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Caldera Operating Systems Software Unix

SCO Awarded UNIX Copyright Regs, McBride Interview 1388

Prizm writes "It seems that SCO is continuing to build up its case for world domination, as today it was awarded U.S. copyright registrations for UNIX System V source code by the U.S. Copyright Office. Shares are up 20%, Novell is nowhere to be found, and SCO is releasing binary, run-only Linux licensing. You can read all about it over in their press release." C|Net is also running an interview with McBride.
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SCO Awarded UNIX Copyright Regs, McBride Interview

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  • by kw ( 79895 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @12:38PM (#6491267)
    SCO awarded patent on breathable air technology, stock in Nature down 50%
    • by capnjack41 ( 560306 ) <> on Monday July 21, 2003 @12:56PM (#6491477)
      Faith in humanity down 44%
      • by yintercept ( 517362 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:15PM (#6492234) Homepage Journal
        It is amazing that the news resulted in a 20% jump in the stock. If I am not mistaken, the Copyright office awards a copyright registration just about anytime someone sends them an envelope with $30 and an attached piece of paper.

        Registering a copyright is pretty much like a cat pissing on a couch to say "this is mine" and I will scratch cats who say otherwise. Actual ownership is a different question that gets resolved in courts.

        If anyone else has a documented claim to any of the work that SCO just filed, then SCO's filing for a copyright puts them in a difficult position.

        I have to admit the SCO news report is amazing. Basically with the investment of half hours work on the part of lawyer ($180), a days work for a filing clerk ($80), an envelope ($1), a express mail stamp ($3.70) and a $30.00 filing fee, they got a 20% boost in their stock. You gotta love the stock market.

        We should get the SEC to look at the insider trading for the stock, if there were any insider purchases before this phenomenal scam and any insider selling after the scam, maybe we could get their theiving arses hauled before the judge.
        • by pmz ( 462998 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:25PM (#6492344) Homepage
          Registering a copyright is pretty much like a cat pissing on a couch to say "this is mine"...

          This works well for humans, too, at least until someone calls the cops.
        • by XO ( 250276 ) <{blade.eric} {at} {}> on Monday July 21, 2003 @03:02PM (#6492813) Homepage Journal
          Hey, we know they own Unix System V. Duh.

          The whole point of filing for Copyright registration, is so that they can USE COPYRIGHT LAW. All it takes to copyright something is to attach a copyright notice to it.

          However, to USE the LAW to PROTECT your copyright, requires that you Register your Copyright with the Copyright Office.

          This is a REQUIRED step for them to use any Copyright laws in any way shape or form to their advantage.

          This is absolutely non-news. This is so non-news, it's pathetic. And there's 652 more comments I haven't read!

          All this is is someone saying "Hey, this is mine. I want a legal document to show it's mine, so that I can use the laws that are in place to enforce that it is, in fact, mine."

          Get a grip. Please?
    • by His name cannot be s ( 16831 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @01:49PM (#6491995) Journal
      I've been putting off posting a message like this, but it appears that SCO is intending on profiting off the hard labors of others, and denying them their rights to their own fruits of labor.


      My proposal to stop SCO is a simple, easy to implement little plan.

      The Goal : Make SCO's stock drop like a rock.

      The Method: If as many people as possible go onto stock boards, and post their negative feelings about SCO, and their own speculations as to what the outcome of the battle with IBM will be, Buyers will begin to flee from the stock.

      It is important, that if you use this technique, that you label your comments as an OPINION, and that they are simply your own feelings as to what the outcome will be.

      It would be also well to do if you indicate that your company will NEVER purchase, license, or other wise enter into a business agreement with SCO, as you feel that their products (specifically name them) are of low quality and should not be used in production environments.

      If this is to work, as many people who care about the freedom of Open Source and Free Software should find a stock board, and start posting.

      SCO is getting away with many lies, spreading FUD, and generally making everyone's life a little hellish. These acts are a direct threat to our way of life, and must be dealt with in a most severe fashion.

      In order to ensure SCO does not have the tools to fight such a fight, we must eliminate the largest source of income from them at this point: STOCK.

