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SCO Terminates IBM's Unix License 1065

AKAImBatman writes "SCO has terminated IBM's license to use Unix code. SCO is filing for an injunction that will require IBM to cease all sale of AIX as well as accrue damages for each day IBM continues to sell AIX."
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SCO Terminates IBM's Unix License

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  • Insanity! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jmorris42 ( 1458 ) * <> on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:30PM (#6216064)
    I can't believe they are this stupid! How can they possibly claim that
    IBM customers are operating without a valid license? SCO does not
    dispute that IBM possessed a valid license up through the end of Fri 13.
    So any copies that IBM sold before that date are perfectly legal licenses.

    Any court that even takes any other legal theory seriously will destroy
    the entire US economy by creating uncertainty in ALL sub-licensed IP.
    And I have just enough faith remaining in the US legal system to believe
    that the judge will be bright enough to see the can of legal Whoop-Ass SCO is asking them to open.
    • by cHiphead ( 17854 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:34PM (#6216126)
      i can feel it in the air... IBM is coming for those m'er f'ers and the aftermath will NOT be pretty. This will be like watching a squad of musketeers defend vs. 10 megaton nuke.
    • by Dark Paladin ( 116525 ) * <jhummel@joh[ ] ['nhu' in gap]> on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:36PM (#6216165) Homepage
      I think the big issue in question is all "future sales of AIX". That's the kicker - if IBM can't make new sales of the product, that will be as damaging to their reputation and product line as anything else out there.

      That is, of course, unless a judge does something like this:

      Judge: So, um, SCO, you're claiming IBM stole your code, right?

      SCO: Yes, and we will defend our intellectual property to the ends of the earth, to the moon and back, to the universe -

      Judge: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, can we see this source code?

      SCO: Um, well, if we showed it to you, you might steal it as well.

      Judge: Huh?

      SCO: You're in it too - we know it! How much did IBM pay you to betray us?

      Judge: Are you on drugs? I just want to see the supposed code theft -

      SCO: Master betrayed us! No - Judge is our friend! Nobody's our friend!

      Judge: Case dismissed.

      Microsoft: But - but we licensed the code.

      SCO: (Holding legal documents.) Our presssssciousssss....
      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:44PM (#6216290)
        If nobody explains it in a LOTR context, I just don't get it.

      • Re:Future licenses (Score:5, Informative)

        by Drathos ( 1092 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:56PM (#6216473)
        If you check out the article here [], you'll see that SCO isn't just claiming future sales are unlicensed.
        SCO said that the termination of the AIX license means that all IBM Unix customers also have no license to use the software. "This termination not only applies to new business by IBM, but also existing copies of AIX that are installed at all customer sites. All of it has to be destroyed," Sontag said.
        SCO is claiming that everyone, everywhere has to destroy their copies of AIX. I hope, for everyone's sake, that IBMs claims about the license being irrevocable are true.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 16, 2003 @05:13PM (#6216710)
          Having used AIX from version 1.0 I can say
          that destroying all copies is not necessarily
          a bad thing.
        • Re:Future licenses (Score:5, Interesting)

          by ajs ( 35943 ) <ajs.ajs@com> on Monday June 16, 2003 @05:37PM (#6217023) Homepage Journal
          Ok, IANALBIJTTO (I am not a lawyer, but I just talked to one) about this, and here's the scoop, which is kind of obvious if you think about it:

          SCO can do this if, and only if
          • They own the original rights
          • They have allowed for revocation in the license
          • They have allowed for revocation of any and all sub-licenses in the agreement as well
          So, you see the mold is already cast here. It's all in the license, and who owns the rights. The question is, what are the exact terms of the license, and can IBM get out of those terms on the basis of the capricious damage to their business or other grounds?

          I'm not a lawyer, this is a lawyer friend't assesment based on very little info and then translated through me, so take it with a grain of salt. But I think the general idea that SCO could not revoke the sub-licenses due to the damage to the market (as someone suggested) would be kind of moot, since SCO only has to demonstrate that THIS agreement allows such. Of course, IBM would be foolish to have allowed such a thing....
        • Re:Future licenses (Score:5, Informative)

          by Jim Hall ( 2985 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @05:59PM (#6217284) Homepage

          {from article} SCO said that the termination of the AIX license means that all IBM Unix customers also have no license to use the software. "This termination not only applies to new business by IBM, but also existing copies of AIX that are installed at all customer sites. All of it has to be destroyed," Sontag said.

