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SCO's Plan Examined 580 writes "In the best expose I've read since the original Halloween documents, Groklaw has links and analysis of Renaissance Ventures' rationale for investing in The SCO Group. Among other misrepresentations, SCO convinced Ren that SCO owned the root of the entire UNIX tree, and that Linux was just one branch of that tree. Linux gets a SCO tax... forever; or worst case, if Linux gets killed in the process, then so be it. Renaissance also estimated that IBM would have settled with SCO last April under the strength of SCO's claims, and the threat of terminating their UNIX license. Oops."
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SCO's Plan Examined

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  • by JLSigman ( 699615 ) <> on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:05PM (#7056532) Homepage Journal
    A friend of mine sent me this mind-boggling link [], which is also supposed to support SCO's claim.

    • So, according to that BS, Apple now owes SCO money too?
    • by yiantsbro ( 550957 ) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:14PM (#7056634)
      Damn...that would make an interesting wall poster/conversation piece. I can see refering to it in a business planning meeting..."See this shit, this is what I have to deal with"
      • Here is an Un-SCOed version of that same map.

        I know I'll be comparing the two for modifications.

        • I've just looked through the two maps, and the only difference I can see is that SCO have Minix deriving from Sinix (which is shown as a derivitive of V7, 4.1BSD and Xenix 3.0) while the original map shows Minix as coming only from V7 & 4.1BSD. (Both Sinix and Minix are shown coming from the line from V7 to V8 after an input from BSD.)
          Although this difference initally appears to be a simple mis-reading of the arrows, it could be significant, since Xenix was bought by SCO [].

          There aren't any modificatio
          • Just to add to that, perhaps "deriving" (and so on) wasn't the right word to use, since "an arrow indicates an inheritance like a compatibility, it is not only a matter of source code." Which makes any claims based on the map even more flakey.
    • Nothing new, already a part of the history [].
    • by imadork ( 226897 ) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:15PM (#7056652) Homepage
      So, if Linux has an "SCO Pedigree", can we just agree that UnixWare is a dog and get this whole controversy over with?
    • ...and here I was afraid to click the link, thinking it would be the Goatse guy...
    • by Irishman ( 9604 ) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:20PM (#7056692)
      OK, I am confused. This chart seems to indicate that there is a direct link from Unix to Xenix to Minix to Linux. Now, based on Linus Torvalds own writing, the original codebase had no Minix in it. The only relation to Unix was in its look and feel. He wrote Linux because he thought Minix sucked. I am trying to figure out how they rationalized this one out! BTW, a history of Linux can be found here [].
      • by kfg ( 145172 ) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @03:05PM (#7057103)
        See how well the SCO FUD has worked? You think there is some claim against Linux, when actually the only legal claim SCO has actually made so far is against certain extensions of the 2.4 kernel (such as JFS support).

        A good many ditros do not, and never have even included those extensions.

        Everything else is SCO claiming they claim, without actually claiming it, and then relying on public perception to equate the actual claim with the claimed claims.

        And, of course, the second SCO bother to actually identify any code that actually infringes it will be written out of Linux in a matter of a few days and Linux will be "safe" again.

        That's why SCO will actually, in the long run, refuse to defend their claims in court where such code will have to be made public knowledge.

        Therefore Linux is not only safe, it's safe.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 25, 2003 @03:51PM (#7057603)
          Everything else is SCO claiming they claim, without actually claiming it, and then relying on public perception to equate the actual claim with the claimed claims.

          So what you're claiming is they are making claims without actually claiming any of the claims they're claiming to claim?

          Therefore Linux is not only safe, it's safe.

          But is it safe?

          • by kfg ( 145172 ) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @04:24PM (#7058027)
            "So what you're claiming is they are making claims without actually claiming any of the claims they're claiming to claim?"

            I have made that claim, yes. Or so I claim.

            "But is it safe?"

            Not only is it safe and safe, it's also well known for being safe ( although BSD may be safer, safer and safer, or so some claim. Some of them even claim to claim this, although I wouldn't necessarily accept may claim to this claim without claiming your research on said claims).

            I stake my claim on it.

            See what SCO has led me to become? Prove positive that they're evil.


        • by GSloop ( 165220 ) <networkguru@sloop. n e t> on Thursday September 25, 2003 @04:52PM (#7058319) Homepage
          I know this if offtopic, but the war in Iraq is a perfect example of this.

          GWB claims the Brits claim they have evidence of Iraq asking Niger for Uranium.

