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SCO Adds Copyright Claim to IBM Suit 444

An anonymous reader writes " reports that the SCO Group has significantly widened its Unix and Linux lawsuit against IBM, adding a copyright infringement claim to the already complicated case." There's also another story discussing the copyright claims.
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SCO Adds Copyright Claim to IBM Suit

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  • Bluff bluff bluff (Score:4, Insightful)

    by grub ( 11606 ) <> on Friday February 06, 2004 @06:31PM (#8207252) Homepage Journal

    SCO's lawyers are practicing the tried & true method of Throw Enough Shit Against the Wall and Some of It Will Stick.

    They know it's a poor case they have so they keep adding more and more claims to their position along with the necessary bravado stupid investors have come to love.
    • by Deitheres ( 98368 ) <brutalentropy@[ ] ['gma' in gap]> on Friday February 06, 2004 @06:35PM (#8207321)
      The problem comes when the owner of the wall has coated it with teflon.
      • by Lonath ( 249354 ) on Friday February 06, 2004 @09:22PM (#8208738)
        Nope, the problem is when the "wall" is really one part of one blade of a giant fan and the owner finally decides to turn it on.
      • Re:Bluff bluff bluff (Score:5, Interesting)

        by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @08:40AM (#8210994) Homepage Journal

        The problem is one corp has been allowed to hold an entire industry in turmoil, manipulate the stock market, threaten the corporate world, and not one segment of the so-called American legal system has put a leash on them.

        By dropping prior claims and initiating new ones, SCO is just showing (again) that they have no valid claims. Isn't it time that Darl and his supporting team of lunatics were locked up?

        Or is there some perverse American "right" to run around accusing and threatening an entire industry without fear of reprisal, provided you just stop making the accusations before you're forced to prove they're true?

        Tired of this crap. I was tired of it almost a year ago. More than anything, I just am stunned that they haven't been yanked short by an order to stop making accusations and laying charges until they prove at least one point!!!

    • Re:Bluff bluff bluff (Score:5, Informative)

      by FatRatBastard ( 7583 ) on Friday February 06, 2004 @06:44PM (#8207440) Homepage
      The big news the Slashdot post seems to have missed is that:


      Remember when this crap all began Darl's mantra was "It isn't about copyright, its about trade secrets." Well, apparently not any more. Highly suggest parusing Groklaw for some great coverage. IBM's court filings from yesterday are brilliant.
      • Re:Bluff bluff bluff (Score:5, Interesting)

        by FatRatBastard ( 7583 ) on Friday February 06, 2004 @06:47PM (#8207479) Homepage
        Oh, and I should add that the copyright infrigement isn't about Linux, its about AIX being distributed by IBM after SCO revoked their license.

        But remember, SCO revoked IBM's license due to trade secret violation...

        Violations that SCO isn't going to legally persue

        Which rhymes with Catch 22

        Which sums up SCO's claims now quite nicely.
        • by Doug Merritt ( 3550 ) <> on Friday February 06, 2004 @06:59PM (#8207586) Homepage Journal
          They HAD to find some reason to bring the suit up to $5 billion, you know...

          They calculated the projected future losses caused by ill will generated in potential customers, losses from counter-lawsuits, contempt of court fees for frivolous lawsuits and fraud, etc, and the previous $3 billion they were asking for wasn't enough to cover it.

        • David v. Goliath (Score:3, Insightful)

          by yintercept ( 517362 )
          The Salt Lake Tribune [] has an article positioning this as a David v. Goliath suit of SCO against IBM...IBM stealing the assets developed by a small Provo firm. Utahns are extremely susceptiple to this type of argument.
          • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 06, 2004 @10:43PM (#8209171)
            Looking at Darl's picture on the SLTrib article, he looks absolutely terrible. Worse than Brando showing up to shoot Apacolypse Now. It's almost as if... (horrors!) he's got Philipkahnosis!

            Yes, this dreaded sickness attacks increasingly useless technology executives. It manifests itself by eating their soul, and as the infection spreads, it releases large amounts of noxious gas, resulting in a foul odor and a "puffy" or "bloated" appearance. Medical scientists believe that frequent contact with attorneys, tape worms, or other parasites may increase the risk of contracting Philipkahnosis.
      • by Zeinfeld ( 263942 ) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @12:15AM (#8209606) Homepage
        The big news the Slashdot post seems to have missed is that: SCO HAS DROPPED THEIR TRADE SECRET CLAIM

        Bigger news is that IBM did not file to dismiss. I certainly don't think they are going to fold, quite the opposite. I think they have deliberately not filed the routine motion because they think that they might soon be in a position to get it granted for real, they don't want the judge getting used to batting them away.

        Some SCO speak: "With respect to the overriding issue, that SCO failed to identify line-for-line code copying", Heise claimed "that has not and is not what the case is about". (Again, very surprised looks in the audience).

        The judge did not buy that. SCO is still on the hook. The judge raised the issue of strict compliance which means more games from sco and the case goes out.

        • by gujo-odori ( 473191 ) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @04:19AM (#8210476)
          Bigger news is that IBM did not file to dismiss.

