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Embarrassing Dispatches From The SCO Front 715

An anonymous reader writes "Dennis Ritchie has acknowledged he with Ken Thompson wrote the code cited as 'proof' by SCO. This seems to fit perfectly with Bruce Perens' Analysis of SCO's Las Vegas Slide Show, and undermine Blake Stowell's claim 'At this point it's going to be his word against ours." Andreas Spengler writes "In the ongoing battle between SCO and the Linux community, German publisher Heise has shown that not only was the Linux implementation of the Berkeley Packet filter written outside of Caldera (now SCO), but that it was common practice there and at other companies to remove the BSD copyright notices from the internally used source code. In effect, SCO has proven publicly that they violated the BSD license." (Warning, article is in German.) Finally, a semi-anonymous reader writes "Learn all about how IBM's stomach will be roasted on a pyre of CDs at WeLovetheSCOInformationMinister."
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Embarrassing Dispatches From The SCO Front

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  • by emacnabber ( 682085 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @01:47PM (#6773542)
    Something must be going on... I haven't been able to get there in the last 4 or 5 hours...
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 23, 2003 @01:54PM (#6773577)
      It's currently being hit by a massive DDoS. Not all sobig.f viruses managed to collect the executable from their targets last night, but those who have are thrashing left right and centre.
      • by johnw ( 3725 )
        If true, this is very unfortunate. The last thing the Open Source community needs in its fight against SCO (and indeed, in general) is to be associated with virus writers.

        • by Zeinfeld ( 263942 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @06:54PM (#6775001) Homepage
          If true, this is very unfortunate. The last thing the Open Source community needs in its fight against SCO (and indeed, in general) is to be associated with virus writers.

          Unless SCO is behind the attack in order to create exactly the impression you cite.

          Perhaps unlikely for SCO but in the 1950s the CIA organized mobs to riot againt the government then used the disorder to argue their case for a coup. Eisenhower was never told that the CIA rather than Tudeh (the Iranian communist party was behind it).

          So yes this sort of thing does go on. But more generally it is important to police your supporters as vigilantly as your opponents. I was in Brazillia a couple of days ago for the Software Libre event in the parliament. The proceedings were in Protugeese and there was no translation so I did not follow all that was going on. But you could see the room turn against open source when the local loony firebrand started to speak. Instead of making the good case that his facts supported he went beyond the established facts to make claims that most people in the room simply dismissed as propaganda.

          Up until that performance the tide was certainly with open source, afterwards there was a lot more opposition.

          Basically the guy was speaking to his base, not building support.

        • by MuParadigm ( 687680 ) <> on Saturday August 23, 2003 @08:47PM (#6775388) Homepage Journal

          I posted this at Groklaw, and I'm reposting it here since it seems pretty relevant to the current thread:

          I ran some traceroutes to see where the problem is, and the results are quite interesting.

          First, let's start with I am listing the traceroute output from step 12, since that's just two steps before where things get revealing:

          Tracing route to [] over a maximum of 30 hops: ....
          12 77 ms 77 ms 76 ms
          13 74 ms 77 ms 74 ms []
          14 77 ms 77 ms 76 ms []
          15 77 ms 77 ms 77 ms []
          16 75 ms 77 ms 76 ms []
          17 87 ms 87 ms 89 ms []
          18 89 ms 89 ms 89 ms []
          19 91 ms 88 ms 87 ms []
          20 88 ms 89 ms 90 ms []

          Trace complete.

          Now, let's traceroute

          Tracing route to [] over a maximum of 30 hops: ....
          12 74 ms 77 ms 77 ms []
          13 76 ms 77 ms 74 ms []
          14 77 ms 74 ms 74 ms []
          15 * * * Request timed out.

          And finally,

          Tracing route to [] over a maximum of 30 hops: ....
          12 76 ms 77 ms 76 ms []
          13 75 ms 77 ms 76 ms []
          14 77 ms 76 ms 75 ms []
          15 * * * Request timed out.

          Canopy, Caldera, and SCO, all have addresses that are within the same class C addressing range, respectively:,, While this makes it very possible that all three sites are served by the same machine, we can't prove that from this information. It is however, likely that they are served from the same router.

          The next thing to note is that the route to SCO and Caldera both fail at the 14th step in the tracert. The last router that responds for each of them, at the 13th step, is (albeit from different ports). Canopy also passes through at the 13th step, but continues on to a router at From there, it passes through 2 more routers at ViaWest, and 3 routers at Center7.

          ViaWest and Center7 are both Canopy companies.

          On initial analysis, for any other company, a network manager/sys admin/networking consultant (such as me) would simply assume that SCO/Caldera was having a problem with its ISP. The weird thing, though, is the presence of Canopy's IP address right *between* SCO's and Caldera's addresses.

          Assume that all 3 segments are served by the same router (no, we can't prove it from this data, but it's extremely likely). Canopy, in that case, should be experiencing problems too if the site were under a DOS attack.

          In fact, anyone planning a DDOS attack would find it easier to just take out the whole address range, thereby including all 3 sites, rather than focus on just the SCO/Caldera sites -- and for technical reasons alone. Never mind that they would *want* to target Canopy as well.

          Given all this, it is a pretty safe bet that SCO/Caldera has taken its websites down itself.

          Why? To protect themselves from a DDOS attack? No. Any decent firewall could take care of that for them. That's why I suspected that it was not DoS attack: they've simply been down too long.

          I don't know *why* they're still down. I wonder if they're about to collapse.

          • by mrjive ( 169376 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @10:45PM (#6775780) Homepage Journal
            I know for a fact that SCO's website is hosted in an IDC here in Denver, as a friend of mine used to work there until recently.

