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Sontag in 2002 on Enterprise Features of SCO Linux 4.0
Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 03:25 AM EDT

I found something. Something that I think is important.

It has to do with SCO claiming that while it's true they distributed Linux under the GPL, they never realized that the high-end code they now claim is infringing was in there. You may remember SCO Senior VP Chris Sontag indicating it was inadvertent on their part, so the GPL didn't count:

"The GPL requires the intentional act of the legal copyright holder to affirmatively and knowingly donate the source code to the GPL," Sontag said. "You can't inadvertently GPL your code."

Remember all the speculation about the cow and mutual mistake that ensued? Aside from the logical disjoint, namely that SCO, last I heard, isn't claiming to be the copyright holder of the enterprise code in question, I never believed Caldera didn't know it was in there, or that it was a mistake, because it was unthinkable that a software company would distribute software without looking at it to see what was in it and because I understand how the GPL works, but how do you *prove* that they knew they were distributing enterprise code and doing so under the GPL?

I believe I may have found it. Something Sontag himself said in 2002 that indicates to me that he knew about the enterprise features in the kernel of their UnitedLinux distro, SCO Linux 4.0, which was distributed under the GPL.

Of course, it's clear somebody knew, just by looking at the list of components in SCO Linux 4.0, released in November of 2002, including enterprise features they are now challenging. Here is the list in a very thorough description of UnitedLinux in an article dated November 1, 2002, "Inside UnitedLinux", which focuses particularly on SCO's rendition of UnitedLinux, SCO Linux 4.0, and you'll see on the list things like NUMA and JFS. Your tour guide is John Terpstra. Terpstra ought to know what was in UnitedLinux. He "co-originated the concept of forming what has become the UnitedLinux initiative." Here is his biographical blurb from the end of the article:

"John H. Terpstra is CEO/President of PrimaStasys, Inc., which works with software developers and resellers to maximize profitability through the deployment of open source software. John is a frequent speaker at open source and other industry events. An IT professional with over 18 years industry experience, he serves on the Open Source Software Institute Advisory Board, co-originated the concept of forming what has become the UnitedLinux initiative, is a co-founder of the Samba team, has worked with the Linux Standards Base for a number of years, and co-founded the Li18nux Initiative."

Here is what he lists for the kernel used in SCO Linux 4.0:

Linux kernel

The kernel is based on linux-2.4.19 with enterprise features enabled. The facilities and capabilities of the kernel include:

  • File systems: Ext2, Ext3, JFS, Reiserfs, Logical Volume Manager (LVM); note that the kernel had support for POSIX ACLs as well as Extended Attributes
  • I/O: raw I/O and asynchronous I/O
  • Execution: Next Generation POSIX Threading (NGPT is a derivative of pThreads), HyperThreading
  • Memory: NUMA, Memory Extension Technology (MXT), Large Memory Support (64GB physical RAM)
  • SAN support: iSCSI
  • Modern hardware support: ACPI
  • SNMP/CIM support
  • Protocols: IPv6

You can also read a UnitedLinux whitepaper [PDF], which defines all the above and provides more details. Or check out SCO's own PDF on SCO Linux 4.0.

But SCO could say something like, "Ok, we see the list, but, honestly, all our executives were on Thanksgiving vacation that November when we did that distribution, and no one could reach them, and some rogue, out-of-control programmers released it without our approval. We had no idea SCO Linux 4.0 was enterprise enabled. As soon as we realized it, we stopped distributing. Here's a list of all the executives who will line up to take the stand and swear on the Bible that it happened just that way."

You might believe it's a bogus deal, but in court you have to actually prove it. How?

I believe this might be one way and just might do it, an article from eWeek, "SuSE, SCO to Unveil Latest Linux Distributions" by Peter Galli, dated November 19, 2002, in which SCO Senior VP Chris Sontag was interviewed and mentions the enterprise features in this GPL distribution:

"In contrast, SCO is differentiating itself from SuSE and Red Hat by concentrating on the small- to medium-sized business market with its latest release. Chris Sontag, the senior vice president for the operating system division at SCO, told eWEEK in an interview that the product will be sold through SCO's 16,000 resellers worldwide and targets replicated branch offices in vertical industries like banking, retail, hospitality and restaurants.

"'SCO Linux 4.0 is a next-generation enterprise server class offering, with automated installation, high-availability clustering technology, large memory support and memory expansion technology. While this release focuses on the 32-bit platform, we will deliver a release for the Itanium II family of processors in the first quarter of next year,' he said."

