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SCO Claims Ownership of ELF To Court 227

Posted by Zonk
from the not-the-keelber-kind dept.
l2718 writes "In the most recent punch-counterpunch of the SCO v. IBM case, IBM is claiming that SCO is trying to vastly expand their claims beyond what they alleged in their list of material allegedly misused by IBM filed last December, using their expert reports. For example, two years ago we covered SCO's claim to own ELF, the main executable format of Linux. Apparently they are have finally made the same claim to a court of law, after the deadline for making such claims. From IBM's memorandum: 'The final disclosures identify 19 Linux files relating to the ELF specification, as well as excerpts from several specification documents. Dr. Cargill far exceeds this claims ... asserting infringement of the entire ELF format ... also ... for the first time, claims to the ELF magic number.'"
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SCO Claims Ownership of ELF To Court

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <<eldavojohn> <at> <gmail.com>> on Friday June 09, 2006 @11:11AM (#15502973) Journal
    The day had started off normally with SCO making blatant claims--this time about ownership of ELF.

    The SCO team was cut-off in mid sentence by a surprise defendent, Will Farrell. He appeared and rushed into the courtroom declaring that his legal team for the motion picture "ELF" had already secured rights to anything with that name.

    The court room erupted into commotion as a second prosecutor entered the room. The legal team representing the Earth Liberation Front entered the room demanding all three parties to pay royalties for using their registered trademark name and threatened to bomb the livestock holdings of all parties involved should E.L.F. lose the case.

    At this point, a hushed silence befelled the room as Christopher Tolkien (representing The Tolkien Estate) entered the room. He swore that "before the dawning of the next day", all mis-uses of his father's invention would force him to use his "+5 lawyers of speech twisting" to rectify the situation and bring unto him large sums of moneys.

    SCO then revealed that they had purchased the rights to use & create ELF from a group of folklorists based in Europe. The judge then dismissed Will Farrell, E.L.F. & Mr. Tolkien. The SCO lawyer cleared his throat and resumed his sentence, "...as I was saying, having invented ones and zeros, we own the rights to all software ever developed..."

    Seriously, when will this SCO shit end?
    • by Lead Butthead (321013) on Friday June 09, 2006 @11:19AM (#15503048) Journal
      "(SCO) can't be bargained with.(SCO) can't be reasoned with. (SCO) doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And (SCO) absolutely will not stop, ever, until (it is) dead."
      • What shocks me even more is that SCO is still in business.
        • by Jason Earl (1894) on Friday June 09, 2006 @12:19PM (#15503576) Homepage Journal

          SCO is barely in business. This last quarter it had revenues of just over $7 million compared to revenues of over $9 million for the same quarter last year. Losses for the quarter topped $4 million or $0.22 per share. If it hadn't been for Sun and Microsoft paying some dubious "licensing fees" at the beginning of the case and a completely wacky PIPE deal set up by some Microsoft executives SCO would have been forced to close its doors years ago. No one is the slightest bit interested in SCO's UNIX business these days.

          Interestingly enough, if Caldera hadn't changed its name to SCO and followed its current course it is very likely that it would be benefitting from the current pro-Linux climate. Linux companies are making money these days, and Caldera was well situated to profit from a Linux upturn.

          • by schon (31600) on Friday June 09, 2006 @12:45PM (#15503810)
            if Caldera hadn't changed its name to SCO and followed its current course it is very likely that it would be benefitting from the current pro-Linux climate. Linux companies are making money these days, and Caldera was well situated to profit from a Linux upturn.

            I wouldn't be too sure about that. Remember that Caldera was the first Linux to try to foist per-seat licenses [slashdot.org] in their distro.

            When you have no or very little competition, something like that can work, but when you have many, many other vendors selling the exact same thing, the last thing you do is try to differentiate yourself by making your offering worse than your competitors.
            • by Jason Earl (1894) on Friday June 09, 2006 @01:11PM (#15504056) Homepage Journal

              Yes, Caldera's strategy was stupid back in the day. Heck, both SuSE and Caldera had a better distribution than Red Hat, but Red Hat cornered the market by giving software away and selling services. However, you can always change your business model. SuSE did after Novell bought it. For years SuSE was essentially in the business of selling YaST.

              Not to mention the fact that with both Caldera and Novell having common roots Caldera could easily have been the Linux company that Novell snapped up, had it not been for the fact that the two companies were already locked in litigation.