            In fact, he would point out that every time a new story was posted about them, they (at the IDC) would brace themselves for another DoS/DDoS against the SCO and other assorted domains.

            These attacks do nothing but give some techs here a lot of extra work to worry about for no good purpose.
      • by Micah ( 278 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @02:12PM (#6773678) Homepage Journal
        > It's currently being hit by a massive DDoS.

        Ok, cool. But why would someone do that on a Saturday? Should have done it during the week when their customers might be more likely to try to get to their site.

        Of course, this tactic opens up a massive internal conflict. :) On one hand, I really hate to think that people will associate the Linux community with this kind of thing. On the other hand, I couldn't be more happy to see these guys getting what they deserve.

        Ultimately, since it's illegal and rather immature, we really should put our foots down against this type of technique. SCO will be crushed in the marketplace and in court soon enough. We don't need to take down their site for that to happen.

      • It's currently being hit by a massive DDoS. Not all sobig.f viruses managed to collect the executable from their targets last night, but those who have are thrashing left right and centre.

        Translation, the site's being slashdotted. ;)
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 23, 2003 @02:08PM (#6773664)
      Just a wild conspiracy theory.

      Someone who holds a copyright to some part of the linux kernel has invoked the DMCA with SCO's upstream provider. Since SCO has been distributing the linux kernel in voilation of the GPL, thus violating this person's copyright.

      Doesn't the DMCA give the power to turn off access to the Internet and ask questions later?
      • by Tsu Dho Nimh ( 663417 ) <> on Saturday August 23, 2003 @03:46PM (#6774141)
        "Doesn't the DMCA give the power to turn off access to the Internet and ask questions later?"

        Yes ... but the person you got shut down merely has to file a "put up or shut up" reply with the ISP, and the person who made the DMCA complaint MUST proceed to filing a formal infringement court case within 10 days or shut up for all time. It's not something you should do lightly.

        Some eBay users were being hassled by a fabric manufacturer, because they mentioned their name and showed the fabric made into various objects, or were reselling vintage fabric. The manufactuer accused them of violating their design copyrights by showing the pictures. It was VERY easy to get them to back off, just by firing back a "sez who?" and teelling them that they had 10 days to file something sreoius. The harassment stopped.

    • by mm0mm ( 687212 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @02:19PM (#6773715)
      What's more intriguing to me is a surge []of their stock for the last two days. How could this be possible, after they revealed their own stupidity by showing BSD-lisenced code as smoking guns for IBM/IP case? Who'd buy a pile of shit?

      Maybe hundreds of millions of retarded private investors are visiting and that's causing their servers down. hehe
      • by invckb ( 551932 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @03:05PM (#6773953)
        I believe it was a short squeeze.

        When a stock is borrowed to short, it has to be returned upon demand. The short seller will have to buy replacement shares at the current price. More sellers are willing to sell at this price, which causes more shorted shares to be called for return. This becomes a cycle that can rapidly bump up the price for a day or two.

        Shorting a stock is definitely a short term gamble. It would be better to use options, but they are not offered on SCOX.
        • by Fnkmaster ( 89084 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @03:15PM (#6773990)
          I'm pretty sure you're right. The weird part is that the short interest is so high, it's shorted to the hilt, and nobody wants to take a long, so you can't really go short anymore with your account. So the market isn't able to push the price down to reflect the average perception of the worth of this stock right now. And the people holding are all "believers" who aren't going to part with their shares until somebody shoves their nose right in the shit that's been coming out of Darl's mouth and lets them smell the roses for themselves. So there's no big selling movement yet, and nobody else can short. Basically this is going to hang on to a pretty high share price until the legal system has had a go with it, or until analysts with general respectability in the finance world point out what a smelly piece of shit SCOX stock is right now. And unfortunately, the lack of shares available for the borrowing (i.e. to short with) seems to mean the average Joe Investor can't turn much of a profit on this baby right now.

          I'm sure this must be a fairly well known phenomenon, but it strikes me as remarkably poor marketplace efficiency - the market is supposed to be a good indicator of the aggregate psychological perception of worth of an equity, and right now the rules of engagement are preventing the market mechanism from working well for SCOX.

          • by mec ( 14700 ) <> on Saturday August 23, 2003 @04:05PM (#6774224) Journal
            I'm inclined to believe in the "true believer" theory.

            Look, I think that SCOX is worth $0.50 to $1.00 per share. I'm sure for the Slashdot crowd, that's a high estimate, and I'll get a bunch of replies saying "no! $0.01 per share! $0.000001 per share! Negative $699 per share!" But face it, reality says that there are people, right now, who are actually paying $13 per share for SCOX.

            I have to try to get inside these people's heads, and I have to do it without taking cheap shots, which means that everyone else will take cheap shots at ME, the messenger.

            But if you really want to understand ...

            McBride gets up on stage with "Slide A" and "Slide B". McBride says that Slide A is from SCO Unix. McBride says that Slide B is from Linux. It's obvious to everybody that Slide B looks like Slide A.

            Then the Linux community replies and says "We admit that Slide B is from Linux 2.4 Yes, but that code is properly licensed. Yes, but that code doesn't run on desktops or embedded systems. Yes, but that code has already been removed from the 2.6 series".

            All of these things are true, and they are all important in a court of law. Especially the bit about proper licensing.

            But the SCO-lovers and the Linux-haters aren't interested in "Yes, But". So our message doesn't make it through their filter. They put a lot of weight on "Slide B equals Slide A", and are not listening to an argument that Slide B has every legal right to look like Slide A.