And they did release for the Itanium family of processors, with glowing words by Opinder Bawa, then Senior Vice President of SCO's Engineering and Global Services. I believe he could testify as to whether SCO knew what was inside the kernel used in SCO Linux 4.0, in addition.

Well, well. There you have it. A senior executive, Chris Sontag, the senior vice president for the operating system division at SCO -- the very one who later told the world they didn't know about the enterprise features they distributed under the GPL -- telling a journalist, in the hope that he would tell the world, about SCO Linux 4.0's enterprise features.

I don't see how they can credibly argue that they didn't know, now that this quotation has surfaced. And I'm guessing in the conversation with Mr. Galli, Sontag may well have gone into some detail. I know when journalists do interviews, they may ask 10 or 20 questions, end up with pages and pages of answers, and finally use just a paragraph or two, sometimes less, in the final article. I know, because I am a journalist and I conduct interviews. Mr. Galli, do you, by any chance, still have your notes? If so, could you take a look, please? It's important.


Sontag in 2002 on Enterprise Features of SCO Linux 4.0 | 294 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
OT here please
Authored by: inode_buddha on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 03:34 AM EDT
Thanks in advance.

"When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not price." --
Richard M. Stallman

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sontag in 2002 on Enterprise Features of SCO Linux 4.0
Authored by: Mira-Ceti on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 03:47 AM EDT
Great detective work PJ !

It remindes me of two old sayings "Oh what a tangled web we weave when
first we practice to decieve".
"Liars must have a good memory"

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sontag in 2002 on Enterprise Features of SCO Linux 4.0
Authored by: Juggler9 on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 03:51 AM EDT
<irony>Unfortunately this involves relying on a SCOG-related press release
as factual. </irony>

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sontag in 2002 on Enterprise Features of SCO Linux 4.0
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 03:56 AM EDT
The link seems to be out of order

[ Reply to This | # ]

Error - the real link is here...
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 04:08 AM EDT
The article isn't linked, properly, use this...,1759,1494972,00.asp


[ Reply to This | # ]

Sontag in 2002 on Enterprise Features of SCO Linux 4.0
Authored by: Retep Vosnul on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 04:39 AM EDT
In other news :

SCO Claims to own all copyrights and patents on several methods of
"shooting yourself in the foot".

Blake Stowell ( From now on BS ) told the FUD speading media that SCO could
start a investigation to see if Groklaws methods of debunking there
"bussiness tactics" is in violation with the DMCA or infact ANY
acronym that can come up with.

BS : " We really feel that our methods have been reverse engeneered to make
us look bad , We will certainly look in to this possible violation of our god
given rights "

When trying to reach people to comment on this all we got were prerecorded
messages that mostly say something about a "very very cold shower" and
"would happily comment if [person] could stop laughing"

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sontag in 2002 on Enterprise Features of SCO Linux 4.0
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 04:59 AM EDT
Hmmm... I suspect Google will suddenly get lots of requests for
"unitedlinux sontag".

And with results worth following up on. Such as, similar interview by Jacqueline
Emigh, with Sontag, about the same release, in Internetnews, also from Nov 19,
2002. I imagine Mr. Sontag may regret having such a google-able name.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sontag in 2002 on Enterprise Features of SCO Linux 4.0
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 05:16 AM EDT
The text after the item list doesn't seems right.
Obviously you haven't closed the item list.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sontag in 2002 on Enterprise Features of SCO Linux 4.0
Authored by: shingebis on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 05:30 AM EDT
I'm not sure that this in itself demolishes their argument. They still have the
defence "Sure, we knew that Linux had JFS, NUMA and all that stuff, but at
the time of SCO Linux 4.0 we were under the impression that they were all
clean-room implementations that had never been within a ten-mile radius of UNIX
source code, and were therefore OK".

I dare say it wouldn't take an awful lot of digging to find contradictions to
that position, though - one thing that springs to mind is their claim over ABIs
and header files, which would tend to make clean-room implementations (by SCO
standards) impossible.

[ Reply to This | # ]

To borrow a quote from Die Hard...
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 05:38 AM EDT

The quarterback is toast!

