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SCO Postpones Lawsuit, Now Threatening Two

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the laughingstock-with-lawyers dept.

Caldera 532

zzxc writes "In a surprise turn of events, SCO says that they need more time to prepare an announcement of who they are going to sue. According to SCO, the lawsuits will be announced tomorrow morning shortly before a phone-in conference in which will be outlining their financial report. You can call 1-800-818-5264 code 141144 Wednesday at 9:00am MST to join in with your questions, or listen to the webcast. They also have said that these first two lawsuits will be against companies that hold SCO Unix licenses. (EV1.net servers or Lindows?)"

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John Kerry and slashdot have nothing in common (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8447417)

Here's proof. [google.com] And pay the fee teabbaggers.

Go SCO! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8447593)

"The SCO agreement eliminates uncertainty from our clients' hosting infrastructure," says Robert Marsh, head surfer and CEO of Everyones Internet. "Our current and future users now enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that their Web sites and data are hosted on a SCO IP-compliant platform."

When can we expect slashdot to be SCO IP-compliant? Are you cock smoking tea baggers going to pay your fees or what?

YEAAAAH JOHN KERRY!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8447418)

It's gonna be a Kerry/Edwards ticket, folks! WOOHOOO!!!

Re:YEAAAAH JOHN KERRY!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8447454)

"Woohoo" means, "Woohoo! Another 4 years with the GOP! Because they'll never win!"

Re:YEAAAAH JOHN KERRY!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8447479)

Yeah, like the Doctor ever stood a chance. Stupid fucker.

Good (-1)

Sexual Asspussy (453406) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447422)

I'd love to see EV1 take it in the ass like a fucking West Hollywood latino faggot fucking queer gay homo. FP

FP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8447426)

imagine a time when niggers ruled the earth

RECOGNIZE GNAA (random pelvic thrusts)

First Failed Post! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8447427)


Oh my God (3, Insightful)

iswm (727826) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447431)

What a surpise! Sheesh, this is never going to go anywhere.

Re:Oh my God (-1)

Proctal Relapse (467579) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447513)

Gentoo? GENTOO?? You're one of those guys who doesn't want to put it in her pussy, aren't you? Do you like to suck big dicks? Do you like to feel the glans rubbing against your prostate? You favor chest hair to boobs? Like a hard body more than a soft one? Let me guess... you suck dick.

No Surprise (4, Insightful)

mj2k (726937) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447523)

Who really expected them to follow through? There continual refusals to provide proof of Linux infringing on SCO patents is ample evidence that their lawsuit has no basis. They (SCO executives) would be wise to not further expand their lawsuits, as each company they sue can countersue for defamation. Overall this seems like a big scam - intimidate businesses into giving SCO money for linux licenses,causing SCOX to rise, and enriching McBride & co at the expense of the clueless investors who continue to buy worthless stock.

Re:Oh my God (5, Insightful)

gcaseye6677 (694805) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447537)

When SCO does finally sue someone, it will not be for using a Linux distribution like they want you to think. When the court filings are examined, it will probably be a breach of contract suit for some silly violation, which means they will have to sue a current SCO Unix customer. But they will do their best to spin it to the press as a Linux IP infringement suit, and lots of dumbasses will eat it all up and buy more SCO stock.

SCO won't Sue Lindows (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8447599)

Because originally SCO architected and did the preliminary work as a Service deal. Part of the contract that SCO delivered to Lindows stated that SCO would 'take care' of the GPL aspects of the code and would not provide anything that might get Lindows into trouble such as tainted source code etc etc etc.....

Lindows later went their own way and pursued a more debian focused route, however the contract still stands, though is ulimately open to interpretation

I hope they sue those 2 Quiznoes monsters.... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8447433)

They freak me out.

Re:I hope they sue those 2 Quiznoes monsters.... (5, Funny)

Shut the fuck up! (572058) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447469)

These guys? [rathergood.com]

Ummm.... (2, Insightful)

I_am_Rambi (536614) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447436)

They are going to sue 1. Ev1servers.com 2. Microsoft just kidding. Google is probably on the list. Didn't SCO have a ceast and desist lawsuit until its proven?

