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The Real Legal Argument Revealed (in a comic strip)
Thursday, April 29 2010 @ 12:36 PM EDT

I'd say Ubersoft: Technology is Not Your Friend captures in a comic strip the essence of SCO's request to the judge in SCO v. Novell that the court grant SCO the copyrights that the jury just ruled belong to Novell. Thanks to the creator, Christopher Wright's, choice of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License, I can share it with you here.


Comic Transcript

JUDGE: I... really don't understand why SCO is still here.

SCO LAWYER: Well, Your Honor, it's quite simple.

SCO LAWYER: When we sued Uniqque claiming that we owned the Unix copyright, and therefore by extension the entire Linux operating system market, you and a jury ruled that it was Uniqque who owned the copyright, thereby foiling our attempt to exploit a very lucrative licensing market.

JUDGE: At which point you should have gone home, dusted off your resume, and hit the bricks looking for a new job.

SCO LAWYER: We came up with a better plan.

JUDGE: I don't think there's a--

SCO LAWYER: We would like the Court to force Uniqque to give us their copyright.

JUDGE: The... what? The copyright that we just determined they now legally own, completely and fully, and that you have no legal claim to whatsoever?

SCO LAWYER: The very same.

JUDGE: On what grounds?

SCO LAWYER: We really, really want it.


  


The Real Legal Argument Revealed (in a comic strip) | 242 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
The Real Legal Argument Revealed (in a comic strip)
Authored by: DaveJakeman on Thursday, April 29 2010 @ 12:50 PM EDT
Yes, SCO really, really want the UNIX copyrights, all to themselves. No-one
else who sells their own UNIX flavour needs them, but SCO certainly do. They
also need more Emperor-quality silk, as they're running low.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off topic here
Authored by: xtifr on Thursday, April 29 2010 @ 12:56 PM EDT
Don't forget to make your links clicky, and post in HTML mode when required.

---
Do not meddle in the affairs of Wizards, for it makes them soggy and hard to
light.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections here
Authored by: xtifr on Thursday, April 29 2010 @ 12:58 PM EDT
Though it seems unlikely that they'll be needed in such a short article...

---
Do not meddle in the affairs of Wizards, for it makes them soggy and hard to
light.

[ Reply to This | # ]

News picks discussions here
Authored by: xtifr on Thursday, April 29 2010 @ 12:59 PM EDT
Comments on the news picks from the front page go here.

---
Do not meddle in the affairs of Wizards, for it makes them soggy and hard to
light.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Shouldn't that last line read
Authored by: Guil Rarey on Thursday, April 29 2010 @ 01:01 PM EDT
"Because we will exist in penal servitude to IBM for the rest of our
unnatural born lives because we sued them on the basis of ownership of
copyrights we don't actually have, have never had, will never have, and we knew
this at the time we sued"

---
If the only way you can value something is with money, you have no idea what
it's worth. If you try to make money by making money, you won't. You might con
so

[ Reply to This | # ]

Want or need?
Authored by: xtifr on Thursday, April 29 2010 @ 01:03 PM EDT
They'll probably actually argue that they "need" the copyrights (since
that's what the text of amendment 2 says), but I suspect that they
"need" it in the sense that my seven year old niece "needs"
a new video game. :)

---
Do not meddle in the affairs of Wizards, for it makes them soggy and hard to
light.

[ Reply to This | # ]

How many more retries before the real risk of sanction?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, April 29 2010 @ 01:07 PM EDT
"What, *again*?" That's how a layperson sees SCO's retries at
this windmill. So this layperson asks, "How many more
retries/types of retry might SCO employ or be able to employ
before they [read: their counsel] risk[s] sanction?

I ask because it's all to clear that it appears that only the
risk of sanctions will cause SCO to desist in this proceeding.

[ Reply to This | # ]

What's Uniqque?
Authored by: benw on Thursday, April 29 2010 @ 01:13 PM EDT
Am I missing something? I've never heard of Uniqque before ...

[ Reply to This | # ]

Oh, I _GET_ it....
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, April 29 2010 @ 01:21 PM EDT
Now that SCO has opened my eyes, should I sue SCO for having opened my eyes?

Before this I was content to just own the stuff I paid for or made, but now I
see that I won't be happy until I own everything. Logically*, it follows that
SCO owes me everything.

* Maybe I should have used some college education before using the word
"logically" but I can't access the memory of those classes since I
read SCO's latest brief.

[ Reply to This | # ]

i hope sco wins
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, April 29 2010 @ 01:44 PM EDT
What a joke the usa courts would look like then...

