Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Gartner Says Delay Linux Deployment Due to SCO 720

Sridhar writes "SCO's legal threats have prompted Gartner Group to recommend that companies delay deployment of critical Linux applications, determine "whether Unix or Windows will provide functions equivalent to those of Linux deployments", and take a "go-slow" approach to Linux in high-value or mission-critical production systems."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Gartner Says Delay Linux Deployment Due to SCO

Comments Filter:
  • Evidence? (Score:5, Funny)

    by DeathPenguin ( 449875 ) * on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:25PM (#6524781)
    Can this be used as evidence in counter-suits as many companies offering Linux can now say they've seen substantial losses due to SCO FUD?
    • Re:Evidence? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:32PM (#6524881) Homepage Journal
      maybe, but it it looks like it's full of bull(the recommendation, no mention of any bsd for example, instead just 'go with windows or sco!, they're safe!', so it looks like a cash handed report). and what are they to pile into this steaming pile of fud that they well know has no solution yet except just fud'ing around.


      yea kinda typical slashdot comment.. but who cares.
      • Who cares. No one with half a brain listens to the group. Microsoft pays them well to say what they want.
        • by Archfeld ( 6757 ) * <treboreel@live.com> on Thursday July 24, 2003 @05:27PM (#6526357) Journal
          Half of the fortune 500 companies board members live and die by Gartner recommendations. Note, that does NOT invalidate your statement about half-brains and such, but I can honestly say THE ONLY reason we have apache as a web server in our organization was the Gartner report on the TCO of IIS. It does not matter what us tech's know, it is the PHB's that make all the decisions....and the further south they get the wierder and more implausable their views get,...
      • Re:Evidence? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MrResistor ( 120588 )
        maybe, but it it looks like it's full of bull(the recommendation, no mention of any bsd for example, instead just 'go with windows or sco!, they're safe!', so it looks like a cash handed report). and what are they to pile into this steaming pile of fud that they well know has no solution yet except just fud'ing around.

        The especially amusing thing about that is that SCO has specifically said that MS isn't safe.

        Of course, they also said BSD isn't safe. I would love to see them persue that.
    • Re:Evidence? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MrLint ( 519792 ) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:35PM (#6524931) Journal
      Isnt Gartner the same guys that said windows was so full of hole it shouldnt be used?
      • Re:Evidence? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by captain_craptacular ( 580116 ) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:43PM (#6525022)
        Isn't Gartner the same group that will say whatever you pay them to say? They've been on both sides of the windows sucks issue, both sides of the use linux issuse. They're the whore of the IT strategy world.

        I say we all put $1 in a paypal account and then use the total to buy a report saying that slashcode should be extended into a viable app platform and used to deliver ALL web content.
        • Re:Evidence? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by JSkills ( 69686 )
          You couldn't be more correct on the fact that they'll say whatever they're paid to. God what a job they have - getting paid to prognosticate future trends and they don't have to be right. Kind of like being a weather man - when was the last time a weather man was fired for being wrong?

          And what about M$ somehow being in bed with SCO and/or Gartner? Ok sorry, mod me down for being a conspiracy theorist / paranoid ...

          • by spells ( 203251 )
            Weather forecasts (at least in my neck of the woods) are never wrong anymore. Just like Gartner, everything is given in probabilities, and it's never 100%.
            I saw a weatherman outdoors in the rain saying there was an 80% chance of rain that day.
          • by siskbc ( 598067 ) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @05:02PM (#6526105) Homepage
            You couldn't be more correct on the fact that they'll say whatever they're paid to. God what a job they have - getting paid to prognosticate future trends and they don't have to be right. Kind of like being a weather man - when was the last time a weather man was fired for being wrong?

            Good analogy, but I'd go even further - these guys are much worse than weather men. If they did weather it would be like this:

            "And your 5:00 weather brought to you by ACME umbrellas...I predict rain! Monsoons, floods, hurricanes, typhoons! Start building that fscking ark, people, it's gonna raid for a solid month!"

            30 minutes later...

            "And now for the 6:00 weather, brought to you by SAV-EYES sunglasses...it's gonna be a hot one tomorrow! Remember that SPF 2000000 sunscreen, because it's gonna be insta-cancer out there! Don't even think of going outside! Expect the sun to bake all life out of the earth, leaving a smoking crater by the end of the week. We could all be dead by the end of the month!"

            *That* is what you'd get if those asshats did weather. Frikkin' shills.

        • by Surak ( 18578 ) *
          I say we all put $1 in a paypal account and then use the total to buy a report saying that slashcode should be extended into a viable app platform and used to deliver ALL web content.

          Wouldn't that be a hoot? No...wait...my PHB would say "Okay, we're going to rewrite all of our mission critical web applications in Perl and base them on Slashcode." *shudders* Never mind. ;)
      • by jez9999 ( 618189 )
        Isnt Gartner the same guys that said windows was so full of hole it shouldnt be used?

        No, they said that Windows had a hole so full that it shouldn't be used.
  • by FreeLinux ( 555387 ) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:26PM (#6524803)
    Regardless of how the SCO lawsuit turns out, SCO is giving Linux a black eye. In fact, with the constant barrage of "news" regarding the SCO case, I'd say that Linux has a whole bunch of black eyes from this and it will still be a few years before it gets to court.

    • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:55PM (#6525144) Homepage
      Bah, it's not a big deal if you are deploying server products.

      simply change the OS to BSD and call it good until the whole thing blows over. It shuts up the clueless CTO/CIO/CEO and makes the lawyers happy.

      This is your easiest and painless way to keep that non-microsoft project running.

      I have a BSD based machine sitting atop the linux dev box that I test each build on.. so switching when my Management team get's the case of the legal-stupids I can simply say, "no problem, It will be switched to BSD tommorow and we will not lose any productivity or have to slip on the timeline."