      • by Windcatcher ( 566458 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:21PM (#6492301)
        My father asked me about SCO and it's stock, since he saw it rising. I explained the problem and told him to avoid it like the plague. While I find what they're doing abhorrent, he is my father, and my reasoning was based solely on the *investor risk*. Simply put, I told him, we don't know how it will all turn out. Three, five, seven years from now, whatever, there will come a *judgment*. Linux will either contain SCO code or it won't. If it does, that's great for any shareholders, but if it *doesn't*, the drop in SCO's stock will make Qwest's fall look like a gentle slide. Until SCO actually releases any hard evidence (and the nature of the problem assures us that such evidence should exist), the investor risk is simply too enormous. If anything, the fact that they've been reluctant to release any evidence tells me that there likely isn't any, since there is absolutely no reason not to release it. Investors might noe understand any of the technical discussions on this board, but they can and will understand this.
      • by DarkZero ( 516460 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:22PM (#6492315)
        The Method: If as many people as possible go onto stock boards, and post their negative feelings about SCO, and their own speculations as to what the outcome of the battle with IBM will be, Buyers will begin to flee from the stock.

        Posting negative views of a company in large numbers on stock boards is a very old (relatively speaking) tactic that ceased to work years ago. If you post vehemently negative views about a company on stock boards, you will just be harassing innocent people that have likely already educated themselves on the subject and formed their own opinions. They do not need, nor will they enjoy or tolerate, your anti-SCO spam. They have to deal with enough whiny pseudo-activist screeds against whichever company some niche group hates already, they don't need the /. community adding one more, especially since it won't shape their ideas more than any of the others.

        Please find a more mature tactic than spam.
  • The scary thing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TopShelf ( 92521 ) * on Monday July 21, 2003 @12:38PM (#6491268) Homepage Journal
    Does anybody have info as to how expensive this Linux licensing is going to be? It's quite possible that many companies may just pay the fee instead of going through the time, effort, cost and liability of doing otherwise. It's sad to see SCO actually get rewarded for how they're conducting themselves...
    • $1500 per seat (Score:5, Informative)

      by Svartalf ( 2997 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @12:48PM (#6491384) Homepage
      You have to buy a seat of UnixWare, per the press release. That's $1500 per seat. Do YOU think anyone is going to pay that?
    • by DASHSL0T ( 634167 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @12:56PM (#6491483) Homepage
      They want all commercial customers to pay for a Unixware 7.1.3 license for EVERY copy of Linux they are running.

      Here's my rundown of the call []
      • Re:very telling... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by pacman on prozac ( 448607 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:50PM (#6492689)
        from that url:

        Q: Earlier you said you were still a products company and not a strictly IP company. This appears to have changed and you are now an IP company. Would you agree with that assessment? Linux has succceeded while your product failed in the marketplace.

        A: Our Unixware product was damaged by Linux and that is why it isn't successful. That is why we are doing this. We didn't fail, it is Linux' fault we failed.

        ratings: 15 troll, 4 informative, 18million overrated.
    • Re:The scary thing (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Dastardly ( 4204 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @01:23PM (#6491736)
      Does anybody have info as to how expensive this Linux licensing is going to be? It's quite possible that many companies may just pay the fee instead of going through the time, effort, cost and liability of doing otherwise. It's sad to see SCO actually get rewarded for how they're conducting themselves...

      Paying the fee actually opens companies to liability from Linux developers. Because now they have received a copy of Linux code in violation of the GPL because whoever they got their Linux from could not have given it to them. Since, they did not receive the code in accordance with the GPL, they have no license for the code whatsoever and standard copyright law applies giving them no rights with regards to Linux.

      So, Linux developers can sue, and win, because by paying the fee to SCO they acknowledge that they have kowingly received Linux in violation of the GPL, and have no license to do anything with said software. Are developers likely to sue linux customers... No, they will do everything they can not to, but it may come down to that to at least prevent SCO from hijacking Linux.

  • by Pig Hogger ( 10379 ) <> on Monday July 21, 2003 @12:39PM (#6491274) Journal
    And how do they intend to enforce that, as long as there is no judgment yet????
  • Extortion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DrWho520 ( 655973 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @12:39PM (#6491276) Journal
    SCO will hold harmless commercial Linux customers that purchase a UnixWare license against any past copyright violations, and for any future use of Linux in a run-only, binary format.

    That's extortion...or some other form of legalese.
    • Re:Extortion (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @12:45PM (#6491348) Homepage

      It's also cretinous, because any "use" that involves duplication (including, let's see, installation from CD or network, or uploading or downloading or distributing externally or internally) will constitute a fat violation of the copy rights of every other contributor ot the kernel.

      There's a GPL exemption in the linux kernal for binary only Nvidia drivers. SCO has no such provision. If you cave in to these terms, expect to hear from other rights owners, each and every one of whom has as much claim as SCO.

    • Impossible (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gotan ( 60103 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @01:01PM (#6491532) Homepage
      And it's impossible too: the GPL is incompatible with licensing and run-only-binary-distribution (unless the sourcecode is made available). So SCO can't sell a run-only binary distribution under their licensing terms and any distributor who accepts SCOs licensing terms and imposes them on his customers can't distribute anything either since he would violate the GPL.

