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IBM Caldera

IBM Denies Charges of Unix Theft 419

ahooton writes "C|net is reporting that SCO has filed a lawsuit accusing IBM of theft of it's Unix intellectual property. SCO alleges this occurred because IBM released portions of the Unix system, owned by SCO, in to Linux." While the suit is nothing new, IBM's retort is. IBM asserts it is innocent of any charges of wrongdoing. Additionally, IBM is accusing SCO of trying to stifle Linux development through the use of the courts.
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IBM Denies Charges of Unix Theft

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  • REAL Purpose (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kkirk007 ( 304967 ) <kkirk007.yahoo@com> on Friday May 02, 2003 @12:46AM (#5859788)
    I know it's been said before, but...
    SCO's real purpose behind this lawsuit is not to get money, but to publicize itself in hopes of finding a larger company to buy them.
    SCO's business hasn't been so great lately, and...they're just a little desperate at this point.
  • I am just waiting for Microsoft to be sued for stealing other people's code.
  • by Max Romantschuk ( 132276 ) <max@romantschuk.fi> on Friday May 02, 2003 @12:47AM (#5859793) Homepage
    SCO alleges this occurred because IBM released portions of the Unix system, owned by SCO, in to Linux.

    I've understood that they've reimplemented some technology in Linux, but have they really just taken the existing pieces and put them into Linux? I doubt it.

    Would someone care to shed some light on the subject?
    • I guess SCO considers those existing pieces to be trade secrets.
      • So if they are trade secrets, then SCO must prove that they were misappropriated. It is not against the law for one person to independantly discover what happens to be another person's trade secret.

        The only protection you can have from that is a patent, and SCO isn't claiming patent rights.

      • Absolutely.

        SCO has a much stronger case than most people realize. The proceedings will take IBM and the rest of the open source community completely by storm.

        To wit, when their lawyers reveal specific lines of code from the linux kernel that are absolutely identical to what is in the SCO code base, a jaw-dropping silence will overtake the courtroom.

        Your honor, may it please the bench to observe Exhibit A:

        for(;;) {

        and there will be some additional fearsome evidence where loop variable names were

    • by rf0 ( 159958 )
      I would think that mnay people have the same idea and as long as it isn't pateneted then people can share. I mean if you look at high end machines there are a number of things that are shared such as cross node memory. Now you don't seem the trying to sue each other do you?

      Rus
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 02, 2003 @05:12AM (#5860561)
      While IBM has incorporated some of their code into Linux, none if it has been from SCO.

      IBM's operating system, AIX, has some code from SysV, for which SCO owns rights, but the code they've ported to Linux (such as JFS) are property of IBM.

      SCO is probably trying to muddy the issues - because AIX contains both code that has been shared with Linux and code that SCO owns rights to.

      However, considering that SCO has never specifically pointed out what parts of IBM's contributions to Linux supposedly violate their agreements, they have zero credibility.
    • SCO accuses IBM of giving away SCO property that SCO never had in the first place. See ESR [opensource.org].
  • by OverlordQ ( 264228 ) on Friday May 02, 2003 @12:47AM (#5859798) Journal
    What I hope this means, is that IBM will once and for-all put an end to this SCO FUD. Who knows the true reason behind SCO's logic, but whatever it is, we dont need it ;)
    • by arvindn ( 542080 ) on Friday May 02, 2003 @01:56AM (#5860084) Homepage Journal
      What I hope this means, is that IBM will once and for-all put an end to this SCO FUD.

      There's exactly one way IBM can do that: buy SCO. Sco/Caldera's logic is simple: they are a dying company, and they know it. So they want to make it as nasty as possible. If this gets to court, SCO doesn't have a whit of a chance (which is why they didn't go after the little fish first, BTW.) However, it might be the end of SCO, but it will be very costly in terms of PR for IBM as well. SCO's hope is that IBM will find buying SCO to be the easier way out. That's the best case scenario for them.

      BUT. That would put an end to SCO FUD, but MS FUD will start right thereafter. (See, we've been saying it all along, linux is incapable of innovation, sco was going to prove that in court, but big baddie IBM was afraid of them and bought them out.) So its a lose-lose situation.

      • Nope. There are two ways, IBM could simply pull out a stack of patents and says, "Oh, by the way, you're in violation of them." At that point, SCO either shuts up or IBM's lawyers just bury them like a full latrine.

      • by gad_zuki! ( 70830 ) on Friday May 02, 2003 @03:05AM (#5860266)
        >BUT. That would put an end to SCO FUD, but MS FUD will start right thereafter.