            Human beings are like that. They discount arguments and evidence that disagree with them. And once a human being "flips the bozo bit" on another person, or another group of people, it stays flipped.

            That's what I think is happening with the stock.

            As far as "marketplace efficiency" goes -- whole new topic. I agree that this kind of bubble is inefficient for capital formation. However, it does satisfy the psychological need of people to identify with something that embodies their ideals, just like a sports team. Some people buy SCOX because it fulfills their desire to hate Linux.
            • Maybe we need an exit poll for people buying SCO shares.

              "Excuse me, Mr. Ameritrade customer, we'd like to ask you a few questions, if you don't mind... What in the bloody piss were you thinking buying SCO shares?"
    • Well, given that Darth McBride has blown all the company's money on really crappy lawyers, the only equipment they can afford to run their website is a Commodore 64 running a custom stripped down version of OpenServer.

      Give it time, it takes a while for a web page to stream from an audio cassette.
  • by borgdows ( 599861 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @01:47PM (#6773544)
    Who wants to be a Darl Mc Bride?

    - Question 1 -

    Your best friend kindly lent you his new Toyota, but you have literally destroyed it in a accident you were entirely responsible.
    What do you do?

    [ ] a) You apologize.
    [ ] b) You buy him a new car.
    [ ] c) You sue him.
    [ ] d) You sue him AND General Motors.

    Answer :
    If you choose D, congratulations! You could be SCO's CEO!
    • DarlThink (Score:5, Funny)

      by HopeOS ( 74340 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @02:06PM (#6773649)
      [ ] e) After taking possession, it became your car anyway; he owes you a new car.

    • by jd ( 1658 ) <imipak AT yahoo DOT com> on Saturday August 23, 2003 @02:23PM (#6773736) Homepage Journal
      [] e) You sue him AND General Motors, the accident victim and road builders sue you, and you attempt to pressure the US Goverment into invading Japan. Oh, and you demand BMW gives you a new Rolls Royce to replace the car.
    • by Vlad_the_Inhaler ( 32958 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @02:40PM (#6773819) Homepage
      There is a site around which purports to look at this from a legal standpoint [] as opposed to our 'IANAL' standpoints. The author there has been making it clear for a while now that SCO's lawyers are making one ludicrous and unsustainable claim after another. David Boies (sp?) has taken this case on a 'percent if we win' basis but has also been making claims that led the author to wonder if he knew anything about law at all. A couple of weeks ago, the author commented that SCO's behaviour was so obviously suicidal that the only explanation was: they are running this for a third party. The third party in question being a large monopoly based in the northern Seattle area.

      Leaving that site's analysis now: When SCO folds - as it soon will - this presumably means that they will be unable to meet the legal bills of the (for example) IBM and RedHat lawyers. SCO's strategy has to be to exist for as long as possible so that their company can be milked for all it is not even worth, and then run.

      That is the SCO directors, their lawyers have made a very eloquent case for the adoption of Gowachin Law [] in real life. (sorry about that link, it was the best I could find).

      Gowachin Law was a creation of the 'Dune' author, Frank Herbert, and appeared in several of his ConSentiency books. The losing lawyer is killed by the winning one. There are ill-defined rules where other participants - including judges who do not meet standards - can also be killed.

      The whole idea is that the participants are personally responsible for their misdeeds. Gowachin law is not going to be adopted any time soon, but the current system has obviously failed in that this turkey has been allowed to run for so long.
      • Gowachin Law was a creation of the 'Dune' author, Frank Herbert, and appeared in several of his ConSentiency books. The losing lawyer is killed by the winning one. There are ill-defined rules where other participants - including judges who do not meet standards - can also be killed.

        Parent poster thinks this should exist in reality...

        How would this improve the legal system? It would heighten the risks of a lawsuit, but once one was rolling, both parties would be fighting for their lives. This would rea

  • Awesome (Score:5, Funny)

    by dtfinch ( 661405 ) * on Saturday August 23, 2003 @01:48PM (#6773549) Journal
    I already had the bookmarked. This one is going right next to it.

    Now if only he sold t-shirts and playing cards to go with it. Or perhaps diapers with the name McBride stamped on them. Honey, I think he needs a new McBride, this one is all poopy.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 23, 2003 @01:50PM (#6773559)
    Well, it's getting to be that time...

    As soon as they have to publish their 10Q everyone is going to see that SCO has little future revenue and that the execs have been engaged in wash-trades to pump and dump the stock. I'm mildly amused that the SEC and FTC haven't stepped in to prevent all the stock-holders from being royally screwed over. Nope... Nope... the government will step in only after everyone has been fucked and the execs are kicking it in Bermuda on everyone else's retirements.
    • Kicking it (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I got a kick out of seeing 80's ghetto slang co-existing with dry white-bread terms like "10Q".

      Mamma said knock you out! Momma said claim yourself as a dependant!

  • by AJWM ( 19027 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @01:50PM (#6773561) Homepage
    common practice there and at other companies to remove the BSD copyright notices from the internally used source code

    That's a large part of what cost AT&T in the ATT/USL vs BSD case -- AT&T had incorporated BSD code without the BSD copyright notices, violating the BSD license and thus BSD's copyrights. IIRC, AT&T ended up paying BSD's legal costs in that trial.

    Hey SCO, how do you feel about paying IBM's (and anyone else you were thinking of suing) legal costs?

  • by Rajesh Raman ( 115274 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @01:51PM (#6773565)
    Dennis got into the act after Linus called his code ugly: damn, them be fightin' words!
    • by Arker ( 91948 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @02:32PM (#6773785) Homepage

      Fact is Linus didn't call Ritchie's code ugly. He called SGI's patch ugly, that's a big difference. Yes, the patch included some of Ritchie's code, but the ugly part was the rest of it - having a separate malloc implementation just for their code in particular.

