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SCO Loses Another Customer to Linux (& My Struggle to Tell You About It)
Monday, September 12 2005 @ 10:02 AM EDT

I had the funniest experience today. I noted on Investor's Business News an article about South Africa's Medscheme migrating from SCO Unix to Novell's SuSE Linux, and I knew you'd be interested. Then at the bottom of the article, it said "Source: Unisys," so I understood it looked like an article, but it was really a press release. So, I thought I'd reproduce it here also. But then I noticed at the bottom of the webpage a notice, "Copyright Business Wire 2005". Hmm. How can you copyright a press release that Unisys put out, I wondered. Below it, I saw this notice:
Copyright ©2005 MarketWatch, Inc. All rights reserved. Please see our Terms of Use. MarketWatch, the MarketWatch logo, and BigCharts are registered trademarks of MarketWatch, Inc."

So, being a good do-be, and a paralegal by training, I decided to read the Terms of Use.

Here's the heart of their claim:

These Services are intended for your personal, non-commercial use. The Services (and the content and information included therein) are protected by copyright pursuant to United States laws and international treaties and are owned or licensed by MarketWatch or the Information Provider(s) credited. You shall abide by all copyright notices, information, or restrictions contained in any content or information accessed through the Services.

You agree not to reproduce, retransmit, disseminate, sell, distribute, perform, display, publish, broadcast, circulate, create new works from, or commercially exploit the Services (including the content and information made available through the Services), in whole or in part, in any manner, without the express written consent of MarketWatch, nor to use the content or information made available through the Services for any unlawful purpose. You agree to access the Services manually by request and not programmatically by macro or other automated means.

Well, Heavens to Betsy. This is getting ridiculous. We are talking about a press release. Companies distribute press releases with the fond hope that journalists will "reproduce, retransmit, disseminate, distribute, perform, display, publish, broadcast, and circulate" in every possible way, so their message gets out.

I tried to find the same press release on Unisys' and Novell's websites, thinking that would avoid the issue entirely, but I couldn't find it. Oh, hang it all, I thought, I'll write about something else or just put a link up in News Picks. It's not that important a story. But then, being a paralegal, I stopped dead in my tracks. First, I thought ensuring hits is possibly why they do what they do, and I hated to reward them. And I realized they were claiming copyright on something they actually don't have copyright on, unless Unisys' PR company, the creator of the press release, has transfered their copyright rights by means of a written transfer sufficient to satisfy Copyright Law. Remember SCO v. Novell? So I decided to find out.

I wrote to the PR contact listed and asked him about it. He pointed out that he couldn't see how they could claim copyright on something he produced, and he sent me the original press release with permission to bring it to you here on Groklaw, for which I am grateful.

Does it get any sillier than that? Claiming copyright on a press release you didn't write? Well. Suing a library in Australia for inducing copyright infringement because it placed a Xerox machine near library book shelves probably tops this. But this still has to take its place in the Top Ten of Silly.

See? You have to watch these copyright extremists. They are like the grave, incapable of being satisfied. And folks will claim more than they are entitled to, if you let them.

The part that isn't so silly is that I had to go through all those steps and waste all that time just to make sure I wasn't sued by some jerk out there who might actually imagine he has copyright rights in someone else's press release.

And people wonder if current copyright laws hinder innovation, productivity, and creativity. I spent an hour on this nonsense. So, I certainly hope you enjoy the press release, *that's* for sure, and our thanks to Cohn & Wolfe for cutting through the you-know-what. (A reader found the Unisys link. Thanks!) I deliberately am not providing a link to Investor's Business News. But if you insist, and because it's possible it was more not noticing than venality, it's here:


Medscheme Migrates to Linux with Unisys and Novell

Three Terabytes of Data Migrated in Three Days Halved Healthcare Claim
Processing Time and will Generate Estimated Savings of $1.5m in the First Year

Brainshare, Barcelona, Booth G1, 12 September, 2005 – Medscheme, South Africa’s largest medical schemes manager, has turned to Unisys and Novell to migrate its mission critical enterprise infrastructure from SCO UnixWare to SuSE Linux on a Unisys ES7000 platform. Following the migration, processing time has been halved and total cost of ownership has been reduced to generate estimated savings of $1.5 million in the first year, and is equivalent to a saving of up to 150% over the next three years compared to an alternative proprietary-based solution.