      Another great part of Open Source... I'm not stuck.
      • by rusty0101 ( 565565 ) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @04:09PM (#6525285) Homepage Journal
        Two issues. Not everything that runs on Linux runs on BSD, even in the server environment. If you can live with that and work around it, there is still the hazard that SCO has indicated that they do not believe that BSD is necesarily free and clear either.

        At the moment this does not seem to be a significant issue, SCO is much more interested in slowing down Linux deployment, or getting money from companies that they believe are violating their intelectual property, and are "bigger fish".

      • by mjh ( 57755 ) <mark.hornclan@com> on Thursday July 24, 2003 @04:22PM (#6525503) Homepage Journal
        simply change the OS to BSD and call it good until the whole thing blows over. It shuts up the clueless CTO/CIO/CEO and makes the lawyers happy.

        Ok, but that doesn't actually solve the problem. Whether SCO is right or not, they've uncovered a problem with Linux and Microsoft has already leapt to remediate that problem with their products. The problem is indemnity.

        If you are the user of a Microsoft product, and Microsoft has installed someone else's copyrighted code into their software, the owner of that copyrighted code can claim that you are using their code without a license and can sue you for copyright infringement. Just this week, Microsoft publicized the fact that they fixed that problem, by providing you indemnity in the event that such a thing happens. If it turns out that you're using someone else's intellectual property (either copyright or patent) Microsoft promises to pay the expenses and hold the liabilty for the infringement.

        The problem is that there's no one that's doing this in the open source/free software world. So if someone else's copyright or patent DOES get into Linux or OpenBSD, then they can sue YOU for using it w/out a license. Generally, I think we are pretty well convinced that SCO's case has no teeth. But that's not the problem. There may be some other case out there that *does* have teeth, and there is no one to indemnify the user of Linux/OpenBSD in the event that something that's copyrighted accidentally got into the code.

        For individuals this really isn't that big of a deal, because the copyright or patent holder won't likely sue someone who doesn't have the money to pay. But for a bank, or for a large company, this is a *BIG* deal. This implies a risk to the use of open/free software that can't be easily countered.

        This frightens me! This is a SERIOUS problem. Suddenly, the old adage that there's no one to sue becomes TRUE for open/free software and false for proprietary software.

        • by roystgnr ( 4015 ) <roystgnr&ticam,utexas,edu> on Thursday July 24, 2003 @06:21PM (#6526882) Homepage
          Just this week, Microsoft publicized the fact that they fixed that problem, by providing you indemnity in the event that such a thing happens.

          And how much indemnity are they willing to provide? According to ZDNet: [zdnet.co.uk]

          "If it is determined that Microsoft infringed a third party's intellectual property, the new contract states that Microsoft will procure a licence so its customers can continue to use the infringing product, replace the existing product, modify the code so it no longer infringes, or refund that portion of the licence."

          In other words, if Microsoft chooses to "refund that portion of the license" then you're in exactly the same position you would be in in the worst case scenario with free software: you've paid $0 for a program that you can no longer legally use.

          In the second worst case scenario with free software (proprietary code may have made it into a free software product, but the proprietary copyright holder isn't hiding which code they claim in order to extort money a la SCO) then you'll probably be provided with options 2, 3, AND 4 from the free software community: you'll be able to choose an equivalent product (like FreeBSD), to continue using the existing product after it's maintainers remove or replace any infringing code (What, you think Linus and Alan Cox are going to give up and become novelists if it turns out there really were illegal contributions to Linux? No; anything improper will be replaced in no time.), AND to do both without paying any license fees.

          So are there some advantages to Microsoft's offer that ZDNet didn't mention, or is this just PR?
          • by Arker ( 91948 ) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @07:22PM (#6527438) Homepage

            Not only that, but even if they wouldn't take the 'refund that portion of the license dodge' (and if they wouldn't, why do they write it in?) then they're STILL only offering to do what the law always has required.

            End users of a product who reasonably believe they have a valid license for it are never on the hook if it turns out their supplier was infringing someone else. Never. The supplier is the one at fault, and they have to pay, not their customers.

            If you buy a book, and it turns out to have been plagiarised, does that make you liable? Of course not! The author of the book is the one on the hook, not you.

            If you bought DOS 6, which infringed on Stac, were you on the hook when Stac went to court and proved that fact? Absolutely not. MS was. They paid. DOS 6 owners paid nothing, were under no threat, and continued to use it as if nothing had happened.

            SCO is trying to make up the law as they go along, and they know it, that's why they're fighting in the press while maneuvering to stay out of an actual courtroom as long as possible. And selling off their stocks on the sly. I'd be surprised if they aren't all buying homes somewhere without an extradition treaty as well at the moment.

    • Indemnification solves the problem.

      If company 'A' wants to distribute some software,
      it can ease its customers' IP concerns by imdemnifying the customer against all IP claims.
      What that would do would make company 'A' responsible -- not company A's customer -- for any IP violation claims.

      The Plan 9 license requires this of a distributor.

      Microsoft has recently announced such an addition to its terms.

      Does the FSF indemnify its customers/users against such claims? I read something in the GPL about this, but
    • SCO already stated which version of Linux is "contaminated" I forgot which version, but not an ancient one.

      But won't it be faster if we hire a hacker to rewrite SMP and whatever SCO accused of us from that particular version? As long as we stick to the same API, it should not be too bad to compile it and fix it to merge into other later codes.

