Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Caldera Operating Systems Software Unix Your Rights Online Linux

SCO Gives Notice To 6,000 Unix Licensees 442

inode_buddha writes "This article describes SCO's recent letters to its UNIX licensees, asking them to certify that they '...are not using Unix code in Linux.' It also notes another set of letters '...outlining additional evidence of copyright infringement to a subset of 1,500 global Linux users that SCO first contacted in May about copyright infringement.' There's also a decent breakdown of the company's balance sheet and some quotes from company officials. I hope to see one of those 'other' letters; could anyone post it? SCO better have asbestos underwear." Ask and receive: idiotnot adds "Here's the article from the Sydney Morning Herald. Here is a PDF Copy of the letter." "Yours truly"?
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

SCO Gives Notice To 6,000 Unix Licensees

Comments Filter:
  • Phew... (Score:5, Funny)

    by subk ( 551165 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @08:58AM (#7890034)
    .After almost 2 weeks of no SCO stories, I was begining to delevop a bit of a nervous tic!
  • by Disc2 ( 720412 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @09:02AM (#7890057)
    ...and i've been putting unix code into linux. Do they expect people to admit it?
  • by ch-chuck ( 9622 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @09:02AM (#7890058) Homepage
    This SCO notification is brought to you by the letters 'U' and 'O' and the numbers '6' and '0'.
  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @09:03AM (#7890062)
    Just go and buy off SCO (Thats what SCO wants anyway) for us. Write it off as a tax write off as donation to a good cause.
  • by gingerTabs ( 532664 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @09:05AM (#7890070) Homepage
    Yes I skimmed the story, and I was pleasantly surprised to see an advert for IBMs linux solutions halfway down the main body of the text. That's intelligent ad placement at it's best :)
  • by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @09:09AM (#7890088)
    There's also a decent breakdown of the company's balance sheet and some quotes from company officials

    Here it is, for your viewing enjoyment:

    +56.00 1 x Uniware license w/ rebate
    -700.00 1 x 1 hour, law firm
    -1500.00 1 x law firm, misc.
    -89100.65 10000 x threatening letter photocopies, envelopes and stamps
    - 23000.00 1 x Blake stowel xmas bonus
    - 100000.00 1 x Darl McBride xmas bonus
    +699.00 1 x SCO license
    -450.99 1 x christmas meal for law firm's Dachsund
    - 5000.00 2 x conference call with law firm
    - 1500000.00 4 x Payol^H^H^H^H^HReturn on investment for Canopy execs
    +9.99 1 x mail-in rebate for postage scale

    Company officials statement:

    Are we the greatest company in the world or what?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @09:11AM (#7890103)
    If you are posting from a machine running linux, they will sue you.
  • by mccalli ( 323026 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @09:16AM (#7890134) Homepage
    I like the Sontag quote: "...formally communicate to Unix source code licensees and certain commercial Linux end users that they must utilise SCO intellectual property within the bounds of their existing legal agreements...

    Err...that's what an existing legal agreement actually is - a formal communication of utilising x within the bounds of what was agreed. I believe -1 Redundant is called for?


  • Dear SCO (Score:5, Funny)

    by lone_marauder ( 642787 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @09:17AM (#7890140)
    Your imagination is not my problem. I no more need to certify to you that I am not using your intellectual property than that I am not using alien UFO technology in our corporate restrooms. A assertion must stand on its own merit, and any response to that assertion must necessarily be based upon that merit.

    Having established that point, I think I have found a use for your assertions in our corporate restrooms.
  • by mr i want to go home ( 610257 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @09:18AM (#7890142)
    ...if they sent this letter to themselves, given the amount of code they've contributed :)

    From the letter:

    Neither you nor your contractors or employees with access to the Software Products have contributed any software code based on the Software Products for use in Linux or any other UNIX-based software product.

  • by bwalling ( 195998 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @09:20AM (#7890151) Homepage
    I'm still waiting to actually see the evidence that SCO claims is in the Linux source code.Apparently SCO is waiting to see the evidence as well. Why else would they keep asking everyone else to see if there is any?
  • by corby ( 56462 ) * on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @09:39AM (#7890274)
    Great Business Plans in American History

    If you: license our technology
    Then: you are first in line when we roll out our sue-the-world plan.

    If you: buy one of our burger value meals
    Then: the fry cook gets one free whack at you with a 2-by-4 on your way out of the restaurant

    Ben Dover Bowling Lanes
    If you: rent one of our lanes for an hour
    Then: the ex-convict who works behind the counter demonstrates who is your daddy when you bend over to pick up your bowling shoes

  • by Verteiron ( 224042 ) * on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @09:46AM (#7890344) Homepage
    I wonder if this post will show up during the trial...

