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SCO Postpones Lawsuit, Now Threatening Two 532

Posted by timothy
from the laughingstock-with-lawyers dept.
zzxc writes "In a surprise turn of events, SCO says that they need more time to prepare an announcement of who they are going to sue. According to SCO, the lawsuits will be announced tomorrow morning shortly before a phone-in conference in which will be outlining their financial report. You can call 1-800-818-5264 code 141144 Wednesday at 9:00am MST to join in with your questions, or listen to the webcast. They also have said that these first two lawsuits will be against companies that hold SCO Unix licenses. (EV1.net servers or Lindows?)"
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SCO Postpones Lawsuit, Now Threatening Two

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  • Oh my God (Score:3, Insightful)

    by iswm (727826) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @08:28PM (#8447431) Homepage
    What a surpise! Sheesh, this is never going to go anywhere.
  • Ummm.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by I_am_Rambi (536614) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @08:29PM (#8447436) Homepage
    They are going to sue 1. Ev1servers.com 2. Microsoft just kidding. Google is probably on the list. Didn't SCO have a ceast and desist lawsuit until its proven?
  • irresponsible (Score:5, Insightful)

    by porkface (562081) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @08:30PM (#8447451) Journal
    Somebody get on the call and ask them "If you have such a strong company and case, why do you feel the need to couple lawsuit announcements with your financial call?"
  • My bet. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jaywalk (94910) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @08:30PM (#8447452) Homepage
    EV1.net servers or Lindows?
    Since SCO seems to be acting as SCO's catspaw and EV1.net seems to be in league with them both, I'm betting on Lindows. Another chance for SCO to do Microsoft's dirty work for them.
  • by Aardpig (622459) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @08:30PM (#8447459)

    They also have said that these first two lawsuits will be against companies that hold SCO Unix licenses.

    When a company or organisation starts suing its own customers, then it's a sure sign that its business model is completely fucked. Look at the RIAA: suing Joe Teenager, to try and offset the fact that their profits are dropping like a lead balloon.

  • Why "may be EV1" ? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by lazy_arabica (750133) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @08:32PM (#8447490) Homepage
    They also have said that these first two lawsuits will be against companies that hold SCO Unix licenses. (EV1.net servers or Lindows?)


    I don't see why they may sue EV1. Perhaps is it me, but EV1 paid for their "Linux IP License", which should protect them. And anyway, it's about companies with SCO UNIX licenses, which is not the same, simply because it is a different product.
  • EV1 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by trungson (758474) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @08:33PM (#8447495) Homepage
    EV1 already bought the licenses from SCO (what a shame!) why does SCO want to sue them?
  • No Surprise (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mj2k (726937) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @08:35PM (#8447523)
    Who really expected them to follow through? There continual refusals to provide proof of Linux infringing on SCO patents is ample evidence that their lawsuit has no basis. They (SCO executives) would be wise to not further expand their lawsuits, as each company they sue can countersue for defamation. Overall this seems like a big scam - intimidate businesses into giving SCO money for linux licenses,causing SCOX to rise, and enriching McBride & co at the expense of the clueless investors who continue to buy worthless stock.
  • So the logic is... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by someguy42 (609667) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @08:36PM (#8447532)
    ...buy a SCO licence, have SCO slap a lawsuit on you anyway?? How do they expect to sell licences after this insanity?? Kinda a matter of shooting oneself in the foot.
  • Re:Oh my God (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gcaseye6677 (694805) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @08:36PM (#8447537)
    When SCO does finally sue someone, it will not be for using a Linux distribution like they want you to think. When the court filings are examined, it will probably be a breach of contract suit for some silly violation, which means they will have to sue a current SCO Unix customer. But they will do their best to spin it to the press as a Linux IP infringement suit, and lots of dumbasses will eat it all up and buy more SCO stock.
  • Re:Ummm.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheLinuxSRC (683475) <slashdot&pagewash,com> on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @08:37PM (#8447543) Homepage
    They won't sue EV1. That is the only company that will validate their claims publicly. Suing M$ would be "biting the hand that feeds them" so they are out. My guess is the suit will not even be about "SCO IP" in Linux. It will be some bastardization of a contract dispute. *sigh*
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @08:38PM (#8447565)
    If you had read the article the other day on Groklaw it stated that (I'm paraphrasing) that purchasing this license doesn't allow that user to actually USE SCO's intellectual property. All it really does is say "look, we know we're in the wrong here, so let's settle up".

    Now because of the fact these people signed up for their license that shows they "admit guilt". So not only did they pay SCO the $799 (or whatever it is now) extortion fee, they also paid SCO to sue them. That's how the legal system works, my friends. EV1 and Lindows (if it's actually true) will get a first hand lesson now.

