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SCO Announces Final Termination of IBM's Licence 807

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the things-are-heating-up dept.
ickle_matt writes "SCO have announced the final termination of IBM's UNIX license, despite Novell telling them they can't. Interestingly enough there's a new set of "stolen code" figures in the release - 'approximately 148 files of direct Sequent UNIX code to the Linux 2.4 and 2.5 kernels, containing 168,276 lines of code. This Sequent code is critical NUMA and RCU multi-processor code previously lacking in Linux. Sequent-IBM has also contributed significant UNIX-based development methods to Linux in addition to the direct lines of code specified above.' "
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SCO Announces Final Termination of IBM's Licence

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  • Interesting... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mjmalone (677326) * on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @09:46AM (#6685638) Homepage
    It's interesting that SCO is taking such drastic measures such as the license termination and licensing linux to end users before they even go to trial. The logical conclusion one draws from such measures is that they do not have a case, and do not think they can win. I can't believe that the court system is allowing this to occur, but I am willing to bet that IBM will not honor SCO's license termination and there will likely be either an addition to the current IBM suit against SCO, or a new one regarding thies termination.

    Also, aren't the NUMA and RCU multi-processor patents owned by IBM? SCO might own some of the code, but since they are licensing IBM's patents IBM could sue them for infringing on their patents. Is this part of the current IBM v SCO lawsuit?
    • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by aed (156746) * on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @09:53AM (#6685722)
      Also, aren't the NUMA and RCU multi-processor patents owned by IBM? SCO might own some of the code, but since they are licensing IBM's patents IBM could sue them for infringing on their patents. Is this part of the current IBM v SCO lawsuit?

      Maybe. As far as I understand the stories, IBM has written NUMA and RCU code for their System V based Unix (AIX)
      IBM's System V license seems to state that when they add code to their SysV (==AIX) that code has to be treated as the rest of the SCO owned SysV code. So IBM wrote some code, included it in SysV/AIX, and now they can't include the exact same code in Linux, because of their SysV contracts with SCO...
      • by big-giant-head (148077) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @10:00AM (#6685822)
        IBM owns those patents. You can't say BTW since we license something to you, we now own your patents. IF, big IF, that were the case, IBM would have made them sign a cross-licensing agreement allowing IBM to keep control of thier patents.

        IBM has owned those patents since '92 when they bough sequent, sequent had those patents since the late 80's so either way SCO SOL.
        • by aed (156746) * on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @10:06AM (#6685905)
          I'm not talking about patents here, but about literal source code.
          According the press release 'SCO's System V UNIX contract allowed Sequent to prepare derivative works and modifications of System V software "provided the resulting materials were treated as part of the Original [System V] Software." Restrictions on use of the Original System V Software include the requirement of confidentiality, a prohibition against transfer of ownership, and a restriction against use for the benefit of third parties.'

          So IBM's patents aren't transferred or licensed to SCO, but if they write code for a System V derivative work (such as AIX) they can't use the code in Linux. The contract basically says 'All your AIX code are belong to SCO'
          • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @10:12AM (#6685976)
            AFAIK the contract was superceeded by a following letter. IBM when purchasing agreed to all the original terms of the contract then a letter between IBM and AT&T containing a huge number of amendments to the contract was signed.

            This letter specifically gave back to IBM the rights of any code they created to enhance or extend the AIX/SYS5R4 OS.

            This straight away rules out such claims unless SCaldera believe they can convince a Judge and Jury that the superceeding agreement is invalid in someway.

            Something I rather doubt :)

            • by msgmonkey (599753) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @10:24AM (#6686095)
              In addition to this point it will be argued that regardless of the contract position NUMA and RCU are not integral parts of UNIX and could be applied to any operating system being add-on "features" and hence can not be regarded as derivative works.
              • by Jboy_24 (88864) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @11:08AM (#6686681) Homepage
                I think also to the point is that by writing NUMA and RCU for AIX, IBM was in no ways bound not to rewrite NUMA and RCU for linux.

                It might turn out that the code in question was really only supportave code, libraries and header information taken from a common ancestor, BSD or earlier unixies

                SCO might be trying to make the point that by taking some code from BSD/AIX and merging with other code then releasing it to Linux, IBM in fact released all the code to linux.

                I point to other posts, made throughout all this time, that AIX's supportave architecture and framework is fastly different then Linux, and a direct copy of code would not work.
            • by greed (112493) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @10:34AM (#6686196)

              Just a point of clarification, AIX is actually SVR3-based, not SVR4. And there's been a LOT done do it since AT&T handed the code over, as anyone who's programmed for or adminned AIX can tell you.

              Like it or loathe it, you know it is 'different' from both SVR4 and BSD.

            • AIX vs. Dynix/ptx (Score:5, Interesting)

              by Valdrax (32670) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @11:24AM (#6686844)
              This letter specifically gave back to IBM the rights of any code they created to enhance or extend the AIX/SYS5R4 OS.

              Yes, it did. However, if they don't have such an agreement over Dynix/ptx, then IBM may very well be screwed. If what SCO says is true (even though what they said about their right to terminate AIX wasn't), then IBM may be in a world of hurt. If Dynix/ptx code must be treated as a derivative of System V, then there may be actual trouble here. Remember, AIX and Dynix/ptx are completely separate products with completely separate licensing schemes. SCO may have actually found a legal leg to stand on. Unless IBM can produce similar documentation about Sequent's code, it may belong to SCO.

              (By the way, how does SCO have Dynix/ptx source code to compare against the Linux kernel?)
          • by leandrod (17766) <l&dutras,org> on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @11:01AM (#6686581) Homepage Journal
            >
            IBM's patents aren't transferred or licensed to SCO, but if they write code for a System V derivative work (such as AIX) they can't use the code in Linux.

            Actually SCO mention their contract with Sequent. A lawyer should tell us if Sequent's terms bound IBM in Sequent-related code, or if IBM's terms take effect to all subsidiaries bought by IBM.

        • by rarose (36450) <rob AT robamy DOT com> on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @10:11AM (#6685964)
          IBM bought Sequent in '99.
          (I'm an ex-IBMer who transfered to Beaverton right after the sale, and it's absolutely terrible to see what IBM did to the Sequent culture.)
        • by SillySlashdotName (466702) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @01:02PM (#6688023)
          People still don't seem to get it...

