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Australian Firm Asks SCO To Detail Evidence 488

An anonymous reader submits A Perth, Western Australian company called CyberKnights has told SCO ANZ's MD to detail its IP claims or face legal action for fraud. SCO has just released licenses for Australasia and claims enquiries by several companies already."
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Australian Firm Asks SCO To Detail Evidence

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  • about time (Score:2, Insightful)

    by shlomo ( 594012 )
    finally someone got their act together, lets hope others take heed.
    • Re:about time (Score:5, Interesting)

      by homboe ( 562583 ) <> on Tuesday January 20, 2004 @11:41PM (#8039751)
      On the Electronic Frontier Foundation site (EFF) site I found =2775 talking how to fight back.

      I have not yet found, statistics on how many registered voters are fighting back, what state does these voters come from, etc etc. I think it would be interesting if EFF had that to show what kind of support against SCO exists. Anyone know if this exists? (Please tell me I am blind and cant read :)
    • The server's link is being pounded into the sand by the traffic already, and we've not peaked yet. And there are other sites hosted there. )-:

      Please lay off that link for a few days!
  • SCO: (Score:5, Funny)

    by TexVex ( 669445 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2004 @11:17PM (#8039562)
    SCO: Australian for fraud.
    • Isn't that...

      SCO: American for fraud

      • There are small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri who know what the term means.
      • Re:SCO: (Score:2, Informative)

        by mandolin ( 7248 )
        SCO: Australian for fraud
        Isn't that... SCO: American for fraud

        It's a satire on (U.S.) Fosters commercials that carry the tagline "Fosters: Australian for Beer".

        Which is actually pretty funny all by itself.

        • Re:SCO: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by The Fink ( 300855 )
          It's even more amusing when one realises that no self-respecting Australian will be seen dead drinking Foster's.

          The only reason it's exported is because nobody's silly enough to drink it here.

    • Given their actions with Novel, I expect that SCO will sue the entity in question for exthortion. It makes them look less guilty to various news organizations.
  • criminals (Score:5, Interesting)

    by viniosity ( 592905 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2004 @11:17PM (#8039563) Homepage Journal
    Maybe this has been answered already, but does anyone know whether SCO's board or management can face criminal charges if all these allegations are proved unsubstantiated?
    • by mschoolbus ( 627182 ) <> on Tuesday January 20, 2004 @11:22PM (#8039594)
      I think they would go to a federal "pound me in the ass" prison.

      We could only hope.
      • Re:criminals (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Catbeller ( 118204 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2004 @12:12PM (#8043572) Homepage
        You'd hope in vain. Executives go to minimum security prison, which is code for "rich white man prison where you are actually guarded from rape".

        But for the vast majority of wealthy offenders, they will never see the inside of a courthouse, much less a prison. Ken Lay's Enron stole billions from California, with the White House providing political cover ("it's all the environmentalists' fault! Black Helicopters! Conspiracy theorists! And by the way, here's Arnold!") and will never even see the NEWS about his crimes, if he chooses not to, much less do a perp walk.

        Steal $20 from a cash register, go to jail and get raped. With the People cheering and demanding pay per view.

        I just noodled the reason why people don't care about wealthy people getting away with major crime: they want to BE the guys getting away with the crimes. They think it's cool! Moore might actually have nailed it: the Horatio Algier syndrome (YOU can be the rich guy who gets away with it -- it's the American Dream!) So people want, in a perverse way, a stratum of people who get all the cash and can't get convicted. In America, it's barely possible to join the elite -- although stats show most such people are just born to their status.

        I have perspective born of experience. I grew up in a poor neighborhood, where just walking the street could get you arrested if you didn't look right to a cop. I've had cops break into my house right in front of me.

        Contrast it to my later experience in the Chicago northern suburbs, where drugs were sold openly around school. The young scions of the suburbs openly assaulted and battered people of different colors, shapes, and religions. Car theft was common. You'd see kids you know driving around and smashing people's cars with rocks.

        And there was NO CRIME RATE among these kids, officially. They never "committed" crimes -- it was invisible to the local cops, unless it was committed right in front of them.

