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Any theories on this whole SCO vs Linux thing?

If you've kept up with this thing over the past week and a half, you know how surreal this whole thing has gotten.

First SCO sends out 1500 threatening letters to companies using Linux claiming they might be held liable for IP infringement and then sues IB-freakin'-M for $1 billion!  THAT was a huge suprise in and of itself, but the story continues get wierder.

So earlier this weak, the president of SCO speculated on record that they might even sue Linus Torvalds himself! Uuuuhh...

But wait!  In a news story yesterday, it turns out SCO doesn't really own the Unix patents! Oops  Apparently, Novell still owns them, though SCO has tried hard to get them away for about the past decade.  SCO just licenses Unix from Novell (and how Novell ended up with the Unix patents is it's own trip down the rabbit hole).

Oh and behind the scenes, MS decides "out of the blue" to buy a Unix license for SCO. 

Any theories on just what the hell is going on here?  It's like a real life nerd-opera.

Crimson
Thursday, May 29, 2003

SCO is going under. Upper management is floundering for any way to get money. Extorting it via invalid intellectual property claims is one way. They sued IBM to get IBM to buy them. That's another way to get money.

It's just more stupid lawyer tricks.

Chris Tavares
Thursday, May 29, 2003

What is so weird, is that if SCO doesn't own copyright on the Unix code, then the only thing they have, best case, is a suit against IBM.  And even that looks pretty convoluted without owning the copyright, even in the best case scenario where SCO reveals a smoking gun.

SCO is going to face a shareholder suit based on previous statements which claimed they had a copyright/patent case.

Kinda makes you wonder if the dot-com bust is truly over.  Maybe this is the fat lady singing?

Nat Ersoz
Thursday, May 29, 2003

Im always surprised when the subject of a slashdot article turns up here. 
The chances of anyone here coming up with anything new that hasn't already been said by the infinite number of monkeys on slashdot is pretty remote...

FullNameRequired
Thursday, May 29, 2003

Yeah, well, the average IQ here is about 90 points higher than at slashdot (something we're quite pleased about). :-p

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Thursday, May 29, 2003

"Yeah, well, the average IQ here is about 90 points higher than at slashdot (something we're quite pleased about). :-p "

<g>
true...but thats *average* ...by sheer numbers slashdot will have an equal number of equally bright people, it just also happens to have a much higher number of the 'other kind' of person.

Certainly in all the other subjects raised here after being covered in slashdot JoS was unable to add anything new...

FullNameRequired
Thursday, May 29, 2003

One thing that the SCO vs Linux thing has pointed out is how insanely interesting computing news is!  Think back a bit:

a) The browsers wars
b) The instant messaging wars
c) Antitrust trials
d) Napster and the RIAA
...

And there are hundreds of tech news dedicated sites like news.com, zdnet, slashdot, etc. 

You'd think computing would be more boring...

Wayne Venables
Thursday, May 29, 2003

When you only have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Perhaps if you see everything MS do as automatically evil and to be opposed, you might start assuming their hidden hand is behind everything you disagree with.  I personally think too many Linux advocates are falling into this trap.

I have no idea whether SCO's IP has been infringed or not, but I think it would be a good idea to discuss this on the basis of known facts, rather than the usual method on certain other sites which seems to begin from "we have MS" and work forward from there.


I am not a lawyer.  I believe (but am ready to be corrected if any are wrong) the known facts include:-

1. SCO is suing IBM for issues relating to trade secrets. Not copyrights, not patents. The _allegation_ seems to be IBM used trade secrets obtained from SCO (legally for some joint project) and then put them into Linux (which SCO argue is a breach of contract).  Whether this allegation is true, and if true whether SCO is entitled to damages, remains to be established.

2. SCO sent letters to many companies saying Linux usage may make them liable for infringing SCO's IP.

3. SCO's officers have made statements about possibly suing various parties, end-users, other distributions, Linus, etc. at various times, relating to IP issues

4. MS paid SCO for some kind of UNIX license.

5. SCO says they own the UNIX source (copyright and patents). Novell says they own it.  SCO's 10-K says they pay Novell royalties when they sub license UNIX.