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • i hope sco wins - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, April 29 2010 @ 02:04 PM EDT
  • i hope sco wins - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, April 29 2010 @ 03:36 PM EDT
  • i hope sco wins - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, April 29 2010 @ 04:09 PM EDT
UNiX value timeline
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, April 29 2010 @ 01:44 PM EDT

It would be interesting to plot how the value of the official strain of UNiX has really evolved. If the value has been declining, then when does an extrapolation predict the value will hit zero? We'd need to look up what the value of various equity issues was when those changed hands in partial payment. I don't have all the details handy, but let's start:

1993 USL sells all its rights in UNiX to Novell. Price: ?hundreds of millions USD?

1995 Novell sells some of its rights in UNiX to Santa Cruz Operation. Price: ?hundreds of millions USD?

2000 (Aug 2) Santa Cruz Operation sells all its rights in UNiX to Caldera. Price: 28% of Caldera's stock, 7 million USD in cash and 18 million USD in loan guarantees from The Canopy Group.

2003 Caldera (now newSCO) allows Sun Microsystems to use and even open source Caldera's UNiX code. Price: approx 7 million USD

It would appear that while usage of UNiX-like systems may still be increasing, that is thanks to action in Linux, while the value of the official flavour of UNiX is on the decline. If we do a fit to the timeline and extrapolate, when will UNiX's predicted value hit zero, or did it already? It would be truly bizarre if Mr. Cahn were to keep claiming a great value to the litigation past the point where this simple model claims the product should become worthless even if the copyrights were owned by newSCO (which the courts have indicated they are not).

[ Reply to This | # ]

Just for the sake of argument...
Authored by: cpeterson on Thursday, April 29 2010 @ 01:58 PM EDT
Don't take this post as saying I think this can or should happen.

Suppose Judge Stewart's law co-processor throws an unexpected result, and SCO
ends up with the copyrights via specific performance. What would happen next?

One possibility: if Novell's 4.16(b) rights to waive claims by SCO were
affirmed, then things get very interesting as SCO v. IBM comes around.

Assuming the waiver rights also get changed to SCO's favor, we'd have to think
about the Swiss arbitration. That would change a whole bunch - SCO would be able
to show they didn't give away the IP because they didn't own it then. Novell
would be the ones who gave it away, but that might require a different set of
claims. (I'm not very familiar with what the claims are for arbitration.)

I wonder how happy SCO would be with "tracing" - just like was done
with the converted funds - to determine which of the copyrights had already been
committed to UnitedLinux, or via the GPL, and are no longer available for SCO to
"enforce."

And this much, I think, is near certain: any material that pertains to Linux
fits in one of those categories, and is therefore already protected. SCO is, at
this point, *only* a hazard to Unix, and most probably that hazard is limited to
SCO Unix.

And it seems someone was ranting on how, for the sake of national security and
the world economy, it would be unwise for the courts to allow SCO Unix to be
placed at risk...

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Real Legal Argument Revealed (in a comic strip)
Authored by: deck2 on Thursday, April 29 2010 @ 02:05 PM EDT
Even beyond this, I believe that tSCOg would like to have all Unix copyrights awarded to them. All of Oracle/Sun's, HP's, etc. etc. through trickery of the wording of the orders of this court and tSCOg's twisted view of derivative works. Even to be given copyright to parts of Unix that are truely in the public domain. Maybe even copyright to software that has been used on unix and unix like systmes. What they want is a government granted monopoly to things they have no right to have so they can sit back and rake in the money.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Even if $DEITY had ruled....
Authored by: KayZee on Thursday, April 29 2010 @ 03:01 PM EDT
Even if $DEITY had ruled SCO do not own the copyrights, they would appeal next
to meta $DEITY, then meta-meta $DEITY etc. until our sun burned out.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Priceless!
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, April 29 2010 @ 03:17 PM EDT

A decade of Discovery

Years of litigation, debating how many unix code can be written on the head of a pin

Tons of redwoods, ground to pulp, bleached, press and rolled for the never ending motions, counter motions and "Overlength Memorandum"

Millions of dollars spent on inkjet and laserwriter toner kits

Billions of frequent flyer miles collected and spent

In pursuit of the quintessential Comic

Priceless!

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Real Legal Argument Revealed (in a comic strip)
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, April 29 2010 @ 03:45 PM EDT
It's a company that offers a novel form of Unix called Uniqs.

[ Reply to This | # ]

We really, really want it. :-)
Authored by: SilverWave on Thursday, April 29 2010 @ 05:26 PM EDT
Spot On.