      Violating the GPL means that it is replaced by normal copyright of all the individuals who contributed to the kernel (we're still only talking about the Linux-kernel here) and you need to make explicit deals with each of them to distribute the kernel-code as a whole. It is more likeley that most of those copyrightholders will sue SCO for infringing on their copyrights by distributing their Linux under a restrictive license, in violation of the GPL and hence without permission.

      This is just SCO raising up the ante again spewing propaganda to up their shares another few bucks. On the day their bubble bursts and the shares fall through the floor, i will cheer and gleefully tell all those idiots who bet their money on SCO 0wn1ng Linux, that Linux can't be 0wn3d and never will be.
  • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @12:40PM (#6491279)
    Isn't about time that we as Linux users file a class action lawsuit against SCO for misuse of Linux source? If we demonstrate kernel source commits that date back far enough to show that SCO has known for quite a while that they were selling and distributing Linux with the code that they claim is a problem (and all System V code should not be available from the copyright office since it's been filed) that we would be able to demonstrate failure on their part as a business to properly handle their IP, and to ask the court to release it to the public domain?
  • whats the delay? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by peterprior ( 319967 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @12:40PM (#6491282)
    What is the delay in getting SCO to court with IBM so they actually have to SHOW US what they are claiming violates their contract with IBM and / or their IP ?

    IANAL, so I might be missing something here, but the sooner they go to court, the better imho, else they will keep pumping out FUD and hyping their stock price.
  • by scharkalvin ( 72228 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @12:40PM (#6491285) Homepage
    One reader of Linux magazine (not me) expressed the idea that the reason for SCO's recent stock rise was NOT that the market thinks they will win this lawsuit, but because someone has been quietly buying up their stock in advance of a hostile take over. That someone would be IBM, and McBride and his deatheaters will find themselves kicked out without a golden parachute. We can only hope!
  • Hello, SCO? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chris Hiner ( 4273 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @12:41PM (#6491288) Homepage
    I'd like to know what code I'm licensing. Yes, I'd like to know what lines...

    So, if I take those lines out, I don't need a license from you? Thanks.
  • by Albanach ( 527650 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @12:41PM (#6491290) Homepage
    They claim that some of their code made its way into the Linux Kernel, so now they're packaging the entire kernel, making it only available in bianry form and selling it?!?

    If anyone has been waiting to test the GPL in court surely now's the time to set up a fighting fund - everyone who's contributed to the kernel is today seing their hard work being stolen, exploited and sold by SCO.

    • by ajs ( 35943 ) <> on Monday July 21, 2003 @12:50PM (#6491412) Homepage Journal
      No you mis-read. They're offering a license for the binary, not the binary. If they do, in fact, offer the binary itself, then they are violating the GPL by now also distributing source.

      If, on the other hand they say, "your existing license is invalid, here have another." Then they are in the right. They cannot license the GPLed pieces, but that's fine. You can demonstrate that you received those pieces under the GPL.

      It's an ugly use of the GPL, and companies like Red Hat will be 100% screwed by this.

      That's ok, though, because the current odds on SCO winning this case are somewhere around the odds of the Red Sox winning the Superbowl right after the Triple Crown ;-)

      Repeat after me: You can't distribute Linux for 2 months under the GPL *after* claiming it contains your code, and *then* remove it from distribution. It's out there. It's GPLed. They're done. All they have left is a contractual dispute with IBM that affects no one by IBM and SCO.

      Oh, and by the way IBM is likely to win that one too.
    • by Phroggy ( 441 ) * <.moc.yggorhp. .ta. .3todhsals.> on Monday July 21, 2003 @12:58PM (#6491496) Homepage
      No - SCO isn't packaging and selling the kernel. SCO is selling a license allowing users to USE a (precompiled binary) Linux kernel, which (according to SCO) contains SCO's proprietary code.

      Distributing said kernel (by anyone including is apparently illegal if SCO's copyright claims are correct (which they aren't). SCO cannot sell a license allowing the Linux kernel to be distributed unless said license was compatible with the GPL (which it wouldn't be).

      If SCO's copyright claims are correct, it is illegal for anyone except the copyright holders (all of them, including SCO, together as a group) to distribute copies of the Linux kernel - copyright law prohibits this (just like it prohibits distribution of copies of Windows XP by anyone other than Microsoft), and the GPL would be void (because SCO's part of the code isn't licensed by the copyright holder under a GPL-compatible license).