6. Novell's recent press release saying they own UNIX source, came out, embarrassingly for SCO, just before SCO's earnings conference call.  A key part here is Novell says SCO recently asked them to transfer the copyrights/patents, although SCO seems to deny it.

I am not a lawyer.  Opinions on the above:-

From 1+2+3 - unless SCO have a copyright or patent claim, I do not see they can go after anybody except IBM or people with whom SCO has contracts.

2+3+4 - MS have a UNIX connectivity product for some time. They also use BSD stuff.  They have done this for many years.  They are cash rich and therefore would probably consider themselves a target for embarrassing and risky law suits of this type.  Paying for a license to make the issue go away would be an understable course of action regardless of the merits of the claim or any other issues.  This makes much more sense than setting out to boost SCO. I would not be surprised if some marketing person saw an opportunity to increase the Linux FUD, but I just doubt it was a prime motive.  SCO's Q2 revenue thing says $21m, and $8.2m from SCOsource, so I do not think they paid much in any case.

5. Dispute about whether SCO even owns the copyrights/patents would be an obstacle to 2+3

6a. Another reason why Novell would want to assert their claims to copyright/patents, is maybe SCO wants to stop paying royalties to them.

6b. If Novell have a document (although there is nothing yet I have seen to suggest such a document exists) from SCO asking them to transfer copyright/patents, this would seem to be an acknowledgement from SCO that they do not infact own these copyright/patents - which could undermine 2+3+6a + possibly 4.  In the case of 4, if such a document were to emerge, I would not at all be surprised if MS were to ask SCO for their money back.

Rational
Thursday, May 29, 2003

--" how insanely interesting computing news is! "

Wayne, I wish you were being sarcastic. While the events you mention were happening, the US engaged in three wars, got itself bombed, the Supreme Court had to decide on the closest election in US history, the human genome was mapped, the Challenger burnt out on re-entry in a peculiar kind of symmetry to when it burnt out on exit,  Sri Lanka managed to go through having its airport destroyed by a guerrilla group, having a peace settlement, and now veering back to war again, some collection of French nuts claimed to have cloned a human being and got an even nuttier Western press to pay attention to them, and a rather large etc.

Sure computer news is excting, But I bet it's nothing compared to the really wild tnings that go on in the fertilizer or ball bearing industries!

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 29, 2003

" Paying for a license to make the issue go away would be an understable course of action regardless of the merits of the claim or any other issues. "

what utter bollocks.  If theres one thing MS has been good at its _not_ throwing money away quite so pointlessly.

"This makes much more sense than setting out to boost SCO."

??? no it doesn't.
In one scenario MS are throwing the $ away for no good reason, in the other they are spending money for a _very_ good reason.....to help trash a competitor.

MS has certainly shown in the past that they are fully capable and willing to do this.  why is it so unlikely that they are doing it here?

FullNameRequired
Thursday, May 29, 2003

The maximum MS paid is $8.2m, which is peanuts to them.  SCO have said there are only 2 licensees for UNIX, one of which is MS. So they paid less than $8.2m

Choice 1: Settle. Pay less than $8.2m. No problem with SCO ever again.

Choice 2: Fight it out. Risk Bill Gates, the world's least sympathetic witness, being put on the stand. Risk lots of embarrassing documents come out (basically anything they have said about Linux or UNIX since the 70s - which must include at least somet stuff).  Risk being sued for $1bn SCO vs IBM style. Risk being protrayed in the press as beating up on an "innocent" little company (SCO). Risk a multimillion dollar future settle (MS vs AOL style).  Risk running up more than $8.2m in legal costs.  Risk not being able to recover their legal costs (probably more than $8.2m) even if they win.

Which would you choose if you were Bill Gates, or for that matter any other business.  Companies, including MS, settle lawsuits all the time, even if they believe they are in the right -- because the risk and cost of not doing so can be worse.

I'm sure Bill would rather pay $0 or $1.  But < $8.2m is nada.

In any case, MS do not need to finance SCO's attack on IBM - as Boies is on 100% contigency.

