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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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  • by metallicagoaltender (187235) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @09:30PM (#8447453) Homepage
    Obviously logic hasn't played a big part in any of their actions, but why in the hell would they sue EV1, one of the few companies that bothered to buy an SCO license, not to mention the fact that they admitted it!

    It's not exactly case of biting the hand that feeds you, but it certainly be a case of alienating an ally that probably doesn't need to be alienated.
  • News? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ObviousGuy (578567) <ObviousGuy@hotmail.com> on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @09:30PM (#8447460) Homepage Journal
    All this play by play of SCO is really tiring. It's like a bunch of fleas issuing flyers every time the dog takes a walk. Yes, something's happening. No, it's not that important.
  • Prediction: (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jasonfncsu (735876) <jason@oldos.org> on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @09:30PM (#8447461) Homepage
    I predict that SCO will be heavily traded tomorrow: People intellegent enough to know when they see the horrid profit reports to drop the stock. And a bunch of saps who will buy up the stock (ooh! litigation! money!). Oh, and I'm starting a pool on who will be sued: My guesses: SGI and HP
  • by sroddy (216493) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @09:31PM (#8447470)
    I'd hate to pay the bill for that telecon. Considering it usually costs $1 per minute per participant, perhaps we can put a dent in their extortion fund!

    Seriously though, I hope the company that is hosting the telecon has a lot of lines reserved.
  • Basically (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LittleLebowskiUrbanA (619114) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @09:31PM (#8447475) Homepage Journal
    This is the second announcement about an upcoming announcement today by SCO, right?
    Meanwhile PJ at Groklaw [groklaw.net] is busy tearing them a new one over mentioning her in one of their propaganda blasts. Good reading. Hate to have her as one of my enemies.
  • by HappyCitizen (742844) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @09:32PM (#8447478) Homepage Journal
    I can't believe they are still around. Other countries take control and don't let them spread their junk. Why can't they be stopped here in the US too? I mean, it just urks me that after producing no evidence and spreading FUD, they haven't been required to stop, and in fact will file another backless lawsuit (or so the claim). Atleast its a good sign that they are taking so long. It shows that they're running out of juice
  • Haha! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cliffy2000 (185461) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @09:32PM (#8447486) Journal
    "They also have said that these first two lawsuits will be against companies that hold SCO Unix licenses." Wow. That's a great business plan. Alienate your few and diminishing customers.
  • by tulmad (25666) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @09:32PM (#8447488)
    "They also have said that these first two lawsuits will be against companies that hold SCO Unix licenses."

    Wow, sounds like they're taking a page out of Metallica's book for this one.
  • by NZheretic (23872) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @09:34PM (#8447511) Homepage Journal
    Since 1994, both Caldera ( which only changed its name to The SCO Group in 2003 ) and the Santa Cruz Operation ( The original SCO which changed its name to Tarentella ) have accepted, profited from and redistributed copyrighted source code from hundreds of developers under the terms of the GPL license.
    http://www.fsf.org/licenses/gpl.html [fsf.org]
    The SCO Group has failed to put forward ANY substantial legal theory why the SCO Group should not be obligated to abide by the terms of the GPL.
    http://www.fsf.org/philosophy/sco/sco-without-fear .html [fsf.org]
    The SCO Group obligations under the GPL has been reiterated and reinforced in the legal positions of IBM, Redhat and Novell in their respective cases against the SCO Group.

    It is a criminal offense to claim, with fraudulent intent, that you have a copyright if you do not. The SCO Group does *NOT* hold the copyrights to the UNIX source code. Novell has *NOT* transfered the title for the works that the SCO Group fraudulently filed for copyright in 2003. The SCO Group do not have the right to sue anybody for violation of copyright works without the assent of the title holder.

    The SCO Group claims the right to sue for work in standard UNIX and POSIX interfaces that AT&T and Novell granted full rights to use royalty free in perpetuity for the ISO, ANSI and FIPS federal standards.

    The SCO Group's contract claims against IBM and others based upon the AT&T license in respect to rights of so called derivative works is in direct contradiction to evidence presented to the SCO Group by Novell.

    The SCO Group though the press and SEC filings, has bolstered the share price of the SCO Group based upon demonstrably false claims to the contrary of above points 1,2 and 3. The SCO Group CEOs and legal agents were notified by Novell and IBM *before* making these false claims and presenting them as fact. The actions of the SCO Group must be in violation of several SEC regulations.