        Sadly, the MS FUD has already started. In the wonderfully written "Code Red for Open Source" article at Cnet which is fair and balanced (in that Fox News kind of way) Balmer is quoted as saying something to the effect, "See, you dont know who's writing your OSS software." I'm sure that little quote doesn't sit too well with IT managers debating adopting OSS. Certainly, MS's list of crimes is volumes long, but the fear of being sued because the product your using was written by 'shady individuals' as Balmer seems to be suggesting can have a real chilling effect.

        Yeah, it is a lose-lose situation depending on how people interpret what is going on. I think its fairly obvious there's a strong attempt at getting a buy-out here which makes their moral position regarding the supposed theft of IP a bit suspect. I hope others see it this way.

        Its like me going up to the guy who broke into my house and stole my stereo and telling him, "Okay, we'll leave the cops out of this if you take over my payments and buy out my equity. I can't afford this place anymore and I dont want to go bankrupt."

        What really gets me, and I'm not even a linux advocate (i use it when I need a free server), is that SCO is trashing Linux's reputation left and right in its attempt to get bought out. I'm surprised there aren't names, addresses, and phone numbers of the SCO people listed here for harassment a la spam king style.

        A little civil disobedience goes a long way.
        • by nathanh ( 1214 ) on Friday May 02, 2003 @04:25AM (#5860455) Homepage
          Balmer is quoted as saying something to the effect, "See, you dont know who's writing your OSS software."

          And who is writing Microsoft's software *cough*stacker*cough*? I think Ballmer should stop throwing stones.

        • Re:Ballmer Misquoted (Score:5, Informative)

          by Surak ( 18578 ) * <[surak] [at] [mailblocks.com]> on Friday May 02, 2003 @07:33AM (#5860872) Homepage Journal
          Ballmer actually said: "customers will never really know who stands behind this product."

          The intent is similar, but it's a subtler shade of meaning here.

          Of course, people pay Red Hat and IBM and other companies money to stand behind the code. And you DO know who wrote the code anyways. Their names are all over it.

        • but the fear of being sued because the product your using was written by 'shady individuals' as Balmer seems to be suggesting can have a real chilling effect.

          I think that the BSA has a much greater chilling effect than OSS. IIRC, no one has ever been sued for using OSS, but Microsoft has already filed lawsuits against schools and other government entities. Open source advocates would do well to remind people of the number of times Microsoft has sued its own customers. Granted, with OSS you might not h

        • Given the turnover within MS, nobody knows who is writing Windows code either!
        • by mj01nir ( 153067 ) * on Friday May 02, 2003 @10:23AM (#5861686)
          Certainly, MS's list of crimes is volumes long, but the fear of being sued because the product your using was written by 'shady individuals' as Balmer seems to be suggesting can have a real chilling effect.

          As chilling as this?: [theregister.co.uk]

          SQL Server developers, "particularly those Microsoft customers who relied on Microsoft's assurances, failed to investigate them thoroughly, and knowingly continued to provide material steps in an Infringing Combination. These infringers, if any, may face treble damages for the entire three and one-half years the case was tied up in the courts. Microsoft is not a law firm. Relying on its advice should not constitute acting in good faith; which is the required defense to treble damages for failure to investigate and honor patents once on notice of their existence."

          Microsoft is hardly lily-white when it comes to providing their customers with unencumbered products. IT decision makers need to know this.
        • In the wonderfully written "Code Red for Open Source" article at Cnet

          I honestly interpreted this as meaning that somebody had ported the worm!!!
  • by DanThe1Man ( 46872 ) on Friday May 02, 2003 @12:52AM (#5859815)
    ....LINUX DOSN'T SUCK!!
    • Just posted to LKML (Score:5, Interesting)

      by rf0 ( 159958 ) <rghf@fsck.me.uk> on Friday May 02, 2003 @01:55AM (#5860077) Homepage
      "As somone who walked for SCO (or rather Caldera how it was called at that
      time) I can tell you this is utter crap. There were very people actually
      doing Linux kernel work then (and when the German office was closed down
      all those left the company) and we really had better things to do then
      trying to retrofit UnixWare code into the linux kenrel. Especially given
      that the kernel internals are so different that you'd need a big glue
      layer to actually make it work and you can guess how that would be
      ripped apart in a usual lkml review :)

      It might be more interesting to look for stolen Linux code in Unixware,
      I'd suggest with the support for a very well known Linux fileystem in
      the Linux compat addon product for UnixWare.."