          When the crap hits the fan, and the whole thing is exposed as a sham and an obvious one at that, Don Rumsfeld say, and I quote. "Technically this is correct."

          The inferrence was that we KNEW Iraq had WMD, when we were not sure at all. The claim about the claims were much stronger than the claims themselves.

          So, SCO is simply playing follow the leader. This, IMHO is completely dispicable, and deserves more than a simple mocking. Frankly, I think people ought to go to jail for these kinds of deceptions, esp when the public relies on them for investing, or for going to war.

          If one has a case, simply be upfront and lay it out on the table. If you do have a case, then it's merit will be quickly apparent. If you don't, you can't afford to do this. You have to claim "we have to keep it secret" so that everyone will have no real basis for making an informed decision.

          Secrecy, PR BS and "cloak and dagger" insinuations is at the heart of all lies and deceptions.

          The moral is...When you hear someone say - "Well, we *know* it's true, but for reason X we can't tell you/show our proof, just trust us. Then run like hell. You've just been lied to in the most blatant way.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:23PM (#7056721)
      I see two lines running from Linux to Unixware, but none in the other direction.
    • From the mind-boggling link:

      Original UNIX history chart created by Eric Levenez. Copyright (C) 1996-2003, Eric Levenez. January 2, 2003. Used with permission.

      I've seen this tree before, printed it out and put it on my office walls (yeah, its that big :). Why did Eric give SCO permission? I thought he actually liked UNIX.
    • by mengel ( 13619 ) <`mengel' `at' `'> on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:30PM (#7056786) Homepage Journal

      Besides Linux, they even got Minix and Xinu in there, which were both written from scratch, and are published in their entirety in books. Hmm...

      I get it now! They took a chart that had lots of Unix -like operating systems on it (i.e. Xinu, Linux, etc.) and when they came out, and they added some dashed lines to hook them all up! In particular the dashed green line from V7 Unix to Sinix to Unicos and Xinu (which they didn't quite actualy connect) and then down and over to the start of Linux.

      Didn't they realize that adding lines to a chart doesn't make it true?!?

    • by Pius II. ( 525191 ) <PiusII AT gmx DOT de> on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:32PM (#7056804)
      On the first page of this link, Linux is made out as a fork of Minix. This is total utter absolute bullshit. I won't even look at it further; this blatant misrepresentation of linux' heritage is just too conveniently placed as to accept this stuff as a reliable source.
      • by Picass0 ( 147474 ) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @03:30PM (#7057318) Homepage Journal
        On this page [] he explains:

        Note 1 :
        an arrow indicates an inheritance like a compatibility, it is not only a matter of source code.

        Note 2 : this diagram shows complete systems and [mirco]kernels like Mach, Linux, the Hurd... This is because sometimes kernel versions are more appropriate to see the evolution of the system.

        Note 3 : I have now a page where I explain how I build this chart.

        I pray SCO marches this document into court. It does not mean what they think it means.
    • by k98sven ( 324383 ) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:43PM (#7056911) Journal
      The orignal tree [].

      As others have noted, this tree really means nothing in terms of actual code.
      For instance, Linux appears to be an offspring of Minix, which in turn is an offshoot of the original Unix.

      Now, anyone who's read the preface to Andy Tanenbaum's book (where the entire Minix code is listed) knows that Minix is a clean re-implementation of unix, and contains no UNIX code whatsoever.

      Linus, in turn, used some Minix code to get started with Linux, but this was quickly replaced. Linux hasn't contained any Minix code for years.

      So this chart, although correct with respect to 'influence' or 'inspiration'
      has nothing to do with actual code. Naturally, it doesn't provide any real support to SCO's claims.

      That would be something like Digital Research suddenly claiming ownership of Windows, since it's based on DOS, which in turn was based on QDOS, which was a CP/M clone.
      • by nathanh ( 1214 ) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @07:13PM (#7059344) Homepage
        Linus, in turn, used some Minix code to get started with Linux, but this was quickly replaced. Linux hasn't contained any Minix code for years.

        Linus used Minix as a development platform but Linux has never contained any Minix code, ever. Minix code was encumbered by a "look but don't touch" license. Well, sort of. You could touch but you couldn't redistribute the modified version. This draconian license was the reason for the Minix/386 patchset that was very popular before Linux took over. Andy refused to integrate the 386 patches into Minix because it would ruin Minix as a teaching aide, but the 386 patches fixed many of the limitations in Minix (eg, maximum 64kB executables) so nearly everybody applied them. Linux could not have used any Minix code as even the earliest version of Linux was GPLd and this was incompatible with the Minix license.