          Yes, that is the big news, someone please mod that Insightful. IBM, in not filing for summary judgement against SCO, seems to be saying that they want case law on this one. A dismissal means anyone, even SCO (unless it is dismissed with prejudice) if they are sufficiently imbalanced (and I believe they may well be) can come along and try the same thing again in the future, either with Linux or some other piece of FOSS to which IBM has contributed.

          If IBM goes to trial and wins a crushing victory over SCO in court, then countersues for damages and bankrupts SCO (although simply losing this case will probably do that on its own) and then buys them up for pennies on the dollar out of bankruptcy and fires all of senior management, no one will dare try something like this again, even if they think they might have a case. The price to be paid for failure will scare them off. Put more simply, IBM will probably seek not only case law, but to make an example of Darl and friends.

          And how would you like to be Darl, looking for your next job when this is all over, with the most prominent entry on your resume being something like "Embarked on frivolous and ill-fated lawsuit against IBM, sent my then-employer into bankruptcy as a result, seeking challenging position at tech company." He'd be lucky to get a challenging position emptying the wastebaskets. Of course, he's made millions selling SCO stock since this fiasco began, he'll never need to work again. These executive types seem addicted to work, so he'll probably try, but I bet that will be one long, hard job search.

          I think IBM recognizes this situation exactly as the shakedown that it is, and sees perfectly well that if they give in it in any way, even taking a summary judgement and getting no case law, that anyone else thinking about shaking down IBM would be tempted to try it. They also know, as the oldest practioner of FUD in the computer business (heck, they invented it; every old mainframer like me knows the saying "Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM"), that they dare not give quarter. As with any shakedown, giving in or giving quarter will only incite others to go after you. If you bust up the one who's trying to shake you down and make an example of him, nobody will dare. That, I think, is what IBM has in mind for SCO.

    • Re:Bluff bluff bluff (Score:5, Informative)

      by stevesliva ( 648202 ) on Friday February 06, 2004 @07:21PM (#8207799) Journal
      The Inquirer has a great commentary about this all [] from earlier today.

      And, of course, Groklaw has a summary of today's court action []. Basically SCO ends up looking stupid again.

  • by grasshoppa ( 657393 ) * <skennedy&tpno-co,org> on Friday February 06, 2004 @06:31PM (#8207257) Homepage
    ...they'd have to ask Novell's permission before they go sue IBM for Novell's copyrights. ;)
    • Re:You'd think... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Supp0rtLinux ( 594509 ) <> on Friday February 06, 2004 @06:44PM (#8207444)
      So the question is... will Novell sit on the SCO side of the courtroom or the IBM side? Better yet... if Novell is claiming they own the copyright, won't the Novell/SCO issue have to be resolved before the now ammended complaint against IBM can be resolved? My understanding is that once a case is ammended, it must be resolved in full. SCO can't now try to get the contract dispute handled separate from the copyright issue, but the copyright issue is still just that... an pending issue. It'd be pretty sad if SCO had to first deal with Novell, then IBM. They might run out of money first... then they have to start selling the Linux and Unix again.
    • Re:You'd think... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by HiThere ( 15173 ) * <charleshixsn@ea r t h l i n> on Friday February 06, 2004 @07:01PM (#8207612)
      I don't know about Novell's permission, but they definitely need the judge's permission. And she hasn't granted it yet. In fact, as I read things, all she did was give SCO an extension in the time they had to satisfy the discovery (though she also asked IBM how long it would take them to respond fully).

    • by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Friday February 06, 2004 @07:18PM (#8207770) Journal
      You'd think they'd have to ask Novell's permission before they go sue IBM for Novell's copyrights. ;)

      Much as I hate the idea, I can see how the SCO execs could read the Asset Purchase Agreement [] to mean that they DID buy the copyrights:
      Schedule 1.1(a) Assets

      1. All rights and ownership of UNIX and UnixWare and Auxiliary Products, including but not limited to all versions of UNIX and UnixWare and Auxiliary Products [...] including source code, [...]

      Schedule 1.1(b) Excluded Assets

      V. Intellectual Property:

      A. All copyrights and trademarks, except for the [...] copyrights and trademarks owned by Novell as of the date of the Agreement required for SCO to exercise its rights with respect to the acquisition of UNIX and UnixWare technologies.

      SCO could easily read this as "You now own the source code. That includes (as an explicit exception to the copyright exclusion) all of Novell's copyrights on the source code that you need to enforce your ownership of the source code."

      Another poster (in a previous article) wrote:

      Novell has claimed in the past that SCO has asked them to transfer the copyrights, but they (Novell) refused. If they can bring hard evidence of this out (and I would bet they can) then that proves SCO knew Novell retained the copyrights.

      But SCO can argue that this was just a request for confirmation of what they believed the contract meant, in preparation for their suit to enforce their copyrights. Then they could argue that Novell's refusal to give that "confirmation" was just Novell trying to back out the deal once they discovered they'd given away the store to someone who was actually going to KEEP it.