          I think the courts will disagree with SCO. The term to apply here is called estoppel [], which basically means that they can't retroactively change the terms of your license. IANAL. SCO can deny further use of the UNIX license to IBM for AIX, but that doesn't mean the copies of AIX that I am using now will in any way are "invalid".

    • I guess this is what Schumpter meant by Creative Destruction.

      It would of course be better if SCO is destroyed, but if IBM needs to be destroyed SO BE IT !!

      I am all for a good fight !!!

      P.S. I just hope Linux-spirit does not get destroyed in the uncertainity that will be spawned. What can uncertainity do? Just ask Alan Greenspan.

  • by matt4077 ( 581118 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:30PM (#6216070) Homepage
    IBM has terminated sco's licence to live
  • the article (Score:5, Funny)

    by smoondog ( 85133 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:31PM (#6216086)
    LINDON, Utah, Jun 16, 2003 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- The SCO(R) Group (SCO) (SCOX) , a leading provider of business software solutions ...

    I think whomever wrote this press release needs to do his/her research better...

  • by ceswiedler ( 165311 ) * <> on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:32PM (#6216093)
    I'm shocked. Absolutely shocked. Why didn't they give notice? Why didn't all of the major news sources, including Slashdot, report this was coming? Never in my wildest dreams did I think that SCO would ever do something so reprehensible. I was just about to purchase OpenServer!

    I depend on Slashdot to give me some advance warning, preferably several weeks worth of daily articles with 500 posts, so that I'm not blindsided by issues like this.
  • by pizen ( 178182 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:32PM (#6216099)
    I can see the army of lawyers in blue suits gearing up for battle right now.
  • by psyconaut ( 228947 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:32PM (#6216102)
    I think SCO are playing a dangerous game. IBM are a formidible opponent, even if they've had the wind knocked out their sales in recent years.

    Plus, it would probably be a smart thing(tm) for SCO to publicly state what IBMs so-called infrigement is now that they're proceeding with directed action.

    Don't get me wroing, I don't love AIX by any stretch of the imagination ;-) But this is starting to seem like the technology equivalent of Days of our Lives or something!

  • Injunction Filed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by idiotnot ( 302133 ) * <> on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:33PM (#6216117) Homepage Journal
    Whether the court will grant it or not is another matter entirely.

    If IBM believes the license is perpetural, and the injunction is granted, IBM will file a counter claim for breach of contract, probably for the same amount of daily damages.

    This means nothing. It's just more grandstanding.
  • Damages? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Masque ( 20587 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:34PM (#6216121)
    I wonder if this means I'm entitled to damages for every day I've been forced to use AIX.

    I mean, c'mon, there's at least as much legal ground to stand on, and at least I can call my psychologist as a witness....
  • If SCO is seeking an injunction, does that mean they would have to prove to a judge that there is sufficient evidence for such an injunction? And if they do happen to convince a judge...

    Well, better that IBM be the one to take on SCO rather than a group of Linux volunteers or users.

    I just hope IBM doesn't cave. They've shown incredible lack of backbone in the past when push came to shove (OS/2 backing out of desktop market anyone?), let's just hope this isn't one of those times.
    • by DutchSter ( 150891 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @05:07PM (#6216631)
      If SCO is seeking an injunction, does that mean they would have to prove to a judge that there is sufficient evidence for such an injunction? And if they do happen to convince a judge...

      What's interesting is that they are seeking a permanent injunction. Such an animal is generally part of the "punishment" phase. Seeking a permanent injunction now is part of the legal process to say that IF I WIN THE CASE, I want them to stop forever. I think it's interesting that they have not gone for the TEMPORARY injunction that they said they would. A TRO is typically issued before the whole case gets underway and expires at some phase of the trial.

      In order to be granted a TRO, you must show that not only will you be harmed if the action continues, but that the harm will be direct and irreparable and that you have a reasonably high probability of proving your case. Without being able to prove irreparable harm, judges generally like to maintain the status quo until the whole thing is sorted out.

      From my experience in the legal field, if they grant their opponent 100 days to "Fix it up", they would have a higher burden of proof to say that they are being irreparably harmed as each day goes by than if they filed suit right away. A judge is more likely to look at this case and say "Well, you might be harmed somewhat, assuming your allegations are true, but you put up well enough for three months, another two months to sort this out probably won't be irreparable. Motion denied"

      Consider another use of TROs: battered women are generally granted TROs after a domestic dustup the night of, or the following morning. Such matters are so urgent that they cannot be delayed even a day. Giving someone 100 days to clean up just seems to show that you can tolerate it better than you would otherwise admit.
  • by MORTAR_COMBAT! ( 589963 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:34PM (#6216131)
    ... the most masturbatory press release I have EVER read. SCO sure loves itself.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:34PM (#6216133)
    The slashblurb has phrased this poorly. SCO did not terminate IBM's UNIX License. SCO stated that they had terminated IBM's UNIX License. There is a difference.

