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Sun Shows Their True Colors and Attorney Denise Howell on SCO
Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 10:07 AM EDT

If you are still in doubt as to Sun's plans for the future, particularly its relationship with Open Source and the GPL, you will find an eWeek interview with Jonathan Schwartz helpful. Here's part of what he said:

"Should we license technology from Microsoft, it would clearly advance the interests, for example, of the Java Desktop System, and if that's running on Linux, then that obviously helps the underlying Linux community as well as the overall growth and viability of open-source technology.

"Just remember, ....RealPlayer's not open-source, but its availability certainly enhances the value of our Java Desktop System.

"There is work done in the open-source community to advance StarOffice, but certainly Sun stands behind and indemnifies StarOffice. To the extent that we license protocols from Microsoft, we would be including them in StarOffice-and not obviously distributing them free of charge-just as we do today with RealPlayer.

"There is nothing that precludes us from taking the protocols we license from Microsoft and incorporating them into our products. Now, where those products run is up to Sun. So, if we take a license from Microsoft, there's nothing that precludes us from incorporating that technology into our Java Desktop System. "

So there you have it. It looks like Sun is indeed going to re-run Caldera, right down to creating a Linux distro (Java Desktop) with lots of proprietary addons in an attempt to enforce per-seat/per-employee licensing. Deja vu all over again. And they hope we will all be foolish enough to not care about the GPL and thus forsake Red Hat and SuSE, etc. Dream on, Sun, dream on. The real question is, when that fails, then what will Sun do?

Schwartz attacks Red Hat:

"It's a naive analysis of the open-source community that says it's all about forking over source code. It's not—it's about building community, about making investments in marketing, in developing technologies that run on, with and through the open-source community. We have a very long history of working with the open-source community.

"Despite some of our peers in the industry who hire people with titles like evangelist, our folks have titles like developer and architect, and they go work with the open-source community to build technologies and solutions that solve customers' problems.

"I would point back to the Java Desktop System as evidence of the work we've done with the GNOME community, the Mozilla community and the Linux community to really bring products to market that don't just add more lumps of source code into the source tree but deliver value to customers so that they want to inject money into an ecosystem and make it self-sustaining and profitable."

Sick to your stomach yet? He doesn't mind Novell, he says on page two, because he and Microsoft share a common view, and he thinks competition is a good thing:

"Novell's participation in the market is a good thing, because it validates the market as creating an opportunity for more than simply one company. So, I welcome the competition. To us, it's really emblematic of the nature of the relationship we have with Microsoft, which is a deeply held belief that a rising tide lifts all boats, and that interoperability between Sun and Microsoft grows the overall market for both of our products rather than advantages one company versus another."

Microsoft? That Microsoft? The one twice found guilty of antitrust violations? That Microsoft believes that a rising tide lifts all boats? Is Sun in for a shock someday.

He is totally into DRM, and authentication, and autoupdate, and it's all about market share. Here is a hint as to how to block them, should you care to:

"So, with interoperability and a focus on ease of use, we're trying to use both StarOffice as well as Java Studio Creator to create a broader market opportunity and add interoperability to that mix. It's about growing the largest market possible, trying to help build the biggest tent atop all the developers in the world rather than forcing people to go make choices that may preclude their opportunities. . . .So, I am very convinced, with Steve, that he who has the most customers—and I would just add developers into that—is ultimately going to be the long-term winner. "

They don't have the biggest tent if developers stay away. And if you are in the mood to throw up, here's a couple of sentences that just might do it:

"We're going back to pub-sub, and we're moving away from a concept of 'I'm going to go to a Web site and pick up content.' The pull model of computing—the days are numbered. . . . At the end of the day, that's great [Sun's competition with Microsoft] for customers. The fact that we're committed to interoperability means either choice is a safe choice. We're very bullish on the future of the network and very bullish on the future of intellectual property in open source as well as in open standards to continue to drive that opportunity."

Excuse me? The "future of intellectual property in open source"? We certainly can't complain that they were confusing or schizo here. It's plain as day. They are going after Red Hat. They do not support the GPL. They will push open standards as being what you really want, not open source. They think that we won't care, as long as it's easy and fun. They intend to be the substitute for free/open source software. Here you go: Brand X Linux. And they intend to destroy the Internet. If you think that sounds wonderful, stop and consider that if they get their way, there would never be a Groklaw. Microsoft never did get the Internet. They think all we want to do is buy stuff. So, that's their plan, Stan.

I had a chance to take a look at Sun's Java Desktop evaluation CD, thanks to a friend who used to be a Java developer, until he got the CD and noticed the same thing I noticed when I tried it. First, there isn't any sign on the cover that there is anything GPL inside, even though there is plenty. It does mention Linux and the GPL VERY briefly in the command window during bootup, but it is so brief, unless you were paying very close attention, you could easily miss it. There is also a rather draconian EULA as you boot into the system that mentions absolutely nothing about the GPL anywhere and expressly forbids you from making copies of the CD. There is a brief mention of a third-party licenses directory in the EULA text. You really could get the CD and run it without every knowing it had anything GNU/Linuxy in it or that the GPL provides you with guaranteed freedoms that Sun would like you not to know you have. My friend tells me he will no longer do any Java development. He was about to recommend to his boss that they do some Java Desktops, but now he intends to recommend only a distro that acknowledges its roots.

Are you convinced yet, all you folks who send me email about how Sun really is supportive of the Open Source community? Not yet? Then how about this article in eWeek, where Schwartz calls Red Hat a proprietary Linux? He says they forked and now CIOs are noticing that "Red Hat has pretty much forked the distribution" so now they realize "open source does not equal open standards. Open standards, which Sun has always supported, are better. Proprietary open source [like RHEL] can come back and bite you."

Naturally, Red Hat responds, and so does Linus and neither agrees with Sun:

"Informed of the comments, Red Hat spokesman Leigh Day offered that 'Red Hat Enterprise Linux is licensed under the GPL, and we're totally open source.'

'"[Red Hat is] not proprietary,' Day continued. 'We are fully committed to open source and our code reflects that. Red Hat has no proprietary software built in our distribution. Our core strategy is built on open source and we will not deviate from that strategy.' . . .

"In addition, Linus Torvalds, Linux's founder, considers Red Hat Linux to be Linux. 'Sure, RH definitely has their own vendor kernel, but it's not proprietary, and a number of the top Linux kernel contributors are Red Hat employees,' Torvalds said."

Time to think about OpenOffice and Sun pulling a SCO someday, gang. Remember that patent [scroll down] they put into their Linux distro, Mad Hatter? Time to think. They are thinking, but in old-fashioned ways, about mo' money, and they will fail there too, of course. They have made their choice and opted for The Way Things Used To Be. It's a new world, and Sun is not in it.

Denise Howell Begins SCO Coverage

Denise Howell is an intellectual property and appellate attorney, who also has a popular personal blog, called Bag and Baggage, which has begun to cover the SCO story, I'm happy to tell you. The first article is entitled, "SCO Many Lawsuits, SCO Little Time." It also was contributed to a weekly newsletter called IP Memes, which is described by parent Techno Lawyer like this:

"This weekly newsletter consists of technology-related intellectual property "memes" -- IP issues that have just begun to surface and may soon become important legal issues. IP Memes enables corporate counsel, intellectual property lawyers, and interested others to learn about and react to new developments in intellectual property law."

She tells me that this first installment is an overview for IP Memes readers, who may not be as knowledgeable about the case as Groklaw's readers, but she hopes to continue the coverage with some analysis in the future, so you might want to take a look. I have long enjoyed reading what she writes. Naturally, now that she has favorably mentioned Groklaw (she says we inspired her to cover SCO), I like her all the more. She links to our first ABI article, among other things, the one that Frank Sorensen took the lead on, and she also cites a case, Feist, which you might find interesting to read. That case held that mere compilations of facts are not copyrightable.

Want to clear your palate from the Sun story and have a laugh? Here's a quote from a BayStar spokesman that is very, very, very encouraging: "We believe that when we invested, there was a strong and valuable asset in the intellectual-property case" against IBM, says the spokesman. "We still believe that SCO has the chance to prevail."