      IANAL; somebody correct me.
  • After some thought (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RiffRafff ( 234408 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @12:42PM (#6491294) Homepage

    After careful thought and ethical consideration, I have come to a conclusion regarding my use of Linux and the SCO license. It is as follows:

    Mr. McBride, bite me.

    I will not submit to your extortion. I will, however, point it out to my Missouri Attorney State General, for his consideration. In fact, the RICO statute comes to mind.

  • by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @12:42PM (#6491297) Homepage

    Note to any companies thinking of caving on this. According to Cnet [], the license being offered is "run-time, binary use".

    If you then duplicate this kernel in any way (yes, Virginia, downloading and installing from network or CD for internal use as well) without distributing or making available the contested SCO source under the terms of a GPL license, then regardless of whether you distribute the rest of the source you are breaking the terms of the GPL and violating the copy rights of every other rights owner that has contributed to the linux kernel, and you should expect to hear from them presently, possibly as a class action.

    Furthermore, you are also declaring (implicitely) that you believe that IBM distributed without a license, that they violated both SCO's rights and (as a consequence) that they violated the rights of every other contributor as well. If you cave in to SCO, be prepared for IBM's lawyers to come around asking if you'd like to form part of a test case to see how implicit you can be while still libelling someone to their material loss.

    I'd suggest that your best bet is to sit tight. You can always pay up if and when IBM lose the copyright case (which they probably won't), by which time the actual contested code will have been made public and rapidly replaced in kernel 2.6 anyway. So you can choose to upgrade for nothing, or you can pay to retain old code while sending a message that IBM are thieves and that you are prepared to cave in to any penny ante playa that sends you an invoice. Your choice.

  • by DevilM ( 191311 ) <devilm AT devilm DOT com> on Monday July 21, 2003 @12:42PM (#6491298) Homepage
    Listening in on the SCO conference call today, they announced that all Linux 2.4 users are in violation of their Unix copyrights. They will now be selling a UnixWare license to Linux users to become compliant.
  • by Some Bitch ( 645438 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @12:43PM (#6491317)
    SCO: "Give me money." Linux user: "Prove you have a right to it first by winning your lawsuit against IBM." SCO: "Damn :/"
  • by A nonymous Coward ( 7548 ) * on Monday July 21, 2003 @12:44PM (#6491324)
    This is not at all clear.

    SCO will hold harmless commercial Linux customers that purchase a UnixWare license against any past copyright violations, and for any future use of Linux in a run-only, binary format.


    In May, SCO announced that Linux contained SCO's UNIX System V source code and that Linux was an unauthorized derivative of UNIX.

    Does SCO claim they own Linux? Do they claim to license Linux binaries that every one else provides? Will they distribute binaries only, and not provide the source? Are they going to sue everyone else who distributes Linux?

    I cannot believe the gall of these idiots, it is breathtaking, far exceeding any nonsense coming out of Redmond.

    I wonder if this will be the first GPL case to go to court. And Microsoft ... what a position ... they sure don't want to make the GPL illegal, since it could cascade into making all copyright licenses illegal. I wonder if they knew who they were going to bed with when they bought a license from SCO to keep them afloat. As much as I despise Microsoft, I can't believe this would do them any good, except in the short term FUD department. If SCO can claim ownership of Linux, it doesn't seem like a far stretch to own every other OS which ever borrowed from Unix ideas.
    • by Maul ( 83993 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @12:51PM (#6491421) Journal
      No, they aren't going to sue. To do so would require them to release the source.

      If they had an actual case, they would have shown the soruce code, IBM would have settled with them, and you can be sure as hell that all the infringing code would be rewritted in the next kernel release.

      The goal of this lisence program is to con PHB's into sending them some cash to continue what now appears to be a grand stock scheme.
  • by mike_the_kid ( 58164 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @12:44PM (#6491325) Journal
    When the state of IP law gets to where it is, this kind of thing is bound to happen.

    Linux has a radical new licensing model (relatively speaking) that has not been through all the legal machinations yet.

    There is still grey area in terms of who owns what. Still, its ridiculous that SCO can try to take hostages here without actually showing any of the infringed on code!

    "Guess what? Linux infringes on some code I bought the rights for back in the day. But I can't show it to you. Save yourself some trouble and send me $200 for every computer you have linux installed on."
  • by rossz ( 67331 ) <> on Monday July 21, 2003 @12:45PM (#6491335) Homepage Journal
    Linus owns the Linux trademark or servicemark, right? He needs to revoke SCO's right to use the Linux name and any Linux source, binary, or whatever. Something along the lines of "SCO's license to use or distribute the Linux software is hereby revoked. Future distribution of Linux software will be considered a willful violation of copyright," etc. etc.