    I could issue a press release saying that i had used my magical powers to turn Bill Gates into a toad, but that would not automatically make it true.
  • Jar Jar? (Score:4, Funny)

    by nightsweat ( 604367 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:35PM (#6216143)
    I feel like Jar Jar Binks was manipulated into proposing the lawsuit to SCO so that Gates could start the UNIX clone wars and take over as Darth Corporate.
  • by Shuasha ( 564968 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:35PM (#6216145)
    In the red corner, we have a 130 lb mental midget with nothing in his bag of tricks. In the blue corner, we have a 1200 lb gorilla with a nice suit on.
    Let's get it .... doh, it's over. :)
    • by Platinum Dragon ( 34829 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @05:09PM (#6216654) Journal
      I appreciate all the jokes about David vs. Goliath, with people cheering for Goliath, but I have to wonder why IBM hasn't taken the opportunity to annihilate SCO's case by now. Are the lawyers just waiting for this thing to reach a courtoom to unleash the legal nuclear weapons? Are they waiting to spring a nasty surprise on SCO, like proof that the code in question is really BSD, or even GPL? Do the charges really have merit, and the legal team is just buying time to figure out a way to extricate the company unscathed?

      Seriously, Big Blue's been strangely dormant on this. What gives? For one thing, the reputation of Linux--a codebase that IBM's banking a big chunk of money on--is at stake.
  • by myowntrueself ( 607117 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:35PM (#6216151)
    I love the way the article describes SCO as;
    "a leading provider of business software solutions"

    Lets just redefine 'leading' shall we?

    Where i work we are very seriously working towards ridding our machine room of SCO forever.

    To this end, I'm taking suggestions as to innovative and torturous ways to take a SCO Unixware box down.

    Note; we will be putting Linux on the boxes after SCO is removed, so please, no suggestions that involve damage to the hardware.
  • by BurritoWarrior ( 90481 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:36PM (#6216159)
    Does SCO realize how many HUGE companies use AIX? I mean they MUST, right?

    *SCO walks into court clerk*
    SCO: "We would like to sue a corporation today."
    Clerk: "Which One?"
    SCO: "All of them".
    *clerk collapses onto floor*

    • by Cid Highwind ( 9258 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:47PM (#6216351) Homepage
      Clerk: Sorry, but we keep all of our briefs, filings, dockets and other paperwork in an Oracle database on a big Aix server. Thanks to your licensing shenanigans we're not allowed to use that anymore, so I'm afraid you'll just have to wait while we drag all the old typewriters and filing cabinets up from storage!
      SCO: You bastards! I'm holding this court liable for damages every minute that our filings are delayed.
      Clerk: While you're waiting, you should reformat your 40,000 page complaint and 1,100 page briefs from MS word files to typed paped documents. We need those in triplicate, so you might want to send one of your lawyers out for carbon paper.
  • by renard ( 94190 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:36PM (#6216163)
    CNET also has an extensive interview with SCO CEO Darl McBride [], who is now claiming that there are "hundreds of thousands of lines" of infringing code in Linux. Choice quote: "The world seems to be divided into two camps - those that respect intellectual property and those that don't." I guess the only question then is: Which side is SCO on? []


    • by Ami Ganguli ( 921 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:48PM (#6216355) Homepage

      They're using an extremely broad definition of "derived". From that interview it's finally clear what they're trying to claim.

      They're saying that they have rights to any technology that any Unix company ever added to Unix. So the JFS, for example, which was added by IBM to their Unix derivative, can't be added by IBM to any other software (including OS/2 I suppose, which is where the Linux version actually came from).

      I really doubt that IBM was stupid enough to sign something that broad. In fact, it would be far more viral than the GPL. If I incorporate my proprietary code into GPLd software, I can still retain copyright to the code and continue to use it in my own projects. Apparently not so with SysV code.

    • by joncarwash ( 600744 ) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `segdohwnahtanoj'> on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:59PM (#6216523) Homepage

      In the various interviews and statements that have come out of SCO over the past few months, there has definitely been some conflicting information. In this most recent interview, I find a number of things peculiar, but this is what jumps out at me first:

      When we take a top-tier view of the amount of code showing up inside of Linux today that is either directly related to our Unix System 5 that we directly own or is related to one of our flavors of Unix that we have derivative works rights over--we don't necessarily own those flavors, but we have control rights over how that information gets disseminated--the amount is substantial. We're not talking about just lines of code; we're talking about entire programs. We're talking about hundred of thousands of lines of code.

