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Novell Quotes AT&T on Derivative Works 354

Posted by timothy
from the ma-bell-swings-her-hammer-of-truth dept.
grendelkhan writes "Novell has released their latest correspondance with the litigous bastards ordering them to stop the lawsuit by noon tomorrow, and clarify what the SVRX licensing agreements with AT&T meant regarding derivative works. The letter quotes AT&T from the April '85 issue of $echo as stating that they 'claim no ownership interest in any portion of such a modification or derivative work.' So much for the ladder rung analogy." And reader highwaytohell links to today's CRN article in which Eben Moglen suggests that the SCO/Linux lawsuit cannot move ahead "until SCO resolves its dispute with Novell. And regardless of which company prevails in court, he said, customers won't have to pay any company for a license fee since both claimants--SCO and Novell--have distributed the Linux code under the GPL. Once again, SCO have no comment."
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Novell Quotes AT&T on Derivative Works

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  • by ackthpt (218170) * on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @08:25PM (#8244172) Homepage Journal
    Assuming that this letter kicks the stool right out from under SCO (and Canopy) while they attempt to raid the cookie jar, we now return to "copyrights, Copyrights, Who Owns the Copyrights?"

    IIRC SCO claims the copyrights and Novell claims "NOT!" the battle, what's left of it shifts to SCO having to defend themselves from Novell before they could proceed on anything else.

    Looks pretty awful. I wonder when they'll exhibit some sense and give up, granted some heads would roll at SCO, but it's been a long time coming.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @09:06PM (#8244261)
      the only copyrights SCO claims are to sysV unix (and some older unices that don't matter). They also have contractual rights to *derivative works* made from sysV. IBM's AIX is such a derivative work, and IBM cannot release it without SCO approval - for sure they can't turn AIX into GPL code.

      BUT, IBM has independently produced a lot of software that is part of AIX but is not sysV code. This material from NOVELL makes it even clearer (if anything can be clearer than perfectly transparent) that IBM owns this independently developed code and can do whatever it wants with it -- notably, they can contribute it to linux under the GPL. SCO is toast.
      • by Xenographic (557057) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @09:47PM (#8244472) Homepage Journal
        Well, they purport to have contractual rights to the derivative works. According to some of the posters on Groklaw, anyone who relied on the statements made in AT&T's $echo publication could say that SCO is barred as AT&T's successor in interest from asserting rights over the derivative works.

        Moreover, according to the case law I've seen presented on Groklaw, it looks like SCO's theory of derivative works is unreasonable, to say the least.

        Mind you, I'm not a lawyer, this isn't legal advice, etc. but this new evidence from Novell is pretty well nailing down any last avenues of escape SCO might have hoped to have.

        Honestly, SCO is totally screwed with respect to the lawsuits right now... I'm just wondering if they still have anything else up their sleeves? It's been rather apparent that they were screwed or going to be screwed for some time now, so they might have made contingency plans which may or may not need to be delt with... (e.g. what happens if they suddenly assign all their rights to another company or something?)
        • I expect SCO will try and claim they own the though processes that go into making anything that behaves in any way like unix. So multitasking, like talking to your wife and thinking about your mistress, would be one or making wild claims in the press while at the same time not fulfilling a court order to show evidence, that would be one too. I suppose pumping and dumping stock might also be. I mean just examples.
        • by Citizen of Earth (569446) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @11:06PM (#8244888)
          Moreover, according to the case law I've seen presented on Groklaw, it looks like SCO's theory of derivative works is unreasonable, to say the least.

          The question in my mind is whether the judge might make a ruling w.r.t. the definition of "derivative works" that will be used in the case. Her job is only to get the discovery process back on track, but the case hinges on this definition to determine whether IBM needs to show its AIX code to SCO. The judge herself said that it's unusual to take a decision in a discovery proceeding under advisement. If she comes back with a decision on this matter, then the thin remaining threads of SCO's case completely disappear.
          • by TekGoNos (748138) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @03:19AM (#8246584) Journal

            Well, IBM did cite a ruling (Litchfield vs. Spielberg), that someone on groklaw decrypted as : "the derivated work must contain parts of the orginal."
            Applyed to this case : Just because AIX is derivated from SysV and Linux contains code that is also in AIX does not mean that Linux is a derivate of SysV. To be a derivate of SysV, Linux has to include SysV code.

            On the other hand, SCO claims now that this case is not about SysV code in Linux, but AIX/Sequel code in Linux. So if the judge accepts the definition of the Spielberg ruling, SCO has no case left. (IANAL)

        • by gidds (56397) <slashdot AT gidds DOT me DOT uk> on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @11:55PM (#8245326) Homepage
          Well, they certainly seem to have been leaving the door open for future claims and arguments. Or at least, that's how I interpret their continuing refusal, in court, to detail all of their claims -- a few allegations here, a few lines of code there, but not even the judge can get out of them exactly what they're claiming.

          Maybe they're still checking the details themselves, maybe they're trying to give IBM as little time as possible to respond, maybe they have something really clever up their sleeves. But personally, I think they know they have nothing, and are either hoping something will turn up (maybe from all the discovery they want from IBM), or that by adding new claims at long intervals, they'll be able to spin it out until everyone gets fed up.

