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SCO Rattles Its Nasty Saber Once Again
Wednesday, June 25 2003 @ 03:36 PM EDT

Now McBride is saying SCO can audit AIX customers during discovery.

"'As we move into discovery, this will be very nice for us because now we get to go in and talk to all their people, their customers. We get to really shake things up and get in to find out what really is going on over there,' he said.

"McBride claimed that SCO has the right to audit IBM's customers. 'We have other rights under the contract we are looking at. For example, we can audit IBM customers. SCO has audit rights on its customers,' he said."

Clearly, SCO hasn't given one thought to after this trial is over. Maybe they are sure they will go under unless they win this battle. For sure, it's impossible to imagine anyone in their right mind entering into a business relationship with this company in the future.

3 comments  View Printable Version
Most Recent Post: 06/25 09:27PM by Anonymous

Here's Info on GNU/FreeBSD
Wednesday, June 25 2003 @ 02:44 PM EDT

In case you thought Stallman was just dreaming, here is where GNU/FreeBSD work is going on.

And here is the FSF GNU/Hurd project.

2 comments  View Printable Version
Most Recent Post: 06/26 12:22AM by Anonymous

LinuxTag Wins Concession from SCO Germany
Wednesday, June 25 2003 @ 02:30 PM EDT is reporting, in German, naturally, that SCO has filed a court document essentially agreeing not to repeat any more FUD in Germany against Linux. Here's an English computer-"translation" by Sherlock:

"SCO adds itself warning by LinuxTag

"The LinuxTag is present now an omission assertion of SCO Germany. Therein the enterprise commits itself to state in the future not further of Linux operating systems contained illegitimately acquired mental property of SCO Unix. The SCO Group will also not continue to state, final users could be made liable for the use of Linux or would have prosecution to fear as well as Linux are an not authorized derivative of Unix. During offence become a contractual penalty of 10.000 euro due.

"Against SCO several warnings are present. The association LinuxTag was selected of SCO as a recipient of the omission assertion, since this had expressed a warning as one first and a representative selection of the Linux users represents the members. The warning should force SCO to submit proofs for the alleged law breakings or take the statements back.

"Johannes Loxen of the German Linux federation regards the omission assertion as a partial success for the Linux municipality, since now the Vorverurteilung of the Linux users is from the desk. Now enterprises, which sent warnings away, check as the SerNet GmbH, whether the omission assertion is sufficient representatively of all warnings."

1 comments  View Printable Version
Most Recent Post: 08/14 10:49AM by Anonymous

Stallman on SCO: It's No Disaster
Wednesday, June 25 2003 @ 12:24 PM EDT

Richard Stallman has an article which you can read on ZDNet. He speaks with scorn but also restraint about what SCO is doing, saying they appear to be shaking the tree to see if any money falls down. No matter what they do, he adds, it doesn't really matter, because rewrites are possible and because GNU/Linux is only one possible combination. There are two other kernels that work just fine too:

"I cannot prognosticate about the SCO vs IBM lawsuit itself: I don't know what was in their contract, I don't know what IBM did, and I am not a lawyer. The Free Software Foundation's lawyer, Professor Moglen, believes that SCO gave permission for the community's use of the code that they distributed under the GNU GPL and other free software licenses in their version of GNU/Linux.

"However, I can address the broader issue of such situations. In a community of over half a million developers, we can hardly expect that there will never be plagiarism. But it is no disaster; we discard that material and move on. If there is material in Linux that was contributed without legal authorization, the Linux developers will learn what it is and replace it. SCO cannot use its copyrights, or its contracts with specific parties, to suppress the lawful contributions of thousands of others. Linux itself is no longer essential: the GNU system became popular in conjunction with Linux, but today it also runs with two BSD kernels and the GNU kernel. Our community cannot be defeated by this."

Here's what he didn't say: he didn't say, "I told you so." He didn't say, "SCO are skunks." He did say: if you say GNU/Linux instead of Linux, it helps you to think more clearly, and it would help a lot right now, because if Linux were to fall, Linux the kernel, then people understand right away that GNU/Hurd hits the ground running. In other words, Linux used to be essential, but it no longer is. If they kill the Linux kernel, which he doesn't expect, then a free operating system is still here and no one will be deprived of anything.

In a calm, cerebral way, he is saying: Take that, you big business ethically challenged bully strategists. Now whatcha gonna do?