Rational
Thursday, May 29, 2003

One of the characteristics of people with an inferiority complex is that they often try to tear down others, thinking that by bringing these others down below them they will somehow rise in the heirarchy.
Folks, your constant bashing of Slashdot, repeated in this thread, is a jarring reminder of this.  One writer even claimed that the average IQ was higher here!  What scientific source is that from?  Slashdot doesn't regularly bash JoS, and the only time I remember it mentioned was when Joel wrote a long article defending his arrangement on this site, being a different model than that of Slashdot, and Slashdot carried a discussion on the topic.
If all of us, and this site, were truly superior it wouldn't be so important to try to drag down others.

Barry Sperling
Thursday, May 29, 2003

Dear Barry,
                There is only one mildly critical posting in this thread about slashdot, and that was tongue in cheek.

                  And believe it or not there are people who post to this forum who never read slashdot, which is why FullNameRequires's comment was rather a stupid one.

                  The only person  "bringing these others down below them they will somehow rise in the heirarchy" appears to be yourself, since the constant bashing you mention is largely imaginary.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 29, 2003

Hi Richard,

"Choice 1: Settle. Pay less than $8.2m. No problem with SCO ever again."

but also gain nothing.  SCO do not own the copyright to UNIX, which means that MS will *still* have licensing problems if they had them before......I agree, if the payment actually resolved something it would be cheap.  But it doesn't...any existing issues are still issues.

"Choice 2: etc etc"

Come on..they've risked more than that by a long way in countless other areas......you must have a short memory :)


"Risk a multimillion dollar future settle (MS vs AOL style)"
:)  actually I judge that settlement to be a net gain for MS in lots of ways...



"In any case, MS do not need to finance SCO's attack on IBM - as Boies is on 100% contigency. "

I dont understand what you mean here...



Overall it it seems pretty clear & straightforward to me though.  Linux is genuinely one of the (only) biggest potential threats Microsoft faces in the server (and gradually desktop) markets. 
They cannot compete, its that simple.
In the same way that american developers are totally unable to compete with $7/hour indian developers, Microsoft is totally unable to compete with Linux.  (over the long term of course, the one advantage that MS has is that OSS tends to take longer to get to where its going)

This gives microsoft only two ways of 'winning', change the playing field or find someway to destroy Linux.
Microsoft is in the process of changing the playing field, Palladium/Longhorn etc with its builtin DRM will manage this for the simple reason that OSS and DRM are a pretty hard combination to bring together. (although of course this will only work if the world at large accepts the MS way with DRM...I will be watching with interest)

They are verra likely indeed to be able to slow the rate of adoption of Linux by the world at large by spreading the usual FUD, and this will give them more time to change the playing field.  (IIRC the spread of the BSD variant of Unix was slowed to a crawl by a very similar process)
And up steps SCO :)


(I cannot think of any way to destroy linux :)

FullNameRequired
Thursday, May 29, 2003

There's no need for us to bash Slashdot given that they do a good enough job of demonstrating their intellect (or lack thereof) themselves.  Here's a good recent example of this:

http://books.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/05/20/1640225&mode=thread

Honestly, I visit Slashdot regularly and find loads of interesting links that I wouldn't have found otherwise but the general cluelessness that's demonstrated there sometimes (such as the thread I linked to above) is hilarious. 

SomeBody
Thursday, May 29, 2003

Who is Richard? I just picked a random name (Rational), if it conflicts with somebody else's I'll choose a different one.



> but also gain nothing.  SCO do not own the copyright to UNIX, which means that MS will *still* have licensing problems if they had them before......I agree, if the payment actually resolved something it would be cheap.  But it doesn't...any existing issues are still issues.

WRONG: It does resolve the issue completely
1. If SCO has the copyrights/patents, as they claim to, it resolves the SCO issue completely. 
2. If SCO does not have the copyrights/patents - then yes this would be a possible MS line of defense in a SCO vs MS law suit, but they would still have to fight it
1+2  In any case, MS may prefer to avoid fighting a potential SCO lawsuit at all.  Especially when it is not yet established where the copyrights/patents lie.
3. Both Novell and SCO agree that SCO have the right to sublicense UNIX code.  So if MS pays SCO for a license, then Novell can not accuse MS of infringing.


> Come on..they've risked more than that by a long way in countless other areas......you must have a short memory :)

You seem to forget Bill Gates studied Game theory.