        "Linux is derived from Minix" and "Linux once contained Minix code" are myths. I've seen both myths repeated fairly often but I think this is just confusion because Linus cross-compiled his kernel and gnuserspace from a Minix platform. The easiest way to disprove the myth is to ask Linus himself.

        "Although linux is a complete kernel, and uses no code from minix or other sources, almost none of the support routines have yet been coded. Thus you currently need minix to bootstrap the system. It might be possible to use the free minix demo-disk to make a filesystem and run linux without having minix, but I don't know..."

        By "bootstrap" he means create the Minix filesystem and copy across the Linux kernel and gnuserspace. Linux used the Minix filesystem before EXTFS was written but it was a clean-room implementation. No Minix code was used in the Linux implementation of minixfs.

        FYI, I've read the entire Minix source tree (I own one of the earlier editions of the book), I've been using Linux since 1992, I've read one of the earliest Linux source trees, and I've never seen any matching code.

    • SCO's graph [] asserts that the Linux codebase evolved out of Minix. That's where the dotted green line becomes a solid green line.

      Unfortunately for SCO, that's not correct. Linus used Minix as his operating system during some of the early work on Linux and he even used some of their file structures, but none of the Minix codebase was incorporated into Linux.

      The UNIX History [] graph that's based on does not show a strict flow of property nor even a comprehensive flow of ideas. It merely shows the general direc
    • Have to, sorry:

      "Ladies and Gentlemen of this supposed jury, SCO's accusers would certainly want you to believe my client doesn't own the rights to Unix, and they make a good case. Hell, I almost felt pity myself. But Ladies and Gentlemen of this supposed jury, I have one final thing I want you to consider.

      Ladies and Gentlemen, this is Chewbacca. Chewbacca is a Wookiee from the planet Kashyyyk who carried a gun and ran from the mob. But Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. Now think about it. That does
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:06PM (#7056546)
    We have a vested interest to ensure that SCO does not win in its attempts of litigation. We have created a shadow company that hosts our Linux servers. So if someone gets sued by SCO it will be the newly-formed company which will simply fold and we as the customer will be able to get to our data and purchase UNIX or Windows servers to continue the work.

    Which is nice.
    • by swb ( 14022 )
      Since anyone can sue anyone in a civil suit, it's likely you could still be sued and held accountable. Think about it: you've formed a shadow company after SCO makes claims about linux, it's wholly owned or controlled by you and has no other customers.

      It would demonstrate that you knew you were vulnerable and you engaged in a conspiracy to mask your vulnerability.

      IANAL, but I don't think you can shirk that easily. Perhaps if the shadow company had other customers unrelated to yours *and* there were no o
    • by GoRK ( 10018 ) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @03:18PM (#7057203) Homepage Journal
      It's called "Piercing the Corporate Veil" and unless you guys did something really really sneaky this tactic is all but useless to protect you from litigation.
  • Ren? (Score:5, Funny)

    by LinuxHam ( 52232 ) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:07PM (#7056554) Homepage Journal
    SCO convinced Ren

    Ren was always easy, it was Stimpy that was always a stickler for details.

  • by DaRat ( 678130 ) * on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:08PM (#7056566)
    ... where a couple of scientists are looking at a blackboard. The left and right sides have formulae. The center part says "Then a miracle happens".

    One scientist says to the other, "that middle step seems a little fuzzy."

    (Okay, that was paraphrased from memory, but the sentiment fits).
  • by BlabberMouth ( 672282 ) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:08PM (#7056572)
    it is hard for me to believe that anyone would have bought into the idea that the case would already be settled. There is no real incentive to settle until a trial date has been set and discovery has started. Even if SCO's claims were rock solid, IBM would force them to spend gobs of money in prolonged discovery before they even thought about trying to settle.
  • Article's Text (Score:5, Informative)

    by grasshoppa ( 657393 ) * <skennedy@AAAtpno ... inus threevowels> on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:08PM (#7056574) Homepage
    When SCO CEO Darl McBride wrote his open letter last week, he seemed to indicate a hope there could be a viable future partnership between his company and Linux. There is more than a hint as to what that partnership might be like in two research papers prepared back in March and April by Renaissance Ventures, a VC firm that invested in SCO.

    The first document is an explanation of Renaissance's reasons for thinking SCO was a good investment. I know you've been wondering what in the world those folks in the stock market have been thinking. The second is an analysis of the SCO v. IBM lawsuit. They are both so blazingly wrong in both facts and conclusions that I fully grasp for the first time how some people may have invested in SCO, based on such misinformation.

