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Caldera Editorial

More on SCO Code Snippets 339

anoopsinha writes "A story in linuxworld reports that SCO itself has no idea what the history of a particular snippet of code might be - even a high profile snippet like the one SCO highlighted at SCO Forum. Having no idea if its claims have merit has not stopped SCO so far, so we can expect more from SCO along the lines of big claims with no merit."
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More on SCO Code Snippets

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  • by Locky ( 608008 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @03:28AM (#6955636) Homepage
    Seems to me like they can get away with showing greek code anyway.
  • by pr0ntab ( 632466 ) <> on Sunday September 14, 2003 @03:29AM (#6955639) Journal

    SCO needs an Eric or a Bruce and they can't get one.

    Mr. Nauvek [] isn't kidding,
    SCO's press releases are just echoing back what Perens, or what that Groklaw guys say in
    twisted words.
    Let's just not talk about SCO anymore. We're just giving them ideas for press releases that pump up their stock price.

    • by WCMI92 ( 592436 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @03:33AM (#6955649) Homepage
      SCO just cares about punping it's stock, which execs continue to sell...

      Considering that SCOX was a penny stock before this lawsuit... Well, do the math.

      SCO has no care about winning their suit. A weakness of the US legal system is they can make their claims based on the virtue that they HAVE sued.

      Unless the trial judge is Lewis Kaplan of DECSS fame, I can't see SCO winning.
    • SCO needs an Eric or a Bruce and they can't get one.
      They may be short of Erics and Bruces, but they sure have a lot of Gumbys [].
  • Now... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stevezero ( 620090 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @03:29AM (#6955640)
    Now might be a good time to short that SCO stock
    • Re:Now... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ari_j ( 90255 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @03:48AM (#6955697)
      Every day is a good day to short SCO stock.
      • You'd be Broke (Score:5, Insightful)

        by blunte ( 183182 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @04:53AM (#6955858)
        If you had been shorting SCOX all this time.

        They're around $18 right now. In May they were in the $3s.

        Feast your eyes on this lovely chart [].

        SCO is doing what Enron, Worldcom, Tyco, and so many other companies have done. They do absolutely anything, legal or not, ethical or not, to pump that stock. And keep in mind that for the stock to trade higher and higher means that people have been standing in line to buy it. Those asses share some of the blame. It's just a bunch of people trading, overall, lots of the world's time, energy, and money, for a little personal gain.

        Fuck them.

        Fuck McBride []. His method of improving SCO's business here brings into serious question the supposed successes he ha d at other companies.

        Speaking of the snake, does anyone have personal information on him? It would be a real shame if he personally were to receive indications of the world's negative feelings about him...

        • "It would be a real shame if he personally were to receive indications of the world's negative feelings about him..."

          What, you mean like /. users working together to get him signed up to every spam source on the planet while setting up a fund to dump 100 tonnes of unprocessed bovine excrement on his doorstep just to make sure he gets as much bullshit as he gives out? That sort of thing?
        • Re:You'd be Broke (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 14, 2003 @12:18PM (#6957277)

          SCO is doing what Enron, Worldcom, Tyco, and so many other companies have done. They do absolutely anything, legal or not, ethical or not, to pump that stock.

          That's an important point there.

          And keep in mind that for the stock to trade higher and higher means that people have been standing in line to buy it. Those asses share some of the blame.

          Oh, I imagine there are probably a few investors or wannabe investors really banking on SCO's chances of a big payout, but most are not.

          SCOX stock is shorted to the hilt. It's shorted so hard, a lot of people are having trouble finding shares to short. That means a lot of investors are fully confident that SCO will go down in flames. The only reason SCOX stock is rising is because of some pretty flagrant stock manipulation. SCOX is a small-cap, tight-float stock that started this affair as a penny stock in danger of delisting. For those unfamiliar with the stock market, the practical upshot of that is that SCOX stock is very easy to manipulate.

          Who's manipulating it? My guess is, SCO's the chief manipulator (with other parties serving as accomplices), though I can't be certain. This isn't the first time this company's tried it; if you look back in the days when they were still Caldera, you'll find an old (unresolved?) class-action lawsuit hanging around:

          (See See get slashdotted. Gee, I sure am sorry about that!) []

          If you want to see the current manipulation in action, just grab yourself a copy of LinuxTrade [], get yourself a free real-time account, and watch the trading happen in real-time. (The LinuxTrade docs will give you hints as to where to get free real-time accounts; I refuse to have a nameless, innocent, and very generous brokerage slashdotted on my account). You'll see miniscule volume, mystery entities bidding up the ask on the smallest lots possible, and end-of-day tape painting to get the stock to close higher. Lately whoever's yanking the stock around seems to have a fetish for targetting close to exact dollar amounts like $17.00 and $18.00, so I'm betting the yanking duties have recently been consigned to a bot.

    • Shorting stocks... (Score:5, Informative)

      by metatruk ( 315048 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @03:49AM (#6955698)
      Just in case someone doesn't understand this and wants to know more about what "shorting" a stock means: []
    • Re:Now... (Score:5, Funny)

      by Unoriginal Nick ( 620805 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @03:52AM (#6955709)
      Now might be a good time to not take investmest advice from a stranger on a website.
    • I shorted SCOX [] 3 months ago you insensitive clod!
  • No Idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by snipingkills ( 250057 ) <> on Sunday September 14, 2003 @03:31AM (#6955644) Homepage
    So now they admit that they had no idea about the validity of their own claims. Why is this not surpising?
    • Re:No Idea (Score:5, Insightful)

      by FrozenDownload ( 687199 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @03:36AM (#6955660) Homepage
      So now they admit that they had no idea about the validity of their own claims. Why is this not surpising?