          IBM != Sequent (for year values less than 1992)

          IBM had a contract/license variation with AT&T. Sequent did not. Anything IBM developed, IBM owned. Anything Sequent developed (before being bought and becoming part of IBM), based on the original AT&T license, belongs to the owner of SYS V, so the (rights to the) developements did not belong to Sequent and could not be sold to IBM in '92, so IBM does not own them, never did own them, and can not give them away - they belonged to Novell, and now to SCO.

          Could this possibly be a (perhaps THE) legal leg for SCO's lawsuit?

          This reply completely does not address your admittedly very good point about the patents, as I don't know how the license issue would afftect the patent issue. I.e., can I patent an idea that legally belongs to someone else, even thought it was my idea and I submitted it myself? I would guess 'yes', but it would depend greatly on the exact wording of any contracts/licenses - and we are right back to the license issue. Also, would you be able to charge me license fees on the idea you own, but I patent? Could I charge you for using my patent if you legally own the idea?

          My head is starting to hurt... :->
      • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by japhmi (225606) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @10:10AM (#6685954)
        IBM's System V license seems to state that when they add code to their SysV (==AIX) that code has to be treated as the rest of the SCO owned SysV code.

        However, IBM (and Sequent before them) has made very sure that they wrote up a general outline of how the process works, and then made an implementation on AIX (and Dynix/ptx). They then made a very similar implementation on Linux. As long as they can show that both implementations came from the general outline, there should be no problem.

        Heck, they should be able to argue that they can copy their stuff from AIX to Unix as long as there is a general outline. They may be able to argue that as long as they wrote it, and nothing of Unix comes out to the public, that they're in the clear.
      • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by nuser (198161) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @10:23AM (#6686085)
        As far as I understand the stories, IBM has written NUMA and RCU code for their System V based Unix (AIX) IBM's System V license seems to state that when they add code to their SysV (==AIX) that code has to be treated as the rest of the SCO owned SysV code.

        That was a few days ago. Today SCO are claiming the same thing but in relation to Sequent (now owned by IBM). Basically claiming that any code Sequent added to their Unix has to be treated as if it is part of the original Sys V code base.

        The story is confusing in mentioning Novell. It seems Novell are a party to the original IBM deal, and can prevent termination of IBM's AIX license. I'm not sure it follows that Novell have the same position in relation to the Sequent / SCO deal. I guess we'll have to wait for IBM to respond.

      • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Edward Scissorhands (665444) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @10:33AM (#6686185)
        This is INCORRECT. As I have written in a paper available here, [members.shaw.ca] IBM's contract with AT&T (and now SCO) explicitly states that code developed by IBM is the property of IBM and is NOT a derivative workof AT&T (now SCO).

        HOWEVER, the contract between Sequent and AT&T has NOT been made public by SCO nor IBM and so it is not clear to third parties whether or not the Sequent-AT&T agreements give Sequent the same rights as were given to IBM, though one may speculate based on the format of the IBM-AT&T agreements (see my article for full details).

        Fundamentally, this is a contract law case in which the status of the Sequent-AT&T and IBM-AT&T agreements are defined. In other words, when IBM bought Sequent, what happened to the Sequent-AT&T agreement? Were it made null and all dealings between Sequent and AT&T now under the stipulations of the IBM-AT&T agreement? Or is it the case that code developed by Sequent is still bound by the original Sequent-AT&T contract?

        Someone more familiar with contract law will have to respond; however, I believe that if in fact ANY code developed by Sequent BEFORE it was bought by IBM AND that code was placed in a SysV derivative (in this case probably Dynix/ptx) AND that code was placed in the Linux kernel, then it may very well be the case that SCO is standing of firm legal ground on that issue.

        There are, of course, other details to this situation which may invalidate SCO's claims to right of the code, such as the GPL, and unclean hands doctrine (both arguments which IBM has included in its rebuttal) but I suppose we'll have to wait and see what happens. Also, read my article. :)
      • by minus_273 (174041) <aaaaa@SPAM. y a h oo.com> on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @10:39AM (#6686249) Journal
        dont you just hate viral licences like that ;)
    • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by u-235-sentinel (594077) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @10:00AM (#6685811) Homepage Journal
      "Also, aren't the NUMA and RCU multi-processor patents owned by IBM? SCO might own some of the code, but since they are licensing IBM's patents IBM could sue them for infringing on their patents. Is this part of the current IBM v SCO lawsuit?"

      It was my understanding they were not suing for use of those products though they probably should. What I find interesting is SCO terminates the license violating their agreement with Novell. I wonder if they can be sued by Novell for violating the contract. Exactly what SCO 'claims' IBM did.

      SCO claims IBM can't be trusted because they violated a contract and now SCO goes out of their way to violate another contract. Sounds like an internal problem with the company. I strongly suggest they see a shrink. These guys can't see straight anymore.
    • injunction (Score:5, Interesting)

      by siskbc (598067) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @10:00AM (#6685814) Homepage
      It's interesting that SCO is taking such drastic measures such as the license termination and licensing linux to end users before they even go to trial. The logical conclusion one draws from such measures is that they do not have a case, and do not think they can win. I can't believe that the court system is allowing this to occur,

      Good point. I don't know why IBM hasn't filed for a temporary injunction against the license termination. It would accomplish two things. 1) it would put AIX users a bit at ease (even if IBM has indemnified them), and 2) would get this thing in a courtroom quicker which is *obviously* the last thing SCO wants. I believe when they start getting legal defeats the stock will tank.

      • by MS_leases_my_soul (562160) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @11:37AM (#6686999)
        OK, maybe it is time to put my tinfoil hat on and start looking out the window for black helicopters, but what if this is all a nod-and-wink kind of scheme.

        IBM and SCO make it known that IBM is thinking of buying SCO. Instead, SCO sues IBM. SCO's stock price goes up. SCO's owners dump stock (getting rich) and SCO uses the inflated stock price to buy up small companies. Once SCO has all the pieces in place, IBM suddenly forces things into court and SCO is blown away. SCO stock plummets. *THEN* IBM buys them for a basement bargin price.

        This does multiple things for IBM. (1) Publicity. (2) Good PR with the Linux crowd as IBM "saves the day". (3) They get more stuff in the SCO buyout. (4) It places IBM's competitors in the Linux arena on shaking ground while all this is happeneing, possibly forcing some out of business.

        Suddenly, in the end, IBM has a Linux distro, AIX for the high-end, lots of other IP, and a rep as being the big champion for Linux that is willing to put its money where its mouth is.

        Right about that time, IBM would be ready to take on Microsoft again for the servers and desktops. IBM gives away the desktop OS just to have an in and starts recapturing the mid-level servers. As IBM becomes the "leader" of Linux, why would you not go with IBM and AIX on the big iron since IBM makes it one smooth continuum of *nix?

