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SCO Found No Source Code In 2004 154

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the dying-from-nor-surprise dept.
doperative writes "A consultant hired by SCO in 2004 to compare UNIX and Linux, with the thought he could be used as an expert at trial, says that, after days and days, his comparison tool found 'very little correlation'. When he told that to SCO, it paid him and he never heard from SCO again."
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SCO Found No Source Code In 2004

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  • No real surprise there, just verification. SCO got itself in a tight spot financially and was looking for a scapegoat, with many SCO contributors moving to linux at the time linux made it convenient to blame, the backing of big companies contributing to Linux made them perfect target to get money. Their entire case was based on the theory that if people who used to work on SCO were now working on Linux then they must copied code...it sounded feasible to them and I assume their hope was that it would be seen feasible enough to slip through without much investigation.

  • by Frosty Piss (770223) * on Wednesday March 02, 2011 @01:22PM (#35358620)
    Read this part to understand why it is still relevent (there are, after all, still cases pending):

    So, my head is spinning, because what I'm thinking is: does this demonstrate that SCO knew there was no basis for their copyright infringement claims against IBM, Novell, AutoZone, and the world, at least by 2004? We'd have to do discovery on the matter to know for sure, but if they deliberately buried evidence, I would imagine it could impact damages due to SCO's victims, not just from SCO but conceivably from SCO's lawyers as well, should it be established that the litigation was frivolous and SCO knew it way back in 2004. I'm sure SCO's lawyers will have a long song and dance about it to deny it all, but it's certainly a huge red flag to me.

  • by cforciea (1926392) on Wednesday March 02, 2011 @01:34PM (#35358764)
    That's all well and good, but all this would prove is that SCO knew that one guy they contracted couldn't find a basis for their claims, not that they knew the lawsuit was baseless. Or do you think that SCO's lawyers are the only ones that have ever shopped around for multiple expert witnesses before keeping the one that best supported their claim?
  • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Wednesday March 02, 2011 @01:42PM (#35358898) Homepage Journal
    Forgive me, but I thought SCO was frivolous long before 2004. Ohhhhh - maybe about 1994? If I'm going to be halfway serious, I'll have to admit that I didn't even know who or what SCO was until around 2000. Maybe 1998, certainly no earlier. But, with each and every new headline, I just got more and more puzzled about the whole mess. I mean - time and time again, over the years, someone points to some snippet of code in Linux, and hollers "AHH-HA!" And, Torvalds and company look at the snippet, and tell the world, "Oh, we didn't need that anyway, we'll take it out, just to make everyone happy, even though it doesn't really resemble Unix at all." The whole thing has been a freaking soap opera, in which nothing ever happens, but the same actors get up on stage day after day after day after day, making motions as if they think they matter to someone. SCO - the soap opera that should have been canceled before it premiered. Days of Our Lives had more action - and you could stop watching it for five years, and pick it right up again!
  • by perpenso (1613749) on Wednesday March 02, 2011 @01:52PM (#35359038)

    Read this part to understand why it is still relevent (there are, after all, still cases pending):

    So, my head is spinning, because what I'm thinking is: does this demonstrate that SCO knew there was no basis for their copyright infringement claims...

    It does not.

    "Argument from ignorance, also known as argumentum ad ignorantiam or appeal to ignorance, is an informal logical fallacy. It asserts that a proposition is necessarily true because it has not been proven false (or vice versa). This represents a type of false dichotomy in that it excludes a third option, which is: there is insufficient investigation and therefore insufficient information to "prove" the proposition to be either true or false. Nor does it allow the admission that the choices may in fact not be two (true or false), but may be as many as four; with (3) being unknown between true or false; and (4) being unknowable (among the first three). And finally, any action taken, based upon such a pseudo "proof" is fallaciously valid, that is, it is being asserted to be valid based upon a fallacy.[1] In debates, appeals to ignorance are sometimes used to shift the burden of proof."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignorance [wikipedia.org]

  • by airfoobar (1853132) on Wednesday March 02, 2011 @02:29PM (#35359568)

    It seems mighty obvious that SCO's lawsuits aimed to drain Open Source company and community resources, and to spread FUD about the IP status of Open Source code. SCO knew all along that there was no way it could win, as even their own experts were telling them so, yet they went on for years and years fighting a fight that couldn't be won. That goes against the basic formula of a copyright/patent troll, because in those cases the driving motivator is profit, and lack thereof means there's no point to keep going.

    As SCO's first lawsuit was against Microsoft, who immediately settled for millions, my tinfoil headgear is picking up some very suspicious signals...

  • by Burning1 (204959) on Wednesday March 02, 2011 @03:05PM (#35359980) Homepage

    It's only wise to expose criminal conduct when you hare irrefutable proof of such. SCO could just as easily argue that he was incompetent at his job, and then pursue him for violating a NDA. And given that his statement is such a blow to their case, I think we can all reasonably expect them to do so.

  • by ukemike (956477) on Wednesday March 02, 2011 @06:29PM (#35362690) Homepage
    This is called expert witness shopping. The guy performed ethically and SCO did a very standard thing. Most people who do expert witness work avoid being a "hired gun." A hired gun is an expert who can be told what to testify. Obviously having such a reputation will make it easy for opposing counsel to rip your credibility to shreds. So when a legal team needs a particular opinion, they hire several experts, none of whom are hired guns, and ask each of them to look at the issues and render an opinion. One of those opinions might be more helpful to the case that the others. That will be the expert that they put on the stand. This guy was hired, his opinion wasn't helpful, they paid him and moved on.

    The key thing to remember here is that different experts legitimately have different opinions and there is nothing inherently unethical about this process.

    BTW what is up with /.'s formatting? Lots of posts today are double spaced, including this one!

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