Don't you love it? They thought it was a stong case, and now they think maybe, just maybe, SCO might still have a chance.


Sun Shows Their True Colors and Attorney Denise Howell on SCO | 463 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Sun Shows Their True Colors and Attorney Denise Howell on SCO
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 11:10 AM EDT
I agree.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: DrStupid on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 11:13 AM EDT
"Time to think about OpenOffice and Sun pulling a SCO someday, gang."

Don't you mean "..about Sun pulling a SCO *over*
OpenOffice/StarOffice"? The phrasing used makes it sound like tarring the
volunteers over at with the same brush.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun Shows Their True Colors and Attorney Denise Howell on SCO
Authored by: GCH on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 11:16 AM EDT
I'm glad Groklaw is including Microsoft in coverage now. It's much easier to be
a conspiracy theorist when proof is only a few clicks away...!

It's a shame to see Sun so clueless about what they've just done, and trying to
sing the IP message so off-key. As usual for Groklaw, though, the truth will

Thanks, PJ!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun Shows Their True Colors and Attorney Denise Howell on SCO -- I have my dbouts about Sun
Authored by: IRJustman on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 11:16 AM EDT
Honestly, I think the other distros are too well-entrenched for Sun to uproot
them anytime soon. Not to mntion, the ones who truly give a darn about the GPL
are already using Linux, so I don't think we need to worry about Sun.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun Shows Their True Colors and Attorney Denise Howell on SCO
Authored by: dkpatrick on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 11:17 AM EDT
IMHO some of the cross-over technology will include M$ Exchange. Suddenly
there's no Longhorn but instead a M$ server technology build on UNIX/Linux. That
would appeal to the community of users who view servers and desktops as
different beasts. Instead of perverting Windows into a server environment, M$
could now deliver UNIX/Linux technology under their label (Sun as a M$
subsidiary? Why not?)

"Keep your friends close but your enemies closer!" -- Sun Tzu

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun Shows Their True Colors and Attorney Denise Howell on SCO
Authored by: eamacnaghten on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 11:18 AM EDT
If SUN are not careful a fork will occur on, and people will stop
placing their contributions to the SSISL, and SUN will not be able to use it in

As PJ says - we have seen all this before. If SUN removes support for the
openess of it will slow down OS deployment in the short term, but
in the long term it will kill SUN.

Also - as IBM learnt the hard way in the 80's, if you try to kill the choices
and trap people the only people you will hurt are yourselves.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Schwartz Calls RedHat "Proprietary"
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 11:19 AM EDT
There is also this article in which they state that RedHat is "Proprietary".
And that Solaris is a better Linux than Linux (see page 2).


[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun Shows Their True Colors and Attorney Denise Howell on SCO
Authored by: TechnoCat on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 11:20 AM EDT
I agree with most of what is posted on GrokLaw, but I think some of these
characterizations of Sun's position are a bit unfair.

Let's back up a bit... the editorial comments ding Microsoft's view that a
rising tide lifts all boats. But isn't that precisely what has happened? Sure,
the Apple market is smallish right now, but it's a lot bigger than if Microsoft
hadn't brought the water into the bay with DOS at all, or helped forge so many
developers with BASIC and then their other language implementations. Microsoft
Basic even came in ROM on the Commodore computers, where many of us earned our
first stripes.

Now what Sun is saying is, "There are areas for open source and there are
areas for open standards." I'd go further... there are also areas for
closed source. For example, last year I worked on a system to diagnose and
monitor babies in hospitals, based on Linux in a custom device. Should this be
open-source? Who would have funded the years of development for it at that
point? Who would risk the lawsuits?

On the flip side, it can communicate via TCP with NFS and Samba and via HL7,
three well-known standards. And when I found a (Qt) bug, I submitted a fix.
That does raise all boats still.

And finally let's take Java. It works. Better than Smalltalk ever did, perhaps
not as well as C# but far more pure than C++. Neither Java nor C# are open;
both are controlled. But the best-known pure OO open language, Python, doesn't
come close in functionality for embedded devices or for ease of roll-out. (Nice
language though.)

So suppose you make a living writing proprietary code in one of these
proprietary languages on an open OS, occasionally submitting OS fixes and
evangelizing the OS, helping it gain market share purely as a side-effect of
your work. Has your boat been lifted by the proprietary world? Absolutely.
Have you helped lift others by giving them choice (at a cost, perhaps) and a
slightly-stabler open OS? Absolutely.

I'm an open-source fan and have several projects on SourceForge, but let's not,
in our religious zealotry, forget that commerce is not just a means to an end
but also an enabler. Open Source may be our art, proprietary solutions often
provide some of our bread.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Links, etc. Here.
Authored by: bruce_s on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 11:25 AM EDT
Links, etc. here

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: DFJA on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 11:28 AM EDT
Time to Fork OpenOffice maybe, so that the fork becomes independent of Sun and
not controlled by them. Also, to contribute to OpenOffice you have to assign
your copyrights to them I believe, which means they can incorporate your changes
into Star Office. A fork would not have this requirement, so Sun could not
simply (legally) incorporate changes submitted to a fork into their
(proprietary) Star Office.

Does the Open Office licence allow for a fork under the GPL?

43 - for those who require slightly more than the answer to life, the universe
and everything

[ Reply to This | # ]

Denise should focus on software patents
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 11:31 AM EDT

It's always good to have another gun to shoot at SCO, but the SCO battle is
essentially won. IBM's heavy battalions can't be matched.

You've already said the next, and perhaps, biggest battle is software patents,
and maybe Denise should do the same kind of work on patents that you did on SCO.
You can join the patent battle once SCO is gone.

One thing I'd like to see is where we stand now with Microsoft patents. What is
in Microsoft's patent inventory? What's pending? What prior art is Microsoft
attempting to bypass or co-opt?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun Shows Their True Colors and Attorney Denise Howell on SCO
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 11:33 AM EDT
Note Schwartz's addiction to conditionals, as in `Should we license' & `I
would point to'. Those are red flags to this editor: maybe he's only being
pompous or lawyeresque, but from here on I'm going to watch out. What's he up

The SCOvian farce often takes me back to Watergate time, & to Mary McGrory's
comment after Ford's pardon of Nixon: `The whole thing was cast in the passive
voice, an invariable sign of somebody trying to pull a fast one.'

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun Shows Their True Colors and Attorney Denise Howell on SCO
Authored by: DFJA on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 11:44 AM EDT
Suns strategy has suddenly become clearer. Now I understand why Java is free to
download (from Sun's website) but Linux Distros such as SuSE can't include it in
their free versions, only their paid-for ones (for which I presume they've paid
Sun some sort of licence fee).

They are performing a classical bait-and switch:

Give us (the users) Java at zero cost, and get you to trust them (and only them)
to provide you with the tools you need. That's the bait. Then at a later stage,
sell Java Desktop System (which incorporates Java) cheaply, but prohibit it's
copying and redistribution on the grounds that it contains Java, which they've
never allowed anyone to redistribute anyway. Try and keep quiet about the fact
that most of JDS is under a licence which requires them to allow redistribution
at the source code level, and charge money for the whole. They've now switched.

They get you hooked into they're JDS on a continuing licence model - don't
forget that it's $100 _per_year_ and _per_seat_, which is a recurring fee, much
as Microsoft now charges. Once you're hooked into JDS and using the Java part of
it, they can decide not to make their Java VM available to others, so you have
to buy JDS from them.

Remember that their JVM is neither free software nor open source, and never will

Time to ditch Java (or at least Sun's VM) as well as forking OpenOffice (see
above post)??

43 - for those who require slightly more than the answer to life, the universe
and everything

[ Reply to This | # ]

Free for Sun, not for you
Authored by: VivianC on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 11:47 AM EDT
If anyone has been following Morphix, a bootable-CD Linux distro, you may already have an idea of where Sun wants to go. Keep in mind, this is before taking Microsoft's money.