              • by rbanffy (584143) on Friday June 09, 2006 @03:18PM (#15505117) Homepage Journal
                Not to mention the fact that with both Caldera and Novell having common roots Caldera could easily have been the Linux company that Novell snapped up, had it not been for the fact that the two companies were already locked in litigation.

                To be locked in litigation is not a problem. Remember - it's about money and power, not honour.

                In fact, buying some litigant to make the lawsuit go away is acceptable business practice.

                • I suppose you are right. However, by the time Novell got around to purchasing SuSE SCO/Caldera didn't really have a Linux business. Besides, if you are going to pick a company and put money in its pocket you probably aren't going to pick a company that is shaking you down for cash. Novell didn't need the lawsuit to go away, it needed a Linux business that it could promote instead of Netware.

              • by schon (31600) on Friday June 09, 2006 @04:41PM (#15505836)
                Yes, Caldera's strategy was stupid back in the day.

                Compared to today?!??!?!?!

                They have the same type of morons running it now as they did then. Why do you think they'd be able to make a go of it now?

                SuSE and Caldera had a better distribution than Red Hat

                Yes, and all this does is go to prove that your original statement is wrong.

                If having a superior distro wasn't enough to keep them afloat, what on earth would make you think that they would succeed now?

                However, you can always change your business model.

                Only if you realize that your business model is what the problem is. Caldera is managed by people who can't understand that they are the ones who are the problem.

                Also, they *DID* change their business model: in 2003 they decided to become a litigation company, only they picked a fight they couldn't win, in the hopes that their target wouldn't call their bluff. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

                They failed in the Linux business because they're managed by idiots. They're failing in the litigation business for the same reason. No amount of good luck can compensate for that.
          • by kesuki (321456) on Friday June 09, 2006 @01:39PM (#15504262) Journal
            SCO is absolutely being a bunch of slimebags to infringe on the rights of open source developers everywhere. In a world with this much opportunity the best way they can make money is by trying to pry it from hackers many of whom are coding linux for the love of it, instead of trying to find honoerable ways of making money?

            sure it's not easy, I myself struggled every day for years and years trying to figure out what i loved doing. I play games a lot, and it's fun, so I hack, but the best way for SCO to make money would be to find something better to do with everyones time. I'm trying to find ways to make money for my home town area which lost a lot of good paying jobs and has a lot of people who've simply moved away from a community they loved working in.

            It's not easy finding the right way to make money, but in the long run everyone profits when instead of trying to sue everyone we find something we're good at, and do it the best we can, until there is no one better and we're happy even if we don't make a lot of money. but a lot of places still need good paying jobs so that the rest of the community doesn't have to suffer living in dilapidated houses.

            SCO could make a difference, they need to look inwards and think about if the bottom line is so important that they can't find a way to make money off linux products, like trying to port linux for a company like gateway or dell, for their budget class computers. Linux has a lot of games and provide a lot of benfits but i know a lot of people who can't afford them, because they cost a lot, microsoft eats up a lot of that profit margin, and while sco might not make as much money, at least they could wake up and feel good in the morning.
      • "(SCO) can't be bargained with.(SCO) can't be reasoned with. (SCO) doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And (SCO) absolutely will not stop, ever, until (it is) dead."

        If I understand the movie you are referencing, aren't you giving the aliens a bad rap in this case? Even Ripley considered Burke worse than the aliens, "At least you don't see them fucking each other over for a percentage."

        Now if you were to compare SCO with Burke however...
    • by HardCase (14757)
      Everybody knows that Elfin magic comes from hollow trees. Mmmmmmmm...cookie....
    • And more boobies. Seriously.
  • by ndansmith (582590) on Friday June 09, 2006 @11:12AM (#15502974)
    So the SCO are terrorists too, eh? I always had a feeling . . .
  • by soren42 (700305) * <.moc.yak-nos. .ta. .j.> on Friday June 09, 2006 @11:13AM (#15502992) Homepage Journal
    So... wait... SCO owns the elves and their magic? I knew they were smoking something, but it must be good!

    Seriously, is the whole SCO strategy just sensationalism at this point? I mean, do they just put the kernel source on a dartboard, throw, and what gets hit - they own it! I can find any other rhyme or reason to this... Could be a good business plan for a whole company of attorneys.
  • Ugh... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Solra Bizna (716281)

    This is the first time I've ever seen an article on Slashdot that came close to making me vomit. Aren't these guys dead YET?!