        Rich and/or connected people don't commit crimes, and they certainly don't go to jail. Well, there are exceptions, but you get the drift.

        PMITAP is for the poor.
    • Re:criminals (Score:3, Informative)

      by tftp ( 111690 )
      I think this is possible only if it can be shown that the responsible individuals did what they did not as a collective corporate entity but as a group of individuals. More here []. IANAL, of course...
      • Re:criminals (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Congrats on lousy linking. There was not one link there of any real value. Here [] is a good link. Either way you don't need to "pierce the corporate veil" when there is fraud. Piercing the corporate veil helps shareholders recover directly from the directors of the company. Fraud is just plain illegal.
    • Re:criminals (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      They would have to prove that they knew that the allegations were false and that they actively pursued litigation anyway. Just not being able to substantiate their claims would not be enough. That could be due to incompetent lawyers, honest misunderstandings, etc. You have to prove intent to deceive.
    • Re:criminals (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Fnkmaster ( 89084 ) * on Tuesday January 20, 2004 @11:35PM (#8039715)
      Yes, in theory they have probably broken several laws. In practice, it is VERY difficult to prove that they weren't just trying to maximize shareholder value and make the most of their interpretation of the intellectual property they think they own. Unfortunately, being stupid and being wrong aren't themselves crimes, and showing that they knowingly and intentionally violated securities regulations (a la pump and dump), or purgered themselves in court or something that could lead to federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison is very difficult. Witness the Enron case - only by securing cooperation and testimony from some mid- to high- level poeple are they able to make a case that the top level folks were anything other than tremendously stupid and misled.

      That being said, our high standards of evidence are something we should be proud of. I just think that the stupidity/ignorance defense should be done away with at a corporate executive/director level. We need the equivalent of Sarbannes-Oxley for ALL corporate behavior, not just the financials, since there are other kinds of corporate fraud damaging the economy and the public trust in America, beyond misleading 10K submissions.

      • In practice, it is VERY difficult to prove that they weren't just trying to maximize shareholder value and make the most of their interpretation of the intellectual property they think they own.

        This is one of the things that is wrong with American business: The sole (soul?) and primary duty and goal of and corporate board of a publicly traded company, is to increase the value of that company's stock. Many people do not realize this.

        • Re:Think (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          It isn't to increase the value of the company's stock. It is to maximize shareholders' value just like the parent poster said. There is a big difference there. The value of a company's stock can be affected by a myriad of external factors. The management and directors of a company have a fiduciary responsibility to the shareholders to act in a manner that will maximize shareholder value.

          Why do you think that is wrong? That is saying that it is not the management's responsibility to fatten their wallet
          • Re:Think (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Qrlx ( 258924 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2004 @12:50AM (#8040175) Homepage Journal
            it's not wrong in and of itself, but let's look at Enron as an example. They certainly maximized shareholder value for a while there. Unfortunately they acted illegally and certainly immorally in the process.

            It's a catch-22. In the 70s, there was the belief that the board and corporate executives weren't really doing all they could to maximize shareholder value, so they started paying them heavily in stock options and incentives. The result has been many executive who will do whatever it takes, including breaking the law, if it makes the shareholders happy. And if they do manange to increase stock price enough, they can afford enough lawyers that their misdeeds go unpunished, and you might even make enough money and enough campaign contributions that the feds could change their mind about prosecuting you.

            Basically the problem is that companies are run by humans; usually very clever and creative people. They found they can get rich by a little bend here, a loophole there, and a tiny little bit of fraud over here. Since everyone is happy when shares go up, a whistleblower is ostracized since they might hurt the value of the stock!
        • And they have a vested interest, because their own financial welfare depends upon the value of that stock. The CEO's are beholden to the boards of directors, and you get Carly Fiorina.

          FWIW, there are good corporations around, but many of them aren't publicly traded. It's unfortunate that people like Michael Moore make the word "corporation" a four-letter word. Some of us choose a different way, and care about overall health instead of stock price.

