Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Caldera IBM

SCO Group Lawsuit Q&A 253

althalus writes "PLUG, the Provo Linux Users Group, of Utah recently requested representatives from SCO to answer the questions of the local *nix users regarding their lawsuit. Since this topic has been the point of a bit of discussion here on slashdot ( 1, 2, 3, 4) We figured it might be nice to get some of the questions from here. SCO has agreed to allow us to submit a list of questions ahead of time, and we will contain some of the highest moderated slashdot questions. SCO has warned us, that since this is an active lawsuit, there are some questions that obviously cannot be answered at this time, but overall, feel free to ask. Notes/Answers will be submitted to slashdot afterwards." Think of this as a third party Ask SCO almost anything.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

SCO Group Lawsuit Q&A

Comments Filter:
  • Maybe we should ask SCO "Are you stupid, or just crazy?". There isn't a third alternative - the rebuttal on the Opensource.org site [opensource.org] makes that abundantly clear.

    SCO also gets tremenous points for being vindictive - a failed Linux business doing its best to sink the ship on their way out. It's fortunate for us that their best isn't enough.

    Bruce
  • by rushfan ( 209449 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @09:10PM (#5666094) Homepage Journal
    (a) Try to Kill Linux
    (b) Get bought by IBM
    (c) Simply go out of business
    (d) Beat Microsoft in the "most hated company of all time poll on CNN"

    • by qwerty823 ( 126234 ) <dem@@@chaostech...com> on Friday April 04, 2003 @09:16PM (#5666123)
      And SCO's reply...

      What??? No CowboyNeal option?
    • Here it is. Microsoft agrees to hire their remaining execs in exchange for SCO acting so nastily that Microsoft is no longer #1 on everyone's hit list.

      Seriously, when was the last time that *every* post on an interview was outraged or disgusted? Even Microsoft doesn't manage to build up that much animosity.
      • by dvdeug ( 5033 ) <dvdeug@ema i l .ro> on Saturday April 05, 2003 @12:10AM (#5666865)
        Seriously, when was the last time that *every* post on an interview was outraged or disgusted? Even Microsoft doesn't manage to build up that much animosity.

        Microsoft builds a real competitor to Linux. No matter how much FUD and general crap (from both sides) gets thrown, people have to admit that Windows is a viable platform with some strengths over Linux. I consistently hear stories of people switching from SCO to Linux 10 years ago, despite Linux's infancy, because SCO sucked that bad. And nothing I hear gives me any evidence that they've improved. Then they make a lie filled lawsuit claiming that without IBM ripping them off, Linux would be nowhere? The only place I see SCO engineers contributing to open source is GCC, and that's just to keep it running on SCO.

        They get no respect for their code, no respect for their contributions, and no respect for blantly lying about Linux.
    • That sounds like a "Choose your own adventure" story. If there's an (e) Profit!!!, then I'll go with that.
    • (a) Try to Kill Linux
      (b) Get bought by IBM
      (c) Simply go out of business
      (d) Beat Microsoft in the "most hated company of all time poll on CNN"
      (e) ???
      (f) PROFIT!
    • We don't have plans you insensitive clod!
  • by edrugtrader ( 442064 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @09:13PM (#5666107) Homepage
    I run the Bay-area Unix Testing Tribe [BUTT].

    Our organization proposes an alliance for this lawsuit. We have already opened defense fund. the BUTT-PLUG alliance should have no problem getting out of this sticky situation.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 04, 2003 @09:15PM (#5666120)
    How do you (SCO) plan to deal with the loss of community goodwill due to this lawsuit?
    • by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) <bruce@perens.com> on Friday April 04, 2003 @09:30PM (#5666193) Homepage Journal
      Their business failed because they never placed a high value on community good-will. The Linux developers and enthusiasts, who were the Linux experts already resident in their companies when those companies decided to investigate Linux, recommended Red Hat instead of Caldera because of the difference in good-will.

      Bruce

    • by wfrp01 ( 82831 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @10:07PM (#5666358) Journal
      How do you (SCO) plan to deal with the loss of community goodwill due to this lawsuit?

      By obsequiously showing their solidarity with the unwashed slashdot masses, graciously granting us the opportunity to ask them questions.