    First, the investment document. It is based on SCO's telephone conference call in February of 2003. You can listen to it yourself on mp3 here. Renaissance thought it sounded like SCO's bottom line was about to get "prettier" because they believed what SCO reportedly told them in that phone call, namely that most companies were reacting to the new SCOsource licensing program in a positive way.

    Renaissance also bought the story -- hook, line and sinker -- that SCO owned the UNIX tree trunk, so to speak, and that all other versions of Unix were branches, or derivatives, off of their tree, including, so they imagined, Linux. (I'm using their language, by the way. They actually mean GNU/Linux, the kernel plus the applications, not Linux the kernel.) They planned on hijacking the GNU/Linux applications and if that meant the death of Linux, so what?

    That's their business proposition? And GNU/Linux gets what out of this, other than ripped off and ruined?

    Their original strategy was based on the fantasy that the world was clamoring for the ability to stay with UNIX and yet run GNU/Linux applications, and there they'd be, like a troll hiding under the bridge, ready to exact a toll on all those wanting to cross.

    SCO, in their daydream, thought they could be the gatekeeper making it possible for companies already on UNIX to sort of transition to Linux, which they knew everyone wanted to do, without leaving their UNIX environment behind. Next step? Backcharge for UNIX shared libraries they believed had been used inappropriately and start scooping the money up in royalties for UNIX code.

    Why they imagined companies would rather follow that convoluted, expensive route instead of just running Linux itself is one of those mysteries the tech community can never solve, because it's not based on technical realities but on financial yearning. The tech makes no sense at all. But the ka-ching started ringing in Renaissance's ears, and you know how compelling that can be, like when your telephone starts ringing and you think you have to answer it. But the whole structure is based on a lack of technical knowledge and not enough true facts and a grievous miscalculation about the market. If ever there was a situation illustrating the importance of CEOs and financial analysts comprehending tech, this story is it. Money got invested in a dream that isn't coming true.

    Let me let you read it for yourselves, because it's beyond my descriptive abilities to capture all the repulsive nuances, not that this is a subtle document. They begin by describing the conference call and then explain the math potential as they see it:

    "We believe management's forecasted $10 million of SCOsource revenue in 2Q represents near-term settlement of possible license violations in arrears (related to heretofore unlicensed use of the SCOsource shared libraries) from one or more large vendors of Linux solutions, but we are unable to glean more specifics at this time. . . . SCO management also stated . . . that the vast majority of interactions with customers and other software vendors with respect to the SCOsource initiative were positive. Our view is that lumpy, and possibly large, bookings of SCOsource license fees will continue for several quarter
  • Gambling. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    It's a gamble, with a potential return of 100/1. What the hype is leaving out is that most people/businesses will simply switch, if that happens sell at a peak and still expect a potential 20/1 return.
  • by ErikRed1488 ( 193622 ) <> on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:09PM (#7056586) Journal
    Maybe someone from SCO is a /. subscriber. Since they would get to see the story earlier than the rest of us, they could DDoS any site they didn't want us to see.

    I want to believe.
  • So perhaps... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:10PM (#7056593)
    ...when the SCO buble finally "bursts" and angry investors go back to institutions like Ren, Ren can say "we were deceived", and maybe we will yet get the fraud trial that the executives of SCO deserve to live through.
    • But then... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Schwartzboy ( 653985 )
      If Ren says "we were deceived", then Stimpy can just say "We sure were, Ren!", and... wait, somebody's already done that one.

      Where does accountability for gross incompetence come into the equation though? Since IANAL, I can't begin to address this in a legal sense, but if I tell you "kicking your little brother's head in will make him smarter and transform him into Megatron" (which has a lot more backing it than SCO's claims, from what I hear), then you do it and he dies, obviously I'm a bad person for f
  • conspiracy theory (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Well, it would be not entirely unplausible that SCO happens to want to score some money for such actions from Microsoft, as to sue Linux and probably BSD out of living. Or make commercial life doing products related to any unix system very uncomfortable, and far more dangerous then it already is.
    Well thats my bit.
    ta ta.
  • by eddy ( 18759 ) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:11PM (#7056606) Homepage Journal

    It's also been discovered that our favourite clueless "analyst", Didio, has known McBride and Stowell for some fifteen years. Yeah, not like that could affect her "analysis" or anything.

    ''Pass the hookah please!''

    • Man, are you reaching.