      Note how he says "entire programs"; the basis of the complaint is that code was copied into the Linux kernel. Apparently they are also claiming that some GNU tools and other programs are also "copied." From what I understand of the initial press releases, SCO was suing over certain multi-processor related functions of the kernel which apparently came out of Project Monterey, which IBM and SCO were a part of.

      He does state in the interview that this is a lawsuit for breach of contract with IBM, and not copyright or patent infringement.

      And when we filed against IBM, we chose to not even talk about copyrights.

      So, it is interesting that he is proposing taking Linux distributors (Red Hat, SuSE, etc.) and possibly other Linux users to court as well. If they are not on solid ground suing IBM over copyright infringement, how are they going to manage to sue all of the linux distributors and users on the planet for copyright infringement - since these distributors and users never had any contract with SCO.

      For a final major thought, all of this "copied code" is appearing in both Sys V and Linux.. where does BSD come into play? Could the code from both places have been taken from BSD? Of course with the terms of the NDA that SCO makes you sign, I am sure that you couldn't compare the Sys V code to BSD, only Linux.

      PS: Why hasn't someone run the Sys V and Linux code through a copied code detector program (like some college professors use to stop code copying on assignments). Obviously this would be a much larger scale project, but if SCO's UnixWare has such great multi-processor capabilities, they should be able to figure something out. And if there is so much copied code, it should be no problem to find it using this program. Show us the stats, at least.

    • by the melon ( 89066 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @05:36PM (#6217010)
      Aparently he is not that good at math either....

      "--if you look at the marketplace over the last two years, there've been 2 million servers shipped into the market. Our UnixWare price tag of $1,500 would have generated $3.5 billion in revenue for us."

      By my count that would be 3 billion if they had a 100% market share. But considering their share is about 2%, from all the numbers I have read, that would leave them with a rather generous $6 million.
  • by saden1 ( 581102 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:36PM (#6216168)
    I hear SCO's war drums beating but I don't see any troops. Could they be hiding? I doubt it but their commanders seem to think that beating drums louder will scare of the "enemy."

    I'll just grab some popcorn and hope this will be as entertaining as advertised. SCO, put on a good show will you.
  • by Frac ( 27516 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:37PM (#6216173)
    The SCO(R) Group (SCO), a leading provider of business software solutions...

    should be:

    The SCO(R) Group (SCO), a leading provider of frivolous lawsuits...


    About SCO

    The SCO Group helps millions of customers in more than 82 countries to grow their businesses everyday. Headquartered in Lindon, Utah, SCO has a worldwide network of more than 11,000 resellers and 8,000 developers. SCO Global Services provides reliable localized support and services to partners and customers. For more information on SCO products and services, visit .

    should be:

    About SCO

    The SCO Group helps several SCO executives in USA grow their declining SCO stock value everyday. Headquartered in Lindon, Utah, SCO has a worldwide network of more than 11,000 lawyers and 8,000 pending lawsuits. SCO Global Services provides reliable Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt to Linux and IBM partners and customers. For more information on SCO lies, damn lies and lawsuits, visit

  • by chrysrobyn ( 106763 ) * on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:37PM (#6216175)
    SCO notified IBM on March 6, 2003 that it intended to terminate in 100 days, as required under the Software Agreement, as modified by a side letter, if IBM did not correct certain actions that violate the agreement. As of the deadline -- 12:00 midnight, June 13, 2003 -- IBM had not complied with SCO's request, which triggered the termination. The termination is self-effectuating.

    In order for IBM to be able to comply with certain actions, as I understand it, IBM would have to either:

    A) Stop selling AIX.

    B) Remove the offending code from Linux.

    In order to do A), well, IBM would have to give up. In order to do B), IBM would have to have a copy of what SCO thinks is the offending code, review it, engineer suitable replacements, and submit patches to Linus. I don't think Linus would necessarily have to accept it for IBM to prove that it has done all it could. But, I believe we've read before, SCO didn't want to share its violated code until last week or so. If IBM didn't have access to that until last week, SCO was asking IBM to take their word for it. Doesn't sound very legal to me.

    I've seen IBM work. Sometimes it's slow, but sometimes they can move a staff of 300k people so quickly the earth spins the other way. I've got to think that IBM has enough talent to replace many 60 line blocks and have them tested before 100 days had expired, if given a fair chance.