    So how is the lawsuit going to go if it gets to court?
    Eben Moglen's Harvard Speech
    http://jolt.law.harvard.edu/p.cgi/speakers.html [harvard.edu] [harvard.edu]

    The Transcript
    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=200402260 03735733 [groklaw.net]

    The McBrides, jointly -- I feel sometimes as though I'm in a Quentin Tarantino movie of some sort with them [laughter] -- the McBrides have failed to distinguish adequately between dicta and holding.

    I do not like Eldred against Ashcroft. I think it was wrongly decided. I filed a brief in it, amicus curiae, and I assisted my friend and colleague Larry Lessig in the presentation of the main arguments which did not, regrettably, succeed.

    Oddly enough, and I will take you through this just enough to show, oddly enough, it is the position that we were taking in Eldred against Ashcroft, which if you stick to holding rather than dicta, would be favorable to the position now being urged by Mr. McBride. What happened in Eldred against Ashcroft, as opposed to the window dressing of it, is actually bad for the argument that Mr. McBride has been presenting, whichever Mr. McBride it is. But they have not thought this through enough.

    Let me show you why. The grave difficulty that SCO has with free software isn't their attack; it's the inadequacy of their defense. In order to defend yourself in a case in which you are infringing the freedom of free software, you have to be prepared to meet a call that I make reasonably often with my colleagues at the Foundation who are here tonight. That telephone call goes like this. "Mr. Potential Defendant, you are distributing my client's copyrighted work without permission. Please stop. And if you want to continue to distribute it, we'l

  • Re:irresponsible (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mechanik (104328) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @09:35PM (#8447519) Homepage
    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?"

    I would LOVE to see the Slashdot effect at work on this conference call. 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? :-)

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


    Mechanik
  • Re:Wha? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by eddy (18759) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @09:36PM (#8447541) Homepage Journal

    I don't think they'll sue EV1... yet, but they'll definitely go after current or former TSG customers (for running the compatibility layer on linux)

    So this isn't actually directed directly at linux, it's more about SCO following through on their slogan:

    "Contracts are what you use against parties you have relationships with" -- http://e-businessadvisor.com/doc/12514

    They'll just hope the press will go with them and focus on the Linux part not the "SCO Unix(R)" part.

  • by cperciva (102828) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @09:37PM (#8447545) Homepage
    ... does anyone ever wonder what we /.'ers will ever do once SCO finally succumbs(sp?) to their demise?

    No, but I do wonder what /.ers would do if SCO won.

    (I'm not saying that it's likely to happen, but it would be amusing to watch the bleating.)
  • Pixar? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by AndyFewt (694753) * on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @09:38PM (#8447560)
    Could it be Pixar? Dont they have a huge render farm of linux boxes chugging away.. not an isp or net services and its a pretty well known company (Toy story, Monsters Inc, etc)..

    However, I don't know if SCO had a unix contract with them which I believe was one of the things Darl said they would use against the company/companies.
  • Re:irresponsible (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kommakazi (610098) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @09:39PM (#8447581)
    This actually seems like a really good idea, it's like a DOS attack just over the phone...we can easily have them swamped with questions they really don't want to answer.
  • by M00TP01NT (596278) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @09:45PM (#8447654)
    The only thing that would make sense in this context ("making sense" of course in a fskd up SCO way...) is that the suit will be a breach of contract suit vs a copyright infringement case.

    What I mean by that is that SCO will claim that the defendant is breaching its UNIX license by NOT paying the Unix per-server fee for Linux servers. Said another way, if the defendant has agreed to pay SCO $X per UNIX server under its SCO Unix license, and has been calculating the license fees assuming that Linux servers didn't count, then SCO would claim that -- because Linux is UNIX (don't ya know) -- the licensee/defendant has been underpaying SCO.

    SCO is likely to get more bang for its litigation buck by suing customers under this theory (however wack that is) then suing companies who have no contractual relationship to it.

    But then again, I am not an IP lawyer.
  • Re:Ummm.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hackstraw (262471) * on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @09:48PM (#8447698)
    Does anyone in the justice system have any common sense?

    The whole thing that SCO is trying to "sell" is a binary runtime license(WTF-TM). Yet SCO will not distribute the binary to you, nor will it supply any support for the "product". Notwithstanding that there is no legal grounds to support SCO's ownership of said intellectual property (yet).