      Could be intresting :)

      Rus
  • by Tokerat ( 150341 ) on Friday May 02, 2003 @12:53AM (#5859818) Journal

    ...it's "At Least SCO went after the big guys first."

    There is no RIAA-suing-college-kids style lawsuit here. They went right after someone who could afford to defend themselves, instead of trashing say, SuSe and RedHat.

    On the other hand, it's IBM, who probably even has a patent on human life for christ sakes. Therefore I doubt we'll be seeing much more of SCO, especially if this suit doesn't hold water.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 02, 2003 @12:56AM (#5859834)
    Here's another [com.com] CNET article about the suit. It makes it clear that SCO is trying to make pure FUD:
    McBride refused to detail which specific code had been copied but said there were several instances--"some of them go back several years, and others are recent"--and said the copying was "not minor." SCO, however, won't publish what it's found.

    "We feel very good about the evidence that is going to show up in court. We will be happy to show the evidence we have at the appropriate time in a court setting," McBride said. "The Linux community would have me publish it now, (so they can have it) laundered by the time we can get to a court hearing. That's not the way we're going to go."

    Next he'll tell us there's weapons of mass destruction in the Linux code and the fact we can't find them just shows how diabolically clever the people who hid them were. Send the UN inspectors!
    • "We feel very good about the evidence that is going to show up in court. We will be happy to show the evidence we have at the appropriate time in a court setting," McBride said. "The Linux community would have me publish it now, (so they can have it) laundered by the time we can get to a court hearing. That's not the way we're going to go."

      Unbelievable!! So this guy doesn't even want the issue resolved??? I guess it's true that they are simply trolling for dollars in the form of a quick settlement or

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 02, 2003 @01:29AM (#5859982)
      This allegation really underscores a primary issue of closed source software - it's not out for public review, and hence, it would be VERY difficult to validate these claims. For all we know, SCO's code is a rip-off of Linux or some prior open-source code that Linux was a beneficiary of. SCO never published their source and there's nothing outside of SCO (or maybe IBM, if there was some kind of agreement) to validate the claims. The trouble is, we can trust neither of those parties to present untainted copies of the relevant code as both could have altered timestamps or copied in code. There's also the fact that some processes in software can just really be done in one optimum way.

      This is a good reason software should not be considered "published", hence copyrightable, unless the source code exists in some human-readable means in some organization outside of the "software publisher" (who truly publishes nothing), a place the courts could seriously look at as proof of the existance.

      A way that might serve as a valid stopgap would be the generation of an MD5 hash of each source file and submitting that to some trusted agency (Library of congress?) for another digital signature and timestamp to be added, proving the date of creation to some legal standard so that these allegations could be backed with proof. We'd know the plaintext was validly signed by the LOC and that it existed at the time alleged to.
    • "The Linux community would have me publish it now, (so they can have it) laundered by the time we can get to a court hearing. That's not the way we're going to go."

      Is he arguing the "linux community" is somehow going to make millions of copies of older versions of the kernel source on the various squillions of CD-ROM's out there disppear so SCO can't prove its case? Or is he worried that any piece of code allegedly pinched from UnixWare can have its functionality duplicated so quickly that the arguments

  • by Thaidog ( 235587 ) <slashdot753 AT nym DOT hush DOT com> on Friday May 02, 2003 @12:57AM (#5859838)
    The good thing is that right now you can run linux on IBM's zSeries, AS/400, RISC6000,... all the way down to a PDA. It's no joke to say that there is alot of money about to be made... That's the real reasonb for this suit...
  • More News... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KoolDude ( 614134 ) on Friday May 02, 2003 @12:59AM (#5859847)

    Here [com.com] is another CNet article on what SCO Group Chief Executive Darl McBride thinks on this issue. From the article,

    "We're finding...cases where there is line-by-line code in the Linux kernel that is matching up to our UnixWare code," McBride said in an interview

    Interesting... eh? :)
    • Re:More News... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ami Ganguli ( 921 ) on Friday May 02, 2003 @01:06AM (#5859883) Homepage

      Yeah, I thought that was interesting too. Given the limited availability of SCO code, I can think of two explanations that are much more likely:

      • both SCO and Linux developers studied the BSD code
      • the SCO code was (perhaps accidentally) stolen from Linux

      Anyway, if I had discovered that my proprietary software product contained GPL code, I'd discretely try to replace my code, since I'd have much more to lose from legal action. If somebody can prove that SCO stole GPL code, it might be possible to force them to GPL their entire kernel.

