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To read comments to this article, go here
The Memo is Legit
Thursday, March 04 2004 @ 05:44 PM EST

Well, folks, the memo is real.

I just got confirmation from Eric Raymond that SCO has acknowledged the memo as legitimate. Eweek's Mary Jo Foley and Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols have the proof:

Blake Stowell, SCO's director of communications, acknowledged that the leaked memo is real.

But, Stowell claimed that pundits had mischaracterized the memo's context. "We believe the e-mail was simply a misunderstanding of the facts by an outside consultant who was working on a specific unrelated project to the BayStar transaction and he was told at the time of his misunderstanding. Contrary to the speculation of Eric Raymond, Microsoft did not orchestrate or participate in the BayStar transaction."

Tell it to the judge, Mr. Stowell. [Update: The memo, originally posted on OSI's website at www.opensource.org/halloween/halloween10.html was subsequently removed. It's now here on Eric Raymond's website, with his interspersed commentary. See below for the memo as text.]



Darl McBride was asked by Dan Farber just the other day about a MS connection and he denied it. Here is what he said, according to my notes:

" I hear the same conspiracy rumors that are out there that you are hearing. . . . I can tell you as the guy in the driver's seat in these deals, that there's none of that going on."

This is at about 12:51 in the video. Just thought someone might like to know who's in the driver's seat in these deals.

If you want your eyes to bug out, take a look at what Microsoft's loathsome metadata has revealed -- up until February, SCO was planning a DMCA action against the Bank of America, and they planned to ask the judge to impound all Linux software in the BofA's possession during the trial. I figured that was the DMCA plan, and that may give us insight into why EV1 may have been terrified not to take a license (they unfortunately didn't understand the GPL or the significance of Novell's copyright registration or they wouldn't have been terrified) but look at what these princes among men had in mind, and probably still do:

In seeking relief from the courts, the original version of the document also said that it sought: "impounding all Linux software products in the custody or control of Defendant through the pendency of these proceedings;" and "statutory damages under the Third Cause of Action in a sum not less than $2,500 and not more than $25,000 for each and every copy and/or distribution of Linux made by Defendant."

For all I know, this is a deliberately leaked bit of info too. Some things are just right or wrong, no negotiations, no excuses. This story is one of them.

Here is the "misunderstood" memo:

***************************************************

--- From the mailbox of chris sontag

From: Mike Anderer
Sent: Sunday, October 12, 2003
To: csontag at sco.com
CC: Bob Bench
Subject: Conversation Friday

Chris:

I know you were going totalk to Bob later Friday, but I figured I would outline the issues.

1) Baystar is easy as they were just a Microsoft referral and would be 2%

2) Any licensing deal would be at 5%

3) Much of the other work would go from 2% to 3% as I have engaged in direct, but this would require according to Bob either Darl or you signing off on the fact that this ane was not a referral.

4) On the patent side for IPX, where foes that fit it. I am working with the lawyers to get these moved from provisional to more complete in the next week. I think it will spawn at least 3 patents. Ed and I are the inventors on these. What do we fo here

5) The RedHat, Acrylis examiniation, there is no upside here is this billable seperatly. I bought a PC and loaded up RedHat and will take that over and work through it with the Lawfirm. What do we do here?

I realize the last negotiations are not as much fun, but Microsoft will have brough in $86 million for us including Baystar. The next deal we should be able to get from $16-20, but it will be brutial as it is for go to makerket work and some licences. I know we can do this , if everyone stays on board and still wants to do a deal. I just want to get this deal and move away from corp dev and out into the marketing andfield dollars....In this market we can get $3-5 million in incremental deals and not have to go through the gauntlet which will get tougher next week with the SR VP's.

We should line up some small acquisitions here to jump start this if we do it. We shoudl also do this ASAP. Microsoft also indicated there was a lot more money out there and they would clearly rather use Baystar"like" entities to help us get signifigantly more money if we want to grow further or do acquisitions

This Microsoft deal is the Ante to the poker game...We should get this done and go after several $2-3 Million deals from the expense side of their company.

The will help us a lot and if we execute we could exit and Unix componients we have build potentially back to Microsoft or MCS. I think they are on track and may not be able to push much more this round, but there are other ways to get money from them, their partners, investment bank referrals, etc..

Do kepp in mind that they have brough us between $82 million and $86 million if this deal is between $4million per quarter where Rich is at, or it turns into %5 million wjich is the lowest number Chris had interest in.

There will be more, lons, partnerships, etc..but we need to just get this one done. It is too high profile, it is also critical, but they are not the people to pitch. We should get what we can from them ad then work the other and larger areas of the company and groups where they have real budget and need for our help.

.Let me know your thoughts.

-Mike


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