      Here's my question: Companies are just collections of individuals. Name the individuals hiding behind the SCO moniker who are directly reponsible for prosecuting this idiotic lawsuit.

      Of course, this is the stupidest Ask Slashdot ever, as SCO will of course only deign to answer questions with the potential to cast them in a favorable light. Regardless, I will find out the answer to my question without any help from SCO. And I will be sure to never do business with any organization with whom those people are affiliated ever again.
  • SCO: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 04, 2003 @09:19PM (#5666141)
    What evidence do you have that IBM did anything? All your previous releases were vague and void of any hard evidence. If you cannot give out details, could you tell us at least in vague terms the kind of evidence that you have?
  • my question (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 04, 2003 @09:24PM (#5666164)
    SCO --- what is it that you do again?
  • SCO: (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 04, 2003 @09:26PM (#5666177)
    (to the tune of Jingle Bells)

    S-C-O

    S-C-O

    Dying all the way,

    Oh what fun it is to sue before going down, HEY

    S-C-O

    S-C-O

    Dying all the way,

    Oh what fun it is to sue before going down.

    Cheating shareholders

    With lawyers on our side

    Luxurious we are

    Laughing all the way

    HAHAHA

    Making major cash

    What is there to lose?

    Oh what fun it is to sue IBM tonight!
  • Could you ask... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by puddpunk ( 629383 ) <puddpunk@gmail.com> on Friday April 04, 2003 @09:28PM (#5666186) Homepage
    Do you think the publicity you will lose over this lawsuit in the linux/unix community is worth it?

    Even though you (SCO) have a large base in the commercial industry, wouldn't you agree that the general opinion of your company will greatly sink if this goes through?
    • Do you think the publicity you will lose over this lawsuit in the linux/unix community is worth it?

      Folks at SCO: do you ever intend to use computers again, and if so, how do you intend to avoid the crippling waves of DDoS attacks?
  • Why exactly... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by I_redwolf ( 51890 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @09:34PM (#5666211) Homepage Journal
    are you wasting everyones time with this lawsuit? You do know that if SCO played nice and put itself in a position to be bought out it's quite possible someone would buy you out. The way things are going right now you are just wasting time and money. The likelyhood of you winning any money at all is so nil that it's pointless. In any event, preface over; Where do you see SCO in the next 5 yrs, what's your current business plan or model to retain revenue in today's rough economy especially in regards to Unix(tm)?
    • are you wasting everyones time with this lawsuit? You do know that if SCO played nice and put itself in a position to be bought out it's quite possible someone would buy you out.

      Now, now. Let's give SCO some credit. They *can't* be so stupid as to think that someone would consider them worth buying.
    • Where do you(SCO) see SCO in the next 5 yrs

      Here [ibm.com]

      Hey why are you looking at me like that? It's their plan! Serious!!
  • by Col. Klink (retired) ( 11632 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @09:35PM (#5666218)
    I'm curious just exactly what you think Linux was incapable of doing without stealing from you?
    • I'm curious just exactly what you think Linux was incapable of doing without stealing from you?

      They think it is impossible for linux to be scaled to "enterprise-level" stuff, like multiple processors and stuff. Yeah, it's bullshit, but let's ask them questions for which we might get original bullshit answers.

  • LIkely to win? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kaz Riprock ( 590115 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @09:36PM (#5666220)

    In some of the articles that I've read, Mr. Sontag specifically stated that none of the code you believe was stolen from Project Monterey has shown up in any of IBM's developed code. The only "evidence" of foul play is that IBM's code you claim comes from Unix System V/AIX was developed too quickly to have been anything but a derivative of your intellectual property.

    Obviously, the best way to demonstrate that this is the case is to prove that IBM was not working on this code prior to having joined into Project Monterey. In other words, if they began working on this prior to gaining access to your IP, then it is conceivable that they found an independant solution and the timing was just coincidental.

    Do you have any way of combating this or is your only evidence of foul play the coincidence of timing?
    • Obviously, the best way to demonstrate that this is the case is to prove that IBM was not working on this code prior to having joined into Project Monterey.