---
RMS: The 4 Freedoms
0 run the program for any purpose
1 study the source code and change it
2 make copies and distribute them
3 publish modified versions

[ Reply to This | # ]

One thing that I hope comes from all of this...
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, April 29 2010 @ 05:33 PM EDT
I hope we never see another Asset Purchase Agreement, amendment, or contract
worded as badly as this one. I think the words..."Any amendment to this
agreement must be approved by Seller's Board of Directors or similar governing
body", would have prevented many headaches, not to mention money.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Wannabe?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, April 29 2010 @ 05:52 PM EDT
One for the Brits?

...

I'll tell you what I want, what I really really want,
So tell me what you want, what you really really want,
I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna really
really really wanna copyrights ha.

If you wanna be my lawyer, you gotta give great defence,
Make it last forever litigation never ends,
If you wanna be my lawyer, you have got to give,
Taking is too easy, but that's the way it is.

...

Err, I'll get my coat :)

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Wannabe? - Authored by: ionic on Friday, April 30 2010 @ 01:55 AM EDT
    • Wannabe? - Authored by: AndyC on Friday, April 30 2010 @ 04:26 AM EDT
  • Wannabe? - Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, April 30 2010 @ 01:23 PM EDT
Apple Patents
Authored by: kawabago on Thursday, April 29 2010 @ 07:48 PM EDT
Is there a date set for release of the SCOTUS decision in Re Bilski? It would
be nice to prepare a wake for software patents or a wake for programming
depending on which way it goes.

[ Reply to This | # ]

a little balance
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, April 29 2010 @ 08:47 PM EDT
Its wonderful to have this dedicated group covering this so well for so long.

One thing I really miss is some comment from an attorney or other professional
practising in this area of law to provide some balance/perspective.

To our lay eyes much of this seems quite disgusting/amazing/perplexing.

So I ask, anybody with real experience, is this normal behavior of
attorneys/judges/corporations in your usa courts?

For seven long years I have looked on in askance..

[ Reply to This | # ]

Just dreaming - what might work ...
Authored by: dmarker on Friday, April 30 2010 @ 01:09 AM EDT


If we make some assumptions such as ...

- Judge Stewart is sane & knows what is at stake & rules sensibly (&
why not)

- tSCOg are on the ropes & trying to create a way they can get off the hook
without criminal charges being laid against the principals of the company

- the ongoing legal wrangling is an entertaining evidence of how they will keep
fighting until given a 'get out of jail free' card (built in to the BSF fees
from the start)

- that IBM and the other damaged /offended against companies who are still
waiting to feed tSCOg and its principals through a finely adjusted meat grinder

- then if HP were to buy the carcass of tSCOg and its litigation rights &
promptly end them in a way that can't be undone

Then perhaps this messy embarrassment can come to an end.

It has to be getting increasingly uncomfortable for any company that contributed
to tSCOg's original & subsequent litigation. Maybe Microsoft as well as IBM
would like to see it end. One to protect their tarnished reputation & the
other to just get on with normal business.

So my fantasy is HP buys tSCOg or its assets (incl APA & amendments) &
donates the technology to open source & Novell also contributes the
copyrights to OS (in what ever way stops baby SCOs.

DSM


[ Reply to This | # ]

Could Novell GPL their copyrights?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, April 30 2010 @ 04:16 AM EDT
Given that Novell have had their ownership of the copyrights confirmed, and they
don't seem to need them for their own business, could they release the
copyrights under the GPL? If they did it now, could this preempt a court telling
them to hand them over to SCO?

[ Reply to This | # ]

871: (ORAL ARGUMENT REQUESTED)
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, April 30 2010 @ 04:22 AM EDT
When might we expect anything on (scheduling) this?

bjd

[ Reply to This | # ]

On copyrighting code
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, April 30 2010 @ 09:13 AM EDT
There has been a lot of discussion on the rights of copyright owners of their
code. My question relates to how much do you need to add to a source file to add
a copyright notice. Is a single line enough? a function? a single character? Do
comments count?

Assuming that a function and a call to it are added to a source, a copyright
notice is added, and then later a better implementation is written for that
function(by someone else, how does the original function get expunged? Does the
improved writer get to delete that function? does it hang around for 17 years(oh
wait, forever now)?

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Real Legal Argument Revealed (in a comic strip)
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, May 01 2010 @ 02:14 PM EDT
Looks like something I saw on Groklaw, only can't place just where.

[ Reply to This | # ]

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