Probably two of them by now. Mr McBride has been pretty quite as well since he was caught in multiple ... um... non-remembrances of what he previously said.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Lovely piece of sleuthing!
Authored by: sleepless.knight on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 05:48 AM EDT
I'll be watching this thread carefully! It'll be very interesting to see where
those embroiled in various disputes with SCO might be able to take it!

- C.

[ Reply to This | # ]

One better -- exact same thing, from SCO proper.
Authored by: Vaevictis on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 06:03 AM EDT

It says almost the exact same thing, except it's (C) SCO 2002 -- November, in

[ Reply to This | # ]

Regarding "rogue programmers" and VP's not knowing it.
Authored by: Vaevictis on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 06:22 AM EDT
I am obviously not a lawyer, so you will want to doublecheck what I say.
However I have talked to some people who would have cause to know about this
(MBAs, Certified Fraud Examiners, retired lawyers), so I am not totally talking
out of my posterior here.

My understanding of business law is such that it doesn't matter if the top of
the heap knows. If an individual at the company has the authority to make an
agreement, then once the agreement is made, it IS made. Furthermore, in my
understanding, that person doesn't even need to have been given authority -- the
if the outside party is reasonable in believing that individual can make the
deal, then the deal is binding.

Now, as far the person being given authority -- obviously, these people had the
authority. Someone in the code path had to have the authority to integrate it.
Someone in charge of the people in the code path had to approve what they
integrated. Someone above that had to approve of the final master CD. Someone
(probably parallel) had to approve the boxing. Someone had to approve the
licensing. Someone had to write the press release I wrote above, and someone
had to approve the RELEASE of that press release. Is SCO trying to tell me that
NONE of these people, especially the PR people whose job it is to not only
communicate with the public but also to vet what is said, is SCO _really_ trying
to tell us that NONE of these people had the authority to do what they did?

Even if none of them had the authority to do what we did, if my understanding of
the law is correct, it doesn't matter if they did, because we are all reasonable
to expect that these people in fact did have the authority.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Relevant links and quotes
Authored by: inode_buddha on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 06:38 AM EDT
Here is SCO's own UnitedLinux page. Interesting that it shows up in their "Investor Relations" site. Ransom Love has something to say here; there's all kinds of good stuff in that link (Businesswire).

"When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not price." -- Richard M. Stallman

[ Reply to This | # ]

Anotehr Sontag enterprise quote!
Authored by: chris_bloke on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 06:45 AM EDT

This time from tml?articleId=38652&_requestid=24990

"Version 4.0 is an entirely new animal," said Chris Sontag, senior vice president of The SCO Group's operating systems division, noting the company will offer migration tools to enable partners to upgrade customers from the company's previous OpenLinux platform to SCO Linux Server. "It's a best-of-class enterprise server product, but we're focused on small to medium-size businesses and will focus our solutions to their requirements."

Gentlemen (and gentlewomen), start your search engines!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sontag in 2002 on Enterprise Features of SCO Linux 4.0
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 06:59 AM EDT
Then there is this paragraph in <a
magazine about how good SCO Linux is at enterprise-level operations, such as
running IBM's DB2.

"SCO Linux 4.0, powered by UnitedLinux, continues to impress our customers
and partners with its unrivaled dependability and universality as well as its
price performance. As the leading relational database management system, IBM DB2
Version 8.1 makes SCO Linux an even more viable and valuable operating
system," said Chris Sontag, senior vice president, SCO Operating Systems
division. "SCO Linux with DB2 is sure to meet the needs of the enterprise
as well as the small-to-medium sized business looking for a secure and reliable
database solution."
ine searching for "sontag enterprise linux 2002" in Google

[ Reply to This | # ]

SCO press release site has this and more
Authored by: PeteS on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 07:03 AM EDT
Go to This SCO Site and enjoy all the details.

Note that there is an SSL certificate warning in Firebord/Firefox.

Note in particular, the following story

Of course, you may wish to peruse all of them so we can get it from SCOG's own servers (a tacit admission of facts?)

1. SCO President & CEO Addresses Commonwealth Government and Business Leaders on Open Source

This has this beautiful tidbit at the bottom (although the entire thing is interesting)

Caldera, the Caldera logos, SCO and the associated SCO logo, SCO OpenServer, SCO UnixWare, and SCO Update are trademarks or registered trademarks of The SCO Group in the U.S. and other countries. SCO Global Services is a service mark of The SCO Group. UNIX used under an exclusive license, is a registered trademarks of The Open Group in the United States and other countries. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. Microsoft and Windows are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. All other brand or product names are or may be trademarks of, and are used to identify products or services of, their respective owners.