      As far as I could tell after reading the whole article, they did not actually admit anything. The writer of the article is just coming to that conclusion via other evidence.
      • Re:No Idea (Score:2, Interesting)

        damn preview, i meant they did not actually admit anything as far as validity of their ip claims. Just history.
        • Re:No Idea (Score:4, Insightful)

          by ppanon ( 16583 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @05:00AM (#6955868) Homepage Journal
          If they can't show the source of the code snippets - the history - then they can't prove the direction of code copying. It could as easily have been SCO that copied from Linux, or from another common source such as BSD or (in this case) SGI. SCO should be able to use a code version repository to track checkins and changes and compare them to equivalent dates in the Linux CVS to show the snippets came from SCO. If they can't do that, then the judge should summarily dismiss the case.

          I'm not sure how McBride and co. hope to keep their ill-gotten gains after the shareholder lawsuit that's bound to arise from this. Maybe they're shuffling the money into numbered offshore accounts. I suppose it's expecting too much to imagine reprisals from the SEC or criminal fraud charges, given how Enron, Worldcom, et al turned out. <sarcasm>Yep, the potential for false reporting and stock market manipulation has really decreased and a return of investor confidence will happen real soon now.</sarcasm>
          • Re:No Idea (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward
            That they didn't know that SGI submitted the code in question doesn't change the fact that the code was in the kernel. Now if we for the moment assume that SCO does own the rights to that code, does it matter where the code came from? It's there, in the kernel, pay for it. The author of the linked article goes from A to Z without even slowing down at any of the letters inbetween. Also that part about no SCO employee knowing the history of Unix - how does he know that? Has he interviewed all SCO employees?

            • That they didn't know that SGI submitted the code in question doesn't change the fact that the code was in the kernel.

              It does change its relevance to a lawsuit that claims IBM introduced code in violation of its contracts with SCO. If SCO didn't verify the origin of the code in Linux, then it's also unlikely that they verified which O/S had the code first. It looks like they did a pattern match and assumed any positives were copied by IBM from SCO to Linux. The AT&T/BSD lawsuit gives ample precedent t
  • by Empiric ( 675968 ) * on Sunday September 14, 2003 @03:32AM (#6955647)
    "So, you see... we're associated with a Unix, and, you're associated with a Unix... well, you're financial obligations here should be obvious."
  • What threw me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 14, 2003 @03:33AM (#6955651)
    1. SCO shows code snippets to stockholders and says "here are infringing code snippets"
    2. People actually look at code snippets, point out they are non-infringing
    3. SCO says "Well, THAT was not an example of an INFRINGING code snippet. It was just an example of a code snippet. We haven't shown you the REAL infringing code snippets yet, but they're doozies."
    4. There are no ill effects to SCO whatsoever from the fact they showed non-infringing code snippets to their investors and to the press and presented them as infringing code snippets whatsoever, SCOs investors remain unaware of this, and little to no-one in the "mainstream" (non-geek) press covers this.
    • Re:What threw me (Score:5, Interesting)

      by rjch ( 544288 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @03:52AM (#6955707) Homepage
      Short version, this fits in to the context that all too many companies do nowadays. Certainly here in .au, I've heard the criticism of the major investment houses not thinking through the issues before voting (or proxying their votes) at a shareholders meeting. The large trading houses are not thinking in terms of "is this good for the company?", they're taking only the most cursory looks at the issue and trusting what the board tells them.
    • Exactly my thoughts. In my opinion, it's just a matter of time when the SCO stock-bubble will burst.

      I guess that most investors just gamble.

    • There are no ill effects to SCO whatsoever from the fact they showed non-infringing code snippets to their investors and to the press and presented them as infringing code snippets whatsoever, SCOs investors remain unaware of this, and little to no-one in the "mainstream" (non-geek) press covers this.

      It's commonly thought [] that the only reason SCOX stock is rising is because somebody with deep pockets is manipulating it.
  • by RinzeWind ( 413873 ) <chema@rinzewi n d . org> on Sunday September 14, 2003 @03:38AM (#6955664) Homepage
    SCO claims Gibraltar.
  • by G3ckoG33k ( 647276 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @03:39AM (#6955668)
    Why not use systematic biologist or linguists?

    The world is full of systematic biologists which uncover relationships (natural history) between organisms every day. The may use DNA, anatomy or even ethology. Why not have a group of them analysing the raw data. Their methods have now been adopted by several linguists.

    But, the linguists problems differ from that of most biologists, there is much infiltration of words from various languages into one language, therewith obscuring the true relationship between languages.

    Maybe these guys can use an "objective method" to deduce the origins of various code snippets.
    • Why not use BLAST? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TitaniumFox ( 467977 ) * on Sunday September 14, 2003 @03:53AM (#6955712) Journal
      Hmm... I wonder if a modification of BLAST [] would work. It looks for DNA (or protein) sequence homology of a given sample vs. the genome of an organism or many organisms.

      It would be interesting to do something like take all the whitespace out from the source tree and tar all the files together and use it as a "genome" to BLAST snippits of (likewise "compressed") code snippits.

      Normal (DNA) BLAST results return with a similarity ratio and go on to show where they are/aren't homologous. I'm not sure how it would deal with expanding the relatively small nucleotide "alphabet" to that of source code.

      • by dondelelcaro ( 81997 ) <> on Sunday September 14, 2003 @05:17AM (#6955893) Homepage Journal
        First of, small nitpick: BLAST doesn't look for homology. It looks for identity. Homology refers to a speciation event separating two genes. On the basis of identity, you might hypothesize homology, but mere identity doesn't necessarily lead to homology. Translation: it's not possible to have homology between two sequences of the same species which an ORGN{HUM} BLAST, FE, will turn up. (Yes, for those of you keeping score, I've made the error before, and you'll ocassionally see this mistake in publications.)

        BLAST is designed to deal with a specific set of optimal string alignment problems, namely the matching of nucleotide to nucleotide or amino acid to amino acid. (Actually it's even narrower than that. It's really good at finding a match of a small sequence against a database of millions because of the way it idexes the database... but you can read the paper [] describing it if you really want to know.) It acts on the assumption that any change is as valid as any other change (ignoring secondary, tertiary and quatenary structure.) Because of this, it's not well suited to determining distances between two code bases where what the code says actually has testable meaning.