  • todays world... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by peterprior ( 319967 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @12:46PM (#6491353)
    Fuck ingenuity, good ideas, communities and generosity.
    Just make money with patent / copyright system abuse, and speading FUD about anything thats good for the world...

    I'm glad I haven't written any big GPL apps or contributed as much as some to the open source world, as I would be seriously pissed off (and a little upset maybe) that my goodwill and hours spent contributing were being eroded by money grabbing, whiny corporations.
  • by Maul ( 83993 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @12:47PM (#6491373) Journal
    Sooner or later if they want this to hold in court, they are going to need to show the source code that has been "copied."

    The stock price jumped 15% yesterday and 20% today. I'm thinking to myself that a short term investor might have a good chance to make some money off of SCO. And also any insider for that matter.

    If their goal is to be bought out, then the execs naturally want the stock price to be a high as possible when the buyout occurs.

    Even if the source code exists (which I doubt), the moment it is revealed it will be out of the Linux kernel. They know this, and so they want to delay as much as they can to be bought out before getting to court.

    Any companies paying for a "Linux lisence" before a judgement are stupid and are simply allowing SCO to continue this scam for a bit longer.
  • Unbelieveable! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Cletus the yokel ( 462083 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @12:50PM (#6491413)
    The bullshit just keeps rising higher and higher...

    "...The company also announced it will offer
    UnixWare(R) licenses tailored to support run-time, binary use of Linux for all
    commercial users of Linux based on kernel version 2.4.x and later. SCO will
    hold harmless commercial Linux customers that purchase a UnixWare license
    against any past copyright violations, and for any future use of Linux in a
    run-only, binary format."

    So users no longer have access to Linux source? They can't recompile the kernel? Oh, that's right, Linux is an "unauthorized derivative of UNIX", so I assume they're laying claim to all of Linux now.

    "Since the year 2001 commercial Linux customers have been purchasing and receiving software that includes misappropriated UNIX software owned by SCO... While using pirated software is copyright infringement, our first choice in helping Linux customers is to give them an option that will not disrupt their IT infrastructures..."

    They have not provided any proof that Linux contains SCO IP... even if it did that does NOT mean that Linux users are committing software piracy.

    Hundreds of files of misappropriated UNIX source code and derivative UNIX
    code have been contributed to Linux in a variety of areas, including
    multi-processing capabilities. The Linux 2.2.x kernel was able to scale to 2-4 processors. With Linux 2.4.x and the 2.5.x development kernel, Linux now scales to 32 and 64 processors through the addition of advanced Symmetrical Multi-Processing (SMP) capabilities taken from UNIX System V and derivative works, in violation of SCO's contract agreements and copyrights."

    This is IBM (and formerly Sequent) code. It's NOT SCO's intellectual property. They CLAIM to have control over its distribution, but again, they haven't proven it in court. That certainly doesn't mean they own it.

    I could go on but I'm sure many brighter ones will do a better job...
  • by dinotrac ( 18304 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @12:50PM (#6491414) Journal
    This sounds like more than it is, but one must understand a fundamental difference between copyright and other IP, such as patents and trademarks.

    When the PTO grants a patent, it awards the actual patent itself after an investigation and a determination that the invention meets the requirements for a patent. When a trademark is registered, a different process takes place, but one that also attempts to determine the validity of the trademark.

    Copyright registrations don't do that. They just record the fact that someone claimed that something was theirs on such and such a date.
    This is a practical matter, as apart from very bare minimum standards, there isn't a very good way to investigate the validity of a copyright application short of an adversarial proceeding.
  • Hey, no problem (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @12:51PM (#6491424) Homepage

    We can just replace that dirty IBM contributed code with, uh, let's see, the exact same code that SCO chose to distribute themselves under the terms of a GPL license for year after year. Mmm, yup, I'll just replace it file for file, then recompile to produce an identical binary. Prove otherwise?

    Sorry about the italics. I know it's traditional to point out idiotic licensing terms USING UPPER CASE AOLSPEAK, but I thought I'd try and sneak this wheeze under the crack SCO legal team's beady eyes.

  • by Azureflare ( 645778 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @12:53PM (#6491440)
    Seems like SCO is playing a risky game, getting all the little points before the big showdown, so they can drive their stock higher and higher and then profit off it.

    I still don't understand why the legal system hasn't stepped in; Basically, SCO is saying IBM and all Linux distros are ILLEGAL, and they wave this Sys V copyright in everyone's face, as if that's proof that they own linux. How far can they go? Will they be able to scare people even more, without any kind of legal backing? How is this not libel/slander? Come on IBM, knock these guys down!