Medscheme’s primary lines of business are claim processing and payment services, ensuring efficient healthcare funds spending that benefits medical schemes. Supporting 670,000 families using the medical service in five countries, this amounts to seven million claim lines per month. The solution needs to cope with approximately 21,600 real time claims per day and provide the flexibility and growth needed for Medscheme to expand into further South African countries. Since the migration, real-time claims processing has been reduced from five seconds per transaction to 2.5 seconds and batch jobs that previously took 24 hours to complete are now undertaken in less than three hours.

The nature of Medscheme’s business makes it imperative that their IT infrastructure is aligned with business goals to deliver an efficient, adaptive and flexible IT service 24/7. Based on this need for a real-time infrastructure, Unisys recommended an optimised solution and helped Medscheme migrate to a new platform running the Novell SuSE Linux operating system. The solution implemented by Unisys had to be able to cope with the dynamic allocation of resources and provide on demand computing power as well as business continuity.

Unisys supplied the server platform, implemented the migration process and provided consultancy services throughout the project. The alliance between Unisys and Novell has helped Medscheme take advantage of the significantly lower costs and increased flexibility Linux-based platforms provide. In addition, server infrastructure has been simplified, resulting in more efficient resource utilisation and improved service levels.

Kevin Wright, CIO of Medscheme says: “Unisys Real Time Infrastructure solutions have allowed us to adapt easily and quickly to any market changes, ensuring continuous optimum performance, while planning for the future and at much reduced costs. The migration happened smoothly over the Easter bank holiday weekend, when three terabytes of data were transferred over three days. Disaster recovery systems were used to provide continuous service to the business, whereby real-time claims continued to be processed, to ensure no disruption of business occurred. By the time normal work resumed after the weekend, everything was running on the new systems without any hitches. All that users experienced was better performance and the migration has enabled Medscheme to keep its systems in line with market developments.”

Hans Sparkes, Head of Enterprise Linux, Unisys Systems and Technology EMEA, explained: “Our transformation programme is designed to consolidate and simplify enterprise infrastructures by migrating applications and databases. As a result, businesses such as Medscheme can optimise their infrastructures by migrating applications to the more cost effective Intel platform running Novell SUSE Enterprise Linux. Running on a Unisys ES7000 platform, Medscheme now has the opportunity to optimise resource allocation and achieve greater overall flexibility and performance.”

Johan Rosius, EMEA Vice President, Partner Sales, Novell, added, “Our alliance with Unisys has enabled Medscheme to fulfil part of a vital business alignment and technology enhancement strategy. Together we deliver an enterprise-class solution alongside enterprise-class technical support and services, enabling our customers to gain maximum value from their infrastructure as well as tremendous ROI. Not only can Medscheme significantly lower costs and bring increased choice and flexibility to their Linux-based infrastructure, but can also simplify their server set up to be more efficient and improve service levels.” Medscheme’s IT infrastructure is based on two 16 CPU ES7000 Unisys servers. These servers are partitioned to run production, development and disaster recovery and are located in two physically separate locations. The storage is provided by EMC DMX, Symmetrix and CLARiiON systems, supported by StorageTek L700 and L180 tape libraries for back-up. The total data under management is 20 terabytes.


SCO Loses Another Customer to Linux (& My Struggle to Tell You About It) | 208 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
SCO Loses Another Customer to Linux & My Struggle to Tell you About It
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 12 2005 @ 10:08 AM EDT
In the USA, i believe claiming copyright on something you don't own copyright to gets the police prosecuting you, transferring $10000 to public funds, and jail time.

AFAIK. Anyway, that's what they beat us programmers up with to make sure we get the copyright statements right. The year is important. 90 years from now, it all goes up on SourceForce.

[ Reply to This | # ]

SCO Loses Another Customer to Linux & My Struggle to Tell you About It
Authored by: tonks on Monday, September 12 2005 @ 10:18 AM EDT
Just goes to show that some people just don't have no shame...



[ Reply to This | # ]

Terms of Use silliness
Authored by: Dark on Monday, September 12 2005 @ 10:19 AM EDT
"You agree to access the Services manually by request and not
programmatically by macro or other automated means."