Re:Ummm.... (4, Informative)

toltas (466545) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447487)

That's only in Germany and other smarter countries.

And im an American =\

Re:Ummm.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8447577)

That's only in Germany and other smarter countries.

Yeah, "smarter" countries that ban you from associating with or talking good about certian political groups (even if they are vile).

Re:Ummm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8447609)

You're so open-minded that your brain fell out.

Re:Ummm.... (5, Informative)

nmoog (701216) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447501)

Google, which uses thousands of Linux servers to power its search engine, is not the target of the initial suits, Stowell added.
Nope. Not google. Then again they said they'd sue someone today, and they lied about that as well.

Re:Ummm.... (2, Insightful)

TheLinuxSRC (683475) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447543)

They won't sue EV1. That is the only company that will validate their claims publicly. Suing M$ would be "biting the hand that feeds them" so they are out. My guess is the suit will not even be about "SCO IP" in Linux. It will be some bastardization of a contract dispute. *sigh*

Re:Ummm.... (1)

Suhas (232056) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447582)

Google Uses Linux, Not SCO Unix.

Vermont voters are on crack (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8447437)

Vermont just elected Howard Dean as their candidate for president.. despite Dean dropping out only two weeks ago..

Way to go morons..

Wha? (4, Funny)

Rick Zeman (15628) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447440)

They also have said that these first two lawsuits will be against companies that hold SCO Unix licenses. (EV1.net servers or Lindows?)"

Huh? That can't be right. How could they be suing EV1 when they've already paid their extort^K^K^K^Klicense money.

Re:Wha? (4, Informative)

prat393 (757559) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447515)

EV1 holds a linux license. Unix licensees are people who pay to use Unix, i.e. AIX, Solaris, etc.

Re:Wha? (1)

amitti (210015) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447527)

Umm.. Yeah, I second that. This article is just not clicking with me. Am I just an idiot or is this article bull shit..?


Re:Wha? (2, Interesting)

eddy (18759) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447541)

I don't think they'll sue EV1... yet, but they'll definitely go after current or former TSG customers (for running the compatibility layer on linux)

So this isn't actually directed directly at linux, it's more about SCO following through on their slogan:

"Contracts are what you use against parties you have relationships with" -- http://e-businessadvisor.com/doc/12514

They'll just hope the press will go with them and focus on the Linux part not the "SCO Unix(R)" part.

It was me! (-1, Troll)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447442)

Sue me!

Oblig Info Minister Comment (4, Funny)

Knunov (158076) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447444)

"We will sue TWO of them against the gates of the courtroom...IN ONE HOUR!"



Sexual Asspussy (453406) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447592)

.. the aftermath.. (1)

Seek_1 (639070) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447449)

.. does anyone ever wonder what we /.'ers will ever do once SCO finally succumbs(sp?) to their demise?

Re:.. the aftermath.. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8447494)

After being in the revenge business for so long....

How about being the Dread Pirate Roberts?

Re:.. the aftermath.. (5, Funny)

cryms0n (52620) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447500)

Probably the same thing we did before SCO came onto the scene.

Masturbate furiously.


Re:.. the aftermath.. (2, Interesting)

cperciva (102828) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447545)

... does anyone ever wonder what we /.'ers will ever do once SCO finally succumbs(sp?) to their demise?

No, but I do wonder what /.ers would do if SCO won.

(I'm not saying that it's likely to happen, but it would be amusing to watch the bleating.)

Re:.. the aftermath.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8447561)

I'm sure some nutball will bomb the SCO offices. Ohh...wouldn't that be a tragedy! Boo hoo

irresponsible (5, Insightful)

porkface (562081) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447451)

Somebody get on the call and ask them "If you have such a strong company and case, why do you feel the need to couple lawsuit announcements with your financial call?"

Re:irresponsible (4, Interesting)

Mechanik (104328) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447519)

Somebody get on the call and ask them "If you have such a strong company and case, why do you feel the need to couple lawsuit announcements with your financial call?"

I would LOVE to see the Slashdot effect at work on this conference call. I don't suppose we're so lucky as for SCO to have set this up on a system where they pay per user connected, are we? :-)

That and it would be great having 10,000 slashdotters heckling them :-)


Re:irresponsible (2, Interesting)

kommakazi (610098) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447581)

This actually seems like a really good idea, it's like a DOS attack just over the phone...we can easily have them swamped with questions they really don't want to answer.