Bill's choices are Fight or Pay

- If he fights and wins, he might end up $0 if he wins costs and SCO is still around to collect from (probably unlikely, if he wins, SCO is probably bankrupt anyway).  Or more likely he might end up -$10m to -$50m because of the legal costs

- If he fights and loses, he might end up down hundreds of millions

- If he simply pays SCO, at worst -$8.2m (and probably less as the max he paid is $8.2m - but we know it's less)

He may think it's extortion and unfair, but simply paying for a license is likely to be the least costly for MS.  I would not be surprised SCO decided the license's price on that basis.



> "In any case, MS do not need to finance SCO's attack on IBM - as Boies is on 100% contigency. "

> I dont understand what you mean here...

I am pretty sure that SCO is not paying Boies (their hotshot lawyer) a dime

If Boies wins or settles, he gets a percentage of the winnings

So as long as people keeping settling or Boies sees a chance of winning, this is going to go on, regardless of what MS or anybody else do.

SCO are doing this to generate money.  If their claims have a basis, it's not at all illegitimate.

All MS are to them, are one of (many) potential the targets.

Given MS reputation, track record in recent law suits, and the fact they have a stack cash, they were poissibly the easiest target for SCO.

Rational
Thursday, May 29, 2003

Hi Rational,

"Who is Richard? I just picked a random name (Rational)"

oops, sorry...meant Rational...<g> my bosses name is Richard, must have been a freudian slip...

"WRONG: It does resolve the issue completely"

agreed :)  some nicely made points.

"Bill's choices are Fight or Pay"

no, Bills choices are Fight, Pay or Wait.

Its important to remember here that there was *no* pending lawsuit (at least as far as your or I know) from SCO.
It sounds as though MS has been working on Unix interoperability for a few years, and presumably during that time has taken advantage of either code or algorithms.
Im willing to believe that.
*But*  assuming they have done so, why wouldn't they take advantage of the code from one of the freebie Unix variants that are lying around?  how would they get their hands on the IP of a copyrighted unix variant?  ...and, assuming they did so, why pay up now?


"He may think it's extortion and unfair, but simply paying for a license is likely to be the least costly for MS.  I would not be surprised SCO decided the license's price on that basis."

I would.....if the only question was how much MS would pay without stressing, I personally suspect they would have gone somewhat higher....


"> I dont understand what you mean here...

I am pretty sure that SCO is not paying Boies (their hotshot lawyer) a dime"

ah :)  Boies is their lawyer...<g> I was wondering what Boies was....

definitely doesn't mean that the suit is a freebie though, expensive though lawyers are, they are not necessarily the only (or even the largest) expense in a lawsuit.


"Given MS reputation, track record in recent law suits, and the fact they have a stack cash, they were poissibly the easiest target for SCO"
Again, SCO never targeted them :)  (at least as far as we know, and I suspect it would have made it to the media if they had)
<g> also, given MS track record and reputation they are possibly the most likely source of the attempt to poison the reputation of Linux.

FullNameRequired
Thursday, May 29, 2003

Hi there,

something else of vague interest just occured to my slow functioning brain.

What exactly were they licensing from SCO?

If MS _had_ included copyrighted code or IP belonging to SCO/Novell in Windows or some of their products, then thats _intensely_ illegal and would actually incur a suit on the same scale as the IBM one.
So it cannot be that.
So are they using unix servers at Redmond?  maybe unix clients for testing the interoperability....thats more likely.
So why license those from SCO when there are so many other alternatives available?

FullNameRequired
Thursday, May 29, 2003

You seem to be arguing my point here, by saying MS could have paid more. 

I guess from a business perspective if you simply want the money, and want it now, you'd ask for as much as you think you can away with, while still leaving it as a no brainer for the other guy to say yes.

We simply don't know what discussions SCO had with MS, before MS paid up. It is quite possible, they got a "friendly" call, suggesting they come into compliance with SCO claims or face possible action.  We do know however that SCO and IBM had discussions prior to SCO suing IBM.

Futhermore, I doubt MS publish every cease and desist letter they get - even if they got one. Boies is also the same guy who represented the government in the antitrust action against MS, so he probably has some contacts at MS's legal anyway if any friendly chats were necessary.