        Man, I have got to stop drinking 10 diet cherry cokes while on medicine for a head cold before I post. =)
        • by siskbc (598067) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @11:54AM (#6687235) Homepage
          IBM and SCO make it known that IBM is thinking of buying SCO. Instead, SCO sues IBM. SCO's stock price goes up. SCO's owners dump stock (getting rich) and SCO uses the inflated stock price to buy up small companies. Once SCO has all the pieces in place, IBM suddenly forces things into court and SCO is blown away. SCO stock plummets. *THEN* IBM buys them for a basement bargin price.

          I tell ya, it's definitely wacko, but it's not completely retarded, I have to say that. The one key is that when SCO does all this buying up of small companies, it would have to be done with SCO *stock* - I'm sure that's what you intended - which would actually be plausible in their situation, since they're a stock-rich/cash-poor company.

          There are two problems I see with the theory. First, I don't see SCO taking over any small companies right now. ;) Second, the time frames are a little off. SCO would need time to perform all these takeovers, as those never proceed quickly. Second, IBM can't afford the lawsuit spectre to last too long, as there's the threat that companies will get scared of linux and such, fleeing into the arms of Sun or MS. That would make the whole scheme counterproductive.

          So I don't think that's what's going on here. That said, it *is* a pretty nice scheme, and I wouldn't be surprised to see it pop up elsewhere, assuming it hasn't already. I think it would be outrageously illegal, but might not be impossible to pull off. The only real problem I see from a practical standpoint is trust - when the lawsuits start, puffing up the value of the smaller company to be taken over, they gain an advantage that could be acted upon if they decide to make the fake lawsuit real.

          They'd almost have to give the larger company some faked "smoking gun" evidence that gave them a clear "out" of the lawsuit, if filed. In this situation, it would be like some SCO developer last year sending a memo saying something like, "Hey, have fun with the JFS code I posted to the kernel dev team yesterday. Free of charge compliments of Caldera."

          But I will say, it's not impossible.

          Man, I have got to stop drinking 10 diet cherry cokes while on medicine for a head cold before I post. =)

          I think that would be a good policy for sure.

    • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Thom-in-NC (680575) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @10:05AM (#6685894)

      There is an interesting article "Novell letters throw new light on SCO-IBM case" published in The Age [theage.com.au] that discuss letters sent to SCO by Novell asserting that Novell has "the right to compel SCO to waive or revoke any of its (SCO's) rights under the contract [involving SCO, IBM, and Novell]." In the letters Novell basically tells SCO that SCO cannot terminate IBM's license. These letters were apparently used as exhibits in IBM's countersuit of SCO.

    • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MoneyCityManiac (651455) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @10:08AM (#6685929)
      As far as I can tell, here's the SCO/IBM problem... I'm sure many /.ers will correct me if I'm wrong. :-) Sequent made a contract with SCO many years ago. The important part of the contract, according to SCO, is this (taken from the press release, empahsis mine): SCO's System V UNIX contract allowed Sequent to prepare derivative works and modifications of System V software "provided the resulting materials were treated as part of the Original [System V] Software." Restrictions on use of the Original System V Software include the requirement of confidentiality, a prohibition against transfer of ownership, and a restriction against use for the benefit of third parties. Now IBM has its own seperate license for developing AIX, their UNIX brand which doesn't have that whole "resulting materials were treated as part of the original software" clause. Basically, IBM's contract allows it to derive all it wants and SCO does not own it. Sequent develops some nifty NUMA and RCU multi-processor code for its version of UNIX. But IBM goes and buys Sequent. Sometime later, IBM adds said nifty code to Linux. Here's where the legality of IBM's move comes into question... as previously mentioned, IBM is allowed to go and create derived works from UNIX and retain ownership of said works. Because it owns the work, its allowed to add that work into Linux. But SCO claims the RCU/NUMA code was developed under Sequent's contract, which means that derrived work is owned by SCO, and not IBM. Ergo, IBM should not have been allowed to add the code to Linux. That's what I make of it anyways. Whether SCO has a case or not is up to the lawyers/courts to decide.
      • by bobKali (240342) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @11:02AM (#6686593) Homepage
        The code in question was originally developed as a theorhetical process and was then added to UNIX. Stating that because it was subsequently added to UNIX makes it the property of SCO would be like Ford saying that because Pioneer car stereos can be installed in Ford cars that gives them the right to sue Pioneer for making a kit that allows those same radios to be installed in Chevrolet cars.

        I suppose you can sign a contract stipulating just about anything - and since we havn't seen the Sequent contract yet (if ever) there could be something idiotic like that in there.
      • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by j7953 (457666) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @11:35AM (#6686985)

        Thanks for that explanation.

        Now what I am wondering is, even if it was not legal for Sequent/IBM to add the code to Linux, how can SCO sell a license to use that code with Linux if they don't even own it?

    • Novel (Score:5, Interesting)

      by WindBourne (631190) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @10:20AM (#6686043) Journal
      I suspect that we will hear in the next day or two, that novell files a major lawsuit and asks the courts to drop SCO's right to resell Unix.
      They have already indicated that Novell has the right to tell SCO that they can not do this action. It now becomes breach of contract unless there was some item in the contract about this.
    • by arth1 (260657) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @10:35AM (#6686205) Homepage Journal
      With the code being NUMA and multi-processor patents, then why does SCO claim a hefty license fee for *single CPU* linux installations?

      It's part of the kernel that you can't even use if you wanted on a single-CPU box!
      So what's the fee for, again?

      Regards,
      --
      *Art
    • The real game... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Nic-o-demus (169477) <jwecker.entride@com> on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @11:23AM (#6686842) Journal
      I posted this in a thread yesterday, but it got sort of buried and I think /.ers ought to keep it in mind:

      SCO's Shell Game [computerworld.com]

      Some quotes:

      None of the threats make legal sense. If they did, SCO would be able to get an injunction to shut down Linux users. In practice, SCO hasn't even been able to get an injunction against IBM and won't get a court hearing on its request to do that until 2005.

      Meanwhile, a German court told SCO in June that it must stop threatening Linux users. And an Australian government agency is looking into charges that SCO is essentially running a shakedown racket by claiming that Linux users must buy a license they don't actually need.

      And SCO's tactics don't make business sense, either. SCO is a software company that has slashed its R&D budget, alienated its customers and demolished the value of its brand. That's not the way you build a business.