      • Re:More News... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by geschild ( 43455 ) on Friday May 02, 2003 @04:56AM (#5860530) Homepage

        Now there's a defence worth contemplating: it's far easier to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that certain code existed in Linux at some point in time than it is to prove the same for a closed pieces of software. This works both ways: the closed source owners can show it was in an open source repository but will they be able to prove it was in their repository before that?

        There's an oportunity for a countersuit based on breaking the GPL in there somewhere...

      • by dmaxwell ( 43234 ) on Friday May 02, 2003 @07:48AM (#5860932)
        The GPL is not some Evil Overlord's World Destroying Superweapon. GPL violation is copyright violation. Even if there is some language in the GPL concerning penalties for violation, it is up to a judge to set the penalty. The judge has more options than "make them GPL the whole thing". He could restrain distribution altogether. The violator could be made to pay for an alternative license to the code he's using. He could even be made to pay damages and to reimplement the code in question. Like any copyright violation, the Court will want to put an end to it. There's more than one way for them to do it.

        Incidentally, discretely replacing such code may not necessarily work. A whistleblower could whip out a tainted code tree. Your developers might screw up and leave debugging symbols in old binaries. It would not be hard to prove in court that a sanitized code tree did not create a binary in dispute. The court may well see a code tree as business records to which the rules of evidence apply. "So Mr. Project Co-Ordinator, where is the source code that produced the exhibit in question?"

        Yeah, getting the GPL stuff out your code tree would be a good idea. There's no ironclad way to prove it was never there.
    • As long as they don't present evidence to back up that statement they have zero credibility.
    • by f0rt0r ( 636600 ) on Friday May 02, 2003 @01:23AM (#5859968)
      I found the code that matches up exactly, the top five matches are ( drum roll )

      5) for ( int x=0;x lt 10;x++)
      4) while ( x lt 10 ) {
      3) #include stdio.h
      2) #include math.h
      1) int main( String args[] )

      Number 1) shows up in every .cpp file! Linux developers will pay for this blatant violation of SCO's IP rights!

      Note: for some reason the board wigged out with greater than and less than signes, so I had to leave those out. lt = less than
      • by localghost ( 659616 ) <dleblanc@gmail.com> on Friday May 02, 2003 @01:54AM (#5860073)
        None of those show up in my C++ code.

        for 5, I use "for (int x=0;x<10;x++)" (I removed spaces)
        for 4, I use "while (x<10)" (spaces again)
        for 3, I use "#include <stdio.h>" (yours will produce an error)
        for 2, I use "#include <math.h>" (again, error)
        for 1, I use "int main(int argc, char *argv[])" (I've never seen the syntax you used)

        Oh, and to make the < sign, you need to escape it with "&lt;".
      • '<' and '>' obviouly won't show up as such because they start and end html tags. Type "&lt;" to put a '<' sign in your post.
      • Let me clue you in. The "<", ">", and "&" signs all have significance in HTML. Comments on /. are HTML. You must use "entities" for these characters.

        Here are the substitutions:

        &lt; equals <
        &gt; equals >
        &amp; equals &

        Use those next time and reach comment nirvana!

        Otherwise, I like your post very much. Very funny.
    • I found line by line code in UnixWare that matches the linux kernel...those thieving bastards. No I will not show you what it is.
    • Re:More News... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ultrabot ( 200914 )
      "We're finding...cases where there is line-by-line code in the Linux kernel that is matching up to our UnixWare code," McBride said in an interview

      What's also interesting, is that since SCO has shipped Linux kernel, they are accepting that it is ok. So if this hypothetical code exists, they gave it away.

      I also wish to enclose the obligatory "fuck off and die, SCO", now that we are on the topic.
      • Re:More News... (Score:2, Insightful)

        by SN74S181 ( 581549 )
        The theory is that SCO shipped Linux kernel with the infracting code in it, so now they magically can't own that code, even though they weren't the party that put the infracting code in. But if they were unaware at the time that the infracting code was in it, it's ludicrous to claim they suddenly have surrendered portions of their code base.

        People really need to be careful regarding logical handwaving tricks like that. There are PHBs out there who might actually believe your theories; they'll pitch ALL
        • Re:More News... (Score:3, Interesting)

          by boots@work ( 17305 )
          Let's further assume that Company E released the product to User X under the GPL, before realizing that it included code they didn't mean to release.

          There are really two issues here: is company D's behaviour tortious? And is X still allowed to use the product under the GPL?