My bet. (4, Insightful)

Jaywalk (94910) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447452)

EV1.net servers or Lindows?
Since SCO seems to be acting as SCO's catspaw and EV1.net seems to be in league with them both, I'm betting on Lindows. Another chance for SCO to do Microsoft's dirty work for them.

Re:My bet. (1)

Wakkow (52585) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447576)

Why would Lindows "hold Unix licenses"?

I know I need to suspend logic with SCO... (4, Interesting)

metallicagoaltender (187235) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447453)

Obviously logic hasn't played a big part in any of their actions, but why in the hell would they sue EV1, one of the few companies that bothered to buy an SCO license, not to mention the fact that they admitted it!

It's not exactly case of biting the hand that feeds you, but it certainly be a case of alienating an ally that probably doesn't need to be alienated.

Re:I know I need to suspend logic with SCO... (1)

Curtman (556920) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447530)

one of the few companies that bothered to buy an SCO license

Nobody said they *bought* a license BTW.


Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8447455)


Suing SCO licensees? (3, Insightful)

Aardpig (622459) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447459)

They also have said that these first two lawsuits will be against companies that hold SCO Unix licenses.

When a company or organisation starts suing its own customers, then it's a sure sign that its business model is completely fucked. Look at the RIAA: suing Joe Teenager, to try and offset the fact that their profits are dropping like a lead balloon.

Re:Suing SCO licensees? (2, Funny)

beware1000 (678753) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447563)

"Thank you for your loyalty, have a lawsuit"

Re:Suing SCO licensees? (1)

SphericalCrusher (739397) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447594)

Exactly! That makes NO FUCKING SENSE.

When I got home from school today, I was sort of hoping to have a Subpoena laying on my bed... I USE LINUX, SCO! Oh well though, I guess since I don't use Unix-Ware... I'm not cool enough to be sued.

Re:Suing SCO licensees? (1)

el-spectre (668104) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447598)

Avoiding the entire piracy issue... the RIAA isn't suing as a revenue generator, they're suing to scare kids into not copying and distributing songs. 'tis a different animal thadoing it to make money.

Re:Suing SCO licensees? (1)

CeleronXL (726844) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447607)

What do you mean? This is an awesome way for them to really make people want to buy their licenses. Fucked? Pfft, this was an awesome business move.

News? (4, Interesting)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447460)

All this play by play of SCO is really tiring. It's like a bunch of fleas issuing flyers every time the dog takes a walk. Yes, something's happening. No, it's not that important.

Prediction: (2, Interesting)

jasonfncsu (735876) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447461)

I predict that SCO will be heavily traded tomorrow: People intellegent enough to know when they see the horrid profit reports to drop the stock. And a bunch of saps who will buy up the stock (ooh! litigation! money!). Oh, and I'm starting a pool on who will be sued: My guesses: SGI and HP

Jeez, this is getting old. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8447462)

Could someone teach these guys how to play fetch and roll a ball out in the street?

Why doesnt sco stop bitching.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8447463)

And produce the goods that say, they have been wronged, so that the world can get on.

Hello, my name is George (4, Funny)

BoneFlower (107640) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447465)

And I'm addicted to SCO news stories.

slashdot the telecon? (5, Interesting)

sroddy (216493) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447470)

I'd hate to pay the bill for that telecon. Considering it usually costs $1 per minute per participant, perhaps we can put a dent in their extortion fund!

Seriously though, I hope the company that is hosting the telecon has a lot of lines reserved.

Re:slashdot the telecon? (1)

prat393 (757559) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447557)

I really want to listen to a transcript of some kind; it's almost certain to turn violent.

The only logical choice.... (4, Funny)

overbyj (696078) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447471)

is for SCO to sue SCO. They are not a tech company but they use Linux. (go check Netcraft....they have actually dabbled in BSD for a bit on www.sco.com)

Re:The only logical choice.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8447526)

They are not a tech company but they use Linux. (go check Netcraft....they have actually dabbled in BSD for a bit on www.sco.com)

It's really pretty trivial to change that stuff you know. My server is running IIS on Solaris right now.