      • , but the ugly part was the rest of it - having a separate malloc implementation just for their code in particular.

        ALL really-good code has to have it's own malloc, string and big-num implementations. Bonus points if you write your own parser for reall small expressions, extra bonus points if your parser has really odd operator precidence that require lots of parens to make usable.

  • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @01:54PM (#6773572)
    ...for some software developers whose code was misappropriated by a certain publicly traded company to start filing cease-and-desists against that company for violation of copyright. I wonder how much of SCO's products would be unsellable under such conditions.

    This isn't to say that everyone else is perfect, but then again, everyone else hasn't tried to benefit from open source licenses only to turn around and bash the concept while still using the technology that they gained from such licensing.
    • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @02:11PM (#6773673) Journal
      start filing cease-and-desists against that company for violation of copyright.
      Perhaps. But perhaps it is wiser to attack SCO's own case on its merits or lack thereof, rather than countersue.

      We don't want Linux or Open Source software in general to be referred to as 'that free software that everone and his dog is sueing one another over'. John Q User may not care much about the lawsuits, but corporations certainly do, and well they should. If Linux gets a reputation for having all sorts of (potential) legal issues, that will hurt the OSS movement in the long run, even if some of the lawsuits are against scumbag outfits such as SCO. The only group that had the right idea was RedHat, who filed suit against SCO to stop the FUD.
      • IBM were originally sued, and for a very large sum.
        It is IBM's right to defend themselves the best way they can, this includes countersuits.
        I have no problems with anything IBM has done in this conflict up to now. They are also defending the GPL by invoking it, good work guys - the GPL being dragged through a major court case with the big lawyers behind it is a good thing.

        apologies to '1066 and all that'
  • Obvious (Score:4, Informative)

    by metatruk ( 315048 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @01:54PM (#6773578)
    It's starting to become painfully obvious that indeed SCO is completely full of shit, and will stop at no ends to destroy Linux's image.

    I think at this point it would be a good idea for the slashdot community as well as everyone else in open source to start contacting the FTC []
  • by chrisgeleven ( 514645 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @01:54PM (#6773580) Homepage
    Going to sell a deck of cards showing the faces of SCO management and lawyers?
  • Hypocricy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by etymxris ( 121288 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @01:55PM (#6773583)
    Not sure the exact quote, but when people pointed out the fallacious examples, SCO said, "We think we know our own code."

    However, their claims contradict this. Crucial to their suit is the fact that they did not know that there was UNIX code in Linux prior to all this litigation. If they did know that, then they willingly released their code under the GPL.

    Perhaps they've learned a bunch about their code in the past few months, but if their developers did stuff like ripping out BSD advertising clauses many years ago, I don't see how the new management would be privy to it.
  • by Krapangor ( 533950 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @01:57PM (#6773595) Homepage
    They just presented it as an example for code coping. And indeed this code was copied although not from the SCO codebase. But this really doesn't matter. Their main point is their far reaching definition of derivative works.
    Personally I'm rather surprised about the naivity of US developers. Do they really don't notice what it's all about. This is not just about Linux and OSS any longer. If SCO succeeds with their far reaching definition of derivative works than this would crush all US based software develoment.
    Any jerk could argue that by just using a interface/library you created a "derivative work". Device drivers will be owned by OS producers useless you got special contracts. This will blow up OOP - because when you create a child class from a class in a library you create a "derivate work" of this kind. This applies to most programs using the java gui.

    You might say know: Well, that's because SCO's claims are fucked and rubbish. Therefore these strange implications. But remember that this is a lawsuit in the US. You can get several millions of dollars for being too stupid to open a McDonalds coffee cup there.

    • by FsG ( 648587 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @02:11PM (#6773676)
      I'm sick of people using the coffee cup story as an example of frivolous lawsuits in the U.S., when there are so many real frivolous lawsuits to cite.

      The coffee cup story has been thrown around so much that few people have heard the facts as they really happened []. The McDonalds coffee was not only hot, it was scalding, and capable of almost instantaneous destruction of skin, flesh and muscle. Worse yet, the paper cup it was in was capable of easily collapsing and spilling the contents. Because of its insanely high temperature, the coffee was a real danger.

      • The important detail in your link is that this person a) had trouble removing the coffee cup lid and b) held the fresh cup of coffeee between her legs to try to pry the lid off.

        I wouldn't even try to hold a cup of room temperature liquid between my legs to try to get the lid off because obviously it will end up in my lap... a large part of the cup's rigidity comes from the lid; the amount of pressure required to "hold" a cup between your legs while you conjure with the lid will obviously collapse the cup i
      • by NaugaHunter ( 639364 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @03:01PM (#6773936)
        McDonalds offered way less, so they went to court. She only wanted medical. It was the jury after being presented with evidence of prior poor settlements and knowledge that the coffee could burn people that went punitive with the amount.

        I don't blame McDonald's completely - if they are known to settle, people would just start dumping coffee or other things on themselves. And the women involved only wanted medical and related bills, so I don't blame her. It's the ability of the jury to go nuts with the punitive that made this case such a shining example, yet they are almost never mentioned.

        Two points:
        The jury awarded Liebeck $200,000 in compensatory damages. This amount was reduced to $160,000 because the jury found Liebeck 20 percent at fault in the spill. The jury also awarded Liebeck $2.7 million in punitive damages, which equals about two days of McDonalds' coffee sales.
        The trial court subsequently reduced the punitive award to $480,000.