      If we provide a "100% cleaned/rewritten" version, we won't be weighed down by the legal problems. Believe me, the business world is very concerned about this, since
  • by ByTor-2112 ( 313205 ) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:27PM (#6524808)
    Whether or not the Linux crowd believes these allegations, someone within the community needs to take some serious time and legal effort to address these concerns. Ignoring or laughing at them won't make it go away, and I can easily imagine every corporate lawyer type calling up the CIO/CTO and saying "halt all linux deployments NOW!" As a BSD-ite I can sympathize and say that the sooner you get this over with the better.
    • by deander2 ( 26173 ) * <public@kered . o rg> on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:33PM (#6524889) Homepage
      > someone within the community needs to take some
      > serious time and legal effort to address these
      > concerns.

      there are many in the community who would LOVE to do this, myself included (IANAL tho). but in order to do so, we need some sort of actual, specific complaint from SCO. until they start doing anything besides blowing smoke up people's asses, we have nothing to actually address!

      other than the rude behavior of blowing smoke up people's asses. (which many people have addressed time and again)
    • by Kismet ( 13199 ) <pmccombs@NOSpAM.acm.org> on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:50PM (#6525104) Homepage
      This is a necessary and important step in how the future will play out. If Linux is materially hurt by SCO's allegations, then SCO might be held liable for those damages.

      Unlike the alleged damages that SCO claims, we can quantify and prove the sort of damage that is being done to Linux right now, just by pointing at the media and industry analysts.

      In the past, media and analysts never said "Hey, Linux is killing SCO," which is what SCO claims happened. But now we see all kinds of people clamoring about how SCO is killing Linux.

      Without solid proof of harm, Linux vendors, users and developers have little cause for action against SCO. Now that is changing, and SCO can start getting worried. We have more than allegations.
  • No big surprise (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MaxwellStreet ( 148915 ) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:27PM (#6524810)
    Whether they've been paid off, or are inordinately conservative, Gartner has always been something of an advocate for Microsoft technologies.

    Given that Linux is finding more and more of a role in replacing Windows-based servers, it should come as no surprise that Gartner would come up with something like this.

    Problem is, this sort of thing gives C*O's, already wondering about SCO & Linux liabilities, reason to delay or reduce Linux adoption in their enterprise.
    • Re:No big surprise (Score:2, Informative)

      by Multimode ( 627267 )
      I wouldn't quite say that Gartner has always been an advocate:

      http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,3959,35671,00.as p
  • by Bob Abooey ( 224634 ) <bababooey@techie.com> on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:29PM (#6524828) Homepage Journal
    These guys are shills for Microsoft. What do you expect them to say.

    Now then, given that, this could be the most brilliant ploy that MS has ever pulled off if they are indeed behind this whole SCO lawsuit.

    They can't fight Lunix like they could a regular company but they can fight it by litigation and things of that nature. Brilliant, just freakin brilliant.

    • How surprising that to you, everyone is a shill for Microsoft, and everything is a ploy by Microsoft. Oh, and people "can't fight Lunix like they could a regular company."

      This isn't 1998, dude.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 24, 2003 @04:22PM (#6525499)
        Let's set the wayback machine to 1994-1995, shall we?

        At the time, the battle was between Windows, OS/2, and Apple. Linux was no where to be seen by anyone but a few geeks.

        Time and time again we were treated to "reports" and "analysis" from the Gartner Group/Rob Enderle extolling the benefits of Windows (3.1, keep in mind, followed by 95) over everything else. Volumes of FUD was generated by Gartner/Enderle and Dataquest AGAINST anything non-Microsoft. It was a constant, incessant FLOOD. At the same time, discussion groups like Compuserve's CANOPUS form were being invaded by paid-for Microsoft shills (see www.pjprimer.com for the details), like "Steve Barkto".

        The end result? OS/2 and Apple were discredited. THOUROUGHLY. Windows, even in it's horrid crash-prone unstable form of Windows 3.1 and Win95, "won".

        And at the sidelines, Ziff Davis acted like cheerleaders at a football game, chanting "rah rah! Microsoft! Rah rah rah!" The lone dissenter--Will Zachmann--the only man who stood up to say "um, guys? This is bullshit!"...got a phone call from the Microsoft Munchkins trying to butter his bread on Bill Gates' side. Instead of selling out, Zachmann quit, turning the entire trade press over to pro-Microsoft bias 100%.

        The point of my story? Any and all suspicion of Gartner, Rob Enderle, and Ziff Davis/ZDNET is ENTIRELY JUSTIFIED. And further, it has nothing to do with "lunix" as you call it. Some of us have memories that stretch back before 1998, and we damn well REMEMBER what the FUD generated by these paid-for bastards can do.

        You're damn right--this isn't 1998.
        • And at the sidelines, Ziff Davis acted like cheerleaders at a football game, chanting "rah rah! Microsoft! Rah rah rah!"

          My favorite quote, "We at Ziff-Davis don't influence the reader, we merely report on what our readers want."-Ed Bott, in response to a reader complaint that ZD was giving Windows OS/Software too much press. He's the former editor of Windows^G^G^G^G^G^G PC Computing.

          How many 'Never Reboot again!' ZD magazine covers do you have?

        • I doubt that most of the /. crowd would beleive the stuff that was going on back then, and they are too young to have seen it for them selves. I still have the old PC Rag reviews comparing Windows with OS/2. They are a riot. The fact twisting and bias and downright lies are so blattent as to be laughable. Zip Data got away with this BS because most of its readership was still using DOS, and never got a chance to see OS/2 for themselves. IBM was buisy with a corporate makeover, which left OS/2 without the ma
  • Gartner Group... aka.... Microsoft Public Relations.
  • by TopShelf ( 92521 ) * on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:29PM (#6524837) Homepage Journal
    * In the interests of balance, Register analysts strongly recommend that customers ignore all this shit on the grounds that one way or another it'll go away. Warning: The Register's analytical reputation can go down as well as up, and frankly we're not entirely sure about that "up".
  • Oops, darn it...too late for my computers, just replaced another Windows installation with Slackware last night. Just one left to go now! I guess I'm stuck with BSD...or I could just ignore Gartner. And SCO. Yep, that sounds good.
  • Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BoomerSooner ( 308737 ) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:30PM (#6524849) Homepage Journal
    If you select the proper tools and decide in the future linux isn't for you, just recompile and move on.