Re:The only logical choice.... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8447544)

They could sue themselves for an infinite amout of money and settle out of court.

Sue me, sue you... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8447472)

I think they need to be inspired by Nike; "Just do it!"

Basically (5, Interesting)

LittleLebowskiUrbanA (619114) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447475)

This is the second announcement about an upcoming announcement today by SCO, right?
Meanwhile PJ at Groklaw [groklaw.net] is busy tearing them a new one over mentioning her in one of their propaganda blasts. Good reading. Hate to have her as one of my enemies.

I was afraid we wouldn't have more SCO Stories (3, Interesting)

HappyCitizen (742844) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447478)

I can't believe they are still around. Other countries take control and don't let them spread their junk. Why can't they be stopped here in the US too? I mean, it just urks me that after producing no evidence and spreading FUD, they haven't been required to stop, and in fact will file another backless lawsuit (or so the claim). Atleast its a good sign that they are taking so long. It shows that they're running out of juice

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8447480)

The SCO lawsuit will begin immediately after DOOM 3 is released.

Yes, that's the game industry term for "never".

Re:In other news... (1)

Blic (672552) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447524)

I think you mean Duke Nukem Forever...

They are suing SCO customers? (1)

hashish (62254) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447483)

They must be pretty sure that they are gonna win then, why else would you risk alienating your customers? This just all reeks of a publicity stunt that is gonna be waisting the time of a court.

the SCO hotline (0)

beware1000 (678753) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447484)

they forgot to mention that calling into the conference will be charge at $5.00 per minute, of which will fun their rediculous legal battles.

Haha! (4, Interesting)

cliffy2000 (185461) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447486)

"They also have said that these first two lawsuits will be against companies that hold SCO Unix licenses." Wow. That's a great business plan. Alienate your few and diminishing customers.

Lars Ulrich is working for SCO now? (2, Interesting)

tulmad (25666) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447488)

"They also have said that these first two lawsuits will be against companies that hold SCO Unix licenses."

Wow, sounds like they're taking a page out of Metallica's book for this one.

Why "may be EV1" ? (2, Insightful)

lazy_arabica (750133) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447490)

They also have said that these first two lawsuits will be against companies that hold SCO Unix licenses. (EV1.net servers or Lindows?)

I don't see why they may sue EV1. Perhaps is it me, but EV1 paid for their "Linux IP License", which should protect them. And anyway, it's about companies with SCO UNIX licenses, which is not the same, simply because it is a different product.

Re:Why "may be EV1" ? (2, Funny)

Dunark (621237) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447547)

... but EV1 paid for their "Linux IP License" ...

Yeah, so that means they're one of very few companies that's stupid enough to be a suitable defendant.

Re:Why "may be EV1" ? (1)

lazy_arabica (750133) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447583)

Oh yeah, sure. You must be right ; that's their kind of logic.

I really don't understand (1)

dancedance (600701) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447492)

Could someone explain to me, why would they sue their own customers? Maybe I'm missing something, but it seems like going after someone who isn't paying sco would be a more logical choice.

Re:I really don't understand (1)

TykeClone (668449) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447602)

Logic has long since left this conversation

EV1 (2, Insightful)

trungson (758474) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447495)

EV1 already bought the licenses from SCO (what a shame!) why does SCO want to sue them?

And then... (1)

xSquaredAdmin (725927) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447499)

on the next day 3, then 5, then 8, then 13, etc.

Letter from SCO (1)

vinit79 (740464) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447506)

Thank goodness !! I was busy collecting 679$ for the linux license , cos I thought I might be the lucky one to be sued. (Since IBM didnt pay they might decide to sue me and get 680$ so that they can afford to place an advertisement to sell of their property(I mean the real estate and not the linux rights .) Now I guess I'll need to wait a few more days to get the letter from SCO.

EV1.net or Lindows? (3, Funny)

Aardpig (622459) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447507)

They also have said that these first two lawsuits will be against companies that hold SCO Unix licenses. (EV1.net servers or Lindows?)"

