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SCO: We never knowingly released code under the GPL. PJ: Did too. - Updated 2Xs
Sunday, July 08 2007 @ 08:35 PM EDT

SCO seems to have started something, when, after releasing software under the GPL for years, it now claims it never knowingly did so. As you know, Microsoft has now declared its GPL-virginity as well.

Methinks their lawyer doth protest too much, but now that it's becoming so trendy to disown one's previously assumed legal responsibilities, may I forthwith state for the record that I hereby declare that I am not a party to the Microsoft EULA, and none of my actions, such as opening the cellophane wrapper, and then installing and using the software after clicking I Agree, are to be misinterpreted as me accepting status as a contracting party of Microsoft's or assuming any legal obligations under such a EULA?

Well, that was easy. Who knew? Just a little snoop, and I'm free! Why didn't I think of that years ago? Because I am just a paralegal. What do we know? Lawyers are such smarties. Now that they've shown us the way to escape our IP license chains, we should all celebrate with an "I am not a party" party.

Alas! Better not. This might not actually work. I may not be a lawyer, but dopey para that I may be, I'm virtually certain that the courts won't join our little party. And so, sadly, no more monkey business -- starting with SCO, I fear I must provide a little harsh reality as an antidote to all this spinning fantasy law.

For an example of a SCO disclaimer, here's a snip from SCO's Memorandum in Opposition to IBM's Motion for Summary Judgment on SCO's Contract Claims:

IBM Ex. 105 (Caldera Systems, Inc.'s October 2000 Form 10-K/A) at 15,22,26:

The cited source refers to Caldera Systems, Inc. ("Caldera Systems"), which did not own any copyrights in UNIX. (Disputed Facts Nos. 9,34-37, 104 to SCO's Memorandum in Opposition to IBM's Motion for Summary Judgment on Its Tenth Counterclaim (Nov. 11,2006).) The cited source shows that Caldera Systems sought to deliver Linux-related products (p. 15), would be forced to contribute to the development of Linux if independent third-parties ceased such development (p. 22), and competed with Linux providers (p. 26). The source does not mention SCO and does not support the assertion that either SCO or Caldera Systems contributed source code to the Linux kernel or any non-proprietary, Linux-related software. Rather, the source stresses that "most of the components of [Caldera Systems'] software offerings are developed by independent parties" (p. 26).

Let's go back in time to the year 2000, that heady year for Caldera, now calling itself The SCO Group, when it was about to IPO as a Linux company. In Caldera's February 25, 2000 Amended S-1A filing, their amended IPO filing, including information from the first quarter as of Jan 31, 2000, here is how they described the business to those who might wish to invest:

The fourth graphic depicts the Company's product offerings with the following caption: ADDING VALUE TO AN OPEN SOURCE, FREE TECHNOLOGY OpenLinux, the core of Caldera's product offering, is a combination of open source community software that has been "scrubbed" to improve performance and stability, and our own software development contributions to open source....

Other services that we offer include technical support to assist end users during installation and operation of our products, consulting and custom development, optimization and certification for specific hardware platforms and documentation on Linux usage. ...

Caldera Systems, Inc. has operated as a separate legal entity engaged in developing and marketing Linux software since September 1, 1998. ...Neither Mr. Torvalds nor any significant contributor to the Linux kernel is an employee of ours, and none of these individuals are required to further update the Linux kernel....

Our business model also depends upon incorporating contributions from the open source community into products that we open source....Our products consist of many different software components and applications, most of which are developed by independent third parties over whom we have limited or no control. While we use rigid engineering standards in testing the products or applications that we integrate in our products, we cannot guarantee that we have selected or will select in the future the most reliable components available in the market or that we will successfully integrate the many components of our products.

You can't "scrub" GPL'd code and improve it and develop it and make it more stable and customize it and incorporate it into your products that you then open source and then release it -- except under the GPL. Forevah. That's how the GPL works. And any code of their own would be included.

That means that the significant contributions of employees like Christoph Hellwig were also released under the GPL. It all was. Whatever they put in there. Note that when they say that "no significant kernel developer" was in their employ, aside from it being not accurate by my estimation, since Hellwig remains a significant kernel contributor, last I looked, it is not saying there were none at all, is it? So assuming they could write in the English language, one must conclude there were some, and all of their contributions to the kernel would be under the GPL.

