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Caldera Operating Systems Software Unix

Today's SCO News 741

Posted by michael
from the put-up-or-shut-up dept.
landoltjp writes "SCO (Nasdaq: SCOX) are hosting a teleconference today in order to clear the air (*snort*) regarding "Novell's baseless UNIX ownership assertions" and other bits of hubbub and nonesense that's in the news today. Should be fun." And SCO has apparently been enjoined from making some of its claims by a German court (also here.) Cringely has an editorial on the whole mess.
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Today's SCO News

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  • by thrillbert (146343) * on Friday May 30, 2003 @12:31PM (#6077787) Homepage
    I've had it.. Okay, I just checked my wallet, and I'm ready to offer $43.00 cash for The SCO Group. I know I'm overpaying, but I just want to stop hearing about them!

    ---
    "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
    -- Benjamin Franklin, 1759
  • by kmilani2134 (652045) * on Friday May 30, 2003 @12:33PM (#6077806) Homepage
    $0 is going to have their own section in Slashdot.
  • by ElGuapoGolf (600734) on Friday May 30, 2003 @12:34PM (#6077810) Homepage
    The headline pretty much says it all. "Today's SCO News". SCO is doing *everything* they can to keep themselves in the media/technology spotlight.

    Of course, the Novell bit really hurt them, and now they're getting a bit desperate. If they had any dignity they'd just give up now, but we know they don't.

    • by TopShelf (92521) on Friday May 30, 2003 @12:57PM (#6078076) Homepage Journal
      On the other hand, it's good to see that the former Iraqi Information Minister has found new employment...
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 30, 2003 @01:02PM (#6078132)
      The headline pretty much says it all. "Today's SCO News". SCO is doing *everything* they can to keep themselves in the media/technology spotlight.

      I figure they're using that spotlight to make money.

      SCO's stock is way up in the past month or so (from ~$1.50 a share to ~$6 a share). Stock prices are related to the perceived value of the company. People are willing to pay more for the stock of a company which looks like it has the potential to make money.

      By claiming that they have the power to extract license fees from Linux users/companies (due to "stolen code", copyrights, or whatever) SCO has just invented a potential revenue stream out of thin air. Enough people think this revenue stream is real and sustainable (probably because of all the press that it's getting!) that the stock price has gone up. That real profit they made this quarter (thanks to MS?) probably didn't hurt either. Of course, that revenue stream almost certainly is not real or sustainable. I'm guessing that a lot of long-term SCO investors know this and have just sold their stock, which was probably the plan all along.
    • by Ayanami Rei (621112) <rayanami@gmai l . c om> on Friday May 30, 2003 @01:15PM (#6078271) Journal
      the "investor club" over here I talked to during lunch, and my daddy who's a CFO... neither had heard of the SCO debacle, or even knew who SCO is. But they all knew about the Microsoft AOL agreement.

      So, some job their doing staying in the spotlight. They're (SCO) just trying to make us suffer: of this I am sure.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 30, 2003 @12:34PM (#6077816)
    Der Bremer Linux-Spezialist univention_ hat vor dem Bremer Landgericht gegen die SCO Group GmbH eine einstweilige Verfügung erwirkt.

    Well! I'm certainly glad to have that cleared up.
  • by pb (1020) on Friday May 30, 2003 @12:35PM (#6077822)
    ...I'm sure they're using SCO UnixWare wherever possible, so dive right in, boys, I'm sure you won't /. them! After all, it's *much* more reliable than Linux, right??
  • Hot air... (Score:4, Funny)

    by VCAGuy (660954) on Friday May 30, 2003 @12:35PM (#6077824)
    Don't these people realize that they're wasting a renewable resource: hot air! We could probably produce megawatts from all of this ill wind...
  • by Lemmy Caution (8378) on Friday May 30, 2003 @12:35PM (#6077829) Homepage
    Just when did SCO become the North Korea of IT?
  • by Surak (18578) * <surak@nOsPaM.mailblocks.com> on Friday May 30, 2003 @12:36PM (#6077832) Homepage Journal
    t doesn't help, either, that one of SCO's own people made a strong argument awhile back against the whole idea that Unix code could make it into the Linux kernel. Linus Torvalds found a Linux-kernel mailing list (lkml) posting from Christoph Hellwig, a former employee at SCO, then called Caldera. Hellwig pointed out the impracticality of actually getting copied code from UnixWare accepted by the tough critics on the mailing list. "The kernel internals are so different that you'd need a big glue layer to actually make it work and you can guess how that would be ripped apart in a usual lkml review," Hellwig wrote.

    Hmmmm...the kernel internals are so different...? But wait, if that's the case how did IBM copy SCO code into Linux...? Exactly. It didn't. Even a SCO employee says so.

    SCO doesn't appear to be forcing Microsoft, so I can only come to the conclusion that Redmond is thinking of actually using that license, selling its own version of Unix. I wrote about something very similar to this a few months ago, only then I speculated that Microsoft might build a new OS atop Linux. But why use Linux when they could claim Unix, instead? The key here, I think, is the Windows emulation technology Microsoft got when it bought Connectix. Originally aimed at server consolidation, that code could be used by Microsoft to create and sell a Unix/Windows hybrid that would be a big success if Linux is killed by SCO. And the new Microsoft OS would even be a viable competitor to Linux if SCO loses, since it would offer Windows application compatibility. Microsoft could certainly use a sturdy server operating system for a change.