          But that doesn't get reported on the omnipresent stock r
        • Re:Think (Score:5, Interesting)

          by odin53 ( 207172 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2004 @12:24AM (#8040025)
          The primary duty is not to increase the value of the stock, but to maximize shareholder value. There's a big difference, even though the value of stock is one of the best proxies for determining shareholder value. If the duty were to simply maximize the value of the stock, then we would see a lot more gaming of the system than we actually do. (We do see a lot of focus on short-term gains, but that's not the same as gaming the system.) We would also see tremendously more lawsuits against corporations.

          In any case, the duty is not limited to the boards of publicly traded companies. The boards of ALL companies that have stock (i.e., corporations) have this duty. It's just that publicly traded stock has an obvious apparent value; the stock of privately held companies is more difficult to value, if only because you have to guess.
      • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2004 @12:26AM (#8040035) Journal
        Unfortunately, being stupid and being wrong aren't themselves crimes

        Otherwise, our prez would be in jail [duck]
        • Re:criminals (Score:5, Insightful)

          by CountBrass ( 590228 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2004 @03:13AM (#8040950)

          Wrong? Well that's subjective, although I agree with you.

          Stupid? Hardly. He's managed to steal the Presidency, enrich himself and his wealthy friends, illegally invade two countries (whilst fooling most of the US population), get away with changing a $200Billion budget excess into a $500billion defecit and he's managed to do away with a lot of the civil rights US citizens used to have. And there hasn't been an armed revolt and he's still a serious contender to be re-elected.

          So no I don't think he's stupid, I think he is fucking smart. The stupid people are the ones who are putting up with it and paying the price. (US national debt no stands at around $24,000 for each and every man, woman and child in the country - that's how much El Presidente has borrowed in your name). Not sure how you put a price on the civil rights you guys have lost recently but it must be greater.

  • by Xpilot ( 117961 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2004 @11:18PM (#8039564) Homepage win the hearts and minds of Australian authorities. Linus poses in a speedo in .au, and his popularity there surges! Governments rush to his defence, fighting off evil SCO lawyers for Linus! If Darl wants to get support, he'll have to do the same ; strip and get dunked.
  • But.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Neuroelectronic ( 643221 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2004 @11:20PM (#8039581)
    why is SCO's stock still at 15? even after red hat joined the user protection game..
    • The Nasdaq is shut. Besides, Litigation is SCOs primary business model, like this;

      1) Threaten Your Customers
      2) Fight Lawsuit
      3) ????
      4) Profit!!!!

      obvious, see?
    • Re:But.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by iminplaya ( 723125 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2004 @11:46PM (#8039793) Journal
      Just think of the stock market as a giant slot machine where you need a broker to pull the handle. Pure unadulturated greed is what keeps it alive. Investing in SCO is a excelent example of this greed. Gotta make a gazillion buckaroos before the end of the day. Like all gambling addicts, the invester is probably trying to recoup their losses from other investments. I'm sure some will make out very nicely.
      • You make the stock market sound like a Las Vegas roulette wheel. Not quite. The stock market helps drive free economies. People who work at companies that participate in an open market have a direct impact on the performance of the stock. Home Depot is a perfect example of this. The company offered its employees excellent stock options, and with a lot of hard work by them, many of them made much more than they could have with their salaries alone. Stock markets are a good thing, but you have to be edu
    • Re:But.. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Malcontent ( 40834 )
      For the exact same reason apple stock went down after apple announced higher then expected earnings. Because the stock market is a giant casino that's why. The value of a stock has nothing to do with the company, what it does, how much money it makes, who runs it, or who works there.

      Stocks go up because lots of people think it's going to go up. Stocks go down because lots of people think the stocks going to go down.

      It's as simple as that and there is nothing more to it. It's a mass psycosis.
      • Re:But.. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by rcs1000 ( 462363 ) *
        Are yu sure this is insightful? Is looks a little like paranoia, trolling or just plain ignorance.

        Economics/Finance 101:

        The stock market exists as part of the giant asset allocation machine that is modern capitalism. People with savings (retirement plans, mutual funds) buy shares in companies. These companies have "floated" on the stock exchange because they either need capital (i.e. they sold shares to raise money from the public), or because their founders or early investors wish to realise gains or to
  • ACCC (Score:5, Interesting)

    by the_mad_poster ( 640772 ) <> on Tuesday January 20, 2004 @11:20PM (#8039583) Homepage Journal

    IANAK (Kangaroo), but I've talked to Aussies, and they say the ACCC can really sink its teeth into companies that stir it up.