      IOW, they just have to show that IBM didn't know how to program scalable (unix) operating systems before 199x. Seems to be easy.

  • Well... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @09:39PM (#5666234) Homepage Journal
    It's fairly reasonable to suggest that SCO has no chance against IBM, IBM being a multibillion dollar corporation and SCO being a minor also-ran with a shakey case. So, my question is: Assuming SCO loses, and the costs put SCO out of business, will SCO, as a final act of good will, release the sources of Unix, NetWare, etc, into the public domain, so that whatever misery this company has inflicted on the rest of the world can at least not have been in vain?
    • Re:Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Pharmboy ( 216950 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @09:58PM (#5666316) Journal
      It's fairly reasonable to suggest that SCO has no chance against IBM, IBM being a multibillion dollar corporation and SCO being a minor also-ran with a shakey case. So, my question is: Assuming SCO loses, and the costs put SCO out of business, will SCO, as a final act of good will, release the sources of Unix, NetWare, etc, into the public domain, so that whatever misery this company has inflicted on the rest of the world can at least not have been in vain?

      They can't do that.

      They are a publicly held corporation. As such, they have a duty to their shareholders (could be you and me) to get the maximum value of their assets. They would HAVE to sell the trademark if it would bring $$, and it would. If they did otherwise, their shareholders would sue them into the ground.

      It SOUNDS nice that they could, but the reality is that they can't. Now, IBM could BUY the Unix mark and then IBM could release it into the public domain / gpl / bsd license / or leave it proprietary. IBM could justify it since they have invested 1 billion in Linux lately, and the price of the code (current value of sco $35mil) would be a bargain for the code gained, thus justifiable to the stockholders. Also, the goodwill earned would be worth it.
      • Re:Well... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by 0x0d0a ( 568518 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @10:15PM (#5666389) Journal
        Why would anyone want to pay $35 million for a bunch of essentially useless code and a trademark on an operating system that is rapidly losing relevance?

        I mean, at $100K/developer/year (which is pretty liberal pay), that's a good 350 man-years of work on open-source software that could be done that would essentially go down the drain.

        SCO isn't worth it. SCO stock isn't worth the paper it's printed on.
      • This has nothing to do with trademarks. SCO doesn't own the UNIX trademark. The Open Group does. SCO owns a bunch of decrepit pieces of AT&T UNIX code and the patent rights thereon.

        It seems likely that everything they own has been reimplemented by at least two or three different groups by now. Most of it was reimplemented better than the original. The whole situation strikes of sour grapes---they're bitter that open source projects written by a bunch of people they'd never heard of came and wiped
      • So redhat is publically held and they can give away Linux.

        • redhat is publically held and they can give away Linux.

          Um, Redhat doesn't own Linux - they can't exactly give it away.

          • Um, Redhat doesn't own Linux - they can't exactly give it away.

            Thank you. I was about to say the same thing to the guy who obviously doesnt understand how Redhat and GNU in general works. I am one of those customers that PAYS Redhat for its "free" software anyway :)
      • Stakeholders (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jbolden ( 176878 )
        Actually the law does have contrasting views on this. While unpopular in today's understanding it was quite common for companies to act in the interests of "stakeholders" at the expense of ownership:

        where stakeholders include:
        -- employees
        -- the wider community
        -- bond holders / bank

        etc... There really is no law which requires companies to act as unethical money grubbing machines.
        • etc... There really is no law which requires companies to act as unethical money grubbing machines.

          SCO trying to sell the unix code they have doesn't make them unethical money grubbing machines.

          Ok, sueing IBM trying to get them to buy you out, yea, that does.

          Its not about 'the law' anyway. Its about corporate accountability. The CEO can legally open the source for SCO, it wouldn't be a violation of law. But then the shareholders would freak out and fire him. It has nothing to do with ANY legal matte
    • it seems to me that IBM could countersue SCO into oblivion should they lose...it seems to me that rather than settle monetarily SCO would stand to benefit if that happened by offering a settlement of absorbtion instead, which seems to me to be a potential reason for this whole lawsuit to begin with. They have no chance in hell of surviving outside of absorbtion.
  • A few questions.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Pettifogger ( 651170 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @09:42PM (#5666248)
    1. Considering the prevalent public opinion of open source projects, is SCO trying to prevent the development of such software, even if it was not the intended effect? If so, why?

