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SUSE Requests Arbitration with SCO 155

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the everyone's-favorite-bad-guy dept.
rm69990 writes "In response to SCO's amended complaint against Novell alleging copyright infringement, Novell subsidiary SUSE has requested from the International Chamber of Commerce that SCO be barred from asserting copyright over SUSE Linux due to the UnitedLinux agreement between Caldera, SUSE, Connectiva and Turbolinux. This agreement requires that SCO arbitrate with SUSE instead of filing claims, removes the copyright from any work SCO produced while in UnitedLinux, gives SUSE sublicensing rights to SCO's copyrights, and constitutes an SCO commitment that any code released under an OSS license in UnitedLinux remain Open Source. Novell has filed a motion to stay SCO's claims against Novell until the outcome of this arbitration. So now it looks like Linux users are protected both through the APA between Novell and SCO, but the UnitedLinux agreement as well."
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SUSE Requests Arbitration with SCO

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  • by DoraLives (622001) on Wednesday April 12, 2006 @11:25AM (#15114386)
    cool SCO logo that used to grace these stories? How you people expect me to find 'em without that nifty logo?
    • by Frymaster (171343) on Wednesday April 12, 2006 @11:27AM (#15114399) Homepage Journal
      Where's that... cool SCO logo that used to grace these stories?

      it's sco's intellectual property. cowboy neal is working on a reverse engineer of it, though.

    • I mean, the idiotors. The article linked is the wrong one. This [groklaw.net] is the correct article for the story.

      More and more frequently, I'm thinking that slashdot is becoming a mad magazine parody of itself.
      • Arbitration in Paris (Score:4, Informative)

        by SpaceLifeForm (228190) on Wednesday April 12, 2006 @01:26PM (#15115295)
        Actually, it was the correct article when submitted. The one you linked to is the new article on Groklaw, where it is reported that the arbitration will be in Paris.

        PJ, with a spot-on comment (my bold):

        If you were given a choice between having a GPL-related case heard in Europe in a fast-track arbitration based on clear contracts or let it drag out for year after painful year in Utah, what would you choose? Anyway, someone on Novell's team at some point noticed that the UnitedLinux agreements, which Caldera signed, require such arbitration of certain types of claims, likely even designating the jurisdiction, and once SCO filed its 2nd Amended Complaint alleging that distribution of SUSE Linux was copyright infringement, it opened up the door to this request for arbitration in France.

      • I mean, the idiotors. The article linked is the wrong one. This is the correct article [groklaw.net] for the story.

        The original link does describe SCO requesting arbitration (among other things) The article that you link to was posted early this morning and gives the details of the arbitration filed in europe. I'm guessing that the second article was posted after this was submitted to slashdot.

        It's good to have the second article, but there's no need to insult the slashdot editors (this time).

        • Well, in the linked article, the focus is on Novel, not Suse (yes, I know that Suse is a subsidiary of Novel), while the slashdot story summary is primarily focused on Suse. That should be a clue.

          Seriously, look at the summary and then the articles. Which article is a better match for the summary? Look at the time stamps on the articles. (Yes, I know there is a possible lead time for submission, but I'm talking about the publishing, not the submission.)

      • At the time I submitted this article, that was the latest, and only, article on the subject.
  • by TripMaster Monkey (862126) * on Wednesday April 12, 2006 @11:26AM (#15114388)


    From TFA:
    Man, do not mess with Novell. I never worked for lawyers as good as these guys, and it's a plumb pleasin' pleasure to watch them work.
    Methinks this gives the Novell lawyers a bit too much credit...after all, all they're doing is patiently assertiing that the sky is in fact blue and that water is, and has always been, wet.

    The real geniuses here are the SCO lawyers, for keeping this ridiculous dog & pony show going for as long as they have, although I admit that the admiration I experience witnessing their work is generously laced with nausea and trepidation. When SCO's house of cards finally falls, it will be with a deafening crash amid roars of appreciation from the OSS crowd, but in the meantime, hats off to the talented lawyers that have managed to keep it standing this long. They deserve respect, grudging though it my be.
    • by IamGarageGuy 2 (687655) on Wednesday April 12, 2006 @11:35AM (#15114450) Journal
      You have brought up a bit of a quandry here. When all is said and done and SCO is officially dead, and the lawyers have to find other work, will this be a feather in their cap with SCO on their resume or will they be seen as the bottom feeding scum that they are. You may not like the job they are doing but they are certainly doing it rather well.
      • ...will this be a feather in their cap with SCO on their resume or will they be seen as the bottom feeding scum that they are...