    I think SCO is misunderestimating the tolerance for stupid circus antics from big business overseas. It seems like we'll pander to them for awhile and play along with their stupid games, then frequently let them scurry away, but other countries' governments and court systems aren't so forgiving. Push them, they'll push back. Fortunately, it looks like SCO is the little dorky kid and now he's trying to shove the bullies that are twice as big.

    • Re:ACCC (Score:3, Funny)

      by The Munger ( 695154 )
      I think SCO is misunderestimating the tolerance for stupid circus antics from big business overseas.

      I think you'll find they're misunderestimafying. Yes I'm being a smart-ass. []
  • by Camel Pilot ( 78781 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2004 @11:25PM (#8039622) Homepage Journal
    And I quote "received a dozen queries since Australian pricing for the licences was announced this morning"

    Sure something like

    "You do know where you can shove that license - don't you?" (Said with australian accent of course)

    • by vik ( 17857 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2004 @11:45PM (#8039784) Homepage Journal
      Caller: "You know that Linux licence you're peddling?"

      SCO: "The one where you pay us loads, and carry on as usual?"

      Caller: "We have a better idea."

      SCO: "Yes..."

      Caller: "We give you the finger, and you go back to Utah."

      A Kiwi.
    • "Licenses fa Linux? Fair Dinkum? Ya no whe ya c'n shuv 'at lie-sense, don'cha - mate?"

      Chances of SCO screwing Aussie companies for "linux licenses"? Two
      1. Buckley's
      2. None

        For all you furry-ners it means pretty much the same as "Sweet FA" / "A SnowBall in Hell" / "Hell Freezes Over".Buckley's Chance [] William Buckley []
    • The inquiries would have came from people asking for proof before they purchased a license.

      "OK, what am I purchasing a license for?"

      "When you purchase a license, you are compensating SCO for the UNIX source code, derivative UNIX code and other UNIX-related intellectual property and copyrights owned by SCO as it is currently found in Linux"

      "Oh OK, now I have a copy of the Linux kernel source code here, where exactly can it be found?"

      "I'm sorry I don't have that information"

      "I didn't think you did, when
  • ...shit hitting the fan sound like? Oh wait, nevermind.
    • by AJWM ( 19027 )
      Ask a Shuttle astronaut.

      As originally designed and flown (they may have changed it since), in the Shuttle toilet the, ah, excrement is supposed to hit the, um, rotary impeller blades.

      (Yes, really. Actually called slinger blades -- slings the stuff against the walls of the waste compartment which is then (well, after the user is done) vented to vacuum to dry the stuff. Problem is/was, the dried stuff has zero structural integrity and a couple days into the mission you end up with a fine brown powder floa
  • by Saeed al-Sahaf ( 665390 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2004 @11:31PM (#8039680) Homepage
    This is a great thing, but yet again, the lessor if two evils. Slashdotters have not said nice things about Australia's ACCC, but they DO have teeth, and put up with no shit. SCO has just taken on a very dangerous shark that will eat them and spit out the bones.
  • What do the slander/false claims laws work like in Australia? Are we about to see one more country crossed off the list of places SCO can go around claiming people owe them money for other people's work?

    So that's what now, Germany and tentatively Australia? Well, maybe not a long list, but at least it's two countries longer than the list of countries in which SCO has successfully prosecuted a UNIX IP case...
  • by Disavian ( 611780 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2004 @11:32PM (#8039690) Homepage
    Is anyone keeping a tally of how much moolah SCO has invested in the court system right now? Just to think, all of that MS money is going to feed hungry lawyers, all over the world! Darl should be proud. Also, it will be interesting to see how many simultaneous lawsuits it takes to kill the SCO Legal Team (also known as SCO). There's one from Austrailia, one in the UK(?), all the stuff between SCO and IBM, SCO v. Red Hat, SCO vs. Everyone Who Wishes to Smite SCO, et cetera...
    • *thinks for a second*

      Yeah, I think it should take no more than 1 (but possibly less).