Pete S

Today's subliminal thought is:

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sontag in 2002 on Enterprise Features of SCO Linux 4.0
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 07:05 AM EDT
Seems Mr Sontag was very vocal back in 2002 about SCO's support for Linux - this
time with relation to Arkeia (see

"SCO understands that for any operating system to be commercially viable,
especially Linux, it needs a well-defined roadmap from a trusted supplier who is
committed to and capable of supporting it," said Chris Sontag, senior vice
president, Operating Systems division, SCO. "SCO is uniquely qualified to
make the UnitedLinux platform viable for business because of its proven track

I love the bit about "a well-defined roadmap" - they didn't think it
was hidden under a bushel back then!
ine - this is fun

[ Reply to This | # ]

Not the whole 9 yard.
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 07:06 AM EDT
SCO's position on that will be the following:

"Your honour, of course we stressed the quality of the product we were
distributing under the GPL, that is our business. It was only at that time that
we had not realized that somebody had sneaked our core property into that
product and we were selling it out unwittingly."

But this is a very thin line. They knew that JFS was part of IBM's Unix
offerings. So either they have to claim not thinking at all at that time, or
they have to claim that IBM's act of distributing a file system that they also
adapted to Unix does not in itself constitute a contract breach, and they only
later discovered the breach by some actual factual findings.

But if they want to ride that line, they have to put something on the table that
they discovered. Like significant copied code or technology they could not have
known about before detecting it.

In short, they have to put up. The mere "contract violation" thing
they've retracted on does not fly when viewed in the light of their public

So I guess that those sorts of statements _are_ relevant. If IBM gets its
summary motion against copyright infringement through, SCO's case is very much
dead, since there is no way they can convince a jury, let alone a judge, that
they did not know about what they were actually advertising with.

So it is likely that a summary motion in the copyright question would be
followed up by a complete dismissal with prejudice in a reasonable time frame.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Just curious (re Sontag)
Authored by: publius_REX on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 07:06 AM EDT
I should look this up all by myself, but - not enough
coffee yet. Is Chris Sontag a holdover from Caldera.
Could he have been one of the original true believers in
Linux. Has he been living in the Twilight Zone since the
arrival of Darl the terrible? I thought he was one of
Darl's buddies, so these SCOLinux 4.0 anouncements are
impossibly inconsistent with all their talk in the last
1.5 years.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sontag in 2002 on Enterprise Features of SCO Linux 4.0
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 08:42 AM EDT
In May 2002, I attended a two day course on Caldera's Linux distribution and the
Volution mail server software they had developed. I received a free demo set of
disks for both products and a nice book full of statements like, "Caldera
fully supports the GPL, blah blah". I think that distributing free
software, giving free classes to promote GPL'd software and printing books full
of pro-GPL statements kinda contradicts the nonsense that Sontag is spouting

I'm constantly amazed at what these people will say in order to carry out their
campaign of IP blackmail.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sontag in 2002 on Enterprise Features of SCO Linux 4.0
Authored by: texasaggie on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 08:43 AM EDT
This is probably sheer coincidence, but I noticed the eWeek article mentioned
several prices, including a $699 price for the "classic" edition.
That got me wondering if that was the basis for the current license fee they're
trying to get everyone to pay for.

[ Reply to This | # ]

How about SCO Documentation that states the same
Authored by: p0ssum on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 08:46 AM EDT
Here is a link to the wayback machine.

I don't think this is the same PDF as the UnitedLinux_Whitepaper, but I cannot
be sure as it is no
longer available;-) d0h. Anyhow, this is SCO talking about
all the features of Sco Linux 4.0 and needless to say it is
all listed.

I saved my copy, does anyhow have a copy of the United Linux Whitepaper they
could link to?

There are 10 types of people in this world, those that understand binary and
those that do not.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Opinder Bawa quote.
Authored by: tintak on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 08:47 AM EDT
"SCO Linux Server 4.0 for the Itanium Processor Family was developed with the enterprise user in mind, meeting the highest standards of reliability, availability, stability and security," said Opinder Bawa, senior vice president of SCO's Engineering and Global Services.
Dated April 21, 2003

This was announced after the SCOG v IBM suit was started.