    SCO will not affect linux at all. Hell my whole company runs on linux and I'm not switching a damn thing till something is proven.
  • by theolein ( 316044 ) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:30PM (#6524862) Journal
    I have this sneaking suspicion that Gartner has only survived up until now by maintaining the same level of stupidity common to your average PHB. I have a feeling that any company relying on Gartner for decent consulting information would just as well be served by reading CNN's tech section or simply going to the local microsoft webpage.
  • PHB (Score:5, Funny)

    by scrotch ( 605605 ) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:31PM (#6524865)
    The Gartner Group provide Pointy Haired Advice to Pointy Haired Bosses.
  • I have to post, as there are only eleven posts so far, but I have to say it's nice to see SCO news that's actually new.

    This is somewhat disturbing. Does anyone else think that every day that we continue going forth with Microsoft possibly taking up mindshare makes it more difficult to someday pull away from that?

  • Boo!! Boo!! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Outland Traveller ( 12138 ) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:32PM (#6524887)
    Garter should know better. There's no sense is believing SCO when they have not presented any scientific* evidence. Clearly, Garter and any other so-called analyst should have a higher standard than "he said-she said". Totally ridiculous.

    * = able to be substantiated by an independent third party.
    • by reallocate ( 142797 ) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:57PM (#6525167)
      I think you're quite wrong. Evidence or not, SCO is, in fact, suing people. That's the risk Whether or not their case is credible is irrelevant. Paying lawyers is expensive, even if you win.

      Suppose someone in your town decided to sue everyone who shopped at Grocery A. Even if you were convinced that their case was baseless, wouldn't you think about shopping at Grocery B until the issue was resolved??

      Should a company put itself at risk by using Linux?
      • by Infonaut ( 96956 ) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Thursday July 24, 2003 @04:07PM (#6525268) Homepage Journal
        Reallocate is dead on and should be modded up.

        If you run a company, your job is to make sure the company makes money and provides return to stockholders. Championing a technology for its own sake is ludicrous if you're an O-level person in a company. Linux has made inroads in the corporate world by providing a better return on investment than the alternatives. ROI drops radically when you have to spend money on legal fees just to use a given technology.

        Sure, SCO is using FUD to disrupt the Linux market. But the fact remains that FUD is very powerful when backed by high-powered lawyers and a bankroll.

        The corporate backers of GNU/Linux (notably IBM, which is the real target of all this tomfoolery) need to get off their asses and go on the offensive. Unfortunately in the technology world, how you spin your side of things to the press is just as important as the real facts. IBM may have the facts on their side, but they are losing the PR battle. If IBM continues to loose the PR battle, then Linux will really take it in the shins.

      • Evidence or not, SCO is, in fact, suing people.

        I'm not sure where everyone is getting the "SCO is suing people" part. SCO, so far, has only sued IBM, and even that's over a CONTRACT violation that barely involves Linux at all. So far, SCO has not sued or threatened to sue anyone using Linux. They are just blowing hot air.
  • Who Paid Gartner? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by JeffRC ( 103922 )
    Gartner doesn't do any of these papers without somebody footing the bill. So the big question is who paid for this one? Microsoft? Sun? SCO?
  • Damnit! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CodeMaster ( 28069 ) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:33PM (#6524892)
    I'm in the process of fighting my way in corporate to make sure that my newest creation will get what it deserves (Oracle on Linux), and this is just the kind of FUD that I am getting from management.

    Stuff they hear (mostly from salesman and consultants that are M$ related and fear for their share of the pie once we start getting more Linux in) makes them ignorant, up to the point that I need to "re-evaluate" the OS descision because someone in the high places thinks that Win2K3 can do just as well.

    I am just looking for that one great example (big datacenter, lot's of transaction processed, solid Oracle/Linux integration with 0 problems) as a reference to stuff in their faces and finally go out and start installing...
  • by grub ( 11606 )

    "keep pursuing your Unix and Windows strategies."

    By "Unix" I presume they are referring to proprietary Unix. They fail to mention all the free *BSDs, etc, which tend to be under the radar of a lot of the suits. The choice then seems to be "Proprietary Unix or Windows.. Hmm we already know Windows and it runs on our existing hardware soo..." Smooth FUD, Gartner.
  • growing pains (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jtilak ( 596402 )
    this is giving linux a black eye. but i dont think it will kill linux in the long run. after this is all over linux will win. what doesnt kill you makes you stronger right?
  • and they won't tell the Linux community exactly what code they feel is infringing so the Linux community can't just replace the code and move on. Oh no....

  • by rdewald ( 229443 ) * <rdewald@nOSPam.gmail.com> on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:34PM (#6524915) Homepage Journal
    Well, I have to say that this means that SCO's strategy of exploiting the weaknesses in Intellectual Property law rather than concentrating on making a good product is working in the short term. I'll bet Ballmer is doing the monkey dance. Since Microsoft has demonstrated that being universally despised by the expert community is of litle obvious consequence to the bottom line, SCO can now appoint themselves the defender of the Loophole Exploitation Realm left recently vacant by the Enron, WorldCom and Tyco.

    What they should do next is commission Martha Stewart Omnimedia to design a nice pastel case, contract with Chinese prison laborers for manufacturing and ship their "licensed" Lindows clone to Walmarts everywhere. If you're going to commit to a concept, you might as well go all the way.
  • Riiiiight. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by numatrix ( 242325 ) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:36PM (#6524938)
    This from the same group that declared definitively that IDS is dead.

    I think the only thing that should be impacted by this report is gartner's credibility. I'm inclined to look more and more suspiciously at anything they say after this.
  • by PaulK ( 85154 ) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:37PM (#6524951)
    I absolutely refuse to delay any deployment of Linux.