      Their PR engine is about to die due to lack of fuel. That alone will kill them.

      One has to wonder what exactly they were thinking to begin with.
  • by siliconbunny ( 632740 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2004 @11:33PM (#8039691)
    Section 202 of the Australian Copyright Act [], headed "Groundless threats of legal proceedings", is also a fun tool.

    "(1) Where a person, by means of circulars, advertisements or otherwise, threatens a person with an action or proceeding in respect of an infringement of copyright, then, whether the person making the threats is or is not the owner of the copyright or an exclusive licensee, a person aggrieved may bring an action against the first-mentioned person and may obtain a declaration to the effect that the threats are unjustifiable, and an injunction against the continuance of the threats, and may recover such damages (if any) as he or she has sustained, unless the first-mentioned person satisfies the court that the acts in respect of which the action or proceeding was threatened constituted, or, if done, would constitute, an infringement of copyright."

    I wonder whether SCO has fallen foul of it...

    • by femto ( 459605 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2004 @12:05AM (#8039916) Homepage
      This is probably why SCO didn't explicity threaten legal action in their press release [].
      "When asked why the media release which provided this information had not specifically told commercial Linux users - whom O'Shaughnessy said were SCO's target - to take out a licence or else face the consequences, ..."
      - from the SMH Article []

      The Australian Copyright Council [] advises people to be very careful when alleging copyright infringement, as it is easy to fall foul of defamation laws or section 202 of the copyright act.

      "In some circumstances, letters claiming that someone has infringed copyright can result in problems under the law of defamation or under section 202 of the Copyright Act (which prohibits the making of groundless threats of legal proceedings). Therefore, it is advisable to have a letter of demand drafted by a lawyer."
      - Australian Copyright Council []
      Consequently, SCO's press release would probably have been vetted by a lawyer.

      Unfortunately Mr O'Shaughnessy may have blown it with his unvetted response to the SMH journalist (continuation of the first quote)

      "... he said "in effect, this is what is being said." "
      - from the SMH Article []
      So there you go, straight from the mouth of the boss of SCO Australia. Pay up or we sue you. Does this make him personably liable for defamation or prosecution under section 202? Does anyone who actually knows what they are talking about want to comment?
      • by siliconbunny ( 632740 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2004 @02:43AM (#8040794)
        Actually, I'm an IP lawyer in a major Australian firm, which is why I raised the issue of s 202. (Note, these opinions/statements are not my employer's, just mine. And they're not legal advice to be relied on, either.)

        The way it works is that a person who receives a groundless threat can bring an action for a declaration that the threats are unjustified, and the burden of proof in that action is on the threatening party to show that the threat was justified--ie that "the acts in respect of which the action or proceeding was threatened constituted, or, if done, would constitute, an infringement of copyright".

        However, you can't evaluate whether SCO could be in trouble under the section without knowing exactly what they said to the person who would bring the action under it. I'm not sure that the SMH article taken alone would be enough (or at least, I wouldn't rely on it, as it is sufficiently vague on whether legal action is threatened against a particular person).

        Hence why I was wondering out loud if (being ignorant of this provision of Australian law, or just gung-ho) SCO might have tripped up over the section--I couldn't say for sure unless anyone can supply a copy of everything sent or said to Cyber Knights (or anyone else for that matter).

        As for defamation, it varies a great deal by state, but generally you have to say/imply things to lower a natural person's reputation in the eyes of others. Nothing in the article suggested that to me. Ditto a claim for common law fraud--it's hard to prove at the best of times. No chance here.

        Me, I'd be looking hard at section 52 of the Trade Practices Act [], which prohibits corporations engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct. Based on the "evidence" I've seen so far, an assertion that SCO has the entitlement to require anyone to take a licence from them would have to be questionable at best, or outright false at worst. Best part is for this context, even innocent deception (eg maker honestly mistaken about what they say) is caught, let alone reckless indifference to the truth. A section 52 action would probably stand or fall depending on whether SCO loses or wins in the USA.