      (None of which, even if the court upholds SCO's interpretation, in any way releases them from promptly identifying the alleged infringing code in Linux, so the open source community can expunge it, end the alleged infringement, and minimize the alleged damages.)
      • My understanding was that SCO had to specifically ask for those additional transfers, they had to specifically state it was necessary in order for them to exercise their previous rights. Since SCO did not in fact state this, they didn't get the additional rights.

        But I could be wrong, and everything is so fuzzed up, it will take years to settle. Not even that $50M will cover their expenses in the meantime.
        • Yes they did. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Friday February 06, 2004 @09:06PM (#8208619) Journal
          My understanding was that SCO had to specifically ask for those additional transfers, they had to specifically state it was necessary in order for them to exercise their previous rights. Since SCO did not in fact state this, they didn't get the additional rights.

          I didn't find anything to that effect in the document. I provided the link. If anyone can find something that says they have to ask for additional permission, please point out the section number.

          This reading of the document says that they now own the unix source code and that they now also own exactly the minimum set of copyrights necessary to enforce that ownership. No further transfers needed. (The other exclusions seem to be for things like Novell products, rights Novell didn't have in the first place, or rights it already contracted away.)

          Which is exactly what SCO is claiming. So what will matter, with respect to the copyright issue, is whether the judge will read it this way.

          And (if I, a non-laywer, understand this correctly) with Novell saying they didn't get the copyrights and SCO saying they did, the judge will probably decide it on one of two bases.
          1) If the judge decides that the text is clear, she will decide according to the clear meaning.
          2) If the judge decides that the text is ambiguous, she will determine WHO WROTE the text, and decide in favor of THE OTHER PARTY.

          We need to prepare for the possiblity that the judge decides in favor of SCO on this issue - either because the text seems (to a lawyer) to clearly transfer enough copyright to SCO for them to go after IBM (and other Linux distributors), or because Novell wrote it, so any ambiguities are their fault and must be decided in SCO's favor.

          So lets have a plan B available to defend our turf.

          There's lots of ammo, and for any particular piece of code you only need ONE shot to defend it.

          - Portions of UNIX code released into public domain or under other licenses by SCO or one of its previous owners, or an owner of enough rights to do this. (Let's try to do this without resorting to SCO's distribution of Linux. They might get away with their claim that their ignorance of the inclusion of their code by others exempts it from the GPL, while their continued distribution of the REST of the code, now that they actually shipped some, is actually required for a while longer by the GPL.)

          - Stuff freed by the BSD case.

          - Stuff tracably separately written.

          - Court decisions about recycling interface definitions for interoperability being fair use.

          And I'm sure there are others.
  • Another? (Score:5, Funny)

    by paranode ( 671698 ) on Friday February 06, 2004 @06:32PM (#8207270)
    Adding a copyright infringement claim? They wouldn't dare!
  • Go SCO! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 06, 2004 @06:32PM (#8207272)
    As a shareholder and a proud parent of a shareholder of SCO Group International, I welcome this step. With millions of Linux systems installed over the world, the value of the company that sells $699 licenses is within billions of dollars.

    Let's make SCO the largest company on the planet and show those boys from Redmond how Windoze is buggy and insecure! Let's sell more SCO-compliant Linux boxes! Go Linux! Go SCO!
  • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) * on Friday February 06, 2004 @06:32PM (#8207284) Homepage Journal
    In light of new developments, SCO has expanded their legal team to include two well known icons:

    Stimpy: "Hey, Ren, if we keep piling things onto the suit, we'll never lose because it'll go on for ever."
    Ren: "Stimpy! you're a genious!"
    Stimpy: "All we have to do is keep finding investors to underwrite the suits, because if SCO runs out of money we'll have to find someone else to represent."
    Ren: "So geet back to woork, you eediot!"

    • by Pakaran2 ( 138209 ) <> on Friday February 06, 2004 @06:45PM (#8207449)
      They're Darl and the Brain, they're Darl and the Brain, one is a genius, the other is insane, they're Darl, Darl and the Brain, brain, brain, brain, brain, brain (fade out, and switch to SCO headquarters).

      Darl: So, what are going to do tonight, Brain?
      Brain: The same thing we do every night, Darl, try to sue IBM!
      Darl: But we did that already, and we're losing!
      Brain: Don't worry, Darl, this time we're going to make it. Using our copyrighted Lunix code, I have created an automatic evidence generator!
      ***Brain sits down at odd-looking contraption, and types in "cat /dev/urandom > /dev/lp"
      ***Contraption begins spitting paper.
      Brain: Ok, Darl, now you go take this evidence down to legal, and the judge doesn't understand technology, so he'll be impressed at all the evidence we've gathered.
      Darl: Okey dokey, Brain, here I go!
      ***Darl picks up stack of paper, which is covered with vaguely code-like control characters and things, and carries it out door.