    I never put those together until Cringely did, and ya know, Cringley could be on to something here. It's entirely possible that Microsoft staged this whole thing from day one. That would be the ultimate evil -- but then, again, wouldn't that be just like them? Yeah. ;)

    • by Ciderx (524837) on Friday May 30, 2003 @12:45PM (#6077934)
      If you read all of Cringley's articles, you'll soon realise that no, Cringley is not onto anything EVER.
    • by ElGuapoGolf (600734) on Friday May 30, 2003 @12:49PM (#6077981) Homepage
      I think that Microsoft's Unix license probably has more to do with the fact that they produce a "Services for Unix". See this [microsoft.com] for details.

    • Nah, that last part was just Cringley trolling again. He is almost qualified to join the trolls here on /. with his constant "Microsoft Linux" and "Mac OS on Intel" wishful thinking/rumormongering. He just needs to add in a "BSD is Dying" or something about about hot grits to his future work. :)

      Microsoft will never abandon Windows for a *NIX base like Apple did, because Microsoft knows they will never compete in the marketplace on the merits of their products. No sane IT person trusts them on any front, from general customer relations (Licensing 6.0), security (Outlook), stability (all products) to having a stable upgrade path (VB.NET). Without their monopoly they are out of business. If they even ported Office it would only hurt them. The only people buying Office for Linux would be buying it in the context of migrating OFF of Windows and using Office for Linux as a temporary bridge product, meaning a one-time sale instead of a revenue stream.

      Nevertheless, the monopoly will be broken and they will fade into history. Too large to be allowed to completely fail, but settling into has-been status as one of those big mega-corps that nobody can really figure out what they do anymore, but still they exist.
      • by jedidiah (1196) on Friday May 30, 2003 @01:28PM (#6078402) Homepage

        NT runs a Microkernel. Microsoft doens't HAVE to abandon Windows for Unix. They can merely run it as a separate subsystem. They can run both simultaneously.

        At least that was Cutler's original idea.

        Hell, they don't even need a separate subsystem. All they need is the proper library support and build system support.
    • by pb (1020) on Friday May 30, 2003 @01:01PM (#6078120)
      It exists. SCO calls it the Linux Kernel Personality Technology [sco.com] (LKP), and claims that it "provides a more scalable, stable, secure and reliable environment than Linux can offer today".

      ...so, SCO, is there any copied Linux code in your kernel? Because it seems like a huge coincidence that your "UNIX" system runs Linux binaries; how could a two-bit operation like Caldera reimplement so much of Linux without some help, eh? :)

      (And for the record, they probably could have stolen...err appropriated code from FreeBSD. Also, note that Linux can run SCO binaries, through iBCS2. But that's likely because there's a standard that governs those binaries...)

    • by iabervon (1971) on Friday May 30, 2003 @01:12PM (#6078245) Homepage Journal
      SCO's actual allegations in the actual lawsuit seem to be that IBM started a joint project with SCO, learned some secrets, got some code, saw some patent-pending ideas, and then dropped the project. Then they put this stuff into Linux, where they make money on consulting and hardware, and SCO doesn't get anything out of the deal. This is plausible; I'm sure every slashdot reader can come up with a case of a company pulling this stunt. It's something that people practically expect from MicroSoft, and IBM has been similarly regarded at times in the past.

      Of course, the press releases and interviews give a very different story. But these have been generally quite incoherent and show no evidence of being better informed than outsider speculation. The whole thing may be unrelated to any UNIX IP, but to more recent and less public development efforts.
    • by gosand (234100) on Friday May 30, 2003 @01:43PM (#6078571)
      SCO doesn't appear to be forcing Microsoft, so I can only come to the conclusion that Redmond is thinking of actually using that license, selling its own version of Unix.

      I never put those together until Cringely did, and ya know, Cringley could be on to something here. It's entirely possible that Microsoft staged this whole thing from day one. That would be the ultimate evil -- but then, again, wouldn't that be just like them? Yeah. ;)

      Actually, I think what they (SCO and MS) wanted to happen didn't materialize, so they are taking this route. Consider this from the article by Cringely:

      But Novell made a good point, which was that SCO had been asking for the copyrights for some time, and Novell had refused. If being the copyright holder didn't matter, why did SCO want that role so badly?

      Gee, maybe SCO wanted to get its hands on the copyrights to UNIX so that Microsoft could buy SCO. If MS were to buy SCO, then they would have the copyright rights to UNIX, and could sic the lawyers on all the Linux vendors. All the greedy, incompetent execs at SCO get to retire on a nice fat payday, simply for turning over the keys to Linux. This plan didn't materialize because Novell wouldn't give up the rights, so Microsoft came up with this strategy. The execs at SCO don't really care what happens, they just need an out. They are heading a dying company, so all they are concerned about it how they can get paid before the whole things collapses.

      It may sound like a conspiracy theory, but I think it is a pretty good one. Using money and power, Microsoft could legally squash Linux. What, you think they wouldn't want to do that?

  • by SYFer (617415) <[syfer] [at] [syfer.net]> on Friday May 30, 2003 @12:37PM (#6077848) Homepage
    Fantastic! Since HBO did not air the final episode of "Six Feet Under" last weekend, I have been feeling serial drama-deprived all week!

    From this colorful agenda item from the press release, "Comments on Novell's baseless UNIX ownership assertions," it would appear that a fun and exciting installment is about to begin!

    Will Novell save Linux? Will SCO go through with the suicide? Will IBM get drunk and break a lamp over SCO's head?
  • by moehoward (668736) on Friday May 30, 2003 @12:38PM (#6077852)

    NOT!!!!!