  • Link to the fish (Score:3, Informative)

    by AJWM ( 19027 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @01:59PM (#6773605) Homepage
    Here's the []
    babelfish translation of the German article.

    Now, can somebody please post a link that translates from babelfish English to real English?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 23, 2003 @02:07PM (#6773656)
      Now, can somebody please post a link that translates from babelfish English to real English?
      Approximately, are you whom you speak what? privately, I find babelfish translation clearness, can rely on completely completely!
  • Simple Version (Score:5, Informative)

    by ZPO ( 465615 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @01:59PM (#6773608)
    The whole SCO mess is really pretty simple when you think about it.

    Through the IPO and such a bunch of lawyers ended up with a large interest in Caldera/SCO. When they realized they didn't have any revenue from product sales they decided to: A) Find another possible source of revenue. B) Increase the value of their near worthless stock holdings.

    So, SCO needed to find a company that A) had a Unix license with them. B) Was a large player in the Linux space. C) (most importantly) Wouldn't blink at the cost of buying them. IBM looked like an attractive target.

    Unfortuantely for SCO, IBM didn't blink. They just laughed, gave them a lollipop and told them to run along. Since the stock was ticking up the SCO execs/lawyers (same people) are playing it to the hilt and trying to create an impression that they might be gaining some huge revenues soon. Look what its done to their stock. Also, look at who is suddenly selling stock in SCO.

    Pretty soon IBM will give them the bitch-slap they so truly deserve and likely buy their assets pennies on the dollar at a bankruptcy sale.

    Until then, lets just recognize this whole fiasco for what it is. Its a pump-and-dump on the stock. Nothing more, nothing less.
  • by Lord_Dweomer ( 648696 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @01:59PM (#6773609) Homepage
    Or are the PR releases and subsequent disproving of them getting more and more ridiculous? I mean, come on.....this REALLY needs to have a series of cartoons done on Pennyarcade.

  • by twelveinchbrain ( 312326 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @02:00PM (#6773613)
    You may recall that recently SCO declared the GPL invalid. I believe the real reason why they did that is not, as many believe, because they continued to distribute Linux after they announced their lawsuit, but instead because they have actual Linux code inside their own SCO Unix. So far, this is just a hypothesis, but I think it best explains their action.

    If in fact they have copied BSD code in violation of the BSD, then it's very plausible that they have copied GNU/Linux code in violation of the GPL.
    • by penguin7of9 ( 697383 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @02:39PM (#6773815)
      SCO can have the GPL or BSD licenses declared invalid all they want--the code is still copyrighted. With the GPL or BSD in place, at least they have the excuse that "it's free anyway, we just got sloppy about satisfying a few conditions". But if they actually argue that they believe the GPL and BSD license are invalid, then they are committing willful copyright infringement of code they have no license at all for.
  • SCO doesn't care (Score:5, Insightful)

    by starseeker ( 141897 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @02:00PM (#6773614) Homepage
    Continuing to cover this is not particularly useful. SCO won't be bothered by anything so trivial as facts. They are out for blood and maximum damage, and no possible response from anyone is going to stop them now. They will have to be defeated, but no action we take or not take will do anything significant. They know they aren't popular and don't care in the slightest. They may even know they are wrong, but that won't stop them from trying to use the system to get $$.

    If we want to do something interesting, let's look ahead to how we might lobby and/or structure the GPL 3.0 to fight this kind of crap. Maybe create an auditing trail software package people can use to know not just the origin of a piece of code, but how it is used and what code is based off of it. Also give more press to the idea of mutual defense clauses in licenses - kind of the counterweight to the cross licensing of IP between companies. Let's think of some positive steps we might take in the future to make our position so obviously strong that anyone short of an SCO type wouldn't waste their time. I think someone who earlier said SCO really believes it is actually impossible for open source to produce what it has was right on the money, and with that settled in their own minds SCO goes into attack mode. There is nothing that can be done about such attitudes but fight. For the rest of the (semi) sane world however, making our position more obviously strong might be good. Let's focus there, and wait until SCO does something that we can actually respond to before rewarding any more of their tantrums.
    • by yetanothertechie ( 699283 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @02:39PM (#6773817)

      Continuing to cover this is not particularly useful...

      ...wait until SCO does something that we can actually respond to before rewarding any more of their tantrums.

      I disagree. While SCO's FUD machine won't be stopped with facts, when this case gets to court the facts are what will make the critical difference. We need to have as much visibility into SCO's shenanigans as possible, so that as many of us as possible can get our heads together, do our research, and completely refute their allegations.

      In another vein, until the case gets to court and gets resolved, we're battling in the court of public opinion. I've noticed that there's a wonderful amount of coverage being given to our (collective) refutations of SCO's allegations. We need to keep this up so that the public (including those who make IT decisions) are kept informed as to the true status of SCO's groundless claims. Linux is really gaining momentum these days - we need to make sure to strongly counter SCO's claims so that the momentum keeps building.

      • I agree. The public often sees inactividy as a sign of weakness. If SCO is allowed to FUD unabatited then they seem to be winning.

        I think we need to get some more lawsuits against THEM. Every time Bruce goes off on how he has been wronged in the press the next sentence should be about how another *nix user has brought suit against him.
    • Re:SCO doesn't care (Score:5, Interesting)

      by aussersterne ( 212916 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @02:44PM (#6773838) Homepage
      They may even know they are wrong, but that won't stop them from trying to use the system to get $$.

      This is what so many slashdot readers and posters on other forums don't understand... It's not about the legal details. SCO is of the ilk that believes "if it's legal, it's moral" and will use that logic to extract $$$ from whomever they can using whatever components of "the system" they can. They will have no qualms about destroying anyone's livelihood, anyone's hard work or indeed half the software industry to line their own pockets.