          • by Eggplant62 (120514) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @07:39AM (#8247302)
            Well, they certainly seem to have been leaving the door open for future claims and arguments. Or at least, that's how I interpret their continuing refusal, in court, to detail all of their claims -- a few allegations here, a few lines of code there, but not even the judge can get out of them exactly what they're claiming.

            Maybe they're still checking the details themselves, maybe they're trying to give IBM as little time as possible to respond, maybe they have something really clever up their sleeves. But personally, I think they know they have nothing, and are either hoping something will turn up (maybe from all the discovery they want from IBM), or that by adding new claims at long intervals, they'll be able to spin it out until everyone gets fed up.


            From everything I've read in the case, especially the transcript, Mark Heise, counsel for SCO, practically requested that the judge allow him a fishing license so they could go through the IBM/Sequent codebases on an expedition to find something, anything to substantiate their code. The requests to see AIX/Dynix are nothing more than SCO saying, "We think we have a case, however, without being able to compare the current code bases, which we do not have, to our own code base and to Linux, we cannot substantiate our claims any better."

            In other words, they don't have a case, they know they don't have a case, and they're praying that they can get enough leeway outta the judge that she'll allow discovery on the two code bases in question so they can come up with a case. IBM has known all along that SCO et al are completely full of shit, has anticipated that SCO has no proof of anything and will do anything they can to keep SCO from getting the code they need for their fishing expedition.

            The judge can see right through all of the SCO shenanigans. I'd have loved to have been in judges chambers on the 6th to have heard the exchange that went on. I'm betting Heise got a very stern talking to over what's happened so far, and ordered Heise, et al, to do several things:

            1. Produce the discovery items that IBM has requested per the order to compel.

            2. Indicated that SCO's side of discovery will continue to be stayed until SCO coughs up *everything*.

            3. Put a muzzle on McBride, Sontag and the rest of the idiot windbags at SCO as it appears that anytime any one of them opens their mouth, it's been quite damaging to their own case.

            Notice how since the last hearing, SCO has become *very quiet*. They issued a very short press release, and didn't hold the press conference that had been promised for after the hearing. McBride hasn't had anything to say since the Harvard thing. This is a good thing. Their attempts to spread FUD have completely backfired, and I'd believe that they finally have figured out the first rule any attorney tells a client: Don't say anything to anyone about ongoing litigation. Shut the fuck up!

            IBM and their attorneys appear very confident that they have all the loose ends and every possible defense lined up in case of anything that SCO tosses at them. Notice how much the case has morphed since it's been filed, worse than any chameleon with a bad case of the jitters. I could tell that Heise, with all his whining about what a burden discovery has been for his client so far, hasn't scored *any* points with the judge.

            In the end, I believe the judge is going to come back and issue an order stating that SCO is to produce what's been asked of them, *everything* requested by IBM, within 30-45 days. Until then, discovery in the other direction will remain on hold. If SCO again fails to meet what's required of them, I believe that the judge will end up tossing the case as it's already quite weak in substantial claims.
        • by jjoyce (4103) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @01:50AM (#8246143)
          I'm just wondering if they still have anything else up their sleeves?

          Darl is going to enter the courtroom wearing a neck brace.

          • by technos (73414) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @03:24AM (#8246599) Homepage Journal
            Darl:
            "Yes, your honor.. I was beaten up by hooligans, no doubt in the employ of IBM, seeking to damage me physically as well as in the press. I was helping an old woman cross the street this morning.... How do I know they were IBM hooligans? Well, they were well dressed, and attacked me without the slightest provocation once they realized who I was."

            IBM Attorney:
            "I submit the videotape from camera 3, on the northwest corner of the 7-11 at 202nd Ave and Mormon Way. Here, at 3:12:08, we see Darl exiting the store with a burrito. At 3:12:30, Here we see Darl speaking to an elderly woman carrying a stuffed penguin. At 3:12:57, we see him attempting to take the woman's stuffed toy. By 3:13:09 we see he's given up on trying to steal the penguin, and instead is reaching for the womans purse. At 3:13:26, we see two well dressed gentlemen attempting to stop a robbery. At 3:14:40 the store clerk joins the two gentlemen in suits and the elderly woman, with a baseball bat. Conclusive proof that this man not only lies in front of the court, he tried to steal a penguin and when he couldn't get away with it, tries to steal this poor woman's purse!"
      • by Zocalo (252965) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @10:00PM (#8244522) Homepage
        OK, let's wax lyrical and assume that SCO's cupboard is finally bare and it's all over for SCO's case freeing up IBM to go for damages, and maybe Novell, Red Hat and others as well. Once the lawyers are paid off, there is not going to be much left in the piggy back except for SCO's various Unix licences and copyrights, which will probably get transferred to IBM or Novell. The big question then is, what will *they* do with them?

        First and foremost, IBM is a hardware and services company; they don't *really* care about software beyond the fact that it helps them shift hardware and services. If they can get revenue from the software, great, but it's a drop in the ocean as far as their turnover is concerned. Novell is primarily a software company, although they do appear to be trying to reinvent themselves as a Linux networking services company to me.

        So, what do either of them have to lose by simply releasing all of their newly acquired copyrights and licenses into the public domain? Perhaps not a lot. What they have to *gain* though, is phenomonal; for a start the OSS community is going to see them as the heroes that set UNIX free which brings its own rewards. Best of all for IBM and Novell though, it's going to be a big kick in the teeth for Microsoft and will probably have a serious impact on Solaris sales as well.