    "SCO: (Radiating righteous indignation) See? See?! According to Slashdot comment #7890057, this Disc2 guy on Slashdot says he's been copying our code! See? We TOLD YOU!
    Judge: (Laughing hysterically)"
  • by cheesedog ( 603990 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @09:58AM (#7890430)
    Last sentence of SCO's friendly letter:

    "SCO may pursue all legal remeidies available to it including, but not limited to, license termination rights."

    Here is the text of my certified response letter:

    "Dear SCO, I hereby terminate my own Unixware license. The 3 machines we still had running Unixware have been pining for years to join their linux brethren or BSD friends. Today, they do so. Thanks for the gentle push!"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @09:59AM (#7890436)
    Mass suicide involved sedatives, vodka and careful planning
    CNN/Januray 6, 2003

    Salt Lake City, Utah -- The 39 cult members found dead at a local software company apparently died in a carefully orchestrated suicide that involved sedatives, vodka and plastic bags possibly used to suffocate, officials said today.

    The victims apparently believed they were going to be able to claim ownership of the Linux operating system.

    Police said they had gathered little information so far on the background of the group or its leaders, only that they operated a computer Web service called "SCO."

    The mass suicide likely took place over three days and involved three groups, proceeding in a calm, ritualistic fashion. Some members apparently assisted others and then cleaned up, then went on to take their own dose of the fatal mixture, mixed with apple sauce or pudding.

    The last two victims to die were found with plastic bags over their heads.

    Lying on cots or mattresses with their arms at their sides, the victims each carried identification.

    "It seemed to be a group decision," said Dr. Brian Blackbourne, Salt Lake Medical Examiner, at a news conference today. "There were different stages, suggesting it was planned. They all had IDs. The house was immaculate."

    Blackbourne said 21 of the victims were women and 18 were men.

    Initially all the victims had been identified as men, since deputies found all of the victims dressed alike in black suits with close-cropped hair, making it difficult to determine their sex.

    Officials are now trying to notify victims' families and have withheld names until that process is completed.

    Authorities also showed video of the bloodless death scene at an afternoon news briefing. All the victims wore black pants and black Nike athletic shoes, their faces and chests covered with purple shrouds. Their bags had been packed neatly in the dormitory-type rooms. Those who wore glasses had them carefully placed at their side. In a pocket, most of the victims had a $5 bill and some quarters.

    "They were at different stages of deterioration," Jerry Lipscomb of the Salt Lake Sheriff's Department told CNN. "That's the most pleasant way I can put that."

    Lipscomb said officials were tipped off to the suicide after videotapes and a letter were sent to each of the company's software customers.

    "What we're finding is that each and every one of the members of the organization, prior to their death, gave a brief statement... The essence of those statements were that they were going to a better place where there was no such evil as open source software," Lipscomb said.

    Most of the victims were in their 40s, but their ages ranged from 26 to 72, said Cmdr. Alan Fulmer, chief investigator in the case.

    Blackbourne said the victims mixed the sedative phenobarbital in apple sauce, washed it down with a drink of vodka and then were smothered with plastic bags over their heads. The plastic bags were found in trash can behind the house.

    "We're not talking about a drug-crazed, party-time situation ...The drugs were taken for a very specific purpose and that was to take their own lives," Lipscomb said.

    "It's our opinion that it was their intent -- they planned to do this."

    Of the letter written to an ex-member of the group, he said: "Although it is not a suicide note, per se, it does imply that it was their intent to take their own lives..."

    The first deputies who entered the company to find the bodies Wednesday complained of a distinctive odor.

    Some of the victims had been dead for more than 36 hours before they were found, Blackbourne said. All had been removed from the house and identified by mid-day Thursday.

    The SCO web site does not espouse suicide as such but promotes a "willful termination of contract" as the road "entering the Heaven of IP security."

    The Web site characterized SCO as a potential target for law enforcement, making referen
  • by Alien54 ( 180860 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @09:59AM (#7890441) Journal
    I thinkl this would be a perfect time for many companies to reply, saying that they have removed all SCO software from their sites, and have converted everything to Linux.

    That should give the SCO lawyers a Nervous Tic (tm)

  • by Dogtanian ( 588974 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @10:01AM (#7890451) Homepage
    This SCO notification is brought to you by the letters 'U' and 'O'

    With the replies being brought to you by the letters 'F' and 'U', hopefully.
  • Re:My shirt (Score:2, Funny)

    by gantrep ( 627089 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @10:17AM (#7890552)
    How much?

    And don't say $699.
  • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @10:17AM (#7890556) Journal
    "ok, well maybe it wasn't billions, but didn't SCOG say in their may/june PRs(stop laughing) that they had millions of users world wide. now they are down to 6000."