And of course, Santa Cruz employees also contributed code to the kernel under the GPL. Here's one who says he did so with the approval of his boss on company time. According to SCO, Santa Cruz obtained the copyrights to Unix from Novell. I don't believe that, but it's their story and they're stuck with it now. So when Tigran wrote SMP code, it's significant. But take a look at this note about the UnixWare boot filesystem:

9.4 BFS - UnixWare Boot Filesystem

UnixWare BFS filesystem type is a special-purpose filesystem. It was designed for loading and booting UnixWare kernel. BFS was designed as a contiguous filesystem. BFS supports only one (root) directory and you can create only regular files; no subdirs or special files such as devices or sockets can be created.

For more information about BFS see http://uw7doc.sco.com/FS_admin/ _The_bfs_File_System_Type.html.

* http://uw7doc.sco.com/FS_admin/_The_bfs_Superblock.html - superblock
* http://uw7doc.sco.com/FS_admin/_bfs_Inodes.html - inodes
* http://uw7doc.sco.com/FS_admin/_bfs_Storage_Blocks.html - storage blocks

You can access BFS filesystem from Linux:

* Homepage: http://www.ocston.org/~tigran/patches/bfs/
* Download: In the Linux kernel, patches available at homepage.
* Author: Tigran A. Aivazian
* License: GPL
* Access: Read/write (write part is limited, no compactification yet)

The support for BFS is included in the Linux kernel since version 2.3.25.

That would mean, since 1999, when Tigran announced Linus had accepted his patch.

And the thing about the GPL is that it really is like losing your virginity. You can't actually get it back and pretend it never happened, despite Microsoft's "we were only kissing" alibi. I know: they are booking all the money they made from Novell's vouchers under "GPL Immaculate Conception".

Furthermore, getting back to our other avowed virgin, I believe from this language that Caldera knew back then that they were distributing their products and modifications under the GPL, and of course history shows they continued to do so at least up to and after the release of UnitedLinux in 2003, long after they claim to have obtained the UNIX copyrights:

The Linux kernel and certain other components of our products have been developed and licensed under the GNU General Public License and similar licenses. These licenses state that any program licensed under them may be liberally copied, used, modified and distributed freely, so long as all modifications are also freely made available and licensed under the same conditions....

We believe that contributing back to Linux much of our research will facilitate more of an industry standard as well as industry cooperation. ...

Certain components of OpenLinux have been developed and made available for licensing under the GNU General Public License and similar licenses, which generally allow any person or organization to copy, modify and distribute the software. The only restriction is that any resulting or derivative work must be made available to the public under the same terms. Therefore, although we retain the copyrights to the code that we develop ourselves, due to the open source nature of our software products and the licenses under which we develop and distribute them, our collection of trademarks constitutes our most important intellectual property.

I feel like a cad, pointing out SCO slept with the GPL, but there you are, in black and white, ladies and gentlemen (and, as Groklaw member pem points out, a little bit of red too). Caldera certainly said it released its own code under the GPL, and it appears to have understood quite well at the time precisely what it was doing.

Incidentally, there is another paragraph I'd like to bring to the attention of Sun Microsystems in that SCO memorandum:

IBM has put forth no evidence that any UNIX copyright holder contributed the infringing Linux material to Linux or placed an appropriate GPL notice on Linux, or that other Linux contributors actually owned the copyright in the material they contributed. For instance, Mr. Torvalds admits to having incorporated system calls taken from a Unix licensee - Sun Microsystems. (Disputed Fact No. 2 to Yet, IBM has put forth no evidence showing that Sun granted rights to use such material in Linux.

So, what do you say, Sun, now that you are nuzzling the FOSS community? Care to step up the plate and answer SCO?

Update: Groklaw member Aladdin Sane did some research:

In the current kernel source, 2.6.21, as distributed in Debian Sid, these are
the credits that are given to "caldera".