    It still mystifies me why IBM isn't doing anything at this point. They really do have to defend themselves, or they will start to look guilty, even if the charges are completely baseless (I still don't see how SCO can believe they own linux).

    • by acroyear ( 5882 ) <> on Monday July 21, 2003 @01:38PM (#6491897) Homepage Journal
      It still mystifies me why IBM isn't doing anything at this point.

      One thing to remember, even post-2000: IBM is SLOW. Every move is calculated, weighed, optioned, signed off by multiple layers of beauracracy, and conditioned in sherry casks, before actually being acted upon. They will make no move before they have to. Right now, they (still) don't have to, and it wouldn't help much, anyways 'cause McBride's an asshole and IBM is above all that. The bully will back down, or be taken down, but it'll happen on IBM's time because that's how IBM operates. IBM's had almost 50 years of being able to deal with this type of legal idiot; trust their experience.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 21, 2003 @12:57PM (#6491488)
    Dear SCO,

    As a contributer to the Linux kernel, I have decided to start a new licensing program. Your company will be required to pay a fee of 5000 USD per cpu on all installations of Linux you use or sell which include my code. Regrettably, I cannot tell you which lines these are, as doing so would my trade secrets to the world.

    Also, I have identified numerous cases in which lines of my code were copied into the source for your Unixware product. The same licensing terms I have descibed above will therefore apply to Unixware.

    I have sent letters to all 5 of your customers informing them of this new policy. I understand Sun has also been in touch with them.

    I will be contacting you soon to discuss payment options.

    Thank you.
  • by DevilM ( 191311 ) <devilm AT devilm DOT com> on Monday July 21, 2003 @01:00PM (#6491522) Homepage
    When asked about dealings with Linus, SCO indicated that they had only done email exchanges and that Linus had indicated the situation was a contract dispute and he was staying out of it. McBride then went on to say that as of today everything has changed. SCO stated that everyone involved with Linux from the users to the contributors to the distributors are either violation of their Unix copyrights or are contributing to the violation. They also stated that they could sue for copyright violations without showing damages.
  • by picz ( 264520 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @01:04PM (#6491558)
    This is the beginning of a stream of events, that eventually will be known as the Great GPL War.

    A company can not claim ownership of a few lines of code, and than steal millions of GPL-ed lines, package them and sell them. This is outrageous.

    FSF is forced to react on this one. GPL is going to court.

  • BSD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by crotherm ( 160925 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @01:06PM (#6491575) Journal
    never sounded so good... :)

    So what are the odds that Stallman is secretly enjoying this while toiling away at the hurd?

  • Please explain (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lildogie ( 54998 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @01:11PM (#6491630)
    Why can't someone who got the extortion letter subpoena SCO to identify the infringing code?
  • by Glamdrlng ( 654792 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @01:11PM (#6491635)

    Understatement of the year: "We're not exactly winning the Miss Congeniality contest"

    What's funny is, McBride actually saved us the trouble and compared SCO to the MPAA and the RIAA for us. The difference is, the RIAA didn't give any MP3's away. McBride's argument is crap. U.S. copyright law may prevent a copyright holder from accidentally giving up their rights, but there's no excuse for violating the GPL when all of the code is right there.

    And if that wasn't a total line of bullshit, how bout when McBride said "We don't wanna sue anybody"? For somebody who doesn't wanna sue anybody, they sure have an awful lot of lawyers going to work for them...

    Line of bullshit #3: "The pull of linux is not the operating system, it's the ability to run unix on cheap intel hardware" Having worked on SCO machines and having worked on linux machines, I had to swallow my teeth when he dropped this one.

    I wonder if McBride would do an Ask Slashdot interview? Lemme get my question in now:

    "So tell me sir, how does it feel to have the absolute worst karma on the planet?"
  • by MikeyO ( 99577 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @01:15PM (#6491655) Homepage
    SCO: You are going to have to pay a license to use linux because otherwise you will be illegally using software that we wrote.

    Linux User: OK, which lines did you write?

    SCO: I'm not telling.

    Linux User: I'm not paying.
  • IBM's response (Score:5, Informative)

    by Johann ( 4817 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @01:20PM (#6491716) Homepage
    "Armonk, New York-based IBM, the world's largest computer company, said that it is not aware of any Unix V code embedded in Linux.

    "SCO needs to openly show this code before anyone can assess their claim," IBM spokeswoman Trink Guarino said. The company has said in the past that the suit is baseless.