        In this case, we're pretty much stuck to wandering through the code samples by hand with judicious use of grep and diff.
        • by Jeremy Erwin ( 2054 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @10:48AM (#6956770) Journal
          Your link was a bit off. The BLAST manpage is more helpful, and contains a brief description of the algorithm. The algorithm incorporates certain assumptions about biological sequences that are not reflected in computer code. A good bit can be reduced to simple Bayesian logic.

          It may be possible to devise a similarly minded algorithm that describes the evolution of computer code (using, perhaps, the CVS trees of large projects) but such a project would be a massive undertaking.
      • by zachrahan ( 600868 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @06:26AM (#6956014)

        No, BLAST won't work. ESR's SHRED won't work. These are, at heart, text matching algorithms, which are easily defeated and of little relevance. Let me explain.

        Any simple code obfuscation techniques (changing variable names, adding/removing comments, inserting newlines, changing for loops to while loops, etc.) will totally defeat SHRED and will likely give BLAST a hard time, if not break it entirely.

        Why? SHRED searches for lines with identical MD5 sums. If every/most line of purloined code has been changed, even slightly, SHRED fails. BLAST works by finding "seed" regions of identity and then growing those regions out to "near matches." Unfortunately, the idea of a "near match" is a lot more clear cut in DNA/protein than in code, and the initial seeding breaks if the code has been obfuscated at all.

        SCO would (wisely) never accept a negative SHRED or BLAST result as proof for just these reasons.

        What is necessary is a comparison of the code structure, NOT the simple text of the code. Stanford's, for example (and many other) CS department detects cheating by chewing through source files and turning them into an intermediate representation (think: parse tree) which describe directly the STRUCTURE and FUNCTION of a bit of code in a way that is completely divorced from the text of that code. To find out if people cheated, they compare the parse trees from their code -- not the text of the code.

        In this way, they can easily detect (with a surprisingly low false positive rate) when two pieces of textually different code actually stemmed from the same source (but one was then obfuscated to cover up the cheating.)

        This is the way to compare code fragments. Not borrowing text-matching (or near-matching) from unrelated disciplines.
    • Why not use systematic biologist or linguists?

      If the problem were text comparison, I'd call for someone from the English department who makes critical editions, as it's the most similar to the human processes working on text, not independent words or natural forces working anything.

      But I don't think that's the problem. What they need is a computer science historian (aka a long-bearded Unix geek), and copies of every Unix source released. Given that, it shouldn't be hard to find all the copies of that mal
  • by kaltkalt ( 620110 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @03:39AM (#6955670)
    It's clear that SCO has filed its suit against IBM with absolutely no chance of winning (much like the fox news vs al franken "fair and balanced" suit). Not only has SCO filed a frivilous suit (a civil cause of action to do so) but has made baseless threats causing undue emotional distress to many users of Linux. Once SCO's suit is dismissed, look for some really nice lawsuits right back at 'em from many different parties. Should make for good popcorn munching entertainment. If it were me, I would sue Darly McB individually, in his personal capacity, as well as SCO.
    • Darl reads Slashdot! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by fv ( 95460 ) * <> on Sunday September 14, 2003 @06:33AM (#6956031) Homepage
      > Should make for good popcorn munching entertainment. If it were me, I
      > would sue Darly McB individually, in his personal capacity, as well
      > as SCO.

      Darl bashing is even more fun now that we know he actually reads Slashdot! The Linuxworld piece links to a Computer World Interview [] with McBride. In the last question, Darl admits that he reads our rants on Slashdot and it hurts his feelings:

      Q: How do you feel about apparently being reviled in the open-source community due to SCO's legal fight? Does it bother you?

      A:It does and it doesn't. We're at the center of a hurricane. Clearly, in this case we have one set of forces here that are pro-SCO, and I've characterized them as the silent majority. Then there's the other side that is anything but silent, and they're some of the most boisterous enemies or antagonists that one could ever hope for. You think pro sports stars have got it bad as they're driving home after the game when they've gone 1 for 10 and missed five three-pointers. They think their lives are bad from the sound bites on sports radio. They need to come over here and read Slashdot. That part of it is not the most exciting part of your life.

      So Darl, if you are reading this: fuck you! We know your evidence is bogus, we are on to your stock scams (e.g. the Vultus "acquisition"), and we laugh at your suggestions that we cooperate to "monetize Linux". Give it up now, before we finally convince the SEC to launch an official investigation.

      Concerned about your network security? Try the free Nmap Security Scanner []

  • by 91degrees ( 207121 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @03:44AM (#6955684) Journal
    So, for all purposes, it's safe to say SCO and its crack legal team just can't do the deeper historical analysis needed here. Would a junior programmer be able to produce the findings that the open source community can? No way. Such an individual simply would not have the depth of historical knowledge to know where to look.

    This is a rather daft assumption. The junior programmer doesn't need to know the history of the code. Simply that the code is the same. Then all he needs to do is compare it with BSD and any other publically available kernels to eliminate any that may have had a common ancestry. The rest of the work could be left to someone who's good at researching in books,

    And there's no reason that SCO couldn't hire someone with "depth of historical knowledge to know where to look". Bruce Perens and Eric Raymond aren't the only people with this knowledge. We don't know what SCO are doing, or what they're planning. Their public statements may be misleading simply because they don't want to show their hand. The code they did show may have been a gamble that didn't pay off. There may still be many lines of code that were stolen from SCO Unix.
    • The code they did show may have been a gamble that didn't pay off. There may still be many lines of code that were stolen from SCO Unix.

      There may also be:

      1. My butt
      2. Pigs
      3. Pigs that fly out of my butt

      SCO's claims fall under #3.
    • it's safe to say SCO and its crack legal team

      I always knew it wasn't just Darl who was smoking the stone here. I knew the lawyers had to be suffering from paranoia and cocaine psychosis as well.