    -:sigma.SB

  • This is tiresome (Score:2, Redundant)

    by winkydink (650484) *
    When I read this, I pictured SCO as a bratty 5 yr-old throwing a tantrum, jumping up and down, screaming, "Mine! Mine! Mine!"
  • Oh come on! (Score:5, Funny)

    by zBoD (86938) <BoD@JRAF.org> on Friday June 09, 2006 @11:16AM (#15503023) Homepage Journal
    Admit it already! You thieves have blatantly stolen the number 0x0E7F which *obviously* belonged to SCO! ... Pffff kids nowadays!

    BoD
    • Re:Oh come on! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Peter Simpson (112887)
      Ummm...you're not gonna like this.

      According to the IBM filing on Groklaw, tSCOg actually *is* claiming that the "magic number" concept is their property.

      In addition, of course, to header files, the ELF format, the numbers assigned to signals, and a bunch of other POSIX spec stuff. /0x80
    • Re:Oh come on! (Score:2, Informative)

      by mrnobo1024 (464702)
      Actually, ELF files start with 7F 45 4C 46 so it would be 0x457F.
      • That shouldn't be a problem for IBM :)
        Their POWER is big-endian and won't have any problems not using that number.
      • Hate to be an asshole but ....

        Technically sizeof() elf magic is 4 bytes so it's 0x7f, 0x45 0x4c, 0x46.

        You can endianize that however you like.

        (so it's actually \177ELF)

        • Re:Oh come on! (Score:3, Informative)

          by jnf (846084)
          if you want to be pedantic, at least be correct. There is no 'elf magic' field in the ELF specification. There is however a 'e_ident', which is defined as an array of 16 unsigned character's. So doing a sizeof() on the array will return '16'. sizeof returns a size_t, which is defined as being the largest unsigned integer the platform supports.

          The identifier is e_ident[0]: 0x7f, e_ident[1]: 0x45, e_ident[2]: 0x4c and e_ident[3]: 0x46. Endianess does not apply in this instance. Or phrase another way, if yo
  • by w33t (978574) on Friday June 09, 2006 @11:16AM (#15503026) Homepage
    When losing a court case in a particular scope to greatly expand that scope? It seems preposterious to me - if I attempt to claim ownership of B, D, and F, but begin to lose how could it possibly make sense to now claim that I own A thorough G?

    Perhaps this is just the first scope-creep in a long overarching strategy which can only lead to one inevitable outcome! [villanova.edu]

    • ...is that they're hoping that they can drag this on. IBM is making relatively little money off things like Linux - directly, at least - and it's unusual for defendents to be awarded costs in the US, so this is a drain on them that they can't recover. SCO must be hoping that IBM will eventually prefer to settle in order to cap the losses, as shareholders won't tolerate IBM paying out forever over something that won't earn so much as a dime.

      If this is not their strategy, I can think of no possible reason for

      • I had always thought that wars of attrition happened because two sides were so evenly matched that neither could gain an advantage. In this respect it would seem that attrition is the most "fair" type of warfare.

        However it now seems obvious to me that the concept of attrition can also arise and be used in very unfair and inequal ways.

        I find this behaviour reprehensible
      • by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Friday June 09, 2006 @11:42AM (#15503252)
        IBM long ago had the opportunity to buy SCO off, or even buy them outright. Their strategy is to make all claims against Linux GO AWAY. If they buy SCO off, they still leave themselves (and everyone else) open to future claims against Linux. By winning the case, they close that door forever. Meanwhile, SCO is hanging on like a punch-drunk prizefighter; if they let their guard down for even a second, they're gonna get CLOBBERED.
      • by flooey (695860) on Friday June 09, 2006 @12:04PM (#15503447)
        SCO must be hoping that IBM will eventually prefer to settle in order to cap the losses, as shareholders won't tolerate IBM paying out forever over something that won't earn so much as a dime.