    Last night, I had convinced myself that I thought it was reasonable for IBM to be dual licensing code they had written. I'm still not sure SCO has proven IBM has liberated code, but if it had, and it was originally IBM's, why not allow it?

    By stating "IBM has clearly demonstrated its misuse of UNIX source code..." by "using UNIX methods to accelerate and improve Linux as a free operating system", is SCO saying that even if a completely disparate group of Unix virgin IBMers couldn't work on Linux without undermining the contract? That sounds awefully strict.

    • by cperciva ( 102828 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:46PM (#6216316) Homepage
      In order to do B), IBM would have to have a copy of what SCO thinks is the offending code...

      IBM *has* a copy of the offending code. IBM has had a copy of the System V source code for years now. Anyone with a copy of both Linux and System V can easily find which lines they have in common.
      • by chrysrobyn ( 106763 ) * on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:54PM (#6216448)
        IBM *has* a copy of the offending code. IBM has had a copy of the System V source code for years now. Anyone with a copy of both Linux and System V can easily find which lines they have in common.

        That's true only in the strictest sense of the word. SCO is alleging that IBM has made simple modifications to System V code and imported it to Linux. If this is the case, then a massive grepping party at IBM wouldn't reveal the offending code. You'd have to have an army of people sifting through tens or hundreds of megabytes code in order to find out what SCO is talking about. And how similar are we talking here? Where is the line between similar code [] that's similar because of illicit activity and similar code that's similar because it's the best approach drawn? If the scheduler is similar, perhaps that's because that's the best way to write a scheduler. It started out as very straightforward and based on academic works.

        I believe that SCO needs to be specific with the request, and any judgement against IBM needs to consider intent and practice. If a different team came up with the code, IBM shouldn't be liable. If SCO won't tell IBM what specific code is in question, IBM shouldn't be liable. If IBM legally

        dual-licensed the code that IBM wrote, IBM shouldn't be liable (key here is, does the SCO / IBM contract allow dual licensing?).
  • Pissing in the Well (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rossjudson ( 97786 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:38PM (#6216185) Homepage
    The real issue that's going to be litigated here is to what extent SCO can claim damages from another company if the infringement is tiny. The very best thing that SCO can muster, in this case, is that they've identified a subroutine or two that seem to be close or identifical to something they claim is their own code. Let's suppose that this is true. What effect does this small infringment have on the entirety of Linux? Can they claim that Linux is an infringing product when only a tiny part of it contains (arguably) any SCO code?

    The court is going to have to struggle with this part/whole issue. If I had to guess, I'd say that if it hit a jury, the jury would tend to be fairly absolute -- as in, you copied this tiny bit, so now you're liable for the whole thing. A judge is probably going to weight the infraction versus the whole.

    And I really don't know what the law is on this. Maybe a legal type can help us out here.
    • by MeanMF ( 631837 ) * on Monday June 16, 2003 @05:19PM (#6216805) Homepage
      The real issue that's going to be litigated here is to what extent SCO can claim damages from another company if the infringement is tiny. The very best thing that SCO can muster, in this case, is that they've identified a subroutine or two that seem to be close or identifical to something they claim is their own code.

      They're claming much more than that now - in a recent interview [] their CEO is now claiming the following:
      "We're not talking about just lines of code; we're talking about entire programs. We're talking about hundred of thousands of lines of code...We're talking about line-by-line code copying. That includes not just the function but the exact, word-for-word lines of code. And the developer comments are exactly, 100 percent the same."
  • zerg (Score:5, Funny)

    by Lord Omlette ( 124579 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:39PM (#6216205) Homepage
    Dear SCO,

    I would like some of what you are smoking. Please hook a brother up. Thanks in advance.
  • In related news... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by phathead296 ( 461366 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:40PM (#6216220) Homepage
    IBM's stock is up over 2% today while SCO's stock (SCOX) is down over 2%.

    Nice to see Wall Street react appropriately to this news.

  • I heard a common environmentalist tactic was to have a large number of individuals buy exactly one share of a corporation they disliked, then show up en mass at the shareholders meeting, (they cannot be refused entry as a shareholder) and liven up the party.
  • by eric76 ( 679787 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:43PM (#6216266)

    From gely_1.html:

    Without even knowing it, SCO may have started a war of attrition with much larger enemies that have deeper pockets. Within the halls at AT&T, folks were chattering just last week that AT&T still has reserved rights on Unix. Naturally, the company is paying close attention to the various legal claims that SCO is making and may join the battle soon. My spy said the word around AT&T is that this will all be resolved shortly. But one has to wonder how long SCO could survive if it had opponents in multiple courtrooms â" those being, of course, IBM and AT&T.