        It could well be that 2004 is *the* year that OSS really hits the big time that has been inevitable for so long. But who would have dreamed a few years ago that it might be IBM, Novell that made it happen after SCO/Caldera inadvertantly provided the catalyst?

        • by Bull999999 (652264) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @10:34PM (#8244623) Journal
          Maybe IBM will use the licences to create GNU/UNIX to spite RMS.
        • Your statement "First and foremost, IBM is a hardware and services company; they don't *really* care about software beyond the fact that it helps them shift hardware and services. If they can get revenue from the software, great, but it's a drop in the ocean as far as their turnover is concerned" is somewhat off the mark. You might wish to check the IBM quarterly report about their revenue distribution, and a few web pages about their future "direction". A Tewaran of Tewar
        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @11:21PM (#8245039)
          > First and foremost, IBM is a hardware and services company; they don't *really* care about software beyond the fact that it helps them shift hardware and services. If they can get revenue from the software, great, but it's a drop in the ocean as far as their turnover is concerned.

          Full disclosure: I work for the IBM Software Group, which gives me some authority to state that our software sales aren't "a drop in the ocean". Our 2003 annual report isn't quite ready yet but look at the 2002 figures:
          Total sales - $81.186 billion
          Software sales - $13.074 billion
          http://www.ibm.com/annualreport/2002/fr_c fs.htm

          Not exactly trivial, is it? If I remember correctly, counted as a software company we'd be like the 2nd or 3rd largest in the world. Only MS and maybe Oracle/SAP play in that arena.
        • by sloanster (213766) <ringfan AT mainphrame DOT com> on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @02:03AM (#8246205) Journal
          So, what do either of them have to lose by simply releasing all of their newly acquired copyrights and licenses into the public domain? Perhaps not a lot. What they have to *gain* though, is phenomonal; for a start the OSS community is going to see them as the heroes that set UNIX free

          um, no - if they abandon it to the public domain they would not considered idiots, not heroes -

          The public domain dumping ground is the absolute _worst_ place for anything of value, since it's then open season. Some crappy monopolist could just grab the whole thing, put a few incompatibilities into it, call it "new technology", get it patented, and lobby to have laws passed which would make it a crime to attempt to interoperate or reverse engineer the protocols.

          Better, much better, if it were all placed under the protection of the GPL. Then they might be considered heroes, and rightly so.
      • by MuParadigm (687680) <jgabriel66@yahoo.com> on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @01:15AM (#8245944) Homepage Journal

        AC: "the only copyrights SCO claims are to sysV unix (and some older unices that don't matter). They also have contractual rights to *derivative works* made from sysV. IBM's AIX is such a derivative work, and IBM cannot release it without SCO approval - for sure they can't turn AIX into GPL code."

        This is actually not correct, though you're at least in the right ballpark. SCO claims all copyrights for all UNIX and UNIXWARE. Including, in SCO's opinion System V. This language does come from the APA.

        Unfortuantely, for SCO, there are a *lot* of clauses in the Novell-OldSCO Purchasing Agreement that *exclude* most rights in System V. About the only right SCO has in Sys V, as far as I can read into the APA, is the right to collect Sys V licensing fees for Novell, send dunning letters for unpaid bills, and to be at the table for discussions over Sys V license buyouts. And even the latter is questionable.

        Whether or not AIX is a "derivative work" is debatable, and largely turns on the semantics by which you define "derivative". What isn't debatable is that those portions of AIX that *include* Sys V code are "derivative", as that meets the minimal, least general, definition of "derivative". SCO has so far failed to identify *any* Sys V code in AIX (or Dynix) that has been contributed to Linux. They have only claimed to identify original AIX & Dynix code that have been contributed to Linux, which isn't covered by the contract according to ATT's old statements.

        So, we probably shouldn't say that AIX is a "derivative work" of Sys V, although some *portions* of it may be.

        It's like saying Linux is a derivative work of BSD, which we all know it isn't, even though we also all know that some files in Linux are derived from BSD.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      You'll get your shoes all dirty and stinky.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @08:27PM (#8244197)
    Google has apparently noticed, and now neither litigious bastards [google.com] or just plain bastards [google.com] comes up with SCO [sco.com]. (This may not yet be true on all Google mirrors.)
  • litigous bastards? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MooKore 2004 (737557) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @08:29PM (#8244211) Homepage Journal
    I know that everyone and their dog here at Slashdot hates SCO, but is it really necesscary to call them names? It just makes us look like Mad Zealots [debian.org]. Youd think after the what the BBC published you would try and take this case more calmly?
    • by GQuon (643387)
      Google has apparently noticed, and now neither litigious bastards or just plain bastards comes up with SCO

      Could be wise if they want to avoid a lawsuit.

      Wow. That means that either
      • Google is more afraid of SCO than they are of the president*.
      • Bastards complained that they were wrongfully associated with Darl McBride and co.
      • Google has pity on the Caldera employees.

      * Michael Moore is now the top miserable failure. How long before they drop him off the list like they did SCO?