      ***Fade to black
      Big scrolling letters appear: In next week's episode, Darl and the Brain try to cope with the discovery that their claimed Lunix code is actually a screenshot from the Ancient Unix version of Nethack - be sure to tune in!
  • courts (Score:5, Funny)

    by Dreadlord ( 671979 ) on Friday February 06, 2004 @06:33PM (#8207289) Journal
    looks like it won't take long until we see something like this [] in courts.
    • Re:courts (Score:3, Funny)

      by Samrobb ( 12731 )

      Actually, given the amount of acrimony being directed at SCO, I think it will end up more like this [].

      Heh. Lawbot 0.92 - so you know it has to be an Open Source project.

  • by e6003 ( 552415 ) on Friday February 06, 2004 @06:34PM (#8207301) Homepage
    Groklaw has a detailed eye-witness account []. It seems SCO's new claims might just be about IBM continuing to distribute AIX after SCO "revoked" their license. And apparently IBM's lawyers wiped the floor with SCO's counsel (it wasn't Darl's brother this time!). Great reading - enjoy!
    • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Friday February 06, 2004 @06:51PM (#8207524)
      > And apparently IBM's lawyers wiped the floor with SCO's counsel

      What that IBM lawyer did is an outrage.

      I urge every Slashdotter with an ounce of human decency to donate via paypal to PETCF (People for the Ethical Treatment of Courtroom Floors) today.

      No courtroom floor should ever have to be subjected to that sort of filth.

    • by Carnildo ( 712617 ) on Friday February 06, 2004 @06:57PM (#8207571) Homepage Journal
      I like this quote from Groklaw:

      One of the SCO lawyers "...went on to claim that they have identified 400 million lines of Unix code and 300 million lines of Linux code affected, but also admitted that SCO has not submitted everything required by the court order."

      Where did they find 300 million lines of Linux code to begin with, much less 300 million infringing lines?
      • by Hentai ( 165906 ) on Friday February 06, 2004 @07:23PM (#8207814) Homepage Journal
        Where did they find 300 million lines of Linux code to begin with, much less 300 million infringing lines?

        REUTERS, 3/1/04:

        In a stunning reversal today, SCO (NASDAQ SCOX) has announced that due to a 'minor technical error', it has been looking at the wrong source tree all along.

        "Funny enough, we came across the actual copyrights in the code headers, and discovered it wasn't Linux at all! We were kinda confused ourself when we saw 300 million lines of violating code in a piece of software that only has 30 million lines of code or so, but it all started making since once we realized we were actually looking at a copy of the Windows NT kernel!", Darl McBride told reporters on Tuesday.

        "This represents a complete shift in strategy for us. We have bigger fish to fry, this time. Incidentally, Linus might want to take a look at this too - one of the main reasons we were confused for so long was the amount of Linux code mixed in with ours."

        A representative from IBM told the press, "We completely understand the confusion, and look forward to working together with SCO to remedy the situation."

        Steve Balmer was unavailable for comment, but sources close to the Microsoft (NYSE MSFT) chairman report him as having said, "Oh, FUCK".

        God, please grant me just this one wish before I die... just let this come true.
      • by Rufus211 ( 221883 ) <{gro.hsikcah} {ta} {todhsals-sufur}> on Friday February 06, 2004 @07:32PM (#8207884) Homepage

        perl -e 'foreach (`find kernel-source-2.4.24 -type f -exec wc -l {} \\\;`) {/^(\d+) /; $lines += $1;} print $lines;'

        (damn that's hackish). That's about 5 million lines of everything and anything in the kernel source, including documentation and .h files and everything.
  • by Supp0rtLinux ( 594509 ) <> on Friday February 06, 2004 @06:35PM (#8207313)
    This is good news. IBM surely has the money to fight the defense. Granted, who knows... maybe IBM did commit some heinous act of open source, but at least SCO's ammending the copyright issue will bring the entire issue to the forefront and get us all a resolution faster. Certainly, its better than waiting for the breach of contract issue to get resolved, then waiting through a copyright case.
  • by Ken D ( 100098 ) on Friday February 06, 2004 @06:35PM (#8207315)

    So now they want to claim extra damages for an infringement of "registered" copyright when the registration was filed after the lawsuit? IANAL but this really seems like grasping at straws, otherwise this would always happen in a copyright dispute to get the extra damages.

    Plus, doesn't this now potentially get them in trouble with Novell who claims that the copyrights are still theirs? Criminal plagiarism, anybody?
  • by Mr. Darl McBride ( 704524 ) on Friday February 06, 2004 @06:36PM (#8207325)
    IBM has filed NO motions to dismiss. This is pretty much SCO's only out at this point, and IBM aren't offering it.

    I'm no lawyer, but so far as I understand, if this carries through and the verdict is against SCO and the judge feels the case had no merit, IBM should be able to turn around and sue for (very significant!) damanges.

    The only asset SCO has that's worth dirt right now is UNIX licensing. Wouldn't it be poetic if the outcome of SCO's market gaming were that IBM sued SCO for all assets, including that, then turned around and freed UNIX once and for all? :)

    (Just kidding. This is Darl, and Linux is bad, you smelly hippy.)