I used

grep -A 1 -B 1 -r -i caldera *

under

/usr/src/linux-source-2.6.21

and got:

arch/x86_64/kernel/smpboot.c- * Pentium Pro and Pentium-II/Xeon MP machines.
arch/x86_64/kernel/smpboot.c: * Original development of Linux SMP code supported
by Caldera.
arch/x86_64/kernel/smpboot.c- *
--
arch/m32r/kernel/smpboot.c- * Pentium Pro and Pentium-II/Xeon MP machines.
arch/m32r/kernel/smpboot.c: * Original development of Linux SMP code supported
by Caldera.
arch/m32r/kernel/smpboot.c- *
--
arch/i386/kernel/smpboot.c- * Pentium Pro and Pentium-II/Xeon MP machines.
arch/i386/kernel/smpboot.c: * Original development of Linux SMP code supported
by Caldera.
arch/i386/kernel/smpboot.c- *
--
CREDITS-N: Stefan Probst
CREDITS:E: sp@caldera.de
CREDITS-D: The Linux Support Team Erlangen, 1993-97
CREDITS:S: Caldera (Deutschland) GmbH
CREDITS-S: Lazarettstrasse 8
--
Documentation/networking/tlan.txt:(C) 1997-1998 Caldera, Inc.
Documentation/networking/tlan.txt-(C) 1998 James Banks
--
drivers/net/slip.c- * Matti Aarnio : Dynamic SLIP devices,
with ideas taken
drivers/net/slip.c: * from Jim Freeman's

drivers/net/slip.c- * dynamic PPP devices. We
do NOT kfree()
--
drivers/net/tlan.h- *
drivers/net/tlan.h: * (C) 1997-1998 Caldera, Inc.
drivers/net/tlan.h- * (C) 1999-2001 Torben Mathiasen
--
drivers/net/tlan.c- *
drivers/net/tlan.c: * (C) 1997-1998 Caldera, Inc.
drivers/net/tlan.c- * (C) 1998 James Banks
--
drivers/char/drm/drm_context.c- * ChangeLog:
drivers/char/drm/drm_context.c: * 2001-11-16 Torsten Duwe

drivers/char/drm/drm_context.c- * added context
constructor/destructor hooks,
--
drivers/scsi/advansys.c-
drivers/scsi/advansys.c: Erik Ratcliffe has done
testing of the
drivers/scsi/advansys.c: AdvanSys driver in the Caldera releases.
drivers/scsi/advansys.c-
--
net/ipx/af_ipx.c- *
net/ipx/af_ipx.c: * Portions Copyright (c) 1995 Caldera, Inc.

net/ipx/af_ipx.c: * Neither Greg Page nor Caldera, Inc. admit liability nor
provide
net/ipx/af_ipx.c- * warranty for any of this software. This material is
provided
--
sound/oss/nm256_audio.c- * Added some __init
sound/oss/nm256_audio.c: * 19-04-2001 Marcus Meissner
sound/oss/nm256_audio.c- *

No doubt you noticed the dates. SCO's story is that it allegedly obtained the copyrights when it did two transactions with Santa Cruz in 2000 and 2001. So the above dates showing contributions in 2000 and 2001 would of necessity be *after* Caldera allegedly obtained the Unix copyrights.

Update 2: And anonymous contributes this link to Caldera's Open Source UNIX[tm] Tools page on Sourceforge, which begins:

Welcome! You have reached the homepage for the open sourced UNIX utilties project powered by Caldera. The project consists of two primary components:
* Regular Expression Engine Library (libregex)
* Sample Utilties (awk & grep)

I know. Hilarious. And what's even funnier, given SCO's weird accusation about downloading Linux being a felony for IBM, note the instructions for downloading from the repository:

CVS Repository:

You can now browse the repository as well as download direct via anonymous login using SSH!

To download direct, please do the following:

export
CVSROOT=:pserver:anonymous@cvs.unixtools.sourceforge.net:/ cvsroot/unixtools
export CVS_RSH=ssh

cvs login

(when prompted for a password just press enter)

Yup. The standard process for such matters: just press enter, if prompted for a password. Of course, it's not there any longer, the repository, but this vestigial remnant remains to tell the tale. The page was authored by Alexander Sack, as you can see if you view source, and questions were to be directed to unixtools at caldera.com. This was a Caldera-hosted page and project, also on Sourceforge. How ever will they explain all this away? The page has been there since August of 1991, according to Archive.org. It was still there, unchanged as to the information on it, in April of 2003, right after SCO sued IBM. And it's still there.


