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SCO Expands Licensing Money Chase Worldwide 466

Posted by timothy
from the no-see-we-sue-you-otherwise dept.
drizst 'n drat writes "Article posted recently on ZDNet that 'companies outside the United States that use Linux now face the threat of legal action from the SCO Group, following the announcement on Wednesday that SCO's licenses are available worldwide.'" And cbiltcliffe writes "Vnunet is reporting that SCO is now threatening legal action against UK businesses that run Linux. Yet again, they claim they're going to initiate legal action against Linux users 'within a couple of weeks.' (Funny...weren't they saying that back in September?) They also claim that Novell and HP indemnification schemes are essentially useless (similar to SCO's Linux licences). It definitely appears the media is getting somewhat wiser to the FUD, however, as the story reports 'The run-time licence only permits use of what SCO says is its IP,' rather than 'The licence permits use of SCO's IP' like we would have heard a couple of months ago."
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SCO Expands Licensing Money Chase Worldwide

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  • Go Go Super WIPO (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mirell (459881) * <tryn@mirell.org> on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @04:14PM (#7977948) Homepage Journal
    So have they got WIPO to approve their claims?
  • by wo1verin3 (473094) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @04:15PM (#7977960) Homepage
    If there is a ruling in the US against SCO which says there is no SCO IP in Linux, can they still try to force licenses upon those in other countries until a case is that country goes to trial?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @04:16PM (#7977964)
    Nigeria.
  • by cartzworth (709639) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @04:16PM (#7977967) Journal
    ...the rest of the world also collectively gives SCO the finger.
  • SCO's IP (Score:3, Funny)

    by Autonomous Cowherder (741529) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @04:17PM (#7977972)
    The licence permits use of SCO's IP

    Idiotic Proposition? No thanks!
  • by whovian (107062) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @04:17PM (#7977975)
    SCO: OK guys, this US gig isn't going to get us anywhere. Let's go to Europe!
    • Didn't SCO sue IBM to find out what IP was put into Linux? So how can they sue anybody using Linux if they haven't got a clue?

      And going to Europe won't be any better. They still have some laws that work against crap like this last I checked.

      (Germany for example shut SCO down)
  • Finally. Even the media are begging to SCOff. :P

    Yo Grark
  • Barratry.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 0WaitState (231806) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @04:18PM (#7977997)
    Doesn't the UK have a law against barratry, something the USA desperately needs? SCO could get royally fucked by playing their legal games in the UK. We can only hope.
    • Re:Barratry.. (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The US does have barratry law, troll, but it requires repeated lawsuits with the sole intent to harrass and without any valid claim. SCO has only been threatening lawsuits which is not barratry. You would also have to prove that not only are their claims without basis but that they knew that all along. That is not an easy case to persue.

      I think that was a pretty fair response to what was obviously flamebait.
    • Re:Barratry.. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Albanach (527650) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @04:31PM (#7978236) Homepage
      Great Britain has two legal systems, one covering England and Wales, the other covers Scotland.

      In Scotland, Extortion (the obtaining of money or goods by means of illegitimate threats or demands) is a criminal offence. As a result, such practises as private firms clamping your car for parking on private property then demanding money to release it is illegal in Scotland but not in England. As a result, any Scottish company receiving one of these demands may wish to request a copy of the infringing source and if it's not forthcoming deem the request as an illegitimate threat and report SCO to the police.

      In addition the new Proceeds of Crime Act gives police the power to seize all assets belonging to criminals participating in the practise of extortion. Such assets could include cars, houses, boats and bank accounts.

    • Re:Barratry.. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Dub Kat (183404) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @04:34PM (#7978277) Homepage
      For those of you who don't know what barratry is (I had no idea until 2 minutes ago): Wikipedia's Barratry entry [wikipedia.org].