    By submitting to the FUD, we have allowed the terrorists to win.

    I, for one, will not surrender, will not buckle to extortion, and will never concede to SCO, or any other company that thinks they can control what I put on my servers, through litigation.

    As far as I know, there has been no legal action on the part of SCO against any user or corporation that employs Linux. All they have done is threaten.

    How much did they pay you, Gardner? Did they threaten you too?

    We don't just delete spam, we delete spammers. [spammerhunters.com]

  • by satsuke ( 263225 ) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:37PM (#6524960)
    Microsoft is facing a lawsuit that taken at face value is almost as big as the SCO doubt ..


    Basically that 80+ % of Microsofts past and present products are infringing on this guys business process patent.

    again, at face value Gardner should be recommending to put off major software purchases.

    (This is an example on two different levels .. SCO vs Microsoft that obviously are not the same .. but could be).
  • Conspiracy Theory (Score:5, Interesting)

    by isa-kuruption ( 317695 ) <kuruption@noSPAm.kuruption.net> on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:41PM (#6525005) Homepage
    I'm not a conspiracy theorist (although I have played one in meetings with upper management).

    Microsoft funds SCO's lawsuit against IBM to discredit Linux after it makes significant gains in it's marketshare. This is somewhat evident from the recent "contracting of SCO products" by Microsoft. As Dr Evil would say, "Riiiiiiiiiight"

    Microsoft then uses it's "contacts" within Gartner to install the idea that Windows will be a better platform while Linux's reputation is on the line. And I'm sure Microsoft does have contacts within Gartner. It would make sense... since Gartner does industry research and M$ would be someone who benefits from such research.

    (Now for another cliche)
    Things that make you go hrmmmmmmmm......

    Now if only we could find out who was ont he grassy nole.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:46PM (#6525060)
    While most everybody focuses on the merits of the SCO vs IBM (and Linux by implication) case, SCO execs have made a tidy profit (over $1,000,000 in June and July) by selling stock

    Form-4 filings with the SEC [sec.gov] reveal they made $398,833.90 in June, and $656,270.10 in July (so far)!

    And there's more!

    Remember that Canopy-owned company SCO just bought into, who's the leader? "Mike Meservy, CEO, Vultus, Inc" [yahoo.com]

    Looks like he and Vultus, Inc. were themselves SCO shareholders even before SCO bought into Vultus. From excellent GROKLAW site about SCO v IBM [weblogs.com]: SCO has filed, on July 8, a Registration Statement on Form S-3, relating to "the public offering or distribution by selling stockholders of up to 305,274 shares of common stock, par value $0.001 per share, of The SCO Group, Inc." The shares will be sold by Vultus, Inc., The Canopy Group, Inc., Angel Partners Inc., Michael Meservy, Bruce K. Grant Jr., Ty D. Mattingly and R. Kevin Bean. Only Canopy Group, in this list, will retain any SCO stock. SCO "will not receive any proceeds from the sale or distribution of the common stock by the selling stockholders. ... On July 3, 2003, the last price for our common stock, as reported by the Nasdaq National Market, was $10.71."
    • Don't blame the SCO execs for this. Don't even blame the SEC.

      This isn't a case of insider trading. There is nothing hidden here. SCO execs, and anyone closely following the case, knows that SCO doesn't have a chance at winning the lawsuits.

      Blame the stock traders who think that SCO will win, and gain something financially out of all of this. They are the ones buying this stock the execs are selling.
  • When SCO starts offering their "license", they're going to have to clearly define what code is covered.

    If they don't, every kernel developer should sue them for applying a license to their code without their approval (after all, isn't that the same argument SCO says they have against Linux?).

    And if SCO does reveal it... I say it'll be about a week, maybe two, before the code is replaced and this all goes away.

  • by gabrieltss ( 64078 ) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:53PM (#6525124)
    The big Linux folks are being way to quiet. Why don't we hear IBM, SuSE, Red Hat et all. Screaming at SCO or at least putting out their own press releases. At least Linus has said something. The only ones screaming are US - the linux users. Some other countries are taking a stand and telling SCO to "Put up or shut up" and wining, Germany, poland and now Austrailia is getting in on it. WTF is wrong with the U.S.A.? Besides our Governemnt being OWNED by big corporations! Isn't there some laywer out there that would take on a class action lawsuit of all linux users and sue SCO for slander, extortion etc..?

    What the heck can be done to shut SCO the HELL up!

    • by Zak3056 ( 69287 ) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @04:09PM (#6525287) Journal
      The big Linux folks are being way to quiet. Why don't we hear IBM, SuSE, Red Hat et all. Screaming at SCO or at least putting out their own press releases.

      Because there isn't anything to scream about! SCO has so far made vague allegations with NO specifics, and nothing else. The only thing that CAN be done is to say "It's not true. Wait until trial." which is what IBM et al. have already done.
  • Risk Assesment (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Waffle Iron ( 339739 ) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @03:54PM (#6525131)
    I like how PHBs asses risks. Today's topic: save a few bucks on IT expenditures.

    Option A: Save money on software by trying out a different operating system that has fewer up front and accounting costs and is known for stability.

    Assesment: Oooohhhh.... that's risky. Somebody might need to be trained! Somebody else might make outrageous unsubstantiated claims over ownership! Can't see how we'd do it.

    Option B: Save some money by firing the people who know how to run your business. Gather up the most intimate details and critical information about your operations and ship them 12,000 miles and 11 timezones to a second or third world country. Hope that nothing bad happens to your information. Hope that the world political climate stays stable enough to keep your business running over that tenuous link.

    Assesment: Yes, it's a no brainer! Woohoo! Let's do it! We're a cutting edge organization!