    2. Has this lawsuit affected the public perception of SCO? If it has, is this the result you anticipated? Is this something you want for your company?

    3. Should SCO lose the lawsuit, what would be the future prospects for the company? Why would anyone want to buy SCO stock at this time?

    4. Who made the decision to file this lawsuit? Was it approved by SCO's Board of Directors? Was there a vote among shareholders, or were any consulted in making this decision?

    I don't expect these to get answered, but I'd sure like to know.

    • 5. Are there *any* engineers at your company, or was this decision made entirely by (a) execs getting a buyout bonus and (b) corporate consultants?

      6. Does SCO differ at all from Dilbert's world, and if so, how?
  • Dear SCO,

    I would like to know when I will be able claim that Linux is UNIX. I know all about the crazy UNIX certification requirements...

    If the evolution of Linux means the death of UNIX (since nearly no Linux meets UNIX certification and Linux prospers most at the expense of commercial UNIX), then isn't it in your best interest to change the certification rules so that Linux becomes UNIX? Once UNIX is irrelevant, where is SCO? Only you can change this.

    UNIX is Dead
    Linux isn't UNIX
    Long live Linux

    Good luc
  • Vision... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Do your glass bellybuttons help you see well enough with your heads so far up your asses?
  • by qwijibrumm ( 559350 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @10:01PM (#5666326)
    I was just wondering, did you guys wake up one morning and just decide to be evil? Or did you have to work at it for a while? Or did it just happen by accident?

    I was going to start my own Evil Corporation(TM) and I was trying to gauge the level of effort required. Also, you didn't happen to aquire the IP rights on Evil(TM) as well, did you? If so, what are your licencing fees for that one? I don't want to get sued over here.

    • I'm not entirely sure why, but I'm reading this with the voice of Mike Myers in my head. I say "I'm not entirely sure why" because it's just Mike Myers, not Dr. Evil or Austin Powers... /Brian
    • Also, you didn't happen to aquire the IP rights on Evil(TM) as well, did you? If so, what are your licencing fees for that one? I don't want to get sued over here.

      I'm assuming you didn't know about Microsoft's purchase of evil [bbspot.com]. I highly doubt they would sell it to SCO, but they might license.

      Ooh, something just occured to me. What would MS Evil (TM) after Microsoft "embraced and extended" it?
  • by FyRE666 ( 263011 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @10:12PM (#5666373) Homepage
    Have you guys considered approaching the RIAA with a view to offering your operating system as a platform for their website? Maybe they could provide a stream of revenue from their evil paymasters if you could manage to keep them online for more than 3 days at a stretch!
    • If the RIAA monkeys didn't do something so outrageous as to get their website linked to /.'s front page every 3 days, maybe it might stand a chance at remaining online more than a fifth of a fortnight at a time...
  • Plan Omega (Score:2, Funny)

    by dodgyville ( 660660 )
    Here is my question for SCO:

    Do you blame Bond for the failure of Plan Omega,
    or was it due to a break-down in organisational
    process?

    Wait a minute, I'm thinking of SPECTRE, not SCO
    ... sorry.
  • ... I forget the name... there were two of them. 1 tall one, 1 really small. They held up their pinky to their mouth and said '100 billion dollars' a lot...

  • It's April 4th already. Enough with the April Fools jokes.

    *rolls eyes at the notion that SCO cares what I think*
  • Given that companies are made up of people can you please tell us who looks in the mirror every morning and comes up with this crap? How does it feel to work for them?

    Do the people of SCO, when out of their cubby holes and over a glass of suds with friends hail your graspingly false principles or feel a touch of shame?

    How do you, the person answering these questions feel explaining what you are doing to your children? What exactly do you say? Daddy is a scumlord? Don't forget, they'll be growing up and re
  • Lack of Innovation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dentar ( 6540 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @10:41PM (#5666478) Homepage Journal
    I've worked with SCO products since the XENIX days, around 2.3.2 or something along those lines. Back in their time, SCO XENIX was pretty good, as compared to the other X86 offerings back then. I have my SCO CUSA, SCO ACE, and SCO Master ACE for both OpenServer, and UnixWare 7. I worked for my area's best reseller a few years ago when their technical expertise was the tops.