    I wonder what rights AT&T retained.

  • by gillbates ( 106458 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:43PM (#6216269) Homepage Journal

    Does anybody else get the impression that Big Blue is going to give SCO a bloody nose over this whole thing? I mean, come on, SCO! It should be obvious by now that IBM isn't going to buy you - they're going to sue you into bankruptcy, and then buy the rights to your code from your liquidators at a dirt cheap price.

    Someone needs to give SCO a clue.

  • It gets worse (Score:5, Informative)

    by mccormi ( 82688 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:43PM (#6216272) Homepage
    SCO is now claiming [] that they could possibly own the rights to most major OSs, including the *BSDs, OSX, and possibly even Microsofts OSs.
  • by SeanTobin ( 138474 ) <> on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:44PM (#6216281)
    Today IBM announced its filing of over 640 individual lawsuits against SCO.

    The lawsuits ranged from countersuits regarding breach of contract, to unfair business practices, to acting not in the best intersts of shareholders, polluting the marketplace, unfair business practices, and illegal distribution of copywrighted materials.

    IBM has also sent notices to the US and German attourney generals regarding SCO's breaches of international copyright treaties.

    In the same announcement, IBM has denied that it employs ships stationed in international waters to attack and board any ship carrying SCO property.

    On Tuesday, IBM plans to 'blacken the Utah sky' with paratrooping lawyers to persue the lawsuits.

    More information will be released after Tuesday's paradrop.
  • by jafac ( 1449 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:46PM (#6216324) Homepage
    Honestly, eliminating all traces of AIX from the world is about the most noble goal I can imagine.

    (Currently working a project running on AIX - transitioning to Linux)
  • by schutten ( 548444 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:50PM (#6216394)
    I just love the quotes at the bottom of the Cnet article:

    down: SCO Group SCOX 10.93 -0.28
    up: Intl Bus. Machines IBM 84.50 1.75

    I guess that sums it all up...
  • by Chordonblue ( 585047 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:51PM (#6216407) Journal
    Today SCO chewed off it's own arm to spite it's torso by terminating a lucrative licensing agreement with IBM.

    SCO CEO Darl McBride was quoted as saying, "In order to better leverage our technology IP and increase profits, we've decided to refuse to sell, license, or not sue anyone not directly involved with Microsoft's .NET initiative."

  • The problem is that SCO tries to convince the world that it is the sole UNIX owner, and defines the category of 'derivative' work quite broadly. In fact, they don't want this to be sorted out. It is quite clear that even if the infringing codes are disclosed in court, Darl and his cohorts wants to convince the court that replacement is impossible, for every code is 'derivative' in their view. This is clearly stated by Darl in his cnet interview:

    Where people get a little confused is when they think of SCO Unix as just the Unix that runs the cash register at McDonalds. We think of this as a tree. We have the tree trunk, with Unix System 5 running right down the middle of the trunk. That is our core ownership position on Unix.

    Off the tree trunk, you have a number of branches, and these are the various flavors of Unix. HP-UX, IBM's AIX, Sun Solaris, Fujitsu, NEC--there are a number of flavors out there. ?tag=fd_lede2_sl

    So yes, they want another UNIX war. Once their precioussss is described as the trunk of all Unices (and stating that almost all vendors contributed to Linux in the same interview) what follows is that replacing the infringing code is impossible. That's why RMS a few weeks ago aimed directly at invalidating the claim to the unix codebase by proving that its already in the public sector (remember his call for people who had or have access to the code? - some people ridiculed him for this, but he saw this clearly coming).

    At any rate, SCO does not stand a chance with such ridiculous claims (and no Unix vendor, not even SUN would be happy if the court accepts Darl's interpretation of their IP rights). Read one of the best analyses here (please, someone tell me how do I make a link, coz this is going to be long): n/ tb.tpt/@thread@193986@F@1@D-,D@ALL/@article@193994 ?EXP=ALL&VWM=hr&ROS=1&PAGETP=2100&NODEID=1104&SHOS
  • by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:52PM (#6216424) Journal
    What is interesting is that they have NOT filed for a temporary injunction.

    In most cases of alleged IP violations, the accuser will file for a temporary injunction, rather than waiting for the end of the trial after which an injunction may be granted.