      So, what do you do when you have no real business but your stock price keeps going up? We all learned that lesson during the dot-com bubble: You use that stock as currency.

      . . .

      Got all that? If it sounds like a shell game, well, that's the way Canopy likes to move its companies around. But in effect, Canopy used SCO's stock price, boosted by SCO's Linux threats, to rake in a couple of million dollars in cash behind the scenes.

      And apparently it worked. Which means we can expect that as long as Canopy can find ways of cashing in on SCO's threats against Linux users, those threats will keep coming -- no matter how little sense they make.

  • IBM's solution (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @09:46AM (#6685643)
    IBM failed to cure its breach of the Sequent-IBM contract, or to offer any solution whatsoever to cure its breach.

    That's not true. IBM's solution is simple. Since there is no breach, the offer to cure is contained in the countersuit.

    Tomorrow SCO's quarterly report comes out, sell your stock before the insiders [yahoo.com] can.

    • Re:IBM's solution (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TopShelf (92521) * on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @09:57AM (#6685774) Homepage Journal
      Case in point - an interesting article over at ComputerWorld about how IBM is pitching Linux [computerworld.com] to the banking industry, as a migration path away from OS/2.

      Those nefarious nogoodniks - trying to ensnare innocent customers in their illegal activities!!!
    • Re:IBM's solution (Score:5, Interesting)

      by pacman on prozac (448607) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @10:28AM (#6686133)
      And part of that is....punitive damages (according to IBM press release)...IBM aren't just going after SCO for what they are owed...they are going to stop them ever doing this again. And lets not kid around, the normal damages from this case could run into hundreds of millions...

      Mcbride can stop chewing his pinky and mouthing off about "1 million dollars" now, cos that won't even pay for the ink to write all the 0's on the end of the cheque he will soon have to write :)
  • by mao che minh (611166) * on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @09:47AM (#6685646) Journal
    IBM announces the final termination of SCO

    Ahhhh.....I can dream, can't I?

  • Yahoo Mirror (Score:5, Informative)

    by Chaltek (610920) * on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @09:47AM (#6685655) Homepage
    To avoid the slowness of SCO's Cold Fusion, use this Yahoo! Finance mirror of the Press release:

    http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/030813/law050_1.html [yahoo.com]
  • C'mon SCO! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jonsey (593310) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @09:47AM (#6685656) Journal
    Just release the infringing code lines so we can comment it out, doom your profits, and get on with our lives!

    Incidentally, they claim 2.5 kernels too... is that new? I thought only 2.4 was an issue.
    • Re:C'mon SCO! (Score:5, Informative)

      by eXtro (258933) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @09:52AM (#6685708) Homepage
      2.5 isn't a from-scratch rewrite of the kernel so large portions of the kernel source code are common. Apparently the changes were introduced in the 2.4 kernel so the 2.2 kernel isn't a problem. The above isn't implying that I believe that there is any validity to SCO's fraudulent claims.
  • by dd (15470) * on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @09:48AM (#6685664) Homepage
    Well, one wonders if SCO trusts any of the operating systems it sells, or has sold, in recent times. Take a look at the http response string for the web server used in this announcement:
    $ HEAD http://ir.sco.com
    200 OK
    Connection: close
    Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2003 14:42:15 GMT
    Server: Microsoft-IIS/5.0
    Content-Type: text/html
    Client-Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2003 14:42:16 GMT
    Client-Response-Num: 1
    Page-Completion-Status: Normal
    Page-Completion-Status: Normal
    • by Znonymous Coward (615009) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @09:58AM (#6685786) Journal
  • by Dancin_Santa (265275) <DancinSanta@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @09:48AM (#6685665) Journal
    Though it's simply a number of files and number of lines, SCO is actually putting their ass on the line by giving a description of where the code resides.

    Finally, this case has become interesting.

    But I'm sure /. can find a way to beat the topic to death.
  • by dnotj (633262) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @09:48AM (#6685667) Homepage
    DUMP
  • Angry... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bistronaut (267467) * on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @09:48AM (#6685671) Homepage Journal

    "...was terminated for improper transfer of Sequent's UNIX source code and development methods into Linux." (emphasis mine)

    You heard it here first, people. SCO owns the UNIX development methods too. That means that producers of just about any software (because who hasn't been influenced by UNIX development methods?) will have to pay off SCO. What a bunch of bull.

  • It's okay (Score:5, Funny)

    by 91degrees (207121) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @09:50AM (#6685682) Journal
    I've just revoked SCO's licence to use their own code. And I hereby revoke the right of anyone to tell me I can't do that.
  • by PatSand (642139) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @09:50AM (#6685684) Journal
    BFD...

    I'd rather see IBM send in the attack lawyers in the black limos (their version of the black helicopters)...

    That would be like shooting fish in a barrel with a cannon...

    and well worth a video copy; would put it right next to my Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons...

  • bluff much? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Paddyish (612430) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @09:50AM (#6685692)
    Next we'll see the 'Super-Final termination notice', to eventually be followed by the 'No-really-we're-serious-this-time-guys-last-ditch -final termination notice'...

    gimme a break. SCO, WHY WON'T YOU DIE???

  • Bah! Final! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lispy (136512) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @09:51AM (#6685694) Homepage
    When will they announce the final, final Termination? Tomorrow? This is actually too funny to be true.
  • Final Stock Pump (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DrWho520 (655973) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @09:51AM (#6685695) Journal
    How can these guys still be going?!? This is obviously another try at pumping up the stock. Does not unsubstantiated rumor to pump stock prices coupled with stock dumping by company executives indication that SOMETHING might be a little wrong here?

    SEC...hello!!!
    • by st0rmshad0w (412661) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @09:58AM (#6685800)
      As there is an amazing amount of comment here about what we all see as something the SEC should look into, I can't help but wonder if anyone here has either picked up the phone or dropped an email to the SEC itself to clue them in, since they don't appear to be paying attention. Maybe we should all take 5 minutes out of our day?
    • by Khomar (529552) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @10:21AM (#6686055) Journal

      How do we know that the SEC isn't already watching the SCO? They could be giving them enough rope to hang themselves before they spring the trap. Until their case proves to be fraudulent (it appears to be overwhelmingly so now, but there is no irrefutable proof... that will be coming soon), there may actually be nothing with which the SEC can actually prosecute at this point. Once everything is in the clear and their lawsuit is proven to be what we all here believe it to be, then the SEC, who has probably been gathering evidence all of this time, will be prepared to move in. I highly doubt that the SEC is failing to notice a story of this magnitude.