    About five years ago, Linux was starting to get known by most people in the computer field, but was still not catching on big. It was at a point where you could run it on decent hardware and have a machine that was every bit as nice, and then some, as an Intel box running OpenServer 5.0.x. I told my bosses then that this was going to be the up and coming thing. Two of them agreed and said SCO would get their ass kicked, and one of them said it wasn't going to catch on. I love being right. ;-)

    The vast majority of our UNIX customers ran OpenServer, not UnixWare. We could hardly get UnixWare out the door, because legacy applications vendors stuck with OpenServer. UnixWare was a non-seller.

    My questions are as follows:

    - Why wasn't SCO able to get the software vendors on-board to switch to UnixWare so that the VARs could follow through and have a new revenue stream? Without that, the OpenServer sales died off after Y2K.

    - Why didn't SCO watch Linux more closely and get their ass in gear when everyone in the industry realized more than five years ago that Linux was going to cook SCO's goose.

    - OpenServer 5's X windows is just plain fugly. Five years ago, RedHat 5.0 was fast, easy to install, and had a beautiful interface compared to OpenServer 5. Why didn't SCO realize they had a chance to do something with their user interface and target the desktop market, even before Windows 95 came along?

    - Why does SCO, after having dropped the ball over and over and over again, and after having failed miserably at keeping up with technology (meaning not even trying), think that they are entitled to win a lawsuit, especially since their lack of keeping up with the rest of the world has rendered them obsolete?

    - Does SCO expect what's left of their reseller base to remain loyal to their following, especially since most of their resellers probably use and love Linux?
    • You had three bosses? Did you put the right cover letter on your TPS report?
    • "About five years ago, Linux was starting to get known by most people in the computer field, but was still not catching on big. It was at a point where you could run it on decent hardware and have a machine that was every bit as nice, and then some, as an Intel box running OpenServer 5.0.x. I told my bosses then that this was going to be the up and coming thing. "

      Wow are you ever a slow adopter...

      This was apparent back in 1995, even to the SCO folks in biz.sco.general.
  • How does? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by The Analog Kid ( 565327 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @10:42PM (#5666484)
    How does the licensing agreement on its own prove IBM did any wrong doing? I mean that what you have on your site. Also, in court in this day of age where are you going to find a judge and jury that are well versed in programing of Linux and Unix? Did you actually think what you were doing when you filed your lawsuit? IBM is a company with a market cap of over 134 billion dollars. They could drag the case out for a very long time. So long that it would have cost you so much money that it wouldn't have been worth it. What are you going to do if they do that?
  • Since SCO has its back against the wall and has really nothing to lose at this point, is SCO planning on using weapons of mass destruction as a part of a last-ditch effort to remain relevant?

    GF.
  • That Microsoft is secretly promising to drop XP for Xenix and partner with you one the kernel?
  • How do you cope with the shame and disgrace of having taken a large size dump all over your customers? Do you believe that you stand to acquire enough compensation to overcome the universal disgust felt about you?
  • by linuxislandsucks ( 461335 ) on Friday April 04, 2003 @11:30PM (#5666700) Homepage Journal
    My question is which IP issue are important to SCO?
    We have SCO stating that they own ip rights to Unix but only specific companies are being sued with other ones absent from the lawsuit..

    For example Xenix vendors have not been charged, why since their version of unix has more potential to have infringed than the current candidates of the lawsuit..for those of us who don't remember Xenix is a Microsoft product.

    Why is the lawsuit based on no code comparisons and rather on conjecture of someone's marketing prose? Would not comparison of code have to be done in order to have factual evidence in order to proceed with the lawsuit in the first place ie what is Frivious?