  


SCO: We never knowingly released code under the GPL. PJ: Did too. - Updated 2Xs | 242 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 08 2007 @ 08:44 PM EDT
Do you have a link to the SCO disavowal statement?

[ Reply to This | # ]

SCO: We never knowingly released code under the GPL. PJ: Did too.
Authored by: dyfet on Sunday, July 08 2007 @ 08:53 PM EDT
So basically SCO is stating for the record that it willfully engaged in
copyright infringement over many years? If SCO did not release modifications of
other people's works under the GNU GPL which were already protected under the
GNU GPL, then they had no license at all to redistribute those things. Ergo,
given that they had no license to convey, and copyright prohibits this (outside
of fair use) the only other option left is that it was deliberate copyright
infringement. QED :).

As to not knowing they had released code they had exclusive copyright interest
in, that is another issue, and demonstratively false, as also already noted in
the article.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off-topic here, please
Authored by: overshoot on Sunday, July 08 2007 @ 09:07 PM EDT
There are some nice instructions in red on the reply form for making clicky
links, too.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections Here, Please
Authored by: Ted Powell on Sunday, July 08 2007 @ 09:09 PM EDT
Please summarize in the comment title.

---
This is *my* computer, not Microsoft's!

[ Reply to This | # ]

but there you are in black in white
Authored by: pem on Sunday, July 08 2007 @ 09:14 PM EDT
Looks like you "dressed" the most relevant parts in red to me :)

[ Reply to This | # ]

SCO: We never knowingly released code under the GPL. PJ: Did too.
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 08 2007 @ 09:23 PM EDT
Echoes of the 'if it benefits us we are the successor in interest' 'if it is a
hindrance we had nothing to do with what they did' argument.

Tufty

[ Reply to This | # ]

I believe SCO was not talking about OpenLinux here..
Authored by: eamacnaghten on Sunday, July 08 2007 @ 09:29 PM EDT

From what I gather the story according to SCO (Caldera) is as follows....

  1. SCO obtained this wonderful operating System known as UNIX and all variations of it
  2. Some naughty independant programmers, not connected to SCO, obtained (probably illegally) some of SCO's precious UNIX code and placed it in a hobbyiest OS that was called LINUX, thus changing it from a low powered home-only unreliable OS to a high powered scaleable industry standard one.
  3. These naughty programmers did this without telling SCO and SCO knew nothing about it at the time
  4. As well as a UNIX business, SCO decided to start a LINUX business, totally unaware their code has been misappropriated into that OS. They released that code (plus their derivatives) under the GPL in good faith.
  5. Later, when SCO employed these MIT rocket scientists to compare the respective OS code they discovered, to their horror, that not only their precious code had been heavily missapropriated into LINUX, but they had unkowingly distributed the code that had been copied there under the GPL

I believe that SCO is not trying to get out of GPL obligations from their OpenLinux product, but are trying to contort themselves out of the IBM question of why were SCO (attempting) to charge for their UNIX IP in their code in third party LINUX distributions when they had distributed the same code themselves under the GPL. They simply claim that others placed the code there without their knowledge.

Pleasse Note (On behalf of SCO...)...

  1. The reader will please ignore the fact that (the original) SCO probably did not aquire the UNIX OS copyrights due from Novell - according to both Novell and the original SCO
  2. The readser will please ignore the facts that the Linux developers can show they either independantly created the code or obtained it from a source unbder a license that permitted them to do so (BSD)
  3. The reader will please ignore the fact that SCO employed Linux kernel programmers at the time who made no secret in the company as to what was in the Linux kernel, and that SCO senior management approved of it.
  4. The reader will please ignore the fact that SCO cannot reliably point out any of their infringing code in the publically available Linux kernel, and whenever they have tried to do in the past, and showed the world, all independant and knowledgable programmers simply burst out laughing
  5. The reader will kindly remember that SCO needs to make money and stop this Open Source Model thingy in providing users with software they actually want for a price they actually want with functionality they need, and to assist Microsoft and the like in ensuring all software is hadicapped with stringent and restrictive IP regulations so a few can innapropriately make big bucks from the hard work of the unrewarded many.

