BBSs, they asked me how much it would cost. When I said most BBSs were free, run by people for fun, they didn't believe me. They said that nothing is ever free.

    Now, you have all these guys out there who are extremely suspecious of how Linux works. They just don't understand how you can get something for nothing.

    Then SCO comes along and confidently says what they've been expecting all along.

    "I knew it!" says average Joe, "Its SCO that's going to get the money for Linux! BUY BUY BUY!"

    Now that more mainstream publications are exposing SCO for the con artists they are, they're losing that edge.
  • ATT (Score:3, Funny)

    by trybywrench (584843) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @03:25PM (#7512931)
    it'd be interesting to see ATT get involved.

    if IBM is the 800 lb gorilla that you don't pick a fight with then ATT is the demon you hope you never even *see* let alone start poking with a stick.

    now the market is starting to turn on them as well...
    the end is near SCO
  • Heed my words (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rongage (237813) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @03:52PM (#7513233)

    I've said this before, and I'll say it again...

    Unless and until we all get off of our collective lazy butts and do something about this, there is absolutely nothing else that is going to stop it.

    What this means is that US, the authors, movers and shakers in the Free Software community (not just us Linux folks, but you BSDers, too), have to attack back lest we risk loosing our hard work.

    If we can not defend what is ours, then we will loose all rights to our work. How can this be put any more simpler. SCO is attacking our property and we are all waiting for "someone else" to defend it. This includes people like Linus and Andrew Tridgell (Samba) as well as the little folks like myself.

    People, get this straight... if we do not attack back (using the courts), then we WILL loose our property and our community. We can't afford to wait for the IBM and/or RedHat cases to play out. We can't afford to let "someone else" deal with it. We MUST act today, now!

    My proposed attack method is akin to a bee-sting. Except in rare cases (allergies), a bee-sting is not fatal, but 1000 bee-stings almost certainly will be. What we need to do is file 1000's of small claims against SCO in your local courts, alleging copyright violation. Seek the maximum allowed for your jurisdiction. Be prepared to show that your work was submitted to the Linux Kernel (or any other project that SCO is distributing like Samba) and that said project is indeed licensed under the GPL. Yes, you may need to consult a lawyer to be effective, but this is the price we MUST pay to attack SCO back, and be effective.

    As long as our dislike of the legal system keeps us from using it, we WILL loose because of it.

    • Re:Heed my words (Score:5, Informative)

      by Angst Badger (8636) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @06:47PM (#7515001)
      What we need to do is file 1000's of small claims against SCO in your local courts, alleging copyright violation.

      I hate to hit you with this, Perry Mason, but copyright violation cases do not get tried in small claims courts. Furthermore, unless you registered your copyright with a form TX at the Copyright Office, you can't sue for punitive damages, so you will have to demonstrate actual monetary losses in order to sue for compensatory damages, and since you are, presumably, not being paid royalties on non-existent sales of the kernel, you have no grounds for a suit.

      And "lose" has only one 'o'. "Loose", as in "loose legal reasoning" has two.
  • Roadmap... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Junta (36770) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @03:59PM (#7513316)
    Some companies have product roadmaps, SCO publishes lawsuit roadmaps... I guess that *is* SCO's sole product nowadays.
  • by Kefabi (178403) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @06:07PM (#7514688) Journal
    Just opened news.google.com.

    Under technology's top stories:

    Novell slams latest SCO claims
    SCO Hints at *BSD Lawsuits Next Year, And More
    SCO CEO claims top spot on Forbes List of World's Most Hated Business Leaders

    SCO doesn't have much longer to live. They've managed to get on not only techies' shit lists, but now the presses'
  • by nurb432 (527695) on Wednesday November 19, 2003 @07:02PM (#7515191) Homepage Journal
    If SCO wins.. it puts the OSS camp out of commission for a year or so while the offending code is taken out. And years to undo the 'image' damage.

    Microsoft has another year to gain market, and uses the bad image against us.

    If SCO looses, it takes years to undo the 'image' damage, and Microsoft uses the bad image against us to gain market share...

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