As for using the "free UNIXes".  I am sure that is what MS do do. They have acknowledged using BSD and I think GNU stuff (fully GPLed) in some of their products.

The point is SCO is claiming these free UNIXes are tainted, so there is nothing to stop them pointing out to MS, "Hey guys, you use some free UNIX stuff. We believe some of this stuff is tainted with our IP.  Don't worry though, buy a license for our stuff, and we won't worry about it or any past infringements that you accidentally did via this route."

Rational
Thursday, May 29, 2003

> If MS _had_ included copyrighted code or IP belonging to SCO/Novell in Windows or some of their products, then thats _intensely_ illegal and would actually incur a suit on the same scale as the IBM one.

They use some BSD stuff in Windows, or at least used to.

This is not illegal in itself, as they comply with the BSD license.

However if SCO claims this stuff MIGHT be tainted with their IP, then MS might feel they are at risk.

Also there is BSD and I think some GNU GPL stuff (again in compliance with their licenses) in their UNIX interoperability tools.

> So are they using unix servers at Redmond?  maybe unix clients for testing the interoperability....thats more likely.
So why license those from SCO when there are so many other alternatives available?

I am sure they have some UNIX and LINUX servers for testing, interoperability, comparing to their own products etc.

Why license from SCO? Because SCO is the one who might sue them for one or more of the above.  Paying off say Sun or IBM is not going to make SCO go away. To make SCO go away, you got to pay SCO.

Rational
Thursday, May 29, 2003

Hi Rational,

"As for using the "free UNIXes".  I am sure that is what MS do do. "
right, makes sense.

"The point is SCO is claiming these free UNIXes are tainted, so there is nothing to stop them pointing out to MS,"

no, the free variants are _not_ tainted. 
As I understand it, there are 2(ish) UNIX variants.  One which has passed through the fire of various lawsuits and has been declared open, thats the ancestor of FreeBSD etc (macosx is based on that).
The other which has remained under copyright and passed down to Novell from various other companies, and which SCO now has the right to license.

The case SCO has against IBM is that IBM has supposedly taken code from the 'righted version and pasted it into Linux.
There is absolutely nothing anywhere about SCO believing that the copyright of the BSD variant is tainted.

SCO has specifically responded to Novells claim of ownership over their UNIX variant by stating that they are not suing IBM because of copyright issues, but because of contract issues...the inference being that its the contract between IBM and SCO that allows SCO to sue IBM (because IBM has allegedly misused code they acquired because of their contract with SCO)

Now, there is no matching contract between MS and SCO, which means that there is no risk whatsoever of SCO suing MS.
<g> So, I ask again, what exactly is MS licensing?

FullNameRequired
Thursday, May 29, 2003

There is nothing to stop SCO claiming BSD has become tainted with new additions since the previous settlement.

In any case, they do claim GNU/Linux stuff is tainted.  And there is no doubt that MS does use some of this stuff, for testing if nothing else, and I believe in their UNIX interoperability toolkit.

What they are suing IBM for - is presumably the strongest case they have

What they might sue others for - would be presumably the strongest case they have against these others.  They need not sue them for the same things as they sue IBM for.

Perhaps they sue IBM for contract violations as the waters are less muddy in their opinion, than copyright or patents where there is a dispute over ownership with Novell.

Perhaps they will sue or threaten to sue other companies for different things, like copyrights or patents,even if they face some obstacles in the way - like copyright or patents.  If they simply mail shotted 1500 large companies, then MS as a large company would be on the list.

What are MS licensing?  One way of looking at it: The right not to be sued

Rational
Thursday, May 29, 2003

I used to build machines for the Caldera testing department, when they were in a small little building on the side of train tracks.

I have to say I'm not impressed with their business tactics.  The company purchased DR DOS for the sole reason of their lawsuit with Microsoft over the same issue.  And they actually won it.

When they got sued for basically the same thing, they split the company off that had the liability and buried it under the name of Lineo and made it an LLC, so the same people could own it, but not face any monetary liability.  I'm not sure where that company is now.