          Clearly, D is in trouble, and they had better make damn sure they educate and control their programmers better in future. Their problems are not really particular to the GPL. D would have a similar problem if a programmer copied in a
        • Re:More News... (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Hellkitten ( 574820 )

          But if they were unaware at the time that the infracting code was in it, it's ludicrous to claim they suddenly have surrendered portions of their code base.

          But afaik they still ship it. To be taken seriously they would have to stop distributing the kernel, or make one where all the parts (they think) they have claims on are removed. (Which would make it easy to just do a diff against a real kernel, see what the alleged infringements are, and then laugh in SCO's face.) When they keep distributing code un

    • Re:More News... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by nathanh ( 1214 ) on Friday May 02, 2003 @04:32AM (#5860474) Homepage

      "We're finding...cases where there is line-by-line code in the Linux kernel that is matching up to our UnixWare code," McBride said in an interview

      Interesting... eh? :)

      Not just interesting. It's bloody hilarious! The reasonable conclusion is not that Linux has appropriated SCO code, but rather that SCO has appropriated Linux code. This means McBride is about to demonstrate - in a court of law - that SCO violated the GPL. What a maroon!

  • by mj01nir ( 153067 ) * on Friday May 02, 2003 @12:59AM (#5859848)
    From a different CNet article about the lawsuit:

    "HP did a complete buyout of Unix licensing from SCO," HP spokesman Brian Garabedian said. "We have a perpetual license rather than per copy license for HP-UX...We don't believe we have any exposure to the SCO lawsuit."

    Sun, too, bought out its Unix license, said John Loiacono, vice president of Sun's operating platforms group.

    "We bought our Unix license out....We are unencumbered for all things," including Sun's version of Linux, he said.

    And then in the linked article:

    IBM did make one argument defending its use of Unix intellectual property, saying it has the "irrevocable, fully paid-up and perpetual right to use the 'proprietary software' that it is alleged to have misappropriated or misused."

    It sounds like IBM believes that they have "bought out" its license as well. So ...:

    1) Did SCO mislead IBM (and possibly HP, Sun, etc) with these license buyouts?
    2) Is SCO trying to make everyone forget about the license buyouts?
    3) Does SCO consider the buyouts invalid for some reason?

    The whole thing is just weird. SCO is done. Even if they win, no one will ever trust them again. They could produce an OS that whipped any commercial or OSS implementation, but no one would buy it. Had they attacked a smaller, but significant target first (Sun?) they might have had a chance at getting bought out. But with IBM, I don't think they will bother, they'll just crush SCO. They have unfathomable resources. IBM could even afford to lose the case. Sun couldn't.
    • Infoworld have a article [infoworld.com] on this case.

      Particularly interesting are IBM's positions regarding SCO's claims of ownership over Unix. For example, IBM disputes SCO's claims that Unix was originally developed by AT&T's Bell Laboratories; AT&T used to license Unix to other companies; AT&T licensed Unix to IBM; all commercial Unix flavors in use today are based on SCO's System V Unix technology; SCO owns the rights in and to all underlying, original Unix software code developed by AT&T Bell Labora

    • What about the GPL? (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Maybe those Unix license buyouts will protect Sun and HP against SCO's lawyers, but if their versions of Linux can't be redistributed freely then the GPL require that Sun and HP not distribute them at all.
  • Feh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BJH ( 11355 ) on Friday May 02, 2003 @01:00AM (#5859854)

    Has anyone else seen the comments McBride has been making lately? Here's some choice quotes from news.com.com.com.com's unbiased and uninflammatory article, "Code Red for open source? [com.com]":

    "We're finding...cases where there is line-by-line code in the Linux kernel that is matching up to our UnixWare code," McBride said in an interview.

    Please note that he has refused to release examples of this.

    In addition, he said, "We're finding code that looks likes it's been obfuscated to make it look like it wasn't UnixWare code--but it was."

    Please note that he has also refused to release examples of this, too.

    "The Linux community would have me publish it now, (so they can have it) laundered by the time we can get to a court hearing. That's not the way we're going to go."

    Yeah, that's a great excuse to not actually give any evidence of the accusations you're making - tell people that 'the Linux community' will try and sanitize every existing copy of the source code to all the versions of the kernel containing this supposed SCO source - which, he says, has been in the kernel for 'several years'! Perhaps he missed the bit where his lawyers briefed him on the GPL and how it lets anybody have a copy of the source code - including SCO itself! Is he really suggesting that SCO lacks the ability to keep a copy of all currently extant versions of the Linux kernel to use as evidence? F'chrissakes, the md5 checksums of Linus's kernels are public knowledge - if anybody tried to 'sanitize' a particular version, it'd be ridiculously easy to prove that it'd been changed since its original release.