  • by re-geeked (113937) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @09:52AM (#6685701)
    : noogie

    Sequent's code belongs to IBM! Hello? McBride?

  • by Chaltek (610920) * on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @09:52AM (#6685710) Homepage
    "Customers may not acquire a license in Dynix/ptx from today's date forward."

    In a departure from their standard MO, SCO doesn't threaten IBM customers who currently hold Dynix/ptx licenses, and instead just claims that no new licenses may be issued.

    Maybe they are starting to worry about gettting nailed on extortion charges?
  • Class-action suit (Score:3, Interesting)

    by macdaddy (38372) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @09:52AM (#6685712) Homepage Journal
    I would REALLY like to see someone file a class-action suit against these clowns, charging them with extortion and fraud so that ALL Linux users can join in. Imagine a C-A suit with tens, perhaps hundreds, of individuals and companies on one side and wee little SCO on the other. That would truly be a sight to see and I for one would join in a heartbeat.
  • SCO planting code (Score:5, Interesting)

    by in7ane (678796) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @09:53AM (#6685716)
    This may have come up before, and there may well be ways to check.

    But what is preventing SCO from adding in code from Linux (which is openly available) into their (closed) UNIX code and then claiming is was there first and was 'stolen' by Linux? C'mon, we are not expecting SCO's management to play fair here - how hard would it be to backdate code additions?
    • Forensics (Score:5, Interesting)

      by booch (4157) <slashdot2010.craigbuchek@com> on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @05:24PM (#6690157) Homepage
      Almost all Linux code gets modified over time. All Linux versions are publicly available. You could compare the various Linux versions with the SCO version(s). This would give you a good idea when the transfer happened. Assuming SCO has a record of their versions (it would be hard to believe they don't have any revision control system) you could do it both ways.

      I'm betting that SCO would not be smart enough to take the original Linux version, but would take a newish Linux version. Showing that Linux had older (less "good") versions and SCO did not would be evidence that SCO had taken the code from Linux, not vice-versa.

      So assuming that the code base(s) change(s) significantly over time, determining the provenance of version-controlled code is not all that difficult. Think of it in biological terms -- we can identify the lineage of various species/specimens by comparing their DNA and their ancestors' DNA.
  • Okay. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Canthros (5769) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @09:53AM (#6685719)
    So this pretty much all hinges on whether or not SCO owns any and all code that was derived from the original UNIX source, since they state that the code in question was originally written by Sequent (and, therefore, not SCO).
  • by brotherscrim (617899) * on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @09:53AM (#6685720) Journal
    Oh, now the line is that there is "Sequent-UNIX" code in the kernel, with no mention of Sys V code?

    So, what we're really talking about is IBM code. No more BS weasle-words, they're talking about code they NEVER owned in the first place.

    Well, that tears it: SCO's suing IBM for contributing their own code to the kernel. Yeah, that's totally gonna hold up in court.
  • by streak (23336) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @09:54AM (#6685728) Journal
    SCO would make a bad move to release the code before the trial under something less than a NDA.
    Linux kernel developers would probably have the offending pieces rewritten in a week and back-ported to all 2.4/2.5 kernels within another week.

    But honestly, I really don't think IBM cares what SCO does at this point. They know their argument is probably not going to hold water in court.

    Unfortuately, with the way our justice system works, it will not be heard in court until probably late 2004/2005.
    • by Tsu Dho Nimh (663417) <abacaxi&hotmail,com> on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @10:55AM (#6686512)
      " SCO would make a bad move to release the code before the trial under something less than a NDA."

      That's why RedHat's suit is interesting, because they are asking for a fast decision based on the BS that SCO has been shoveling. If SCO refuses to prove it's claims of infringement by showing the code, and proving not only that SCO holds the copyright, but that their code predates the Linux stuff ... RedHat gets not only a legal declaration that it's kernel code does not infringe, but gets damages too.

      They could end up owning SCO before IBM even gets to court, which means that they would therefore be suing IBM ... and I think they could settle amicably.

  • by ArmorFiend (151674) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @09:55AM (#6685747) Homepage Journal
    'approximately 148 files of direct Sequent UNIX code to the Linux 2.4 and 2.5 kernels, containing 168,276 lines of code. This Sequent code is critical NUMA and RCU multi-processor code previously lacking in Linux.

    Doesn't some linux zealot happen to have these sources lying around? Can't he/she just start looking for long matches in the Linux kernel?

    Can't Linux developers just audit all their "critical NUMA and RCU multi-processor code", to look for shady origins? There's a big difference between the 80 lines previously claimed and the 168,000 lines now claimed!
    • by antibryce (124264) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @10:09AM (#6685939)
      Can't Linux developers just audit all their "critical NUMA and RCU multi-processor code", to look for shady origins?


      SCO is finally admitting that it is Sequent code in Linux that they are upset about. There's no reason Linux developers should have to remove this code since IBM now owns Sequent and is legally allowed to contribute code it helped develop and now owns.

    • by valisk (622262) * on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @10:33AM (#6686179) Homepage Journal
      You don't have to be a zealot to know that this is the code IBM donated from their Sequent division.

      What will be interesting is if when the dust settles this is the kernel code that SCaldera have claimed is theirs and has been copied verbatim into the Kernel.

      Pretty amusing when you consider that not a single line of this code originated with SCO/Caldera/AT&T or Novell and in fact the SCO group have never owned any of this code and agreements and amendments to the original SYS 5r4 license signed between IBM and AT&T grant IBM full control over any code they create for use with AIX, and that Sequent developed the technology seperate from Unix but implemented it on Unix which disallows claims from SCaldera that the code is a derivative of their work.

  • by Boss, Pointy Haired (537010) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @09:56AM (#6685765)
    been part of the due legal process?

    This really pisses me off that companies put out "press releases" covering what should be a private matter between the parties involved.

    Why don't journalists just ignore SCO in the same way a parent ignores a screaming child pushing for an ice cream?
  • RCU, NUMA... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @09:57AM (#6685771)
    So, if the "stolen" code is in RCU and NUMA, why are they asking money from single processor systems? AFAIK this RCU and NUMA stuff is all SMP related, and not even compiled in single processor systems.
  • by Psarchasm (6377) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @09:58AM (#6685785) Homepage Journal
    SCO has recently announced their new corporate logo [bbspot.com], and policy [bbspot.com] for dealing with IP piracy.
  • by Col. Klink (retired) (11632) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @10:01AM (#6685829)
    In other SCO news, Computer Associates Agrees to a $40 Million Settlement [thestreet.com].