Sun used the Morphix Live-CD to build their demo of the Java Desktop. Of course, this was done without credit and with a license that does not allow copies to be made. Seems like they grabbed a GPL project and made it there own. You can see the story here and here.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Patent Wars! Freedom of Expression?
Authored by: Simon G Best on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 11:52 AM EDT

Just from your article, and just from the quotes in it, it seems that they've laid bare the general outline of their plan for The Patent Wars. "We're [...] very bullish on the future of intellectual property in open source as well as in open standards [...]" seems to pretty clearly spell it out.

I take "intellectual property" to mean 'intellectual property' in the sense of patents, and the "open" in "open standards" (and "open source") to be the same kind of openness that's required for patents (public disclosure of what it is you're applying for a patent for). Then they can get patents to do for their licensing efforts what copyright can't achieve against Free/Libre / Open Source Software. It just seems so simple that I can feel the blade of Occam's Razor.

But shouldn't (the created, secondary rights of) software patenting be illegitimate on grounds of Freedom of Expression, widely held to be a fundamental human right?

Open and Honest - Open Source

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: hardcode57 on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 11:53 AM EDT
'Despite some of our peers in the industry who hire people with titles like

Sun was about the first to use this title: I went to a Sun embedded Java
conference a few years back and they had no fewer than two evangelists there.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Indemnifies? Why?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 11:56 AM EDT
"...but certainly Sun stands behind and indemnifies StarOffice..."

Indemnifies? Why? Against what?

This phrasing concerns me greatly.

Here's the Party Line rearing its head:

"Open Source/Linux has legal liabilities, and the end user should be concerned about those legal liabilities."

How nice of $un to protect the poor, hapless end user from that nasty, risky OSS...



Mad cow? You'd be mad, too, if someone was trying to eat you.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Dobbins on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 11:57 AM EDT
The vast majority of Computer Users don't care about Licenses, be it GPL, BSD,
or a standard Eula. They click "yes" on any license agreement that
happens to pop without bothering to read it, and for all they know they just
agreed to sell their soul to Satan. There is a market for a per seat/user
licensed distro like Caldera attempted a few years ago and like Sun is looking
at now among these users. Caldear failed for two reasons, because they asked for
too much money for their license, and because they attempted to move into this
area before Linux was far enough along to compete with Windows and Mac among the
kind of user who just looks at a computer as an appliance like a toaster and who
dosen't care about licenses. I don't know if Sun will suceed or not, but if they
fail it will be more a mater of poor timing and marketing (Like Caldera) than
because the business model is unsound.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun Shows Their True Colors and Attorney Denise Howell on SCO
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 11:59 AM EDT
"Despite some of our peers in the industry who hire people with titles like
evangelist, our folks have titles like developer and architect"

And it looks like all you want to build are Cathedrals.

I'll stick with working in the Bazaar :)

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • touche - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 12:49 PM EDT
Sun Shows Their True Colors and Attorney Denise Howell on SCO
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 12:03 PM EDT
... and, in addition to this, (L)GPL entitles for every single patent used to
built OO. So, no patent war will help Sun either.

[ Reply to This | # ]

yes, but...
Authored by: maco on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 12:03 PM EDT
I think we need to remember
  • of all companies, Linux has probably hurt Sun the most
  • Sun has greatly contributed to the open source community and to open standards in general
  • many Sun technologies, such as the Sparc, are quite elegant
  • Sun, as a business, was hurting big time - that $1.9B from MS was an influx that hardly any company in Sun's shoes could turn down
On the other hand
  • Sun holds one of the keys to open source success at the enterprise level - Java - and will not let them go
  • Sun still believes the way to re-capture its intellectual worth is partly through propriety systems
  • and Sun, like an old wounded warrior captured by the enemy, strikes outs against its former friends
In the end, I feel we should be a little more generous of spirit and see what happens down the road. At this point in time, I personally do not attriubte to Sun the malice as demonstrated by MS and TSG, nor do I believe they should be treated the same.

[ Reply to This | # ]

ABI files
Authored by: tintak on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 12:08 PM EDT
SCOG have a page of 'corrections' up for the press. Some concern the ABI files. link

    'i t is literally impossible' for SCO to itself provide
    direct proof' Mark J. Heise 02/06/04

    [ Reply to This | # ]

That flushing sound - customer loyalty
Authored by: Boundless on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 12:08 PM EDT
> And they hope we will all be foolish enough to not care ...

I used to work for a competitor of Sun's. One of our biggest
sales problems was accounts with "Sun bigots" in the back
room "helping" craft the RFQs these customers issued to
bidders. They'd always stick in some gratuitous Requirement
that only Sun could deliver. Many Sun users were quite
loyal (much as many Mac users still are).

Are there any Sun bigots left now?

If there were, I suspect that the recent Sun-MS settlement,
and the present ooze dripping out of that sandwich, may
have demoralized the last of the old Sun fanatics.

In the Stages of Corporate Devolution:
1. run by engineers/innovators
2. run by managers
3. run by accountants
4. run by lawyers

Sun seems to be somewhere in Stage 3, and nearing Stage 4.
There is, of course, no Stage 5.

IBM is presently earning the respect and admiration of
many who pay attention to I.T. Sun, on the other hand,
seems to be squandering what had been a considerable
inventory of pre-existing goodwill.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun Shows Their True Colors and Attorney Denise Howell on SCO
Authored by: SoundChaser on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 12:15 PM EDT
Well, at lesat Sun didn't waste their time showing off their ugly-underneath. Forewarned is fore-armed, as the saying goes.

Still, I was trying to understand what Sun's reasoning for making this kind of move now might be. Looking at what our company is doing I think reveals the overall trend...

On the workstation side, a lot of our Sun boxes are getting decomissioned. And their replacement is: RedHat. There's just a ton of value there for our company: less expensive hardware base that's easier to maintain with the advantage that the life-cycle can be aligned with our desktop systems.

Moreso, we are seeing added value in the ability to cluster and farm the workstations, giving us the advantage of using them more like servers to shorten the development cycle in our heavy / intense engineering applications. (The advantage of this was proven from the start: a project that took over a week to render on our old stations, took 3 days on an RH based farm.)

On the big-iron side of things, Sun isn't making any in-roads there. Our shop is mixing HP and EMC systems for the infrastructure. And, on the Intranet side of things, Sun hasn't won anything there, in fact (rather disgustingly) we're locked into Micro$oft. I think this is why Sun wants to "kill the internet". They see that they've lost the intranet side of things, so they are going after the under-pinning technology to get it back from M$.

This whole thing sounds to me like Sun has just awoken from a long slumber, and is stumbling around, trying to wipe the sleep from it's eyes, only to find that it's weak under-belly got some deep scratches from the cat while it was asleep.

So, what do they do to counter their vulnerable under-belly? They look at what they have to work with: Java, StarOffice and Java Desktop. They realize that they can make something out of them, but in order to do so, they must act as if they are a humbled giant. Signing agreements with the likes of Micro$oft makes them look humble, and allows them to advance a scheme that appears to be compatible with M$'s future visions.

Too bad this "giant" has obvious olfactory problems: can't smell the coffee, and can't discern the whiff coming off the rotting (if giant sized) corpse.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: studog on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 12:21 PM EDT
"Deja vu all over again."

Arg! Please don't do that. The correct form is merely "Deja vu."


[ Reply to This | # ]

I think this means we won :)
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 12:28 PM EDT
It seems to me what is happening is that MS and Sun have given up on the idea of
making money through selling operating systems and office applications.