    "This is not about 10 lines of code, it's about 20 years of extremely valuable intellectual property we're trying to protect...Am I supposed to lie down and not say anything about it?" McBride said. "There's a certain point here where you stand up for what's right and let the chips fall where they will."

    Gotta love that last line... McBride wouldn't know "what's right" if it came up and bit his ass.

    I can't even begin to express my disgust for a company that insults, intimidates and sues the very people who have made it possible for SCO to distribute their own version of Linux. Crawl away and disappear, McBride - you're a liar and you know it.

    • Re:Feh. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The Linux community would have me publish it now, (so they can have it) laundered by the time we can get to a court hearing. That's not the way we're going to go.

      This is such a bonehead statement, I blinked twice when I read it. After all, Linux being open source, every revision of the source code is readily available. You could not simply "launder" this away unless you somehow manage to destroy every source code distribution of linux in existence that has ever been burned onto a CD, backed up onto tap
    • We're finding...cases where there is line-by-line code in the Linux kernel that is matching up to our UnixWare code
      And where's the proof SCO (or some programmer there) didn't use the GPLed code of Linux, and shove it into their own sorry excuse of an OS??? According to the GPL, they can do this all day long as long as they release their changes back. But who's to say, some young, enterprising programmer at SCO didn't get stuck with some piece of SCO kernel code he could not get working right, so he 'bo
    • McBride is also my last name. Every time I read a post that puts it in such a negative light, I resolve to kick this particular McBride once more in the Jimmy with steel toed work boots.

      I really hate having my name dragged through the mud by an ethics-devoid fuckwit.
  • by Lord_Dweomer ( 648696 ) on Friday May 02, 2003 @01:02AM (#5859867) Homepage
    Does ANYBODY else wish that we could get some amusing graphical depiction of all the patent/legal nonsense thats been going on lately? I can think of a few different visualizations.....such as a small nest of black ants (SCO) being attacked by a massive bird-killing colony of army ants (IBMs legal team). I would be extremely grateful for any such graphical representations of these kinds of things.

  • Any evidence yet? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FFtrDale ( 521701 ) on Friday May 02, 2003 @01:03AM (#5859870)
    Last I heard, IBM was asking SCO to state specifically what code they were alleging that IBM had used, and IBM had gotten no answer. Today's story still has IBM describing SCO's allegations as "unsupported." If the nice folks at SCO can't back up their claims, are they just betting that the effect of the news stories on their business ("no bad publicity") will be greater than the losses they'll take for filing a frivolous lawsuit? What am I missing here?
  • by evronm ( 530821 )

    You had to figure SCO's real motive was to get IBM to buy them in order to avoid the lawsuit.

    I was really hoping that, rather than do this, IBM would sue SCO into oblivion. It's quite gratifying to see it actually happen.

    Woo hoo!

  • If SCO brings in RIAA, half the lawsuit will have "copyright infringement violation" in it and the lawsuit will go in the quadrillions.
  • by zurab ( 188064 ) on Friday May 02, 2003 @01:09AM (#5859895)
    That there is the SCO reply [com.com] saying that they have hired consultants and found major code duplications between UnixWare and Linux, although they will not release the information about what parts of code they are talking about that has been duplicated. Article also quotes SCO's Darl McBride:

    "We feel very good about the evidence that is going to show up in court. We will be happy to show the evidence we have at the appropriate time in a court setting."

    I hope they are bluffing, or IBM will just buy SCO out and be done with it.
  • Who stole from who? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by FullCircle ( 643323 )
    With SCO being closed source, who is to say that SCO didn't steal Linux code and then claim the opposite?

    How do you defend against ANY closed source project doing the same?

    It would be a very scary tactic that could kill OSS.

    • Simple, SCO is saying they wrote it and own, fine lets see proof you code was out before Linux.
      The accusor should bear burdon of proof.

      If they can not do that, then I fail to see how they can prove there accusations, short of a confession from a kernel programmer.

      Dear SCO,
      For 10,000,000 I will be your snitch^H^H^H^H^H^H Expert witness.

      Yes, 10,000,000 is my sell out price, Whats yours?
  • by Viv ( 54519 ) on Friday May 02, 2003 @01:34AM (#5859997)
    Out of curiousity, has anyone ever considered the possibility of a group of people individually filing a claim in small claims court against a company that is doing something they don't like?