    It is official; Netcraft confirms: SCO is dying

    One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered SCO UnixWare community when IDC confirmed that SCO market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that SCO UnixWare has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. SCO is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

    You don't need to be a Kreskin to predict SCO's future. The hand writing is on the wall: SCO faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for SCO UnixWare because SCO is dying. Things are looking very bad for SCO. As many of us are already aware, SCO UnixWare continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

    SCO has lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time UnixWare developers L. Ron Hubbard and Joseph Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: SCO is dying.

    All major surveys show that UnixWare has steadily declined in market share. SCO is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If SCO is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. SCO continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, SCO is dead.

    Fact: SCO is dying
  • by DrSkwid ( 118965 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @10:19AM (#7890574) Homepage Journal

    Would you like to borrow some money?

  • by HangingChad ( 677530 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @10:19AM (#7890579) Homepage
    Which is too bad because I'd get to write the response:

    Dear Mr. So-and-So

    In response to your request for certification that we have not contributed SCO IP into Linux our official response:



    Mr. Shadow
    Director Software Support
    XYZ Corporation

    Of course legal would nix it anyway. Might get fired for sending it without their chop, but what a way to go out, huh? Hehe.

  • Yours truly (Score:2, Funny)

    by Bigby ( 659157 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @10:20AM (#7890586)
    Did they seriously end the letter in "Yours truly" fashion? Talk about double meaning...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @10:22AM (#7890613)
    In response to your letter request for me to verify that I am not using UNIX code in Linux, please send me ALL of the source code to UNIX so that I can verify that I am not using it in my version of Linux. Otherwise, how can I truthfully say whether or not I am using it?
  • Dear SCO,

    please talk to my hardware/software vendor. We bought this fancy new server with the latest software included. This is called a bundle. They told me the software was free, so we paid $0.
    BTW my vendor is IBM!

    Best regards /me
  • by cdrudge ( 68377 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @11:15AM (#7891136) Homepage
    No. On Dec 5th, the court rules that SCO had to respond in detail to Interrogatory Nos. 1-9,12,13 from IBM. They had 30 days from the date that it was entered into the books and the judge signed the order IBM prepared...Dec 12th I beleive. That makes the 11th the deadline. On the 23rd, the judge finds out if SCO complied with the order. Expect to see some legal filings on Jan 22 or 23 to delay the order since SCO hasn't had enough time to make up^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hfind^H^H^H^Hdocument their case.

    The original interrogatories are here [].
  • Re:Dear SCO (Score:3, Funny)

    by fermion ( 181285 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @12:48PM (#7892268) Homepage Journal
    I have been thinking for a while about how to respond. I think everyone who received the letter should respond with something like this

    Dear SCO

    I received you recent letter of inquiry with great interest. I believe that Linux may have legal problems, and I do not wish to subject my company to liabilities that may be a part of those legal difficulties. In particular, I do not wish to a victim of the the harassment tactics that have become part of the Unix and Windows interests.

    I regret I cannot answer your question regarding the existence of Unix code in Linux. I am upper management and have no technical skills or knowledge. My IT people say everything we use is properly licensed, written independently, or knowingly contributed by the firms that own the code. They also tell me that the Linux code is available for everyone to look at. My suggestion is that you get a copy of this Linux code and take a look at it and see if anything matches. You can then tell the sections at issue. If you then send me your code for these sections, I can have my tech people compare your code to the Linux code and see if we are running the same code.

    But I would rather just solve the issue now. My preferred solution would be to install windows and get it over with. However, my techs refuse to so do. As a businessperson yourself, I am sure you understand the difficulty of hiring competent staff, so I tend to let them do what they want, so long as everything is running. I can't really fire them anyone, since one is sleeping with my daughter, the other one is sleeping with me, and the third is only minority worker we have in the company.

    So, the solution may be to license you product. In exchange I will need the following things. First, you must certify that you own or license all the IP in your Unix. My tech staff tells me that a few years ago Unix was caught stealing code, so we want to make sure you longer do this. I will also need a promise from you to defend me against any legal problem that might arise with my use of Unix. Since I have been told that you are brink of bankruptcy, I will need to see proof of a bond that can cover the expenses of such a defense. Finally, again since you may go bankrupt soon, I need a guarantee that I will be have an option to license Unix over the next five years, either from you or your new owners, for comparable prices. If I am unable to license Unix, I must have the freedom to continue to use it for free. If Unix becomes unsupported, I must have access to the source code to modify as I need.

    Thank you for your help in this issue.

    Mr. Bighead

  • by jafac ( 1449 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @01:19PM (#7892580) Homepage
    Dear Mister Hussein,
    Please provide evidence that you are in compliance with UN Resolution 3177, and that you have no active programs to develop WMI, and that you are not in posession of any WMI or WMI delivery systems.

    Failure to provide evidence will result in a massive invasion of your country by US Laywer forces, shock and awe, resulting in the eventual extraction of your carcass from a spider-hole.

    Darl McBush

10.0 times 0.1 is hardly ever 1.0.