Think about it. They know that in the long run they can't do that. So instead
what they are doung is creating a NEW KIND OF PLATFORM. Call it the IP platform.
What that means is that what-ever underlaying hardware or software you use no
longer matteres. It doesn't matter because in order for everything to work it
has to follow 'standard' formats. Like Microsoft Word's document format for
instance. Or real players audio format. Because everyone will become dependent
on these formats (and lets face it we already are with word, excel, exchange...
etc...) then however much free software there is in the world it won't affect MS
and Sun and Co. It won't affect them because even free software would have to
pay a license fee to incorporate the format. Remember Microsoft patenting some
XML schemas recently? Wanna bet that the new office file formats come nicely
under them?
In short, MS and Sun will charge for *royalties* on software in the future. Not
the software itself. This is why we win. They have abandonned long term hope for
the software. File formats? Well there are plenty of free ones and when the vice
begins to grip, people will change. Just like they did with software.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Did Sun say it would breach the GPL?
Authored by: Thomas Frayne on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 12:35 PM EDT
I don't think so, but I just skimmed the interview.

I also don't think that Sun will breach the GPL. They must have learned
something from SCOG.

I think that Sun will continue to produce proprietary products, and when they
incorporate GPL'd code into the products, they will be careful to keep it at
arm's length, so the products will be mere aggregations.

If this is all Sun does, I have no objections. I agree that there is room for
open source, semi-open source, and closed source, and law-abiding corporations
can rightfully develop products with all three types. I have seen no evidence
that Sun has done anything wrong.

However, I am still worried about patents. I hope the GPL3 or GPL 2.1 comes out
soon, with provisions about patents, and I hope to see whether Sun incorporates
GPL3'd code into its products.

I don't think that Sun has shown its true colors yet. At most, it has given a
glimpse. When GPL3 comes out, I think we'll see the true colors.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • GPL3 - Authored by: bbaston on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 02:58 PM EDT
Evangelists, gimme a break!
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 12:36 PM EDT
Did Sun fire all their evangelists or did they just do the typical Sun thing and give them a new title?

Here we interview Sang Shin, a Java technology evangelist for Sun Microsystems
Prior to joining Sun Microsystems as a Java technology evangelist, [Rima Patel] ...
Raghavan Srinivas is a Java Technology Evangelist at Sun Microsystems
Here we interview Max Goff, a technology evangelist for Sun Microsystems
Technology evangelist Bill Day
Tune In to the Lastest Audiocasts from Sun Microsystems' Technology Evangelists!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun's past history
Authored by: shareme on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 12:41 PM EDT
Apparently Mr Schwartz forgot a major portion of SUN history..

SUn has tried to close a standard before to get lock in against better Unix
competitors.. that effort was known as NEWS..

Everyone else told Sun to stick it where the SUn does not shine in that
particular case..

I predict the same history repeating itself..

Sharing and thinking is only a crime in those societies where freedom doesn't

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Sun's past history - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 01:12 PM EDT
    • Sun's past history - Authored by: fb on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 01:56 PM EDT
    • NeWS - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 05:33 PM EDT
Watch IBM, too
Authored by: uw_dwarf on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 12:42 PM EDT

Sun is not a friend of software libre. But, when it comes right down to it, neither is IBM. IBM sees a business advantage to using and advocating software libre, and under the licence granted by that community, creating a business advantage is their right. Sun is trying to do no differently.

A test of friendship with the software libre community lies in acknowledging the rights and contributions of others, and in fostering further development in openness, declaring that users, developers, and distributors all have rights to examine, use, and adapt software to their tasks, even when you may be diminished by doing this. It's a voluntary surrender of your rights in favour of granting rights to others. SCO and Sun are clearly not friends of the software libre community, but don't be blinded by SCO v. IBM, either. IBM is seen as a friend only because its interests in that particular case intersect with those of the software libre community.

SCO took IBM to court because they saw a multi-front money grab. IBM is in court to defend their rights, granted by both licence and law. IBM is not in court to defend the entire software libre community. If IBM saw a business reason to prosecute an infringement of their rights within Linux or any other piece of software libre, they would consider it. (To their credit, IBM also includes reputation as a corporate asset, not just money.) Against SCO, but for now only against SCO, IBM is an ally. Anything else, in the absence of evidence, is speculation.

For now, enjoy the mutually beneficial relationship between IBM and the software libre community. But be prepared to provide a similar service to the software libre community when it comes time to defend against IBM. There is a greater conflict of ideologies going on -- one that's not on trial in the courts but is on trial in government offices, parliamentary chambers, corporate boardrooms, and mass media. Ideological conflicts are always messy, and often ambiguous. The SCO v. IBM case is one example of this, and this interview with Mr. Schwartz is another. What the antagonists don't get is that they wouldn't have some what they have if it wasn't for the community they're trying to kill.

A Mr. Boffo cartoon from the 1980s summarises the risk. The caption is "Why philosophical rabbits have short life spans." The drawing is a wildcat chasing a bear, with a rabbit following after the wildcat, smiling and thinking, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend."

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun Shows Their True Colors and Attorney Denise Howell on SCO
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 12:43 PM EDT
Sun could very well pull something with OpenOffice.

Contrary to popular belief, OpenOffice is not a "community" effort.
Of the approximately 117 developers actively contributing,
100 are Sun employees, 12 are Ximian employees, and only 5 are from "the community".

Scary, isn't it?

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT: SCOX is on the slide already
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 12:46 PM EDT
This is surprising even me. I already said 2 days ago that SCOX would move
downwards, after the temporary gain following Baystar's last call for new
management. But I didn't expect such a fast drop! As of 12:45 EDT, stock is down
to 7.00 on light trading. By weeks end, it will be below it last low of 6.80.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun Java Desktop is now Linux, maybe not for long though
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 12:54 PM EDT
Maybe this peice of information is interesting here:
Recentely I visited the Sun stand at the CEBIT, one of the
Sun people there said that the next version of the Sun Java
Desktop would be based on Solaris for x86 instead of Linux.
I suppose it could be true, as Sun has recently beefed up
their development of Solaris for x86. After Solaris 8 they
said there would be no more x86 version, but now there's a
Solaris 9 for x86 (released MUCH later than the sparc
version) and I understand that Solaris 10 will be out for
both platforms at about the same time.
Of course, that's just the kernel. Both versions of Solaris
contain more and more GNU stuff so getting rid of the Linux
kernel does not really help all that much if they want to
make it a completely proprietary system.

Hope this is useful,

Alex, linuxdude from NL.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Yeah, let's get emotional! W00t!
Authored by: booda on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 12:57 PM EDT

PJ said: Are you convinced yet, all you folks who send me email about how Sun really is supportive of the Open Source community? Not yet? Then how about this article in eWeek, where Schwartz calls Red Hat a proprietary Linux?

I'm getting a clearer picture now of why I am liking this site less and less each day. I work with Red Hat every single day. Many servers. I have been working with Red Hat since version 4, GNU/Linux since 1993. I am a published author of books on open source topics, and an open source committer, as well as generating content under the Creative Commons license that is used by people all over the world judging from my in-box. I'm not bragging, I'm just trying to stave off the inevitable flood of "you don't know anything!!" replies.

Guess what, PJ? In my book, Red Hat definitely is a proprietary Linux. Do you use it every day at work? Does your business rely on it? I do. Mine does. And when I say "use it" I mean use it beyond e-mail and web browsing. Supporting it, administering it, etc.

Before everyone gets all riled up, take a second look at the spin Linus puts on his comment. Yes, Red Hat uses GNU/Linux, and yes, GNU/Linux is distributed under the GPL. But Red Hat (as well as any distro) is MORE than just the kernel. So Linus is "correct" (accurate) but that doesn't make his comment "right". Red Hat arranges system files and other OS-level properties a certain way. Things work a certain way on Red Hat that don't work that way anyplace else. Want to stay compatible with Red Hat? Want to get support from Red Hat? You have to subscribe, and you can't do anything that they don't want you to do. Need support for Apache on your Red Hat server? Better hope you installed Apache ONLY from the approved Red Hat RPMs and not plain source.

Hmmm...locked into a certain support system. Locked into a certain upgrade system. Locked into arranging your system the way the vendor wants it done. Locked into using Red Hat-distributed RPMs made by people who will probably want to put things in places on your server differently than you do (but if you skip the RPMs and install from source so you get things where you want them you run the risk of not getting support). Hmmm...yeah, sounds real "open" to me.