    This is not going away. I suspect this will linger for a good year or more. That is, unless SCO shareholders make a stand. Which is just not going to happen. The lawyers are running the show. SCO is no longer a technology company. They are one of these new fangled IP companies, like Rambus. The really funny thing is that it's not even their own IP.

    I'm sure they think that they're on to something. But the courts have a way (albeit lengthy) of asserting common sense when the horse is already out of the barn.

    I STRONGLY urge the slashdot editors to consider a weekly update, rather than hourly update, on this story from now until next year.
    • by gregm (61553) on Friday May 30, 2003 @12:50PM (#6077992)
      "But the courts have a way (albeit lengthy) of asserting common sense when the horse is already out of the barn."

      You mean like in Microsoft's antitrust trial or how about OJ? Anything can happen in court.
    • by arivanov (12034) on Friday May 30, 2003 @12:56PM (#6078068) Homepage
      Nope. The case warrants an update. If I understand the babelfish horror correctly the German court has slapped an injunction on SCO on claiming that Linux infringes on anything and put a tag on it of 250000 Eu for any further violations. That is the first decision in a court of law on the case.

      Actually I do not quite understand IBM. Why the hell are they giving this a chance to be viewed in Utah? They could have countersued in a suitable country, obtained an injunction and got a relief exceeding SCO market's cap in Germany ten times by now. That is based on the value of their AIX business alone (before counting linux and linux related hardware in).

      After that SCO would have simply folded in. And we would have all been happy to follow another soap opera
    • by mugnyte (203225) * on Friday May 30, 2003 @01:14PM (#6078261) Journal
      I don't think anyone wants to save the rants for a week. News breaks, we /. it into oblivion. IANAL...

      However, I agree with you: This ain't going away. SCO is preparing to drag some poor courtroom through every keystroke of tools in the Linux distro - for however many versions.

      But remember, this is a constractual infringement, not a copyright issue. This means IBM broke its contract (if proven) and must pay damages. The code itself is still GPL or whatever.

      I sure hope the judge and jury understand that as a member of the Linux Group and (up until a few weeks ago) a working distro source, SCO had the onus to check its code for proprietary or copyrighted information. Otherwise, they simply prove the point that NO parties (except IBM's contract for releasing the code) can be liable. In other words, you check the distro you are pushing to be clean, or you say "buyer beware" and deliver the whole works.

      So, focusing on IBM contract for releasing the code, two things come to mind:

      [1] Novell's move is part of a different suit and will not have to be settled first; this SCO/IBM this is basically honoring the contract, not about code content (which is just an exhibit in this case).

      [2] If IBM put pieces of the code from System V/AIX/SCOunix into Linux, it can defend through either saying the code and algorithms presented were defacto optimal solutions obvious to anyone educated, and thus it is unprovable they themselves leaked it. Or, by saying these were other non-proprietary sources (again, from the instructional or OSS world). If IBM can prove that the design of such algorithms are already in the public domain, they could show the implementation would be a simple next step. IF the code is a letter-for-letter match, as SCO surely feels, IBM has a tough time explaining that. They will then focus on the letter of the contract, the position SCO had at the time supporting Linux development, and any other implied agreements regarding IP in Linux.

      Lastly, as for damages, SCO has stated they have lost market share due to the Linux movement (like MS, the hand working SCO's strings at the moment). But in their (quite public) participation in the Linux growth stage over recent years, they prove that no one party is responsible for this expansion. IBM's code release, even if proven, may or may not have affected the adoption of Linux into the mainstream. SCO will have a hard time proving that without it's alledged IP in the kernel, Linux would have flopped. So, IBM will probably not be responsible for much in terms of SCO's loss of market share. Especially since this means analyzing business environments with so many other changes going on.

      SCO itself has alienated everyone with favorable association to Linux. Hance MS's partnering to license their code ("as part of a long-standing Windows/Unix interoperability project") - like anyone believes that.

      Win or lose, Linux haters are happy to see FUD spread amoung the pointy-haired CTOs of the world. MS can now drop a slide into its hardly-effective PPS file for showing how "risky" Linux is regarding IP. Yawn. Any proprietary code will be quickly replaced in months.

      comments welcome

      mug
  • Saddle up! (Score:5, Funny)

    by anagama (611277) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Friday May 30, 2003 @12:38PM (#6077853) Homepage
    I'm hoping for some good old west style vigilante justice!
  • German Courts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jtkooch (553641) on Friday May 30, 2003 @12:38PM (#6077854)
    Aren't these the same German laws and courts that had the OSS world up in arms over the Killustrator/Adobe issue?

    It's hypocritcal to trash them when strange laws work against you, then cheer them when similarly strange laws work in your favor.
    • Re:German Courts (Score:5, Insightful)

      by barc0001 (173002) on Friday May 30, 2003 @01:17PM (#6078291)
      No, it's hypocritical to trash them when a particular law works against you, and then cheer when the SAME law works for you. Not similar laws.

    • by Nice2Cats (557310) on Friday May 30, 2003 @07:49PM (#6081640)
      This is a very intelligent law, not a strange law. Translated from legal German, it means: Shit, or get the hell off of the can. Compare this to the American legal system that lets SCO get away with spreading FUD long enough for people to start believing in it.

      Germany has the advantage of a 20th Century legal system that in many aspects -- though certainly not all -- is vastly superiour the 18th Century hack that the U.S. is hobbled by (for the record: I'm an American). This starts with the basic philosophy: The American system is adversarial, which means that you don't even pretend to care about what really happened, you just let both parties slug it out and declare one side a winner at the end. In constrast, the German system at least pretends to be interested in the truth. This means for example that procecutors are required by law to list all the evidence they think shows that the accused is innocent.