    This is an unrelated case (remember, Canopy Group makes a living suing people). However, given the timing, I am now lead to believe that part of the settlement was that CA agreed to buy some of SCO's phony "Linux Licenses".

  • by wfberg (24378) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @10:04AM (#6685874)
    This is the license for some product called Dynix, quite distinct from IBM's AIX licensing.

    Interestingly, this contract is with Sequent, not IBM. They're now alleging that Sequent gave IBM (it's parent) the code, breaching this contract. But seeing as IBM is a different company than Sequent, surely they were not under an obligation to keep that code to themselves; Sequent fudged up by giving it to IBM, so why should IBM's license to AIX be revoked? The Sequent contract read, according to this press release, that derivative could should be treated "as if" it were UNIX code, not that it actually became the property of SCOX.

    It looks to me that the code was a trade secret at Sequent ("treaded as if..") but they retained copyright. Then it got divulged to IBM, who even obtained the copyrights, and could disperse of it as they pleased. Liability is then ristricted to Sequent's officers who breached the contract with SCOX, and perhaps some IBM officers if it can be prover they coerced Sequent. IBM's AIX license and copyrights (and thus ability to GPLize) stand, IFF this press release contains the actual facts!
  • It's official (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ajs (35943) <ajsNO@SPAMajs.com> on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @10:07AM (#6685910) Homepage Journal
    So, it's official: SCO's complaint is entirely about Sequent, and their contributions to UNIX and Linux.

    For those who don't know, Sequent was a super-computer company that developed a lot of the software techniques that make today's multi-processor machines (especially the more-than-2 processor systems) work well. Sequent's code was its own, and IBM bought Sequent, so at first glance IBM has every right to contribute this code to Linux, even though it has also been sold to USL/SCO.

    So why is SCO suing? Because they feel that this code was written "for UNIX" and thus cannot be contributed to Linux without carrying a "taint" of UNIX IP.

    SCO has made many claims about "stolen UNIX code", but that's a sham as we now see. What SCO is really upset about is that code that they think is encumbered by them, but not actually theirs was inappropriately licensed without compensation to SCO. It's not UNIX code, it's allegedly-UNIX-encumbered code, but that doesn't sound as good in a press release demanding $32 from every TiVo user....

    In fact it sounds suspiciously like a case where SCO will have to fight an up-hill battle over IP rights that aren't really clear to begin with, and even then they have to fight the GPL issue, which (given that they still offer a Linux kernel for download) will be difficult.

    SCO is going to burn over this, and I really do think that the owners and all C-level executives of the company are going to end up in jail. It's just too brazen a lie and scam to go unchecked. The FTC and SEC will at least have to launch a token investigation to demonstrate that they're not 100% asleep at the wheel...
    • Re:It's official (Score:5, Insightful)

      by panda (10044) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @10:28AM (#6686140) Homepage Journal

      SCO is going to burn over this, and I really do think that the owners and all C-level executives of the company are going to end up in jail. It's just too brazen a lie and scam to go unchecked. The FTC and SEC will at least have to launch a token investigation to demonstrate that they're not 100% asleep at the wheel...



      Yeah, sure. Just like all the executives at Enron and Worldcom went to jail after all their illegal acounting and other shady business practices. I don't think so. Your faith in the FTC and SEC makes me laugh!



    • Sequent (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Zathrus (232140) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @11:53AM (#6687225) Homepage
      For those who don't know, Sequent was a super-computer company that developed a lot of the software techniques that make today's multi-processor machines (especially the more-than-2 processor systems) work well.

      Not just a super-computer company... they also built high end Unix servers. Georgia Tech had a Sequent box running Dynix as the main campus computer system from the late 80's to early 90's. IIRC, hydra was a 16-CPU system with 386DX's. And while at the end of its life (1993 I think) it was godawful slow, it was still better than the Sun box (which later became boxes) that replaced it (GT and Sun discovered that Solaris did very poorly in a heavily task switched environment, spending up to 80% of CPU time in overhead... that's improved since, but AFAIK they never quite fixed the problem). Dynix was the first Unix OS I ever used. It was a helluva lot better than Ultrix, but that's about all I recall about it.

      at first glance IBM has every right to contribute this code to Linux

      Yeah, but SCO is claiming that Sequent's license didn't include transferral of license, that the various multiprocessor technologies were derivative works, and that SCO retained rights to all derivative works under that license. IBM did buy a perpetual, non-revokable, fully paid, yadda yadda yadda license for Unix, but that was prior to the purchase of Sequent. SCO is thus claiming that Sequent's license holds true here and that IBM didn't have the right to distribute the code without SCO's approval. IBM does, however, hold the patents to the technologies in question. It may become a question not only of which license applies, but also whether or not the code contributed to Linux was the same as the code that Sequent had or if it was a re-implementation of the patent that IBM holds.
  • by GearheadX (414240) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @10:07AM (#6685917)
    You know. I can't help but wonder where all that stock actually WENT to when folks started to dump it. You can't exactly sell the stock to thin air, somebody's gotta buy it.

    Right?

    I wonder who bought the stock that's been selling off.
  • by eddy (18759) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @10:12AM (#6685968) Homepage Journal

    Maybe they're using RIAA-math? They might mean that one file is typically 50 lines, so any file with say 2000 lines counts as "the equivalent of 40 files"

    (for those who don't get it, see here [gnutellanews.com])

  • by Alakaboo (171129) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @10:25AM (#6686099) Homepage
    But maybe this time it's even more appropriate. :)

    SCOX (Lola) Song [slashdot.org]

    Enjoy...

    (To the tune of "Lola" by The Kinks)

    I met them in a club down in Santa Cruz
    where you code in C and it looks just like
    the Linux kernel... K-E-R-N Kernel

    They walked up to me and asked me to desist
    I asked them their name and in a cowardly voice they said,
    "SCOX"... S-C-O-X SCOX, sco sco sco sco-X

    Well I'm not the world's most intelligent guy
    But when they showed me the code I almost cried
    Oh my SCOX, sco sco sco sco-X

    Well I'm not dumb but I can't understand
    How they stay in business with blood on their hands
    Oh my SCOX, sco sco sco sco-X

    Well they filed their claims and sued all night,
    thanks to Microsoft's failing might
    They picked me up and sat me on their knees
    Saying, "Linux coder won't you turn and flee?"