    In this case, for example, what if we could mobilize a few thousand people who use Linux professionally to sue SCO for slander? Professionals who use Linux are risking their reputation on it; SCO saying that Linux uses stolen code reflects badly on the professional. If what SCO is saying is untrue, that's slander and is in fact causing damages, yes?

    Now, here's the trick -- if 5000 professionals who are effected by this in the USA were to file claims in small claims court of say, $1000, then SCO would have to simultaneously defend 5000 cases, or risk losing $5 million in damages.

    What kind of effect do you think that would have on a company of SCO's size? Catastrophic, I'd think. And what's nice is that since they're impuning our professional judgment without providing any truth, we should have a cause of action.

    If this is doable, this could be a serious way for a large community such as the free software community to show extreme displeasure with companies that do stuff like this, and for it to really count.

    Any lawyers or anyone with professional knowledge out there that can comment?
  • Cheap trik. (Score:3, Informative)

    by shankariyer ( 586055 ) on Friday May 02, 2003 @01:37AM (#5860009)
    This is the most cheapest way to try to earn money. SCO can't stand up to themselves to come up with good product, so they found the most ugliest route to get money. Kudos SCO !

    Ok - so you've unix' IP, so what ? What have you done with it. Hybernate and wait for unix to hatch by itself and pour money on you. Come on...

    SCO's real purpose is not prove Linux' authenticity, its just a cheap trick to earn money( if they're going to get a dime ). Besides, I hope folks in M$ should be very happy tonight, laughing and feel as if they've got something for their bait...

    Time will tell as who is the real beneficiary is... FUD over Linux at this point - I won't say is bad, because we don't know as how it spins out but it certainly will be a bump in this superfast drive.
  • Yeah! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Friday May 02, 2003 @01:51AM (#5860064)
    IBM's gonna defend Linux. This was the only thing I was worried about, that IBM would cut a deal with SCO and leave linux users out in the cold. Now that IBM's going to defend itself (and by extention linux) SCO is pretty much done for. I'm really looking forward to that company going bankrupt after what they said about Redhat and Suse.
  • Taken from paragraph 82 of the lawsuit filed by SCO against IBM.

    Prior to IBM's involvement, Linux was the software equivalent of a bicycle. UNIX was the software equivalent of a luxury car. To make Linux of necessary quality for use by enterprise customers, it must be re-designed so that Linux also becomes the software equivalent of a luxury car. This re-design is not technologically feasible or even possible at the enterprise level without (1) a high degree of design coordination, (2) access to expensiv
  • This what Apple did of Microsoft... Now lets see, take a sys V UNIX and linux console and place them side by side. Now type: uname touch SCO ls cat SCO > /dev/null rm SCO mmm, works the same... If it quacks like a duck, it must be a duck ! I think they could win this hands down ! Now if I give up programming and take up corporate copyright law, I think I will be rich.. Rob. "For Every Pleasure There's a Tax"
  • by ssimpson ( 133662 ) <slashdot.samsimpson@com> on Friday May 02, 2003 @02:40AM (#5860214) Homepage

    I like Christoph Hellwig's (ex-Caldera employee) comments on the Linux Kernel Mailing List 02 May 2003 06:44, in part:

    "It might be more interesting to look for stolen Linux code in Unixware, I'd suggest with the support for a very well known Linux fileystem in the Linux compat addon product for UnixWare.."

    Let's hope the FSF sue SCO for infringement of the GPL. For a billion dollars. I'm sure IBM lawyers would lend a helping hand! ;)


  • What ever happened at the PLUG [plug.org] April meeting where we were told [slashdot.org] they would be interviewing SCO with our questions that were submitted?

    Anybody have any idea what happened at the meeting or have a transcript from the questioning?

    Their mailing list doesn't seem to have much mention of it.
  • by akorvemaker ( 617072 ) on Friday May 02, 2003 @02:58AM (#5860251) Homepage
    Just curious. It seems that all the comments revolve around how SCO is stupid and wrong and greedy and dumb and soon to be extinct.

    What if they're not. What if they do have a genuine grievance. I'm not trying to be a troll or flamebait, just honestly curious. What impact would this have on GNU/Linux? Would people honor SCO's claims if they're proven right?
  • Very confusing! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by minkwe ( 222331 ) on Friday May 02, 2003 @04:27AM (#5860461) Journal
    "We're finding...cases where there is line-by-line code in the Linux kernel that is matching up to our UnixWare code," McBride said in an interview.