      $60/month Colo'd Linux Sever [aktiom.net]
    • Re:Barratry.. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Zeinfeld (263942) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @04:35PM (#7978287) Homepage
      Doesn't the UK have a law against barratry, something the USA desperately needs? SCO could get royally fucked by playing their legal games in the UK. We can only hope

      Damn right, first in the UK the loser pays the costs of both sides. SCO is a foreign corporation and could probably be required to put up a surety if they brought a claim.

      Second and more interesting there is actually a tort in the UK that covers this exact type of case.

      It is not a good idea to send out demand letters to a UK address unless you can substantiate the claim made.

      The UK legal systen is not the place to start frivolous lawsuits unless you have no money to start with and so won't be worse off if you get made bankrupt.

      • Re:Barratry.. (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Threni (635302)
        > in the UK the loser pays the costs of both sides.

        Actually, I think this is at the judges discretion. There have been libel cases where one side has won, but has been awarded 1p damages and told to pay costs, which is worse than losing!
        • Re:Barratry.. (Score:3, Informative)

          by Zeinfeld (263942)
          Actually, I think this is at the judges discretion. There have been libel cases where one side has won, but has been awarded 1p damages and told to pay costs, which is worse than losing!

          There are two factors that come into this. The first is that a judge can refuse to award costs to a plaintif if they win an award that is derisory.

          The second more interesting one is that the defendant can make an offer to settle for a particular sum. If the plaintif wins the case and the damages are less than or equal t

      • Re:Barratry.. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by 0WaitState (231806)
        Second and more interesting there is actually a tort in the UK that covers this exact type of case.

        Interesting--can you give a bit of background on this? The barratry thing doesn't apply until after SCO starts sueing aix or linux users, which probably won't happen. The general point I'm trying to make is that sueing or threatening to sue people for profit (hello Canopy Group) is a riskier endeavor in the UK than in the USA.
        • Re:Barratry.. (Score:4, Interesting)

          by SkArcher (676201) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @06:23PM (#7979546) Journal
          Part of the consumer protection act specifys that the seller must specify the exact good purchased in Trade.

          From
          2000 No. 2334

          CONSUMER PROTECTION

          The Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000

          Information required prior to the conclusion of the contract 7. - (1) Subject to paragraph (4), in good time prior to the conclusion of the contract the supplier shall -

          (a) provide to the consumer the following information -
          (i) the identity of the supplier and, where the contract requires payment in advance, the supplier's address;
          (ii) a description of the main characteristics of the goods or services;

          As you can see, if SCO want to sell a license or contract within the UK, the seller (SCO) must specify the characteristics of the purchase. I.E. Specify what rights to what code is for sale/licensed under the contract. That can't be NDA'd either, as terms of sale are not allowed to be confidential.

          IANAL etc.
    • by El (94934) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @05:09PM (#7978678)
      Is it legal to publish press releases announcing "Any day now, we're going to start sending out letters threatening to break people's legs unless they pay us money," as long as you don't actually send out the letters? How can SCO get away with publicly announcing its intention to perform what many would regard as illegal actions?
      • by dipipanone (570849) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @09:36PM (#7981402)
        Is it legal to publish press releases announcing "Any day now, we're going to start sending out letters threatening to break people's legs unless they pay us money," as long as you don't actually send out the letters?

        So long as you don't specify whose legs it is that you're going to break, I'm afraid it probably is.

        I don't believe for a moment that SCO is going to start suing anybody in the UK or anywhere else for that matter.

        A quick check on Yahoo Finance shows that their stock has been dropping steadily over the last five days -- and is currently down some $2.50 from its price on Friday.

        Whenever this happens, SCO simply issues yet another Press Release in order to justify their various backers' secret support of their stock price.

        The various broker firms who are buying on behalf of a secret customer, *cough* Microsoft *cough*, are going to have to say they had some reason for buying when the SEC eventually investigates them. They can point to press releases like this and say:
        'Look, SCO said they were going to be getting license fees from Linux users all over the world. Why *wouldn't* we buy more stock -- even though Novell had showed strong evidence that they own the copyrights and the bottom was dropping out of SCO's share price at the time?'
  • by deadmonk (568008)
    .. Yup, rock solid set of balls on those boys.