I hope you didn't use a web browser! Those things are automated.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off topic here please
Authored by: fudisbad on Monday, September 12 2005 @ 10:23 AM EDT
For current events, legal filings and Caldera® collapses.

Please make links clickable.
Example: <a href="">Click here</a>

See my bio for copyright details re: this post.
Darl McBride, show your evidence!

[ Reply to This | # ]

SCO Loses Another Customer to Linux & My Struggle to Tell you About It
Authored by: nowster on Monday, September 12 2005 @ 10:24 AM EDT
They could be claiming a compilation copyright, not copyright on the individual
articles. For example, an anthology of poetry would be copyright to the compiler
for the collection and arrangement of the works, but the individual poems would
be used by permission of their authors and copyright in the poems would be still
with the poems' authors.

The same happens with Various Artist CDs.

The mistake made here is that in reproducing the original press release they
made no copyright attribution or acknowledgement.

[ Reply to This | # ]

SCO Loses Another Customer to Linux & My Struggle to Tell you About It
Authored by: rsi on Monday, September 12 2005 @ 10:54 AM EDT
The Unisys Africa link is: Unisys-A frica.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Hope they haven't left any obsolete libraries lying around on the hard drives ...
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 12 2005 @ 10:59 AM EDT

... or else SCO may try to do an Autozone on them!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Copyrighting public domain
Authored by: jseigh on Monday, September 12 2005 @ 11:10 AM EDT
The orginal press release wasn't in the public domain but some of the tricks used to copyright works in the public domain may have been used in some related way. The tricks I know about are, one, slight editorial changes, used to copyright publication of Shakespeare's works. Enhancements, like colorizing films in the public domain. Reformatting, like adding html tags to plain text. Repackaging, putting data in a particular database format, used to put publically owned data generated by the goverment into propietary form.

Basically, you poison data with propietary information and copyright that. You perform a lossey conversion to the propietary format making it impossible to get the data back into the public domain and attaining any certainty of non-infringement. For non-lossey conversions you can invoke DMCA protection to prevent converting back.

[ Reply to This | # ]

At the rate we're going
Authored by: inode_buddha on Monday, September 12 2005 @ 11:21 AM EDT
At the rate we're going (as a society), I seriously doubt that Betsy is going to heaven. Mainly because these things are getting to be so ridiculous.

OTOH, I should probably buy stock in the Oscar Mayer weiner company, and also the marshmallow company; there's gonna be plenty of places to roast them, and people doing the roasting! Oh, and let's not forget the hand-baskets!

Copyright info in bio

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

[ Reply to This | # ]

RIAA copyright violations
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 12 2005 @ 11:27 AM EDT
So has the RIAA every republished a Sony or other music label press release and
stamped a copyright RIAA notice on it? Would be nice to find instances of RIAA
copyright violations.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Possible revenue stream for SCO
Authored by: cmc on Monday, September 12 2005 @ 11:45 AM EDT
Here's a thought for a possible revenue stream for SCO. It seems silly, but is
it really any sillier than their current scheme(s)?

SCO should team up with the home equity lender You've probably seen
their annoying commercials. A banker sees a billboard or an ad on a bus or some
such nonsense and he says "Lost another one to ditech!". That could
be SCO's line: "Lost another one to Linux!" If they partner with
ditech, they could possibly get a cut of the profits, and it would provide an
innovative revenue stream. After all, they are still claiming to be innovative,
right? :)


[ Reply to This | # ]

"My Struggle to Tell You About It"
Authored by: NetArch on Monday, September 12 2005 @ 11:52 AM EDT

I would love for something like this to be picked up by the mainstream media,
like 48 Hours or 20/20. It would be nice for an hour long news show to shed
light on this and let everyone know just how bad things are getting and why
"Intellectual Property" affects everyone. Like grandma. And elementary
and high schoolers. All those alleged file-swappers.

Oh, wait - It is being covered, and people are finally hearing about it. But
then again, don't those huge media conglomerates that own the record companies
and movie studios also own the news organizations?

I say the above a bit facetiously, but one can dream...

I will make a prediction, though: All of these companies, figuring out how to
make intellectual property laws let them make money off other peoples' work,
will one day wake up and see that other companies - eschewing all that
non-productive effort, are eating their collective lunch because those other
companies concentrated on creating what their customers wanted, and also went
out looking for new customers rather than milking those same customers over and
over for new revenues. Kinda like that eureka moment that will hit the SCO Group
any day now - but too late for them.