Now they purchased SCO and are using the same tactics again:  using lawsuits to cover unprofitable business practices.  The sad thing is they will probably win.

Walt
Friday, May 30, 2003

"the Challenger burnt out on re-entry in a peculiar kind of symmetry to when it burnt out on exit"

That would be "Columbia" burnt up on re-entry.

I know NASA committed the mistake of calling several shuttles things with the same initial letter, but I thought people here would read at least the second letter if not subsequent ones.

-- offtopic --

They're all named after exploration ships. Atlantis belonged to the Woods Hole Institute and was the first ship to use electronic soundings to map ocean floors. It's been replaced once (in 1966) and is due to be replaced again soon. Columbia explored British Columbia, Washington and Oregon by sailing through the inland waterways. Endeavour was one of Cook's ships, the first long sea voyage in which no-one died of scurvy. Enterprise is named for the NC1701. (And once flew over my school, on the back of its 747)

Discovery was named for a number of ships: Cook discovered Hawaii on one, Hudson explored his bay on one and the British Royal Geographical Society had two Discoverys - one explored the north pole, one the south.

They may have issues with building them and running them, but NASA can definitely name spacecraft well.

Katie Lucas
Friday, May 30, 2003

I ran across an article on eweek.com saying that SCO did approach MS with an IP claim.

Rational
Friday, May 30, 2003

To add to one of my earlier comments

> SCO's 10-K says they pay Novell royalties when they sub license UNIX.

Also on eweek.com, Novell says these royalties are only for some pre-existing Novell customers. Not for all SCO UNIX licenses.

Rational
Friday, May 30, 2003

in general, microsoft doesn't pay out on anything.
it always fights.
why? because that increases the costs of trying to attack them. even if it costs them $100 + $200 in legal costs when someone demands $100, the demander got $100 - $200 in legal costs.
so the next person (who quite possibly is owed money) is damned unlikely to go after it.
microsoft only has what, 50 billion in the bank right now?

so any sudden licensing agreement is some sort of tactic. either funding sco. or more likely trying to convince all linux users that they will be sued next.

mb
Friday, May 30, 2003

Katie,
it might have been off topic but it's the best thread I've read here ;-) Interesting stuff about the shuttle naming scheme.

trollbooth
Friday, May 30, 2003

For sure I think that SCO does think they have something of value to protect.

On the other hand, I do also think that this is a grab and last gasp by SCO.

Why use SCO Unix when you have Linux? What is left of SCO now?

If anyone has knowledge of Pick systems multi-valued database, then you will realize that for a good number of years THE platform of choice for running Pick was of course SCO Unix. Pick simply need a good quality Unix, and for sure SCO was the right choice (or shall I say Pick!).

So, from the late 80’s to the early 90’s, SCO Unix was a very good business platform to run Unix on, and for small business before Linux came along, the only small Unix vendor in your town was likely to be a SCO Unix var. (any larger company  would run sun, HP etc). And, yes even Microsoft did also vend Unix systems through Radio Shack stores at one time into this market also!. So , Microsoft has in the past been a vendor of Unix! They were thinking multi-user SMALL business. The EXACT same market of SCO Unix was what MS was grabbing at. However, MS quickly figured out that networking pc’s was better for their bottom line.

Anyway, about 4, or 5 years ago Pick systems had started selling a system called Advanced-Pick Pro. Basically, pick systems did not really care about Unix, but they desperately needed a OS (any os!) to run Pick on. Prior to SCO Unix they ran the Pick system NATIVE to the x86 boxes. So, they took Linux, and stripped all they could out of the system to JUST run pick on top. The result was Pick-Pro. Unix was great, since all new hardware was handled by Unix, and Pick was sick and tired of writing drivers for things like tape drives etc (it just took precious resources out of the small company). Further, a lot of hardware venders were NOT interested in writing device drivers for the native pick system. So, Pick grabbed Linux and ran with it. All of a sudden, they could get their hands on a Unix, but not have to pay for it!

In a few years, it became obvious that who wants to run a clipped version of Linux. Now, Pick hardly bothers with the Pick-pro version, as most of us want a full version of Linux, and that is what we all run now. The real win here is that most hardware venders do write device drivers for Linux. This move no doubt saved the pick system.