    The real implication is that to get a temporary injunction, SCO would have to convince a judge that they had a likelyhood of prevailing at trial. In order to convince a judge of this, they would have to back up their allegations against IBM with real facts.

    Temporary injunctions could cause severe problems, so they are not issued on a whim. There must be real evidence and the defending side has the opportunity to refute that evidence.

    So the real impact of SCO's actions is to spread more FUD, and keep the time at which they must present any real evidence far off in the future.
  • by Mansing ( 42708 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:53PM (#6216434)
    I was startled to hear the thundering of hooves. Having lived near Armonk, NY all my life, I had never heard such a sound before.

    "What is that horrible sound?"

    "That is the sound of the Black Steeds riding west from Armonk."

    "The Black Steeds?"

    "The Nazgul. They once were men. Now they are neither dead nor alive. They are IBM's attorneys."
  • by BrynM ( 217883 ) * on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:55PM (#6216469) Homepage Journal
    In a dark room somewhere... sometime...
    Man1: We should attack now!

    Man2: Yes, we have the opportunity and the target.

    Man3: But what if they counter attack us?

    Man1: They're so far away and too big to be maneuverable. We'll get them while they're complacent.

    Man3: But they have vast resources...

    Man2: But we have the element of suprise! Think of what this could do to our status!

    Man3: Well, how long will it take?

    Man1: It should be over quickly. They will cave when they realize our advantage.

    Terrorist planning meeting, Original Japanese Pearl Harbor debriefing or SCO legal strategy meeting? You decide.
  • Recommended reading! (Score:5, Informative)

    by hobsonchoice ( 680456 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:56PM (#6216478)
    Uncanny similarities between SCO and Linux:

    Here appears to be another reason why, according to SCO's previous CEO (note the date): []
  • by borgdows ( 599861 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @04:56PM (#6216491)
    "We are not afraid of IBM. Allah has condemned them. They are stupid. They are stupid... and they are condemned.
    I can assure you that those villains will recognize in appropriate time in the future how stupid they are and how they have stolen OUR intellectual property.
    They are not in control of anything - they don't even control themselves!""

    -- SCO Minister of Information
  • by Eberlin ( 570874 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @05:02PM (#6216563) Homepage
    After a lot of overhyped anticipation, SCO finally released all of the offending code. It seems that SCO had patented the symbol combinations "/*" and "*/" as well as "//" -- thus proving correct that the comments were obviously stolen code.

    They are currently trying to get the courts to uphold their patent of the semi-colon, a pair of parentheses, curly braces, and the crlf combination.

    SCO has also filed a lawsuit against a 14yr old California student whose "Hello World" program infringes on SCO's patents. The student could not be reached for comments.
  • by fobbman ( 131816 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @05:03PM (#6216581) Homepage
    This has got to be the first time in Slashdot history that the Slashdot communty has hoped that a 900 pound corporate gorilla will turn a smaller Linux-related business into a fine red mist.

  • by appleLaserWriter ( 91994 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @05:05PM (#6216602)
    1) Aim shotgun at foot
    2) Pull trigger
    3) ???
    4) PROFIT!!!

    IBM got its start providing IT services to the US Census beureau over 100 years ago. Today it is tightly integrated into the business and government fabric of nations around the world. IBM hires the best and brightest MBA and Law school grads every year into their corporate ranks. With that combination of inteligence and connectivity, IBM is not a force you want to fight directly.

    Beginning this year, IBM has appointed a new Chairman []. Mr. Palmisano has a history [] of supporting [] Linux [].

    This is all the motivation IBM needs to finish migrating its non-x86 platforms all the way over to Linux and completely dumping that antiquated "Unix" stuff.

    I see a lot of job opportunities for Linux hackers opening up at IBM shortly. Especially for people with both Linux and IBM mainframe or PPC experience.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 16, 2003 @05:32PM (#6216957)
    SCO does not have the ability to "terminate IBM's Unix license". Therefore, headline should have read, perhaps:
    • SCO Claims to Terminate IBM's Unix License
    • SCO Pretends to Terminate IBM's Unix License
    • SCO Hallucinates Terminating IBM's Unix License
    • Slashdot Troll Wearing SCO Mascot Suit "t3rm1n4t3z" Innocent Plushie Wearing "IBM" T-Shirt
    • State Og Terminates Kitten Named "IBM"
    • Journalists Laugh at Fleischer, Al-Saif, McBride
    • SCO Chief Makes "All Your Base" Joke
    • SCO Chief Barks Like Dog, Humps Furniture
    • SCO Chief Consumes Ordure; Terminates Self
    • SCO Chief Writes Bad Eminem Parody About Self
    • SCO Chief Throws Tantrum, Feces; Makes Noise Like "Warcraft III" Orc Peon
    • IBM Response: "OMG WTF LOL !1!"
  • by Picass0 ( 147474 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @06:22PM (#6217522) Homepage Journal
    IBM Sues SCO
    Posted by CmdrTaco on Monday June 17, @08:30AM
    from the lets-get-ready-to-rumble dept.