PJ, I hope you wake up everyday smiling, because your efforts here with Groklaw
are helping shape a better future.

Thanks for providing the forum.

NetArch - building a better Internet one subnet at a time...

[ Reply to This | # ]

Medscheme, prepare to be sued
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 12 2005 @ 12:13 PM EDT
As we know, that's what happened to Autozone and Daimler Chrysler, both
switchers from SCO.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Editor's copyright, boilerplate notices
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 12 2005 @ 12:18 PM EDT
I'm pretty sure the web site had more on it than just the press release. I'm
also pretty sure the press release had some formatting that wasn't in the

While "mere" formatting probably isn't protectable, the overall page
probably is - i.e. you couldn't do a screen-dump and reproduce it in toto.

Most news-aggregators have boilerplate copyright notices. Sooner or later,
their lawyers will make them replace "all material (c) by us, do not
reproduce without asking" with "all materials are (c) by us or used by
permission. Do not reproduce without obtaining necessary permissions."

The latter coveres public domain works, since the "permission" comes
from statute or common law.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Good News
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 12 2005 @ 01:00 PM EDT
Personally, I hate medscheme. They suck (I used to be a customer).

However, this is certainly good news for the linux/foss movement. So much for
MS' nonsense about TCO. Anyone who believes there drivel has to be an ignorant

Jo'burg, South Africa

[ Reply to This | # ]

Very Interesting
Authored by: iceworm on Monday, September 12 2005 @ 01:17 PM EDT

that UNISYS is listed as the lead contractor in this switch ("Unisys supplied the server platform, implemented the migration process and provided consultancy services throughout the project"). I had the impression that UNISYS was less than enamored with GNU/ much less GNU/Linux. Perhaps the suits at Novell/Suse speak the same language as the suits at UNISYS (including the two marketing departments).

This six-month old event (Easter bank holiday) is being touted at Brainshare, Barcelona as of September 12, 2005. This surprising (to me) press release strikes me as the Handwriting On The Wall for closed, lock-in, operating systems of whatever flavor. This seems to me to be the corner around which there is no turning back. Certainly IBM and Munich, school systems in Oregon, Novell's acquisition of Suse, etc. were necessary steps in the approach to this corner, but it appears the corner has now been turned.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Hey, that is SCO math!
Authored by: BassSinger on Monday, September 12 2005 @ 02:19 PM EDT
From the Press Release:
"...Following the migration, processing time has been halved and total cost
of ownership has been reduced to generate estimated savings of $1.5 million in
the first year, and is equivalent to a saving of up to 150% over the next three
years compared to an alternative proprietary-based solution."

Now that has got to be SCO style math. 150% savings? Doesn't that mean that
someone is paying them half what they were paying before? 100% savings would
mean that what you were paying for before is totally free now. Any more saving
than that is a rebate, kickback or cumshaw.

Of course, it seems appropriate to use SCO math against them... ;-})

In Harmony's Way and In A Chord,

Tom ;-})

Proud Member of the Kitsap Chordsmen
Registered Linux User # 154358

[ Reply to This | # ]

SCO Loses Another Customer to Linux (& My Struggle to Tell You About It)
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 12 2005 @ 02:20 PM EDT
Another example of similar idiocy:

My favorite band, The Corrs, just released an EPK (Electronic Press Kit - a
video that includes snippets of songs from their latest album, intended for
music reviewers and others in the news media) on their official Web site.

This EPK is a streaming video, but the URL is not particularly masked, so it is
easy to download it.

They put on the Web page a notice to the effect that the media and the URLs are
protected and must not be reproduced.

Excuse me? This is a PRESS KIT! It is a throwaway marketing tool! You WANT to
see that it gets widebanded to everybody on the planet, so people will know you
have a new album out! You're not going to make any money on the EPK itself! And
if somebody hacks or modifies it, who cares?

The problem appears to be that either John Hughes, the Corrs manager, or someone
else, doesn't understand the Internet, or has been listening to the record
label's (Atlanta UK, in this case) lawyers too much.