"And Now, a Word from our Sponsor"
Tuesday, June 24 2003 @ 11:46 PM EDT

Without a word of commentary, here is Jonathan Cohen's recommendation on SCOX stock:

"SCO Group stands out in tech....It has potential, while many other names in the sector have run up so much they're now too expensive, says money manager Jonathan Cohen....Plenty of tech stocks have had their run. But some in the small- and mid-cap arenas still have potential, Jonathan Cohen of JHC Capital Management said. Software developer SCO Group (SCOX, news, msgs) is one of those, he added....  Cohen said the company's stock has done well this year on the back of solid fundamentals..."

Where might you read the rest of this sage advice? Why, on Microsoft's MSN MoneyCentral; where else?

3 comments  View Printable Version
Most Recent Post: 02/16 12:24PM by Anonymous

SCO Reads the GPL and Backs Off!
Tuesday, June 24 2003 @ 07:01 AM EDT

Computerwire has the most significant article, an interview with SCO's Chris Sontag. SCO is clearly backing off, at least if Sontag can be believed as representing what will really happen and it isn't just one more twist in the winding road. He says that it is unlikely they will be suing Linux companies. Sontag makes it sound like they made this decision because they are such nice guys and don't want to kill the GPL. It is, to me, more likely that they finally read it and realize they can't go forward without bumping straight into the GPL and losing. Here is what he said:

"One of the reasons we haven't launched a suit against a Linux distributor is because of the GPL [open source General Public License]," Sontag told ComputerWire. "It would blow up the GPL and destroy Linux and we do not want to do that."

Sure you don't.

Don't you just love it when bullies start to worry and act nice when they think they are going to get hit back?

Sontag clarifies what McBride meant by saying "wait til July". Seems they are trying to figure out some way to get around the GPL and still get money from licenses. Good luck. Here's their plan so far:

Rather than focus its legal efforts on the open source community and Linux distributors, SCO is working to identify the issues and come up with solutions in consultation with customers and other parties, said Sontag. The company hopes to have these solutions finalized during July, he added. One solution may be a new kind of licensing mechanism for the SCO Unix code, he said, although there remain issues with the GPL that complicate how such a mechanism might be implemented. Sontag said SCO's effort was focused on identifying Linux intellectual property issues and possible mechanisms through which future problems could be prevented.

This could be the beginning of the end, folks. I have long admired the GPL and now I think I love it.

5 comments  View Printable Version
Most Recent Post: 06/26 12:25AM by Anonymous

O, What a Tortuous Web We Weave...
Tuesday, June 24 2003 @ 06:19 AM EDT

It is being reported that SCO has issued a letter to their customers, or partners as they like to call them, though if I had purchased any of their products, I would not wish to be perceived as their "partner in crime". I don't personally see what is new in this letter that wasn't in the first one, but I must be getting sick of SCO and missing a beat. I will accept from others' seeing this as new that it is. The letter says that they won't sue their own Linux customers, just presumably everyone else:

"3 - Finally, although this action affects future development and sales of SCO[base ']s Linux offerings, SCO will continue to support our SCO Linux and OpenLinux customers and partners who have previously implemented those products and we will hold them harmless from any SCO intellectual property issues regarding Linux. SCO will continue to honor all contractual obligations with existing customers including product updates, service, and support."

When I read the letter, it did give me a laugh though, because the letter says in part this:

" As you know, on March 7, 2003 SCO announced that it filed legal action against IBM in the State Court of Utah, for misappropriation of trade secrets, tortuous interference, unfair competition and breach of contract."

There is no such legal term as "tortuous", though there probably should be. There is a word "tortious", meaning related to a tort.

Tortuous, however, is very apt, under the circumstances, because it means: "Marked by repeated twists, bends or turns; 2. Marked by devious or indirect tactics."

There is sadly no law against tortuous acts. If there were, I'd be suing SCO at 9 AM on the dot.

Clearly, SCO still does not understand the GPL at all; or they intend to say it doesn't have any legal weight. If the latter, they can hardly claim that they respect the IP rights of others, as they are asking others to do for them.

Meanwhile, regarding Linus' assertion that SCO does not have IP rights in RCU, here is a link to some information that appears to support that statement. Read the comments also, because there are helpful links.

As you will know if you did your homework on what is a trade secret from a day or so ago, you can't have a trade secret in a patented item. It's one or the other. By filing the patent, you give up all secrecy and thus all claims to trade secrecy. And in this case, the patent belongs to Sequent, which IBM bought. Here is what RCU does. And here is, once again, Cringely's analysis of the RCU claim.