    AT&T Sues SCO
    Posted by CmdrTaco on Monday June 17, @08:31AM
    from the it's-an-ambush! dept.

    FSF Sues SCO
    Posted by CmdrTaco on Monday June 17, @08:32AM
    from the wouldn't-be-a-party-without-us dept.

    Apple Sues SCO
    Posted by CmdrTaco on Monday June 17, @08:33AM
    from the just-like-an-*ssrape dept.

    Novell Sues SCO
    Posted by CmdrTaco on Monday June 17, @08:34AM
    from the opps-they-aint-lying dept.

    Linus Torvalds Sues SCO
    Posted by CmdrTaco on Monday June 17, @08:35AM
  • by Frobnicator ( 565869 ) on Monday June 16, 2003 @07:12PM (#6218030) Journal
    This has the potential to be a good thing for everybody.

    We need to find the actual injunction (I haven't found it yet) and actually read the thing, and as such this is purely speculative, but it opens up a nice posibility.

    In the long run, the judge *must* find for or against the complaint, dismiss the complaint, or remand it to a higher court. It appears (although nobody seems to have the actual complaint) that the complaint is two parts. The first is that they used the code in Linux, and the second is that they are now distributing AIX without a licence to SCO's code. That second point is the one they would file the injunction on.

    This boils down to a simple complaint: "We terminated their license, so they must stop using our property." If that were the entire complaint in the injunction, the judge would have to agree since the Supreme Court has upheld that rights of property owners is one of the key elements of freedom. Not being able to use your property is the loss of freedom.

    That complaint is so fundamental that he could not simply dismiss the complaint. He therefore must rule on it, or the law, or remand it up the chain of command.

    The judge could rule that SCO is correct, meaning that:

    1. Property rights were not permanently transferred, nor need they be transfered with an IP license, therefore...
    2. IBM must pay SCO forever or until it changes its code because...
    3. The US Government, military, and big business currently depend so much on AIX and...
    4. Forcing all government and business entities to stop using AIX would endanger lives and the economy.
    5. And if the Government couldn't get newer AIX versions, billions or even trillions must be urgently spent on computer equipment and programming...
    6. Meaning that the penalty is an indirect, but severe, penalty against the Government, military, and the economy generally.
    7. In addition, since some have claimed that nearly all other OS's may be at risk, it presents a huge danger for basically everyone (except Sun, and perhaps Microsoft who just got a licence... Hmmm...)

    By ruling FOR SCO, the judge would not only put a penalty on IBM, but on everyone who uses it. While the simple case (no pay, no play) is reasonable, IBM's lawyers could easily argue that the damage to society and possible lives lost would outweigh SCO's property rights.

    Ruling FOR SCO would set a precedent that Microsoft and others could quickly follow -- Revoke the licenses to each version of Office even faster, or include in new online music services a quickly expiring license. When the song goes popular, the license expires, and you must pay the new, higher rate. It would be extortion, except the SCO case would make it legal.

    Conversely, he could be ruling that you *CAN* continue to use IP after terminating your license. This would have profound effects (I like some of them), including...

    1. Property rights are transferred forever when licenced, therefore...
    2. Sales contracts of software and IP are binding and perpetual, therefore...
    3. Companies cannot ever revoke rights to licenced IP, therefore...
    4. Resold licences allow the seller to keep the licenses, and ...
    5. Since there is no minimum cost to resell or transfer IP rights...
    6. Huge holes would be introduced in IP law. Would that mean that we can all buy and burn the latest software / music / movies at no cost from our friends?

    That can't happen either. The sectors of our economy dealing with IP would be blown away, and that would also have so profound negative effects that the judge could not rule that way.

    So either way the judge rules in the end, he cannot justify the expense to society of ruling for or against them. A judge at the state level sould not put the entire nation's economy into such a state. That would mean he should remand the case to a higher level. The district cour

"I shall expect a chemical cure for psychopathic behavior by 10 A.M. tomorrow, or I'll have your guts for spaghetti." -- a comic panel by Cotham