    • No copyright claim (Score:5, Interesting)

      by phriedom ( 561200 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2004 @02:45AM (#8040812)
      SCO may indeed be in trouble, but notice that their carefully worded claims say that Linux contains their intellectual property, which you need a license for. They do not claim that their copyrights have been violated. In fact, since intellectual property doesn't have any legal meaning, they aren't claiming anything at all.
  • And especially now at election time such political issues crop up as whether the Republican laissez faire approach to business or the Democrat central control approach to business is more desirable.

    Yeah, I know everyone's more interested in Dean making an ass out of himself in that speech after the Iowa caucus, but the longterm health of the American economy is much more fundamentally important than some passing gasbag.

    The story is about Australia, but since Oz is perhaps the most culturally similar count
    • Why favour your so called "republican" approach. From where I see it, everyone loses. The companies fight it out in court, costing everyone loads of money. It drags on for years, and then the consumers suffer as well. In the Australian Method, Our ACCC clamps down heavily on any company thats in breach of the Trade Practices act. And in most cases its done quickly as well. In this instance, the consumers are at a much greater advantage + theres more incentive for a company to not act illegally.
    • I personally think you don't have to adopt any ideology wholeheartedly. If you think of the government as having a balanced role in peoples' lives, the choice ceases to be one of either abandoning all legislation or overlegislating. A government can split up the occasional monopoly, prevent Enrons from tweaking their accounting and so forth without being a completely "central control" approach.
  • by Random BedHead Ed ( 602081 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2004 @11:34PM (#8039705) Homepage Journal
    SCO has just released licenses for Australasia and claims enquiries by several companies already.

    A dozen enquiries, the article says. I'd like to know who's asking about this IP "licensing" plan, since I'm thinking of selling the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which I inherited via my uncle, and was looking for someone in Australia to buy it.

  • by Anaxagor ( 211917 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2004 @11:37PM (#8039732)
    From the CyberKnights [] page:

    "...we are currently exploring workable methods for becoming big while remaining small...

    Well, you could always dredge up some code you wrote years ago, grep through an OSS source tree until you find a partial match and then issue ridiculous demands for outrageously expensive licenses...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 20, 2004 @11:39PM (#8039742)
    Australia has a more conservative legal system than the US. Here, the ACCC can hit SCO pretty hard if they do not substantiate their claims. It is even possible that they could bring the SCO directors up on criminal charges. The only problem is that it takes a small company with big balls like CyberKnights to champion the claim before the ACCC will get involved.
  • unimaginable (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tloh ( 451585 )
    Not that I'm feeling sorry for McBride et al. I just can't imagine how bad this will get for SCO if during the course of legal manuvering this turns into a criminal case and they're convicted by two sovereign nations of this farce of a white collar crime. What are they going to do? take turns and alternate between sitting in US and ANZ jails? Seriously, folks, who gets to decide which punishment will be administered by who and where?
  • by Kris_J ( 10111 ) * on Tuesday January 20, 2004 @11:42PM (#8039758) Homepage Journal
    I visited the CyberKnights web page which was yellow on black. I'm in a brighly lit room with a bright LCD screen -- now I have to wait for my corneas to grow back.
  • A couple of times during this whole SCO imbroglio I've heard people quite authoritatively say that even if you've got no case, shit for evidence etc you've still got a 1 in 10 (or 1 in 20) chance of coming away a winner in court.

    First off... does anyone know where this stat comes from? Second... and perhaps more relevant to this article - Is that just an effect of a somewhat broken legal system in the US or is that a global stat? Do they have the same odds in Aus? Up here in Canada? Europe? Just curi
    • That statistic is derived from the fact that a jury in the US is composed of 12 registered voters who aren't smart enough to avoid jury duty, or just don't have anything better to do.

      Think about that for a moment. These are the people of whom 48% or so voted for the Shrub, and another 48% voted for Algore. That means you're dealing with a jury pool that's about 96% completely fucking stupid.

  • by 3cents ( 741537 ) <salakowske.wisc@edu> on Tuesday January 20, 2004 @11:47PM (#8039798) Homepage
    As Americans sit and watch other countries do what we should have done 4 months ago, I can only shake my head in dismay at all the money we throw at lawyers to settle something that any moron could figure out.