    Especially since this can get you jail time in other countries, perhaps..?
  • Worldwide? (Score:3, Funny)

    by RyanFenton (230700) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @04:20PM (#7978020)
    Whew - Spirit was busy enough, and Beagle II was in enough trouble. It's a good thing they never plan to bring those things back home.

    Ryan Fenton
  • by canfirman (697952) <pdavi25@y3.14159ahoo.ca minus pi> on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @04:20PM (#7978024)
    CBS Marketwatch also another story on this issue. [marketwatch.com] In it, Blake Stowell, an SCO spokesman said, "The fact that we are now offering a license for SCO's intellectual property for Linux in the U.K. opens up the door now to the fact that if customers in the U.K. choose not to purchase a license from us, the threat of legal action could be forthcoming".

    Translation: we're not making enough cash from North America because they're not taking us seriously. So, we'll hit you guys up for a few bucks.

    I really wonder if anybody in Europe will really take these guys seriously? Since SCO was sooooooooo successful in launching their lawsuits in the U.S., I'm sure they'll do just fine in Europe.

    • Blake Stowell, an SCO spokesman said, "The fact that we are now offering a license for SCO's intellectual property for Linux in the U.K. opens up the door now to the fact that if customers in the U.K. choose not to purchase a license from us, the threat of legal action could be forthcoming".

      I'm definitely reading too much into this, but I thought it was kind of funny that this spokesman likes the word "fact," when facts are sorely missing from this case. Trying to make it sound like they have a more

  • Novell (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nattt (568106) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @04:20PM (#7978027)
    Until Novell and SCO sorts out who owns what, anyone can just tell SCO to go to hell. That's if there's anything of SCO left by the time IBM finish with them. Anyone who now pays SCO money is stupid.

    • Re:Novell (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mugnyte (203225) * on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @04:58PM (#7978571) Journal
      More than that. SCO must resolve their fight with Novell AND IBM before anyone is "legally obligated" to license their alledged IP. Simply because you are in court arguing a case doesn't allow you to assume you will win, and thus all others must treat you like that beforehand.

      SCO not only fails to act according to this simple logic, they taunt "more legal action" which just prolongs the course of when their suposed IP would be verifed. So, theoretically after IBM were to lose, they sue their next customer, and the chain would be very slow. You can run concurrently, but I would move that they are all related.
  • 'Cause everybody knows that Germans *love* David Hasselhoff. . .
  • Translation (Score:5, Informative)

    by El (94934) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @04:20PM (#7978037)
    "We have had some discussions. With some of those companies they have not been fruitful." -- Chris Sontag

    Translation: "We have them our ultimatum, and they gave us the finger!"

  • ... the sound of SCOs' death rattle.
  • If history has taught us anything its that Europe as a whole has embraced open source faster then the US to top it all off the US gov. has been working very hard to keep relations poor to europe and the rest of the world. I'm thinking a small US company like SCO isn't going to scare large European corporations and goverments much.
  • by happyfrogcow (708359) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @04:22PM (#7978074)
    I hear you can redeem 15 SCO liscenses inside Chucky Cheese's near the skiball games for a plastic keychain or 50 SCO liscenses for a yo-yo.

  • The more claims they make and the bigger the problem that they claim exists, the more they just sound like they do nothing but BS. Eventually noone will listen and hopefully we can all forget this silly mess and have proper geek articles like the lander that moves in 10" increments...
  • Not news really (Score:2, Interesting)

    by grub (11606)

    ...now face the threat of legal action...