    "In an e-mail discussion that took place 24 and 25 April, SCO-Caldera Senior Vice President Chris Sontag told MozillaQuest Magazine [mozillaquest.com] that there is SCO-owned code in Red Hat and SuSE Linux distributions. He also told MozillaQuest Magazine that the tainted code is not in the Linux kernel that Linus [Torvalds] and others have helped develop. We're talking about what's on the periphery of the Linux kernel.

  • GNU/LinOS (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AYEq ( 48185 ) <dmmonarres@nOSPaM.gmail.com> on Friday May 02, 2003 @04:35AM (#5860478)
    It is times like this when I wish that Stallman et. al and linus didn't mess with *NIX. Really it seems that if you touch *NIX at all you are just waiting for a court battle.

    Of course then "GNU's not Unix" wouldn't have such a ironic twist :)

    ps. I love linux,bsd and really only use *NIX based systems, but it is really hard to find an organization that hasn't been sued over it's history with unix.
  • by scottme ( 584888 ) on Friday May 02, 2003 @05:05AM (#5860546)
    IBM has a comprehensive and stricly-enforced internal set of guidelines that any employee who works on OSS projects, whether on IBM's time or on his/her own time, must read, understand, and certify compliance with. It's a condition of employment, even. And there's an approval process that must be used (and I quote):
    whenever an IBM group wants to:

    • start or join an OSS project with the intention of contributing code to the project and/or maintaining the code base;
    • include third party OSS with an IBM product or service;
    • ship some or all of an IBM product in source code form under an open source license;
    • publish the source code for a reference implementation.


    IANAL, but it seems to me that there must be a defensive line against the SCO suit in the mere fact that it has promulgated that policy. Of course the existence of the policy is no guarantee that it is going to be adhered to 100%, but in the (unlikely) event that SCO is able to establish that some illegal copying of their material did take place, the corporation can hold its hands up and ask what more it could have done to prevent it.
  • by valisk ( 622262 ) on Friday May 02, 2003 @05:54AM (#5860622) Homepage Journal
    Once a producer of a reasonable Linux, which with a little polishing could have been a contender, buy out a crippled and dying Unix House and procede to give themselves a blood transfusion from the probably dead Sco, then they put on his clothes and begin talking, what they think is Unix talk.
    I'll sue your ass etc.
    Make claims about source code, which as itself is unpatentable (are 'Caldera' suggesting they own the 'do while' loop?, due it's reusability and the fact that there are only so many ways to do things, and that any programmers will probably come up with the same thing from time to time on a totally independant basis.

    Caldera's claim that their source has somehow ended up in the Kernel of various companies is debatable particularly the comments about 'obfuscated code' which is a way of saying that the code in question bares no resemablance to their code at all, other than it was written using the same programming language and perfoms a similar function.

    It really is all about the money, Caldera had no involvement in the original creation of the Intellectual property and have no moral right to lecture the world on how sad it is when such property is debased, dressing up as Sco and pretending to be Sco won't change anything here.
    I've no doubt the original angle was for a buyout but now we've got to the point where it is abundantly clear that IBM have no intention at all of buying them the game is up, and so Caldera/Sco will become a shell of a company file for Chap 11 and fire all it's staff, hire a few lawyers instead and float along with whatever cash they have left until they sink, then somebody will buy the Unix IP at a firesale price, hopefully they will cast it into the public domain lest it corrupt any other mortals.

  • by dsplat ( 73054 ) on Friday May 02, 2003 @09:26AM (#5861366)
    There is little chance that they can win this. IANAL, so I can't speak to the question of whether their claims have a chance in court. I could argue the point of whether they make sense, but I don't want to get involved in that.

    However, IBM has the resources and the motivation to fight this. SCO's market cap is a whole lot less than IBM's investment in, and presumably revenue from, open source software. From a business perspective, it would make sense for IBM to buy SCO and release the patents to the open source community. If winning this fight would cost them more, they can do that. If winning it costs less, they can fight it and effectively disarm SCO.

    I think within a short time what we are going to see is that open source software will effectively become very safe from lawsuits. The day is coming when it will be a safe bet to use open source because you will know that it has already survived these attacks.
  • by SysKoll ( 48967 ) on Friday May 02, 2003 @10:10AM (#5861610)

    It is a little known fact, but IBM released an x86 version of its Unix-like AIX operating system in the early 90s.

    I still remember installing the umpteen diskettes on a powerful 386 with 16 MB of RAM and almost 200 MB of free HD space, whooo! The performace was, err, disappointing. Mostly due to the underpowered PCs of the time. But it worked.

    So IBM didn't need SCO's help to release an X86 Unix.

    -- SysKoll

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