      My theory is that this whole law suit came about following one particularly heavy night hitting the pipe. When McBride, Sontag, Boies etc. began to get that familiar disturbing feeling of having maggots burrowing beneath their skin, one of them proposed that the running the GNU debugger might be the best way to
    • by rhysweatherley ( 193588 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @05:26AM (#6955906)
      And there's no reason that SCO couldn't hire someone with "depth of historical knowledge to know where to look". Bruce Perens and Eric Raymond aren't the only people with this knowledge.
      You're assuming of course that any of the Unix old hands with the necessary knowlege would want to have anything to do with such a task. As Eric Raymond put it in the OSI's position paper:

      Thus, the community of Unix hackers that had grown up around the pre-commercial releases never lost the conviction that, ethically, the Unix code belonged to them -- the people who had the ideas and wrote the code -- regardless of what the legal paperwork said.
      That's the core issue here - no one who believes in Unix, by the community, for the community, would have anything to do with SCO's shenanigans. Which leaves SCO relying upon non-existent MIT mathematicians, junior programmers, and law clerks to troll the source code looking for things that aren't actually there.
    • by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @07:06AM (#6956094) Homepage

      >There may still be many lines of code that were stolen from SCO Unix.

      For the zillionth but I'm sure not the last time, according to the US Supreme Court, copyright infringement is not theft. []

  • Do we really know? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by abertoll ( 460221 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @03:46AM (#6955689) Homepage Journal
    Do we really know how likely SCO's claims are to be true? Personally, I think that the Linux community is pretty proud of having "done it themselves" and doesn't want to use SCO's code at all. In fact, it's a very bad thing for the GPL if people put code under the GPL illegally.

    The only way people will trust open source is to trust the open source developers. As more and more people are warming up to the idea that "free software isn't junk" the last thing needed is for consumers and companies to think that it was all done using someone else's code.
  • Surprise (Score:2, Funny)

    by WhaDaYaKnow ( 563683 )
    A story in linuxworld reports that SCO itself has no idea what the history of a particular snippet of code might be

    You have GOT to be shitting me.
  • When I first read this, I thought they wish their code was good enough to copy. Or maybe its exactly what the author meant?
  • History Repeated (Score:3, Insightful)

    by trolman ( 648780 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @03:52AM (#6955705) Journal
    SCO should be afraid of identifying any more code because they would have no earthly idea what the history of the code might turn out to be. Court will be a nightmare of surprises for SCO - just like SCO Forum.

    This is a lawyer' dream retirement least until SCO runs out of cash. Since this is a public company the Feds and State can get involved and end this non-sense er I mean string it out for years with no meaningful outcome.

    Those that do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. []

  • Its funny (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lord_Dweomer ( 648696 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @03:53AM (#6955713) Homepage
    Its funny....I look at this whole SCO mess.....and I look forward to the end of it not so much to be done with it.....but just to see what sort of retaliation everybody attached will exact on them/Darl.

  • by idiotnot ( 302133 ) <> on Sunday September 14, 2003 @03:56AM (#6955723) Homepage Journal
    SCO thought that exact code alignment could be used to sway the general public into accepting thier argument. It's backfiring, like so many of their tactics.

    But the real crux of their argument is that *every* modern OS violates their "Intellectual Property" (bad phrase) rights stemming from SysV Unix.

    That includes the BSD's.
    That includes Windows.

    Every OS that does basically what you could with SysV Unix is in violation, whether there's code sharing or not. It's a very disturbing concept, and the implications are chilling. It is absolutely imperitive that SCO lose this case.
    • SCO thought that exact code alignment could be used to sway the general public...

      The only problem is the only people who care about the whole SCO crack-smoking-binge... is us bunch of geeks.

      I tried explaining to my mom the other day as well as to my sister and I eventually gave up. Not that I couldn't explain it, but it's just too much to explain about GPL and Open Source and IP and company claims and Linus and "open letters" and everything...

      Had to just throw my figurative hands in the air and say,

  • by rice_burners_suck ( 243660 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @03:57AM (#6955726)
    SCO cannot get away with this bull. SCO will not get away with this bull.

    The question of code history is one I asked a *long* time ago; probably the first I heard of this SCO bs. I believe they wrote a little C program that crawls the source tree and looks for similar lines of code. Hell, I could write a program like that, make it compare two source trees that make up 10,000 lines of code, and have it print out that 1,000,000 of those 10,000 lines are identical. Just like the ad for PC-Lint in the programming magazines.

    Darl McBride's silly little company is acting just like the idiot who was sitting in a cafe one day. When the waitress came to take his order, the man asked her to sign and date some official documents certifying that he had been in that cafe at that time and date, with records of what he ordered, how long he stayed, etc. The waitress was confused about this, but the man claimed that he was very paranoid of someday being framed of a crime, and therefore wanted a written alibi for every waking moment of his life. He shows the waitress a calendar book with exact notations of every step he had ever taken. Suddenly, the police storms into the establishment and asks the gentleman if he goes by such and such a name. He answers affirmatively. They asked him if he had been involved in a jewelry store robbery which took place at 1221 East West Street several nights prior, at 12:31 AM. As he had proof of everything he had ever done, he opened his book, flipped to the day and hour in question, and read aloud from his book, "Jewelry store robbery at 1221 East West Street, 12:31 AM." Before he realized what a stupid error he had made, the police snatched him and he was off to jail.

    With that in mind, here is an open letter to SCO CEO Darl McBride:

    Dear Darl,

    I do not believe any of your company's claims. In fact, I believe quite the opposite: I believe that SCO's software is composed 100% of code your company deliberately stole from other companies. Because your company stole code from the Linux kernel, you later found that code and wrongly believe that the theft occured in the other direction. Further, I strongly believe that with your company's shoddy record keeping, you cannot prove the origin of your code, so it is therefore impossible to prove your false claims of its being misappropriated into Linux. I further believe that even if your company could produce such proof, the effects of doing so would be adverse for you, as the records would clearly indicate the thefts that SCO deliberately performed.