    Well, in reality everyone has the threat of legal action looming over them. It may be entirely unwarranted, as in the SCO fiasco, but you can still go file suit against anyone for pretty much any goofy reason you can come up with.
  • I'm waiting calmly (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Janek Kozicki (722688) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @04:23PM (#7978089) Journal
    34 days left [sco90days.com] and
    -3 days left.
    (wtf?! -> soon we will know what court and IBM thinks about their 60-paged document...)
  • Already Happening (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ed Almos (584864) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @04:23PM (#7978092)
    Sorry to burst your bubble but this started a couple of weeks ago. We got back from the Christmas break to find one of the letters from the SCO Group asking us to verify that we had not copied any code from our SCO servers into Linux machines.

    As our last SCO server went into the trash a couple of years ago legal told us to ignore the letter and that's exactly what we did. Our three AIX machines continue to run as do our two Linux clusters, the only thing that's changed is the FUD from SCO.

    Ed Almos
    Budapest, Hungary
  • SCO also gave IBM some of the purported evidence the judge required them to divulge. Story today at InfoWorld [infoworld.com].
  • I mean seriously. They seem to be seriously shooting themselves in the foot. If we used SCO we'd be moving off them so fast and hoping never to hear from them again.

    I can't wait till this is over.

  • by Ashtead (654610) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @04:24PM (#7978106) Journal
    As far as I know, they still cannot make this kind of claims in Germany. And good luck to them (they're gonna need it!) if they really try something more substantial than their current FUD propagation anywhere else around here.

    Unless and until they can prove in a court of law that they really have these rights they claim, they cannot expect to be paid. On the contrary, they can expect to be investigated for fraud, an perhaps subject to criminal charges of extortion...

    And trying to dodge the GPL does not count. Either the GPL is valid and must be obeyed, or it is invalid which makes everyone distributing Linux and other GPL'd software into copyright infringers. This latter seems somewhat less than likely...

  • In Related News (Score:5, Interesting)

    by j0keralpha (713423) * on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @04:24PM (#7978108)
    From Groklaw [http]: SCO has posted a job opening, for an "Inside Sales Manager", as of January 9th. Here is the job description, in case you are interested: "The inside sales manager will be responsible to implement a successful campaign of generating daily revenue from selling IP licensing in the North American market. Initially, the sales manager will also be responsible for generating the revenue as a stand-alone sales entity with the goal to grow the department revenue to justify additional sales resources. All sales will be generated from outbound phone calls and incoming phone call leads based upon the SCO Group's IP campaign." Applicants should have the ability to "communicate the offerings of the SCO Groups [sic] IP license strategies in a manner that is successful in generating revenues." Daily. Of course, you have to live in Utah.
    • In other words, "You don't have to be an accomplished liar to work here, but it helps!"
      • by SuiteSisterMary (123932) <slebrun@gmail.cUUUom minus threevowels> on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @04:31PM (#7978220) Journal

        "We can't legally tell you to lie to customers, but it's pretty much the only way to make quota."

        "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury. I'm not legally allowed to offer you large cash kickbacks for finding in favour of my client, but please take a moment to put your addresses on these envelopes."

        -- quoted (badly) from Dilbert.

        • Dogbert: "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury. I'm not legally allowed to offer you large cash kickbacks for finding in favor of my client, but please take a moment to fill out a self-addressed stamped envelope."

          Judge: "What are you doing?"

          Dogbert: "I'm trying to establish reasonable doubt."

          Later

          Judge: "Have you reached a verdict?"

          Foreman: "We find the defendant innocent of all charges because we like little dogs who wear glasses. And we award a Maytag dryer to the juror Mary for winning the "Best Dressed
  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @04:25PM (#7978133)

    Dear silly CEO McBride,

    I say NI to you. Your SysV was a hamster, and you SCOsource smells of elderberries. Now go go away or I shall taunt you a second time.

    French Taunters, SARL

    P.S. to legale departement: Fetchez la vache ... fetchez la vache!
  • by BubbaTheBarbarian (316027) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @04:26PM (#7978153) Journal
    On Tuesday, McBride said that lack of indemnification proved that companies knew there was something wrong with Linux. On Wednesday, he said that indemnification programs proved that companies knew there was something wrong with Linux. Darl is obviously showing signs of short-term memory loss.