        If so, I think they picked the wrong target. IBM is doing great in this, as every time one of these ridiculous things hits the newsstands, IBM gets more press about being the good guy, defending Linux against corporate attacks. Plus, it's Big Blue, I'm sure their legal budget can absorb this without batting an eye (and SCO is most likely going to get pegged with IBM's legal fees when the case finally finishes, right before they declare bankruptcy).
        • by dbIII (701233) on Friday June 09, 2006 @05:08PM (#15506023)
          I think they picked the wrong target. IBM
          They picked the right target on day one. The stock went up when Darl took the audacious step of going after IBM and remember that a large portion of the legal expenses are going directly to Darl's brother. To use a twisted analogy, it's as if Darl deliberately drove the comapany car into the most solid wall he could find and then took it to his brother's panel shop with no oversight as to whether the charging for parts and repairs is fair.

          It's just corruption - linux and IBM are really just being used for misdirection while the money changes hands. The even sadder thing is that after this if nothing can be found to put Darl in jail he will go on to a better paying job with the reputation as the man who took on IBM and would have beat them too if it wasn't for those darn kids and their penguin.

  • by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatmanNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday June 09, 2006 @11:17AM (#15503035) Homepage Journal
    Ok, let's see here. The ELF format is part of the System V ABI specification. The System V specification was owned by USL, and is now custodianed by the OpenGroup [unix.org]. ELF was included because of the original licensing statement [ibm.com] made by the TIS Committee:

    The TIS Committee grants you a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free license to use the information disclosed in this Specification to make your software TIS-compliant; no other license, express or implied, is granted or intended hereby.


    Who was this TIS Committee that dared give away SCO's property?! Why, SCO themselves. Err, actually [x86.org], it was Absoft, Autodesk, Borland International
    Corporation, IBM Corporation, Intel Corporation, Lahey, Lotus Corporation, MetaWare
    Corporation, Microtec Research, Microsoft Corporation, Novell Corporation, The Santa Cruz
    Operation, and WATCOM International Corporation. Considering the number of companies that ownership was split across, one has to wonder: Did SCO ask permission from their partners before filing suit over technology that they (nee, Taratala) only helped develop?

    Darl is getting incredibly desperate, don't you think? Anything to keep from losing the company under his feet, I guess.
    • Finally, a post that actually talks about the issue and not just stupid elf jokes.

      -Rick
    • What's worse is that ELF was released as an Open Standard by Novell and Santa cruz. Anyone can implente it as well as other "Unix" features as part of the POSIX Spec's.

      Caldera(SCOX) is claiming now that Novell didn't have the right to do that after Caldera bought it from Novell, long after Novell released it openly. is a delay tatic and nothing more.

      Even though I know it won't happen, I still hope that the Judge fines them just once. Just to put them into place.
    • by tlambert (566799) on Friday June 09, 2006 @12:43PM (#15503784)
      As *the* former Novell/USG employee who rescued the contents of the UNIX International server in 1994 when it went defunct, and saved the electronic copies of the ELF 1.0, DWARF 1.0, Spec1170 (the Single UNIC Specification), TET, ETET, and other documents from extenction before the UI FTP server (hosted in Sumit, NJ) was taken offline (all documents were kindly rehosted for FTP by Ken Germann of Digiboard, Inc., and Utah State University CS Department), I call BS.

      I received verbal permission for making the contents of the archive available from USL's representative to TIS prior to the mirroring. I specificallly called on the phone for this, even though it was a publically acessible FTP site, just to be sure.

      This can be corraborated by Daren Davis, a former Univel then Novell/USG then Caldera employee, and by others who worked at Novell at the time (Jim Freeman knew about the archive, as did Dan Grice, Ron Holt, Bryan Cardoza, and a number of others, some of whom ended up involved with Caldera, and some who didn't).

      The orginal 1.0 ELF specification came primarily out of work by engineers at Intel. The 1.2 specification, which *did* have significant work done by USL, was done under the auspices of TIS, with the *explicit* understanding that the result would be available as an ABI standard for all.

      ftp://ftp.digibd.com/ [digibd.com] USA GMT -6 25-Jan-95 belal@sco.com (Bela Lubkin> {posting}
      DigiBoard
      keng@digibd.com
      Server : http://www.digibd.com/ [digibd.com]
      Files : Digiboard (digifax, digiline: drivers, isdn); pub: HP4laser (lp
                        model for autohandling of PCL/PostScript jobs), SCO-ports,
                        uiarchive (archive of the defunct Unix International effort),
                        unixware, WWW

      Note that this is just an excerpt from a Usenet posting for the site listing for the site - the mirroring occurred in early 1994 (January, if I remember correctly), and the UI servers were defunct as of Mar 1994, when the mailing list archives were moved over. Novell acquired USL from AT&T in Jun 1994.