    Oh yeah, and one other thing: In your poorly written, grammatically incorrect, misspelled "open letter" to the free software community, you deliberately took some quotes out of context. This was silly because the misquoted documents are readily available for all to see your blatent and stupid attempt. To demonstrate the effect of misquoting, I offer the following text, quoted directly from your letter:

    My company, the SCO Group ... illegally copied ... the free Linux operating system. In doing this we ... adversely affect the ... credibility of ... SCO. SCO ... violates ... Linux ... intellectual property rights. This is improper. SCO ... has forfeited its rights to this code. SCO ... copyright ownership ... is null and void. SCO ... needs a business model that is sustainable, if it is to grow beyond a part-time avocation into an enterprise-trusted development model. Rather than fight for the right for free software ... I invite the Open Source community to ... fire off a "rant" ... across a negotiation table. [R]espect for intellectual property is not [an option]...

    Best regards to all,

    Darl McBride
    The SCO Group

    How does that feel, Darl?


    rice burners suck
    Chief Karma Whore

    • by Anonymous Coward
      How does that feel, Darl?

      Thank you for providing the exhibit A352: "An incoherrent, vaguely threatening letter from a mentally disturbed open source advocate".

    • by h00pla ( 532294 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @04:46AM (#6955843) Homepage
      I actually feel sorry for McBride in a way. Not *really* sorry, of course. I say this because, as far as I know, he has not sold off any stock. All the people around him are making 6 figures off of it and he basically can't sell anything. He is the pillar holding up the house of cards for the Canopy Group and whoever else is making money off this (Microsoft??). This guy is essentially the bag boy - he's the one who's job it is to make his asinine claims while everybody else just sits back and laughs. (ie - the open source people laughing at the claims and the SCO stockholders laughing all the way to the bank). If you think about it, when this is over, good ole Darl's going to have worthless stock and essentially a very, very bad name. I would imagine that they (the Canopy Group) have planned to provide compensation to him some other way.

    • by nathanh ( 1214 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @05:55AM (#6955959) Homepage
      Oh yeah, and one other thing: In your poorly written, grammatically incorrect, misspelled "open letter" to the free software community, you deliberately took some quotes out of context. This was silly because the misquoted documents are readily available for all to see your blatent and stupid attempt.

      Pot, meet... aw fuck it, who cares...

  • This is the only remaining option if we are to retain some kind of sanity.

    The IDP, a total voluntary boycotting of all and any news surrounding SCO, implemented in as many online journals and newssites as possible, extended to newsgroups, emails, and any other source of discussion.

    SCO were kinda amusing when there was no other news this summer, but like a playground bully, they are feeding off all the attention they get, and so I vote for the IDP.

    For a start, I'd be mighty grateful if there was a SCO top
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 14, 2003 @04:23AM (#6955789)
      A lot of people have been complaining about this SCO echo chamber thing, but they are missing a big point.

      It does not matter how much slashdot, groklaw, memepool, kuro5hin or metafilter or whoever cover the SCO nonsense. Ignoring it, or covering it until it's blue in the face, will not help or hurt SCO's case.

      The one and only thing that matters is: Are investment news sites, and the sites read by executives and people who buy stock, covering it?

      Since these sites will *do* things like take press releases and reprint them without investigating the veracity of their content, yes, they are, and will no matter what we do. If all SCO-unfriendly (i would call this "is aware of the facts of the situation") news sites dropped their SCO coverage, press-release-friendly/sco-friendly news sources-- the ones executives and stockholders read-- would continue to run their stories. This would mean that the people who are causing SCO's stock to be pumped up would still be getting the constant source of PR (lies?) from SCO, but it would mean that there would be no dissenting voices elsewhere in the media.

      Dissenting voices elsewhere in the media, if they *exist*, however, may eventually have the effect, eventually, somehow, of effecting the stock-news sites. Once this begins to happen, and the stock-news sites begin to report on the actual situation rather than SCO's single (imaginary?) side of the story, SCO's stock will be toast.

      In the long run all that matters is getting SCO's stock price to drop, becuase all that matters to those fueling SCO's nonsense is getting it to rise...

      There is such a thing as bad publicity.
    • I will back you up on the SCO topic on Slashdot. That would be nice.

      But the Internet Death Penalty has a critical flaw in it.
      If you are going to impose it, then how can you follow it?

      People on the internet are chat happy anyways. Best that the IDP could possibly achieve is a bunch of people talking about why imposing the IDP against SCO was such a good thing. And why soandso violating the IDP against SCO was a bad thing.
      By the time you are done a lot of people have spent a lot of time talking about SCO
  • by ( 142825 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @04:12AM (#6955770) Homepage
    From the sounds of it, SCO's attorneys have not properly investigated their case before filing a lawsuit. Where SCO's attorneys failed to properly investigate, they would be subject to rule 11 sanctions for filing a frivilous case. There was a case in California where an attorney was sanctioned over $500k for filing and continuing a frivilous case.

    Not just that, IBM can go after SCO for intentional interference, abuse of process, and malicious prosecution.

  • by ryanisflyboy ( 202507 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @04:29AM (#6955806) Homepage Journal
    I'm not a SCO supporter by any means, but these guys [] have a history of suing people and winning. I know we all asume that McBride is a moron, but what if he's actually clever. They could be "throwing" everyone off by making themselves look like idiots. Has it dawned on anyone that maybe the code snippets that were leaked were meant to be leaked? Perhaps they knew someone would be there with a camera and stick the pictures out on the Internet.

    So while the community is thinking everything is just fine because SCO doesn't have jack, they are sitting on one or two really excellent examples of IP ownership they haven't released yet. This way when the code is released we will all be caught with our jaws gaping open and our feet stuffed into them. They are just down the street from me, I know some of these guys. They are slippery. The best way to kill a fox is not by chasing it.

    Now maybe what they do have is small and can be replaced simply. That doesn't matter because on the phsycological front the open source / free software camp just took a hit. Unfortunatly it's too late to do anything about it.