    • I would like to see IBM parade Darl McBride down the street in his underwear. "You're the little boy that likes sue everyone...wave to the people, blow them kisses."
    • by ediron2 ( 246908 ) * on Friday February 06, 2004 @07:32PM (#8207882) Journal
      Wouldn't it be poetic if the outcome of SCO's market gaming were that IBM sued SCO for all assets, including that, then turned around and freed UNIX once and for all?
      IBM?! Give up assets? IBM? Free Unix forever?

      I grew up tracking the IBM antitrust news. IBM was cutthroat enough that I remember how Microsoft's geek-chic stature grew when they out-IBM'ed IBM. IBM was embracing-and-extending long before Microsoft was founded. They were (and are) pit bulls when it comes to marketing, consulting, patent-collecting, acquiring or conquering competitors, etc, etc, etc. In fact, the (delightfully) ruthless motives given in this thread for IBM carefully avoiding dismissal sound like the IBM I've known all my life. Handing the rope out for SCO to hang themselves is a tactic worthy of a Grisham novel, but entirely in-character for IBM.

      So, um... which one of us has fallen into another dimension? 'Cuz you sure aren't talking about the IBM I know. IBM giving an asset away isn't poetic. I'd call it heart-stoppingly unimaginable.

      • by roystgnr ( 4015 ) <> on Friday February 06, 2004 @09:16PM (#8208693) Homepage
        'Cuz you sure aren't talking about the IBM I know. IBM giving an asset away isn't poetic. I'd call it heart-stoppingly unimaginable.

        Start [] imagining. [] IBM wouldn't be in this mess if it hadn't started giving away (well, GPLing at least) some of it's assets.

        Some of the entries on those lists are a lot more advanced than SCO's code (compare IBM's NUMA contributions to the malloc version SCO was whining about under NDA, for example), too. At least a few prominent divisions of IBM see that open source isn't necessarily "IBM giving away an asset", but can often be "IBM adding value to their services and hardware". In the case of giving away Unix, it would be "IBM removing a perceived risk of their services and hardware".

        You're right that this isn't the way IBM used to behave, and it's probably not the way every IBM executive would like to behave now. But is a way that they've started to behave, and it isn't implausible to hope that they'll continue. If you want implausible, you could consider that IBM's changes today give us hope for a changed Microsoft sometime in the future. ;-)
  • by l0ungeb0y ( 442022 ) on Friday February 06, 2004 @06:38PM (#8207346) Homepage Journal
    Immediately following the addition of the copyright infringement claims, Darl McBride announced that his dog fluffy, a 3 year old pomeranian had been kicked and severely injured. McBride citing his suspicions of IBM being the culprit planned to add his veterinarian bills as well as an unspecified monetary claim for emotional distress. "Poor Fluffy will never be the same again" Darl was quoted as saying from his Lindon Utah office
  • dodging the bullet (Score:5, Interesting)

    by senzafine ( 630873 ) on Friday February 06, 2004 @06:38PM (#8207351) Homepage
    I watched Darl's presentation at Harvard in its entirety last night. He (and the CIO at SCO) dodged so many of the questions it was getting boring. Namely Linus' claim of remembering two write 2 of the 70 header files submitted as "infriging" by SCO.

    You'd think that after hearing a CEO of a company speak...I'd at least give more validity to their claims. But after hearing felt like he was struggling to stay afloat.
  • by rewt66 ( 738525 ) on Friday February 06, 2004 @06:38PM (#8207353)
    I grabbed this link off of Groklaw (credit where due): IBM's statement as to whether SCO complied with the discover order. [] It is unbelievably good.

    Now the bad news: Posting it on Groklaw seems to have been enough to /. the court's server, so you're going to have to wait a while to read it (and no, I didn't grab a mirror while I had it - my bad).

    Of course, posting the link here is far worse than posting it on Groklaw, so maybe you should try to read it tomorrow...

    Late update: I re-tried the link when I did the preview, and got it - so it's back, or perhaps intermittent. I'm going to try to grab it right after I post...

  • In related (Score:5, Informative)

    by EulerX07 ( 314098 ) on Friday February 06, 2004 @06:38PM (#8207366)
    They've posted another story that states that SCO's claims have reached 5 billion [] (yes, this really is a link).

    This will surely give them enough funding from high-risk investors that don't mind losing a few hundred k's for a chance of a big payout.
  • Stalling (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GreenCrackBaby ( 203293 ) on Friday February 06, 2004 @06:39PM (#8207368) Homepage
    This just seems like another tactic to stall their case. Personally, I believe that there is something more sinister than just a dying company in its death throws here. The longer this goes on, the more damage being done to Linux and open source in general. Obviously, when they finally have to account for any of their claims they will quickly lose, but the longer they can take to prevent that the better (if you support my hypothesis).

    My guess is they'll go to court and say "Your honour, you asked us to provide these documents to IBM before the case could continue, however since that ruling we've ammended our suite and would ask that we can push back that date as a result."
    • Re:Stalling (Score:3, Interesting)

      by NitroWolf ( 72977 )
      I seriously doubt this will damage Linux and/or OS in the long run. In fact, this is the kind of boost that may tip things in our favor.

