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Why SCO Wants All Versions of AIX and Some Novell News
Thursday, January 22 2004 @ 04:21 AM EST

Here is what SCO wants IBM to provide in discovery, and why, according to Chris Sontag, as reported in What PC? by Peter Williams:
"All the versions of AIX, so we can carefully analyse all the history of where AIX has gone, to compare with [IBM's] contributions made to Linux.

"[When] we have the code snapshot of the whole of AIX, [we will] with 100 per cent assurance be able to say: 'Yes this did come directly from AIX without some intermediate modification.'

"We do have a number of snapshots of some pieces of what IBM has contributed that we definitely can tell came from AIX inappropriately in violation of their contract with us."
This interview was published January 20.

Sontag, in answer to the question as to whether SCO would sue Novell, said:

"It certainly is an option. We may or may not take action against Novell. But Novell has taken on itself a significant amount of liability in a number of ways.

"It has acquired SuSE, which is in violation of the licence-back we have with Novell, [under which] we licence back to Novell intellectual property for them to use in a limited way in their core network business, as long as it did not compete with the business that Novell sold to SCO - Unix."
"It is an option." Indeed. How forthcoming and straightforward. However, my purpose in quoting it is simply to point out that they did not go after Novell for an alleged violation of a noncompete clause when they sued them the following day, the 21st. After a discussion of HP's and Novell's indemnification programs, which Sontag claims cost $700 a year, he has these significant words:

"It is unfortunate that end users bear the burden for liability related to Linux. It's because of the GPL. I don't think most companies realised what they were signing up for when they started making significant deployments of Linux. They are aware of it now.

"The end user bears all the burden, and it's not quite as free as it used to be. Red Hat, Novell and the major providers of Linux now are charging more for Linux than SCO charges for its high-end commercial versions of Unix. So the benefits of Linux have largely gone away."
I find these words significant because my opinion from day one was that they were harping on the indemnification issue precisely because they wanted Linux to be "not quite as free as it used to be" so that "the benefits of Linux" would largely go away. The lawsuit may have the same purpose. They must know the licensing program is not going to work out for them financially, and in fact he acknowledges not many have signed up. He says "tens" have. We have heard that before, that some were signing up, but I never see any confirmation in the SEC filings. He also claims they will be suing several end users, not just one. But then this is the same guy who just said with a straight face they might or might not sue Novell the day before they did. It is conceivable the interview was done earlier than that, but considering how long it takes to prepare legal documents to initiate a lawsuit, I feel confident he knew they would be suing Novell when he gave this answer.

He also has some ideas on why he thinks open source isn't as secure as proprietary software, but it's too silly, in my opinion, to reproduce. Meanwhile, Novell announced something security related:

For those to whom security is paramount, Novell announced that in partnership with IBM, it had achieved Controlled Access Protection Profile compliance under The Common Criteria for Information Security Evaluation (CC), commonly referred to as CAPP/EAL3+ for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 with Service Pack 3 on IBM eServers.

Novell representatives also said that the documentation for Novell-SUSE's security workup will be made open source so that other Linux and hardware vendors can quickly achieve their own security certifications.
Novell CEO Jack Messman, at his Wednesday press conference, said that SCO's campaign against Linux is failing:
"This lawsuit illustrates SCO's campaign against enterprise adoption of Linux is foundering," said Jack Messman, Novell's chairman and chief executive, at a press conference at the LinuxWorld conference here. "It seems litigation has become SCO's principal line of business."

"We took a license and it gives us the right to use Unix ourselves and to allow our customers to use Unix," Messman said. "Any Unix that is in Linux we have the right to use and we will provide that right to our customers."
He also said being sued by SCO means, "We're in good company with IBM and Red Hat." You can listen to the entire press conference by going to this page and clicking on the appropriate link.