However, one thing to remember is that you can have both a copyright and a patent, or one entity could have one and another the other. Also, there could be other patents, related to the original RCU patent but enough different to rate a patent, although I couldn't find any that SCO owns. Or, they could be making contract-related claims based on a Monterey contract we haven't seen. Or they just don't get the tech of it any better than they have mastered the legal terminology. Who knows?

Anyway, if you want to look at the patents, just go here and type in what you want to search for in Term 1. For example, if you type in 5442758 , the number of the Sequent patent, you will get quite a list of what the computer thinks are related or similar patents. If you go down the list, you will find quite a few belonging to IBM, including a number filed in 1996 onward, around the time of Monterey, a number belonging to Sun, a couple of Intel's and none of SCO's or Novell's. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist, just that you can't find it that way.

You can also search by key words, like "Read and Copy and Update", for example. You can also search by name of owner. I don't have the tech expertise to know what I have found, but perhaps you do. Once SCO reveals exactly what they say is copied, we'll have more to go on, if that happy day ever comes, but if I were a person that bets, I'd put my money today on their relying on a contractual claim, based once again on their owning UNIX and their aggressive definition of derivative code.

I did have a moment's reflection when I started coming across Sun's patents. Hmm, you don't suppose? Nah. Couldn't be.

One thing I noticed in the media coverage of the SCO protest last Friday: McBride was quoted as saying, "Just wait til July." Wonder what he means by that... I think instead of "tortuous" perhaps he meant to say "torturous".

3 comments  View Printable Version
Most Recent Post: 06/25 05:23AM by Anonymous

Linus: "I Allege That SCO Is Full of It"
Monday, June 23 2003 @ 02:16 PM EDT

EWeek has an email interview with Linus [PJ: Originally published here:,3959,1133141,00.asp but then moved and Internet Archive-blocked] in which he flatly states that SCO claims are ... well... of no value and that "SCO doesn't have any IP rights that I can see". He uses as an example their IP claims about RCU, which was written by, and thus copyrighted by, and patented by IBM (originally by Sequent, which IBM bought). He defends the kernel development model, and when asked if he had any plans to change it, said this:

"No. I allege that SCO is full of it, and that the Linux process is already the most transparent process in the whole industry. Let's face it, nobody else even comes close to being as good at showing the evolution and source of every single line of code out there. The only party that has had serious problems clarifying what they are talking about is SCO, and now when details start emerging like with RCU, it's clearly about IP that they had nothing to do with, and don't even own. I'm sure that they are confident that they own the collective work of Unix, but that's a separate thing entirely legally from being the actual copyright owner of any specific section of code. "

1 comments  View Printable Version
Most Recent Post: 06/24 01:22AM by Anonymous

Raymond Disputes Trade Secrets Claim
Monday, June 23 2003 @ 04:20 AM EDT

Eric Raymond claims to have 60 people willing to sign affidavits that they had "read access to proprietary Unix source code... under circumstances where either no non-disclosure agreement was required or whatever non-disclosure agreement [they] had was not enforced." PCWorld asked an IP lawyer if this would help IBM's case:

"The No Secrets site might help IBM's case, depending on how Raymond's Linux users got their access to the code, says Jeffrey Neuburger, a technology lawyer with Brown Raysman Millstein Felder & Steiner, who has been following the SCO-IBM case.

"If users legitimately had access to the System V source code, it 'would certainly undermine [SCO's] trade secret and misappropriation claims,' Neuburger says. 'If these 60 people that have signed the affidavits have stolen the source code that wouldn't help.'"

The article doesn't mention it, but it is worth pointing out that violating someone's trade secret can be a criminal as well as a civil offense. Raymond states "You take no risk by telling me you have had read access to UNIX source code." That isn't true. If anyone stole the source code or gained illegal access, they are taking a risk by signing up, for sure. I doubt anyone did, but to say that there is no risk is not accurate. Here's just one article to demonstrate.

3 comments  View Printable Version
Most Recent Post: 07/22 10:40AM by Anonymous

Oh, Is That All?
Sunday, June 22 2003 @ 09:00 PM EDT

Oh, Is That All? The Deseret News [Update: now on Internet Archive] reporting on the protest against SCO, gives us my favorite quotation since this story first broke:
SCO spokesman Blake Stowell says his company's lawsuit will not put an end to Linux. "Linux could still be used; it just wouldn't be free," Stowell said.

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