      And if all of this mass destruction does occur, in the post-mortem interview as they are lining their pockets they will happily answer press questions with "Obviously it's ethical! Everything we've done is according to the letter of the law."

      Recklessly self-serving corporate logic of this type is a bigger evil than "the terrorists" who are at least fighting for something that they believe; in the long run and big picture, this type of profiteering is probably more dangerous as well. The world can sustain a lot more 9/11 attacks than it can Exxon Valdez disasters, Bhopal disasters or Papel Cataguazes disasters, all of which were about profits and nothing else.
  • WHAT???!?! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Ayanami Rei ( 621112 ) <rayanami@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Saturday August 23, 2003 @02:02PM (#6773628) Journal
    "Building your company on a GPL license is like building your enterprise software on quicksand. Everybody is scared to death that their own IP is going to get sucked into this GPL machine and get destroyed."
    -Carl McBride

    ::slack-jawed, agape stare::

    Let me get this straight. He made an analogy about building a company on a LICENSE, to writing software in quicksand.

    I think what he meant to say was "Building your enterprise software using a GPL license is like building your company on quicksand" or something like that but he is so full of shit he can't get a coherent analogy to the reporter. Didn't the copy editor of that story pick that up, or do they want him to look like a fool.

    I'm not going to even address the drawn out, oft-repeated FUD of the second part of his statement.

    I'll post more comments about some of the quotes on [] as I get a chance.

    Carl, you're comedic gold. Let's keep the hits coming.
  • by fr0z ( 658466 ) <{fr0z} {at} {}> on Saturday August 23, 2003 @02:05PM (#6773644) Homepage
    I'm just busy laughing my ass off...

    But seriously, all this talk of "Let's sue SCO! Issue them C&D letters!" will bring us nowhere. Let them appear like the rabid dogs that they are and let IBM and Redhat smack them down...

    Then after they're done, we can hunt them like ducks and spammers. []

    In the meantime, we should focus on raising the profile of Linux. In a calm, Zen-like manner, unlike SCO's behaviour. This is a hearts-and-minds campaign, people...let's get to work...
  • by sabat ( 23293 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @02:06PM (#6773650) Journal

    I love babelfish:

    Altogether Raymond appealed to the reason of the SCO upper one with an allusion to the insight ability of Darth Vader: "you have the choice. Remove the dark helmet and converse with us like a human nature, or you continue your way, which lets bad times fear for us, however you and the entire SCO Topmanagement into the ruin will completely surely float."

    • I just had a horrifying thought. What if someone were to dub Star Wars (or almost any movie) after running the dialog through bablefish?


  • by geophile ( 16995 ) <jao&geophile,com> on Saturday August 23, 2003 @02:12PM (#6773679) Homepage
    "You want fries with that?"
  • "Funny" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ergonal ( 609484 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @02:17PM (#6773704)
    Does anyone else find it amusing that lately a lot of the high-ranking posts on SCO topics have been "Funny" ones? Is it just because there's nothing left to talk about except SCO mockery? :P
  • Erp! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jd ( 1658 ) <imipak AT yahoo DOT com> on Saturday August 23, 2003 @02:20PM (#6773717) Homepage Journal
    Talk about "expert witnesses"! You can't get much more expert than this. This is not just going to dent SCO's case, it is going to seriously dent SCO. Why? After all, this is a "geek fight", and nobody in industry cares about geeks. (We might know how important we are to civilization, but that doesn't mean any PHB's do!)

    First and foremost, it dents their credibility. Either they don't know what they own, or they are guilty of intellectual theft. Either way, would you subcontract to a company with serious IP issues? No, this isn't going to do SCO any good at all. It would raise way too many questions with those with the money. Such as "are they going to steal anything from us?"

    Second, it raises the issue of liability. If SCO have been open to doing a bit of IP theft of their own, in the past, then will SCO customers be subject to unexpected license fees themselves? Since SCO clearly thinks they can demand fees from Linux users, it would logically follow that SCO UnixWare users may be subject to fees from other companies, if SCO has incorporated IP without authorization.

    The US Navy is a big SCO UnixWare user, and it has plenty of cash. That makes it a nice, juicy target for corporations who have even a halfway decent case of SCO misusing their IP. The Navy is more likely to pay than not - Governments tend to be wary of bad publicity in the run-up to a major election, and virtually anything asked for is going to be loose change to the DoD.

    But let's say that happens. Is the DoD likely to stick with SCO? After getting bitten, even if the bite is relatively mild? Probably not. SCO isn't strictly approved for the sort of use it gets. Quietly shifting to a "trusted" OS may well prove cheaper both financially and politically.

    Government spending dwarfs spending by virtually all companies in the US, combined. The loss of Government orders would devastate a company like SCO, which probably gets much of its income that way. It is also likely to turn the fortunes of whoever the Government turned to. (Likely HP or Sun, as those tend to be favourites with the US Government.)

    Neither of these companies has been doing well, of late, but a major contract shift - or even the suspicion of one - could change that in a big way.

    This is not just a consequence of these statements, but is a consequence of the ramifications of all aspects of this case. If you follow the chain far enough, one thing is very clear. Whether SCO wins or (more probably) loses, there's going to be a reckoning, and the tech landscape will shift.

    • dents more than SCO (Score:3, Interesting)

      by twitter ( 104583 )
      First and foremost, it dents their credibility. Either they don't know what they own, or they are guilty of intellectual theft. Either way, would you subcontract to a company with serious IP issues?