    I think a good approch is the "show us the code" approch. Not the "you must be an idiot smoking crack" approch. Hubris is a good thing when hacking code, but not when dealing with a bunch of lawyers. I urge a level headed course of action rather than a kick SCO's butt becuase there is no way we can be wrong action. Use caution - I promise there is an "Ace" up their sleave. Or at least a "Queen of Hearts". ;-)
    • by PhB95 ( 442518 ) <philippe DOT bou ... -internet DOT fr> on Sunday September 14, 2003 @05:16AM (#6955891)
      I think a good approch is the "show us the code" approch. Not the "you must be an idiot smoking crack" approch.

      Now this is exactly what we should stay at. They claim "linux" stole their code? Well, when anybody makes a difficult to believe affirmation, the only sensible answer is "I may believe you, but only if I see a proof". And considering they took their position publicly, the proof must also be shown publicly: No NDA stuff or so. The german ruling is perfect here, stating "Show the offending code or shut up until you're in a courtroom". This is the exact sentence they should get served at every attempt to speak about the case.
  • by veldstra ( 107520 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @04:29AM (#6955807)
    There's a lot of issues surrounding this case, but let's start with the request for a Bruce Perens or Eric Raymond: These guys repeatedly offered they're assistance in looking at the code to identify any possibly infringing snippets, but they require that the NDA is dropped for them. SCO refuses to let them do this, seemingly afraid that the infringing snippets will 'disappear' from the kernel source, hence losing a case against all those commercial users of Linux they want to sue.

    And to have all those people claiming it's pump and dump of SCO stock, think of this: Some execs have call options (right to buy at a certain price) that can't be exercised till somewhere in 2004. That means they have to keep the SCO stock price up till they can exercise the options. With a case like this, I wonder if that's possible: sooner or later the 'regular joe' catches on, and the stock will end up in a free-fall, and if printed on paper, making geek toilet paper (But that might make the demand among us geeks so high the price gets back up). Next to that, they sold quite some stock, but so far it's been in 5000 - 10000 chunks, While they own 10 - 20 times that much each. If they really wanted to get rich, they would dump it as fast as they could, and leave the country.

    My guess is they started seriously believing they have a case, but now continue in order not to lose their face. I think McBride and his servants have lost a lot of sleep over this case by now, and will have a lot of sleepless nights in he near future.
    • by platypus ( 18156 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @05:37AM (#6955928) Homepage
      But this whole mess is _not_ orchestrated by SCO. Look at the people involved, look at the content of IBM's subpoena (the important parts are up on groklaw), a subpoena adressed to Canopy, not SCO.

      Canopy has a history of taking a lot of influence in the companies they have a majority stake in, so that in effect, the company is managed from inside Canopy.

      I think they wanted to use the threat of a SCO kamikaze against IBM, in order to maximise their returns for a dying company by extorting some money from them and getting some money out of the stock market.
      Now that IBM apparently doesn't want to play this game, they are solely taking the stock market route - notice how the number of (absurd) press releases per week went considerably up after it was clear the IBM wouldn't cave in.

      On IBM's POV, I think they know quite well what's going on, they know their real "enemies" are part of canopy, as can be seen by the content of their subpoena.

      Now we can speculate even more:
      Maybe Canopy underestimated something when setting up that plot. This whole IP/Copyright "weakness" of linux they are capitalizing on is of an enormous strategical importance for IBM.
      IBM must make sure that no one else will ever get the idea to do what Canopy/SCO are doing now.
      And, if I interpret IBM's subpoena correcty, this is what they are doing now. They are beginning to show the world that there is no secure way of playing the game that canopy is playing now. And they (IBM) have to make sure that everyone gets this message.

      So I don't expect this mess to resolve quietly, I expect Canopy to come out of this seriously hurt.

  • by abertoll ( 460221 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @04:36AM (#6955823) Homepage Journal
    Sometimes I wonder why the courts don't just put SCO out of its misery...

    I mean isn't it pretty apparent to everyone that these are some last rites? These are just theatrics as a last dying attempt in vengeance against their bane. I mean this makes SCO look really really awful as they writhe in agony, striking out as spitefully as they can at the IBM/Linux partnership.

    I don't think anyone can take this whole charade seriously. I hope this abuse of the court system doesn't go unpunished. Has anyone ever considered how quickly things move along and get developed in the techological world? Does anyone see how grossly slow and inadequate the traditional court system is at handling things of this nature? With legal battles, appeals, loopholes, etc. by the time anyone wins a case they're looking at technology that older than dirt.
  • by Zelatrix ( 18990 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @05:48AM (#6955945)
    I have been watching the SCO stock price for the last couple of months. When the SCO forum code was debunked, I looked expecting to see the stock price fall off a cliff. That's how it works isn't it? company suffers major bad news, stock price falls.

    But no. The stock price went up, up and away, on blocks of very small shares.

    It's clearly being heavily manipulated. But why? The best theory I've seen is that amateur investors are encouraged to sell this stock short, on the assumption that it's going to zero one way or another. Good assumption, but naive investment strategy. What happens then is that the price is manipulated way up. Eventually the short sellers are forced to buy at the higher market price to stop their losses. Who do they buy from? Why, the insiders and stock manipulators, who then laugh all the way to the bank.

    Go and have a look on the Yahoo finance forums. The scam is so obvious, it's unbelievable that the mainstream media aren't picking up on it.
    • How about creating a web-site with a timeline correlating SCOX with their absurd press releases and info on possible insider trading? Make it easy to read, as objective as possible (no hysteric ESR-style rants), have it copy edited by someone who knows the proper terminology and only use references that can be independently checked. If possible, provide links to all sources.

      THEN sell it to the mainstream media.

  • Unconvincing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rking ( 32070 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @06:00AM (#6955969)
    I don't believe that the SCO claims have any real merit. But this article seemed to be making a big deal out of Darl McBride saying in his Q&A [] that he didn't previously know that the code in question had been contributed by SGI. So far as I can see he didn't say anything of the kind.