    • by Pharmboy (216950) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @09:21PM (#8244350) Journal
      aActually, I would disagree. I wrote the BBC and received a reply today. Ironically, they did not seem to address the actual issues I brought up. I do give them credit for at least replying, however, the text of their email is as follows:

      Thanks for your e-mail.

      I have noted the points you made - as well as the vigorous debate on Slashdot.org about this article.

      Well, Stephen Evan's weekly "stateside" column is not a news story, but an analytical look at major events and business trends in the United States.

      It is, of course, debatable whether MyDoom/Novarg/Shimgapi was written just to bring down the SCO website, or whether the installation of spamming tools on numerous computers was an additional - or even the main - motive.

      That was not the point of Stephen's article.

      In his piece he wanted to draw the attention of BBC News Online's audience - many of whom are unlikely to know the ins and outs of the Open Source debate - to the rapid spread of Linux as a commercial application, SCO's attempts to cash in on this fact, and the deep anger that SCO has caused within the Linux community through its legal actions.

      Stephen is not the first to draw the link between MyDoom and SCO's actions over Linux - plenty of others have done that before, including virus experts.

      Regards,

      Tim Weber
      Business Editor
      BBC News Interactive - www.bbc.co.uk/businessnews

      Now, I would disagree with the point of the article, which the BBC won't even claim is an article. They seemed to be more intent on defending themselves than addressing issues. They even brought up Slashdot in my reply, although I didn't tell them I read about it at slashdot. My original letter is as follows:

      After reading the story titled "Linux cyber-battle turns nasty" by Stephen Evans, I have to question the research that went into the article. While the author tries to remain objective, there are many assumptions in the article that simply do not hold water.

      To put the blame, without any evidence, on a group of Linux users is certainly easy, and at first glance it may seem appropriate. However, a small amount of research would demonstrate the author of the virus would have to be an expert Windows programmer. Generally speaking, programmers who excel on one platform are not experts on another. The differences between Windows and Linux are broad enough to make specializing in both rather impractical. This is demonstrated by the difficulty in porting Windows applications over to the Linux platform, and the fact that Linux runs on many different CPUs by design, whereas Windows runs on the x86 platform only.

      A more plausible theory, and one more backed by the facts, is an individual or group who writes a virus that can DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) any website, and chooses SCO because they know that Linux zealots will be blamed. Its the "perfect crime" in that many will blindly blame someone other than you.

      If the author of the article had done any significant research, he would have discovered that all of the well known programmers in the Linux community are quite confident that SCO will not prevail in its court case, and have publicly, loudly, and often told fellow Linux users that it is important to NOT attack, verbally or digitally, SCO. The courts will do their job. The fact is, this attack makes the Linux community look bad, and it is likely that any member of this community would know this, and would be less inclined to participate in these actions.

      I can't say with any certainty who created this virus, but in spite of your articles claims, it is NOT obviously a Linux zealot.

      By the way, I'm a happy Windows user who dabbles in Linux because it is a fun operating system. I am concerned about the SCO lawsuit, and more concerned about the FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) that is being spewed by both sides. I am quite disappointed when an ins

      • by red floyd (220712) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @10:28PM (#8244607)
        It's a form letter. According to the Groklaw-ites, several people who wrote to complain got the identical letter.
        • by Pharmboy (216950) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @11:32PM (#8245126) Journal
          It's a form letter. According to the Groklaw-ites, several people who wrote to complain got the identical letter.

          I don't doubt that, ironic that they would assume Slashdot for every letter and send the reference to everyone. And be defensive to everyone.

          As a side note, I tend to NOT make slashdot the http_referrer when I know I'm going to write someone, so I don't think they grepped it from the logs ;) Its kinda like taking the porno tape out of the VCR BEFORE you take it to the shop...

    • by pla (258480) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @09:46PM (#8244469) Journal
      Youd think after the what the BBC published you would try and take this case more calmly?

      Some of us really don't give a damn about politics. We do, however, appreciate a good joke, and we do enjoy seeing justice done when the legal system fails in its role.

      Having Google's top link to "Litigious bastards" point to SCO doesn't hurt anyone, and made for a good laugh when I first saw that. You could call the MyDoom worm a bit less harmless, but y'know, despite Bruce P begging us all to behave, I really don't give a shit. I egged on the worm, and felt quite pleased when SCO had to change the URL of their web site. Sadly, it appears in hindsight that the worm's author used the SCO attack as a ruse, but the end result remains overall positive. SCO deserves it, and much worse, for their current business model."Litigious bastards" doesn't "call them names", it makes a statement of fact.

      Call it vigilanteism if you want, but when a company can get away with obviously "wrong" activities simply because they haven't broken any existing laws, I for one consider it "justice" that they have a fed-up mob come after them to burn them at the stake.

      So, behave? Hey, I won't start it. But when a pedophile priest "mysteriously" suicides in a crowded jail cell, we all know what happened, and we all cheer it on. When a father hunts down and brutally disembowels his daughter's rapist, who got off on a techinicality, no one cries for the dead scum. And when a worm targets SCO, well, sometimes two wrongs does make a right.


      But, hey... Just my opinion. Feel free to defend SCO's raping of our legal system. And remember, even if they lose, they still got what they wanted (time to sell their shares at a massively inflated rate compared to their actual value). Justice? No. We can at best hope to annoy them, since they've already "gotten away" with the actual offense.
      • Bullshit. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by jotaeleemeese (303437) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @07:24AM (#8247250) Homepage Journal
        You are calling for the law of the jungle, everybody able to be judge, jury, executor and even accusing part.