        Yes.

      • by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Wednesday April 12, 2006 @11:54AM (#15114606) Homepage Journal
        You have brought up a bit of a quandry here. When all is said and done and SCO is officially dead, and the lawyers have to find other work, will this be a feather in their cap with SCO on their resume or will they be seen as the bottom feeding scum that they are. You may not like the job they are doing but they are certainly doing it rather well.
        Look. If you were the one hiring the lawyer, who would you rather have? A nice guy who plays nice and fair all the time, or a lawyer who knows every little legal loophole and how to exploit it? Or, to put it in terms that most Slashdotters can understand, who would you rather have on your software security project? A nice programmer who might know a thing or two about breaking security, but has never done it, or a smart hacker who knows his way around every local and remote root exploit known to man and has done so? As the saying goes, when you have to dig through dirt, you get yourself a worm.
        • That second one -- the one who's broken into hundreds of other people's systems -- how much do you trust himher?

          I think I'd rather have someone with a sense of right and wrong, and a brain. Heshe can pick up the technical stuff on the job.

        • by schon (31600) on Wednesday April 12, 2006 @01:28PM (#15115312)
          If you were the one hiring the lawyer, who would you rather have? A nice guy who plays nice and fair all the time, or a lawyer who knows every little legal loophole and how to exploit it?

          Mu.

          In the context of this litigation, I would rather have the one that says "look, you have no case. Find another way to solve your financial problem." Rather than "hey, it doesn't matter if you have no case, just sue them anyway - they'll just settle."

          In other words, I would rather have the nice guy who plays fair even though he knows every little legal loophole.
          • Shortly before the lawsuit was filed, scox's market cap was under $6M, now it's over $80. And the share price has been soaring. Up over 8% yesterday, and up over 5% the day before.

            If scox had not filed the lawsuit, then msft would have had no reason to arrange scox's funding.

            The lawsuit is not meant to be won, it's an end in itself. The lawsuit isn't costing scox anything - just the opposite.
        • [...] who would you rather have on your software security project? A nice programmer who might know a thing or two about breaking security, but has never done it, or a smart hacker who knows his way around every local and remote root exploit known to man and has done so?

          Depends; did the "smart" hacker get caught flagrantly violating federal law? Perhaps doing something mindbogglingly stupid, like trying to social engineer his way into the FBI's systems? Then I'll take the nice one, because the "smart" one

        • Depends. What's your integrity worth to you?
      • by Alex P Keaton in da (882660) on Wednesday April 12, 2006 @11:59AM (#15114641) Homepage
        Like it or not, bottom feeding scum is subjective.
        When they are in court making you money, they are geniuses...
        When they are in court taking your money, they are scum...
        Sort of like how defense attorneys are thought of scum sometimes, yet if you were charged with something, you would want the bottomest feeding scumiest one you could find...
        • Like it or not, bottom feeding scum is subjective.
          When they are in court making you money, they are geniuses...
          When they are in court taking your money, they are scum...
          Sort of like how defense attorneys are thought of scum sometimes, yet if you were charged with something, you would want the bottomest feeding scumiest one you could find...

          Ok, I think all of these comments expressing admiration and respect for lawyers who are capable of dragging out a litigation is missing the point.

          If you're emp

      • Well actually the novell lawyers lured the SCO lawyers into making a copyright claim and then sucker punched them with arbitration which they are obligated to use for copyright claims. It's quite clever, they knew their enemy was unable to help themselves and pulled a nice jui jitsu mmove to let them fall flat on their faces.
    • by PietjeJantje (917584) on Wednesday April 12, 2006 @11:38AM (#15114463)
      Somewhere there must be a dark cynical joke in this.
      Here we have Linux, the accumulation of many volunteer hackers, and the only ones earning big, BIG money are... the lawyers.
      The GPL didn't mention anything about THAT!
      • Gynormous Profit for Lawyers
      • GPL v4.0 (Score:3, Funny)

        by tomcres (925786)
        sneak peek at the beta of GPL v4.0...