    "In this Q&A, CEO McBride states, 'Well, at SCO Forum, there were some folks that came out and basically sniffed out some of the [disputed System V] code we were showing and [concluded] that it emanated from SGI.' That this code "emanated" from SGI was news to SCO."

    I don't see how you can get from Darl's quote to the conclusion that the source being SGI was news to him. All he says is that people outside of SCO worked out where the code came from, which is why he's commenting on it publicly. Nothing there implies either way whether he knew about it before.

    Once you remove this strange interpretation of his quote there doesn't seem to be anything left to base the article on.

    There are plenty of legitimate flaws in SCO's case. This doesn't seem to be one of them.
  • SCO's Carelessness (Score:5, Informative)

    by affenmann ( 195152 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @06:45AM (#6956051)
    This just shows how thorough SCO really is. The article says: That this code "emanated" from SGI was news to SCO.
    Well, the linux code [] clearly states

    * Copyright (C) 1992 - 1997, 2000-2002 Silicon Graphics, Inc. All rights reserved.

    I hope they know how Silicon Graphics Inc. relates to SGI :-)

  • by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @06:59AM (#6956082) Homepage

    That some clueless noob at SCO was tasked with finding way to sploit their copy rights, discovered the OpenLinux SRPMS [] on their ftp server, decided that must mean that SCO owns all that source, and then declared the same source in the linux kernel as being infringing? 'Cause, you know, some clueless noob at IBM must have put it there, or something.

    It sounds crazy, but it makes more sense than starting from the assumption that SCO really aren't disclosing the source simply so that we can't "launder []" the kernel before SCO can get it to court.

  • by TimFreeman ( 466789 ) <> on Sunday September 14, 2003 @07:18AM (#6956124) Homepage
    They showed a code snippet that seemed plausible to them at the time. Everyone jumped on it and figured out where it came from. As a consequence, SCO now knows what they have to do to find a really good code snippet that will stand up in court. Since there's a lot of code there, they can do as many rehersals as they like before they go to trial.

    They can either learn a process or learn things about specific pieces of code this way. If they learn about pieces of code, they present code at trial that stood up to public scruitiny in their practice runs before the trial. If they learned a process, then they hire people to do the same sorts of reasoning the public used to debunk their practice runs, and by that means find a better chunk of code to demonstrate at trial.

    It would seem rational for them to do a few more rehersals before show time.

    It would also seem rational for the open source community to refuse to play this game by not giving them further accurate information about the validity of their public claims before the trial. But since the open source community has no central control, there's no way to make that happen.

  • by Felinoid ( 16872 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @09:01AM (#6956346) Homepage Journal
    I remember someone saying basicly SCOs case against IBM is not that IBM took code from SCO and put it in Linux.
    But that any code IBM wrote for AIX (under the SCO liccens) is SCOs property as AIX uses SCOs intelectual property as a code base.

    In public SCO clames the issue is purely a matter of SCO property in Linux. Then SCO uses this and related FUD to frighten everyone into NOT suing SCO when SCO dose things like sell Linux binarys or bill Linux users for SCOs intelectual property. Things SCO has no legal right to do.

    SCO basicly acts like they own Linux when they have no legal clame to it and use public clames and FUD to frighen anyone who might challange SCOs ownership clame into sillence.

    The key is that SCO must win this lawsute against IBM.

    What SCO is clamming is that any code writen for Unix while under liccens from SCO is automaticly SCOs property. I sereously doupt there is any language in SCOs liccens to back up this clame as IBM would not sign a contract with such an extream clame. IBM knows better. I think SCO is using the case of "implied ownership" and you probably won't find that term or anything like that term in legal text becouse I don't think implied ownership is recognised.

    Microsoft attempted to pull something similar to what SCO is pulling way back. The part when SCO clames that SOME of SCO code is in Linux makes ALL of Linux now SCOs property.

    Microsoft worked with IBM to improve OS/2. Microsoft then released Microsoft OS/2. The corts rulling is relevent to this in many ways.

    First it clames that IBM retains ownership of the name OS/2 and the code IBM wrote for OS/2.
    But it also clames that any code Microsoft added to OS/2 Microsoft may use any way Microsoft fits. They however do not have any right to code IBM wrote.

    So basicly IBM did not give Microsoft the rights to IBMs code or OS/2 trademark. The Linux community did not give SCO rights to the Linux code or Linux trademark outside of the terms of the GPL liccens.

    Microsoft did give IBM code so IBM can use it in OS/2 but Microsoft may also use that same code anyplace else Microsoft wants. IBM did put code in IBMs flavor of Unix and didn't actually give it to SCO so it's not clear if SCO can do ANYTHING with the code. But IBM still retains ownership of that code should IBM use it in Linux, OS/2 or any other IBM product.

    Finally IBM clames to have not extracted any code from AIX for Linux to prevent contaminating Linux with someone elses intelectual property.

    Becouse the infringment is supposidly between AIX and Linux not Unixware and Linux it's quite likely in my opinion that SCO dosen't actually have the code in question to make any compairisons with and instead SCO is using a compleatly diffrent approch by using behavure as the metric. But as any good programmer will know you can arrive at the same behavure with diffrent code.

    IBM could shread AIX and Linux and post the results...
  • by y2imm ( 700704 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @09:26AM (#6956441)
    SCO GROUP INC (NasdaqSC:SCOX) Quote data by Reuters

    Last Trade: 17.75
    Trade Time: Sep 12
    Change: Up 0.24 (1.33%)

    Posting to Slashdot on SCO's balderdash is preaching to the choir. Try chatting up your local investment firm manager. Bring your same verve for debunking SCO's house of cards to a financial investment manager. Got a 401K? An RRSP? Call your broker/advisor/coin tosser and tell them to drop SCO from YOUR portfolio. And explain to them why they should. Yeah, I know, who's going to listen to one complaint? Slashdot has more than a few readers, and I imagine some of them have investments. SCO stepped on your turf. So take the fight back to theirs.
    • Targetted complaining is what has made america's special interest groups thrive. They make money because they're good at complaining to the right people about the right things.