      Also: The court calls the scientific experts, which means that German cases are almost completely free of the junk science that makes the U.S. legal system so bizarre. Lawyers are paid the same (by fixed rates) if they win or lose and law students do not aspire to become millionaires. The guy with the most money doesn't automatically win -- while most Americans will not even consider going to court against entities with deep pockets anymore. All judges are appointed, not elected, and then they are basically untouchable; note the U.S. only uses this system for a few elite positions like the Supreme Court.

      More differences: Laws are written down in books, not make up as you go along by creative interpretations of older rulings. This provides Germany with Rechtssicherheit ("legal security"), so the legal environment has a certain degree of stability, a very, very alien concept to the U.S., where anybody can sue anybody else for anything at any time, stupid or not. As a result, there is basically no such thing as a "tactical lawsuit" in Germany. You don't get "laughed out of court" -- they don't let the clowns in in the first place.

      Like in any modern legal system, the lottery of trial-by-jury has been replaced by a panel of professional judges who know what DNA is and don't show up in Star Trek uniforms when considering a murder case -- remember OJ? People are assumed to be of average intelligence, not morons like in the U.S., and so you can't sue McDonald's if you are such a dumb fuck that you burn you tongue on their coffee (the mentally handicapped are treated on a case-by-case basis).

      The German legal system has also proven itself to be fiercely independant of government influence (compared to the Microsoft trial in the U.S., for example). German judges ruled flat out that Libya was behind the bombings in Berlin that killed U.S. soldiers at the same time the German administration was kissing up to Ghaddafi for economic reasons.

      There are, of course, disadvantages, like a tendency to give murders 20 years and then let them out after 15. However, the German system on the whole is far, far more sane than the American one, and so it doesn't surprise me one bit that SCO is not getting away with this crap in Germany.

  • by Lxy (80823) on Friday May 30, 2003 @12:38PM (#6077855) Journal
    Since the editors didn't find this interesting enough to include, I'll post it here.

    Lindows has claimed that their SCO license allowed them to relicense SCO kernel code as GPL. See here [ofb.biz] for the article. Basically it either means that Lindows has cleaned the offending kernel code or they're about to get sued off the face of the earth.
    • by carou (88501)

      This was also covered by C|net [com.com] and discussed in The Register [theregister.co.uk].

      From the C|Net article: "Businesses, educational institutions and home users of LindowsOS can be confident they will not be dragged into a legal battle." -- Michael Robertson, Lindows' chief executive.

      This assurance is based on a pre-existing arrangement between Lindows and SCO. But does their statement imply that other Linux users have something to fear? Have they inadvertently validated SCO's claim of an IP breach by other Linux vendor(s)?

  • by Cranst0n (617823) on Friday May 30, 2003 @12:38PM (#6077857) Journal
    While this is a great first step.. there is still much more to do.

    As a matter of fact, I think the moking gun against SCO has been sitting right under our noses. In searching for information about Novell's sale of UNIX(or licensing) to Caldera/SCO, I came across an interesting article from last march at

    http://linux.oreillynet.com/pub/a/linux/2002/02/ 28 /caldera.html

    In short las year Caldera(SCO) released some of the older UNIX Codes (they say including V7 and 32V) under an open source license. This means that if any of the code that SCO is talking about is revealed to be in these versions, they don't have a leg to stand on.

    Search for one thing, find something else.

  • by bstadil (7110) on Friday May 30, 2003 @12:39PM (#6077859) Homepage
    Posted this last night and I am surprised it has not hit the /. communuty yet.

    The oft maligned Distribution Lindows might have dealt a fatal blow to SCO [ofb.biz]. Lindows is apparantly in the clear due to contract entered between SCO and Lindows sometime ago. Couple this with the GPL and the Kernel is cleared for ALL even if the SCO allegations is correct.

  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Friday May 30, 2003 @12:40PM (#6077869)
    $CO is wonderful.
    All hail the great and powerful $CO.
    Pay no attention to the code behind the curtain!
    All hail the great and powerful $CO.
  • by beggs (517613) on Friday May 30, 2003 @12:42PM (#6077898) Homepage
    maybe if we all phone in at 1 we can slashdot the phone network? ;) >1:00pm e.d.t. >US: 1-800-289-0496 >International: 913-981-5519 >Conference code #: 164628
  • by NetRanger (5584) on Friday May 30, 2003 @12:43PM (#6077903) Homepage
    SCO GROUP INC (Nasdaq:SCOX)
    Last Trade
    12:26pm $6.66

    Hmmmm, 'nuff said.

    • Re:From Yahoo!... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by meringuoid (568297) on Friday May 30, 2003 @02:20PM (#6078927)
      With all these posts charting the decline and fall of SCO... I wonder how many slashdotters are short-selling their stock? They're doomed, we all know it, there's profit to be had... Now that would be the most devastating /.ing ever. Have we ever slashdotted someone's share price before?
  • Case closed (Score:5, Informative)

    by Znonymous Coward (615009) on Friday May 30, 2003 @12:45PM (#6077930) Journal
    SCOs own SEC filings [lwn.net] prove Novell's calims.

  • by valisk (622262) on Friday May 30, 2003 @12:46PM (#6077953) Homepage Journal
    The Bremen enterprise Univention obtained a provisional court order against the SCO Group GmbH in the Bremen regional court.

