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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.

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