    Regarding SCO's decision to offer a license to users of Linux -- the open-source software that can be copied and modified freely -- Guarino said, "SCO seems to be asking customers to pay for a license based on allegations and not facts." []

  • by 73939133 ( 676561 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @01:21PM (#6491723)
    The situation where one company holds another hostage by claiming infringement without every putting up any evidence is not new. To address it, we have declarative judgements. The Linux community could and should ask for a declarative judgement on SCO's alleged copyright violations. Then, SCO either has to put up the evidence, or the judge will rule against them.
  • Why is this news? (Score:5, Informative)

    by gasp ( 128583 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @01:21PM (#6491727)
    Registering a copyright for sourcecode amounts to sending in a form with the code and a fee to the copyright office. They datestamp it and file it away. It's not required to register to claim copyright, or even to register at all. Registering just gives the holder some leverage in court, since in the absence of other information, the side with the earlier registration date wins.

    So, since they are just filing now, and have a 2003 registration date, I don't see what this has to do with anything at all. All this means is that they are "officially" claiming copyright, id doesn't mean they's been "granted" any rights at all. That's for a court to decide in specific disputes.

    IANAL, but I've sent in a number of Copyright Form TX filings in my day, at about $10 each. Big deal.
  • Mitigating damage (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NormalVisual ( 565491 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @01:23PM (#6491741)
    I have a question, and being that I'm not a lawyer, perhaps someone more knowledgable can chime in - I seem to remember reading that in any kind of civil action like this, the plaintiff has a duty to actively mitigate his damages to the maximum extent possible - for instance, if some schmuck pulls out in front of me on the highway, I have a duty to attempt to prevent an accident, even if it's his fault. Regarding the SCO/Linux situation, SCO has steadfastly refused to tell Linus or anyone else specifically where the code is that's infringing while being fully aware of the fact that armed with that knowledge, the OSS community would very quickly make the needed changes to remove the disputed IP.

    By acting in this manner, SCO appears to not be interested in mitigating their claimed damages in the least, and actually appears to be attempting to increase them as much as possbile - how do you suppose a judge/jury is going to look upon this?
  • by Idou ( 572394 ) * on Monday July 21, 2003 @01:23PM (#6491749) Journal

    is how much SCO upper management has made off selling an artificially inflated stock (see for yourself []). That is assuming that major insider trading activities are not being concealed some how, which, considering the ethical principles of the people involved, is a dubious assumption. Most of this stock selling is in lots under 6k of shares, which shows a concious effort to avoid scrutiny from the SEC.

    Enron might have lied about large numbers, however, I am convinced that SCO represents the most a company has ever multiplied the perception of its own worth through blatant lies. This has either exposed something horrible about our financial system or the complete incompetence in this area on the part of investors (probably both . . .).

  • Trademark (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gr8_phk ( 621180 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @01:33PM (#6491847)
    and SCO is releasing binary, run-only Linux licensing.

    Isn't there one thing for certain: Linus owns the trademark on Linux. Even if they did own the code (which they don't), they can't market it as Linux after Linus says to stop. He'll be needing a lawyer soon. His inaction to date was waranted - he said it was between IBM and SCO. Now it should be nice and personal.

  • Watch Your Behavior (Score:5, Informative)

    by geomon ( 78680 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @01:38PM (#6491896) Homepage Journal
    There has been a lot of anger expressed throughout all of the SCO threads of late, most with venom bordering on violence. Keep this advice in mind, however, as you discuss this issue.

    If you are a Linux kernel developer, explore your legal options. With SCO's market cap soaring near $175MUSD, there are a few attorney's who might consider contingency representation. If you want to file a class action suit, file it in Madison County, Illinois [].

    As for your personal comments, keep in mind that Slashdot cannot stop SCO from supoenaing their user records for discovery should you ever decide to sue. If so, be prepared to be REALLY pissed off when you are deposed. They will imply you've been engaging in copyright theft in an attempt to get an emotional response that they can drag out in court against you. I've been deposed; it an emotional roller-coaster.

    Remain calm. That is your best strategy. Do not rise to their bait. Refrain from name calling or empty threats. If you truly believe you have been harmed by SCO's actions, then take your case to court or hold off until the IBM/SCO dust settles. Your shouting about the GPL and making threats to tear Darl's nuts off and feed them to him will do nothing but harm to you and any potential case you may have.

  • by mec ( 14700 ) <> on Monday July 21, 2003 @01:39PM (#6491905) Journal
    I'm not a great shorthand guy, so everybody below will be speaking with weird clipped diction. I'll post my summary and opinions in a followup note. Also, the lameness filter doesn't like my writing style ("too few characters per line") so there is some crap at the end to compensate.

    12:07 Blake Stowell

    Speakers today will be David Boies, Darl McBride, Chris Sontag.