    The order forbids SCO from maintaining that, "that Linux operating systems illegitimately acquired and contains intellectual property of SCO Unix and/or that the end users of Linuxc can be made liable for patent infringement".

    The German SCO office faces a fine of up to 250.000 euro for each offence if it continues with it's claims.

    Univention had previously warned the SCO Group because of anti-competitive behavior. The Homburger based enterprise let the period for objections elapse.

    "We were therefore forced to obtain the order", said Peter H. Ganten, CEO of Univention and one of the authors of the Debian standard work "Debian GNU/LINUX".

    "SCO 's unproven statements , that Linux hurts patent rights of the Unix enterprise, upsets the public and harms the image of Linux. So we have had to resist."

    The provisional order against the SCO Group is, according to opinion of the enterprise, an important step in several weeks of smoldering controversy in the computer industry regarding Linux.

    SCO Group had sued IBM at the beginning of March for a billion US dollars of damages, because they claim that IBM's Linux programmers availed themselves of the code of SCO Unix version. SCO has so far failed to provide any evidence to back up this statement.

  • by CoolVibe (11466) on Friday May 30, 2003 @12:49PM (#6077988) Journal
    SCO does not decide which operating system can call itself UNIX. If SCO yanks the license of AT&T UNIX away from IBM, then AIX can still call itself a UNIX because the Open Group (which controls the UNIX trademark, _not_ SCO) has said that AIX can claim to be a UNIX.

    Sure, SCO would like to have the UNIX branding powers, but they don't have it. Period.

  • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Friday May 30, 2003 @12:51PM (#6078011) Homepage Journal

    Q: What do you say to an SCO employee in 2005?


    A: I'll have a Big Mac, large fries and a Coke.
  • by GGardner (97375) on Friday May 30, 2003 @12:55PM (#6078055)
    SCO claims that they will soon reveal the alledged copyright infractions in Linux to a panel of experts. I haven't seen the names of these experts, so I'm a little worried about how expert they may be. If someone knew C well, but not the history of Unix, I could show them a 10 line snippet of code, and they might agree that the code had a common ancestor. But that doesn't mean that Linux copied the code from SCO. Here are some questions which I'd like to see these experts answer publically.

    Where is the code?

    SCO has said that for legal reasons, they won't identify the exact code. But it would be useful to know if the code is in the kernel, or in user space. If the kernel, at least what directory, or section of the kernel is it in?

    If it is a header file, in the include directory, similarities are to be expected. For example, the Linux system call numbers are the some as many other OSes. These number are well known, and and have been for decades, and can't possibly be a trade secret. POSIX defines a zillion well-known constants which will show up in most every POSIX compliant OS, and similarities are also to be expected here. Again, this doesn't mean that Linux copied from SCO, rather, that they both copied from POSIX.

    If the code is in a device driver, it is very possible that both the SCO code and the Linux code share a common ancestor -- many device drivers are written by the device manufacturers, and given to the OS vendors to include in their system.

    If the code is in the CPU-specific part of the kernel, is it something that there is only one way to do. Intel publishes specs on how to manipulate low-level registers to do specfic tasks (start second CPUs, enable memory protection, etc.), and there just aren't that many different ways to do them.

    Is the code is *BSD, or elsewhere on the net?

    If this alledgedly infringing code is in *BSD, or on other places on the net, this would again point to a non-SCO ancestor. For example, Intel publishes Application Notes on how to use features of their processors. It wouldn't surprise me to find this code in many different OSes which use Intel processors, or Intel-compatible processors. Also, there is some Unix(tm) code which has been given to the public domain, in the interest of portability. I believe that cpio is one of these programs.

    Both SCO and Linux use the X window system, which came from the X consortium -- I'm sure there's a ton of common X related code in both, but again, that doesn't mean that Linux copied from SCO.

    The last Unix lawsuit resulted in marking all of the BSD code as "clean", so if this infringing code is also in one of the BSDs, that would help to indicate that it is also clean.

    When did the code first originate?

    As many people have pointed out, even if there is similar code in both Unix and in Linux, that doesn't indicate which direction the code moved. If such similarities can be found, the origination dates would need to be proved as well. Apparently, SCO ships Samba, GCC, and other open source code today, and marks it as such. Perhaps there's more code like this that slipped into the kernel.

  • by Ubergrendle (531719) on Friday May 30, 2003 @12:55PM (#6078059) Journal
    CIO of my corporation today sent out a corporate memo to all IT departments. Basically it demands that any departmental pilot projects involving open-source materials be placed on hold given the 'ongoing legal concerns about the licensing of open source materials'. This SCO debacle, whether orchestrated by Microsoft or not, is killing any goodwill regarding open source products. I can't even get people to agree to deploy Apache to replace our aging iPlanet webserver deployments... "Who owns Apache? Who provides support? How quickly can the vendor manage patches/updates if we have a critical production problem???". Never mind that SunONE support is pathetic, and iPlanet is a dying product line...at least management knows who Sun is.
    • Maybe not so bad (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bstadil (7110) on Friday May 30, 2003 @01:40PM (#6078547) Homepage
      Your CIO is clearly not well informed and as someone else suggested "run for the hills"

      That being said this might not be so bad for FOOS.

      From the attitude of your CIO it looks like there is Zero undertanding and Zero willingness to give anything back, so why should your company benefit from FOOS.

      The impact to FOOS of them not using any open source software is zip to the community as a whole, and your employeer puts themselves at a competitive disadvantage which is richly deserved.