        "...Furthermore, since software wants to be completely free and unfettered, it should not be subject to the legal process. Any disputes concerning software licensed under this agreeement shall be decided by a CodeWars competition. Best 2 of 3. And it must be a GPL'd implementation of CodeWars..."

    • No Respect (Score:3, Insightful)

      by twitter (104583)
      The real geniuses here are the SCO lawyers, for keeping this ridiculous dog & pony show going for as long as they have ... They deserve respect, grudging though it my be.

      Frauds deserve nothing more than jail.

      • Ah, but who's the fraud? The lawyers who are merely doing as they are being paid to do, or their clients who are paying them and calling the shots?

        I freely admit that in a perfect world, no case as obviously devoid of merit would be taken on by any lawyer, but this is hardly a perfect world...
        • Ah, but who's the fraud? The lawyers who are merely doing as they are being paid to do, or their clients who are paying them and calling the shots?

          Both. The "I was only following orders" defense was invalidated at Nuremberg trials.

          I freely admit that in a perfect world, no case as obviously devoid of merit would be taken on by any lawyer, but this is hardly a perfect world...

          This world might be a lot less imperfect if its imperfection wouldn't be used as an excuse to justify corruption.

          • The "I was only following orders" defense was invalidated at Nuremberg trials.

            And there in lies the rub - refuse and you're shot for insubordination in a time of war. Comply and your side loses and you're executed for war crimes. Still, no-one ever said that life was fair, did they?

            This world might be a lot less imperfect if its imperfection wouldn't be used as an excuse to justify corruption.

            Indeed. It's just such a pity that there's nothing I can do about it. Frankly, I have enough other things to worry a
    • The real geniuses here are the SCO lawyers, for keeping this ridiculous dog & pony show going for as long as they have, although I admit that the admiration I experience witnessing their work is generously laced with nausea and trepidation. When SCO's house of cards finally falls, it will be with a deafening crash amid roars of appreciation from the OSS crowd, but in the meantime, hats off to the talented lawyers that have managed to keep it standing this long. They deserve respect, grudging though it m
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 12, 2006 @12:19PM (#15114796)
      Methinks this gives the Novell lawyers a bit too much credit...

      The real geniuses here are the SCO lawyers, for keeping this ridiculous dog & pony show going for as long as they have...


      You don't know much about law, do you? Delaying is as easy as pushing pawns around. What's "plumb pleasin'" for PJ is that in this particular instance, SCO may have pushed up the wrong pawn in their 2nd Amended Complaint, opening themselves up to not fewer than 17 affirmative defenses deftly outlined by Novell's lawyers that they could have avoided had they been a little more on the ball. Hardly geniuses...
      • mod parent up (Score:3, Insightful)

        You've seized the gist of the matter. It's not that Novell's lawyers are playing "nice"; I suspect that they're as hard-nosed as any other lawyer representing a client. The difference between the half-assed tactical antics of the "bottom feeding scumbags" and masterful strategy of the Novell legal team is night and day.

        If PJ can ever rein in here over the top partisan P.O.V., I'd love for her to interview all the participants and then write the definitive history. As I don't think she'll ever lose that P.O.
    • It is American tradition.

      Don't shoot until you see the whites of their eyes.
    • No; the only reason the whole SCO thing isn't over is that IBM and Novell want to see these cases right to the very end so that a) copyright and b) trademark concerns are resolved, e.g., IBM did in fact have the right to contribute independently-created code to Linux, and Novell indeed does own UNIX and SCO merely had the right to broker licensing, an agreement upon which they (SCO) did not make good on delivering those fees to the owners of the property.

      I'm betting SCO is dead (that's a no brainer) and tha
    • She's making that comment in reference to Novell using their counterclaims to bait SCO into something that would then trigger the arbitrarian clause in the UnitedLinux contract.