      The old addage that "There's no such thing as bad publicity" really is true, especially when dealing with people who don't know exactly what's going on. The big thing is to get the name out there, anything after that won't be retained by 99% of the population.

      When the dust finally settles, and assuming it settles in Linux favor (how can it not?) - everyone will see a bi
  • wtf (Score:3, Funny)

    by CoyoteGuy ( 524946 ) on Friday February 06, 2004 @06:40PM (#8207392)

    This is not McDonalds or Burger King where you can order a side of something with your lawsuit... Sheesh...
  • by linuxislandsucks ( 461335 ) on Friday February 06, 2004 @06:41PM (#8207397) Homepage Journal
    News got it wrong again..

    SCO dropped the trade secrets claims.. and only is going to turn over code in 17 files that they claim is infringing 30 days from now after numerous delays..

    see for details..

    • by ajs ( 35943 ) <ajs AT ajs DOT com> on Friday February 06, 2004 @07:00PM (#8207594) Homepage Journal
      The both added to and subtracted from the claims... The one that really killed me was this bit I got from Ziff:
      "With the amendment, the suit also includes new allegations that IBM violated its SCO contract by improperly exporting Unix software to India and countries subject to federal export controls, including Iran, North Korea and Cuba, echoing recent comments by SCO CEO Darl McBride that characterized the spread of Linux as a threat to national security."

      -ZDNet []
      You just have to laugh at how far they're reaching here ;-)
  • New Copyright Claim (Score:5, Interesting)

    by richg74 ( 650636 ) on Friday February 06, 2004 @06:43PM (#8207434) Homepage
    From a quick read through the story on Groklaw [], the copyright infringement claim has to do with IBM's continuing distribution of AIX, after SCO supposedly revoked their Unix license.

    IBM has told the judge that SCO did not comply with her earlier order to specify their claims precisely (in terms of what Linux code was involved). There was apparently a ~30 minute conference with counsel in chambers before the open hearing. It doesn't sound like the judge was too sympathetic to SCO; from one witness's notes:

    The judge said "The problem is, unless you identify those codes, then IBM is not in a position to have a response. We're at an impasse, and the case cannot continue with an impasse, that's why there was a court order".

    From other comments the judge made (see the Groklaw write-up), it sounds like SCO may get one more really final order to lay out the specifics of their case. (Ha!)

    IBM did not move for dismissal, to the surprise of some observers. My theory is that IBM thinks they have SCO on the run, and want to make sure there is nothing left of them but a glowing crater when this is all done.

  • this is interesting (Score:5, Interesting)

    by plopez ( 54068 ) on Friday February 06, 2004 @06:45PM (#8207446) Journal

    Seems that Utah is scam central...
  • Class action? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by infernalC ( 51228 ) <(matthew.mellon) (at) (> on Friday February 06, 2004 @06:47PM (#8207471) Homepage Journal
    If SCO is going to seek damages for its distribution of AIX after license termination (which Novell and IBM claim it cannot do), can we then as folks who have contributed code to GNU and Linux and all the GPL'd goodies not seek damages from SCO in a class action suit for their violations of the GPL? It seems that they revoked their copy permission long ago by distributing GPL'd works linked to code they licensed non-freely. And they still distribute schtuff to Caldera clients. I'm sure someone would be willing to bankroll that.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      The funny things is that SCO claimed to terminate the license based on IBM actions which it now admits it can't prove. So if they terminated the license (assuming it was within their power in the first place) on those grounds how can they now claim damages? Sounds like IBM can counter-sue for contract violations and easily dismiss the copyright infringement charges by showing the court the Unix license text. SCO had to tell IBM in writing what they were doing wrong with enough detail and enough advanced
  • News Flash (Score:5, Funny)

    by dduardo ( 592868 ) on Friday February 06, 2004 @06:48PM (#8207480)
    As SCO's stock price continues to plumet amid growing speculation that their whole lawsuit lacks merit....

    Wait, this just in...SCO has just upped the lawsuit agianst IBM to 100 trillion dollars...

    ...My God, look at that stock price rise!

    (Back at SCO headquarters)


  • sigh (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Richard_at_work ( 517087 ) * <{richardprice} {at} {}> on Friday February 06, 2004 @06:49PM (#8207488)
    I really really wish the slashdot "Do not show stories from the following: Caldera" tick box applied to real life. This thing isnt going to go away for 5 to 10 years, and I can see it ruining a lot of productive time and effort on the opensource side. Its going to haunt us for the forseeable future, regardless of who wins the first round, the second round, the third round and so on. Technicalities will be found, loopholes will be exploited, cases thrown out, new cases raised, you name it. This case isnt going anywhere.
  • by i_r_sensitive ( 697893 ) on Friday February 06, 2004 @06:49PM (#8207496)
    Yell a lie loud enough and long enough and it becomes the truth...

    Ye Gods, hasn't this farce gone on long enough?

    But it has this wierd attraction, I see SCO in the posts... ..must resist.. ..overwhelming urge.. ..repeat myself...

  • by solman ( 121604 ) on Friday February 06, 2004 @06:57PM (#8207569)
    SCO's case is completely falling appart.