Web Sig: Eddy Currents

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sun is clean
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 08 2007 @ 09:36 PM EDT
As I remember, very early in the court proceedings, SCO's attorneys attested
before the court that SUN was clean. I think they included HP was clean in the
same paragraph.

How does it get to be IBM's job or in their interests to prove otherwise?

[ Reply to This | # ]

SCO: We never knowingly released code under the GPL. PJ: Did too.
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 08 2007 @ 10:54 PM EDT
So.... SCO's BOY's defense is:

"I didn't know the gun was loaded, your honour!?"

The above defense doesn't work in murder trials (I don't think); so can it work
here?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft tries evading new GPL grasp
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 08 2007 @ 10:59 PM EDT
Microsoft tries evading new GPL grasp

Clicky

"Microsoft is not a party to the GPLv3 license and none of its actions are to be misinterpreted as accepting status as a contracting party of GPLv3 or assuming any legal obligations under such license," the company said in a statement. "To avoid any doubt or legal debate on this issue, Microsoft has decided that the Novell support certificates that we distribute to customers will not entitle the recipient to receive from Novell, or any other party, any subscription for support and updates relating to any code licensed under GPLv3."

Novell, meanwhile, said the software is still supported. "Independent of Microsoft's position, we would like to make clear our commitment to our customers that Novell will continue to distribute Suse Linux Enterprise Server with its full set of functionality and features, including those components that are licensed under GPLv3," it said in a statement."

[ Reply to This | # ]

Call me a dopey non-paralegal but...
Authored by: ewe2 on Sunday, July 08 2007 @ 11:35 PM EDT
is there an argument that they're technically a different entity therefore no
previous GPL activity applies? Might this kind of argument be used to muddy the
waters? Forget that this flies in the face of their insistence on continuous
ownership of all things UNIX, it wouldn't stop this legal team!

[ Reply to This | # ]

When you weave a fabric of lies
Authored by: kawabago on Sunday, July 08 2007 @ 11:47 PM EDT
It will always look stained.

[ Reply to This | # ]

SCO explained the GPL in their material
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, July 09 2007 @ 01:42 AM EDT
I don't remember which paper it was, but SCO did properly explain the GPL to
their customers. If I am not mislead, IBM used these papers in this case a few
years ago.


cb

[ Reply to This | # ]

License Statements
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, July 09 2007 @ 03:24 AM EDT
From OpenLinux systems manual August 1998.

"The software packages included on the OpenLinux CDs are distributed under
the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL) or other licenses that allow code to be
freely redistributed and copied."

Maybe they just forgot?

Cheers from the cellar

[ Reply to This | # ]

Trying to play both sides
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, July 09 2007 @ 04:34 AM EDT
I have been under the impression for some time now that (new) SCO is essentially
trying to play their predecessors in interest off against each other.
Basically, something to the effect of, "At the time Caldera
contributed/distributed UNIX code into/in Linux, (old) SCO owned the UNIX
copyrights, and so Caldera had no authority to license that code under the GPL.
Therefore, Caldera's public statements that the code in question was GPL'd are
meaningless. Since we, Caldera--I mean (new) SCO, bought the UNIX copyrights,
everybody else is still violating our copyrights, because we haven't licensed
that code under the GPL since we bought it. So now we're suing (or planning to
sue) other people for code we--I mean naughty Caldera--assured our victims was
GPL'd. Obviously, we have nothing to do with Caldera's unauthorized claims,
seeing as how we're SCO, the proper owner of UNIX. And as the proper owner of
the UNIX copyright, we will happily sell you Linux code and a covenant not to
sue [I'm not sure they were actually this smart, but after MS-Novell, presumably
this is what they meant, honest!]. License? What license? No, we can't
license that code to you, that would violate the GPL, and we would never violate
the GPL!"

A question comes to mind--if you made a program containing (a) GPL'd code and
(b) code you illicitly obtained and had no license for and distributed it,
claiming it was all GPL, obviously the owner of (b) can sue you (and anybody who
redistributes your program thinking it was GPL'd). But what about the owners of
(a)? Have you violated the GPL? What about the downstream recipients who
re-distribute?