Somebody suggested that it was a way of ensuring hits on the Web site. I pointed
out that you get hits by ensuring that someone has HEARD OF your Web site -
which means you WANT people to post stuff from it - and especially links to it -
everywhere else - as long as it isn't the ENTIRE site, of course.

This is like my posting a flier on a telephone pole somewhere for my tech
support business, then having a notice on it that it may not be moved or copied
- even my phone number! If you can't memorize my phone number, you can't have my


[ Reply to This | # ]

SCO Loses Another Customer to Linux (& My Struggle to Tell You About It)
Authored by: zcat on Monday, September 12 2005 @ 02:46 PM EDT
"Copyright, personal use only" vs. "Share-alike, non
commercial" ?

OK it's a slightly different situation, but from my perspective not that much. I
just have a problem with the "CC non-commercial" licences in general.
Imagine if the GPL prohibited commercial use or reselling for profit? Companies
like RedHat and Novell and IBM wouldn't be able to do what they've done, and
what they've done has been hugely beneficial to the development and adoption of

[ Reply to This | # ]

I don't think they claimed copyright
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 12 2005 @ 03:40 PM EDT
From the excerpted piece, it appears that they are not claiming copyright.

"are owned or licensed by MarketWatch or the Information Provider(s)

In this case, I believe they would say that Unisys is the "Information
Provider" credited and that Unisys owns the copyright. That's just my
reading of it though.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Did you notice in the press release
Authored by: chaz_paw on Monday, September 12 2005 @ 07:00 PM EDT
that other than the savings, there was no bad-mouthing about Unix or SCO?

Proud SuSE user since 07/26/04


[ Reply to This | # ]

SCO Loses Another Customer to Linux (& My Struggle to Tell You About It)
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 12 2005 @ 07:41 PM EDT
> Copyright ©2005 MarketWatch, Inc. All rights reserved.
>Please see our Terms of Use. MarketWatch, the MarketWatch
>logo, and BigCharts are registered trademarks of MarketWatch,

Since they are copyrighting it, etc, and I'd assume make some sort of monetary
gain (advertising revenues, etc). Do they have to pay for the use of 'Linux'?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Just semantics...
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 12 2005 @ 11:09 PM EDT
Here in the US, 'scheme' implies something shady or
corrupt. WHen they talk of 'claims processing', I think
they must be some sort of insurance company or HMO. Is
the medical service business different in south Africa, or
are they just more honest than here in the US?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Are you sure it wasn't just a default statement ike a page footer?
Authored by: cheros on Tuesday, September 13 2005 @ 06:42 AM EDT
It's quite common for companies to set up default page footers that frame
everything they show on the Net. The problem is that such default statements
lack any kind of intelligence (a bit like advertsing next to articles which
occasionally yields rather amusing combinations) and this might be the case

Don't be too hasty to assume malice where stupidity offers an adequate
explanation 8-). Just keep an eye out, just in case..

= Ch =

[ Reply to This | # ]

If I were running business on SCO Unixware...
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, September 13 2005 @ 07:22 AM EDT
...migrating to another platform would be high on my priority list. Besides
discussion about the technical side I would be really concerned about how long
support for the _productive_ IT infrastructure will be available. If SCO folds,
and it could be anytime soon, you are left alone with your UnixWare hosts...

[ Reply to This | # ]

SCO Loses Another Customer to Linux (& My Struggle to Tell You About It)
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, September 13 2005 @ 10:06 AM EDT
This is great news - and good work on the copyright false terms.

Is there anything Linux doesn't run on? When will other CIO's get a hit from
the clue stick.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Maybe it's a bad template
Authored by: tbdavis on Wednesday, September 14 2005 @ 02:11 PM EDT

I'd be willing to bet that the copyright notice was not a part of the article per se, but was an automatically included footer ginned up by the content management and templating system used by Investor's Business News. While that doesn't excuse having a false or misleading notice, it would make it a little less devious. Some sites have a slightly different statement claiming copyright only for All original content, or one like Groklaw (look at the bottom of this page). In these modern times, you would expect that this issue would have a simple to use solution giving more exact and specific notices. But given that Groklaw, which is perhaps the most IP aware site on the Web, just uses a blanket statement, I would be surprised to find a news site with a better system, unless of course they were forced to by losing a law suit for falsely claiming copyright.

[ Reply to This | # ]

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