    This whole thing is just starting to piss me off, as they want it both ways, want everyone to lay down and pay them money for just sitting on their asses and thinking about ways to rule the world. They keep making these threats, but with the resulting 60 pages of docs they handed over, it is now being widely assumed that these guys are smoking some of the local meth (Utah has a HUGE meth industry).

    One other note is that Sontag backtracked and said that this case is not a copyright case, but a breech of contract case. If that is true (who knows) then the ONLY entity that they could get money out of is IBM. They cannot go after an end-user using a contractual basis for their case, as the end user has no contract with SCO, much less any implied of such. They could go after under the basis of the copyrights, but then any end user could defer the case until after the Novell v. SCO copyright fight is over.

    This sounds like a last gasp of desperation from SCO. They had to put out something to pump the stock, and what better way to say they going to get money from the whole world! What they do not realize is, just like a TV show killing off a main character to garner interest, this latest tact will prove to be opening act of their permanent cancellation.
  • ... until they go for licenses in south east Asia and eastern Europe.
  • SCO are psychotic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pitr256 (201315) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @04:28PM (#7978184) Homepage
    According to InfoWorld [infoworld.com], SCO is now claiming that in it's response to IBM interogatories, they have submitted no examples of copyright infrigement.

    Blake Stowell is quoted as saying, "We've not introduced copyright infringement as part of our case with IBM. We've tried to make it clear that it's a contract issue."

    Seems quite odd when a SCO press release from yesterday says exactly the opposite. Old Darl said this, "SCO is willing to enforce our copyright claims down to the end user level and in the coming days and weeks, we will make this evident in our actions." [yahoo.com]

    What freakin planet are these guys from? I'm sorry, but I despise them like I despise neo-nazi, racists, thugs.

    I'm sorry that I ever bought a Caldera product...
    • by ausoleil (322752)
      Blake Stowell is quoted as saying, "We've not introduced copyright infringement as part of our case with IBM. We've tried to make it clear that it's a contract issue."

      Yet, in their Motion to Compel Discovery, they want to get AIX source code, etc. etc. from IBM in order to determine if there is a copyright violation therein.

      In other words, they want IBM to send them the pond in order to see if there are any fish in it.

      Now they are saying that they are not suing IBM in regards to a contract, er, a copyri
      • Re:SCO are psychotic (Score:3, Interesting)

        by One Louder (595430)
        I'd much rather have the case to continue, but for SCO to get contempt citations from the court. I'm sure IBM will move for dismissal next week, but it would be much more interesting if they didn't - just drag SCO through the entire drawn-out process they started, exposing their lies in a public forum. It might also help to find out what part MS and Sun have been playing in this little drama.
    • "I'm sorry, but I despise them like I despise neo-nazi, racists, thugs"

      Why do you have to insult Neo-Nazi, Racist, Thugs like that?
    • Re:SCO are psychotic (Score:3, Interesting)

      by yomahz (35486)
      Blake Stowell is quoted as saying, "We've not introduced copyright infringement as part of our case with IBM. We've tried to make it clear that it's a contract issue."

      How can they say that this case is over contract breach w/ IBM and in the same week demand (again) end users license their "IP" (which nobody has seen because, despite a court order, they will not produce it).

      It's pretty obvious that they're in a tailspin now.
    • *LIAR* (Score:3, Interesting)

      by schon (31600)
      Blake Stowell is quoted as saying, "We've not introduced copyright infringement as part of our case with IBM. We've tried to make it clear that it's a contract issue."