      By forcing arbitration, this ensures that the suit will be settled, one way or another, in six months. Period. No discovery period, no trial, no judge, no legal delays. Come October, this issue is settled.

      That prevents SCO from dragging it out any further with Novell, and it was a great move.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    RFA [wikipedia.org] or am I spending too much time there?
  • Not quite. (Score:4, Informative)

    by hal2814 (725639) on Wednesday April 12, 2006 @11:28AM (#15114408)
    "Novell has filed a motion to stay SCO's claims against Novell until the outcome of this arbitration. So now it looks like Linux users are protected both through the APA between Novell and SCO, but the UnitedLinux agreement as well."

    No, it looks like Linux users are protected through both the APA and UnitedLinix depending on the outsome of this motion. You can file motions all you'd like. That doesn't mean they'll be carried out.
    • Re:Not quite. (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Linux users are also protected by the fact that SCO holds no copyright and has been unable to identify infringing code in the Linux kernel. It might only be a small detail in this litigeous world of ours, but it's details like this that are important when you're paying defence lawyers a fortune because of plaintiff's brazen abuse of the legal system.
    • Re:Not quite. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Kilz (741999) on Wednesday April 12, 2006 @11:46AM (#15114526)
      Courts like arbitration. The odds that this motion will fail are in the slim and none category. If you sign a contract with an arbitration clause, bank on going to arbitration. Arbitration was a term of a contract SCO's aleged predisser in interest signed. To get that contract not used agaisnt them they would basicly have to say they are not the predisser in interest. Since all of SCO's lawsuits are based on that fact, it isnt going to happen.
      One other thing in that motion is that Novell asked for the money from the Microsoft and Sun deals to be placed in trust. This because the apa contract says that sco isn't supposed to be able to grant Unix licensees without Novells approval. If this happens, good bye SCO.
      • Please tell me that "predisser" is an obscure legal term, and not an attempt at "predecessor" gone horribly wrong.
      • The beauty of this is that the agreement is not with SCO's alleged predecessor, it is with SCO itself! The original lawsuit is Caldera vs IBM. Caldera renamed themselves to SCO after suing IBM.

        This explains why Novell bought SuSE and why IBM helped Novell to pay for it...
        • Ummm...not really. SUSE could have filed this arbitration clause,private company or Novell subsidiary. Being a subsidiary of Novell doesn't change anything for IBM. In-fact, this whole thing has little to do with the IBM case, except for one of IBM's counterclaims.
      • Arbitration was a term of a contract SCO's aleged predisser in interest signed.

        This just struck me as funny. "Yes, your Honor, he was dissing me prior to our agreement."
      • Ummm, SCO couldn't argue that because Caldera, not Santa Cruz, signed the UnitedLinux agreement. SCO Group is a successor in interest, without a doubt, in Caldera. It is Santa Cruz that SCO likes to pretend is their predecessor when they really aren't, and Santa Cruz has nothing to do with this.
    • You can file motions all you'd like. That doesn't mean they'll be carried out.

      However, arbitration clauses are, for all practical purposes, automatically upheld by courts. It's not just the law, it's a well-established way to reduce the workload of horribly overworked judges.

  • by rkhalloran (136467) on Wednesday April 12, 2006 @11:29AM (#15114414) Homepage
    Novell has claimed the UNIX copyrights never went to SCOX/Caldera because they didn't go to Santa Cruz that Caldera acquired. And with this they can claim whatever copyrights SCOX *does* have are subject to the terms of the UnitedLinux agreement with SuSE that Novell now owns.

    Rock, hard place, SCOX.

  • UL (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rinisari (521266) on Wednesday April 12, 2006 @11:35AM (#15114448) Homepage Journal
    I knew that some good would come out of UnitedLinux some day. *dodges flames*
  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) on Wednesday April 12, 2006 @11:36AM (#15114454) Journal
    McBride! The rootinest tootinest outlaw ever to rustle *nix code [newscryer.com]!

    Disclaimer: Yahoo! is a registered trademark of Yahoo!
  • Contracts :o\ (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Wednesday April 12, 2006 @11:37AM (#15114456) Journal
    Contracts aren't really what make businesses work, it's the relationships.