  • by walterbyrd ( 182728 ) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @04:00PM (#6525192)
    It only takes a minute. If enough people complain, somebody may take notice. I am including web-sites and a sample letter.

    https://rn.ftc.gov/pls/dod/wsolcq$.startup?Z_ORG _C ODE=PU01
    http://naag.org/naag/feedback_form.php?s ubject=COM MENT

    As the representative of a small business. I am writing to file a complaint regarding the actions of the SCO Group.

    SCO is making unspecific and unsubstantiated claims that it owns copyright pertaining to the Linux operating system. SCO is threatening legal action against anybody who uses Linux. SCO has stated that the only way anybody can avoid legal
    action from SCO, is to purchase SCO's UnixWare product.

    In deference to anything SCO may be claiming: SCO does not own Linux, nor does SCO have any special rights to Linux. Linux is protected by the General Public License (GPL). SCO has no more rights to tell people they can't use Linux, than SCO has to tell people they can't use MS-Windows.

    Would you please investigate the claims that SCO is making so that small businesses and other companies are not pressured into making unwarranted payments.

    Contact information for the SCO Group:
    The SCO Group
    355 South 520 West, Suite 100
    Lindon, Utah 84042
    801.765.4999 phone
    801.765.1313 fax

  • sleep( rand() % 1000000 );

    printf( "we recommend you stick with windows.\n" ); // thanks bill gates for this sweet job
  • by eric76 ( 679787 ) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @04:09PM (#6525289)
    I'm wondering when Gartner is going to start recommending everyone stay away from Windows because of InterTrust's patent infringement lawsuit against Microsoft.

    That would seem to be a lot stronger case than SCO's unproven/unprovable/nonexistent/absurd claims against IBM.

    Even if SCO's claims were on the level, wouldn't patent infringements be stronger than copyright infringements? Assuming SCO did have a case, why would they have a case against users of Linux who haven't violated SCO's copyrights (violations of copyright law are, I understand, issues of copying, something that most Linux users are not doing) and InterTrust not have a case against everyone with Microsoft software that is likely to be considered to be patent infringements of InterTrust's patents?

    Is it because Gartner is succumbing to SCO's compaign of FUD? Or is Gartner in a position to lose money with the increased use of Linux? Or maybe just make more money if Microsoft dominates?

    I wonder how frequently, if ever, a user who bought a legitimate copy of something that turned out to be an inadvertant copyright infringement has been held liable for that copy.
  • by rainmanjag ( 455094 ) <joshg&myrealbox,com> on Thursday July 24, 2003 @04:10PM (#6525307) Homepage
    IANAL, but I think Gartner is obligated to give cautionary advice toward Linux. If Gartner simply stated that the SCO claims are false and their legal threats are FUD, a company paid for and followed their advice, and strangely SCO won the suit or sued Gartner's customer, then Gartner would be held legally liable for their legal advice. They could be sued for dismissing SCO's claims as absurd, regardless of how absurd they actually are.

    As much as we all know SCO's full of shit, if there's a suit filed, there's always a chance they'll win. Gartner can't afford to ignore that.

    • If Gartner simply stated that the SCO claims are false and their legal threats are FUD, a company paid for and followed their advice, and strangely SCO won the suit or sued Gartner's customer, then Gartner would be held legally liable for their legal advice.

      Gartner isn't a law firm, nor do they give legal advice. They simply could have said nothing.

      The question I have is what motivated Gartner's statement? What did they have to gain or lose by remaining on the sidelines vs. issuing advice?

      The SCO case

  • by mrtrumbe ( 412155 ) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @04:13PM (#6525348) Homepage

    But isn't there any legal recourse available to a group in the situation we are currently in? SCO is a company that is basically using this *potential* lawsuit to extort money from linux users. This will likely damage Linux's reputation and make people act out of fear and dump the Linux platform.

    Aren't there any damages the authors of Linux could claim? A class action suit that the copyright holders of linux code could file?

    It seems to me that there is something fundamentally wrong (morally, that is) with using the *possibility* of a damaging lawsuit to get people to buy your product. Is there any law that they could be violating? I am envisioning a sort of "gag order" handed down to SCO. "You aren't allowed to contact linux customers or announce settlement offers until the merits of your case have been shown."

    If it takes years for this to get to trial, the effects on the linux platform could potentially be huge. Their statements will simply keep the fear growing among Linux customers and eventually at least some of them willl cave to that fear. Is there any way to shut down the FUD machine???

    Again, IANAL, but I'd love to hear the opinion of some lawyers on the feasibility of legal action against SCO by members of the Linux community.


  • by gamartin ( 145290 ) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @04:28PM (#6525622)

    This report is meaningless for enterprise management -- they are already very cautious with their mission critical deployments, and were not and are not rushing headlong onto linux even before SCO.

    There is linux migration, but it is already cautious and measured and driven by a complex calculation of licensing costs, security risks, training issues, partner compatibility, and so on. For all the press SCO gets, it is barely a blip on this larger radar.

    Furthermore, these are the people who are willing to pay Red Hat Enterprise product fees, and another license from SCO would hardly matter in the grand equation.

    Further furthermore, people who are actually considering these issues in a serious way are no doubt aware that the various BSD's are immune to SCO nonsense and in many cases could be freely substituted.

    Further further furthermore, I believe people are generally aware that SCO can't possibly put the squeeze on linux; no matter what they have after everything shakes out, if anything, linux and open source in general will simply throw it out and replace it with something free.

    SUMMARY: Chill out. Move along.

  • by dcavanaugh ( 248349 ) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @04:51PM (#6525939) Homepage
    Sometimes I agree with Gartner. Their recommendation to abandon IIS was right on target. Gartner's ability to collect facts is more valuable than their conclusions about what to do. Many of us in IT management will face additional questions about our Linux deployments thanks to Gartner. Dealing with a little sporadic flak is part of the job.