    While I don;t expect any SCO employee to answer these questions..we the developers and users of unix in all its forms wil remember SCO's acts and respond in kind!
  • What planet are you from?!?!?!?
  • Witnesses (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mao che minh ( 611166 ) on Saturday April 05, 2003 @12:48AM (#5667010) Journal
    Linux is open source. Linux is the most popular open source "project" there is. Therefore, thousands of developers are actively examining and working with it's source code daily (whether it be the kernel itself or the myriad of componenets that make Linux what it is). Many of these developers have also worked on various UNIX projects. None of these developers have ever stepped forward and pointed any fingers proclaiming that "this or that chunk of code was stolen from [insert UNIX project here]". In other words, you are telling these many thousands of highly skilled and experienced developers that they are basically too stupid to recognize famaliar code.

    Are you the least bit worried that IBM will tap this considerable "witness base" and demolish your case?

    • by bstadil ( 7110 ) on Saturday April 05, 2003 @02:19AM (#5667401) Homepage
      Why not ask the reverse question.

      Are you willing to let the OSS community examine the UnixWare code, so as to make sure that no part of the Linux / GPL code found it way into your software. SCO engineers has worked on Linux so by your own reasoning there is a fair chance code was "borrowed" and reused in Unixware.

      A small insignificant company like SCO can not possible have the engineering expertise to make enterprise ready SW, therefore they must have stolen from someone.

  • Sco is known for their leading edge innovation, huge market presence in the enterprise, great scalability, and high reliability and lack of bugs. How many of you walk into a server room and not see sco? Sco is the . in .com. Its great to see a modern OS with smp up to 32 processors, journaling filesystems, and advanced clustering, and huge market pressence from leading software companies.

    I mean who has heard of a sco unix machine dieing? I never had.

    I just wish copycats such as Solaris or AIX could scale
  • Why even legitimize this bullshit? You've reported the suit. That's news. Great. Noted. Thank you. Now show some spine, by not allowing yourselves to be "spun" by their PR dept.
    • Why? because we're the local people who are most affected by their lawsuit. Why? because they are based in our area. Why? because most of our members really dont' like this lawsuit, and would really like a chance to get some of their questions answered about it. If nothing else, the local community get's a chance to vent their feelings to SCO managers and representatives, and not just to fellow geeks who share the same opinion.

      I would hardly count it as letting SCO "spin" us as if we didnt' know anything
  • What's it like... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mkldev ( 219128 ) on Saturday April 05, 2003 @01:15AM (#5667123) Homepage
    to be the Worst UNIX company [google.com]?

    to be the Worst Linux distribution [google.com]?

    to have filed the worst linux lawsuit [google.com]?

    to be the worst enemy of open source [google.com]?

    to have such a low sense of ethics that you would sue anyone and everyone in desperation just to keep above the red line?

    to realize that your repeated buyouts, mergers, lay-offs, etc. have left you without anything worth buying and that extortion is your only chance of making a profit?

    Sure, you have some software that was cool once---a long time ago. What have you done lately?

  • Many statements of fact (eg, UNIX history) and technical opinion (eg, relative capabilities of SCO UNIX and Linux) found in the brief are, to put it charitably, dubious, and several are absurd. Were technical staff closely invoved in this, or was it purely the work of 'well-informed' lawyers?
  • By suing IBM over IP rights what do you hope to accomplish?
    Monetary rewards?
    Admission of guilt?
    The source code rights to the alleged IP infringement?
  • by QChen ( 663969 ) on Saturday April 05, 2003 @01:31AM (#5667193)
    I'm curious what their long term goals are if they win, irrespective of the validity of their claims.

    Let's assume SCO wins a monetary judgement from IBM. What are SCO's plans thereafter? Where will they be putting that money? Will they be updating and improving SCO, will they concentrate on Linux, or will they be going into a new direction?

  • Who's next? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by the gnat ( 153162 ) on Saturday April 05, 2003 @01:43AM (#5667240)
    Here's a question that isn't flamebait:

    We started to hear rumblings from SCO about Linux earlier this year (and, typically, ignored them). Specifically, the possibility of SCO charging users of Linux [com.com] for using what SCO claimed was its IP. Therefore, my question is: does SCO plan to attack other companies or *users* at any point, regardless of what happens with IBM? For instance, would SCO bill Google $96 for each installation of Linux on that massive server farm? Or do you plan to seek licensing from actual Linux vendors like RedHat? The IBM lawsuit seems to simply cover damages.