      As a community of semi-intelligent geeks, lets put some more serious effort into sharing our knowledge of 'reality' in our geek worlds with those with the power to change things.

      This goes for the RIAA story too ;-)
  • by attobyte ( 20206 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @09:33AM (#6956469)
    Is SCO hurting their court case by being big mouths. I mean can the referance all the press release and the code they showed at the fourm as if SCO doesn't know what they are talking about?
    • Is SCO hurting their court case by being big mouths

      Sure they do, notably in the case filed by Redhat

      The IBM case is a little more focued around what constitute "Derived Code" so maybe less so there.

      That being said the 10'th claim []in IBM's response states that SCO is not intitled to any relief since they didn't do anything to mitigate damages. The latter is an affirmative defense, and the fact thay took the time and effort to release press release after press release yet did nothing to mitigate the all

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 14, 2003 @09:33AM (#6956471)
    It's easy, it's fun! As long as you are an insider trading in SCOX stock. Take, for example, Reginald Broughton, Senior Vice President (vice has a whole new connotation when used in reference to SCO execs):

    Look at this page , add *only* the transactions dated from Aug 19 (note: There are others he has made cashing in on this stock) to the proceeds from stock sale Sept 7 (filed 9th) (another $90K worth) 00110254203000059/xslF345X02/edgardoc.xml

    My prediction: The real reason Open Source and Linux will fail is because it cannot provide income like this... ;)
  • by mdblake ( 676749 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @09:43AM (#6956498)

    The Q&A with McBride in Computer world contains one of the first clear (re)statements of SCO's (current) intent. In the interview, McBride's tone towards Linux is carefully conciliatory, conveying an attitude of "We accept that Linux will be around for a while, so let's find a way to work things out."

    The 'problem' with Linux that needs to be resolved, he says, is the GPL. Or, as McBride puts it:

    "If we're going into a new business environment around Linux, well, let's ask the question right upfront: Does the free business model work? Everything we've looked at, whether it's free Internet, free telecom, free music, all of these things tend to, for one reason or another, not work over an extended period of time. Clearly, the free model just about killed our company, and I would argue that it's going to kill a lot of other software companies if the GPL [General Public License] is able to gain a foothold and run rampant throughout the industry."

    This statement first trots out the old "free software means free as in beer" misinformation and then proceeds with the explicit mud slinging about how the GPL will "kill" alot of companies if it is permitted to "gain a foothold" and "run rampant." Yikes! Scary stuff, if it were true. This bit of FUD is well formulated to push the fear buttons of your friendly neighborhood PHB.

    And it raises many more questions. Like:

    (1) Will the mainstream media eventually bite this SCO spin and spread the slander against the GPL?

    (2) Will a significant portion of the open source community one day buy into this characterization of the problem, and allow the thin edge of the wedge that McBride has presented to fracture the community?

    (3) Is Microsoft behind this FUD campaign against the GPL, which, at minimum, they must find exceptionally agreeable?

    (4) Even if Microsoft and SCO aren't coordinating their attacks against the GPL and the open source community, do the similarities in their attacks indicate a fundamental hostility that we can expect capitalists to hold against the free software model?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 14, 2003 @10:32AM (#6956708)

    Ok, that might be a little extreme, but I'm quite sure that SCO's first act when the case starts will be to publish absolutely everything they can extract from their computers, right down to the soothingly infinite ramblings of /dev/random.

    It's a little similar to pre-war Iraq - they are threatened, told to provide detailed information of whatever armaments they have, or else. Their tactic is to release so much information that it was actually damaging for the US that they had to spend so much time analysing it, and making very vague press statements when they still weren't sure what was going on. (note: I'd really rather this didn't become a rambling political discussion - I can't remember correctly enough to be sure that the above was perfectly accurate, I was just using it illustratively)

    It's fairly important that what gets debunked gets debunked soundly and quickly. Maybe then the stock would finally start to slump. Then again, I don't know if the would-be evidence will even be made public, I'm not familliar with the American court system, nor any other for that matter. Does any one know if the full claims are going to be available to the average geek?

  • by X ( 1235 ) <> on Sunday September 14, 2003 @12:47PM (#6957447) Homepage Journal
    SCO's comments do not indicate that it was news to them that the code emanated from SGI. All they said was that word got out that SGI was the source, and they were fielding a lot of questions about it, so they went public with their position. It was news to the public, not the SCO.

    They don't flat out state it, but from their comments it seems likely they've been in negotiations with SGI on this matter for quite some time. Given that some of this code was from XFS, they'd have to be complete idiots not to know that it likely came from SGI.
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Sunday September 14, 2003 @02:15PM (#6957919) Homepage
    Here's what a Microsoft regional director said to the press: []
    • The third issue is licensing. Linux people don't believe in Intellectual Property Rights. This is the biggest problem in the Linux world. How can one be sure that the code of software that has been contributed by programmers across the world to create this Linux software is unique and is not lifted from somewhere else? This is a big legal concern.

      That is what the latest SCO-Linux lawsuit is all about. Now SCO is suing every single user of Linux because they believe parts of their UNIX code is being used in Linux. As a matter of fact, the Gartner Group came with a recommendation that every customer should stay away from Linux until this problem is sorted out. This is a serious issue. The model is broken basically.

    That's a published example of FUD being deliberately spread by an official Microsoft representative. Until now, it's been hard to definitively tie Microsoft into this. But this statement provides clear evidence that Microsoft is behind it all.
    • That's like saying that because George W. Bush benifited so much from his own political FUD campain after 9/11 he must be behind the attacks on the World Trade Center. While either is possible, it really needs more evidence to make such an assertion. Microsoft might just be jumping at an opertunity.

Can anyone remember when the times were not hard, and money not scarce?