      FOOS is a long term Quid pro Quo and not a one way street, at least in spirit.

    • by slashkitty (21637) * on Friday May 30, 2003 @02:02PM (#6078766) Homepage
      Turn off any machine that has open source software on it. Windows has some. Solaris does too. Can't have open source? Then you can't run the company. Do a reply all and tell everyone what a dumbass your CIO is.
    • by NZheretic (23872) on Friday May 30, 2003 @02:14PM (#6078867) Homepage Journal
      Are Microsoft's users ready to face the Timeline Inc victory?

      While SCO has yet to provide any substantial evidence in their case against IBM and Linux, Timeline Inc has already won a US Washington Court of Appeal judgment against Microsoft in another contract dispute [tmln.com].

      The outcome of this case puts developers and users of Microsoft SQL Server,Office and other Microsoft product at risk of being sued by Timeline Inc [theregister.co.uk] for violation of Timeline Inc patents.

      Microsoft's products do not provide users and developers a safe haven from the threat from lawsuits based on violations of intellectual property.

      However, since the SCO Group has knowingly sold and distributed the GPL licensed Linux kernel and components, it must by the terms of the GPL license [gnu.org], provide all those who receive the code from them an implicit license to any intellectual property, patents, trade secrets which SCO owns and is used by the GPL'ed source code. That implicit license to that SCO intellectual property is also granted to anybody who subsequently receives the GPL source.

      You are actually in a better legal position using GPL'ed Linux than using Microsoft's products.

  • by astrashe (7452) * on Friday May 30, 2003 @01:01PM (#6078129) Journal
    I've read lots of posts accusing MS of orchestrating this whole thing. I don't understand why people are so willing to believe that -- occam's razor leads us to a simpler explanation.

    SCO is in bad shape. On the conference call the other day, they talked about web services, that's the actual product that they're going to try to sell. But what can they do that will stand up to .NET and Java? Maybe they've got something really incredible -- but it seems pretty unlikely to me.

    Anyone who has ever had the misfortune to use SCO knows that it sucks when compared to Linux. Are they going to sell that?

    They're in a bad position. They have to make money the best way that they can. This lawsuit seems to be an indication of where they think their best options lie.

    Sure, when MS saw the lawsuit, they were filled with glee and they went out and bought a license. But that doesn't mean that they created the situation, that they planned it.

    I really think the MS paranoia here tends to miss the point.
  • 250,000 Euros (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mocm (141920) on Friday May 30, 2003 @01:05PM (#6078166) Homepage
    According to the injuction that uninvention got from the German courts, if SCO repeat or continue to make their unproven allegations that Linux contains their IP, they can be fined up to 250,000 Euros.
    So, who is going to make them say it in the conference call? :-)
  • by studboy (64792) on Friday May 30, 2003 @01:06PM (#6078176) Homepage
    A Mr. Arie Rubenstein has helped us out here --

    "To make [the SCO vs Linux thing] easier to understand, I put it in familiar terms -- Dukes of Hazzard [arie.org]"!

    (warning: mirror needed)

  • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Friday May 30, 2003 @01:07PM (#6078188) Homepage Journal

    For Immediate Release
    May 30, 2003
    Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

    The SCO Group is proud to announce the latest product in its family of
    software products. "LawsuitClusterFuck(tm)" uses advanced SCO
    technologies to send out threatening letters to random businesses
    harvested from the internet.

    "It's a great day for the internet, open source and business!"
    proclaimed SCO spokesperson Charles F. Uckwad, III. "If you wanted
    to send out menacing extortion letters before, one would have to
    look up the address of the recipient. Now, with "LawsuitClusterFuck(tm)"
    you just need to write up the threat as a standard form letter. Using
    standard variable names such as $COMPANY, $SHAKEDOWN_AMOUNT and
    $LIE_NUM the LawsuitClusterFuck software will use SCO's advanced
    hieristics to fill in the blanks. You'll need to hire an army of
    envelope stuffers!"
    -- The SCO Group is based in Salt Lake City, Utah and has done nothing of interest in many years.
  • by los furtive (232491) <ChrisLamothe@gmail. c o m> on Friday May 30, 2003 @01:07PM (#6078195) Homepage
    Memepool [memepool.com] has a link to a fantastic Dukes of Hazard interpretation of the whole SCO/Linux affair [arie.org].
  • by dmoen (88623) on Friday May 30, 2003 @01:08PM (#6078201) Homepage
    In the article, Cringely hallucinates the following: I can only come to the conclusion that Redmond is thinking of actually using that license, selling its own version of Unix. I wrote about something very similar to this a few months ago, only then I speculated that Microsoft might build a new OS atop Linux. But why use Linux when they could claim Unix, instead? The key here, I think, is the Windows emulation technology Microsoft got when it bought Connectix. Originally aimed at server consolidation, that code could be used by Microsoft to create and sell a Unix/Windows hybrid that would be a big success if Linux is killed by SCO. And the new Microsoft OS would even be a viable competitor to Linux if SCO loses, since it would offer Windows application compatibility. Microsoft could certainly use a sturdy server operating system for a change. I'd call it "Windex."

    In fact, Microsoft already has a Unix/Windows hybrid: it's SFU (windows services for unix), and it includes a component called Interix, which extends the Windows NT/2000/XP kernel with a set of Unix system calls, and adds a few hundred Unix utilities.

    If buying a SCO licence wasn't pure propaganda, then it's likely that Microsoft bought the SCO licence for the benefit of the SFU product.