    Second question: on that note, what is the point to suing IBM? If you seriously believe that Linux infringes on SCO's IP in some way, how is suing the largest and wealthiest company working with Linux fundamental to your strategy? This seems like an uphill route to take, and not necessarily the best way to establish a basis for future settlements with other Linux vendors. (Unless, of course, SCO is so fucked already that you're hoping for some quick money from a buyout or one-in-a-million surprise win.)

    Third question: aside from the obvious fact that you've crippled SCO's ability to ever compete in the Linux (-compatible) market and have ensured that no open-/free-software developers will ever work with you, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? This is IBM. Who once shook down Sun [forbes.com], just for the hell of it. Who made $1bn profit on $22bn revenues [yahoo.com] just last quarter, and whose revenues have gone up by more than 20% just this year when we're in an economic downturn. Oh, and they've got $96bn in assets. I bet they employ more lawyers than SCO has total employees. Do you expect SCO to have any cash reserves left by the time IBM's lawyers are done with you?'

    Fourth question: if you're unable to secure a full injunction against IBM on Unix sales, will you continue the lawsuit? The way I see it, the only way you have any chance is if the judge grants the injunction, in which case IBM might panic and settle.
  • Question for SCO (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pitr256 ( 201315 ) on Saturday April 05, 2003 @02:19AM (#5667400) Homepage
    In the last couple of months, my company tasked me with trying to come up with a way for our developers to start porting some of our enterprise applications to zOS and Linux/390. We didn't have the budget for a mainframe, and Hercules [conmicro.cx] would probably work, but we'd still need a license from IBM to get zOS. This is not cheap or easy.

    Then I discovered FLEX-ES from FSI. This emulator comes with a legal s390 license from IBM and seemed like a great solution to our problem. Except that it runs on SCO Unix. They also have a Linux version, but it might not support some of our hardware requirements.

    Because of the lawsuit your company has filed against IBM, we have decided not to purchase this software, or the underlining SCO Unix OS license.

    Now I'm sure my company's small purchase wouldn't help out a company expecting a billion dollar settlement that much. But if my company is not willing to purchase your flagship OS for fear of the reprocussions, how many other companies out there will also not purchase SCO based products or licenses...

    If SCO is to continue in the future, come what may from the lawsuit, how do you expect companies to purchase products from you without fear of a future lawsuit against another company for IP infringement?

  • I have a Question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Saturday April 05, 2003 @02:45AM (#5667495) Homepage Journal
    Could you please explain the acquisition of thousands of shares of your company's stock stock by many of your company's officers [yahoo.com] 10 days prior to the announcement of this lawsuit?
    • Oh, this one's a sweet one. Pleeeeease mod parent up, moderators.
    • It's pretty easy to explain: They were exercising options. If they were buying the stock on the open market then it would look bad; but they weren't. The timing is both irrelevant and coincidental; it looks to me like the options were exercised as soon as they vested.
      • Ah, I see. I check in on various companies from time to time but I'd never seen transactions like that. If I ever become the officer of some company, I'll have to get options at $.001 put in my contract. That's definitely a sweet deal. Yet another reason to go for that MBA...
        • It's really just a matter of handing out free shares, but there's some reason why they can't do that; so they work around the issue by handing out "options" instead.
  • Investor Liability (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Idou ( 572394 ) on Saturday April 05, 2003 @02:52AM (#5667527) Journal
    The net result of this lawsuit appears to be the turning of SCO into something like an IP brokerage firm which carries considerable more risk than the type of company that the majority of your investors originally invested into. Has management and the board properly disclosed these new risks thoroughly enough to avoid future lawsuits by investors?

    Why does SCO now believe it can suddenly succeed as an IP speculator, when the majority of its fixed company assets (funded by investors and creditors under the pretense that it would be specifically used for a certain type of business) are not intended to be used in the IP speculating business? How does SCO intend to compete with firms that specialize in the IP industry and has SCO received proper permission from its investors to drastically change its industry and business model?
  • Where does SCO Group see itself 5 or even 10 years from now? Do you have plans to continue in the commercial/business software market or are there other areas that you see becoming your main area of interest and expertise?
  • by Ur@eus ( 148802 ) on Saturday April 05, 2003 @05:05AM (#5667875) Homepage
    Your lawsuit says that if IBM hadn't used Unix intelectual property to improve Linux, Linux wouldn't have gotten beyond being a hobbyist system. I do not agree with this view, but lets accept that idea as the basis for this question.