Darl's folly.
"Somebody said it couldn't be done, and he knew it. So he tackled this thing that couldn't be done,... and he found that he couldn't do it!"

[ Reply to This | # ]

A Possible Defense
Authored by: emmenjay on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 08:54 AM EDT
Just knowing that (e.g.) JFS is included might not be enough.

Assuming that Mr Sontag is not a programmer, or at least wasn't doing Linux code
reviews at the time, he wouldn't necessarily know it was from AIX[1]. Many
sales/management types I've met can barely spell "JFS", let alone know
how hard it is to code.

It was (theoretically) only when their programmers and (mythical?) MIT
mathematicians started combing the code they came to that conclusion.

I'm not saying that's true, but SCO could possibly argue that. They do not seem
excessively worried about veracity.

[1] Didn't IBM claim that the JFS came originally from OS/2, and was ported to
Linux before AIX?

[ Reply to This | # ]

But .. Sontag was Green!
Authored by: SteveS on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 09:17 AM EDT
The only thing I could see as an argument to counter the "See what Sontag said" angle, is to hang him out to dry by saying: Well he had just come on at the end of October and was not up to speed yet...

Sontag comes to SCO

pretty weak though...

Steve S.

[ Reply to This | # ]

SCOG press release.
Authored by: tintak on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 09:26 AM EDT
From link
The SCOG press release was dated 15th April 2003

Strangely, (Not!) the link to SCOG returns a "Document Not Found" page. So they have made an effort to cover their tracks, but they do not seem to understand the internet.

Darl's folly.
"Somebody said it couldn't be done, and he knew it. So he tackled this thing that couldn't be done,... and he found that he couldn't do it!"

[ Reply to This | # ]

Error on the whitepaper link
Authored by: mhoyes on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 10:11 AM EDT
The link you have to the white paper is missing the ".pdf" on the end
so it makes it look as if the SCOG is watching and removing things as you report
them. Can you fix it up?


[ Reply to This | # ]

several major flaws in that - and pj forgets her own history
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 10:29 AM EDT
where to begin...?
There are several major flaws in his statements, and even outright

Not to mention it seems PJ has forgotten her (Groklaw's) own history.

Did we suddenly forget all the press releases?
Did we suddenly also forget that SCO is *STILL* distributing code with the GPL
note on it? (oopsy!) :)

And did we also forget all the statements from those at SCO doing the coding who
have signed and other statements from higher management stating they knew about
contributing to GPL all along?

please don't skim over the history by providing small links... Post them
outright in full, otherwise people will think this other stuff never happened,
and it did... I mean, we all read it right here on Groklaw not so long ago, and
again, read before that on SCOs own website, etc.

Once again SCO is trying to reinvent history, but they forget we were there, we
were all there, I guess they're hoping we've forgotten. I didn't forget, and I'm
sure most of the rest of us didn't either. Maybe they were banking on the fact
some of us would be too busy to remember all the little details - like it seems
that even PJ has forgotten some recent history here.

Does no one remember the statements reposted here about SCOs own coders with
full backing of upper management releasing the code to GPL? I mean it was all
over Groklaw for a while. Of course, that was OldSCO, not newSCO, so once again
that confusion enters the scene.

And lets not forget they've known about the current history since the lawsuits
began - we all reminded them. and they did nothing. And they're STILL doing
nothing about it - distributing code (on their ftp site, etc) to this day with
GPL plastered on it.

Whats the term for that ? laches? or is it "unclean hands" or both?
You can't enforce something on someone else if you refuse to enforce it on
yourself. just doesn't work. They failed to mitigate damages (to the extreme),
if they really meant this, all the offending code would have been removed a year
ago (or more). but it's not, it's still there.

ugh. more FUD... will SCO just please go away ? :)

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT: did Linux or WinNT eat Unix?
Authored by: belzecue on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 10:32 AM EDT

In Feb 2003, Darl said (in his SEC filings):

In the Intel UNIX operating system market, our competitors include Microsoft, Hewlett Packard and Sun. These competitors are aggressively pursuing the current UNIX operating system market. Many of these competitors have access to greater resources that we do. More recently, the major competitive alternative to our UNIX and Linux products is Microsoft's NT.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sontag in 2002 on Enterprise Features of SCO Linux 4.0
Authored by: John M. Horn on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 10:51 AM EDT
The seemingly tireless and indefatigable Pamela Jones has done it again! Good
work PJ. The spin doctors at SCOX will certainly fine it more difficult to spin
their 'prior ignorance' in light of this discovery.