    Well I'm not the world's most logical guy
    And when I looked at the comments
    I almost fell for their bullshit
    bull bull bull bull-shit

    sco sco sco sco sco-X

    I laughed them away. I walked to the court.
    I filed a countersuit. They'll be down on their knees.
    Now that IBM is looking out for me

    And that's the way that I want it to be
    They'll clean them out and make them pay
    Oh my SCOX, sco sco sco sco-X

    Linux will be UNIX, and UNIX will be Linux
    It's a scratched-out, messed-up, crazy diagram
    thanks to SCOX. sco sco sco sco-X

    Well I posted to LKML just a week before
    saying I never ever leaked code before
    SCOX smiled and said "We understand,"
    saying, "Linux coder, you can do what you can"

    Well I'm not the world's most open source guy
    but I know Richard Stallman and I bet that they'll fry
    oh my SCOX, sco sco sco sco sco-X

    sco sco sco sco-X
  • by CooCooCaChoo (668937) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @10:28AM (#6686136)
    Having followed this issue, it seems rather funny that that this whole rampage against the GPL and other opensource licenses was first started by Ransom Love.

    When McBride came onto the scene he started to talking about IP issues. I have no issues with a company setting out to see their IP is being used and whether the parties that are using it have paid the appropriate licenses for it.

    Lets fast forward a little. SCO suddenly kills off their Linux business and throws all their programmers to SuSE so basically SCO simply becomes a reseller. Considering that they have made no profits so far from Linux and have almost a 0% marketshare, maybe their last resort is hair spliting.

    Over the next several months the accusations have moved from being IP vioations to contractural issues.

    Lets give a brief rewind, the last version of SCO Linux to be released before Ransom Love left was Caldera OpenLinux 3.1.1 and it was loaded with 2.4.13. Having the RCU code in the Linux kernel since the VERY early test releases, and it has taken almost 21 releases, around 2 years for SCO to come out of the wood works and complain.

    Here is my take, when Ransom Love was in "their" they most likely looked at the possibility of litigation, however, due to a gray area in the IBM contract Love most likely decided not to persue a dead end law suite.

    Fast forward to today and we have a new management trying their luck in a vein hope of sucking money out of IBM to prop up their failing business.

    Sorry, UnixWare and OpenServer failed because they "suck". Sorry, I can't come up with a better adjective for their current line up. Poor scalability, waaaaaay over priced, heck, it makes Microsoft look charietable with their license pricing and they have next to no ISV and IHV support. No wonder SCO is dying.
  • by paiute (550198) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @10:29AM (#6686147)
    SCO-None shall compile.
    IBM-What?
    SCO-None shall compile.
    IBM-I have no quarrel with you, brave SCO, but I must distribute UNIX.
    SCO-Then you shall be sued.
    IBM-I command you to stand aside.
    SCO-I move for no corporation.
    IBM-So be it!
    IBM draws his sword and approaches the SCO. A furious fight now starts lasting about fifteen seconds at which point IBM delivers a mighty blow which completely severs the SCO's left
    arm at the shoulder. IBM steps back triumphantly.
    IBM-Now stand aside worthy adversary.
    SCO-(glancing at his shoulder)
    'Tis but a scratch.
    IBM-A scratch? Your arm's off.
    SCO-No, it isn't.
    IBM-(pointing to the arm on ground)
    Well, what's that then?
    SCO-I've had worse.
    IBM-You're a liar.
    SCO-Come on you pansy!
    Another ten seconds furious fighting till IBM chops the SCO's other arm off, also at the shoulder. The arm plus sword, lies on the ground.
    IBM-Victory is mine.
    (sinking to his knees)
    I thank thee O Lord that in thy...
    SCO-Come on then.
    IBM-What?
    He kicks IBM hard on the side of the helmet. IBM gets up still holding his sword. The SCO comes after him kicking.
    IBM-You are indeed brave SCO, but the fight is mine.
    SCO-Had enough?
    IBM-You stupid bastard. You haven't got any arms left.
    SCO-Course I have.
    IBM-Look!
    SCO-What! Just a flesh wound.
    (kicks IBM)
    IBM-Stop that.
    SCO-(kicking him)
    Had enough?
    IBM-I'll have your leg.
    He is kicked.
    IBM-Right!
    The SCO kicks him again and IBM chops his leg off. The SCO keeps his balance with difficulty.
    SCO-I'll do you for that.
    IBM-You'll what... ?
    SCO-Come Here.
    IBM-What are you going to do. bleed on me?
    SCO-I'm invincible!
    IBM-You're a loony.
    SCO-SCO always triumphs. Have at you!
    IBM takes his last leg off. The SCO's body lands upright.
    SCO-All right, we'll call it a draw.

  • by pragma_x (644215) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @10:30AM (#6686148) Journal
    #include "fud.h"
    #include "enron.h"

    void SCO_keep_alive()
    {
    while(!inCourt()){
    try{
    generateFUD();
    extortLicensesFromLinuxUsers();
    }
    catch(ImpendingIBMSuit suit)
    {
    int numShares = MAX_INT;
    dumpStock(numShares);
    terminateLicense("IBM");
    }
    }
    fileChapter(11);
    }
  • by Overt Coward (19347) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @10:46AM (#6686379) Homepage
    "UNIX-based development methods" -- huh? What exactly are these "methods", and under what terms does SCO claim to have ownership of such "methods"? What part of IBM's contract held by SCO licenses these "methods" and restricts their use?
  • Sleeping Giant (Score:5, Insightful)

    by earthforce_1 (454968) <earthforce_1 @ y a h o o . c om> on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @10:48AM (#6686419) Journal


    "I fear that we have awakened a sleeping giant
    and filled him with a terrible resolve"

    Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto
    December 7th, 1941

    Anybody not see the parallels? SCO has launched an unprovoked sneak attach against the sleeping giant, (IBM) and the Linux community. And this war will end the same way, with the legal equivalent of an atomic bomb delivered to SCO.

  • by wthynot (570397) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @10:51AM (#6686459) Journal
    I believe Linux adoption will skyrocket immediately after SCO's case finally dies (along with SCO itself). Linux has already been well-proven technically, but success in the courtroom gives an impression of corporate backing and strength, and more will look at Linux as terra firm. And the bigger SCO's claims get, the stronger Linux will look after a victory. Even average home users often decide what tech products they will buy based on which companies/brands will likely be around for a while, and they are probably least likely to pick a cheapie newcomer just for cost's sake. (Yes, Linux is 10+ years old, but you know what I mean.) Eh well, another $.02US gone...
  • by msgmonkey (599753) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @11:00AM (#6686573)
    I've just had a look at the original RCU patches contributed by IBM for 2.4.1, (RCU web site, http://lse.sourceforge.net/locking/rcupdate.html)

    One of the copyright notices from a file:



    Support for deferred freeing of memory using Read-Copy Update
    mechanism.

    Copyright (c) International Business Machines Corp., 2001

    This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
    it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
    the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
    (at your option) any later version.

    This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
    but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
    MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the
    GNU General Public License for more details.

    You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
    along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
    Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307, USA.

    Author: Dipankar Sarma [dipankar@sequent.com]
    (Based on a Dynix/ptx implementation by
    Paul Mckenney [paul.mckenney@us.ibm.com])



    IBM aquired Sequent in 1999, the copyright notice on this file from 2001. The important thing is that this code is based on an implementation and not the actual original code as such this is not Dynix/pty code.

    SCO could argue that since it is based on the code then it is actually a copy, however from what I have seen of the contract clauses (mainly from groklaw) IBM are free to use any knowledge/processes/etc gained from adding to AIX.

    Probably the two pieces of code look similar and I can believe even the comments since the implementor had access to original code. In addition to this it could be argued that it would be impossible to implement the code without there being similarities or even being nearly identical in places. For example try implementing a bouble-sort/linked list/etc without the code looking similar.

    The only thing left are the RCU patents and IBM own these.

    Having looked at this now SCO's case is pretty thin, they could win of course nothing is impossible (though unlikely), however it would just be a case of copyright violation and someone outside of IBM could do a re-implementation of RCU. In addition since RCU is n't part of the mainstream Linux kernel so I cant see how they could claim any substantial damages let alone $3 billion.
  • by dilute (74234) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @11:05AM (#6686636)
    ...doesn't implicate Linux per se (though part of the intent undoubtedly is to taint Linux by association).

    The release says that IBM was (allegedly) contractually obligated to treat its OWN work product which it developed based on SCO's predecessor's code in the same way (i.e., subject to the same restrictions) as the code it had licensed from SCO. It quite carefully says that IBM contributed "148 files of direct Sequent UNIX code" to Linux. But what SCO is talking about here ("Sequent UNIX code") is IBM's code, and not SCO's or AT&T's code. If IBM agreed to make its own code be subject to the license (and IBM says that it did not, since it claims that this provision was overriden by a side letter agreement that made completely different arrangements), then this would be a matter of contract between IBM and SCO (which IBM is very vigorously contesting). It would not mean that SCO owns the copyright to subject matter independently developed by IBM.

    It would not, even if true, give SCO any rights vis-a-vis a Linux user who had nothing to do with IBM and/or its contract with SCO. Off hand, I would say that the only way a Linux user would be at risk would be if there were substantial code written by the original copyright owner that found its way in some recognizable form into the Linux 2.4 or 2.5 kernels, and (even it that turned out to be the case), if the copyright owner never gave its permission for that code to be included. I have not seen where either of these contentions has been clearly alleged, except by implication, as a result fo SCO's threats.

    It is of course possible that there is such code overlap, but it is SCO's burden to prove it. I have not seen any proof of this. Even if they were to prove it, the Linux user would then be allowed to show SCO's consent to this inclusion, such as by the authorized release of the code in question under the GPL.

    It seems to me that SCO's case against the typical Linux business user is awfully speculative at this point.
  • by JaJ_D (652372) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @11:24AM (#6686847)
    If you check out the Nasdaq stock report [nasdaq.com] for sco the following shareholders with >5% is shown:

    Ralph Yarro
    Darcy Mott
    Canopy Group Inc
    John Wall

    If you then check out The Canopy Group [canopy.com] website you will see the following as board members

    Ralph Yarro - CEO & Presedent
    Darcy Motto - Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer

    This gives the Canopy group at least a 15% stake in SCO, possibly more.
    If you look at SCO's board [sco.com] and then have a look at their share trading [nasdaq.com], you see the following:-

    Charles BROUGHTON (VP world ops) sold about 120,000 USD worth of shares in the last two months
    Robert BENCH (CFO) sold about 120K USD in last few months
    Jeff HUNSAKER (s. VP)sold about 120K USD in last few months
    Other than McBride (CEO) most of the board have ofloaded shares in the last month or two. To give you an idea of the "peak" of share selling. According to the Nasdaq the number of "insider" trades (i.e. board members) in the last 12 months was 15, and 12 (all of which were sales) of those were in the last 3 months (or as its know just after the Linux thing).

    Yarro and Mott both also sit on the board of SCO.

    Does that stink or is it just me?

    Jaj
  • by Fenris Ulf (208159) <fenris@ulfheim.net> on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @11:41AM (#6687055)
    I've finally figured out what this SCO debacle reminds me of: a game of Calvinball.

    Contract disputes are legal play, except on Reverse Days or while standing in the Invisible Box. SCO attacks Linux users with FUD, and Novell makes them sing the Sorry Song. But SCO claims Novell was in the Reciprocity Zone, so it has to sing the song instead.

    SCO says it owns IBMs code because IBM crossed the Hidden Contract line, but IBM claims today was negative day and now it wants everything that SCO owns.

    The score is now 12 to Q, and I eagerly await the next round.
  • by Animats (122034) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @12:03PM (#6687354) Homepage
    It's starting to become clear what SCO's lawyers are thinking. They're laying the groundwork for a broad claim of copyright coverage of a derived work.

    What constitutes a derived work is going to be the real copyright issue here. Outside the software arena, the notion of a derived work has been very broadly interpreted. Movies based on novels have been held to be derived works even when the connection between the two included little more than the title and the name of the lead character.

    IBM has retained Cravath, Swaine, and Moore, probably the strongest litigation firm for difficult cases in the world. The Cravath approach on big cases is to put an army of lawyers on the problem and litigate everything to death. We'll probably see a detail-oriented litigation, rather than one based on broad principles. Following a Cravath lawsuit tends to be a mind-numbing experience for all concerned.

  • by m.dillon (147925) on Wednesday August 13, 2003 @12:31PM (#6687683) Homepage
    SCO is really getting desperate. They've cried wolf so many times now that even the stock speculators have finally caught on. Their stock price hardly blipped at the latest announcement. SCO is fast running out of curve balls to throw.

    In fact, IBM addresses both the issue of the stock price manipulation and SCO's continued misrepresentation of the AIX license in their counterclaim. For SCO to continue to make these sorts of public statements is insane.

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