[ Reply to This | # ]

SCO Contradicts Itself Via Its Own Website, Today
Authored by: DaveJakeman on Monday, July 09 2007 @ 04:35 AM EDT

This page, still on SCO's website today, pretty much says it all:

http://www.sco.com/licensing/Eula97bEN.html

Or if you'd prefer that as a .PDF, it's here, on SCO's website, today: http://www.sco.com/licensing/Eula97bEN.pdf

And for those that speak German, a German version of the same, also on SCO's website, today:

http://www.sco.com/licensing/Eula97bDE.html

And just to demonstrate that SCO really do mean the GNU General Public License, here is the GPL, still defined on SCO's website, today:

http://www.sco.com/skunkware/info/gpl.html

If SCO never knowingly distributed software under the GPL, why would they post the GPL on their website? To show how "unconstitutional" it is? Yeah, right.

Maybe SCO would like to tell us the LGPL, also posted on SCO's website, today, is unconstitutional too:

http://www.sco.com/skunkware/info/lgpl.html

There's a few more mentions of SCO's distribution of software under the GPL on this page, still on their website, today:

http://www.sco.com/skunkware/faq.html

Here's a snippet from the above link:

Can I charge money for SCO Skunkware?

It is permitted to give away (for no charge) the Skunkware CD, but resale of the CD is not permitted. However, the components of the CD are only subject to their original licenses (in many cases the GNU General Public License).

Any components of the Skunkware distribution which are licensed under the GNU Public License (GPL), including any modifications made by Caldera, may be copied, modified, and/or distributed (for any price), according to the terms of the GPL.

SCO Skunkware is a trademark of Caldera International, Inc. and the aggregate CD as a whole may not be resold. Further, some of the SCO Skunkware components are restricted by copyright which prevents their sale or inclusion in a commercial product. See the individual COPYING, LICENSE or README files for a component for specifics with regard to licensing and redistribution of that component.

Time for SCO to re-write some more history by purging its own website and pretending that it never was. If they do, it would be interesting to see how SCO retroactively re-write their software EULA such that no-one notices.

Aren't the facts sometimes most inconvenient?

---
Only two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity and I'm not sure about the former. -- Einstein

[ Reply to This | # ]

Virgin Birth != Immaculate Conception
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, July 09 2007 @ 04:53 AM EDT
PJ refers to ``GPL Immaculate Conception'' in the context of losing ones virginity. It's a handy piece of pub-quiz trivia that ``Immaculate Conception'' is not the doctrine of the Virgin Birth, disavowal of which takes you to the outer limits of mainstream Christianity (and might even be regarded as slightly outre in the Church of England).

Rather it refers to the Catholic doctrine that Mary was born without Original Sun (``Hail Mary, born of Grace''). You can disavow this and not be on the fringe: Protestant and Orthodox churches don't accept it, usually because they don't accept Original Sin in the first place.

You can read the gory details here.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Well, technically...
Authored by: oneandoneis2 on Monday, July 09 2007 @ 06:17 AM EDT

You can't "scrub" GPL'd code and improve it and develop it and make it more stable and customize it and incorporate it into your products that you then open source and then release it -- except under the GPL. Forevah.

Actually, you can do this - so long as you're prepared to wait long enough for the copyright to expire :o)

[ Reply to This | # ]

"GPL Immaculate Conception"
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, July 09 2007 @ 07:49 AM EDT
Please be sure that you understand theological terms before you use them. Their
misuse, including in 'humor', gives needless offense to friend, foe, and those
who are otherwise indifferent to SCO and its machinations.

The Immaculate Conception was the Virgin Mary's conception (by normal means!)
free of Original Sin. This is often confused by non-Christians with the 'Virgin
Birth' of Jesus.

Those who don't mind offending Christians are careful to avoid offending
adherents of religions that are likely to retaliate. Could this be cowardice?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Lots of keyboard accidents today?
Authored by: tiger99 on Monday, July 09 2007 @ 07:58 AM EDT
I sincerely hope that no-one else reads todays article while drinking liquid, or for that matter, eating anything.