    Is this a new business model or a non existant one?
  • SCO Unix != SCO IP (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tony (765) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @09:50PM (#8447712) Journal
    They also have said that these first two lawsuits will be against companies that hold SCO Unix licenses. (EV1.net servers or Lindows?)

    Seems like they are saying they are going to sue someone who has already licensed Unixware or some other SCO-sold Unix OS, and *not* someone who has already licensed their "SCO IP," like EV1.

    I bet they go after someone who has used SCO's OS in the past, but has been migrating to Linux. Nothing like a little retribution.

    Of course, it's hard to tell with these bastards. They don't seem to be too.... stable. Mentally. Financially. Whatever.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @09:52PM (#8447738)
    ...also was recently posted at Groklaw. Their lawyers really did a decent job in making most Darl's rantings nice and legal like.

    BSD users might find paragraph 84 interesting, since SCO basically claims it was impossible for Linux to achieve "complex multi-processor functionality" without SCO's UNIX code.

  • Re:My bet. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by DavidBartlett (748559) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @09:53PM (#8447744)
    Actually, Lindows also licenses form them (there was a pre-existing contract)
  • Re:Pixar? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gcaseye6677 (694805) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @10:02PM (#8447829)
    I'd love to see how many companies drop their SCO support contracts if this actually does happen. Its pretty hard to justify keeping an overpriced contract with an obsolete vendor that is likely to use the contract against you to help with a stock scam. In any case, any company that still uses SCO servers needs to make plans to switch so they won't be without support once SCO folds in a year or so.
  • Darl's an ass (Score:5, Interesting)

    by codefungus (463647) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @10:12PM (#8447889) Homepage Journal
    He spent 2 years in Osaka trying to convert Buddhists to MORMANS and the most intellegent thing he can say about it is that he got free Japanese lessons?

    And the reason why Darl is the way he is?

    "I am absolutely driven by people saying I can't do something."

    Read more:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/29/business/ yourmon ey/29boss.html
  • Suprise??? Really??? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @10:14PM (#8447903) Homepage
    In a surprise turn of events, SCO says that they need more time to prepare an announcement of who they are going to sue.

    I hope this is a joke, I mean a suprise??? The announcement did exactly what SCO et al intended, it turned around their falling stock price just prior to a quarterly finantial announcment. Just more FUD.

  • Re:Ummm.... SGI (Score:5, Interesting)

    by glk572 (599902) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @10:15PM (#8447912) Homepage Journal
    Sgi is the only party that I can think of that Sco has any real beef with, if they're smart that's who they'll go after.

    Then again when you assume you make an ass out of u and me, and assuming that Sco is smart is risky.
  • by danwiz (538108) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @10:17PM (#8447927)
    Don't toll-free 800 numbers cost the company money on a per-user basis? What would the financial impact of everyone with an interest in Linux dialing in to listen?

    The slashdot-effect on an 800 number?

  • Good Management (Score:3, Interesting)

    by El (94934) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @10:32PM (#8448061)
    SCO was unprofitable last quarter but would have been in the black if not for a $9 million payout to its attorneys, In most companies, wouldn't this be grounds for a shareholder lawsuit?
  • by GOD_ALMIGHTY (17678) <curt@johnson.gmail@com> on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @10:32PM (#8448063) Homepage
    I was wondering when someone was going to catch that. I think the first 50 guesses on this thread could be modded off-topic.

    My personal guess is SGI and HP. Sun already bought a license and SCO is already suing Novell and IBM. I doubt they would go after a university, they want a quick settlement to fuel their pump and dump scheme and a university might fight longer.

    Anyone got odds?
  • Re:No Surprise (Score:2, Interesting)

    by HrothgarReborn (740385) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @10:57PM (#8448242)
    I would not paint the investors as being innocent babes along for the ride. Anyone who would invest (or stay invested) in a company that produces legal action instead of product is just as crooked as the CEO.
  • by TioHoltzman (709089) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @11:14PM (#8448345) Homepage
    I think it more likely that Lindows will be sent to the doghouse.
    We could only be so lucky!
    Michael Roberts would have a field day with this. As much as I think the guys is sort of a goof, I'd love to see this happen. The potential comedy factor alone would be well worth it.
  • Won't work (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TrentC (11023) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @11:19PM (#8448383) Homepage
    I can't find the Groklaw article now, but a summary from a Groklaw reader who "attended" one of their conference calls said that it was pretty obvious that SCO wasn't letting anybody ask questions that they didn't know (and therefore couldn't predict or spin to their advantage).