    I wonder why Gartner didn't have a "go slow" recommendation on Microsoft deployment during the DOJ anti-trust crisis and all the various states suing in pursuit of a breakup? It becomes even more interesting when you consider that the ONLY company that makes Windows was up to its neck in legal trouble, whereas NONE of the MANY Linux distributors is currently in any trouble at all. One dubious lawsuit and we all have to stop and wait? I don't think so. To me, Gartner is attempting to spray water where there is no fire.

    Ultimately, the decision factors in choosing Linux vs. the alternatives remain the same, with or without SCO. If we have to hide under our desks every time someone launches an idle threat or a lawsuit, we might as well power off and go home.

  • by GodWasAnAlien ( 206300 ) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @05:16PM (#6526262)
    At one point, MS had actual lawsuits against it from every direction. The Federal, State, local government and businesses such as Sun and Caldera (now SCO).

    Did Gartner issue the same warning then?

    So far SCO has only sued IBM. There is good reason for that. They have no case against others, unless they have a specific contract with them.

    For a normal Linux user, there is no SCO agreement.

    Linux users should assume that all linux code is covered under the GPL, unless shown otherwise.

    The most SCO could ask linux users to do is remove possible infringing code, if there was any.


    SCO claims that IBM borrowed their car years ago, and IBM took part of the car (perhaps near the bumper) and donated it to you, who assumed that it was a genuine gift from IBM.

    Now SCO is coming to you and demanding payment. They are also running around town telling people that your car is running on parts stolen from SCO. You are more than willing to give up a part, if they can show and prove which part was taken. But SCO will not tell you which part it is, and instead says that if you pay for their car, they will not sue you.

  • A Call to Arms (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tabdelgawad ( 590061 ) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @05:18PM (#6526275)
    Every SCO-related story now has tens of comments that are modded '+5 insightful' or '+5 interesting' that say nothing more than "SCO is evil, IBM will/should crush them, Linux is safe, and everyone who disagrees is in league with the devil (MS)". Frankly, this is neither 'insightful' nor 'interesting' any longer.

    Linux is in trouble. The SCO litigation obviously has enough bite to warrant a significant SCO stock response, a reassessment by IT consulting firms, and some hesitation by the corporate world. These are all self- and cross-enforcing mechanisms and if not dealt with, they'll get worse in the next couple of years while this whole matter moves through the court system. The damage to Linux at the end, even if SCO loses, may be irreparable.

    And the reponse of Linux advocates so far? 'Underwhelming' is the word I'd use to describe it. There's no shortage of outraged comments about 'SCO FUD' on Slashdot, but the big Linux players (IBM, Red Hat, the Kernel developers and maintainers) seem to have decided that ignoring or belittling the SCO threat is the best approach. Well, it's not working!

    Here's a suggestion: start an audit of the kernel. If SCO won't say which code is infringing, then the auditors can certify which code is *not* infringing. It may take months, even years, to complete the task, but that's how long the SCO matter will continue anyway. In the end, an audit like this would be an insurance policy against any further attacks on Linux's integrity.

    Even if the audit suggestion above is unrealistic (I'm really not qualified to judge this), my larger point stands: Linux advocates need to stop being dismissive and start being proactive. Beyond a certain threshold, dismissing FUD becomes a sign of weakness rather than a sign of confidence. I thing we've just passed that threshold.
    • Re:A Call to Arms (Score:3, Informative)

      by stwrtpj ( 518864 )
      Here's a suggestion: start an audit of the kernel. If SCO won't say which code is infringing, then the auditors can certify which code is *not* infringing. It may take months, even years, to complete the task, but that's how long the SCO matter will continue anyway. In the end, an audit like this would be an insurance policy against any further attacks on Linux's integrity.

      This is really a lot more work than is really necessary.

      SCO has, more or less, narrowed its claims on the Linux kernel, a fact that se

    • Linux is in trouble. The SCO litigation obviously has enough bite to warrant a significant SCO stock response

      Ummmm... I should think that the last 5 years or so of market performance should demonstrate the flaws in this statement.
  • by po8 ( 187055 ) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @05:43PM (#6526520)

    I'm a CS Prof, not a CEO/CIO. If I were the latter, I would be sending out the following letter:

    Dear Competitor of My Company:

    The Gartner Group has recently come out with a report that you should definitely be aware of [url]. Gartner recommends that you "go slow" with Linux. As your competitor, I urge you to seriously consider that approach.

    We currently plan to ignore the Gartner Group advice, and move to Linux and related Free/Open software as quickly as possible. Please believe us when we say that the likely resulting legal problems should put us at a huge competitive disadvantage relative to your more cautious organization. Trust us when we say that the putative low cost, high quality, and ability to control risk attributed to the Linux platform is over-hyped. By avoiding Linux, you aren't missing much---honest.

    We're about to make the mistake of using freely available source code maintained by dedicated teams of volunteer developers to power our enterprise. We encourage you, dear competitor, not to make the same mistake: we'd hate to see you miss the opportunity to beat us out.


    The CEO

  • by Rooney444 ( 617388 ) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @05:47PM (#6526555)
    I am so thoroughly disgusted with all of this SCO FUD! I think we should all take some time out of our day to help fill SCO's mailbox/phonelines, so at least someone at SCO has to waste their time on something other than the quest to "end piracy". 355 South 520 West Suite 100 Lindon, Utah 84042 USA 801-765-4999 phone 801-765-1313 fax
  • by itzdandy ( 183397 ) <dandenson@gNETBSDmail.com minus bsd> on Thursday July 24, 2003 @05:56PM (#6526628) Homepage
    AFAIK Linus has stated that most if not all of the code that SCO is B1tchin' about has be rewritten in 2.6 . The offending code was already planned to be replaced as is was a little bit to "old school" unixy and didn't play nice with some of the new scheduling AND the new SMP code is better than the old SMP code that was in question.