    If you have to fall back to pointing at the contract and saying "but you agreed," it means the business relationship is fuxxored... and not only are you going to have to win a contract lawsuit, you're going to have to reasses the relationship between the companies.

    Obviously, SCO is an anomaly, but the effect is the same. Relationships were broken and contracts aren't going to stop the damage, merely mitigate it.
    • Alternately, one could say that a sign of a good healthy economic relationship between companies is a clear, well written contract that doesn't leave room for confusion. A good relationship is when everyone is clear on their duties and benefits. A contract is the written manifestation of this.

      Personally, I prefer to deal on a handshake basis with people I know, respect, and trust. I like to have a personal relationship with clients. For the times this is not possible, I know I need a contract or a deal memo
    • "Contracts are what you use against parties you have relationships with"

      Chris Sontag of SCOX.
    • Re:Contracts :o\ (Score:3, Informative)

      by Poeir (637508)
      For more insightful advice of this nature, see 10 Stupid Mistakes Made by the Newly Self-Employed [stevepavlina.com], first linked from Joel Spolsky's Reddit page [reddit.com] and later on the front page of Reddit [reddit.com].
  • Are we still at the point where SCO won't tell the court what specific lines code has been code have been 'stolen'? I haven't been following this, last time I looked I thought this was pretty much all over because SCO was unable to present any evidence even as to which lines of code were being used without permission.
    • by TubeSteak (669689) on Wednesday April 12, 2006 @11:47AM (#15114530) Journal
      It's in the SCO-needs-to-put-up-or-shut-up stage

      http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=200604050 02552215 [groklaw.net]
      IBM says to the Judge
      SCO does not provide a complete set of reference points (version, file and line) for any of the 198 Items. Astonishingly, SCO fails specifically to identify a single line of System V, AIX or Dynix, and Linux code for any of the 198 Items. SCO does not identify specific System V, AIX, or Dynix version(s) or file(s) with respect to more than a few of the Items. Even specific versions and files of Linux are omitted with respect to many of the Items.
      ...
      IV. THE ONLY APPROPRIATE REMEDY IS TO LIMIT SCO'S CLAIMS.
      ...
      As discussed above, SCO has failed to provide IBM and its experts the most basic information needed for IBM to evaluate SCO's claims and prepare its defense. With respect to the 198 Items at issue, SCO has declined, as a practical matter, to tell IBM what is in dispute.
      ...
        We believe, respectfully, that SCO's failure to specify the 198 Items amounts to bad faith.
      • Wrong case (Score:3, Informative)

        by ClickOnThis (137803)
        The article is about SCO vs Novell, not IBM.

        I can't wait to see SCO get handed its head in any case [sic], but these are two separate complaints from SCO.
      • It's simply amazing that something this crazy can drag on for this long.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 12, 2006 @11:42AM (#15114494)
    1. If/when Novell gets their motion four of SCO's five claims will get booted out of court and off to arbitration-- but all of Novell's counterclaims against SCO get to stay in court
    2. One of SCO's claims was for "unfair competition". Novell had to file a motion just to ask exactly what law they broke!!! [groklaw.net] SCO has gone beyond specifying laws broken but not being able to specify exactly what had been stolen, and now into the realm of insisting "well, they did something illegal" without being able to explain exactly what.
  • Time after time after time, etc. I can't believe I'm still reading news about a company that is desperate for attention, any attention, in the media spotlight and does so solely to boost their stock rating. That's it. Any file motioned, it's a marketing ploy rather than having any credibility or legal component for justice, to keep the ol' shareholders happy.

    $CO are perhaps *THE* definitive example of how not to run a company and just how much of a Judas an institution can be. Enjoy spending your diminis
    • $CO are perhaps *THE* definitive example of how not to run a company and just how much of a Judas an institution can be.

      I'm no friend of SCO, but I don't see the "Judas" metaphor. They haven't really betrayed anyone as much as they've tried to re-write history, driven by avarice and desperation.
      • I'm no friend of SCO, but I don't see the "Judas" metaphor.