    This isn't Roe v. Wade, it's a simple verification of the code, no ethical delimas to deal with here.
  • by vik ( 17857 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2004 @11:47PM (#8039799) Homepage Journal
    The connection between SCO and a Kiwi:

    They can both shove their bills up their arse.

    Vik :v)
  • by Gleenie ( 412916 ) * <simon,c,green&gmail,com> on Tuesday January 20, 2004 @11:47PM (#8039803)
    I work for a telco in NZ; one of our partners received an email yesterday from SCO as a heads-up. I'm actively trying to contact our finance and legal departments to make sure we don't pay any invoices. We will be a target: there are only three big telcos here, they'll be sure to hit all of us.
  • by hsoom ( 680862 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2004 @11:47PM (#8039804)
    This quote in the article from Leon Brooks, director of CyberKnights, jumped out at me:

    "Basically, we're asking SCO to put up or shut up..."

    Sounds to me like someone who reads Slashdot/Groklaw/some other community site. Also the following quote:

    "As a director of CyberKnights, I personally know and trust several contributors to the Linux kernel, including the original author, Linus Torvalds. As of three days ago, Linus told me that he knows of no substantial code in his Linux kernel source code tree which could possibly be subject to ownership claims by The SCO Group."

    These give me an image of someone that is heavily involved in the community and has simply had enough of this crap. Cheers to someone in my home city that is taking some action, I hope that you get the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) sunk right into SCO.

    I'd like to say a big thank you to Sam Varghese of the Sydney Morning Herald who wrote this story. He's covered a lot (if not all) of the SCO story and he's given voice to the anti-SCO FUD side, such as Brooks and Groklaw. Sam is Definitely one of the good guys, thanks for all of your help mate.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Leon Brooks is heavily involved in the community. An organiser of, educational linux, and is (or was, they just held the AGM) on the committee of Linux Australia.

      A good bloke, but hardly just a guy off the street getting angry at SCO.
  • ... As the SCO *Nix saga continues. Will IBM sleep with Novell? What will the wicked stepmother Microsoft think? Will Linus ever find love despite his arranged marriage to Kernella? Does SCO have the power to usurp all of the twon of Port *Nix? The answers to all this and more on tomorrow's "The Frivolous and the Greedy"

    Brought to you by a cheap, self-loving plug... []
  • by Johnny Mnemonic ( 176043 ) <> on Tuesday January 20, 2004 @11:52PM (#8039845) Homepage Journal

    I'll bet SCO has had some inquiries. But more along the lines of: "Where in the fsck do you get off?"
  • With all the publicity this company will get, which will then probably turn into more business for them, one has to wonder why more small companies don't go after SCO. In effect do the same thing SCO has; fill the press with your name.

    sig: [insert something clever here]
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Leon runs Cyberknights and is a major figure in Australian Open Source circles.

    Basically, people listen to what Leon has to say here... in fact we pretty much hang on every word. He's also a very formidable geek.

    SCO won't last long in Australia - the ACCC will be being hounded as we speak, and will have to act soon. Its pretty cut and dry when referencing Australian copyright law, and Id expect the ACCC to pounce on SCO within weeks.

  • by adept256 ( 732470 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2004 @12:26AM (#8040034)
    Australians aren't as "sue happy" as Americans. I've heard of people suing - and winning - with the most frivolous claims over in the states (warning: coffee is hot). Such cases would be laughed out of court over here.

    If SCO started lawsuits in Australia based on their unsubstantiated claims and yet to be revealed evidence, Aussie judges would dismiss them and tell them to come back with a clue.
    • by mister_tim ( 653773 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2004 @12:48AM (#8040161)

      with the most frivolous claims over in the states (warning: coffee is hot).

      Actually, the facts of that case are more often that not misrepresented. The truth is, however, that McDonalds served their coffee at a temperature unfit for human consumption (185F or 85C) and the woman in question had third degree burns and required skin grafts. This is the first link I could find from a quick google for it: hp?artID=223 []

      Mind you, the more commonly reported version (woman sued because coffee was hot - how silly!) is very much in McDonald's interests. Conspiracy theory anyone?