Since EV1.net is in the process of climbing into bed with Microsoft, and SCO has been warming itself under the same blankets for quite some time, I think it more likely that Lindows will be sent to the doghouse.

Then again, in a vain attempt to turn back the tide of hatred directed at it, SCO might turn around and sue Microsoft. What a twist that would be!

Still (3, Informative)

kaizenfury7 (322351) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447509)

Interestingly enough, although their stock (SCOX) ha s been in a decline for the past few months (it was 16+ the last time that I saw) it jumped quite a bit today. Up 1.15 to 13.42. Any reason why?

SCO's legalesse has me confused... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8447510)

as a baby in a topless bar.. :(

How the lawsuits are going to go in court (0, Interesting)

NZheretic (23872) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447511)

Since 1994, both Caldera ( which only changed its name to The SCO Group in 2003 ) and the Santa Cruz Operation ( The original SCO which changed its name to Tarentella ) have accepted, profited from and redistributed copyrighted source code from hundreds of developers under the terms of the GPL license.
http://www.fsf.org/licenses/gpl.html [fsf.org]
The SCO Group has failed to put forward ANY substantial legal theory why the SCO Group should not be obligated to abide by the terms of the GPL.
http://www.fsf.org/philosophy/sco/sco-without-fear .html [fsf.org]
The SCO Group obligations under the GPL has been reiterated and reinforced in the legal positions of IBM, Redhat and Novell in their respective cases against the SCO Group.

It is a criminal offense to claim, with fraudulent intent, that you have a copyright if you do not. The SCO Group does *NOT* hold the copyrights to the UNIX source code. Novell has *NOT* transfered the title for the works that the SCO Group fraudulently filed for copyright in 2003. The SCO Group do not have the right to sue anybody for violation of copyright works without the assent of the title holder.

The SCO Group claims the right to sue for work in standard UNIX and POSIX interfaces that AT&T and Novell granted full rights to use royalty free in perpetuity for the ISO, ANSI and FIPS federal standards.

The SCO Group's contract claims against IBM and others based upon the AT&T license in respect to rights of so called derivative works is in direct contradiction to evidence presented to the SCO Group by Novell.

The SCO Group though the press and SEC filings, has bolstered the share price of the SCO Group based upon demonstrably false claims to the contrary of above points 1,2 and 3. The SCO Group CEOs and legal agents were notified by Novell and IBM *before* making these false claims and presenting them as fact. The actions of the SCO Group must be in violation of several SEC regulations.

So how is the lawsuit going to go if it gets to court?
Eben Moglen's Harvard Speech
http://jolt.law.harvard.edu/p.cgi/speakers.html [harvard.edu] [harvard.edu]

The Transcript
http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=200402260 03735733 [groklaw.net]

The McBrides, jointly -- I feel sometimes as though I'm in a Quentin Tarantino movie of some sort with them [laughter] -- the McBrides have failed to distinguish adequately between dicta and holding.

I do not like Eldred against Ashcroft. I think it was wrongly decided. I filed a brief in it, amicus curiae, and I assisted my friend and colleague Larry Lessig in the presentation of the main arguments which did not, regrettably, succeed.

Oddly enough, and I will take you through this just enough to show, oddly enough, it is the position that we were taking in Eldred against Ashcroft, which if you stick to holding rather than dicta, would be favorable to the position now being urged by Mr. McBride. What happened in Eldred against Ashcroft, as opposed to the window dressing of it, is actually bad for the argument that Mr. McBride has been presenting, whichever Mr. McBride it is. But they have not thought this through enough.

Let me show you why. The grave difficulty that SCO has with free software isn't their attack; it's the inadequacy of their defense. In order to defend yourself in a case in which you are infringing the freedom of free software, you have to be prepared to meet a call that I make reasonably often with my colleagues at the Foundation who are here tonight. That telephone call goes like this. "Mr. Potential Defendant, you are distributing my client's copyrighted work without permission. Please stop. And if you want to continue to distribute it, we'll help you to get back your distribution rights, which have terminated by your infringement, but you are going to have to do it the right way."

At the moment that I make that call, the potential defendant's lawyer now has a choice. He can cooperate with us, or he can fight with us. And if he goes to court and fights with us, he will have a second choice before him. We will say to the judge, "Judge, Mr. Defendant has used our copyrighted work, copied it, modified it and distributed it without permission. Please make him stop."