It almost looks like Darl and Co., inexplicably, really think they have some
chance of successfully launching new operating system products. Their
engineering employees generally believe they work for the 'most hated company in
computing' and, frankly, I agree with them. Can Darl and Co. possibly have their
heads so far up in the clouds that they are unaware of the regard in which their
customer base holds them? I think not.

It is becoming so apparent that they are perpetuating an enormous 'scam' that
even the accomplished spin doctors at SCOX are finding it increasingly difficult
to spin their web of deceipt and fiction.

Though still some distance off, I think the end for them is finally in sight. I
suspect though, that end will be somewhat more spectacular than they had ever
envisioned, likely involving a plethora of players such as the SEC, criminal
courts, Judges, defense attorneys etc. If so, it couldn't happen to a nicer
bunch of folks...

John Horn

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT: counting the numbers
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 11:27 AM EDT
I am amazed how SCO is able to litigate without going broke... everyday I half
except to see a news item telling SCO got bankrupt because of the lawsuit
(combined with how bad their products are doing).

Is it possible to somehow get an estimate of about how much SCO had in the bank,
how much was needed for the lawsuit, etc.

Then, is it possible to extrapolate this to the scenario where M$ goes bashing
with its patent-club, just to see how long they would last when faced with a
similar tenacity from here and the rest of the community?

I can see the community is making a clear difference here, to the point that I
ask myself: the ones that try to take on this development model, and its
community, aren't they suicidal?

The only thing I can see M$ can do is two things:
- break/sabotage the community
- break/sabotage the development model

Now we all know that they cannot break or sabotage the community, in fact most
people can smell a troll from miles away... however, they *can* try to sabotage
the development model... which is why the validity and usefulness of the GPL is
of the highest importance.

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT - The IBM Motion for PSJ
Authored by: blacklight on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 11:42 AM EDT
The mutual agreement on the new deadlines is a tacit acknowledgement on the part
of both parties that the context of the PSJ has changed with the Autozone case
being officially stayed. SCOG can no longer ask that IBM's PSJ be stayed because
the Autozone legislation will allegedly take care of the issue. They can
probably argue that the PSJ should be handled after the contracts aspect of the
case is resolved as a matter of logistics (IBM's counterclaims came after SCOG's
claims), and discovery in progress (although to be blunt about it, SCOG has
nothing to show for the 242 versions of AIX and Dynix that it got and that SCOG
has practically admitted that in its filings that it simply had not done due
diligence when it filed its suit against IBM in the first place - No, your
Honor: Line by line code review takes ages).

However, SCOG is going to have to get past the fact that they have failed to
comply with two consecutive court orders from Judge Wells regarding discovery
and that SCOG has certified twice that they have fully complied with discovery.
Even if SCOG wins on the PSJ:

(1) the PSJ is still going to hang over their corporate heads as Judge Kimball
wil no doubt spell out the conditions which must be met for IBM to reintroduce
it, and it is only a matter of the trial progressing incementally enough for the
conditions to be met;

(2) IBM could follow closely on the PSJ by demanding that Judge Welles review
SCOG's compliance with the discovery requirements. The result in that review
will no doubt be a third consecutive court order reiterating SCOG's obligations.
And the number "three" failure to comply with three consecutive court
orders in a row about the same subject may very well be the straw that broke the
camel's back;

(3) and IBM could file a motion for summary judgment on whether IBM is in
compliance with the terms of the AT&T contract, as both sides agree that
its interpretation is crucial to the contract dispute and (I assume I am correct
about that) that the JFS, NUMMA, RCF and the fourth technology that I forgot are
UNIX derivatives. The fact that the David Frasure deposition, the $echo
newsletter, and the interpretative history of the contract (remember that none
of the UNIX licensees was ever found to be out of compliance until SCOG came
along and reinterpreted the contract) does not bode well for SCOG, as SCOG has
nothing but hot air. I believe that the best that SCOG could do against an IBM
motion for summary judgment on the terms of the contract is to expand its
requests for discovery and argue for more time - both of which thay are already

Unfortunately for SCOG, arguing for a dismissal of the PSJ will definitely work
against them in the RH litigation. But since SCOG is the rat in the tale, SCOG
gets the right to choose which rat poison flavored bonbons it wants to consume.