    12:08 Darl McBride

    In May 2003, we warned Fortune 1500 companies. Enterprise use of Linux 2.4 violates SCO's copyrights and contract rights. Hundreds of files were taken from System 5, or from derived works, or have the same structure, sequence, and organization. Linux would have little multiprocessor capability without our IP. SCO has registered its copyrights. Linux vendors are selling a product with no IP warranty. By not providing a warranty, IBM has profited from Linux, but shifted risk to customers. We intend to use our IP rights carefully and judiciously. SCO is prepared to offer a license for Unixware 7.1.3 to Linux customers.

    12:13 Question and Answer

    Question #1 Dan Gordon, Bloomberg News

    Question: You say Linux violates SCO copyrights. What has changed from contract rights to copyrights?

    McBride: This started off as a contract case. With respect to copyright, this is new as of today. What is new today is the copyright registration.

    Question #2 Peter Galway, e-week magazine

    Question: If enterprise customers don't buy in ... you can't do anything until IBM case is resolved, right?

    McBride: The IBM case is a contract issue ... today's announcement ... is a new front. Boies: There would possibility of case-by-case litigation. It is not necessary to resolve the IBM case [first].

    Question #3 Dean Takahashi, San Jose Mercury NEws

    Question: Can you more completely describe the offending code and its origins?

    Question: [how much will this cost end users?]

    McBride: Three types: #1, line by line copying, including developer comments and errors ... very stark ... that type of code comes from various vendors, primarily other than IBM. #2: SMP, high-end technology, NUMA, RCU. In the early days of Linux, Linux supported 2-4 processors. Now with Linux 2.4, 16-32 processors. Hundreds of *files* were contributed by our vendors. #3: methods and concepts. ... With respect to pricing ... benchmarked on UnixWare 7.1.3.

    Question #4 Don Marti, Linux Journal

    Question: Ian Lance Taylor says that the code he saw in Unixware and Linux, he saw in other places too, on the Internet.

    McBride: A lot of this code is not questionable. IBM RCU code, from Dynix. We're not talking about BSD code. We're talking about high end SMP code.

    Question #5 Todd Weiss, ComputerWorld

    Question: What was the name of the license?

    McBride: SCO UnixWare 7.1.3.

    Question #6 Richard Waters, Financial Times

    Question: What penalties can you impose ... how are you going to make them stick?

    Boies: The copyright laws provide a wide range of penalties. Statutory damages, actual damages, extra damages for willful violations.

    Question #7 Robert Mina, Copper Beach Capital

    Question: What are the implications for Linux distributors such as Red Hat?

    McBride: "Complicated ... software flows from Torvalds to distributors to hardware vendors to end user." "It starts with the end user."

    Question: What about contributory infringement?

    No reply at all.

    Question #8 David Bark, Wall Street Journal

    Question: More about copyright registration date ...

    McBride: We typically register on enforcement.

    Boies: Registration is a precedent in bringing a lawsuit.
    Copyrightable material was not filed until need for enforcement.

    Question #9 Wilstang Gruner
  • by jdhutchins ( 559010 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @01:57PM (#6492062)
    Their case is a contract dispute with IBM. IBM wrote RCU (among other things) and placed the code (which IBM owned) under the GPL so that it could be a part of Linux.

    They also placed the code in AIX. SCO claims their contract with IBM says that any code that is put into SysV code becomes THEIRS. Based on that claim, SCO says that they own the RCU code, and that they don't want it to be GPL'd.

    I don't know if anyone at SCO really is sure what their case is about. If I'm correct about what their case is about, the FSF has a very good defamation (and probably more severe charges, but IANAL) suit against SCO. The case has nothing to with the valadility of the GPL, or even code being copied into Linux. If I'm right about their case, then everyone knows that that code was put into Linux, and SCO is saying that it shouldn't have been put into Linux.

    Even if they win, I think there's an excellent lawsuit against SCO. They're dragging this on, and spreading a bunch of crap, which is unnecessary. IANAL, but from the eleventy-billion SCO articles that have been run in Slashdot, I think I might be correct.

    The other issue is, can they copyright the SysV code? How much of it is code that was fought over in ATT vs Berkely? I bet that 99.9% of this code is already copyright, and SCO can't go re-copyrighting it. Someone (*coughIBMFSFcough*) has to challenge this, and force them to show their code. We'd have to pick some programmers (not kernel developers, etc, because they would be come "tainted") to look at it and evaluate the claims.

    Just my 2 (or maybe 3) cents, and IANAL.
  • by linuxislandsucks ( 461335 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @02:01PM (#6492093) Homepage Journal
    Remember folks the SCO banktruptcy party is in November..

    What are you bringing food or drink?

The absent ones are always at fault.