One thing that the defendant can say is, "You're right. I have no license." Defendants do not want to say that, because if they say that they lose. So defendants, when they envision to themselves what they will say in court, realize that what they will say is, "But Judge, I do have a license. It's this here document, the GNU GPL. General Public License," at which point, because I know the license reasonably well, and I'm aware in what respect he is breaking it, I will say, "Well, Judge, he had that license but he violated its terms and under Section 4 of it, when he violated its terms, it stopped working for him."

But notice that in order to survive moment one in a lawsuit over free software, it is the defendant who must wave the GPL. It is his permission, his master key to a lawsuit that lasts longer than a nanosecond. This, quite simply, is the reason that lies behind the statement you have heard -- Mr. McBride made it here some weeks ago -- that there has never been a court test of the GPL.

To those who like to say there has never been a court test of the GPL, I have one simple thing to say: Don't blame me. I was perfectly happy to roll any time. It was the defendants who didn't want to do it. And when for ten solid years, people have turned down an opportunity to make a legal argument, guess what? It isn't any good.

The GPL has succeeded for the last decade, while I have been tending it, because it worked, not because it failed or was in doubt. Mr. McBride and his colleagues now face that very same difficulty, and the fellow on the other side is IBM. A big, rich, powerful company that has no intention of letting go.


They have distributed the operating system kernel program called Linux. That is, SCO has. They continue to do so to their existing customers because they have a contractual responsibility to provide maintenance.

When they distribute that program called Linux, they are distributing the work of thousands of people, and they are doing so without a license, because they burned their license down when they tried to add terms to it, by charging additional license fees in violation of Sections 2 and 6 of the GPL.

Under Section 4 of the GPL, when they violated it, they lost their right to distribute, and IBM has said as a counterclaim in its lawsuit, "Judge, they're distributing our copyrighted work, and they don't have any permission. Make them stop."

If SCO played smart, they would have said, "But your Honor, we do have a license. It's the GNU GPL." Now for reasons that we could get into but needn't, they didn't want to do that, possibly because it would have affected adversely their other claims in their lawsuit, or possibly because they had taken a 10 million dollar investment from Microsoft, but we'll talk about that a little further, I'm sure, in the question period.

At any rate, they didn't say that. What they said back is, "But Judge, the GNU GPL is a violation of the United States Constitution, the Copyright Law, the Export Control Law", and I have now forgotten whether or not they also said the United Nations Charter of the Rights of Man. [laughter]

At the moment, we confine ourselves solely to the question whether the GPL violates the United States Constitution. I am coming back to Eldred against Ashcroft along the way.

In Eldred against Ashcroft, 435 Congressmen and a hundred Senators had been bribed to make copyright eternal in a tricky way. The bribe, which of course was perfectly legal and went by the name of campaign contributions, was presented to the Congress for a copyright term extension.

In 1929, "Steamboat Willy" first brought before the public a creature called Mickey Mouse. The corporate authorship term under copyright being then, as almost now, 75 years, had it not been for action by Congress in the year 2004, Mickey Mouse would have escaped control of ownership, at least under the Copyright Law. This, of course, necessitated major legal reform to prevent the escape of Mickey Mouse into the public domain.

Copyright term extension now provides that, whether or not a Sonny Bono skis into a tree again in the next ten years or so, every once in a while Congress will extend the term of copyrights a little while longer. And then, as the ball approaches midnight in Times Square, they'll extend it a little longer. And so on and so on. Nothing need ever escape into the public domain again, least of all Mickey Mouse.

Professor Lessig, Eric Eldred, I and lots of other otherwise sensible people in the United States thought that this did not actually conform to the grand idea of the perfectability of human beings through the sharing of information. We doubted that securing perpetual ownership a slice at a time was actually a form of encouraging the diffusion of science and the useful arts, and we suggested to the Supreme Court that on this basis alone, the Copyright Term Extension Act should fall. We were, as Mr. McBride rightly points out, soundly repudiated.