    No sense in upsetting the investors with those questions they don't want to answer...

    Jay (=
  • According to the news.com.com article, SCO is suing two more companies that have contracts with them... That makes 4 companies that they've sued in the last year -- all of whom have previous contracts with SCO (IBM, Novell and the two unnamed SCOldiers).

    At the same time, they're claiming that the best way to avoid litigation with them is to sign a contract that acknowledges that they have more power over you (and Linux code) than most people believe they have any hope of proving in court.

    Come into my parlour, said the spider to the fly.
    You'll be so much much safer when I've baked you in my pie.
  • by TCaM (308943) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @11:33PM (#8448477) Homepage
    a big chamber with 1000 ping pong balls in it. These of course correspond to the top 1000 linux using companies in the US. Woohoo.

  • Re:Won't work (Score:5, Interesting)

    by barzok (26681) on Tuesday March 02, 2004 @11:37PM (#8448495)
    SCO pretty much has to do this. The last time I listened to a conference call my company's top brass gave, they had about a half-dozen callers basically ruin the party. Management stuck to their BS story, tried to brush off the queries, but it was obvious they were in a major bind because they simply couldn't handle having to answer those questions in such an environment.
  • by BeBoxer (14448) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @12:03AM (#8448676)
    McDonalds is my guess. Someone else guessed AutoZone because they are also moving away from SCO Unix. But I think McDonalds will have better PR punch, so that's where I'm putting my money. I think it's also realistic to assume that they will also make the announcement during the "earnings" call itself so as to minimize the amount of time they have to spend discussing just how horrible their balance sheet was last quarter.
  • by jonathanduty (541508) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @12:35AM (#8448913) Homepage

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


    I'm confused So are they saying that they are going to start by prosecuting their own customers? How, in any form, is that smart??? Am I not understanding this remark??

    Seems to me if I was a SCO Unix customer, this would be evidence that I need to take my business somewhere else and fast.
  • by dvNull (235982) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @01:48AM (#8449289) Homepage
    Wow HUGE ..

    Darl actually suggested that if Drug companies come up with a new formula for a drug on a linux machine they would have to license the formula under the GPL.

    This guy clearly wins the "No Clue" award when it comes to licenses. Now at least we know that he most likely has misintepreted the Unix contracts

    dvnull
  • by u-235-sentinel (594077) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @01:58AM (#8449343) Homepage Journal
    "They also have said that these first two lawsuits will be against companies that hold SCO Unix licenses"

    So if I read this correctly, if you purchased a SCO license then SCO can sue you? huh? Pardon my ignorance but wasn't the whole reason these guys purchased licenses was to be protected from lawsuit?

    Signed... really confused SCO hater.
  • Not unheard off (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @04:23AM (#8449987) Journal
    Bioware released neverwinter nights for linux. Well kinda off. Their license with their windows installer supplier forbids them from using other installer software. Meaning someone else had to write an installer script. Not to difficult for the linux community but still prove that idiotic contracts keep getting signed.

    Granted this was using two different products at the same time but close enough.

  • by glassesmonkey (684291) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @04:35AM (#8450028) Homepage Journal
    It seems very likely, for AutoZone to maintain their same functioning infrastructure, they re-used some SCO interface or something that is considered an IP contract violations. (reasons to never sign anything in conjunction with SCO)

    The other company has to be something approved by Microsoft, and presumably serving Microsoft's plan for world domination. It would also have to be another knock against Open Source, and a SCO contract/license holder.

    Maybe this is all a big orchestrated move by EV1 & SCO to "sue" EV1 over linux usage, and then EV1 moves all linux servers over to SCO-approved binaries and SCO drops the lawsuits. (Why the hell else would EV1 be the first company to come out of the closet publicly regarding giving SCO extortion $$)
  • Re:No Surprise (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @04:59AM (#8450115)
    Darl and friends can also be sued personally. If their company is kaput, it cannot compensate them.

    This and related personal swords of Damocles are probably why they are persisting in the suits now that they are past the point of no return.

    IANAL

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