I am picking a few bits of cheese sandwich out of the keyboard. It could have been much worse!

As for SCO, words fail me completely.....

:-)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Not quite the same thing, is it?
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, July 09 2007 @ 08:22 AM EDT
SCO seems to have started something, when, after releasing software under the GPL for years, it now claims it never knowingly did so. As you know, Microsoft has now declared its GPL-virginity as well.

Sorry, but last time I looked MS were claiming that they were not bound by GPLv3 on the grounds that they haven't distributed a line of GPLv3 code (maybe that will eventually be disproven, but given GPLv3 has only been out for a week it is at least plausible!)

How does this compare with an entity who demonstrably distributed Linux for years (did SCO Linux not have a GPL click-through?) suddenly denying the GPLv2?

and none of my actions, such as opening the cellophane wrapper, and then installing and using the software after clicking I Agree, are to be misinterpreted as me accepting status as a contracting party of Microsoft's or assuming any legal obligations under such a EULA?

So, you are saying that there is absolutely no conceivable legal argument that a complex, one-sided contract, presented in a way that encouraged ordinary consumers to accept it without taking legal advice, and hence agree to additonal, onerous conditions over and above what is required by copyright law, imposed after you have "bought a copy" but before you have had a chance to verify that the software is fit for purpose... might not actually be valid? Do you really want to admit that by using it as a counter-example?

Who are you - and what have you done with the real PJ?

What happened to the old argument that the GPL had been so successfully enforced because - unlike a EULA which tries to take away rights - it only offered new rights that you would not othewise have.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The SCO group released UNIX system software under the GPL.
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, July 09 2007 @ 08:44 AM EDT
As announced in August of 2001.

They even claimed to hold the copyright (PDF file) while they clearly don't have any legal assignment of ownership to the awk and grep source code.

The SCCS header from awk/main.c indicates that no alterations were made since 1991:

#ident "@(#)unixsrc:usr/src/common/cmd/awk/main.c /main/uw7_nj/2"
#ident "$Header: main.c 1.3 91/08/12 $"

Exactly what was being claimed as "SCO" copyright and by what legal means it was being GPLed by Caldera International I've never particularly understood; but then I'm not even a silly para.

At any rate, no matter what their lawyers squawk, Caldera International, currently doing business as "the SCO Group" did this:

/* UNIX(R) Regular Expression Tools

Copyright (C) 2001 Caldera International, Inc.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the
GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program; if not, write to:
Free Software Foundation, Inc.
59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307 USA
*/
/* copyright "%c%" */

The source code is here.

[ Reply to This | # ]

But, ridiculous claims serve scox's purpose
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, July 09 2007 @ 09:34 AM EDT
The scam is now in it's 5th year, which is just what scox wanted. The point of
the scam is not to ultimately win a jury decision. The point of the scam is for
the bogus case to exist. The idea is to muddy the waters, to confuse, to spread
FUD. And, of course, to put money in the pockets of scox execs.

To those ends, the scam is working very well. Everything scox claims must be
meticulously analysed, and carefully, point-by-point, contested, by IBM.
Otherwise, scox will state that their claims are uncontested. The courts then
have to carefully analyze claims by both sides - and they means delay, delay,
and more delay.

Laugh at scox all you want. Scox is playing the system wisely, and well. Scox
and msft are winning their real objectives.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Ok, some lies are more blatant than others
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, July 09 2007 @ 09:34 AM EDT
What do judges do when they find one party denying reality?

SCO cannot really deny the copyright header on the code with dates and all that
references the GPL. There is a pretty solid evidence trail on that leading all
the way back to SCO.

Is it really the case of "can't hurt to try" or is there actually any
sort of possible hurt that can come from this for SCO?

[ Reply to This | # ]

SCO: We never knowingly released code under the GPL. PJ: Did too.
Authored by: luvr on Monday, July 09 2007 @ 10:14 AM EDT
may I forthwith state for the record that I hereby declare that I am not a party to the Microsoft EULA

I have been wondering how Microsoft can claim that its customers are inevitably subjected to its EULA conditions, while, on the other hand, the GPL is not binding to Microsoft.