        I don't want part of such world, even evil people have a right to be protected and respected. Those gurantees for the worst in our societies will ensure that we live with freedom and without fear of unfair prosecutions and retribution.
    • I know that everyone and their dog here at Slashdot hates SCO, but is it really necesscary to call them names?

      Necessary is a matter of opinion. But it certainly is fun.

    • If SCO can't take the heat, they should never have entered the kitchen and lit the stove. Wah.

      I have no friccin sympathy for them, at all. They've been attempting to screw/rip off a lot of people under some shady pretext they call "law".
      Why shouldn't I be angry?

      Side note: www.sco.com doesn't resolve at all for me, now, and hasn't all day. Did they pull their dns info? WTF?

      SB
  • I wonder.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by E_elven (600520) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @08:29PM (#8244212) Journal
    ..if there's a spot for a free-lance commenter at SCO. They seem to be awfully quiet nowadays. Although they might just be busy developing new software, or something, too.
  • by eclectro (227083) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @08:29PM (#8244222)

    The google bomb is not going to work when you misspell litigious bastards.

    Think of how many links you could have generated if you had of spent some time with the dictionary.

    *sigh*
  • by NanoGator (522640) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @08:54PM (#8244230) Homepage Journal
    "Novell has released their latest correspondance with the litigous bastards..."

    And some of you accused the BBC of making an unfounded claim [slashdot.org] when they said this:

    "If anyone's anger has no measure, it is the wrath of internet zealots who believe that code should be free to all (open source). So, it seems likely that the perpetrators of the MyDoom virus and its variants are internet vandals with a specific grudge."

    If you guys don't like having the finger pointed at you, then don't say things like that to attract attention to yourselves.
    • by Xenographic (557057) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @09:10PM (#8244282) Homepage Journal
      Don't get me wrong, linking them to that term so that they show up on certain Google searches is rather immature.

      However, it represents only a 1st Ammendment protected oppinion, and poses no harm nor threat to SCO in any way.

      In short, yes, it looks bad and should probably be avoided simply because of the impression certain people in the media try to give of us [1], but it is still a valid form of protest.

      We can't all picket SCO's offices [2].

      [1] Especially Daniel Lyons of Forbes, who I have recently chastized here for quoting random trolls and jokes as sources for his "story" ... see my posting history. I strongly suggest you not turn to Forbes for financial advice if this is the extent of their "research" ...

      [2] Incidentally, as you can read from some rather old Groklaw.com stories, SCO made false signs to mingle with those of the protesters and to malign them, saying something to the effect of 'we support communism'. So any further actions by them would not be the first time they had used an agent provacateur to malign their opponents...
    • by roman_mir (125474) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @09:10PM (#8244284) Homepage Journal
      I disagree. Linux zealots or not, Sco are litigous bastards. BBC linking Linux users and coders to MyDoom trojan without looking at any other points of view, now that is some 'fair' news delivery.

      • "BBC linking Linux users and coders to MyDoom trojan without looking at any other points of view, now that is some 'fair' news delivery."

        They very clearly said "It seems likely...". So no, they did not report that as fact. Secondly, who has any real motive besides the Linux users that stand to lose the most? BBC did nothing wrong by pointing the spotlight at the people most likely to have done it.

        I don't remember anybody around here using this argument in Michael Jackson's defense with the latest round
        • by Surazal (729)
          I worry about arguments like yours because it implies I am guilty of the crime *by default*, which is not the case here.

          I don't recall sending out any orders to Russian terrorists to infiltrate our internet with a misleading computer worm.
          • "I worry about arguments like yours because it implies I am guilty of the crime *by default*, which is not the case here."

            I never said you were guilty. I said motive, and it's fair to report that. You guys did a good job of earning that reputation, don't whine to me about it.
        • I don't remember Michael Jackson being mentioned in /. headlines.
        • by j_w_d (114171) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @01:22AM (#8245995)
          Secondly, who has any real motive besides the Linux users that stand to lose the most? BBC did nothing wrong by pointing the spotlight at the people most likely to have done it.

          That opinion is so thick the author undoubtedly lives under a bridge. People with motives - hmm, let's see. How about spammers and computer extortionist and anyone else with a strong economic interest in seeing that the insecurities inherent in Windows remain available to them. Heck, you could even suggest that Symantec has a motive, since there is little economic viability in antivirus software for linux or unix. When you consider that 75% of the MyDoom infections DID NOT carry a payload addressing SCO, then it is quite easily as reasonable to suspect that the SCO thing was just misdirection.

  • Hate the PDF? (Score:4, Informative)

    by W32.Klez.A (656478) * on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @08:55PM (#8244234) Homepage
    For those of you who don't have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed, here's a handy link to read the pdf online [samurajdata.se].
  • by drp (63138) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @09:03PM (#8244253) Homepage
    is that freaking e-trade doesn't have SCOX on its list of shortable securities.
  • by Howard Roark (13208) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @09:03PM (#8244254)


    ...you can hear the sound of a coffin being nailed shut!
  • by potpie (706881) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @09:04PM (#8244256) Journal
    If SCO actually started selling binary only (or whatever they are) licenses, wouldn't they be violating the GPL for every bit of code that wasn't theirs (assuming they had some in there at all)? Correct me if I'm wrong (no really, I think I might be wrong), but isn't it inevitable that if they have any code in the kernel, it'll be removed not because they have to point out what's theirs but because they have to point out what's not theirs?
    • by Chordonblue (585047) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @05:07AM (#8246895) Journal
      There's nothing wrong with selling the code in binary form - just as long as you can produce the GPL source code you used (as per the license).