      Laura DiDio knows Sontag and McBride, not Stowell and McBride, and she's known them for 15 years since they all worked for Novell.

      While her prior relationships with Sontag and McBride don't exactly encourage her to view them suspiciously, her reputation as an analyst is at stake if she doesn't hold Sontag and McBride to the same standards (higher, perhaps) as others whom she reports on and offers opinions about.

      In other words, just because she knows them from having worked at Novell

  • Sue-happy U.S.? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by StyleChief ( 656649 ) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:12PM (#7056609)
    The litigious nature of this society is drawing it into a very frightening pattern of litigating for profit. What happened to the idea that people must take responsibilty for their own actions? Could this be the start of a "my company is failing . . . I need to find someone to sue FAST!" campaign?
  • by gfordham ( 609304 ) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:13PM (#7056626)
    There Stock price was less than $4.00 before this crap, and now it's over $17.00. I guess there BS is worth something more than the effort of all the Open Source Programmers who actually wrote code. Another shinning example of the Amerikan dream. Not too mention Michael P Olson(VP) has filed for a proposed sale of more than half his outstanding ownership(30K) shares on 11/11/2003. Wow when is somebody going to prosecute these people for fraud. IMNSHO --Greg
    • by Anonymous Coward
      there = He is over there.
      their = Their days were numbered.
      they're = They are a bunch of uneducated morons.
  • Suckers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TopShelf ( 92521 ) * on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:14PM (#7056629) Homepage Journal
    Renaissance thought it sounded like SCO's bottom line was about to get "prettier" because they believed what SCO reportedly told them in that phone call, namely that most companies were reacting to the new SCOsource licensing program in a positive way.

    And according to recent SEC filings, wasn't it revealed that the only SCOsource licensing revenue they got last quarter was from Sun & Microsoft? Hardly a raving endorsement from the marketplace...
    • by Population ( 687281 ) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:39PM (#7056876)

      They didn't bother to check any of the information presented.

      They did do any research into the market or Linux or SCO. None. Nada. Zero. Zilch. They took SCO's press releases as gospel.

      They're idiots and anyone who invests based upon their advice is also an idiot.
      • Suckers? Really? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by flimflam ( 21332 )
        And yet if they sold all the shares now they'd be making over 400% in about a year. This looks to me like they were in on the whole pump-and-dump scheme. See who's left holding the bag after these guys unload their stock -- that's the sucker.

  • by smackjer ( 697558 ) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:14PM (#7056639) Homepage
    You'd think that venture capitalists would have gotten smarter (and pickier) about where they throw their money. This sounds like giving the neighborhood bully some money so he can invest in a nice aluminum bat to make it easier to collect from the rest of the kids.
  • by anonymous cupboard ( 446159 ) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:16PM (#7056665)
    Before puting their investor's money into a company, a VC company should perform a due dilligence evaluation. If the risks were not fully examined and addressed, then the VC company can be sued by their investors.

    VC is always a bit of a gamble, since 2001, a very large gamble. However, it smells like they didn't examine SCO's claims very well. They were undoubtedly hoping for an exit via a trade sale to IBM but, it appears they have underestimated the reaction that "All your Unixes belong to us" has brought. They probably weren't even aware of the BSD settlement (maybe not Darl either).

  • by Graspee_Leemoor ( 302316 ) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:18PM (#7056681) Homepage Journal
    I know people seem to be sick of reading SCO stories all the time, but I think it's exciting to be witnessing the unfolding of such an epic unix war.

    It's just like the old days that I missed except now it involves linux and it's therefore even more exciting.

    Maybe we should go back to the tactics of the old unix wars: We should catapult a plague-ridden cow into SCO's castle. Hmm. I think that's how it went.


  • And here I was, all set to buy SCO Openware. Now I'm all heartbroken...
  • by jollygreengiantlikes ( 701640 ) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:21PM (#7056708) Homepage Journal
    ...original Halloween documents...
    Does this mean that all slashdotter parents will be dressing up their children (or themselves as they see fit) as evil SCO's for Halloween this year?

  • by morcheeba ( 260908 ) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:21PM (#7056709) Journal
    While Groklaw has been slashdotted...

    From their "about us" page: [] (emphasis mine)

    We believe the best investment opportunities for realizing outsized returns migrate from sector to sector over time: from buyout, to venture, to public markets, to conglomerates or pure plays within certain industry sectors, in public or private markets - in our view, in no particular order but contrary to the most recent, firmly established trend. We believe investors have a choice: either following the trend in hopes of jumping off early and profitably, or investing contrary to trend in search of outsized returns.