I think the answer has just hit me: The GPL is just a license, while the EULA is a license agreement! You cannot possibly disagree to the EULA, since otherwise, it wouldn't even be an agreement, now would it? However, you're free to disagree to the terms of the GPL, since that is not even conceived as an agreement!

What could be simpler? Why didn't I see this earlier?

;-)

(That smiley is there as an indication that I myself don't believe a word of what I have just written...)

[ Reply to This | # ]

SCO: We never knowingly released code under the GPL. PJ: Did too.
Authored by: tknarr on Monday, July 09 2007 @ 11:27 AM EDT

may I forthwith state for the record that I hereby declare that I am not a party to the Microsoft EULA, and none of my actions, such as opening the cellophane wrapper, and then installing and using the software after clicking I Agree, are to be misinterpreted as me accepting status as a contracting party of Microsoft's or assuming any legal obligations under such a EULA?

Actually you may be able to get away with this. It hinges on being able to show in court that a) a UCC standard contract of sale was formed when you bought the software and is still in force, b) any actions you've taken since do not override your explicit and clear rejection of subsequent attempts to change the terms of that contract, and c) the relevant sections of copyright law clearly say that any actions you've taken in installing and using the software are not infringements of copyright. A should be easy enough, especially since we've got the UCITA which attempted to write into law the idea of automatic acceptance of EULAs and was explicitly rejected by all but 2 states. That should be a clear indication to the court that the states did not intend to have the UCC's terms supplanted by an EULA automatically. C ought to be fairly easy, given how clear that section of Title 17 is on the subject. The real kicker is B.

[ Reply to This | # ]

SCO: We never knowingly released code under the GPL. PJ: Did too.
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, July 09 2007 @ 12:15 PM EDT
I didn't knowingly break all the windows in your car. How was I to know that a
rock flying at 120 MPH would break glass? I am not a party to broken glass
because I didn't know that I could break glass.

Ignorance of the consequences of one's actions does not alleviate responsibility
for said actions. In particular, if you're not sure about the legal
consequences of a certain action, I hear there are these professionals that deal
with that sort of thing. They're not even that expensive for simple questions,
and it's certainly cheaper than UltraLitigation Xtreme!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Redlined EULA
Authored by: Wardo on Monday, July 09 2007 @ 12:35 PM EDT
Methinks their lawyer doth protest too much, but now that it's becoming so trendy to disown one's previously assumed legal responsibilities, may I forthwith state for the record that I hereby declare that I am not a party to the Microsoft EULA, and none of my actions, such as opening the cellophane wrapper, and then installing and using the software after clicking I Agree, are to be misinterpreted as me accepting status as a contracting party of Microsoft's or assuming any legal obligations under such a EULA?

I've mused for some time now about printing out the next EULA I had to accept and redlining the parts I don't agree with. First thing to go would be the "you can't use this software without accepting this license in it's entirety blah blah blah...". After that, most of the other restrictions are out the window as well. I did some contract renegotiations and since there were no objections from the vendor I just accepted the end result.

The end result would basically read "You can use this software."

I know it wouldn't fly under the scrutiny of a lawsuit, but it's nice to dream sometimes.

Wardo

---
caveat lector...
Wardo = new user(lawyer = FALSE,badTypist = TRUE,badSpeller = TRUE);

[ Reply to This | # ]

Does this mean they've admitted distributing IBM's code without a license?
Authored by: PTrenholme on Monday, July 09 2007 @ 04:41 PM EDT

Since IBM has, if I recall correctly, asked for a summary judgment on this point, the Judge's work on this issue may be simplified.

---
IANAL, just a retired statistician

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SCO: We never knowingly released code under the GPL. PJ: Did too. - Updated 2Xs
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, July 10 2007 @ 05:21 PM EDT
(heh) This one is so easy it's funny...

So SCO didn't know what they printed on pages 247-253 of the OpenLinux Standard
- Getting Started Guide (Copyright 1997 by Caldera, Inc.)? The following
doesn't look like an ISBN, so I assume it's an internal manual number used by
Caldera:

"200-OLSM-001 A0 4/97"

Too add to the humor, at the top of page 244 it states, "Note: If you're
aware of other license statements that should be included here, please let us
know."

- tlk

[ Reply to This | # ]

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