    It is highly unlikely that Microsoft would ever follow Apple's lead and create a new version of Windows that is layered on top of a Unix kernel. This is because of Microsoft's corporate culture. They are as rabidly pro-Windows and anti-Unix as the Slashdot community is the reverse of this.

    Doug Moen.

  • Negative Feedback (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Shadow Wrought (586631) <shadow.wrought @ g m a i l.com> on Friday May 30, 2003 @01:16PM (#6078284) Homepage Journal
    IANAL but I am a paralegal and I have attended and supported a few trials. Something to remember about this is that SCO does actually believe that they are in the right. It pretty blatant to me that there is not a whole lot there for them to rely upon, but they have obviously convinced themselves of their own victimhood. So this is not going to go away any time soon and it is certainly not going to end until SCO is broke, bought, or busted in court.

    I saw the same thing in each of my trials. No matter what facts may be on your side, the other side has their own spin on them and, as part of ourcourt system, they have the right to express that spin.

    Wouldn't it be interesting if all the Linux users got together and bought out the SCO stock as a way to thwart this? And then vigorously saw to the enforcement of the MS license? Am I really so uncaffeineted that I actually typed those dreams?

    Yeah, guess I am..

  • by eer (526805) on Friday May 30, 2003 @01:19PM (#6078314)
    I tried dialing in - I'm a Novell employee and told the operator that - and they said SCO had asked that Novell employees not be added to the call.

    Hrmmph.

    You'd think they'd at least let us listen to them talking about us!
  • 2.4 kernel? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jfroot (455025) <darmok@tanagra.ca> on Friday May 30, 2003 @01:27PM (#6078393) Homepage
    SCO just stated on the conference call, in response to a question asking if it would be possible to use the Linux kernel in a fashion that would not violate SCO's claims, that they are only really concerned with people using the 2.4 kernel and above. So is this a clue that the code in question is something that is only in kernels > 2.4?
  • by serenemy (673187) on Friday May 30, 2003 @01:34PM (#6078477)
    SCO owns all of UNIX, all versions, all updates, all source and all derivative works. They have ~=30,000 license and sub-license agreements with ~=6,000 parties including many fortune 2000 companies.

    This initial enforcement action is based upon copyright law .. they also have patents but this is their strongest lead.

    There is no linux kernel that they have studied that is not in some violation of their copyright laws. They are specifically interested in 2.4 and later

    they found evidence of SCO code and derivitaves in the linux kernel .. improperly donated.

    Because of the legal issues there are limitations on what they can disclose, next week they will show some parties their proof, such as members of the press, parties they have license agreements with and some software analysts.

    ----

    There are a lot of good reporters on the line asking a lot of interesting questions. There will also be a full text of the conference call later. Don't know where yet.
    • by pmz (462998) on Friday May 30, 2003 @02:23PM (#6078969) Homepage
      SCO owns all of UNIX, all versions, all updates, all source and all derivative works.

      They don't own the UNIX trademark. It would be funny if The Open Group revoked SCO's right to it.

      Also, SCO would have to put up a pretty solid argument to claim ownership of BSD-derived UNIX. How long has the Berkeley-sanctioned BSD licensing scheme been around? Over a decade, now? Why didn't SCO make a fuss about 386BSD or NetBSD, or OpenBSD, or FreeBSD, or Mac OS X?

      A poster above brought up another good point: What about those old versions of UNIX released as Open Source a while back by Caldera?

      Additionally, there are other POSIX systems that SCO can't touch, limiting SCO's future benefits of their kiddie rants. For example, GNU.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 30, 2003 @01:35PM (#6078484)
    Let's take a moment to remember whose intellectual property all this really is:
    Dennis [bell-labs.com]
    Brian [bell-labs.com]
    Ken [bell-labs.com]
    Rob [bell-labs.com]
    et. al.
    "Unix, Live Free or Die"
  • by XaXXon (202882) <xaxxon@gmail . c om> on Friday May 30, 2003 @01:36PM (#6078500) Homepage
    I'm on the phone on this conference call right now.

    CALL START

    great deal of aconfusion over last 2 weeks re: sco's enforcement actions.

    suit against IBM and letter to 1500 commercial linux users.

    Based on contract/licenses. None of SCO's actions have been based on copyright/patent. No assertion by anyone that SCO doesn't have contract rights. As to the copyrights, 2 points. Copyrights not important to current actiosn. We have stated that we own the UNIX copyrights and right to enforce. Novell has challenged taht. We disagree with that. Desperate measure to curry favor with the Linux community. We will take all steps to rectify the issues.

    1995 agreement -- we own all rights to ownership to unix and unixware. blah blah blah.. blah blah blah.. we own everything.. blah blah blah. He's being a real dick about it, too.

    Why SCO bases initial enforcement actions: SCO owns unix licensing agreements. ~30,000 agreements. these licensees include a lot of people. blah blah.. these licenses include restrictions and "standard of care". This applies to the original source code and the derivitive works created by the licensee.

    Current enforcement actions are based on these rights. They may do copyright stuff later, but not now.

    Second question: Does SCO have evidence of UNIX source in kernel? "Resounding yes" Each of our 3 groups studying linux for UNIX code have individually come back finding code improperly put into LInux.

    STarting next week viewing code under NDA. We hope this step will be of benefit of the software community.

    Question 1: differences wit Novell causing problems to deal with IBM: very simple answer: we have full right to UNIX .. blah blah.. which gives us full authority to reach agreement with our customers.