    Renaissance subscribes to contrarian theory and believes the best opportunities now exist in microcap public companies that are orphaned from Wall Street with no institutional sponsorship. We will invest in mis-priced public securities and take an activist role in enhancing returns or sponsor management buyouts of undervalued public companies with high intrinsic value. Few investment groups are now equipped to source investment opportunities with enterprise values below $50 million, either due to their larger capital base or otherwise, which presents an opportunity for us. Aberrational pricing in the public markets often correlates with a despondent, disheartened and perhaps uninformed shareholder base, which helps reduce premiums paid while acquiring securities or entire companies.

    If they were contrarian, I would think that they would be selling and go against the people who have bought the price up. But, they said they were looking for a whacked-out company, and they found one. Who knows.. they might buy out management and install some honest people.

    But, they said it best.. SCO is at an aberrational price [], but its abnormally high, not low. Hopefully they got in in January and aren't in it for the long term.
  • by Slashdolt ( 166321 ) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:26PM (#7056751)
    If you haven't already complained about SCO's conduct to the Federal Trade Commission and/or Better Business Bureau, you really should do so.

    The BBB complaints become a permanent part of a corporation's record. Enough complaints can make a difference.
    (Simply click on "File a complaint" in both cases)

    I have filed with both. I believe that SCO's conduct is essentially the same as trying to sell licenses to the Brooklyn Bridge and then threatening those that don't buy a license with lawsuits.

    Make a real difference by allowing your voice to be heard. File a complaint.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      doesnt look like it worked. p ort.html? compid=2007676&national=Y
      BBB Membership

      This company has been a member of this Better Business Bureau since April 2003. This means it supports the Bureau's services to the public and meets our membership standards.

      Program Participation

      This company participates in BBBOnLine, and the Membership Identification Program. This means the company has agreed to use special procedures including mediation and arbitration if necessary
    • by Quarters ( 18322 ) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @03:13PM (#7057159)
      The BBB is great if you want to check out a plumber, HVAC company, or other small business. It is totally worthless for large corporations. Why? Because it is funded by corporations, therefore it is biased. Besides, the BBB has no legal ability to sanction, criminally charge, or otherwise take to task a company that receives negative comments. The best it can do is tell a requestor how many and complaints a company has received and how severe they are. That's great if you need a sound bite for the evening news, but totally useless for policing corrupt businesses.
  • by SLot ( 82781 ) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:33PM (#7056811) Homepage Journal
  • All a lie? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Schnapple ( 262314 ) <> on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:34PM (#7056824) Homepage
    I won't lie and say I've completely kept up with this SCO thing, but I was always under the impression it was a handful of lines of code in question - like maybe IBM put them there by accident. SCO is telling Renaissance that all of Linux is a branch of UNIX. So is SCO really alleging that there's tons and tons of lines of UNIX code? Or was that just a lie for Renaissance, and they're giving a different story as to why they need $699 from everyone?
    • by TFloore ( 27278 ) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @03:53PM (#7057623)
      So is SCO really alleging that there's tons and tons of lines of UNIX code?

      SCO's position on this is... well, it seems to go something like this:

      The original UNIX licenses most companies signed with AT&T stated that modifications to the UNIX codebase would be treated as derivatives of UNIX, and is owned by the UNIX copyright holder (now SCO).
      Therefore, anything any UNIX licensee installs in their UNIX instantly becomes a derivative of UNIX, and owned by SCO.
      Therefore, any code contributed by any UNIX licensee from their UNIX codebase to Linux is therefore SCO's property.
      Therefore, by including this code in Linux, Linux becomes a derivative of UNIX, and becomes owned by SCO.

      Now, this is really... creative reasoning at just about every step of the way. But it does seem to explain SCO's statements about millions of lines of code that they own in Linux. Basically, they are claiming that any code that comes from a UNIX licensee is their intellectual property, because it is a derivative of the AT&T-licensed UNIX code.

      Or at least, I think that's the story this week.
  • The original papers (Score:3, Informative)

    by selan ( 234261 ) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @02:56PM (#7057031) Journal
    are available here [] at Renaissance Ventures site. Pretty amazing stuff. They even have a table calculating how much money they think SCO will make with an IBM settlement.
  • by dacarr ( 562277 ) on Thursday September 25, 2003 @03:15PM (#7057178) Homepage Journal
    Guessing that IBM would have settled is like assuming that a bear would not shit in one particular acre of a woods because you told him not to.

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972