It turns out that there's no such thing as an unconstitutional copyright rule, if Congress passes it, and if it observes the distinction between expression and idea, which the Supreme Court says is the constitutional guarantee that copyright does not violate the freedom of expression, and provided that fair use rights are adequately maintained.

In short, the actual holding of Eldred against Ashcroft is, Congress can make such copyright law as it wants, and all licenses issued under the presumptively constitutional copyright law are beyond constitutional challenge.

I have news for Mr. McBride. The existing copyright law is constitutional and our license, which fully observes all the requirements that the copyright law places upon it, are also presumptively constitutional. Only in the world in which we succeeded in Eldred against Ashcroft, in which if you like there would be substantive due process review of copyright licenses to see whether they met the form of copyright called for in Article 1 Section 8, could Mr. McBride and friends even stand in a United States courtroom and argue that a copyrights license is unconstitutional.


Regrettably for Mr. McBride, in other words, we lost Eldred against Ashcroft, and the very claim he now wishes to make perished, along with some more worthwhile claims, at that moment, at least until such time as the Supreme Court changes the holding in Eldred against Ashcroft.

Mr. McBride takes a great deal of cold comfort from the pro-capitalist rhetoric in which Justice Ginsberg announced the decision of the Supreme Court. And, as yet another disgruntled observer of Eldred against Ashcroft, I wish him luck with his cold comfort, but he and I were on the same side of that case, little as he knows it, and the legal arguments that he would now like to present unfortunately failed. Mind you, even if he were allowed to present to the court the idea that copyright licenses should be judged for their squareness with constitutional policy, we would triumphantly prevail.

There is no copyright license in the United States today, I will lay this down without further demonstration but we can talk about it if you like, there is no copyright license in the United States today more fitting to Thomas Jefferson's idea of copyright or indeed to the conception of copyright contained in Article 1 Section 8, than ours. For we are pursuing an attempt at the diffusion of knowledge and the useful arts which is already proving far more effective at diffusing knowledge than all of the profit-motivated proprietary software distribution being conducted by the grandest and best funded monopoly in the history of the world.

But, sorrily for us all, Mr. McBride will not get us to the stage where we are allowed to tell that to the United States Supreme Court, where we would prevail gloriously, because the United States Supreme Court's already decided that copyright law is presumptively constitutional as soon as Congressmen have taken the campaign contributions, held the vote, and passed the resulting gumball-like statute to the White House for the obligatory stamping. But I welcome Mr. McBride to the campaign for a less restrictive copyright in the United States, as soon as he actually figures out, from the legal point of view, which side his bread is buttered. Unfortunately, as you all realize, we cannot hold our breaths waiting for enlightenment to strike. If only Mr. McBride attended Harvard Law School.

That's, I think, enough about SCO, truly, though I am delighted to answer your questions in due course about it. It's actually a copyright lawsuit desert. There aren't any copyright claims in it. There are some contract claims between IBM and SCO, and those will, in due course, be adjusted by the courts, and I look forward with a moderate degree of interest to the outcome. A threat to the freedom of free software, it ain't. One hell of a nuisance it most certainly is. And I, unfortunately, expect to continue to spend a good deal of my time abating the nuisance, but without much sense of the presence of a hovering threat to the things I really care about, of which this is not a very good one.

The SCO Group is effectively scamming Linux Users with a variation of the "Data Protection Scam"
http://www.google.com/search?q=%22data+protection+ scam%22 [google.com]

Check with your local "Better Business Bureau" if this is in violation of local Fair Trade Acts, Enterprise Acts and Unfair Practices Acts.

It's like the source code all over again... (4, Funny)

sharlskdy (460886) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447518)

I think SCO is waiting for the media outlets to sign and return the NDA before they let them know who the lawsuits are against.

Doesnt this amount to Racketeering? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8447525)

Isnt this illegal for corperations/people to go out and just start sueing, threatening for lawsuit sake? I believe thats still illegal.

Seems pretty specific to me. (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447529)

I mean really, how many companies still have SCO Unix licenses running anywhere? I'm willing to bet you'll find it's about two that still have a couple servers they haven't bothered to move to linux yet.

Check the last few years for sco unix sales and you'll find the companies getting sued, you'll find it's BOTH purchasers of SCO licenses!