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Dangerous pseudo-legalese
Authored by: m_si_M on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 11:56 AM EDT
"The GPL requires the intentional act of the legal copyright holder to affirmatively and knowingly donate the source code to the GPL," Sontag said. "You can't inadvertently GPL your code."

Sontag and many others, including Microsoft, use this ridiculous legal argument to spread FUD. At first sight, the statement sounds convincing - and I have no doubt there are lots of executives around who believe the GPL is a way to give up copyrights, some sort of donating source code to the public domain.

However, if you read carefully, it becomes clear that it's pure nonsense. The GPL is no legal entity you can "donate" some code to. It's a license. Period. If Caldera licensed code under the GPL, they still own the copyrights and they are free to license their code under other licenses as well.

Personally, I think this kind of spin and FUD is more subtle and more dangerous to FOSS than TSCOG's lawsuits or statements about "stolen" code. Everybody should use his best efforts to educate the public, that the GPL is a legal means to protect copyrights, not the other way around.


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OT: Free Trade Sucks for OZ
Authored by: Tim Ransom on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 12:26 PM EDT
Good article on US/Australia 'free trade' deal. Specifically decries 'harmonising' with insane US patent/copyright disease.


Geez. And I thought us Canadians got burned with NAFTA.

Thanks again,

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Sontag in 2002 on Enterprise Features of SCO Linux 4.0
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 12:52 PM EDT
You see Darl is upset that he wasn't in charge when Ransom Love was, and is
trying to reset the stage so he can 'grow' SCO. Hence he changed the name (I
truly liked Caldera - and it is a shame that Darl blackend its history -
although he did manage to deflect some arrows with the name change). Now if
only he could get everyone to agree and just let him have his turn at making SCO
(Caldera) profitable and loved. Dream on Darl.

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Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 01:00 PM EDT
So during the trial Boies introduces Sontag as a witness:

BOIES: Mr. Sontag, evidence has been introduced about statements you made in
Now, Mr. Sontag, was it usual for you to lie just as much in 2002 as you do


BOIES: Mr. Sontag, you are now under oath. Are you lying now?

SONTAG: Probably...

BOIES: I must stipulate that Mr. Sontag's statements in 2002 as well as any
other statements he has made be disregarded as being wholly and totally
Next I call Darl McBride to the stand.

Impeach your own witnesses? Why not?

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Two Words
Authored by: tredman on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 01:10 PM EDT
Two words fit here that I think TSG is going to lose over regardless of the

Due diligence.

I've working with some fairly high up corporate types in the past, and one thing
I've learned is that most of them won't even go to the bathroom without
performing due diligence. It's a corporate necessity, especially when you're
dealing with legal matters that can come up and bite you in the arse in the

If TSG is full of horse hockey, then it means that they performed their due
diligence and conciously allowed all of that material into a product that they
themselves distributed for more than a little while.

If TSG is telling the truth, then it means that, as their corporate
responsibility goes, they did not perform the necessary due diligence that is
not only expected of them, but required as well, and does not shine well from a
leadership perspective.

Either way, they've painted themselves into a corner. I just wonder if the
footprints that Darl, Chris and Blake leave as they're running from that corner
resemble cloven hooves at all.


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Their Brochure Says the Same Thing
Authored by: Steve Martin on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 04:39 PM EDT

P.J., I have a PDF here of a brochure that I downloaded from some time back (after all the legal nonsense started) for SCO Linux 4.0, and it too lists all the features you show in your article. It (plus the Sontag quotes) gives the lie pretty well to TSG's "we didn't know the code was there" posturing.

Further, TSG's Investor Relations page still contains an announcement for the release of SCO Linux 4.0, touting its "enterprise" capability (although it doesn't go into detail). Better look quick... I figure that TSG will take the page down once they see this post.

"When I say something, I put my name next to it." -- Isaac Jaffee, "Sports Night"

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Sontag in 2002 on Enterprise Features of SCO Linux 4.0
Authored by: jim Reiter on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 05:25 PM EDT
It would seem to me that If SCO did not know that it was
releasing code into the GPL, then IBM could not have known
that SCO was not actually be releasing code into the GPL,
then it looked like SCO was releasing code into the GPL.
How then could IBM breech its license when it appeared that
SCO already put the code into the public domian through
SCO's own actions. The fact that while it looked like SCO
was putting code into the GPL, SCO really wasn't putting
code into the GPL was only (not) know to SCO. It would
appear that IBM is only guilty of not knowing that SCO was
not putting code into the GPL when it looked like SCO was
putting code into the GPL. IBM can hardly be blamed for
this when SCO did not know it was not putting code into the
GPL when it looked like SCO was putting code into the GPL.