    Apparently, the new copyright claim is that IBM continued to distribute AIX even after SCO "terminated" their license.

    In other words, the copyright claim doesn't have anything to do with the alleged copying of code from SysV to Linux.

    Additionally, SCO responded to IBMs interrogatory (asking which Linux files SCO claims any rights to) by listing only 17 files (and not identifying specific lines in those files) and indicating that none of these 17 files contain code from SysV.

    I really expected them to do much better. I don't see how IBM can be ordered to proceed with discovery given existing case law. (Although it seems like IBM might voluntarily produce information so they can limit SCOs avenues of appeal.
    • SCO's case is completely falling appart.

      At least, it's been pared back down to what it was originally -- a weak contract case. SCO owns AT&T's contract with IBM that says that IBM can't reveal the methods used in their enhancements to SysV UNIX (AIX) without permission. IBM says

      • There's an addendum to the contract that says we can.
      • At least some of the features you're talking about were developed outside of AIX, and ported from those other sources to Linux.
      • There are limits to what can be con
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 06, 2004 @06:58PM (#8207577)
    They replaced the previous claims with the copyright claims because they were completely and utterly able to provide the minimum amount of information during discovery.

    So saying the case has been "widened" is wrong.

    Also, they didn't add the claims yet. The asked the judge to allow them to add the claims. This is because they missed the deadline to add claims to the lawsuit.

    You'd think there would be more reliable information from a place where Linux people supposedly hang out.
  • by SilverThorn ( 133151 ) on Friday February 06, 2004 @07:00PM (#8207600) Homepage
    As from the SCOX Message board (found on IBM's Report on SCO's Compliance with the December 12th order. 00103.pdf
  • by jimicus ( 737525 ) on Friday February 06, 2004 @07:08PM (#8207681)
    1. Make snide comment about SCO's latest ploy. 2. ??? 3. KARMA!!!
  • In a nutshell... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PingXao ( 153057 ) on Friday February 06, 2004 @07:15PM (#8207745)
    One line from IBM's []
    Report on SCO's Compliance With the Court's order sums up the whole fiasco pretty well I think. It's a line from Paragraph 5:

    SCO refuses to disclose from what lines of UNIX System V code these alleged contributions are supposed to derive, which it must know to allege the contributions were improper.

    Duh! And Darl wants $5 Billion for this?!?! For what exactly? I can't wait for the stomping to commence.
  • Enough is enough (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 06, 2004 @07:21PM (#8207788)
    Maybe if the media (cough cough) stops reporting (ad nauseum) every little brain fart out of Lindon, Utah, it will foil SCO's pump and dump strategy and they'll go away. The S/N on Slashdot has been steadily going downhill over the last couple of years, but the daily regurgitation of SCO FUD has been making it worse. Can you report on something else for a change? Pretty please with sugar on top?

  • by TrentC ( 11023 ) on Friday February 06, 2004 @07:22PM (#8207812) Homepage when Mark Heise, counsel for SCO at this hearing, was asked why SCO needed IBM's source code to AIX to determine if there is any infringement occuring, when SCO has certified that Sun and HP are not infringing without having shown any source code.

    Heise replied (not sure of the exact quote, transcript isn't available yet) "As for HP, there is a fundamental difference in that they [] haven't [] said [] they [] are [] contributing [] to Linux". Dave Marriott, counsel for IBM at the hearing, replied that HP has, in fact, contributed to Linux.

    Talk about not having done your homework...

    Jay (=
    • by swillden ( 191260 ) * <> on Saturday February 07, 2004 @12:45AM (#8209786) Homepage Journal

      Dave Marriott, counsel for IBM at the hearing, replied that HP has, in fact, contributed to Linux. Talk about not having done your homework...

      Oh, it was much better than that (I was there). David Marriott didn't just say it -- he whipped out a stack of copies of HP documents describing their contributions to Linux and passed them out to the Judge, the court reporter and the SCO attorneys. Even more impressive, Marriot had a perfectly straight face when he handed the stapled photocopies to Mark Heise.

  • by VisorGuy ( 548245 ) <inactive> on Friday February 06, 2004 @07:27PM (#8207847) Journal

    <defense style=chewbaca>
    Hey! Look over here!

    Browse to [] and mouse over the Company nav menu at the top and select the bottom entry for "Open Letter on Copyrights" and note that it doesn't exist.

    Therefore you must acquit!!

  • Doublespeak (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rufus211 ( 221883 ) <{gro.hsikcah} {ta} {todhsals-sufur}> on Friday February 06, 2004 @07:41PM (#8207954) Homepage
    IBM's finally calling SCO on it's in court / out of court doublespeak:
    Morover, there remains a significant disparity between the information in the Revised Response and SCO's public statements about its alleged evidence. In the final analysis, SCO has indentified no more than appoximately 3,700 lines of code in 17 AIX or Dynix files that IBM is alleged improperly to have contiributed to Linux. (A list of the files we believe SCO has identified in its Revised Response is attached hereto as Exhibit 4.) Yet, speaking at Harvard Law School earlier this week, SCO's CEO, Darl McBride, stated that:

    "...[T]here is roughly a million lines of code that tie into contributions that IBM has made and that's subject to litigation that's going on. We have basically supplied that. In fact, that is going to be the subject of a hearing that comes up Friday..." (emphasis added.)