My point here is that getting emotional doesn't serve any purpose whatsoever. Editorial comments like "are you ready to puke yet?" etc serve no purpose whatsoever. You can easily argue both sides. Is Sun totally right? No. Is Sun totally wrong? No. Is Linus totally right? Yes, but only if you consider the letter of his comment as quoted above. Sure, Red Hat uses GNU/Linux, but that doesn't mean they use it in an easily accessible, free manner open to the largest audience. Red Hat's current model is all about restriction, building customer base, generating revenue, etc. All of the bad things that PJ is ranting about Sun doing.

Just because Red Hat is doing the same thing as Sun, but doing it while piggybacking on GNU/Linux doesn't make them any better, or any different. It isn't black and white. It isn't "all or nothing". This isn't a "fight to the death". In the coming years there will be all sorts of software and technology business models, some of which we can't even imagine. Lighten up!!!

The goal is using the right tool for solving the problem so that everyone is happy. Sometimes that means FOSS. Sometimes that means proprietary, and sometimes it means a mix of both. I don't care if it comes from Sun, Red Hat, IBM, Novell, Open/FreeBSD, or Inuits from Canada.

In my book, Red Hat is a "proprietary Linux," and I don't see anything wrong with calling them (or it) that. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and has feathers like a duck, it's probably a duck or reasonable facsimile thereof.

If Red Hat wasn't a "proprietary Linux,", you wouldn't have to pay to get updates, you wouldn't have to pay for downloads or ISOs. You'd be able to go to, pay your $5, and get your ISO delivered. But you can't do that. If the BSDs can do it, Linux companies can do it. But Red Hat (and others) don't.

But hey, I know that anyone fighting SCO in court is automatically "good" and automatically "on our side". So, obviously, Red Hat can do no wrong, and neither can IBM. Riiiight. Look beyond the court cases, folks. Businesses are businesses, and they'll do whatever it takes to make money, open source or not, GPL or not. Red Hat is no different, nor is Sun.


[ Reply to This | # ]

And here's what scares me the most
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 12:59 PM EDT
It's not sun going closed source with their Linux distro. That, I really
give a stuff about. I'll just use another.

Not being able to get Java? Like I care. I don't like doing Java development
anyway. They might try to use the existing Java expertise in order to leverage

some more customers, but how long do you think Microsoft are going to let
them get away with that? For Microsoft, the future is C#, and Java is just
another little thing to be swept away.

No, what _really_ scares me is that Microsoft might actually be able to use
Solaris/x86 get an OS based on something relatively stable out of this. If the

system doesn't crash, and viruses don't automatically get r00t privileges,
what's to stop people using it? What chance has F/OSS got then? At the
moment, I can convince people to switch to F/OSS using the "it's stable,
virus free" argument, but if MS have a product that's all that too, hell,

Mind you, I have the feeling that, if Microsoft suddenly inherited Linux and
could do what they wanted with it, it would turn into as big a security hole as

an unpatched version of NT in no time sharp.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun Shows Their True Colors and Attorney Denise Howell on SCO
Authored by: Retep Vosnul on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 01:00 PM EDT
Where are all the good people at sun ?

I work on Sun hardware every day and somebody that cares about that stuff made
it great. Solaris is a fine flavor of *nix too.
Now the future of the sparc isn't certain and they are beginning to show random
jerky movements that resemble backstabbing hits.

Are all the Darl's of the world drawn to tech companies to kill good things in
general off?? Or do Tech companies fall for the pretty words from all of these
darls ?

And again a lot of goodwilling geeks get homeless.


[ Reply to This | # ]

More Sun FUD: revising the history of their SCO involvement
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 01:00 PM EDT
Sun is now claiming that they invested in SCO "long before" SCO
started their lawsuit fiaSCOs.

This alone has me seeing red. It is so obviously a lie I don't know how they
could say it with a straight face. I wonder if Darl is giving other computer
industry execs lessons on how to mislead the public :)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun Shows Their True Colors and Attorney Denise Howell on SCO
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 01:04 PM EDT
>>But going the open source route may lessen the chance of being sued.
(plus good two reasons why)

True, lawyers only sue those with money to collect. But who is to say I'm poor?
I just don't want to be poor in the future after they are done with me.

For your second point, one very good option is to provide source code to the
hospital for their review/improvement, along with contract saying "quality
is your problem, find some outside experts to review this code"

But this argument still ignores the basic fact that anybody can sue anybody for
anything, and the US legal system will not make them pay my court costs in
99.9999% of the cases.

My companies have been sued before. Sued by people who were 100% in the wrong.
We won in court, but the recovered damages (from our counterclaims) didn't make
up for the time and expense of the lawsuits.

- Tom Z.

P.S. One of the people who sued us, that we won damages from, had also stiffed
Whittan-Hart/MarchFirst out of a cool million in services and rent.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun Shows Their True Colors and Attorney Denise Howell on SCO
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 01:04 PM EDT
If a game developer ported their game to linux but did not publish the source,
and even, god forbid, charged for the game, would they be crucified like Sun is
in this article? People don't seem to get that companies selling products that
run on linux is a Good Thing (TM). Sure, it would be better if it were free and
sure it would be even better if it were open source; but why do people insist on
looking gift horses in the mouth. Anything that grows the linux market is a good

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun Shows Their True Colors
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 01:06 PM EDT
Is he brainwashed by Microsoft or something? He sounds the same like those
corporate M$ drones rambling on and producing a constant stream of nonsense...

[ Reply to This | # ]

A little OT but SCO news
Authored by: utahbob55 on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 01:14 PM EDT

Don't know if anyone has posted this but I found this on LWN:

SCO moves to drop IBM counterclaims
SCO has filed a strange motion (available in PDF format from in the IBM case. It seems that SCO would like to dismiss, or, at a minimum, split out IBM's counterclaims challenging the validity of SCO's copyrights. The issue of the copyrights, says SCO, is "pending in litigation in Nevada." They are referring to the AutoZone case; it is hard to see this motion as anything other than another delay tactic.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun and the Reality of Business...
Authored by: NicholasDonovan on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 01:19 PM EDT
Sun is dead. I sincerely doubt that Scott McNealy can muster the wherewithall
to drop the SunOS and their nutty licensing program which changes every year.

Essentially Scott needs to decide what business he is in. Is he in the hardware
business or software business? Until he makes a leadership decision and directs
his company with some real leadership, Sun will continue to ride aloft in the
waves of IT sea until it either sinks or the mates abandon ship.

When you make a deal with the devil Scott, you're going to get burned. Ask
yourself why many in your senior leadership team have left? Ask why Open Source
is kicking your collective rears?

One word: Leadership

Not an Attorney.
Views expressed are my personal opinions and not necessarily those of my
employer or its affiliates.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun Shows Their True Colors and Attorney Denise Howell on SCO
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 01:20 PM EDT
Who cares about SUN. If you can't beat them, join them. SUN made a 1.8 Billion
deal with Microsoft to keep from going out of business and to get paid for what
Microsoft took from them. They have to play nice for a while. SUN is doing the
right thing. Save the company to fight another day. Just maybe SUN will finish
Microsoft Office with Microsoft's own money. Would that not be great!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun Shows Their True Colors and Attorney Denise Howell on SCO
Authored by: Asynchronous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 02:04 PM EDT
CRN has a article about Marc Fleury, CEO of JBoss Inc. (maker of an open-source Java application server) coming out against open-sourcing java. Oddly, last year they were publicly against Sun because they had difficulty reaching a a licensing agreement with Sun over J2EE.

Odd stuff.

The CRN article

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun Brainwashed?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 02:13 PM EDT
It's more simple than this. For a long time, Sun was the leader in providing
server hardware and thus OS's for Internet servers. They've watched their market
erode only slightly because of Microsoft, and more recently, erode considerably
because of Linux. Sound like a familiar theme?

Like Caldera, Sun is no friend to OpenSource. They use OpenSource to further
their own ends, but the bottom line is they know there is more money to be made
in the short term by selling easy to use, proprietary solutions. That will last
until OpenSource dominates the Internet, and it will. Sun sees it coming, so
does SCO, so does Microsoft, and they are all worried. Worried about losing
control over their markets, about having to be interoperable with another
product rather than the reverse.