Fortunately, this is all now perfectly clear.

Jim Reiter

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Sontag in 2002 on Enterprise Features of SCO Linux 4.0
Authored by: brian on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 05:43 PM EDT
In her article, PJ said this:
"You may remember SCO Senior VP Chris Sontag indicating it
was inadvertent on their part, so the GPL didn't count:"

So I went to the link and read it. C-Net asked an "IP"
attorney (whatever that is) John Ferrell what he thought
and here is what he had to say:

"But he'd give the edge to SCO in the situation, not
because of its interpretation of the GPL, but because of a
legal principle stemming from the 1887 sale of a pregnant
cow in Michigan. That case established the so-called
doctrine of mutual mistake, under which a contract can be
nullified if two parties--in this case SCO and a company
using Linux--misapprehended the true nature of what was in
the contract."

This whole line of thought is flawed in first assuming
that the GPL is a contract when it is not. It is a license
that says what you can do with copyrighted code covered by
it. It doesn't require signatures showing mutual consent.
Since there is no mutual consent there can be no
mutual mistake. I truely do hope SCO tries to make this
agrument as it will surely be shot down in flames.


#ifndef IANAL
#define IANAL

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With all of the ancient TV being discussed...
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 06:45 PM EDT
I have one more. Remember the Bob Newhart Show - the one in Vermont where he
maintained a bed & breakfast. Remember the characters, particularly the
three brothers; one who introduced his (non-speaking) brothers: "...this is
my brother Darl, and my other brother Darl." I guess his name is Darl too
(since the others didn't speak). Now with three Darls who can be certain which
one said what and when?

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Sontag in 2002 on Enterprise Features of SCO Linux 4.0
Authored by: jim Reiter on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 08:46 PM EDT
easy Guys and Gals.

This is just a little humor, not a legal discourse.

Besides it could be that A great great grandfather of
McBride may turn out to be the father of the calf. It would
explain what is coming out of SCO (sues customers often)
these days.

Jim Reiter

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Thanks PJ.
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 11:13 PM EDT
It is most telling. SCO camp will find this a bitter pill.

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Upcoming Linux patent wars?
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 02 2004 @ 12:52 AM EDT article

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Sontag in 2002 on Enterprise Features of SCO Linux 4.0
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 02 2004 @ 05:37 AM EDT
Their response to that will most likely be

"Oh yes we did know that there was NUMA and JFS support in the kernel, but
we didn't know it was based on our copyrighted unix code"

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Sontag in 2002 on Enterprise Features of SCO Linux 4.0
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 02 2004 @ 01:08 PM EDT
Bah, this proves nothing, Sontag still has the "Aliens stole my brain"
defense to fall back on.

Seriously though, IBM (and probably more significantly Red Hat) can use Sontag's
record of duplicity to show that he and other SCO executives have been lying
through their teeth. This IS significant, not just because it proves SCO GPL'd
their code but it proves quite conclusively that SCO executives have been
intentionally lying about events thoroughly undermining their credibility and
showing a record of bad behaviour that should impact the judgement. It's a shame
they haven't been deposed yet, it would have been satisfying to see Sontag sent
up the river for his lies.

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Am I missing something?
Authored by: brian-from-fl on Monday, August 02 2004 @ 06:30 PM EDT
So, "It has to do with SCO claiming that while it's true they distributed
Linux under the GPL, they never realized that the high-end code they now claim
is infringing was in there. You may remember SCO Senior VP Chris Sontag
indicating it was inadvertent on their part, so the GPL didn't count: ..."

IANAL, but... SCO willfully and knowingly released the code under the GPL. Not
knowing what is on one's own code does NOT matter one little bit, does it?

If I sell my old beat-up car to a college student for 500 dollars and that
college student manages to get five trouble-free years out of it, does that mean
that I can sue him and reclaim the car because I "inadertently released my
rights to a quality car, instead of ditching an old junker as I originally

SCO may have been too stupid to know their own code. But SCO didn't
inadvertently release any code under the GPL. It was just too stupid to know
exactly the worth of its own code that it released.

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