      An ironic, IMO, thing to note in the posting above is that the location of the archive is being disseminated by an SCO (the real SCO) employee.

      -- Terry
    • Did SCO ask permission from their partners before filing suit over technology that they (nee, Taratala) only helped develop?

      Darl's +5 Name Of Confusion worked.

      SCO (the *current" SCO) did not have anything to do with this. Santa Cruz became Tarantella, later bought by Sun.
  • Is SCO Insane? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by loxosceles (580563) on Friday June 09, 2006 @11:20AM (#15503065)
    What is SCO's plan?

    Originally there were the jokes... 1. claim copyright on core portions of linux, 2. ? 3. Profit.

    It seems like 2. will never end, and how they'll accomplish 3. is still quite unknown.
    • 3 is attempt to goto 2 as often as the court will allow.

      Profit! Is when the execs as SCO get hired on at Microsoft,
      after the case is concluded.
    • Re:Is SCO Insane? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by kfg (145172)
      3. is still quite unknown.

      SCO is a ninja. They are not actually expected to survive. The only important thing is if they can successfully pull off the hit before they go down.

      KFG
    • That about sums it up.

      I would guess that within a month or two of VISTA's final release this SCO lawsuit will go away.
      • by Ash Vince (602485) on Friday June 09, 2006 @01:03PM (#15503968) Journal
        I hadnt really though about what the endgame to all this would be until now. But this is probably a very good point.

        Microsoft must have realised they had a problem in having a 7 year gap in releases. They were worried a lot of companies may have switched or considered switching when the security side of XP started taking a battering as malware writers as such started to get to know all it little holes they left.

        So they needed a tactic to make Linux look dubious from a mass deployment point of view for the same period. This was especially true when they found out that alot of stuff like WinFS was not going to be ready in time. Combine this with the specs for what Vista would actually contain were starting to look thinner and thinner. Meanwhile various linux developers have read the Vista specs and are trying to implement their versions, some of which may actually be available first (This is quite easy as no company can bring the same number of developers to bear on a problem as the Open Source Movement as a whole)

        So their solution was to shop around for a company teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and offer the board a huge cash payout. this would keep the company afloat long enough for the various execs to find other work or reach retirement age. And if SCO get fined I doubt anyone at SCO or MS will care as the damage has been done, and the goldenhand shakes will be protected in the pension fund. (Personally if I was a SCO exec I would still want MS stock as a payout)

        The real problem is that the american legal system is such a crock of shit that this tactic will probably work, and the case will still be running until one side stops throwing money at it. Being that IBM have put themselves in a position where they cannot back down (They backed Linux 100%) this will hopefully be if SCO give up.

        But I do still worry that the (SCO) lawyers prevail and this results in all the Open Source resources I mentioned earlier being directed at rewriting a large chunk of the OS the same way MicroSoft has. In the case of MicroSoft this was because harsh deadlines caused poor design decisions. This is probably just MicroSoft's way of trying to cause similar problems to appear in Linux (or Linux 2) as the rewrite is hurried by the number of smaller companies that now rely on Linux (Mine Included as we use Linux to host almost everything).

        In the situation of worrying about losing your day job if you dont get your hobby programming done quick enough, the hobby programming will suffer in quality. Less Time to complete a task = More Mistakes in it's implementation.

        That could buy them decades being the only half decent OS supplier for the x86 platform again, just like the 80s. This would result in the development costs of Windows being halved as they stopped having to worry about quality to anywhere near the extend they do now.
        • But I do still worry that the (SCO) lawyers prevail and this results in all the Open Source resources I mentioned earlier being directed at rewriting a large chunk of the OS the same way MicroSoft has. In the case of MicroSoft this was because harsh deadlines caused poor design decisions. This is probably just MicroSoft's way of trying to cause similar problems to appear in Linux (or Linux 2) as the rewrite is hurried by the number of smaller companies that now rely on Linux (Mine Included as we use Linux t
    • 2. Stock Fraud
    • They already have profited. Basically, MS, and previously Sun, have kept their stock floating. Both MS and Sun invested money into them that was used to pay for this lawsuit. While SCO the company will disappear (screwing the stockholders), the individuals will get rich.
  • by Reverend528 (585549) on Friday June 09, 2006 @11:21AM (#15503067) Homepage
    So are we all going to owe $699 per ELF binary on our computers?
  • by mccalli (323026) on Friday June 09, 2006 @11:25AM (#15503092) Homepage
    All of it. Every last claim, counterclaim, ludicrous bit of nonsense, deeply insightful meditations...everything. Everything has lead to this one, perfect moment in court:

    "... asserting infringement of the entire ELF format ... also ... for the first time, claims to the ELF magic number.'"