Sun knows all too well that they are threatened by Linux. Sun WAS the dominating
server provider for Internet services, no more. That is their heritage and it is
threatened by a competitor they can't buy and can't easily fight against.

Just wait everyone, you think the legal wrangling is bad now? Wait until the
real parties step up to the plate, namely Microsoft and OSDL. Microsoft is
poised to go on a full out assault to destroy Linux once and for all, using the
club of software patents. And Linux's future is by no means certain to survive
this assault, at least in the US court system.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun Shows Their True Colors and Attorney Denise Howell on SCO
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 02:24 PM EDT
Schwartz needs to check his facts. RealPlayer is, in fact, open source.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun Shows Their True Colors and Attorney Denise Howell on SCO
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 02:26 PM EDT
I think, following the traditions of this site, this operating system should be
called GNU/Linux, as opposed to just 'Linux' (unless you refer to the kernel

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: stephen_pollei on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 02:51 PM EDT

Brent O. Hatch
Brent, James & Dodge

Stephen N. Zack(admitted pro hac vice)
Mark J. Heise(admitted pro hac vice)
Davik K. Markarian(admitted pro hac vice)


Attorneys for Plantiff/Counterclaim Defendant



Case No. 2:03CV0294DAK

Hon. Dale A. Kimball
Magistrate Judge Brooke Wells


Plaintiff/Counterclaim-Defendant The SCP Group("SCO"), by and
through undersigned
counsel, hereby moves the Court pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b) for dismissal,
or, in the alternative, to stay or separate, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 42(b),
counts Nine, Ten, and Fourteen of Counterclaim-Plaintiff International Business
Corporation's("IBM") Secind Amended Counterclaims against SCO.

SCO bases its Motion to dismiss/stay or separate on the following

In counts Nine and Ten of IBMS's "Second Amended Counterclaims
Against SCO" IBM
seeks a declaratory judgement that IBM has not infringed on any SCO copyrights
allegedly, SCO's copyrights are invalid. The issue of validity of SCO's
copyrights is pending
in litigation in Nevada. In count Fourteen, IBM seeks a declaratory judgement
that all of
IBM's contentions in its numerous other counterclaims against SCO are valid and
should be
declared so, and that all claims SCO has made against IBM in SCO's Complaint are
These counterclaims should be dismissed in that they are redundant of issues
already presented
in this litigation and in the pending Nevada litigation.

Count Fourteen is no than a sweeping reiteration of
the core issues in this case,
repackaged as a declaratory judgement request. Courts have frequently declined
to issue a declaration,
where redundant of relief sought in its other counts, because the relief sought
will be afforded, if at all, in the other counts. As such, this Court should
decline to excercise
jurisdiction over Count Fourteen of IBM's Second Amended Counterclaims Against
SCO on the basis that it
is redundant of IBM's allegation in the other counts, as well as SCO's
allegations in other counts.

Counts Nine and Ten raise issues that are redundant of those presented
in the prior filed
Nevada action and therefore should be dismissed or stayed. Having the validity
of SCO's
copyrights determined in this action as well in the
federal court in Nevada would entail
duplication of judicial efforts and run the risk of
varying adjudications. Moreover, two federal
courts should not simultaneously be determing whether the same copyrights are
valid. Counts
Nine and Ten should be dismissed or stayed pending the Nevada litigation.

Alternatively, Counts Nine and Ten should be separated pursuant to
Fedral Rule of Civil
Procedure Rule 42(b). IBMS's copyright counts are separable and can therefore by

I will try finishing up the text version of this.

[ Reply to This | # ]

"Time to think about OpenOffice and Sun pulling a SCO someday, gang"
Authored by: Synonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 02:55 PM EDT
Well, then let us do homework over Sun and OpenOffice. Just think, if everyone
had done homework before SCO sued, perhaps SCO wouldn't have bothered in the
first place.

Is there any doubts that openoffice is GPLed? Save back up copies off Sun's
server with the GPL on it. Get the quotes saying they released it under the GPL
today, and not 5 years from now when they are going backrupt and do a SCO in

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • No "gang" - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, April 28 2004 @ 12:18 AM EDT
Jonathan's Dream?
Authored by: howard_b_golden on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 03:03 PM EDT
I suspect Mr. Schwartz dreams of being Bill Gates with a ponytail.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun Shows Their True Colors and Attorney Denise Howell on SCO
Authored by: lifewish on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 03:24 PM EDT
I like the concept of FOSS software, but I wouldn't say I'm a zealot. I do have
a couple of very practical reasons:

1) Most Linux is free (I use Debian). I resent any attempt to
"commercialise" software released to the world in this way, as it
costs me directly. I'm only a student - I don't want to have to cut into my
budget with the windows tax and similar.

2) I would consider myself to be a power user (ie I break my install in more
interesting ways than is usual:) ) and I do genuinely enjoy the fact that if
something doesn't do precisely what I want it to I can fiddle the code til it
does. It is a testament to the skill of open source developers that it is rare
for me to need to do this

3) I also fiddle with software programming, and linux provides an excellent
source of sample code for me to learn from.


"Diplomacy: the art of saying 'Nice doggy' until you can find a stick" - Wynn

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun Shows Their True Colors and Attorney Denise Howell on SCO
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 03:52 PM EDT
Where this comes into play is if someone has used the MS fonts in documents and
you want to migrate those documents to another Word Processor... if there were a
conversion engine to do this where you could convert whole file volumes from
the target file format to the new format... then that would help.

Otherwise - the new Word Processor needs the MS fonts!

[ Reply to This | # ]

No Evangelists at Sun?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 03:56 PM EDT

Despite some of our peers in the industry who hire people with titles like evangelist, our folks have titles like developer and architect

Isn't "Evangelist" just another term for marketer? Sun doesn't have a marketing department? This would explain a lot, actually...

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun Shows Their True Colors and Attorney Denise Howell on SCO
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 04:20 PM EDT
What is exactly your problem with Sun?
If only the fact they license stuff from M$.
I guess that won't harm Linux or FOSS in general.
Maybe it will kill Sun, or not, why do we care?
Sure, i won't like Sun more because of this marriage, but the quotes you listed
from Sun aren't that scandalous.

On the other hand you protect Redhat. Well, i don't really like the move they
made with Fedora. I consider switching distro due to that 'backstab'.
Previously, I had RH for more than 4 years.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Fedora is awsome - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 08:36 PM EDT
Sun Shows Their True Colors and Attorney Denise Howell on SCO
Authored by: grayhawk on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 04:20 PM EDT
I love the following quote....

"So, with interoperability and a focus on ease of use, we're trying to use
both StarOffice as well as Java Studio Creator to create a broader market
opportunity and add interoperability to that mix. It's about growing the largest
market possible, trying to help build the biggest tent atop all the developers
in the world rather than forcing people to go make choices that may preclude
their opportunities. . . .So, I am very convinced, with Steve, that he who has
the most customers—and I would just add developers into that—is ultimately going
to be the long-term winner. "

I guess that FOSS will be the long term winner since according to this statement
we not only have the largest customer install base but we also have the largest
research and development department in the world. No corporation can touch us.
We have Phd's, undergrads, corporations, hackers, naturals (folks that eat sleep
and breath computer but never had formal computer education) and just plain
ordinary folk doing development. We have contributers from every culture in the
world and customers world wide. So I guess according to Sun's comment we can
wish them bye bye and we shall see them on the down side. Then it will be
"We told you so".

How foolish of them to think that proprietary is going to be the way to
profitability. Don't they realize that software has become a commodity. How
much more can you add to a word processor that would warrent an update and at
$140+ a crack. They are off their rocker if they believe that.

"rather than forcing people to go make choices that may preclude their

Since when is having a choice equated with force. It is not being given a
choice that is a force. Also having a choice doesn't preclude anyones
opportunity. They still think the market is too stupid to make an intelligent
decision. How droll. What an insult to every technology user and customer to
be told let us make the choice for you since giving you that opportunity might
preclude an opportunity. Since when do I need someone else to do my thinking
for me?!