      Well, if that's the case, then why did your attorney, on the record, in court, tell the judge, "I will proffer to the Court that we are filing a second amended complaint that has copyright infringement claims, and will be filed within the coming few days or no less than a week. And we'll put then fully in front of the Court the three buckets
  • This is EXCELLENT! Not only do they dig themselves deeper and deeper, but I'm sure the Europeans will be much less inclined to put up with this kind of shit from SCO as long as we have. SCO is defiantly lining themselves up for a smack-down
  • by TheWanderingHermit (513872) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @04:31PM (#7978227)
    SCO is just like the schoolyard bully that keeps pushing other kids around until someone hits him in the stomach and leaves him in pain. I was the kid who would never fight, but when one of these guys got to be too much and pushed me around, I fought them. I didn't even have to win. Once word got around that I (the kid who hated fighting) could even hold my own with them, their reputation as a bully was gone.

    That's what SCO is doing. They're pushing everyone. When they don't get enough attention, they make more threats. They keep threating more and more people and companies. As long as they can rant and rave, their stock stays high, but once someone (like IBM, hopefully) and kicks them down a notch, it'll all be over.

    They know they have nothing. They know the only thing keeping their stock high is the bluster and fuss they keep making. They're reaching out as wide as possible to bully the schoolyard, the neighborhood, and, soon, the whole world. When they reach the end of people they can threaten, they'll have to act. If they had the strength to act and actually do something, they would. Since they don't, they're Shakespeare's idiot, telling a tale full of sound and fury signifying nothing.
    • I disagree (Score:5, Funny)

      by Kjella (173770) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @05:41PM (#7979104) Homepage
      SCO is just like the schoolyard bully that keeps pushing other kids around until someone hits him in the stomach and leaves him in pain.

      SCO isn't even that. They're the schoolyard bully wanna-be, that claims he can beat up anyone. But for some reason nobody actually *believes* he can, so in the end he has to set himself in respect. So he goes after the biggest, strongest kid on the block, the kind that noone wants to try to bully (IBM) and challenges him. And the other kids go "Whoa, if he can do that, he really must be strong."

      Until he gets beaten into a small, bloody pulp.

      Kjella
  • Which country gets to be the first to put Darl in jail for fraud?
  • Thanks for the info (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 16K Ram Pack (690082) <<tim.almond> <at> <gmail.com>> on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @04:32PM (#7978256) Homepage
    I'll be phoning SCO UK to ask for more info about the license, how much it is and where I sign the contract.

    In other news, I'll be phoning Trading Standards.

  • by Cytlid (95255) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @04:33PM (#7978264)
    ...can you say "go f#ck yourself"?
  • by Jaywalk (94910) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @04:34PM (#7978274) Homepage
    SCO claims they're going after companies with whom they've already had "unsuccessful" discussions. The lesson is clear; it's dangerous to even talk to these nut jobs. Better to discard their mail and not return their phone calls.

    I predict one of four things will happen with the threatened lawsuits:

    • They will claim that they have been successful enough without the suits and let the deadline slide by, which is what they did last time.
    • They will sue someone on an unrelated issue, as they did when the sued IBM for a contract dispute.
    • They will be told by the court that they have to settle their dispute with Novell over who actually owns the stuff before they can sue someone else for copyright infringement.
    • They will claim the target of the lawsuit settled without going to court. The name of the target will never be disclosed.
  • by RY (98479)
    It looks more like SCO can see the writing on the wall that they are about to get the US case thrown out of court. It appears that SCO is looking for a court that does not need evidence.

    Then SCO can come back to the US and say something like "The evidence was enough to win the trial in Libya, it should be enough evidence to stand in the US."
  • SCO pays the license!
  • by MongooseCN (139203) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @04:40PM (#7978370) Homepage
    Someone should point Darl to an Al Quada encampment and tell him to go demand license fees from them.
  • Gee the stock is (Score:3, Interesting)

    by lww (323019) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @04:41PM (#7978384)
    down 10% since the 8th while the Nasdaq is pretty much unchanged for the same period. Must be time for another flurry of distracting press releases and conference calls!
  • SCO Japan (Score:2, Interesting)

    by oddmake (715380)
    IIRC,President of SCO Japan says "There are absolutely no copyright infringement in Linux. Linux user should not fear legal problem from us"
    I wonder how this SCO(US) move affect Japan.
  • by dacarr (562277) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @04:43PM (#7978403) Homepage Journal
    We've secretly replace the SCO Group's stocks with Folger's Crystals. Now let's watch them fluctuate.