    So why not just speed up developement of 2.6 kernels in Distros and just skip this whole issue? I personally think that IBM will win based on my limited legal knowledge and what I have read so IBM should be fine and SCO will fade away.
    • AFAIK Linus has stated that most if not all of the code that SCO is B1tchin' about has be[en] rewritten in 2.6.

      Linus has stated no such thing.

      Linus has stated that the SCO suit is not about IP, either copyrights or patents, on the contrary, it is over a contract [mozillaquest.com] with IBM.
  • by gelfling ( 6534 ) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @06:04PM (#6526707) Homepage Journal
    Gee I feel like it's bad acid time and I'm flashing on 1992. Ever since I was a Gartner subscriber over a decade ago I've had to basically discount anything Gartner has ever said that might make MS look good. In other words Gartner has as far as can tell ever said anything (0.8 probability) that could be construed as being vaguely negative of MS. This appears to be more of the same. One Linux vendor suing another and Gartner tells its subscribes to stay away from all Linux. And this just a few days since MS 'admits' it's #1 threat is Linux.
  • by BenLutgens ( 56508 ) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @06:39PM (#6527080)
    I've had a customer ask me about this. I assured him that there's no legal precedent for this and that until a judgement is made we need not act. The lawsuit is based on allegations only. There is no legal basis to pay these bastards at SCO a nickel. Make SURE your customers/bosses don't fall for this fiasco. Speak with them and let them know that its far to early to leap.

    SCO must die, investors should abandon them for the scum that they are. Do NOT stop using linux because of this crock of shit. They refuse to provide clear proof of the violations, and in reality thier fight is with IBM, not the general linux user/developer.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 24, 2003 @06:48PM (#6527159)
    At my company we're afraid to move to Linux also, so we are moving everything to AIX. Gartner Group didn't say it was bad to move there so it should be safe.
  • by rollingcalf ( 605357 ) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @07:23PM (#6527450)
    SCO should be sued for the damage they are doing to Linux distributors, and an injunction should be obtained to shut them up until they can show proof in court. One half-dead company must not be allowed to use the legal system to terrorize people all over the place.
  • by Krellan ( 107440 ) <`krellan' `at' `krellan.com'> on Thursday July 24, 2003 @07:53PM (#6527660) Homepage Journal
    I must not understand something that's going on here.

    With all this SCO-Linux controversy, why not simply remove the disputed code?

    Since the 2.6 kernel is on the verge of being formally released (taken out of beta), the 2.6 kernel could form a fresh start, being SCO-free.

    I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to clone the disputed code, doing things a slightly different way, to replace whatever functionality would be lost by the removal of all SCO-disputed code.

    The hard part would be is if SCO had patents on the disputed code. Then the functionality would have to go "non-US", like MP3 encoders and DVD players already have to do.

    Does anybody know for sure why this hasn't been done already?
  • by pair-a-noyd ( 594371 ) on Thursday July 24, 2003 @08:53PM (#6528010)
    Drop the MOAB now.
    They refused to drink the koolaid.
    John has a long mustache.
    The chair is against the wall.
  • by toolz ( 2119 ) on Friday July 25, 2003 @03:16AM (#6529949) Homepage Journal
    Yes, the whole SCO issue is garbage.

    Problem is - we know that, but the people who take decisions do not. And even if they *would* know *about* it, they wouldn't act on it. They aren't paid to act on *knowledge* - they are paid to act on *recommendations*.

    Why? Because if they acted on their own knoweledge, and if something went wrong, they would carry the blame. If they act on a "recommendation" by a consulting firm, they can blame the consulting firm.

    And that's where Gartner & Co come in. They can make "recommendations" that will affect the industry in positive and negative ways, and get away with it because that is what their business model is - professional scapegoats, if you can call it that.

    It is a win-win situation for consulting firms like Gartner, Forrester and their ilk, as well as their clients. If one looks closely at their "predictions" and "recommendations" over the years, you will find a balanced mix of bombs and hits - as long as that ratio is maintained, they own the keys to the mint.

    Don't believe that? Then have a look at these two "recommendations":

    21 May 2003 [gartner.com]

    23 July 2003 [gartner.com]

    They are both by the same company, in fact by the same person (George Weiss). Yet they indicate two opposing lines of thought, to the point that Gartner clearly says in the first one:

    "Gartner believes SCO made a strategic error when it chose to defend Unix on Intel over Linux, against market trends. SCO is building a new Web services framework on the upcoming Unix System V v.6, and wants to steer OpenServer, UnixWare and SCO Linux customers to an expanded Web application programming interface. To support its legal claims against the Linux industry, SCO had to withdraw its Linux distribution from the market. But SCO damaged its own credibility and cut off the one potential avenue of high growth for its framework."

    Compare that to the tone of their most recent "recommendation".

    The problem with this is, of course, that the PHBs may be acting on tainted information, which could cost their companies heavily.

    Quick Q&A:

    Q:Do they care?

    A:No. They aren't paid to care.

    Q:Doesn't the whole world laugh at them?

    A:Yes, but they don't care, because they aren't paid to care.

    Q:Aren't they afraid that their companies will suffer if they act on tianted information?

    A:No. They don't own the companies - they are employed by them. If the company folds, they will move on.

    Q:Shouldn't they be reading Slashdot to get the real picture?

    A:$deity forbid! If they would, they might get a clue, and then slashdotters would have nothing to rant about, which would mean the end of Slashdot! ;-)

    Q:Does this mean that this is the end of Linux?

    A:Remember the British and their "Salt Tax" in India? Try to tax something that is free and an indespensable part of nature, and bad things happen.

    Relax. Life will go on, as will Linux.

Today is a good day for information-gathering. Read someone else's mail file.