To think these people run companies. If we built houses the way they build
corporate strategy, the first woodpecker that came along would destroy

As a computer user, a college Linux instructor and a former management
consultant, I find their views not only stupid but terribly insulting. I would
not recommend their products to my students who in most cases are from the IT
departments that are converting to Linux.

All ships are safe in a harbour but that is not where they were meant to be.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The excluded middle
Authored by: capitalist_pig on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 04:35 PM EDT
First of all, I have to say that I think we should wait and see what Sun does.
They have contributed to open source before, and it seems that many of their
strategies resemble those being pursued by RedHat, Novell/SuSE, and other Linux

That being said...

It seems to me that there are two versions of the future being pushed in the IP
world today. I will call them DRMWorld and GNUWorld.

In DRMWorld, absolutely everything is owned and to create anything you must pay
taxes to patent and copyright holders. In DRMWorld it is impossible to develop
software and possibly even other works without millions to billions of dollars
or expensive legal insurance to handle all the lawsuits you will inevitably have
to fight or settle. In DRMWorld, fair use is severely restricted and hardware
devices are built with built-in control devices to ensure that you never use any
piece of information in any way other than exactly how the original author
intended it. Copyrights are perpetual and almost anything (including vague
concepts!) can be patented.

In GNUWorld, everything is free. Companies can only make money through
services, and all software is open source. Anyone is free to copy and
redistribute anyone else's product regardless of how much money or effort they
spent on it. There is no protection of R&D investment whatsoever, and
anytime something is patented the patent-holder gets feces thrown at them by
thousands of open source zealots. Big corporations use open-source rhetoric to
"lean" on smaller companies to open-source their products, thereby
destroying the revenue streams of smaller competitors. In general, nobody can
make any significant amount of money doing creative work.

It seems to me... and I know I'm gonna get flamed for this... but it seems to me
that BOTH of these scenarios are absolutely INSANE and the people pushing them

That's right. I'm calling Darl McBride, Steve Ballmer, Sonny Bono, and Richard
Stallman loonies. All of you are bloody loonies.

Whatever happened to sane intellectual property rights? Whatever happened to
the idea that the author has the right to license their creation any way they
see fit? Whatever happened to a sane patent system where only novel and
non-obvious *inventions* can be patented? Whatever happened to
limited-durations for copyrights?

If we let the loonies (of either side) run the debate, then we will get one of
the two insane outcomes described above.

That will be all.

[ Reply to This | # ]

healty environment
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 04:37 PM EDT
i have only skimmed this article, but got far enough to make this comment:

i think Linux needs a healthy environment, composed of both open source and
traditional proprietary applications in order to make inroads in home-user

the reason? home users are used to buying shrink-wrap software, and i think
proprietary vendors are most oriented to serving that need.

(the may get the hang of net-downloads of open source apps later, and that is

it is really to the point where i (a longtime open source user and developer)
almost think that writing a few closed an proprietary apps would help the cause
more at this point than Yet Another Open Source editor/email/spreadsheet etc.

it would help make the software-sphere more understandable and accesible to
Windows refuges.

so (even while i don't trust Sun terribly far), i'll agree with the broad
strokes of their argument. "both" is better than one or the other.

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Sun Underestimates the gravity of their position RE Java!
Authored by: javajedi on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 04:41 PM EDT
I am a senior software architect for a very large telecom firm. I have spent the last several years designing, coding and expanding a java enterprise application because we needed something cross platform, something that would run on Windows clients, Solaris and Linux Servers, and in general be completely platform agnostic in as much as was possible. So what happens when a development platform you once supported begins to take an apparenly dangerous direction when you are an advocate of open source software and ideals?

Here are the steps I am taking:

4 years ago I was involved in helping to make decisions as to our servers, needed for the planned development of our application. I recommended Sun as did several others involved. Today we are considering hardware upgrades and being in a position to influenmce the decisions, though I am not the one to make the final decisions, my current recommendation will be IBM iSeries running Linux.

While recommending a complete rewrite of software under development for 4 years would seriously compromise my job, I have begun rigorously testing our applications to ensure that they run on the IBM JVM, not wanting to be locked into any possible future SUN shenanigans.

I have downloaded the code for Kaffe and the GNU classpath project and intend to become involved in contributing to the development of these open source efforts.

I have recommended SuSe Linux for development desktops rather than the Sun Java Desktop. Thank you Sun for sending out the evaluation CD that clearly shows me you want to hide the origins and roots of your distro and also keep from letting people know about their rights under the GPL, I was about to make a grave error and recommend your desktop to the company instead. I was disgusted with the lengths Sun went to in order to keep from making anything GNU/Linux obvious in their product. They have, perhaps, followed the letter of the legalities involved by including a very hard to find copy of the GPL somewhere on the CD but certainly do not comply to the spirit of the GPL.

Sun apparently has no clue as to the support they HAD from the open source community due to our embrace of a truly cross platform development language. They also have no clue how drastically it will affect their bottom line for hardware sales when Open Source advocates as well as former Java enthusiasts begin recommending something other than Sun Hardware. It seems clear to me that the "power of the dark side" has begun to lure Sun away. I fought to keep .NET out of our development environment for a long time, not only because it was a proprietary single vendor, lock-in technology but also because it would not scale and would not have been a successful path to take for my applications. I will fight for an open source java alternative and failing a change in direction that would allow that (not necessarily from Sun, but rather perhaps from IBM, BEA, some of the other techniology companies that have a huge investment in java type technology) I will find alternative development languages and platforms to support in the future.

Sun, if you are listening, a vast majority of your java supporters are open source enthusiasts and yes, evangelists as well. To paraphrase the words of Obi-Wan... If you strike us down we will become far more powerful than you can imagine!

The Matrix is real... but i'm only visiting...

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A Corporation Doesn't Speak with a Single Voice
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 04:56 PM EDT
The weakness of this article is the assumption that a company like Sun speaks
with a single voice. It doesn't, even when that voice is an executive officer's,
or is presented as an official representative.

That's not to say that there are no proprietary elements in Sun. Obviously,
there are. However, the fact that you could easily take other sets of comments
to prove that Sun is a friend of open source software shows that the article is
based on a fundamental misunderstanding of companies.

It's more realistic to say that Sun is a friend of Sun's. It will flip-flop
between sounding proprietary and open source depending on what's most convenient
at the time for its current set of goals. Both claims will be partly true and
partly false.

PJ's analysis of legal matters is second to none. But in this article, I'm
afraid, her lack of experience in business largely discredits what she says.

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Night of the living Dead
Authored by: dracoverdi on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 04:57 PM EDT
If Microsoft is using SCO as a proxy to attack the GPL then they did it by
making SCO into a zombie. SCO, a mostly dead company, presents the semblance of
a living company by feeding off the money Microsoft pumps, and encourages others
to pump into it. In return, SCO fights a twilight battle to delay and discourage
the growth of Linux and the GPL in general.

It sounds like Microsoft has discarded SCO as a lost cause and is using the
knowledge it gained to animate Sun. We should find out how much money Microsoft
is directing at Sun, that will give us an idea of how big a fight to expect in
the next round.

Why do they seem to prefer victims with three letter names beginning with 'S'

Seriously I think that we can expect more companies to suddenly come into large
amounts of Microsoft money while quickly deciding to denounce Linux. It will be
an astonishing coincidence, really.

Pizza is an acceptable breakfast.
Just think of it as a large pepperoni danish

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Sun is targetting a different audience.
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 06:24 PM EDT
You're right that we won't abandon suse, mandrake, red hat et al.

But if they can create a better desktop system, even if its proprietry but runs
on linux, its better than Microsoft where nothing is free.

Oh and I detect some amount of hypocrisy - Sounds like Sun is following a
similar strategy that apple did with OSX. The BSD license helps apple more than
the GPL helps sun, but even so how can you claim to like Apple, but now bash

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the real question
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 07:51 PM EDT
Is Sun in breach of the GPL? If not, move along, nothing to see here folks...