    Read it again. Then again. Then think quietly to yourself "did a highly paid legal expert really have to stand up in court and claim he owned the magic number of the elves?". Then start to giggle. Then laugh. Then just collapse in fits of hysterics, which is exactly what I'm doing right now.

    What about the leprecauns' gold? That's what I want to know. And where's the last unicorn? Centaurs too, I've always wanted to know what happened to them...

    Cheers,
    Ian

  • by Dareth (47614) on Friday June 09, 2006 @11:25AM (#15503096)
    Back off SCO... Santa Claus got the market on them ELF slaves not you!

    He has them cranking out IPODS and hopefully PS3 right now for all us boys and girls who have good credit!

    • In other news SCO announced a new suit against the Santa Claus Operation next for trademark infringement. Lawyers for SCO commented "On one hand a jolly old man that gives stuff away, vs a Darl McBride who says it is all his... of course everybody is going to be confused. This is an open and shut case." Observers note that talks are ongoing and think that this will be settled with Santa Claus Operation signing over all remaining ELF IP in exchange for a much needed coal concession.

  • Did their shares plummet when not even the beancounters bought the "SCO pwns Linux" pipedream anymore, so they now claim the ELF magic? After all, we all know that numbers can be copyrighted since Intel made the 586...
  • 0x7f (Score:4, Interesting)

    by slashkitty (21637) on Friday June 09, 2006 @11:31AM (#15503143) Homepage
    The magic number in question. Is this the shortest number to have ownership? How can someone own a number?
  • Disgrace (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kuyaedz (921036) on Friday June 09, 2006 @11:33AM (#15503163)
    The fact that I live within .5 miles of the SCO Utah Office makes me want to vomit. It's like living near chernobyl--I'm going to get infected! I wish the judges would get a clue and just throw everything out. They have no case. Never have & never will. Keep makin' shit up ass hole, you're still going down.
    • Don't worry, the judges on this case have plenty of clues. They're just giving SCO enough rope to hang themselves with so there's no appeals.
    • Re:Disgrace (Score:5, Insightful)

      by titzandkunt (623280) on Friday June 09, 2006 @12:02PM (#15503433)

      "...It's like living near chernobyl--I'm going to get infected! I wish the judges would get a clue and just throw everything out...."

      Point 1: Radiation isn't infectious.

      Point 2: The judge in the SCO/IBM case is being very, very, very careful indeed not to give SCO any grounds for appeal when they ultimately get spanked.

      Patience, grasshopper...
    • OK, I've got a question for you: do these people actually live human lives? That is, would you bump into Darl at the mall or at a restaurant? I ask because I simply can't imagine going out of my way to make a good chunk of the population actively hate me, and another large group think I'm the walking epitome of "jackass", and then going on about my normal life.

      Doesn't he have neighbors? People that fix his computer? Geeks who work at Pizza Hut spitting in his pizza? Pool cleaners who wizz in the hot

  • are have (Score:3, Funny)

    by blugu64 (633729) on Friday June 09, 2006 @11:34AM (#15503167) Homepage
    "Apparently they are have finally made the same claim to a court of law, after the deadline for making such claims."

    Well I am are have hard time understanding what they are have said.
    • I see I am not alone in thinking the front page blurb for this story was written by someone whose primary language is not English, and then posted by an editor whose primary concern is not clarity of presentation.
  • Hah! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Otter (3800) on Friday June 09, 2006 @11:38AM (#15503212) Journal
    People laughed at me for not bothering to switch from a.out, but who's laughing now? Go enjoy your fancy new 1.0 kernel in prison, losers! And take that newfangled glibc with you!
  • Magic Number? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by byteherder (722785) on Friday June 09, 2006 @11:50AM (#15503329)
    From the headline, "claims to the ELF magic number."

    This my sound like a dumb question but, "What is the ELF magic number?" and "Why is it important?"
    • Re:Magic Number? (Score:5, Informative)

      by ClickOnThis (137803) on Friday June 09, 2006 @12:11PM (#15503509) Journal
      "What is the ELF magic number?" and "Why is it important?"