    If this is true then it means the only reason Caldera managed to build a business, and do a hugely successfull IPO, the same IPO that gave Caldera the financial muscle to buy SCO, is because of IBM's actions.

    In other words you are making a lawsuit against IBM for making it possible for your business to become successful enough to buy SCO?

    Or in other words, you are taking IBM to court for dilluting the value of property you would never have owned in the first place if it where not for IBM's actions?

    You don't find this a tad weird?
  • by crucini ( 98210 ) on Saturday April 05, 2003 @05:25AM (#5667910)
    This question is addressed to CEO Darl McBride and SCOSource VP Chris Sontag, although it applies to the whole management team. What are your plans after the death of SCO? Won't you constitute a liability to any company you work for in the future, due to the association of your names with this lawsuit?

    If you manage to get a ruling that seriously harms Linux, it will negatively impact tens of thousands of people worldwide. What effect do you think this will have on your personal life, and how will you cope with it?
  • by iamacat ( 583406 ) on Saturday April 05, 2003 @06:30AM (#5668012)
    Many big OS vendors - IBM, Sun, Apple - have realized that if a decent free kernel is available people are not willing to pay $$$ for pretty much the same thing. Instead they are selling software that runs on top of Linux/*BSD, basic UNIX utilities and gcc.

    It seams that SCO decided to hold out like Microsoft and try to compete from the kernel level up. What are you plans to make this approach succeed when even IBM, with more money to pay for development, is trying to hedge its bets on AIX.

    It seams to me that a better strategy for SCO would be to take advantage of existing SCO binary compatibility Linux offers and release a professional quality Linux workstation and a low-end server using SCO applications, administation tools and so on.

    But in this case, the lawsuit makes no sense. Sure, there is a chance of one-time payout from IBM. But nobody except law firms builds a successful business on lawsuits alone. If applications is what matters, you guys might as well release whatever "corporate secrets" you think will further increase Linux scalability, stability and so on and let the enormous number of willing hobbyists integrate them into the kernel.

    There are a lot of things going for this approach. For one thing, nobody buys an OS itself. Customers buy an OS to be able to run certain programs. Nothing prevents SCO from selling those proprietary, closed-source programs under Linux. Just look at MacOS X.

    On the other hands, lots of people are obviously willing to write, optimize and improve OS code just for the fun of it. SCO could just use their work to get a performance boost for both UI and server applications with no investment. Also, writting device drivers is a thankless work but thousands already exist on Linux, free for the taking. Is there an optimized NVIDIA or ATI 3D driver for SCO?? How about adding some rendering applications and shipping a serious alternative to SGI based on Linux?

    I don't know if IBM used any knowlege of AT&T UNIX to make improvements in Linux. But I am pretty sure that trying to guard yesterday's technologies is not in the long-term interest of SCO and its shareholders. Spend effort where the new markets are today.
  • Is it just me, or does the Caldera logo really look like a globe with Mickey Mouse's head projected on it?

    OK maybe this is a little offtopic, but I'm really curious whether others see that too.
  • SCO stands fro...

    Stupid CEO Oxymorrons
  • Why would my company:

    A) Choose to develop software on a SCO platform?
    B) Choose to implement a third party software solution on SCO?
    c) Choose to resell SCO products?

    In light of the lawsuit, how do you expect my company to change our position on Linux?
  • by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt@nerdflat. c o m> on Saturday April 05, 2003 @02:21PM (#5669064) Journal
    You say that "it would be difficult or impossible for the Linux development community to create a grade of Linux adequate for enterprise use" (without IBM's access to SCO's IP).

    Now my question is this: Can you prove it? Note, this is not rhetorical. This is an honest and sincere question. The implications to the answer to this question are staggering, so I am eager to hear your response, as it would have implications on all open source projects everywhere.

A penny saved is a penny to squander. -- Ambrose Bierce

Working...