Prediction of tomorrow's announcement (4, Funny)

Pentagram (40862) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447531)

We are going to postpone our suing of two companies but tomorrow we are going to sue THREE!

So the logic is... (3, Insightful)

someguy42 (609667) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447532)

...buy a SCO licence, have SCO slap a lawsuit on you anyway?? How do they expect to sell licences after this insanity?? Kinda a matter of shooting oneself in the foot.

Wired News 2004 Vaporware list... (5, Funny)

Radi-0-head (261712) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447535)

The #1 spot for Wired News' Vaporware Awards in 2004 goes to:

SCO for their "still pending" lawsuit! Congratulations guys!

Bass Ackwards (1)

z0ink (572154) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447542)

The new business model for OSS: 1. Sell product that isn't yours .. as your own 2. ??? 3. Use profits from your non-product to sue your customers

Re:Bass Ackwards (1)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447601)

Dieing company strategy

1. Sue everyone for anything
2. ....
3. Profit or die trying

It's old school business, nothing new here.

back stabbing? (1)

bored1 (758098) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447553)

"has said the first two will be aimed at companies that hold Unix licenses" Is it just me or is SCO suing its customers? Yet another similarity between them and the RIAA

Nelson (1)

unsigned integer (721338) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447555)

Ha Ha!

I guess that's really the only thing you can say about the SCO license holders who are about to be sued.

Pixar? (2, Interesting)

AndyFewt (694753) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447560)

Could it be Pixar? Dont they have a huge render farm of linux boxes chugging away.. not an isp or net services and its a pretty well known company (Toy story, Monsters Inc, etc)..

However, I don't know if SCO had a unix contract with them which I believe was one of the things Darl said they would use against the company/companies.

license didn't indemnify (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8447565)

If you had read the article the other day on Groklaw it stated that (I'm paraphrasing) that purchasing this license doesn't allow that user to actually USE SCO's intellectual property. All it really does is say "look, we know we're in the wrong here, so let's settle up".

Now because of the fact these people signed up for their license that shows they "admit guilt". So not only did they pay SCO the $799 (or whatever it is now) extortion fee, they also paid SCO to sue them. That's how the legal system works, my friends. EV1 and Lindows (if it's actually true) will get a first hand lesson now.

In a sense, buying a license under these methods and terms is basically the same as signing a confession to a crime that wasn't even committed.

And tomorrow... (2, Funny)

kundor (757951) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447569)

They'll go double or nothing again!

in two months they'll be threatening to sue everyone on the planet the day after.

I get it.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8447572)

By purchasing a liscense, EV1 has already admitted to doing something wrong. Now SCO has grounds to sue on.

Wow . . . (0, Redundant)

dorlthed (700641) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447574)

I really didn't see this coming!

Sue your customers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8447575)

Wow - they copied* that move right out of the RIAA's playbook: sue your customers. Actually, not only did the copy it; I think that they may have perfected it. They're suing someone that they know is a customer unlike the RIAA who isn't sure.

* tomorrow's news from the-lesser-of-two-evils dept: RIAA sues SCO for copyright infringement

/me is confused (1)

RoadkillBunny (662203) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447579)

They also have said that these first two lawsuits will be against companies that hold SCO Unix licenses.

Wait, they are going to sue their customers?

SCO had a really good excuse... (1)

fltsimbuff (606866) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447590)

Too bad they didn't use it:

"Well, we were going to sue someone today, but they Paid us off (EV1.Net)."

A /. first????? (1)

jgregs75 (710223) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447591)

Has a conference call ever been /.'d??

Licenses (0, Redundant)

Fubar420 (701126) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447595)

(Mods check if this is redundant but...) As far as I read, its SCO unix licensees, not Linux IP licensees.. While i think sco is full of it on Linux IP, I doubt they'll hit the people that have paid for linux licensees, only those using SCO unix as well as linux in their operations... Honestly tho, I have to agree w/ the earlier posts saying its very similar to RIAA suing the same bloody people that pay for their CD's..

My God That's Deviously Clever (1)

Sean80 (567340) | more than 10 years ago | (#8447608)

Did EV1.net just admit their own previous culpability by buying the licenses?
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