  • And now, from the "demented conspiracy" section of *my* *brain*, comes the following twisted-beyond-repair illogic:

    1) SCO has, so far, *threatened* lawsuits against US users, but hasn't actually followed through yet because (I surmise) they know they'll lose.
    2) (Lawyer, please!) If SCO files a suit in a US court against an entity who fails to show up to defend themselves (like, say, some dude from the UK where US law does not apply and who, therefore, doesn't give a rat's ass about paying to put high-priced attorneys on a plane to Utah), then SCO wins, right?
    ------------
    3) Therefore, SCO's strategy is to get some quick default wins in court against defendants who won't show up to get some quick PR validation so they can move forward with the sale of the company and assets.

    Is this stretching it maybe? ...a bit? ...anyone think there's anything to this idea?

  • by MichaelCrawford (610140) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @04:48PM (#7978467) Homepage Journal
    Haven't posted this for a while. Please copy and distribute:

    From the page:

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

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

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

    Thank You For Your Attention.

  • by SlideGuitar (445691) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @04:58PM (#7978565)
    I've spent more time than I care to admit to in the last weeks and days trying to figure out what SCO might really be up to. Can they really be as stupid is most people claim? Sure they could be as evil, coniving and greedy as we claim, but could they be as stupid as we claim?

    I assume that we have two sides here. One side says "show us the infringing code".... on the theory that in order to demonstrate copying you have to show more or less a letter perfect copy...

    I assume that SCOs game is to get inside of the sausage making process and to demonstrate that even though the code is not literally system V you can trace a "legacy" that involves the gradual modification of ideas expressed in one form to ideas expressed today in Linux, and that by linking the people who worked on code to its evolution over time through evidence derived from the discovery process, they will make the case that current Linux code is derived from code that they claim to own. The continuity of people may be part of making the case of continuity of "ideas" and thus of "ownership."

    From this perspective (IANAL, etc.) I would think that all of the moaning about how Linux code isn't exactly, or aproximately, Unix code is really beside the point. IBM would of course like to keep it at that level, arguing "if the glove does not fit you must aquit", eg. if this code isn't exactly the copyrighted code then they have no case.

    But my understanding of the law (limited and amateur as it is) is that SCO would have a case to make if the concepts ideas, "manner of expression" and all sorts of other stuff in Linux could be shown to be derived through a chain of modification, backed up by the ongoing involvement of individuals in that modification process, even if the code and expression of programing ideas took a very different letter by letter form.

    So if they can get inside of IBM records they can begin to stitch a winnable case together, while if the "Match code or acquit" theory holds then the case is over. So if they can satisfy the initial requests enough to make the judge open up IBM to their SCO discover, then they can begin to make the case.

    Anyway that's my effort to understand what SCO might be thinking and why this might make more sense than we'd like it to make.

    They are scum, but let's not assume that they are stupid scum.
    • "SCO would have a case to make if the concepts ideas, "manner of expression" and all sorts of other stuff in Linux could be shown to be derived through a chain of modification, backed up by the ongoing involvement of individuals in that modification process, even if the code and expression of programing ideas took a very different letter by letter form."

      Nice theory, BUT ... ideas can't be copyrighted, and we know SCO holds no patents. Their only possible "IP" is copyrights on code. Even if there was a cl

    • SCO isn't thinking! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by whittrash (693570)
      You need to read the stuff that Novell just put out [novell.com], they have their correspondance with SCO which is very illuminating.

      Go to Groklaw [groklaw.net] and read the Asset purchase agreement yourself. You can see first hand, just how full of shit SCO is, and exactly what rights they have.