      This case is really the end of proprietary software. McBride thought he was going to ride over the world of free software and be able to tie it all up in "derivative works" arguments. The case was designed to hard me credibility of free software, but it's going to have exactly the opposite effect. It is being

  • at SCO hq (Score:5, Funny)

    by bgs4 ( 599215 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @02:28PM (#6773763)
    Darl: so, um. Ya. So we didn't try googling our code before we showed it in las vegas?
    Blake: ya, no.
    Lawyer#1: ya, um, we, ah. Ya.
    Lawyer#2: dropped the ball on that one!
    Darl: so, ya, and, um, it's, ah, in a book from 1977? Huh. Didn't know that.
    Blake: ya, a book! Who knew.
    Lawyer#1: didn't think to look in a book.
    Lawyer#2: ya, hm, ya, book.
    Darl: hmm, book. And, ya. Umm, it was released under the BSD license?
    Lawyer#1: ya, BSD. Hmm.
    Blake: so. That was, um. Ya.
    Lawyer#2: BSD. Uh hu.
    Darl: so... Dennis Ritchie? Really? He's famous and stuff.
    Blake: um, ya. Dennis Ritchie.
    Lawyer#1: Dennis Ritchie, uh hu. Famous.
    Lawyer#2: Hmm. Ya.
    Darl: um, Linda, if you could get my stockbroker on the phone that would be great, thanks.
  • Huh (Score:5, Funny)

    by Flower ( 31351 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @02:30PM (#6773774) Homepage
    Looks like Dennis' check from IBM finally cleared...
  • ?? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fmouse ( 130442 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @02:45PM (#6773851) Homepage
    Sco's website is dark at this time. Hmmm. Traceroute stops at an router, probably in Denver or Salt Lake City. Could some naughty child have been doing something nasty to the nice people at SCO? Shame on them!
  • by sela ( 32566 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @02:47PM (#6773858) Homepage

    At first it looked quite innocent, like a genuine interest in the story, but then, it got worse and worse. The story just had everything: Crime, Comedy (Linus: they are smoking crack. SCO: IBM is staging everything. Haaa, that's hillatrious!), bad guys, good guys, all the good stuff!

    Soon I've found out I cannot pass the day without reading the daily SCO item on slashdot. But it wasn't enough. Just like any other addiction, I found out I need an increasing dosage every day. When slashdot didn't provide it, I turned on to google news search and started refreshing the "SCO" search every hour and so, but even this wasn't sufficient. There just wasn't enough SCO news to provide my ever growing thirst, so I started making my own SCO stories.

    Help! I think I'm an addict. Is there a remedy?
  • by ndogg ( 158021 ) <<the.rhorn> <at> <>> on Saturday August 23, 2003 @03:18PM (#6773998) Homepage Journal
    I thought there was something fishy about all of this. I just figured it out, and my suspicions were correct all along, the Iraqi Information Minister went to work for SCO!!! It all makes sense now. Without this case, he would have been bored out of his mind!
  • pressure (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sstory ( 538486 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @03:18PM (#6774004) Homepage
    So Ritchie and company can end this SCO issue by convincing IBM to pay for the lawyer's fees necessary to sue SCO for copyright violation, asking for damages of $100 per sold SCO license of Ritchie's code.
  • by Nice2Cats ( 557310 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @03:30PM (#6774067)
    ...and why everybody here is swooning, this is what you have to know about Dennis M. Ritchie:

    C was originally designed for and implemented on the UNIX operating system on the DEC PDP-11, by Dennis Ritchie.
    This line is from a book Ritchie and this other fellow Brian W. Kernighan wrote in 1978 called The C Programming Language. Historically, it is an important book for computing the same way that the Canterbury Tales by Chaucer are for the English language.

    Think of it as SCO running around and saying they have some cool piece of legal reasoning, and somebody points out hat it was actually first formulated by Moses. Or some mathematician comes along and says he discovered something really neat about triangles and lines and then somebody points out Pythagoras did it first. Or a pharmaceutical company is claiming the invented a certain drug, just to be told that it was first used by Paracelsus.

    Yeah, it's that big. And even if this turns out to mean jack in the legal world, having SCO claiming they created something that goes back to the inventor of the C language itself is something that even the propular press can understand is bull. From a PR point of view, this is not shooting yourself in the foot anymore, it is taking your legs of with a BFG9000.

  • by Apogee ( 134480 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @03:38PM (#6774097)
    Once more, a manual translation rather than the fishy fish stuff ... I hope it is more readable than the machine-generated semi-sense.

    SCO vs. Linux: The era of conspiracy theories

    In the twisted and contorted story about SCO and the source code that possibly has been transferred to Linux from SCO's assets, new turns can be announced. The conspiracy theory that Microsoft is behind SCO is joined by a theory that the denial of SCO's claims is a single, well masked campaign by IBM. Infoworld reported that SCO's CEO Darl McBride sees IBM as the author of the smear campaign. IBM has instigated Novell to turn against SCO, said McBride, who has been working at Novell for many years as head of NEST, the Netware Embedded Division. IBM has made Red Hat to sue against SCO, he said moreover. In addition, Eric Raimond of the Open Source Initiative is alleged to be on IBM's payroll, who moreover finance the Free Software Foundation and with that the lawyer Eben Moglen, according to Darl McBride.

    While IBM and Red Hat succinctly called the accusation ludicrous, and Novell issued no comment, Eric Raymond found the energy to send an open letter to Darl McBride. In the letter, he denied being paid by IBM, but did not dispute to have helped IBM. All in all, Raymond appealed to the common sense of the head of SCO with an allusion to Darth Vader's capacity to understand: "The choice is yours. Take off the dark helmet and talk with us like a human being or continue on the path that makes us fear bad times, but which will certainly bring ruin to you and to the whole top management of SCO."