    Question 2: What does it mean "turned novell issue over to attorneys to rectify issues". We've said very clearly that ocpyright isn't important to current enforcement actions.

    Question 3: SCO claims that they're being damaged by presence of their IP in Linux kernel. Aren't you continuing your damage by not showing the code?

    We're showing it next week. We'll show our actual code samples. Also derivitive works. ALong with contract info to back up the claim.

    Questino 4: SCO has rolled all the dice on this lawsuit. If you lose, what is the remaining company if you lose?

    We're enforcing our rights in the UNIX business. Only one compnay can say they own 30,000 contracts on big unix companies. It's an incredible position to be in. Basically saying that all they have is the lawsuits. He talks nothing about actual product or anything. All about suing. All future prospects are regarding lawsuits.

    Question 5:
    Re: novell contract. did not metino copyright and patents. Does it meniton copyright and patent?

    56 pages of novell/SCO documents. Majority of contract clearly shows intent that Copyrights covered as related to SCO going to market.

    Again, our point is that C&P don't affect our current lawsuits. Contract rights are much more important than C & P. SOme really bad card-game analogy thing.

    Question 6:
    Stupid question. Already been covered.. more stuff about copyright stuff. SCO claims they have copyright and patent, but that it doesn't matter for the current stuff. Dude didn't seem to really have much of a clue. Sounded like some guy living in his parent's bedroom in Wyoming. I hope you're reading this. You're dumb.

    Question 7:

    Were you surprised what novell did, as you were a previous novell exec.

    We had a meeting with their vice chairman scheduled to look at the source code stuff. "Come on over, we'd be glad to show those to you". We set up a time to do that 11am tuesday .. came and went and they didn't show up. Later that evening Novell did their thing with that letter we've all read. We were set to show them the code, but they didn't show up. TH
  • by Thagg (9904) <thadbeier@gmail.com> on Friday May 30, 2003 @01:57PM (#6078718) Journal
    There were 11 questions asked after the prepared text was presented, basically divided evenly between the Linux press and large financial firms.

    Several people questioned how SCO was claiming copyright over this code, and SCO's response was two fold.

    • It doesn't matter to the current litigation with IBM, that is purely a contract matter.

      • SCO believes that the rights they purchased to in fact include the copyright rights. The contract just didn't say so explicitly.

      They sent a letter to Novell asking for them to 'clarify' this (implying that they wanted Novell to just hand over the copyright explicitly.) Apparently Novell declined to do so. So, SCO is going to litigate to show that they have the copyright rights. SCO claims that the 58 pages of the contract with Novell contains everything but the explicit turnover of copyright, and SCO believes that they can argue successfully that they can infer the copyright rights from that contract.

      Somebody (Steve Nicholas?) noted that SCO and Caldera worked a long time on Linux and Unix, trying to build a unified system [you remember Monterey? I didn't think so.] How could SCO be sure that it wasn't SCO that added these lines?
      SCO just says that they didn't do it. They blame IBM for wasting two years of their time on Monterey, then walking away from it.

      In closing, Darl said that "Everybody who really knows, knows that SCO has a strong position. How is it going to get resolved? Will it be by attacking us, and destroying us, before the issues are heard in court? We are very comfortable with our position. We understand that the battle is fierce, but we will continue it because we have the rights and these are our crown jewels."

      They say that they are going to show hundreds of lines of infringement, starting in June. June will be "show and tell" month.

      thad
  • by the_rev_matt (239420) <slashbotNO@SPAMrevmatt.com> on Friday May 30, 2003 @02:05PM (#6078777) Homepage
    Probably the best* explanation of the situation I've seen yet is this [arie.org].


    *best in the sense of being hilarious.

  • by stinky wizzleteats (552063) on Friday May 30, 2003 @02:15PM (#6078875) Homepage Journal

    Is there any way to change the caldera story icon to something like a zombie hand or rotten fish head or something? I don't think they deserve to be recognized by their official corporate symbol anymore. If Microsoft rates a borg photoshop, Caldera certainly should get something more exemplary of their character and bearing.

    Like say, cat vomit.

  • Cringely sez ...

    The majority of IBM's work on the S/390 was to port it to a very alien platform. I'm sure there were parts of Linux that needed some code help -- for example, the S/390 handles disk and file systems quite a bit differently. That disk and file system predates almost all contemporary computer hardware. The file system originated in the S/360 days, the 1960s.

    The Sytem 390 is hardly a "very alien platform"; its a von Neumann machine with a byte addressable memory; in some ways it resembles the PowerPC or 680x0. Linux/390 on zVM uses standard Linux filesystems on IBM disks; it doesn't use the CMS or MVS file systems. Handling low level disk I/O on a 390 is different (channel programs or using the diagnose instruction in a virtual machine; don't know which Linux uses myself) but this is not a fantastic difference.

  • by Funk_dat69 (215898) on Friday May 30, 2003 @04:14PM (#6080063)
    http://news.com.com/2100-1016_3-1011627.html?tag=f d_top

    who needs credibility anyhow - famous last words
  • by TimButterfield (16686) on Friday May 30, 2003 @04:34PM (#6080244) Homepage
    A recording of the teleconference is available:
    (888) 203-1112 code: 164628
  • by Esion Modnar (632431) on Friday May 30, 2003 @07:27PM (#6081512)
    I once that if you cut off a snake's head, it won't die until sundown.

    It think this is like SCO. Just wait til sundown.

I tell them to turn to the study of mathematics, for it is only there that they might escape the lusts of the flesh. -- Thomas Mann, "The Magic Mountain"

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