I've just read about a comparison between MS Office and OOo... Being done
because FN (in case you don't know, one of the main small weapons providers
to the world at large) wanted to see how to enlarge their bottom line.

So don't tell me about the goodygoodyness of GPL software. It's not about a
better world. It's a license.
If the devil himself wanted to build a distribution for his own reasons, all
have to do is be in compliance with the license.

So, I repeat: if Sun is complying, that's it.

Disclaimer: I couldn't care less about Sun. I do care about FN and stuff, but
this here's not the place to bore you with atrocies...

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Sun Shows Their True Colors and Attorney Denise Howell on SCO
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 08:01 PM EDT
I'm becoming dissalusioned with groklaw of late. It started out providing very
usefull information and insightfull information. Now it is just becoming a
collection of Sun bashers -- with constant speculation on its motives. Do these
same people truly believe that IBM, Redhat, Novell et al, are not interested in
making money for their shareholders?

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Sun Shoots themselves in foot
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 08:10 PM EDT
Thankfully, Sun has shot itself in its foot (again) with the Java Desktop
System, which is more about technologies other than Java than it is about Java,
but that's the point, isn't it? See, Sun killed its chances of marketing their
Linux distribution by calling it "Java" Something. Java is so 1990s.
So dot com.

But the desktop is about Linux and Gnome and Ximian and ... oh yeah, it runs
Java stuff, and python and perl and mono and C and C++ and Fortran and...

Techies aren't fooled. Non-techies eyes glaze when they hear Java. The buzz is
Linux. The buzz is GPL. SCO's audacious claims roused even more interest in
Linux and the GPL. Not "Java." If Sun weren't focused on their
reflection in the mirror they'd come out with StarLinux by Sun to capitalize on
StarOffice. I'm not saying it's great or would suceed, but it'd be a heck of a
lot better than Java Desktop.

But, then, Sun is on the wrong side of the SCO/Linux debacle, aren't they.
Cluess, the Sun folk.

No wonder the Joy has left Sun.

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Sun Shows Their True Colors and Attorney Denise Howell on SCO
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 09:27 PM EDT
I was a Sun apologist until recently.

Forget the technical arguements. They won't state their philosophy. Everyone
knows where SCO stands, or IBM, or Microsoft,or even HP. Where do Sun stand???

Brian S.

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This is how you make enemies and get your friends fighting each other
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 09:33 PM EDT
The primary rule of reporting is that the reporter does not become part of
the story.

The primary rule of lawyering is that the lawyer does not become part of
the case.

The primary rule of doctoring is that the doctor does not harm the patient.

The primary rule of engineering is that the engineer ensures the safety of
the users.

These are professional standards of conduct that most Groklaw readers
understand. PJ broke a lot of rules today.

The attack Chihuahuas are all barking and a lot of us are left shaking our
heads. Is it fear that motivates these continuing attacks on Sun Micro?

The only technology that Sun Micro owns that FLOSS is involved with is their
Java stuff. Sun had to partner with MS to avoid the fate of DEC (too small a
market share/mind share). Sun still has to rebuild their product base to avoid
the fate of Novell in the 90's (obsolete products). The odds are stacked
against Sun Micro, but they are trying their level best.

Groklaw can learn a lot from these business people. They put a lot of faith
in their partners. They value character very highly. Like elephants, they do
not forget. IBM has alliances with Redhat and Novell. Now, MS has one with
Sun. The FLOSS community is in the cat bird seat for this show.

What value does Groklaw put on character? What kind of partner is FLOSS?

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Sun Shows Their True Colors and Attorney Denise Howell on SCO
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 10:47 PM EDT
Oh no, is Groklaw going into the "next SCO" business ?. A whole lot of
spin and nothing to say IMHO. FUD is FUD and has the same name no matter who
writes it. SUN, last year, made the deal with SUSE (before Novell) for the linux
used in JD. It was then, as is now known about this deal, why not then did
anyone think that SUN without Microsoft could have done the same as being placed
as the "idea" here ?. The date will arrive when the SCO case will be
history, let us move forward with the future, and not continue to live in fear
of the past. Three steps forward with two steps back, that what happens with
every time "we" re-live the SCO case. The three steps forward is the
fact that linux is bigger-success than it was at the start of this SCO lawsuit,
more new distros then there was before this SCO lawsuit; the two steps back are
simple, those that continue with the past, slow development, buy less, do less
with nothing more then FUD and not a bit of evidence.

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Sun Shows Their True Colors and Attorney Denise Howell on SCO
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 27 2004 @ 11:57 PM EDT
I wonder if what Sun is up to is really so radically different from what Apple does - after all, Mac OS X has open source as its basis (the Darwin project and others), has a big EULA associated with it, and seems to survive just fine both on the free software side (see the FSF comments on the APSL 2.0 as a free software license) and the commercial side (Quartz and other Apple proprietary stuff run under Darwin in Mac OS X). The GPL complicates this for Sun, but if I'm not mistaken, many Darwin components are also GPL, with explict Apple exceptions (see for example the CUPS exception) given by the authors. So it's not impossible to do what Sun has in mind. Although possibly they're not starting about it with quite the same transparency that Apple did.


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Sun Shows Their True Colors and Attorney Denise Howell on SCO
Authored by: blacklight on Wednesday, April 28 2004 @ 12:45 AM EDT
"To us, it's really emblematic of the nature of the relationship we have
with Microsoft, which is a deeply held belief that a rising tide lifts all
boats, and that interoperability between Sun and Microsoft grows the overall
market for both of our products rather than advantages one company versus
another." Jonathan Schwartz

Who cares about the freaking boats? A rising tide allows the salt water crocs to
go places they couldn't go before. Microsoft and the Sun are pooling their
strengths to snack on their customers the way crocs snack on people.

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Sun Shows Their True Colors and Attorney Denise Howell on SCO
Authored by: blacklight on Wednesday, April 28 2004 @ 12:58 AM EDT
I wouldn't object if the Sun came out with a CD that mixed up their proprietary
utilities and whatnot along with the GPL'ed software: in my opinion, it's a
perfectly legitimate way to create value add. However, the CD must be
distributed in terms that: (1) make clear which software is GPL, and which
software falls under a different license; (2) forbid the duplication of the CD,
but explicitly acknowledge that the GPL'ed software may be dplicated under the
terms of the GPL; (3) that the GPL'ed software be fully acknowledged as such, no
sleight of hand allowed.

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Check and Recheck
Authored by: lilo on Wednesday, April 28 2004 @ 05:03 PM EDT

Check the licensing. Check the code for possible patent- and copyright-related problems. Check and re-check where Sun is concerned. Think about the fact that they can buy a patent at the last minute as easily as they can file one. But if you can use, do it if it works for you.

And think about this: as the FOSS community grows in size and influence, we need to pay more and more attention to to the idea that IP law is mutable. Changing the law to better accomodate a public good (FOSS) can only be a good thing.

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Sun Shows Their True Colors and Attorney Denise Howell on SCO
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, April 28 2004 @ 10:34 PM EDT
Microsoft is trying to kill OpenOffice through Sun. MS must see OpenOffice as a
major threat and will have Sun choke it off. Sun will fork OpenOffice with MS
proprietary addon's. Here's my theory:

MS knows that Linux will succeed on the Desktop unless OpenOffice is killed. So
Ballmer offered Sun MS proprietary technology to include in Java Desktop if they
choke off OpenOffice. Sun would be very happy with that, they *get* MS
compatiable technology not only with Java Desktop but with Solaris on Sparc!

SideNote: Sun hates Linux and x86. Intel poured water on the Sparc years ago.
Now AMD came in and pee'ed all over the Sparc too :) However, without Linux and
x86, Sun would be pretty close to going out of business, by the way.

Sun is not embracing change, they are actually clinging on to their 80's
business model with MS help. MS is glad to help, they can keep Sun in line by
dangling MS technology to them on a stick and string.

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