      IIRC, it's a special number that appears at the beginning of an ELF executable. It allows the ELF executable to be distinguished from other executable formats, such as (obsolete) a.out, shell scripts, etc. It's important because Unix has no naming convention for executable files that it could otherwise use to figure out how a particular executable needs to be run.

      ELF experts, did I get this right?
    • Re:Magic Number? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Ant P. (974313) on Friday June 09, 2006 @12:14PM (#15503519) Homepage
      A magic number is just the first few bytes of a file. Linux uses these for e.g. telling the difference between an executable script and a binary file: scripts usually have "#!" as the first two bytes (followed by the interpreter executable), ELF has 0x7F + "ELF" for the first 4 characters.
      • Re:Magic Number? (Score:3, Informative)

        by nadamsieee (708934)
        In general, a magic number [wikipedia.org] is just a number that the developer made up and assigned some special meaning to. But yes, in this context, I believe you are correct. :)
      • Re:Magic Number? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Guy Harris (3803) <guy@alum.mit.edu> on Friday June 09, 2006 @04:24PM (#15505715)
        Linux uses these for e.g. telling the difference between an executable script and a binary file

        ...as did a lot of other UN*Xes before Linux even existed. The original a.out file format started with a 16-bit octal 0407, which, as I remember, was a PDP-11 jump around the rest of the executable image header, presumably because the entire executable file, header and all, was read into the address space; one of the exec-family calls would fail if it didn't see the 0407. Later, other magic numbers were added for executables that had a shared code segment and a non-shared data segment, and for executables where the code shared segment and shared data segment were in separate address spaces ("split I and D space"). That tradition was continued with a.out on other machines.

        Eventually, some (ultimately most, if not all) UN*Xes also recognized "#!" as a magic number, meaning "read the rest of the line, and run the program specified there, with the optional argument specified there if present, and with the name of the script and the arguments to the exec call. Executable image formats other than a.out were given their own magic numbers, so the exec-family calls could know what format the file was.

    • Re:Magic Number? (Score:2, Informative)

      by cplusplus (782679)
      A magic number is a number put at the beginning of a file to indicate to the OS what kind of file it is. The ELF magic number happens to be 0x7f with the letters 'ELF' following.
  • by TristanGrimaux (841255) on Friday June 09, 2006 @11:51AM (#15503342) Homepage
    as Windows Vista is postponed again!

    ---
    Donde Ser Geek No Duele [blogspot.com]
  • I really thought they had been put out of business (and out of our misery) by now. Can any company buy any of their products and services these days without feeling dirty? Well, I guess Microsoft can prop them up for a little while more.

  • by frostilicus2 (889524) on Friday June 09, 2006 @11:57AM (#15503387)
    ...Use GNU Hurd. It runs Mach-O binaries, Not ELF.

    and it looks like it's going to be released by the time this one's settled.

  • SCO Forum (Score:5, Funny)

    by Xunker (6905) on Friday June 09, 2006 @12:18PM (#15503563) Homepage Journal
    Who wants to go with me to the SCO Forum [sco.com] this year? Held, appropriately, at The Mirage.
  • by Mostly a lurker (634878) on Friday June 09, 2006 @12:18PM (#15503567)
    They are pretty safe adding completely ridiculous new claims now because the court can be trusted to throw them out on procedural grounds: the date for final-last-no-more-chances disclosure of all allegedly infringing code was last December. Thus, they will never have to try to justify such claims as copyright on Posix and ELF; and rights to the general filesystem layout of SVR4.

    The real question is why bother making the claims at all? I think the answer is a combination of

    • bury the court in paper in an attempt to delay proceedings;
    • try to salvage some of the original claims: there is a pending motion to throw out the bulk of SCO's items from last December on the basis of lack of specificity; they probably hope that, faced with a mountain of SCO claims, the judge may be reluctant to disallow absolutely everything and will allow some of the vague "methods and concepts" items on SCO's December list;
    • material that can be used to spread FUD about UNIX IP in Linux; they can claim that these broad claims were thrown out on a "technicality", but they are "comfortable going to court with what remains".
    They really are arseholes.
  • by igaborf (69869) on Friday June 09, 2006 @01:43PM (#15504300)
    I call 69.

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