    Apart from the booming Star-Wars rhetoric, Eric Raymond used the open letter to draw attention to a petition of the Linux community, which was read on the SCOForum. In it, the SCO group is asked to give up the confrontational course and to name all incriminating parts of the source code. In return, the Linux programmers affirm that they will revise all questionable parts: "If there is code in the Linux kernel that breaches rights, we will remove it, since our community doesn't want to have any part of that kernel."

    The polite request may remain unanswered, because SCO's first evidence shown on the SCOForum was not convincing. Apart from the problem of "greek" code, the Berkeley Packet Filter (BPF) that was presented by SCO is now in the center of interest. SCO's example is from the file /sys/net/bpf.c, which is available here (link removed). In the part shown by SCO, the BSD terms of license are missing, which should always be named here: "Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer." Because they are absent, code experts like Bruce Perens and Greg Lehey assume that SCO has shown with this example that the license terms have been removed against the agreements.

    This could constitute a classical own goal, since other possibilities are ruled out. While Jay Schulist, the programmer of the BSF version used in Linux, was employed by Caldera, he wrote the clean room variant of BSF before his time with Caldera. Among former Caldera employees, several remember that in the SCO trees, the copyright notice were missing in many places in the BSD code. The practice of cutting "redundant" licenses seems to have been in use in other companies as well. For instance, Heise Online was contacted by developers who had seen the same "technique" in use at Siemens-Nixdorf. If worst comes to worst, the code hunters have found evidence that proves the exact inverse of what SCO claims. At least in the case of BPF, SCO would have to present not only the powerpoint presentation, but the whole code to allay suspicions.
  • by Otis_INF ( 130595 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @03:52PM (#6774165) Homepage
    "In the ongoing battle between SCO and the Linux community, German publisher Heise has shown that not only was the Linux implementation of the Berkeley Packet filter written outside of Caldera (now SCO), but that it was common practice there and at other companies to remove the BSD copyright notices from the internally used source code. In effect, SCO has proven publicly that they violated the BSD license."
    Not only SCO proved that they violated the BSD license, every Linux distro does.

    Now, reading the replies on this article, I find it remarkable no-one has noted this. No offence, but even when code is licensed under the BSD license, that license has to be obeyed. You can't remove copyright claims because you think that's necessary. When someone violates the GPL, hordes of people think they have to say something bad about the possible violator. However, it seems the Linux kernel as well violates an OSS license, which is IMHO as bad as violating a GPL license or any license.
  • by Ian Lance Taylor ( 18693 ) <> on Saturday August 23, 2003 @04:21PM (#6774284) Homepage
    The fact that Dennis Ritchie wrote the code (the malloc implementation) doesn't undermine SCO's statements at all. Ritchie wrote the code as an employee of AT&T, and unless he had a very unusual contract, AT&T owned the code he wrote. AT&T held a copyright on the code which, thanks to Congress, will last until we are all dead. AT&T sold that copyright to Novell, which sold it to the old SCO, which sold it to the current SCO. So although Ritchie wrote it, SCO still holds the copyright, which is all they have ever claimed.

    For that matter, it's worth noting that the fact that the code appeared in versions of BSD before 4.4 doesn't undermine SCO's claims either, because those versions of BSD require a Unix source code license, which Linux does not have. The fact that the code appeared in the Lions' book is also irrelevant, since the book carries a clear statement that the code is presented for educational value only, and that nobody is permitted to run it or base their own code on it.

    SCO's claims are undermined by the fact that they released the code under a Berkeley style license back when they were named Caldera. That shows that the code has no significant value, and that Linux users would not be liable for damages even if SCO sued them. However, it's also worth noting that including the code in Linux violated the terms of SCO's license, because it did not credit Caldera as the license required.

    So as far as I can see SCO still does have a tenuous claim on some versions of Linux on the basis of this code, although there is no way that any court would award them any damages for it.

    It's all somewhat moot in any case since the code has been removed from current versions of Linux. Anybody bothered by SCO just needs to upgrade to kernel versions 2.4.22 or 2.5.75 or later.
  • Not so fast (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Burdell ( 228580 ) on Saturday August 23, 2003 @04:34PM (#6774333)
    Not that I want to support SCO in ANY way, but two things:
    • The license under which the "historical" versions of Unix are released is a BSD style license with the advertising clause. The advertising clause makes it incompatible with the GPL, according to the license comparison [] at the FSF site. So, it is not legal to pull code from the historical Unix versions into the Linux kernel, unless the historical Unix code in question was licensed from UCB under the BSD license (UCB retroactively removed the advertising clause from their code).
    • DMR worked for AT&T on the code is now owned by SCO. So SCO does have legal ownership of that code and is allowed to control how it is released. Much of it (including the code in question) was released under the license mentioned above, but that license conflicts with the GPL as used by the Linux kernel.
    So, if DMR's old Unix code was used verbatim in the Linux kernel AND it is not available under a license different than the historical Unix license, then the kernel is violating SCO's license terms.
    • Re:Not so fast (Score:5, Interesting)

      by stwrtpj ( 518864 ) <> on Saturday August 23, 2003 @06:03PM (#6774746) Journal
      DMR worked for AT&T on the code is now owned by SCO. So SCO does have legal ownership of that code and is allowed to control how it is released.

      Caldera later released UNIX System 3 (which contains the same code) into the public domain. This happened after the release under a BSD license, thus this action trumps the first. They can't claim they didn't know what they were doing, as that is no excuse for releasing code that you did not intend.

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