      Now IBM on the other hand is arguing an interesting point in their counterclaim. They are saying that SCO are not living up to their agreements because of the lawsuits. According to the GPL, SCO are not allowed to claim ownership on GPL'd code or sue to assert any sort of rights to it. IBM has therefore 'pulled' their right to use any code GPL'd by IBM (and there's a lot of it).

      Now, 'pulled' is in quotes because obviously SCO is still distributing (or we can assume they are), some of IBM's GPL-based contributions. This is similar to the way SCO 'pulled' IBM's right to distribute AIX. IBM disputes that right due to wording of the license. SCO disputes the right of IBM's assertion by saying the GPL itself is invalid.

      If the trial ever gets to the point of validating the GPL, it will be interesting to hear SCO's side of this one. To quote 'Airplane':

      'They bought their tickets, they KNEW what they were getting into... I say, LET 'EM CRASH!'

      SCO (previously Caldera) played by the same rules as everyone else when they willingly and actively contributed to the GPL. To all of a sudden claim that the GPL is invalid after YEARS of contribution to it is ridiculous! If SCO makes it through the lawsuit without losing their business it will be a miracle.

      It's kind of a shame too because this has nothing to do with the programmers, dealers, users, and other stakeholders. This is about lawyers and corporate exec scumbags enjoying their retirement on some tropical paradise.

  • by stonebeat.org (562495) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @09:09PM (#8244273) Homepage
    www.sco.com is a weapon of mass destruction [netcraft.com].
    Do read the last Solution (#5)

  • by ckedge (192996) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @09:10PM (#8244281) Journal
    and a 1
    and a 2 ...
    "Na na naa naaa..., na na naa naaaa..., heyyy eyy eyy, GOODBYE!!!!!

  • by soullessbastard (596494) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @09:11PM (#8244289) Homepage Journal
    Mr. Ryan E. Tibbitts
    General Counsel
    The SCO Group
    355 South 520 West
    Lindon, UT 84042

    Re: Sequent Computer Systems

    Dear Mr. Tibbitts:

    On May 29, 2003, SCO sent a letter to Sequent Computer Systems providing notice that it would terminate Sequent's SVRX license agreement as of September 2, 2003 if Sequent did not remedy certain alleged breaches of the license agreement. On August 11, 2003, SCO sent another letter to Sequent purporting to terminate Sequent's SVRX license agreement. IBM, on behalf of Sequent, responded to these letters by letter of August 14, 2003.

    As it has with IBM and other SVRX licensees, SCO appears to be taking the position that code developed by Sequent, or licensed by Sequent form a third party, which Sequent incorporated in its UNIX variant but which itself does not contain proprietary UNIX code supplied by AT&T under the license agreement betwee AT&T and Sequent (Sequent Code), must nevertheless be maintained as confidental and may not be contributed to Linux. As we have said before, SCO's position defies both logic and the terms of the SVRX license agreement.

    SCO cites, as support for its position, section 2.01 of Sequent agreement, which, like other SVRX licenses, provides as follows:

    Such right to use includes the right to modify such SOFTWARE PRODUCT and to prepare derivative works based on such SOFTWARE PRODUCT, provided the resulting materials are treated hereunder as part of the original SOFTWARE PRODUCT.

    As we have said, however, this provision merely confirms that AT&T retained ownership of its code even if it was incorporated in a derivative work, and does not purport to impose confidentiality or use restrictions on Sequent Code.

    In fact, SCO's interpretation of 2.01 is plainly contrary to the position taken by AT&T, as author of and party to the SVRX licenses. AT&T clarified the meaning of section 2.01 in its $ echo publication, which AT&T described as its own newsletter to reach all UNIX System V licensees through one defined medium and keeps them abreast of any product announcements, policy changes, company business and pricing structures.

    Specifically, in an edition of $ echo dated April 1985 (the same month that the Sequent license agreement was signed), AT&T announced that changes would be made to hte SVRX license agreement to clarify ownership of modifications or derivative works prepared by a licensee. AT&T said this and other announced changes were in response to direct feedback from AT&T licensees and [were] intended to make the contracts more responsive to the needs of licensees. AT&T then followed up by adding to section 2.01 a sentence clarifying that AT&T claims no ownership interest in any portion of such a modification or derivative work that is not part of a SOFTWARE PRODUCT. Even more clearly, the August 1985 edition of $ echo explained that this sentence was added to assure licensees that AT&T will claim no ownership in the software that they developed - only the portion of the software developed by AT&T. Copies of the April and August 1985 editions of $ echo are enclosed for your convenience.

    For these reasons, and the reasons stated in our October 7, 2003 letter to you about IBM-developed code, SCO's position on Sequent Code is unsupportable.