      Novell never sold any patents to SCO, that is blatantly written in the asset purchase agreement. SCO probably has few if any copyrights to Unix, the document describes copyright transfer conditions, which SCO has not met. SCO and N
    • by TrentC (11023) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @06:43PM (#7979745) Homepage
      So if they can get inside of IBM records they can begin to stitch a winnable case together, while if the "Match code or acquit" theory holds then the case is over. So if they can satisfy the initial requests enough to make the judge open up IBM to their SCO discover, then they can begin to make the case.

      What you're describing is known as a "fishing expedition", and is generally frowned upon when bringing a lawsuit. The judge in this case apparently understands this, which is why she decided that SCO has to show all of their cards first before the judge will decide on SCO's Motion to Compel Discovery.

      In case you've forgotten, here are some of the questions that SCO must answer before they get a shot at IBM:

      INTERROGATORY NO. 1: seeks specific identification of all alleged trade secrets and confidential or proprietary information that SCO alleges IBM misappropriated or misused. This information is requested by product, file and line of code.

      This means that IBM wants SCO to show show which parts of Linux are deemed to be infringing, "by product, file and line of code". This is "The Code" that followers of the suit have been waiting for since at least March.

      INTERROGATORY NO. 2: For each alleged trade secret and any confidential or proprietary information identified in response to Interrogatory No. 1, Interrogatory No. 2 seeks further identification of: (a) all persons who have or had rights to the same; (b) the nature and sources of SCO's rights in the same; and (c) efforts to maintain secrecy or confidentiality of the same.

      This is IBM saying "For each item you identified in answer to the first question, we want to know who else can claim rights that information, the exact nature of any agreements between that entity and SCO, and what efforts were made on both parts to keep it a secret." (Novell, maybe?)

      INTERROGATORY NO. 3: For each alleged trade secret and any confidential or proprietary information identified in response to Interrogatory No. 1, Interrogatory No. 3 seeks the identity of all persons to whom the same was disclosed and the details of such disclosure. In particular, this interrogatory seeks: (a) the date of disclosure; (b) the terms of disclosure; (c) the documents relating to disclosure; (d) all places where the trade secret and/or confidential or proprietary information may be found or accessed.

      This is IBM saying "For each of the items you identified in answer to the first question, we want to know who all you've shown that information to, when you showed it to them, why you showed it to them, all documentation relating to that disclosure, and any place where that information can be found." Remember, SCO not only charges that SCO's IP got into Linux against their wishes, but that IBM did it. IBM wants to see SCO's evidence that is had to be IBM and couldn't be someone else.

      As far as what SCO wants this case to be about, SCO has contradicted itself on so many occasions that it's impossible to say with any certainty what SCO is suing over. We've gone from Darl McBride saying, on [com.com] several [com.com] occasions, [itweek.co.uk] that there is "line-by-line" copying of UnixWare code into Linux. But somehow we've gotten to the point where they're trying to tell the court that they can't possibly find has been infringed until they get their response from IBM.

      So if you will excuse me, I will continue to believe that SCO are stupid scum, because they've not shown any evidence to the contrary.

      Jay (=
      (I'm not a lawyer either; if you're coming to /. or me for legal advice, you're going to get your money's worth)
  • Wordlwide? (Score:3, Funny)

    by pair-a-noyd (594371) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @05:10PM (#7978689)
    SCO dials Suse Deutschland;

    Ring ring: Halo, Suse Deutschland.
    SCO: Pay up nazi scum!
    Suse Deutschland: Ficken sie SCO.
    Suse Deutschland: Click.
    SCO: . . . . . . . Damn.
  • by Jesrad (716567) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @05:26PM (#7978926) Journal
    This is just SCO's lame attempt at trying to divert the public's attention from the fact that Novell has a firm grip on their balls (= 95% of their licensing revenues, which SCO don't have anymore, not even counting damages and interests) and that they failed to obey a direct court order to divulge all their proof of breach of contract.

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