        Considering that SCO used to be Caldera Linux and SCO is now doing everything in their power to destroy Linux (and any company using it), I think I can see the "Judas" reference as being valid :)
  • I've been hearing about SCO for years... now, when will they finally quit annoying the Linux community? They haven't gotten anywhere so far, so what makes them thing they'll achieve something now?
    • Well, SCO isn't about winning. It's about a big con. The SCO board and lawyers got cash circuituitously from Microsoft to attack Linux, and that's what they're doing. They also want to bolster their stock price to sell for a profit.
    • They haven't gotten anywhere so far, so what makes them thing they'll achieve something now?

      When Darl took over as CEO it was estimated that the company would be bankrupt within 7 months. Since then they have received $60 million in PIPE funding. They did have to pay back $13 million to Baystar, but that's still a pretty good payday for making a bunch of claims that so far haven't been substantiated.
  • by overshoot (39700) on Wednesday April 12, 2006 @11:49AM (#15114554)
    This is one of those "knew or should have known" slam dunks. Judges aren't terribly fond of finding lawsuits frivilous, but a case where there was a clear contract estopping the plaintiff from the exact actions they took goes well over the bar. Boies, Schiller & Flexner could end up paying all of IBM's, Novell's, and Red Hat's legal bills.

    Then there's the SEC disclosure requirements -- the fact that SCOX' stock runup happened while the Management sat on a contract that gutted the basis of the whole lawsuit lottery makes them personally liable. Even the SEC might wake up for that one, but the NYAG's office must be smelling blood in the water.

    • But can MS get caught in all that? I mean, that's a lot of liability to hit a tight wallet (SCO's basically broke, I think). So if the Baystar/MS funding angle that IBM is working pans out, is there a way some of the "leftover" liability can hit Microsoft?
    • Not quite.

      This "new" contract revelation only applies to the updated/new claim brought by SCO - it doesnt spoil their ongoing IBM case with regard to their other (bogus) claims.

      • But if MS is found to be linked to SCO, and Novell/SUSE winds up being owed serious cash, will they be able to go after MS, even while the IBM case is ongoing?
        • Unlikely - remember, Microsoft does offer UNIX products (UNIX for Windows, under UNIX licensing). Their transaction was legitimate and while one can speculate that they did this and released UNIX for Windows as a way to fund SCO's efforts to undermine the UNIX/Unix market, it's purely speculation and anything regarding timing of licensing UNIX can only be regarded as circumstantial evidence, at best.

          Now, if you could unearth the equivalent of the Halloween Documents, that's a different matter, but you would
      • This "new" contract revelation only applies to the updated/new claim brought by SCO - it doesnt spoil their ongoing IBM case with regard to their other (bogus) claims.

        Actually, it does. A finding against them is in effect a judicial finding since Judge Kimball will effectively read the arbitration ruling into his Court's record.

        "So?" you say. However, the UL agreement included sublicensing rights. Which means that any IP Caldera had that appeared in the UL distribution was sublicensed under the GPL

      • Actually, it does. Look at GrokLaw [groklaw.net] and notice the exact things SCO is asking for from the arbiter.

        The "new" contract revelation doesn't actually change the details of the suit any. What it does change is the venue. As a result of the "new" contract clauses being brought into play, a small part of the entire SCO-Novell-IBM-Redhat rigamarole, specifically an old contract between Caldera and SUSE, now gets kicked entirely out of the court system and dumped into arbitration. This is important because the rules
  • novell lawyers (Score:1, Informative)

    by mytrip (940886)
    I thought this was pretty funny from the article. Man, do not mess with Novell. I never worked for lawyers as good as these guys, and it's a plumb pleasin' pleasure to watch them work.
  • It'll be cool to watch Farooq and Bradshaw kick SCO's butts!
  • 9th June 2003 What evidence of origin,ownership,copyright + GPL [slashdot.org].
    SCO's case is dead in the water and Darl is possibly facing criminal charges of false claims to the copyright office and SEC.
  • and constitutes an SCO commitment

    "An SCO"? Have I been wrong all this time in not reading SCO as three letters ("ess-see-oh") and instead as the monosyllabic "skoh"?

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