    In a sense, buying a license under these methods and terms is basically the same as signing a confession to a crime that wasn't even committed.
  • by justMichael (606509) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @08:42PM (#8447617) Homepage
    You mis-quoted the article...
    ...it has targeted for lawsuits, but it has said the first two will be aimed at companies that hold Unix licenses.

    There is no SCO before Unix in that sentance.

    Further up the article you will see
    SCO, which owns a disputed amount of Unix intellectual property, inherited the agreements by which inventor AT&T and its successors licensed the operating system to IBM, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard, Silicon Graphics, numerous universities and others.

    It's a safe bet that who ever they are going after is in that list.
  • Re:Ummm.... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @08:43PM (#8447633)
    Uhhh, You mean like the communists during the McCarthy Era? Or how about the Taliban or Al Queda now?

    Get your head out of your ass, you troll. The Nazi Party is no different than the Taliban.
  • by Pengo (28814) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @08:44PM (#8447645) Journal

    No kidding.

    Racketeering is alive and well here in the good old USA, and frankly I am about fed up.

    I have no idea what the fuck our legal system is doing even entertaining these crooks..
  • by gcaseye6677 (694805) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @08:46PM (#8447679)
    Suing EV1 less than 72 hours after they bought an SCO Linux IP License would be completely illogical, even for SCO. Everyone, including the Deutsch Bank anal-ists and Laura Didio, would then see the entire case as a big sham. They would completely lose the propaganda battle, which is the only battle they have a chance of winning in the first place. The entire scam would unravel as people realized there was no chance of SCO making money on Linux licenses, since nobody would buy one just to get sued 3 days later.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @08:49PM (#8447707)
    It's not going to court. It was never intended to go and it's never going to. It's nothing more than a pump-n-dump scandal with their stock. n.b. Remember, they paid a good portion of their legal fees in stock. Now why would the company propose to do that and why would the landsharks agree to receive payment [in that format]?

    Win some licensing battles, collect a little money, and raise some Wall Street eyebrows after they realize the outstanding potential and sign on to SCO, raising the price.
  • Re:My bet. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by One Louder (595430) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @08:50PM (#8447711)
    That seems unlikely.

    Lindows is a technology company, and isn't in the Fortune 1000, which doesn't seem to match the profile of the targets announced yesterday.

    Of course, SCO has said one thing and done another many, many times. If they did attack Lindows.com, then that would certainly dismiss any notion that they aren't shilling for Redmond. Given the potential multi-year delay in the MS trademark litigation, there are probably more than a few experienced IP lawyers on retainer by Lindows.com that are looking for someone else's leg to chew on. And certainly Robertson would love to squeeze more than a little PR out of such a suit.

  • We can only hope (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @08:51PM (#8447720)
    That somehow it backfires such that when the press spins it, it comes out with headlines like "SCO begins suing own customers".

    All this would take is the press paying any attention to anything not directly from SCO's mouth. But maybe that's wishful thinking.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @08:53PM (#8447743)
    They could sue Novell. They are using/selling Linux after all.
  • So? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Greyfox (87712) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @09:03PM (#8447839) Homepage Journal
    The more bizarre and outlandish their statements are, the more their stock price goes up.

    I bet if they announced they were suing EV1, their stock price would hit 40 before the call ended.

  • Re:Ummm.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @09:17PM (#8447929)
    Is this a new business model or a non existant one?

    It's a brilliant business model. They don't have to actually claim ownership of anyone else's product because they aren't distributing or granting anything related to that product. They don't have to follow the terms of the GPL, because they aren't actually using the GPL. They don't have to cease distributing GPLed products, because they aren't actually violating the GPL, just loudly and constantly threatening they will violate it.

    They are selling you a license from SCO to use someone else's product. Can they do this? Well, yes, they aren't actually licensing you anything. It's just a piece of paper that says "SCO says it's okay for you to use Linux". And they can certainly give you a piece of paper that says SCO says you can use something. The trick is that they're then trying to create the impression you're required to have an SCO license to use linux but never actually *DIRECTLY* saying those words-- and seem to be pulling it off.