Like any of us, if you can get royally free tools for a major part of your application, that is the direction you are going to run. . In fact, Pick systems was the first commercial database vendor to adopt Linux, and were the first commercial database vendor at LinuxWord by a number of years before the likes of oracle etc.

Of course, with Linux…who needs SCO? This begs the question, and was the question I ask the SCO dealer a few years ago? Why use SCO? I could see that the company was finished even 5 years ago!

Ok, now lets go back to this SCO dealer conference meeting that I was at a few years ago. Pick is simply a platform to run business software on. So, while us pick developers people were NOT Unix gears, or SCO Unix people, we usually got invited to most of the typical dealer demos and seminars put on by the SCO Unix people in each city. (since we DID have software running, and were a source of new customers).

So,  I raised my had, and ask that question: Why use SCO when we now have Linux.? This was the question that everyone wanted to ask, but of course would NOT! The room went dead quiet! In the back of our minds, was why pay for SCO unix?

Remember this is about 5 years ago when major vendors like IBM or Oracle had NOT EVEN noticed the Linux thing yet.

The answer by the dealer was stunning:

    You as a company should not use Linux because there are legal implications. There is no company with a brain would use Linux, since it exposes you and your company to lawsuits due to intellectual property rights that are in Linux. There is code in Linux that is proprietary, and open to lawsuits. Therefore, you should not use Linux. Until some of the source code is removed,  you are taking a risk by betting on Linux.

Pure and simple FUD!!!

Pure and simple scare tactics, and that was 5 years ago!

What else could the dealer say to me?

In other words, SCO has been dealing his threat card FOR A LARGE number of years. It is not new, but now somehow they seem to actually found a real legal possible case here!

Unfortunately, at the end of the day, my question of why use SCO Unix still remains?  Linux and Unix are not like Apple and Windows. Linux and Unix are like a different brand of butter! They really taste the same!

The problem is that the SCO dealer network now can’t make money from selling Unix. There are no upgrades and licensing fees to be had for Unix when Linux is free.

Fact is, Linux is here to stay…and I don’t need SCO Unix.

Not much else really needs to said…

Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
kallal@msn.com

Albert D. Kallal
Friday, May 30, 2003

And, of, by the way. With the news of the E-bay lawsuit win, I am sure that SCO is now more motivated then ever with some possbile somthing down the road!

Albert D. Kallal
Friday, May 30, 2003

I can understand SCO's beef but they have yet to produce the actual evidence. They stated that when they do produce the evidence it will be under NDA. I find this quite baffling. Linux is open source so couldn't they simply point to line # then produce their own code? If it's already in the public domain then I don't understand the reasoning of releasing the evidence under NDA.

Not much of a business model


1. Hire lawyers
2. ????
3. Profit!!!

Ian Stallings
Friday, May 30, 2003

The theory that MS is funding SCO becomes more clear when you consider the following.  SCO has been losing money for a long time now.  This quarter they reported a $4.5 million profit.  Licensing fees brought in $8.2 million in revenue.  From what I can tell SCO had less than $5 million in cash.  Do the math.

Anonymous
Friday, May 30, 2003

SCO's marketing was similar even in the early 80's.

There may not have been a 'free' Unix to bitch about, but they positioned Xenix as 'not being Unix' and SCO System V as the only righteous release.

Simon Lucy
Friday, May 30, 2003

Simon, remember this SCO *isn't* the SCO of the early 1980's. That SCO sold off it's Unix assets and renamed itself 'Tarantella'.

The current 'SCO Group' was known as Caldera before they renamed themselves earlier this year. There is no one in upper management at the new SCO that was at the original SCO.

RocketJeff
Friday, May 30, 2003

Wasn't Caldera bought by the ex MD of Novell? The main reason he bought DRDOS was to get revenge on MS, whom he considered had cheated him in some previous negotiations.

I also seem to remember that he had been negotiiating with Lotus, which miight explain a certain animosity towards IBM.

I must admit, paying off SCO, and incidentally making people think that maybe there is something in their case, is a pretty good investment in FUD. I doubt the conspiracy theories though.

Stephen Jones
Friday, May 30, 2003

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