Because of attending the GPL seminar, I didn't explain one very important thing about IBM. The Novell-SCO slander to title lawsuit won't impact at all on IBM's lawsuit. By that I mean this: As I mentioned, it's a contract case without copyright claims against IBM. I didn't mention that IBM's counterclaims are not affected either. IBM has accused SCO of violating the GPL and copyright and patent infringement. SCO, if guilty, isn't protected if it were to prove it owns the copyright to Unix. You don't need to be a copyright holder to violate the GPL and holding the copyright to Unix doesn't protect you if you violate the terms of the GPL and are then guilty of copyright infringement of someone else's copyright. This IBM counterclaim has nothing to do with who owns the copyrights to Unix. It's a question of IBM having their own copyright on certain code released under the GPL and their accusation that SCO violated the terms of the GPL and then became guilty of copyright infringement in relation to that IBM-copyrighted code. So as far as IBM's counterclaims go, it doesn't matter if Novell owns the copyright to Unix or if SCO does. Ditto for their patent claims. Even if SCO were to prevail over Novell and get all Unix copyrights transferred to them, it wouldn't aid them one bit in their law suit with IBM.

Salt Lake City Weekly has some juicy quotes in an article on the SCO mess. The author interviewed not only Darl, but Linus and Bruce Perens and others affected by the SCO saga. First Linus:

When asked if he had any questions to pass along to McBride, Linus Torvalds chose to err on the side of caution. "The less I have to do with Darl McBride, the better off I am ... I don’t want for that 'Darlness' to rub off on me.”
He also speaks to the issue of economics and denies that open source is a detriment to the economy:
Not mentioning the fact that SCO used the GPL to its advantage for years, Torvalds notes that U.S. copyright law explicitly regards "financial gain" to include the exchange of other copyright works -- the share and share alike principle. As for the notion that Linux undermines business interests, Torvalds argues just the opposite.

“The GPL makes money by making infrastructure available and having an open competition in that infrastructure space," he said. "I would liken the Linux kernel to the roadway system. It’s not necessarily generating money in itself. But everybody wants to maintain good roads, because having good roads is really important to having a flourishing business.

“So everybody is willing to chip in a bit. And the GPL . . .works on that principle, that if you have a lot of people willing to chip in a bit to the end result, it’s going to be much, much bigger than any of the individual contributors could have done alone.”
The Salt Lake City Weekly is naturally most interested in local reaction, and they interviewed a local businessman, the CEO of Guru Labs:
If SCO’s posturing is merely a campaign to spread FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) within the software world, Dax Kelson would be its target demographic. But the co-founder and president of Guru Labs, a Linux training provider, doesn’t seem too worried.

“I don’t think anyone in the IT world is sympathetic with SCO until they actually cough up some evidence,” he said. . . .

“Just because one restaurant goes out of business, that doesn’t mean the restaurant industry as a whole is doomed, or that there is some problem with the restaurant business model," he said.

Before starting Guru Labs, Kelson launched his own Internet service provider in 1996. The whole operation ran on open-source systems, without which, Kelson says, he never could have gotten the business off the ground. The now 28-year-old entrepreneur sold the startup in 1999 for $2 million. Not bad for a college dropout.
I have also heard that SCO has joined the German equivalent of the BSA, the German Multimedia Union or DMMV. According to SCO plans to use the organization to pursue its goals on IP and "bring IP to people's attention". It's in German, but your computer translator is no doubt up to the task. Here's Sherlock's translation:
SCO joins German Multimediaverband

Because it obstructs, by an omission assertion, its position to the international sales represented by IP licenses for Linux installations in Germany not offensively knows, the SCO Group the German Multimediaverband (dmmv), specialized group software industry joined. Since today she is welcomed there as a new member.

With the entry the SCO Group would like to sensitize the Multimediabereich for IP questions, since this uses frequently Linux. Additionally one hopes, over which federation appoints itself outside hearing to find and thereby to the statute of the specialized group software industry, in which it means over their function: "public and compile politics critical topics bring you close and statements to current questions. To provide and it with their daily working processes by practical assistance support, likewise the contact maintenance belongs to the members hearing to external institutions and organizations to the functions like the promotion of the Networking among themselves as well as."

A statement of the federation still pends, because the responsible person Munich office is in the middle "in a removal", as dmmv Presseassistenz Arenz indicated.

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