    It is like McDonalds was selling licenses to eat Subway sandwiches and strongly implying it was illegal to eat at Subway without one of these licenses and doing absolutely everything possible to convey this impression without actually saying the exact words "it is illegal to eat at subway without one of these licenses" (which would open them up to a preliminary injunction).
  • Re:No Surprise (Score:5, Insightful)

    by baggins2002 (654972) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @09:28PM (#8448034) Journal
    So what, a company that is broke that gets counter sued is still broke.
    SCO has nothing to lose, that's the main reason they are doing this.
    They just found a loophole in our legal system and are abusing it. They didn't get that 50M infusion to piss it away trying to sell a product. They already proved they couldn't make money doing that.
    But they can can take that 50M into court and cause a lot of problems and increase the FUD.
  • Re:Good Management (Score:3, Insightful)

    by El (94934) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @09:46PM (#8448177)
    If they spent the $9 million on lottery tickets, they would have a better chance of winning... and it would still be grounds for a shareholder lawsuit.
  • Re:No Surprise (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ironica (124657) <[pixel] [at] [boondock.org]> on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @10:00PM (#8448256) Journal
    I don't know who is worse...

    The worst may be ACs who fly profanely off the handle because someone accidentally said "patent" instead of "copyright..."

    I mean, correct the guy, sure. But frankly, it was a minor mistake in context; I didn't even notice, probably because I expected to see "copyright" and so I didn't realize he used the wrong word. It's not like the extensive posts that go on about patent infringement and the limitations on patents and how they're abusing the patent process and will get sued under whatever patent law when they actually mean copyright...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @10:03PM (#8448271)
    Eldred vs. Ashcroft failed because there is nothing unconstitutional about extending copyright law by 20 years every 20 years. That's all it is. Plain and simple. The constitution gives congress a lot of power when it comes to granting rights to writings and discoveries, and you can't blame the founding fathers for not foreseeing our information-based world.

    It sucks, yes. But the Supreme Court can't make the constitution say something it doesn't. Ginsberg said it best when she asked: "This flies in the face of what the founding fathers intended. But is it unconstitutional?".

    We now return to your regularly SCO-duled programming.
  • Re:AutoZone (Score:5, Insightful)

    by -tji (139690) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @10:25PM (#8448423) Journal
    That's hilarious..

    For autozone, the claim that IBM copied libraries from SCO Openserver, to allow their old apps to work in Linux. Okay, there is some logic there.. that could feasibly violate licensing terms.

    But, they also claim that IBM violated their software licensing agreement with Sherwin Williams and Target, by inducing them to switch to Linux. What the hell kind of License do they have?? It forbids users from switching to competitive products? I kind of doubt it.

    The hilarious part is that customers are fleeing from SCO as quickly as they can. And, SCO claims it is because of IBM's involvement - not the fact that SCO have abandoned any hopes of competing with their products and switched the whole company focus to litigation. You would have to think that any responsible organization currently using SCO is putting together plans or actively moving to another OS.
  • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @10:38PM (#8448504) Homepage
    That sounds right. They might actually be able to make a semi-legitimate contract claim against a customer who was an SCO licensee. No way are they going to win against a Linux user on copyright grounds alone.

    Since they scheduled the announcement for their earnings call, the numbers must be truly awful this quarter. If they had good numbers to report, they wouldn't need a distraction like this.

  • IP Confusion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The Monster (227884) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @10:48PM (#8448575) Homepage
    someone accidentally said "patent" instead of "copyright..."
    Given the way that SCO keeps changing its story
    It's about trade secrets.

    No, it's about copyrights.
    There are millions and millions of lines.
    Well, there's <errno.h>
    We won't sue end users.
    Yes we will.
    I can't fault anyone for confabulating patents and copyrights in decribing what their contention du jour (de l'heure?) is.
  • Re:Ummm.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by morgajel (568462) <slashreader@@@morgajel...com> on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @11:19PM (#8448782) Homepage
    you have to ask yourself- does microsoft have more to gain by being sued by sco, giving sco money for reparations, and legally proving linux is a huge risk, or not being sued at all?

    MS has already given sco money- I'm sure they wouldn't mind giving them some more if it furthered their cause.

    /me adjusts his wooden sword and tinfoil hat.
  • Re:Ummm.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ironica (124657) <[pixel] [at] [boondock.org]> on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @11:22PM (#8448814) Journal
    It is like McDonalds was selling licenses to eat Subway sandwiches and strongly implying it was illegal to eat at Subway without one of these licenses

    I can see it now...

    "McDonald's has proof that Subway sandwiches incorporate trade secret and copyrighted elements of the Secret Sauce(TM). Because it is a trade secret, we cannot divulge this proof. Consider this notice that consumption of Subway sandwiches is tantamount to theft of McDonald's intellectual property. By the way, because of Subway's use of the 'lose weight' advertising gimmick, all of their sandwiches are now public domain."