    Under Section 4.16(b) of the Asset Purchase Agreement, Novell retains the right at Novell's sole discretion and direction, to require SCO to amend, supplement, modify, or waive any rights under, or...assign any rights to, any SVRX License to the extent so directed in any manner or respect by [Novell]. That section further provides that to the extent SCO shall fail to take any such action concerning the SVRX Licenses as directed by Novell, Novell shall be authorized, and hereby is granted, the rights to take any action on [SCO's] own behalf.

    Accordingly, pursuant to Section 4.16(b) of the Asset Purchas
  • by geekd (14774) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @09:12PM (#8244294) Homepage
    Once again, SCO have no comment.

    They may well be trying to comment, but it's hard to hear what they are saying, since they have thier heads so far up thier asses....

  • by brett_sinclair (673309) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @09:17PM (#8244326)
    According to one of SCO's lawyers, in a letter published on Groklaw [groklaw.net], SCO only managed to sell three "Linux licenses".

    Yes. Three (3).

    He says: "At this juncture, I am only aware of a license with Computer Associates, Questar and Leggett & Platt."

    I'm betting you can get a good price on a used Linux license from them by now...
    • Why did these three companies but a SCO license? One could easily conjecture why Computer Associates would want to support SCO. Questar is a Utah company, so it wouldn't surprise me if there were some incestuous link between them and SCO/Canopy. Reason for Legget & Platt? They're based in Carthage,MO--perhaps there's an LDS link? In any case, these companies most likely bought licenses to support SCO--not because they felt SCO's claims have any merit. They aren't likely to sell, even if they could.
      • In the case of Computer Associates, they did agree to pay the Canopy Group and Center 7 40 million dollars [thestreet.com] to settle a lawsuit. Perhaps terms of the settlement required them to buy a "linux license" also. What is strange though is CA is a member of OSDL.
      • A link to between SCO and Legget & Platt was pointed out on Groklaw:

        http://216.211.138.77/company/mangmnt.htm

        Michael O'Brien, CEO and Founder of goahead software presented at a SCO
        conference.
        From 1993 until 1999, Douglas W. Brown(now president of goahead software) was
        president of a Seattle area manufacturing company that was acquired by Leggett
        & Platt,


        Make of it what you will.

        By the way, the Carthage that figures prominently in LDS history is in Illinois, not Missouri.
    • I'd figure it would've been Microsoft, MSN, and the newly created MikeRoweSoft who bought those three Linux licenses.
    • Maybe they think they will have value as collector's items after SCO blows up and goes away.

      After all, Confederate dollars are worth more than face value today, a mere 150 years later.. :)

      Auctioneer in 2050
      "For your consideration, we have 1 of the 3 SCO Linux licenses ever sold"
    • by dj245 (732906) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @10:47PM (#8244702) Homepage
      ...And the number of the Linux Licenses shall be three. Four shall the number of the linux licenses not be, neither shall the number of Linux Licenses be two, without immediately selling/giving away exactly one more license, for a total of three. Five is right out. And when the number three, being the third number of Licenses having been given away, be reached, I shall reach out with my holiest of lawsuits, and the Litigating Bastards shall be smited....
    • I managed a crew of workers some years back at a mid-sized store fixture company that was later acquired by Leggett and Platt.

      While I left before the acquisition by L&P was final, if the two companies are anything alike, this is not only poetic, but hardly surprising.

      The corporate culture there was comprised of a bunch of new-agey, good-feeling, responsibility-shirking, issue-clouding, completely spineless Yes-Men spewing first class BULLSHIT.

      I've decided today after reading that Leggett and Pl
  • SCO is the owner of the UNIX(R) Operating System Intellectual Property that dates all the way back to 1969, when the UNIX(R) System was created at Bell Laboratories. Through a series of mergers and acquisitions, SCO has acquired ownership of the copyrights and core technology associated with the UNIX(R) System. The SCO source division will continue to offer traditional UNIX(R) System licenses to preserve, protect, and enhance shareholder value.

    As early as May 2003, SCO warned Linux(R) users that enterprise
  • RBC, TICC, SCO (Score:3, Interesting)

    by b00y4 (723478) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @09:19PM (#8244333)
    I was reading through the message boards on Yahoo! Finance for SCO, and there were several messages about RBC, TICC, and SCO, with the implication being that perhaps there was some illegal activity going on in the financing of SCO. I have not read anything about that on groklaw or /. and was wondering if anyone here knows anything about it.
  • SCO/Linux (Score:4, Funny)

    by mdpye (687533) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @09:23PM (#8244363)
    Darl begins a campaign to have kernel renamed SCO/Linux, after all it is a combination of SCO and Linux contributer IP, no? ;)

    MP
  • Huh? (Score:4, Funny)

    by unsigned integer (721338) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @09:25PM (#8244373)
    SCO have no comment

    Who writes this stuff? Yoda?

  • by sean1121 (614907) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @09:53PM (#8244498)
    As seen here [sco.com] one of the benefits is "These security features guard against business interruption, denial of service attacks and protect against identity or corporate information theft." (emphasis mine) It makes one wonder why they don't run their web server on it instead of linux [netcraft.com]?
  • ... I mean, I loathe SCO as much as anyone, but cmon. This is a small step above pie charts done in crayon.

    I'm proud of them finding this, and I'm glad its been brought to SCO's attention, but geez. And publicly announcing this to the world instead of dealing with it in a professional manner - what is is with Utah companies? They're like the morons I work with that reply-all on company-wide emails.

    Decorum, children, decorum...

    • by fferreres (525414) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @02:41AM (#8246446)
      Haven't even read the letter, and if you did, then worst yet, because you didn't get the important part.

      Novell is telling the World that public company by the name IBM has been given green light to use their own code (JFS, EVMS, ETC), because the assets transfer to SCO allows Novel to Waive any right SCO may claim to their licensees.

      Basically, they are overruling SCOs licence, making it clear they have the right to do so, and ordering SCO to cease the trial, because the are claming a right that has been clarified they do not have and never ever had.

      So basically the _hole point_ of the Novell letter, is letting ANY investor all over the world, that IBM has already won the trial, and that there is no posibility they may lose $5000 billion, not even a 0.000001% chance.

      So calling them unprofessional makes you look silly at best.
  • SCO has no comment? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by OpenSourcerer (515213) <{hashim} {at} {haafiz.org}> on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @10:23PM (#8244589) Homepage
    I think their comment is right here. [yahoo.com]
  • by Linus Sixpack (709619) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @10:31PM (#8244611) Journal
    It will be nice to see newSCO go down in flames and the legal basis for Linux reaffirmed.

    Mostly it will be nice to see the puffery and mugging for stock prices end!

    ls
  • Now I understand that slashdot is known to be spellcheck impared [slashdot.org], but when your trying to googlebomb someone there isn't much of an excuse to screwing that up.
  • by evanbd (210358) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @10:53PM (#8244747)
    who skipped not only the article but the summary, to directly see what the latest round of SCO jokes was?
  • by tetrahedrassface (675645) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @11:13PM (#8244978) Journal
    You would think by now people would learn. There are just some things one should never do.
    1.) Never get involved in an Asian Land War.
    2.) Never *assume the Acid is legit, without knowing who made it.
    3.) Never, ever believe that Republicans or Dems are very different in philosophy or levels of corruption.
    4.) Never ever fuck with Big Blue, unless you like the feeling of your anus getting stretched.
    5.) Never bite the hand that feeds you unless you want to have your teeth kicked in.
    This is just some advice Darl. I hope what life you will have before you after you get out of federal prison is enjoyable. See ya in 20!
  • Note the date.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ptbarnett (159784) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @11:17PM (#8245006)
    Novell's letter is dated Friday, 2/6/2004.

    It was sent via certified mail and FAX. So, Novell can probably demonstrate that SCO received the letter on 2/6/2004.

    That was the day of the last court hearing, in which SCO continued to make unreasonable claims of ownership, despite clear evidence to the contrary from Novell. But, do you suppose the letter was received (and acknowledged) before the court hearing?

    If and when the judge reads this letter and puts together the time line, what do you think she will do?

  • by McFly777 (23881) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @11:21PM (#8245040) Homepage
    Isn't MDT the abbreviation for Mountain Daylight-savings Time? As it is currently the winter half of the year I think they probably meant MST (Mountain Standard Time).

    12:00 MDT = 11:00 MST

    Therefore, per Novell's letter, SCO has until 11:00 tomorrow.

    I know, I know... what does it really matter...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @11:34PM (#8245137)
    1) You misspelled litigious bastards [sco.com].

    2)The SCO website has moved from http://www.sco.com/ to http://sco.com/

    3) Here's the correct way to do it: litigious bastards [sco.com]

    4) Just in case you missed the last one: litigious bastards [sco.com]

    5) One more time for the dummies: litigious bastards [sco.com]

    6) Wheee this is fun! litigious bastards [sco.com]

    7) Pant!Pant! litigious bastards [sco.com]

    8) Hmm, I seem to have had an orgasm... litigious bastards [sco.com] ...

  • by buford_tannen (555867) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @11:52PM (#8245293)
    This has been posted before. But it's getting more relevant with every SCO story lately:

    http://www.ubergeek.tv/fiasco/index.php?size=big [ubergeek.tv]

    Enjoy!
  • by 11223 (201561) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @12:22AM (#8245521)
    While I appreciate the effort to attempt to make SCO show up on the #1 search for a negative term like that, it doesn't help when you spell it wrong. It's "litigious", not "litigous".
  • by Quantum Jim (610382) <jfcst24NO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @04:09AM (#8246734) Homepage Journal
    Sigh. Am I the only person who thinks that Googlebombing [wikipedia.org] is childish? It's basically the same technique spammers use to pervert their popularity on the search engine. Worse, it prevents surfers from getting undisturpted, unbaised information about a topic. For instance, how can Bush be both a miserable failure [google.com] and a great president [google.com]! These PageRanks make no logical sence when taken together, but googlebombing disrupted the normal weights for Bush on these topics. I don't care what the intentions are, purposely trying to change Google's PageRank is wrong.
  • Transcript (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BenjyD (316700) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @08:52AM (#8247560)
    Man that transcript is funny. The SCO lawyers behave like kids caught not paying attention in class - the judge says his bit, the IBM lawyer gives his part of the case, then the SCO lawyer suddenly notices everyone is looking at him and it's his turn, panics, leaps up and says "Show us the AIX code", sits down and drifts off again.

A LISP programmer knows the value of everything, but the cost of nothing. -- Alan Perlis

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