    Good to know you can't completely get away with talking so much BS.
  • by wo1verin3 ( 473094 ) on Friday February 06, 2004 @07:47PM (#8207997) Homepage
    My favourite article headline so far has to be from []

    SCO files for temporary restraining order against reality []

  • by russotto ( 537200 ) on Friday February 06, 2004 @07:52PM (#8208039) Journal
    IBM: Show us the infringing code SCO: We can't. You have the infringed code. You wrote it, you put it into AIX, you then put it into Linux, and we never saw the AIX original. But we own it. And we can prove it. If you'll only show us your code. IBM's lawyer: Raises eyebrow.
  • When does it end? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wallingford ( 740882 ) on Friday February 06, 2004 @08:21PM (#8208261)
    I am definitely not a lawyer, so after months of SCO news I have this question when can we seriously expect this whole fiasco to end?

    Is this going to be one of those court cases that takes years to be settled?

    There must be some old-timers out there who have seen this type of thing in the past; how many series of filings -> hearings -> more filings -> more hearings -> ... does it take?

    It doesn't seem that complicated to me...

  • by borgheron ( 172546 ) on Friday February 06, 2004 @09:15PM (#8208690) Homepage Journal
    Dear Sir,

    SCO has done nothing but double talk for the term of this whole debacle.

    To get us and the rest of the world to take your claims seriously you need to show the code *without* requiring an aggregious NDA which is overly broad.

    In most copyright cases that I am aware of the primary goal of the plantiff seems to be to *cease being damaged*, but by specifically not showing the code in an acceptable forum, you, Sir, have allowed yourself to be *further* damaged.

    You have failed to uphold your end of the case at every turn:

    1) Refusing to show the code to the community with out requiring an NDA
    2) Purposfully giving IBM 1 million pages of paper with a font so small that it is useless
    3) Continually upping the damages which you have caused yourself, by not allowing us to remove the alleged code, if there is any.

    Your case is the equivanlent of saying "I own something in your house and I'm going to charge you monthly rent for it, but I wont tell you what it is so that I can continue to extract fees from you". This is absolutely preposterous.

    It is absolutely transparent to everyone involved in this case that you are out to capitalize on GNU/Linux's success by using this scheme. It is, to many in the community, a betrayal of monumental proportions that SCO/Caldera has done this when they were once one of the many companys involved in *promoting* open source.

    I have a few challenges for you:

    1) Show your code in plain daylight, my email is associated with my id here so all you need to do to reach me is click your mouse. We've been begging, no *pleading* with you in every way possible to show the code in a way which isn't an obvious sham (the aforementioned NDA).

    2) For any files/code that is in common *prove* to us that it is infringment, unlike the trivial examples you showed at Las Vegas which weren't even SCO's, but come from BSD. Again... we've been hoping that you might do *this* to no avail.

    3) Prove my assertion that you're only trying to leach off of Linux's success wrong.

    I very seriously doubt that you'll be able to rise to all, not to mention even one of these.

    GNU/Linux was built by us, and is maintained by us and would have surpassed UNIX sooner or later with or without IBM's input.

    Good day,
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @02:26AM (#8210147) Homepage
    The real status of this case is that SCO is under a court order to "describe with specificity" the infringing material, if any. IBM says SCO has not done so [] in their status report to the judge. SCO hasn't claimed otherwise. Both sides presented their motions in court today, and the judge will issue rulings on them in a few days.

    If you read through the notes from the hearing, it's clear that SCO continues to refuse to, or is unable to, identify specific infringing code, and the judge doesn't like it. The judge said "The problem is, unless you identify those codes, then IBM is not in a position to have a response. We're at an impasse, and the case cannot continue with an impasse, that's why there was a court order". That's a clear indication from the judge. The judge isn't buying SCO's nebulous theory of general infringement.

    Cravath is slowly boxing in SCO. Notice that the trade secret claim has been dropped. The copyright claim isn't in the case yet, and IBM can probably insist that it doesn't go in without SCO showing the original and the purported copy side by side.

    Look for some rulings unfavorable to SCO shortly.

  • by Zenmonkeycat ( 749580 ) on Saturday February 07, 2004 @04:24AM (#8210488)
    April 11, 2005: SCO and IBM go to trial
    April 12, 2005: I get a birthday present when the judge tells SCO to go f*** itself with a rusty shovel.

    "We rule in favor of the Defendant, and order SCO to pay an assload of money to everyone affiliated with Linux development in any way, shape or form. Furthermore, SCO sucks, and should, in the Court's opinion, find a suitable location to perform sexual acts upon itself with poorly-maintained garden equipment. And on part 2, subsection B, I find SCO in contempt of court, and therefore must pay damages to the court in the form of either a fully-trained attack monkey, or two nice dress shirts."

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"