    "McDonald's is now prepared to release information that will demonstrate incontrovertibly that Subway is in violation of our Secret Sauce(TM) copyright. We can demonstrate that Subway uses this particular pickle recipe in their sandwiches, which is clearly the same used in the Secret Sauce(TM)."

    - Followed by announcement from Heinz Corp. that those pickles are their product, have always been their product, and predate the birth of Ray Kroc.
  • Re:No Surprise (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Camel Pilot (78781) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @11:56PM (#8449050) Homepage Journal
    each company they sue can countersue for defamation

    Unfortunately the worst enemy is one who has nothing to lose. SCO knows all their bases belong to IBM and if they lose (which they will) there will be nothing else left.

    This example should have people questioning the protection that a corporation provides. When it comes to reckless and slanderous behavior the liability needs to extend to the perpetrators personally and the officers of the corporation.

    If the board felt that their own fortunes could be threatened by Darl and crew's actions you would see some a very different course of events.
  • Re:irresponsible (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @01:24AM (#8449468)
    I don't suppose we're so lucky as for SCO to have set this up on a system where they pay per user connected, are we? :-)

    We are. Conference calls are typically billed per line, per minute.

    That and it would be great having 10,000 slashdotters heckling them :-)

    Your lines will be muted, so there won't be any heckling. Also, after a thousand lines or so, the system would busy out. It would run up SCO's prices, but don't forget about the peons who have to answer all one thousand lines in five to ten minutes. They'll be expecting (and staffing for) maybe fifty to a hundred lines, and they never did anything to you.

  • by rixstep (611236) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @02:32AM (#8449771) Homepage
    ... In Lindon, Utah.

    It's incredible. I mean, there is no way, I repeat, no way, these guys can be expected to be taken seriously. Without serious (M)$ backing them, how can they go on?
  • Re:No Surprise (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DrSkwid (118965) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @04:14AM (#8450162) Homepage Journal

    The action of you buying the stock supports the price or even raises it.

    SCO and their employees own the same stock.

    Thus : you buying the stock helps SCO and can even make them money if you are one of many such buyers who push the price upwards by generating demand.

  • Re:No Surprise (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ZeeTeeKiwi (615374) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:24AM (#8450363)
    SCO doesn't get any of that money.

    Oh yes they do. Companies with an inflated market price can use issue new stock as payment for real assets. Witness AOL buying Time Warner.

    SCO can use its new found wealth to buy next-to-worthless Canopy group assets theyreby rewarding Canopy in a method which passes muster at the SEC.

  • by da5idnetlimit.com (410908) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:49AM (#8450444) Journal
    Dear M. Moderator,

    1/ Being funny is quite hard on itself.
    Are you ready to put extra points because this guy is funny and on topic at the same time ?

    2/ Being funny, even if not on topic, means he get +1 funny, being on topic and having something interesting to write means extra points...

    3/ Metamoderation being what it is, I'll make a point of finding your mod and putting it as unfair, just as in "offtopic" (/me dreams...)

    4/ I have Karma to burn, and you can only remove me a -1 "Stupid blatant Idiotic Poster". + I am sure you don't follow the posts you moderated, so I'm doing this post as a pure futility training, and will probably lose that 1 karma point... well, so be it. I'll even maybe reincarnate as a moderator...

    5/ Sad we cannot sign our mods... Sad there isn't a "TOP 100 Best Moderators" with a listing of ppl that have, say, 95% of their mods metamoded as fair. Sad I'm posting this in the middle of nowhere where nobody of importance (moderators ? /. Editors ? the Pizza Delivery Boy ?) can note how witty I am and how you should follow my words as Evangile and give me the goddam right to rule on moderators, and bind them all in the dark...

    Well, sorry Monkelectric that that dork modded you offtopic...
  • by cavac (640390) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @06:22AM (#8450527) Homepage
    It's incredible. I mean, there is no way, I repeat, no way, these guys can be expected to be taken seriously. Without serious (M)$ backing them, how can they go on?

    The more SCO goes on with this load of crap, the less i believe that Microsoft is responsible for all this. I mean, yes, Microsoft is selling Vaporware too, but at least they know how to really make money out of it and they handle better in court. And, oh yes, they do have a product they can base their business on...
  • Re:Confabulation (Score:4, Insightful)

    by valisk (622262) * on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @07:30AM (#8450730) Homepage Journal
    Well... Dictionary.com has the following for confabulate:

    #1 To talk casually; chat.

    #2 Psychology. To fill in gaps in one's memory with fabrications that one believes to be facts.

    I'd say number 2 is without a doubt the correct use for the word. Also Sco can be realistically refered to by the euphemism number two

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