      That all said, we still get some pretty frivolous cases here in Aust as well - maybe not as many as in the US, but that's possibly just a matter of proportion given our respective populations.

  • by MachDelta ( 704883 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2004 @12:38AM (#8040111)
    Oh SWEET!
    Does this mean that, when Darl and co. are found guilty of being lying bastards, that someone gets to kick him in the ass with a boot? []

    Now thats something i'd pay $699 for!
  • by Crypto Gnome ( 651401 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2004 @12:39AM (#8040121) Homepage Journal
    Being the kindhearted and generous guy that I am, I've decided to contribute to SCO's pursuit of queries - these should round them up to an even 20.
    • Why on earth would I buy a license for Linux when all you've offered me is unsubstantiated claims?
    • What part of the legal terms fraud [] and barratry [] do your lawyers not understand?
    • What makes you so sure you're going to get away with this?
    • Exactly what kind of a game do you think you're playing, mister?
    • Last week you were trying to sell me some bridge. This week you want to sell me a license for Linux. Is there no end to this madness?
    • What! No Lube?
    • Et Tu, Brute?
    And, of course, the ever popular:
    • Thank you sir, may I have another?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 21, 2004 @12:54AM (#8040195)
    This is what we've been waiting for - SCO to show its ugly face down under. So what do we do now? RING THE ACCC. I just did - the phone is answered immediately by a polite and helpful staff member, who will listen patiently as your explain the situation and detail your grievance and why you may be at risk. Get enough of these complaints and they'll start an investigation. The guy I spoke to even mentioned they were looking at a "pattern" for this matter.

    This is our war cry guys. Just pick up the phone. The ACCC wants to act - they're straining at the leash - but they need to show some community support for their actions before they can rip SCO's throat out!

    So ring, ring now!!!!
    1300 302 502

    Do it! Do it now!
  • by Camel Pilot ( 78781 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2004 @01:45AM (#8040528) Homepage Journal
    Jack Messman from Novell wrote to Darl McBride on May 28, 2003:

    "We believe it unlikely that SCO can demonstrate that it has any ownership interest whatsoever in those copyrights. Apparently, you share this view, since over the last few months you have repeatedly asked Novell to transfer the copyrights to SCO, requests that Novell has rejected. Finally, we find it telling that SCO failed to assert a claim for copyright or patent infringement against IBM."

    Oh that must of hurt! The fact that SCO attempted to get Novell to transfer the copyrights is proof enough that the copyright ownership is in question even in the mind of SCO.

    When this is all over McBride will only be able to get job acting as the villian in a melodrama since it is truly the only talent he has shown to date.

  • ACCC Complaint form: (Score:3, Informative)

    by jakoz ( 696484 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2004 @02:01AM (#8040595)
  • by stanwirth ( 621074 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2004 @04:10AM (#8041156)

    They're trying it on in NZ, too.

    The NZOSS [] has put together this summary of the issues [] and is requesting a copy of the license, but not telegraphing its plans so blatantly (ya gotta love Kiwis).

    Check out http://WWW.SCO.CO.NZ [] for a larf.

  • by rediguana ( 104664 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2004 @06:34AM (#8041591)
    In this article [] SCO is already getting the finger from a couple of big New Zealand Linux users.

    Massey University has deployed a 132 CPU Helix supercomputer running RedHat Linux 7.3 at its Albany campus in Auckland and would be expected to pay $NZ171,192.61 for the right to continue using its operating system. The director of parallel computing, Chris Messon, says that's not going to happen. "We have no plans to pay off SCO."

    And Weta Digital...

    Operations manager Milton Ngan says any move to pay the licence would be seen as capitulation and Weta isn't about to start down that road. "We won't make any moves till we see what the rest of the industry does. We're a small company a long way from SCO so we'll try to stay here out of sight."
  • My thoughts (Score:3, Funny)

    by dacarr ( 562277 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2004 @01:26PM (#8044432) Homepage Journal
    I have a long standing policy of refusing to have duels of wits with unarmed parties. And SCO appears to be sorely unarmed.

    That being said, I await the day that I get an invoice from them to submit to my attorney.

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton