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SCO Says No Way To a GPL Solaris, Moves Trial Back 429 429

penguino writes "Looks like it didn't take long for SCO to formally respond to claims by Sun that it will open source Solaris. According to SCO 'they [Sun] still have licence restrictions that would prevent them from contributing our licensed works wholesale to the GPL'. The company has also released a statement dated June 8 that 'SCO is making a motion to move the scheduled trial date to September 2005 and split IBM's counterclaims into a separate case'. Also quoted is AUUG president and FreeBSD developer Greg Lehey who recommends 'that the best thing for IBM to do would be to print out every single version as requested and send the resultant 20 tonnes or so of paper to SCO. That would keep them quiet for a while'."
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SCO Says No Way To a GPL Solaris, Moves Trial Back

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  • by stecoop (759508) * on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @08:35AM (#9375777) Journal
    What version of Linux is IBM using now-a-days. Whichever it is, Sun should basically drop Solaris and focus developing Linux for sparks along the same lines as IBM is doing. I like Solaris machines, they're fast and reliable but I only see a future for Sun at IBM. Sun has Java technology that IBM could really use as a synergy for the core products. IBM with SUN would be a large player in the future of computing, but currently SUN standing alone will be like SGI and other once powerful computing companines.
    • by turgid (580780) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @08:41AM (#9375813) Journal
      Whichever it is, Sun should basically drop Solaris and focus developing Linux for sparks along the same lines as IBM is doing.

      Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings, or something.

      Have you any clue as to how many years more advanced than Linux Solaris is at the high end?

      Sun is already using Linux at the low end, where it has it's niche. It's called the Java Desktop System.

      • by pegr (46683) * on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @08:48AM (#9375864) Homepage Journal
        Have you any clue as to how many years more advanced than Linux Solaris is at the high end?

        Agreed, but how much of that "high-end Solaris" is under SCO license restrictions? (None, or it would be in SCO's products.) While Sun may not be able to open source Solaris due to SCO license restrictions, as soon as a judge declares that IBM enhancements to AIX are not the property of SCO, Sun can roll whatever "high-end Solaris" code they have into Linux. This would have the added benefit of destroying whatever is left of SCO.
        • by turgid (580780) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @08:55AM (#9375910) Journal
          Agreed, but how much of that "high-end Solaris" is under SCO license restrictions?

          Like you say, it is probably none. Plain System V is ancient, and there has been a lot of development at all the big vendors since those days. It's probably a safe bet that Sun owns all of these high-end features in Solaris, since they're not in any other UNIX.

          Sun can roll whatever "high-end Solaris" code they have into Linux.

          Why bother, when it's already in Solaris? People seem to assume that because various *nixes are similar on the outside that it must be fairly straight forward to grab code from one and put it in another. Code bases have diverged so much in the last 15 years, that this is not the case. The POSIX interface to the kernels may be similar enough, but what's going on inside is radically different. Don't forget that internally Linux is nothing like a Syatem V or derivative, so any serious porting takes a lot of effort. It's a whole very large and interesting subject in itself, and one I have barely scratched the surface of...

          • by pegr (46683) * on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @09:02AM (#9375962) Homepage Journal
            Sun can roll whatever "high-end Solaris" code they have into Linux.

            Why bother, when it's already in Solaris?

            Because the stated goal was to Open Source Solaris... Without that, this whole exercise is meaningless.

            While bolting on Solaris functionality to Linux would be a formidable task, it would also put Sun squarely in the middle of Linux development as a strong Linux consulting and implementation partner. Pretty cool way to beef up your Linux "street cred" if you ask me...
            • by elmegil (12001) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @09:44AM (#9376363) Homepage Journal
              Linux "street cred" doesn't improve your revenues, nor your standing on Wall Street. It should be pretty clear from the public statements of management that Sun does not want to be "a Linux company". Personally I think that's a good thing--everyone derides Microsoft for promoting a monoculture, but here they are all advocating Linux uber alles for everything. Solaris for what it's good at, Linux for what it's good at, MacOS for what it's good at, and (gasp) windows for what it's good at (games and viruses! :-) all seem to be reasonable things to have around. [tongue-in-cheek]Not sure that I see any reason for HP/UX or AIX though...[/tongue-in-cheek]
              • by msobkow (48369) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @11:58AM (#9377863) Homepage Journal

                True enough -- Linux just happens to be a particularly widely available implementation of various open standards such as POSIX APIs, shell, thread processing, etc. AIX, Solaris, HP-UX, Irix, etc. provide their own implementations of those same APIs.

                Within reason I don't care what the kernel and vendor are -- I care about the tools that sit on top of it and the programming APIs used to create applications and services. Were Microsoft to provide those APIs instead of trying to force proprietary (but equivalent) APIs, they might even find they have a shot at the data center.

                I don't know that it's even an issue of what a kernel/OS "is good at". Businesses buy hardware to service a need -- in the vast majority of cases the details of a particular OS' benefits don't matter to the business. As long as it is stable and backed by a solid vendor with good support and maintenance, customers don't care much who provides it.

                Eventually IBM et. al. will abandon the proprietary kernels because it's not a profitable business. It's far cheaper to ensure a shared core has all the functionality needed, with the ability to turn off bits and pieces you don't want or need. That way the individual vendors only provide hardware-specific support and perhaps a handful of their own admin/maintenance tools. Far, far cheaper than developing and maintaining "proprietary features" which aren't even a selling point with most of your customer base.

                Who cares about one vendor's add-a-user tool versus another when the authentication and authorization are actually on another server that might not even run the same OS? Who cares that it's fully pre-emptive or a fine-grained network stack, provided it does the job? What does one particular vendor's backup facilities matter when your drives are in EMC or equivalent data servers?

            • by Biolo (25082) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @01:36PM (#9379202)
              Actually Sun hasn't committed to open sourcing Solaris (or Java for that matter). What they have said is that they are "evaluating whether or not to open-source". I got that from McNeally himself just this week when he was giving a speach at the Sun Scotland manufacturing plant with a Q&A session afterwards. During that session he was point-blank asked which of the stories in the press were correct, and that was his answer.

          • Huh? Sun owns nothing. SCO owns all code written in, on, for, next to, or in the same county with any version of Unix since the beginning of time. Haven't you been reading their press releases?
          • > Why bother, when it's already in Solaris?

            They get free of SCO, the customer upgrade path from cheap Linux pc hardware to high-end Sun servers will be simpler, they get free access to all the improvements made by the other backers of Linux, in particular device drivers and other hardware support. Including XFS and JFS which would help lure some IBM and SGI customers to Sun. They will no longer have to duplicate every innovation made by others themselves in order to stay at the front. Running a vend
          • Sure it's not trivial, but it can certainly be done. Look at NUMA, XFS and JFS for example. They were all taken from enterprise-level systems and bolted onto Linux, with great success.
          • >Plain System V is ancient...

            Just because something is ancient does not mean is's obsolete.
            Lisp is ancient...
            The atomic bomb is ancient...
            Airplanes are ancient...

            I tend to think ancient things have withstood the test of time. We'll see what you look like in 40 years.

            Anyway, my point is: just because something is ancient does not mean it's obsolete.
            Quantum physics were worked out in the 20s and 30s? They're ancient, man!!!
            • Just because something is ancient does not mean is's obsolete.
              Lisp is ancient...
              The atomic bomb is ancient...
              Airplanes are ancient...


              You need to get a better perspective on what's ancient. I suggest spending some time in some Roman, Greek, or even Mayan ruins. Walking amongst buildings which have not been inhabited for thousands of years gives a much better appreciation for the word "ancient".
          • Why bother, when it's already in Solaris? People seem to assume that because various *nixes are similar on the outside that it must be fairly straight forward to grab code from one and put it in another.

            Yeah, like Ken Brown (AdTI), The SCO executives, etc.

            Of course you cannot just rip the code out and put it in another UNIX or UNIX clone, expecially when the clone is NOT based on the same codebase. However, this is not what IBM is doing, so the original poster's comment that Sun should follow IBM's foot
        • "While Sun may not be able to open source Solaris due to SCO license restrictions, as soon as a judge declares that IBM enhancements to AIX are not the property of SCO, Sun can roll whatever "high-end Solaris" code they have into Linux. This would have the added benefit of destroying whatever is left of SCO."

          If Sun added their IP into Linux, then all of their competitors would benefit from it. It would be in Sun's best interest to implement their IP into one of the three BSD distributions, rename it "Sola
      • by molarmass192 (608071) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @09:02AM (#9375964) Homepage Journal
        Hang on there. I like Solaris and I admin a dozen Sun servers myself, but since the 2.6 kernel went prod that's only true on the biggest and baddest >64-way E-series servers. Obviously, Sun would have a little issue with our service contract if I were to slap Linux on any of those servers, but I don't have a doubt that it could be just as reliable if I did.
      • Have you any clue as to how many years more advanced than Linux Solaris is at the high end?

        Go on then, enlighten us.
      • by iabervon (1971) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @12:42PM (#9378455) Homepage Journal
        There was a recent post to the kernel mailing list saying that there were performance problems in (ironically) the RCU code on systems with a lot of processors. In this case "a lot of processors" meant 512. A few weeks later, someone posted a fix. There was a recent significant change to the virtual memory system to make it suitable for systems with 32G of RAM; there's another for 32-bit processors with processes that use 4G of RAM. When you see things like "My test box has 48G, but we recommend 32G to have a wide safety margin", and "we only designed this for a few tens of CPUs; here's a suggestion for 512, though".

        Solaris may still be ahead on the high end, but Linux is definitely catching up, with IBM and SGI, among others, working on it. Oracle seems to be betting on Linux passing Solaris soon. It may not be long before Sun has to give up on Solaris and embrace Linux in order to sell high-end systems. On the other hand, they don't list servers on their web page with more than 104 processors, so they might not have systems that still count as "high-end" before long.
  • Hmmm (Score:5, Interesting)

    by liamo (699840) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @08:36AM (#9375783)
    Hmmm. I wonder if Sun expected this response from SCO, allowing them to say "Well, we offered" without actually opening anything.
    • Re:Hmmm (Score:2, Informative)

      by acidos (39557)
      Although Sun has not publicly stated under which licence it intends to release an open source Solaris, Schwartz said: Make no mistake, we will open-source Solaris.

      If you wonder about something, you should read the article.

    • Re:Hmmm (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ScouseMouse (690083)
      Actually, i suspect it may be more along the lines of they realise where the current SCO case is going, and are trying to appeal to Open source developers again.

      They dont seem to have had a very good press recently on a variety of points.

      Its unlikey to happen soon, and even in the very unlikely worst case of a SCO victory, they can just say "Well we cant anymore" and they have at least the cudos for trying so they really cant loose.

      I have to say even with the recent announcements on Java and such like,
    • Re:Hmmm (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Smallpond (221300) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @09:08AM (#9376013) Homepage Journal
      Solaris source code has been available [sun.com] for a long time to qualified educational institutions, developers and computer hackers. Open Source doesn't mean free to copy in this case. They allow people to look at the source so that they can develop code and suggest improvements. They would be very upset if their code found its way into Linux, for example.

  • by halivar (535827) <bfelger&gmail,com> on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @08:36AM (#9375787) Homepage
    You sleep with dogs, you wake up with fleas.

    Can't say it could happen to a more deserving company.
  • Ummm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AliasTheRoot (171859) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @08:37AM (#9375790)
    How much code is still SVR5? I really can't imagine Sun would have been making all this noise about OpenSourcing Solaris recently if their lawyers hadn't looked over it.
    • Re:Ummm... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Pharmboy (216950) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @08:44AM (#9375829) Journal
      The question isn't really if the code has any SVR5 in it, as it likely has little. The real question is how "derivative" is defined, and how that applies to the license Sun had with AT&T and more recently, SCO.
  • Reverse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dorward (129628) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @08:38AM (#9375792) Homepage Journal
    We love Linux!
    We don't know what Linux is!
    Solaris is the first OS to work on these platforms (lets not mention Linux, even though it was really there first and we sell it)
    What's the GPL?
    The GPL is wonderful!
    We will open source Java!
    We won't open source Java!
    We will open source Java! Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of our lives (maybe).
    We will open source Solaris!
    We won't open source Solaris!

    How does Sun find time to do stuff between its constant reverses of its positions?
  • I seriously doubt that SCO will still exist when Sun gets round to opening the Solaris source. Then again I doubt that SCO will survive the rest of this year! Their rediculous claims will be proven to be rediculous in court soon.
    • by fatgeekuk (730791) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @09:04AM (#9375979) Journal
      SCO will continue to exist until the court cases show that they have no case, at which point they will implode.

      long before that there will not really be much left other than a CEO, company accountant and liason to the law firm.

      Any suggestion which prolongs this or other lawsuits will just prolong the problem. We really want this sorted as quickly as possible.

      The longer this continues, the longer we are focused on this and away from other things...

      1) development effort
      2) notice that another company is quietly (or not so quietly) trying to patent everything under the sun (pun intended)

      SCO are an irrelevent distraction that everyone involved should be working to eradicate as an issue as quickly as possible.
  • An element of truth? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Epeeist (2682) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @08:41AM (#9375812) Homepage
    This one may be partially true. Sun did licence SysV when they moved from SunOS. However, they have done a large amount of work on it since.

    Are we going to see SCO try and claim the work that Sun have done on high quality SMP, multi-path support, hardware partitioning etc. as their "Intellectual Property" in the same way that they are attempting for the NUMA and JFS stuff.
  • and.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pharmboy (216950) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @08:41AM (#9375815) Journal
    ...this is news?

    SCO Says No Way To a GPL Solaris, Moves Trial Back

    No one really expected Sun to GPL Solaris, or expected that SCO will allow them to without a threat of lawsuit. This only gives SCO something else to bitch about, and Sun and excuse to do nothing about opening their code base. Sorry to be so negative, but I haven't had much of a reason to think that Sun is on "our side" when it comes to open source software.

    SCO and Sun do have one thing in common, however: They will both soon be dead because of Linux and the contributions of IBM and others.
    • Re:and.... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by thomasa (17495) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @08:52AM (#9375893)
      you are mistaken, Sun will be dead because of
      the PC. The PC can run Windows OR Linux. The
      PC is what kills Sun. Just as the PC killed the
      minicomputer.

      In my opinion anyway.

      • The PC can run Windows OR Linux

        OR Solaris x86. The fact that Sun has never actively marketed that offering (until recently with their new Sun Fire V60x/V65x/V20z servers) is one of the reasons that people don't seriously consider Solaris x86 as a viable platform -- Sun keeps wavering on their support of it. It looks like they're back on the bandwagon again now, but given their track record, who knows?
    • Re:and.... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cgenman (325138) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @08:58AM (#9375939) Homepage
      Sorry to be so negative, but I haven't had much of a reason to think that Sun is on "our side" when it comes to open source software.

      Right. Because Sun has never contributed any useful piece of code to be OPEN. OFFICErs at the company are gnome for their lack of contribution to any real groupzilla.

      Know your roots.
      • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @12:13PM (#9378050) Journal
        If I've got this right:

        Quite a while back the Grasshopper Group (which was working on a NeWS for Macintosh at a garage-shop level) contracted with Sun to combine it with X as a Sun product. It didn't catch on. But the contract resulted in Sun having enough IP rights over the codebase that the developers couldn't open-source it. Since then they have tried several times to get Sun to allow them to release the code. But nothing ever came of it.

        X is already open and NeWS is currently moribund. None of Sun's current or likely future market advantages are the restult of its windowing system, and an open version of NeWS wouldn't be any threat to Sun. (Even if it caught on big time Sun could just grab the open version and use it - and an open project would no doubt include a good Sun port anyhow.)

        So if Sun is really interested in contributing to Open Source, here's something they can do on the cheap: Free the orphan.
  • Serves them right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by puppetluva (46903) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @08:42AM (#9375819)
    As the ancient saying goes: "If you play with a snake, you get bit."

    I really like Sun, but this serves them right after paying SCO and acting holier-than-thou about IP rights re: Linux (even though they had the means to know and probably did know that the claims weren't true).

    By the way, that same saying holds true for the Microsoft crowd. . . but they probably know that already.
    • by Moraelin (679338) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @09:25AM (#9376163) Journal
      "By the way, that same saying holds true for the Microsoft crowd. . . but they probably know that already."

      Not sure in which way it applies to "the Microsoft crowd."

      Microsoft never promised to GPL Windows. And I'd expect to see pink pigs flying and Satan going to work on skis before that happens.

      And, to the best of my knowledge, SCO never tried to stop MS from doing anything. Nor claimed ownership to any Windows code. So in which way did MS get bit? No, seriously, I'm really interested.

      Not that anyone expected Microsoft to go GPL anyway. Most of us "Microsoft crowd" really couldn't give a damn about ideological crusades, nor about fanboy allegiances to whoever is this year's fashionable underdog. Or agains whoever is the fashionable corporation to hate this year.

      What's the point anyway? If your world is only made of black-vs-white, or good-vs-evil, you live in a very simplistic world. The real world is far more complex than "IBM=GOOD; MSFT=EVIL".

      If you look at the history of computing, as little of it as we have so far, one thing has always been constant:

      A. whoever is winning, doesn't want standards, they want people locked into their very own proprietary stuff. IBM did it, Sun did it, and Novel did it really big time. That's how the Unix fragmentation happened, and why it lost to Windows.

      B. whoever is losing, is whining about how great the open standards are, and how evil proprietary solutions are.

      (And some, like Sun, can't even make up their mind in which camp they really are.)

      Wake up, people. We're not talking about a group of geeks fighting for ideals. We're talking about corporations who only want to make money. And _will_ change the strategy whenever it looks like another one might bring more money.

      IBM is no dedicated friend of OSS, and neither is Sun. (You may notice that IBM did _not_ go GPL with either DB/2 or WebSphere.) At this point IBM merely figured out they can get an advantage out of Linux, in their fight against both MS and Sun.

      _If_ IBM was to win a decisive victory, and MS became the underdog, you can fully expect the roles to be reversed yet again.

      IBM will start shipping an "enhanced" version of Linux, with a whole bunch of closed source IBM-only executables in it. Just like they did with Unix. Trying to lock people in again. And spreading FUD like they already did before.

      And Microsoft would most likely cheerfully go from defending the way of the proprietary solution, to praising open standards.

      And knowing the /. crowd, we'll probably see the same people posting about how IBM sucks and MS is our true friend.
      • Re:Serves them right (Score:4, Interesting)

        by spitzak (4019) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @01:27PM (#9379090) Homepage
        Although you seem to be trying to slant your argument into an anti-slashdot/pro-microsoft rant, the basic premise is quite true.

        The company on top always fights standards, and the companies below it all claim "standards are good".

        Even in recent history Microsoft has flip-flopped on this in instant messaging, because they were not number 1 in this, AOL was.

        I fully agree that if IBM "wins" they will turn quite evil. And Microsoft will turn into the good guys so fast it will make everybody's head spin. Smarter people are trying to make sure that IBM truly gives away enough stuff so they cannot become entirely evil, such as officially saying that open source is allowed to use their patented technology. So far IBM has not been stupid enough to do that, but there is hope...

        People thinking the GPL on Linux will save them are deluded. The design of the Intel 486 is documented quite well and can be duplicated (AMD did so) yet this did not mean that Microsoft could not run a closed-source Windows atop it. In the same way a fully open-source Linux bottom level would not prevent a closed-source upper layer from being written, much like OS/X's user interface code.
  • ... it would also allow SCO to delay further for all the time they need for the trial.

    IBM have been more than patient and reasonable with SCO. And SCO have produced zilch to support their claims.

    • I think IBM have just been giving them enough rope to hang themselves. They've been patient and efficient (mostly) and have let SCO do most of the work for them.
      I'd prefer SCO being able to take their time and make that hole bigger rather than being able to make a good appeal.
  • No more stalling! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by the_mad_poster (640772) <shattoc@adelphia.com> on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @08:47AM (#9375858) Homepage Journal

    That would keep them quiet for a while.

    We don't WANT to keep them quiet for a while. We want IBM to go in for the kill and cut their tongue out to keep them quiet for GOOD. No more stall tactics, and definitely don't aid them in their stall tactics by giving them something to do. If they get even the faintest air of legitimacy again, rest assured some moron with more money than brains is going to pump funds into their hot air balloon to help reinflate it. I don't think I an take another year and a half of these stories every day like they were coming for awhile...

  • by IGnatius T Foobar (4328) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @08:47AM (#9375859) Homepage Journal
    As much as we all hate SCO, unfortunately they are right this time. Solaris is built from the original Unix code. There is a direct descendence here, and SCO is absolutely within its rights to tell Sun that they can't sublicense it (which is essentially what open sourcing the code would do, assuming that it's a DFSG/OSD compliant license).

    On the other hand, if Sun is in cahoots with SCO, as some here suggest, then perhaps they are shooting themselves in the collective foot today. Solaris is demonstrably descended from System V -- Sun programmers had all the original code to work from. It only strengthens the contrast between Solaris's development and Linux's development; i.e. the Linux developers did not have access to System V. Perhaps someone will subpoena Solaris code eventually, and show the court what a derivative work would really look like, contrasted with Linux, built from scratch and looking very different.
  • Licensing & RAND (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pmfp (682203)
    Remember who backs up SCO in this case. Microsoft. I think it's amazing that with all this legal mumbo-jumbo hitting the fan, people really trust MS not to cut off Mono. They have an incentive, they got the legal base for it, and soon they'll have plenty of cooperations dependant on a .NET platform.

    No API breakage, they got all the reason in the world to maintain backwards compatibility.

    P.S. On topic for being a legal issue involving some of the same characters... albeit it's not clear cut.
  • Incorrect Title (Score:5, Informative)

    by Omni-Cognate (620505) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @08:48AM (#9375866)

    SCO haven't moved the trial back. They've requested that the trial be moved back. The judge has taken it under advisement.

  • 20 tonnes of paper (Score:5, Informative)

    by cynicalmoose (720691) <giles.robertson@westminster.org.uk> on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @08:50AM (#9375883) Homepage
    That's exactly what SCO did to IBM, and IBM successfully got the court to agree that the stuff must be given electronically.

    You can't have the cake and eat it.

    You would, after all, only do that if you thought that your case was so weak that you couldn't give your opponent fair access.
  • by spending more than $US100 million in Unix licence fees Sun has the broadest rights of any of SCO's Unix licensees

    They have paid $100 million over the years to a company that has a market cap of $78 million (market close yesterday). $78 Million! IBM (Not sun) probably spent that on toilet seat covers last year. How is it that a company that could be wiped out (yes I get the irony of wiping andthe toilet seat cover) of existence for $30-40 million is bringing in $100 million in fees from sun and caus
    • buy the bastards

      That's probably exactly what they want.

      what a dumbass Darl was

      Yeah, he'll be a dumbass when he's laughing all the way to the bank.
    • by abb3w (696381) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @10:18AM (#9376705) Journal
      [W]hy not have Sun, IBM, Red Hat, SuSe and whoever else is pissed at SCO get together and spend 78 million and buy the bastards?

      It's a matter of principle: "If you will not set a good example, you shall serve as a terrible warning." Or, more specifically here, IBM's version of it: "If you sue IBM, we will destroy you." Doing so serves to discourage "sue Big Blue" as an exit strategy for other failing companies-- a corollary of the old principle about Danegeld. Besides, IBM has most of these lawyers on salary... it's good to keep them in practice, just like it's good to keep your knives sharpened. =)

      Unsubstatiated rumor has it that members of IBM's legal team have been informed that they will be considered to have failed if SCO even exists after this lawsuit ends.
  • but... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mattyrobinson69 (751521) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @08:56AM (#9375922)
    IBM will own all of SCO's IP at the end of the trial anyway - if SCO even go that far.

    what happens to the IP of a company that goes backrunpt (does it go to their investors maybe?)
  • SCO's real goal (Score:3, Insightful)

    by prgrmr (568806) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @08:56AM (#9375923) Journal
    "In the absence of the requested discovery items, SCO has had to rely upon some alternative sources for proof," the memorandum read. "IBM has so far only produced selected pieces of AIX and Dynix."

    Apart from any monetary gains they hope to make, SCO is still fishing for AIX and Dynix source code. Even without verbatim copying, what they can learn from the IBM source code can be applied to SCO's own software products. Were this not the case, they would only need the revision histories for IBM to demonstrate ownership.
    • Re:SCO's real goal (Score:4, Insightful)

      by pjrc (134994) <paul@pjrc.com> on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @11:33AM (#9377547) Homepage Journal
      what they can learn from the IBM source code can be applied to SCO's own software products.

      No.

      First, it's under a protective order from the court. If they violate that, IBM will sue and destroy them... hopefully sooner with a temporary injunction rather than later with an ultimate verdict.

      Second, much of the code was disclosed only to SCO's attorneys and not directly to SCO. See the complains from Computer Associates.

      Third, SCO's unixware and openserver business is dying. Few (if any) new installations are being made. Even if they made dramatic improvements, those products are about as good as dead in the market due to a long history of neglect.

      Fourth, their reputation is ruined. Nobody in their right mind will trust SCO now. And why should they, when "solutions" are readily available from large, stable companies with good reputations.... like IBM.

      Fifth, they've already cut back (laid off employees), so their capability to illegally integrate lots of AIX code is reduced... and as things get worse for SCO this problem will only increase.

      And finally, they will run out of cash soon anyway, with 4 lawsuits against corp heavyweights rapidly draining their funds. Their chances for further investment are slim, after the high profile Baystar dispute. Their stock has fallen enough that their ability to raise funds by issuing more shares is diminished, and if Kimball grants IBM even one bit of the summary judgement or makes a negative (for SCO) opinion in the Novell case, their stock valuation will be dropped back down to the sub $1/share where it rightly belongs.

      Only a miracle is going to save SCO now... like Kimball buying their expansive theory of derivitive works, or suddenly finding a lot of directly copied SysV (not AIX) code inside of Linux.

  • by eXtro (258933) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @08:56AM (#9375924) Homepage

    Greg Lehey who recommends 'that the best thing for IBM to do would be to print out every single version as requested and send the resultant 20 tonnes or so of paper to SCO. That would keep them quiet for a while'."

    I would like to add that the 20 tonnes of paper be dropped without a parachute from a C130 Hercules [michigan.gov] onto SCO and Darl McBride.
  • OSS License (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Peartree (199737) <idl3mind AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @08:56AM (#9375926) Homepage
    Was there ever any mention of Sun making their license GPL?
  • Sco are like.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Scaz7 (179078)
    Sco have the image of the bad guy that just keeps comming back.. again and again and again..

    You think there out of the pictures and they just conjour up another evil plan. There just as annoying as most hollywood sequals they just get less less interesting over time and rather frustrating.. kind of like the halloweens or friday the 13ths.

    All honesty is bad when IBM get involved and you know your in trouble if Novell has it in for you but Sun?

    Personally for there own sake when will they just call it a day
  • To break it down (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Artifakt (700173) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @08:57AM (#9375930)
    1. SCO is essentially just claiming that Sun may or may not be able to release code to the GPL, depending on what parts Sun picks. There's not really a SCO related story there, until Sun does it, and SCO either objects to the specifics or doesn't.
    2. SCO is claiming that it needs until SEP 2005 to go to court against IBM.
    That's absolutely true. In fact, SCO needs all the delays it can possibly get.
    3. SCO is claiming that the trial should be split into two parts, and their claims tried seperately from IBM's counterclaims. This is the part that is actually interesting.
    Possible reasons:
    I. it adds additional delays.
    II. SCO expects to lose on its claims against IBM, and is hoping that splitting the trial will let them somehow get a venue for the IBM counter suit that won't be influenced too much by that loss. If the motion to split is approved, expect SCO to file motions to supress some of the results of the first trial.
    III. SCO doesn't expect the motion to split to be allowed, but hopes that not getting it will give them grounds for an appeal.
    IV. I can't think of other reasons offhand, but then I am not a lawyer. Someone else may.
  • by brett_sinclair (673309) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @08:58AM (#9375935)
    This story is a bit old already. See groklaw [groklaw.net].
  • Delay == Bad? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by FrO (209915)
    '...the best thing for IBM to do would be to print out every single version as requested and send the resultant 20 tonnes or so of paper to SCO. That would keep them quiet for a while'

    -- Wouldn't that be a bad thing? I mean, SCO obviously has no qualms about suing major corporations for their use of Linux even though their copyright clames haven't been proven. If the trial gets delayed, it'll just give them more time to spread their FUD and scare companies, not to mention extending the "wait and see" at
  • Sun should realize that through their actions supporting SCO and taking out new licenses with them, they have given over all control of Solaris to SCO. How long until even Microsoft realizes that their worst nightmare is a SCO who has won some legal victories and comes back with new money and claims that Windows is a derivative work of DR-DOS?
  • The only solution (Score:4, Insightful)

    by truthsearch (249536) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @09:03AM (#9375968) Homepage Journal
    The only long-term solution is the end of SCO, either by bankruptcy or takeover. SCO will disappear eventually because no public company can survive solely on licensing "old" software without developing any new offerings. (Yes, Microsoft exists because of licensing, but they continually sell new software. SCO doesn't.) The problem is this process will take a long time due to the influx of money they've gotten indirectly from Microsoft.

    I think IBM or Sun (if they have the money) should purchase SCO, with a hostile takeover if necessary. It's a relatively quick solution, gets them out of litigation, and probably saves them millions of dollars in the long run. Otherwise this stuff will just drag on for years.
    • Re:The only solution (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rkhalloran (136467)
      It's likely SCO was looking for a buyout for their silence when this mess started. IBM wasn't interested: it'd be seen as a tacit admission of guilt. Given that their services folks run systems & networks for many F500 companies, admitting you cribbed code from a competitor would be a death sentence. Hence the unleashing of the Pinstripe Horde upon SCO; they need a clean reputation and only a flattened SCO will accomplish that.

      At this point SCO has nothing to offer but whatever value is left in the
  • by phoxix (161744) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @09:03AM (#9375971)
    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=200406090 20821429 [groklaw.net]

    Gotta love them Groklaw folks, especially PJ, who totally rocks.

    Sunny Dubey
  • by hussar (87373) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @09:03AM (#9375974) Homepage
    They should print the source code on rolls of paper about six inches wide and four in diameter. It'll make reusing the paper after the trial much easier...

    Hmmm...squeeze-ably soft source code!
  • That SCO will be out of business by this time next year, so the problem will be moot. Or they plan to give SCO the bird and let them sue - They are already fighting on a dozen fronts anyway. Nothing like cranking up the burn rate another notch.

  • by HighOrbit (631451) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @09:14AM (#9376057)
    IIRC - The original SunOS was a BSD Unix derivative. Solaris was built by combining Sys V and SunOS. Since then, Sun has hacked up (read improved) Solaris substantially. So at this point, I don't know how much of the original AT&T code still resides in Solaris, but I'd wager that there is not too much left. In the mean time, BSD derivatives have also improved over time.

    It would take some investment in man-hours, but Sun might be able to comb through Solaris and rip out all the remaining AT&T Sys V stuff and replace it (as a place holder) with either *BSD code or some of their own re-writes. This would be a process similar to what BSDi/UC-Berkley had to do with 4.3/Net2 in order to reach the unencumbered 4.4BSD-Lite. Depending on how much of the old AT&T stuff still exists, this might be either a trivial or Herculean task.

    Once that is done, Sun is left with an OS that contains BSD code along with its own Sun-originated Solaris code. At that point, they are free to license it as they see fit.
    • Except that then SCO files a lawsuit under the exact same complaints as they have against IBM, claiming that the license prohibits Sun from releasing any code that was developed for Solaris because Solaris was a derivitive work of SysV.

      In SCO's own little world, their license is so "viral" that the GPL looks like public domain next to it.


      • In SCO's own little world, their license is so "viral" that the GPL looks like public domain next to it.


        Which is kind of amusing since SCO (McBride) has claimed that the GPL is both viral and public domain at different times.
  • by Sunnan (466558) <sunnan@handgranat.org> on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @09:24AM (#9376157) Homepage Journal
    Speaking of which - this debacle kind of proves which license is really "viral". It's the proprietary ones, such as the one half-assedly half-granting Sun use of the Unix source.

    "You can use it, but you can't give it away." So much for ownership.
  • So, what'll it be? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @09:28AM (#9376188)
    Quote:

    "I suppose the interesting question is if Sun releases those parts of Solaris which it has developed in-house, what does that do to the code it has licensed?"

    Lehey said the GPL has the so-called "viral" effect, and that would theoretically cause the remainder (of code) to fall under the GPL as well, "but that's so preposterous that I can't think of any way it could happen"

    The context is parts of Solaris Sun developed in-house. These are "derivative works", perhaps, of System V. Sure, fine.

    One of the following might work:
    (1) GPL-ing them does not, in any way, make the reverse true. System V is not a derivative of works derived from it, thus the GPL's viral effect will not encompass System V code.
    (2) Because there would be a viral effect extending to code which Sun does not own, it will be impossible to use the GPL, as it could not release that code. Sun doesn't own the copyrights to change the license.
    (3) Sun has all the rights to redistribute the code as it sees fit (including under the GPL). Maybe.

    I wonder how Sun will respond.
  • Good timing... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vrallis (33290) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @09:31AM (#9376221) Homepage
    This is good timing. I think Sun should take a look at how SGI handled this.

    SGI sat back one day, wondering about how they were spending something like $2billion a year on IRIX development. It finally dawned on them that they were a graphics software and support company, not an operating system company. So they switched to Linux, dropped IRIX like a rotten apple, and helped put a small portion of the $2billion they saved into helping get Linux to the point where they wanted it.

    Sun could so the same--save billions, but still make a massive contribution to the Linux community, and help make sure Linux is 'where they want it.' It wouldn't take long, and they'd save a fortune.
  • by Random BedHead Ed (602081) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @09:56AM (#9376480) Homepage Journal

    I don't think Darl's dream of prolonging the FID will come to any fruition. The court has replied to one of their attempts at delay, as reported on Groklaw today [groklaw.net]:

    "Court hears arguments and DENIES the motion due to lateness of the objection and inconvenience to the parties scheduled for deposition."

    IBM had argued that SCO didn't need a delay because "two of the witnesses scheduled next week ... are former employees of AT&T, not IBM. .... Similarly, Mr. Rodgers was employed by Sequent, not IBM, and IBM does not have any of his documents. The final deponent, BayStar, is an investor in SCO, wholly unrelated to IBM, and that deposition apparently will not go forward." Today Judge Wells agreed and denied SCO's attempt to prolong the FUD. This guy really seems to understand the importance of getting these decisions out sooner rather than later, since the claims are enormous and the business impact could be huge. Their arguments to postpone the trial date are equally without merit, so expect more embarassing setbacks for SCO soon.

  • For me this brings up an interesting future scenario re the "Solaris is a derivative work of System V". If a company (SCO) licenses software to a second party (Sun), then the second company builds a huge code base around the licensed work, at what point does the second company's contribution become large enough that it's no longer considered "derivative"?

    If enough new code is written to replace original code, is the resultant work still considered to be a derivative of the original? It may be inspired by it, but is it still legally hemmed in under the original copyright?

    Maybe in this case Sun feels that enough of the licensed work has been re-written (and vastly improved) by their own staff that it no longer resembles the original System V.
  • by bokmann (323771) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @10:09AM (#9376605) Homepage
    Either the writer of this article doesn't understand the issues involved, or the parties involved are all boobs. LEts look at some of the quotes from the article

    The SCO Group's marketing manager Marc Modersitzki doesn't even use the lingo correctly - lets analyze some of his statements:

    "However, they still have licence restrictions that would prevent them from contributing our licensed works wholesale to the GPL."

    This statement makes it sound as if Sun is talking about transferring ownership to some GROUP - 'contributing wholesale to the GPL'... The proper statement would be something like "They still have license restrictions that would prevent them from releasing our intellectual property under the GPL license", and this may be true... Anything that Sun owns they can do whatever they want with - anything they license they have to comply with any terms of that license... nothing new here.

    Lehey said the GPL has the so-called "viral" effect, and that would theoretically cause the remainder (of code) to fall under the GPL as well, "but that's so preposterous that I can't think of any way it could happen".

    The viral clause of the GPL cannot affect things that you don't have the intellectual property rights to. I couldn't write a contract that required you to give me your neighbors car... it is not yours to give (Even if he let you drive it once or twice). Sun is free to release their code under the GPL... if it relies on things that are not GPLed that they don't have the intellectual property rights to, well, that sucks, but it is not within Sun's power to decide to GPL it. The viral clause only affects the rights of DOWNSTREAM users - it is a condition of the terms of granting the copyright. If Sun were to GPL solaris, minus the parts it doesn't have the rights to, I'm sure armies of developers will step up to provide a clean room implementation.

    I am not a lawyer, but this stuff is not rocket science...
  • by Animats (122034) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @11:50AM (#9377744) Homepage
    Call in tomorrow and hear Darl blither.
    • The SCO® Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: SCOX) will host its second quarter 2004 financial results conference call on Thursday, June 10, 2004, at 9:00 a.m. (MDT), or 11:00 a.m. (EST).

      If you would like to participate in the live call you may dial 800-795-1259 or 785-832-0326; confirmation code: 431766.

    Listen via webcast here [sco.com]. RealAudio or Windows Media Player, of course.

Murphy's Law, that brash proletarian restatement of Godel's Theorem. -- Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"

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