Tech Insider					     Technology and Trends

From djjones at xactware.com  Fri Oct  3 12:57:12 2003
From: djjones at xactware.com (djjones@xactware.com)
Date: Fri Oct  3 11:57:42 2003
Subject: [uug] SCO's lawsuit.
Message-ID: <B3E66DE8D718BE43860CE242F8692ECC0A52DC@POSTMASTER.xactware.com>

I have been reading through the actual court documents for the SCO
lawsuit against IBM. I found a few things that I find seem like really
stupid statements. I also found a few things that I have questions
about. The biggest thing that angers me is aspect number 86 of the
document I was reading. It states: "86. It is not possible for Linux to
rapidly reach UNIX performance standards for complete enterprise
functionality without the misappropriation of UNIX code, methods or
concepts to achieve such performance, and coordination by a larger
developer, such as IBM" So what? Now we (The Linux users and
programmers) are now a bunch of idiots that have no intuitive ideas?
That is just a bunch of idiocy. I can't believe that any company could
ever thing that they are they only intelligent people in this world!
 
My next issue... Just sort of something to help me understand better.
Where does the GPL state that I can't use LINUX in my own company. I
thought that the entire reason for releasing something under the GPL is
so that I am free to do with it as I please, I just can't claim the
ownership of someone else's work. Correct me if I am wrong, but I was
under the impression that people/companies can use the GPL software for
any purpose.
 
I have found it quite interesting to read through this document. I can
see why SCO would go after IBM. It makes sense, give the agreement that
IBM and SCO had. But, I think that it is ludicrous to come after
everyone else, who has NOT given out trade secrets. I never made any
kind of deal with SCO. This breach of contract that SCO is taking IBM to
court over didn't happen until May 2001 (Or there about). Linux, if I
remember correctly, was doing quite well at that time. Anything that was
written up to that point should be free and clear of anything that SCO
can claim. And everything after that, doesn't necessarily mean that it
was used from the code the IBM gave out.
 
In section 98 of the lawsuit, SCO is complaining about IBM's statement
about LINUX saying "Linux will be on par with UNIX in no time"  Since
when is it illegal to have a product compete with another? Oh no,
X-windows will be just as good and windows XP in no time. Maybe
Microsoft should sue! Looks like to me that SCO is mad because IBM had a
good idea, to make money, first.
 
Anyway, enough complaints from me for today. Just thought I would share
my feelings and ideas.
Dallin

From sorenson at byu.edu  Fri Oct  3 15:14:12 2003
From: sorenson at byu.edu (Frank Sorenson)
Date: Fri Oct  3 14:14:00 2003
Subject: [uug] SCO's lawsuit.
In-Reply-To: <B3E66DE8D718BE43860CE242F8692ECC0A52DC@POSTMASTER.xactware.com>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.44.0310031333440.9796-100000@asterix.cs.byu.edu>

On Fri, 3 Oct 2003, djjones@xactware.com said:
<snip>
> I have found it quite interesting to read through this document. I can
> see why SCO would go after IBM. It makes sense, give the agreement that
> IBM and SCO had. But, I think that it is ludicrous to come after
> everyone else, who has NOT given out trade secrets. I never made any
> kind of deal with SCO. This breach of contract that SCO is taking IBM to
> court over didn't happen until May 2001 (Or there about). Linux, if I
> remember correctly, was doing quite well at that time. Anything that was
> written up to that point should be free and clear of anything that SCO
> can claim. And everything after that, doesn't necessarily mean that it
> was used from the code the IBM gave out.

SCO's whole case is based on a number of false pretences.

One of these is that IBM's (and SGI's, and...) contributions to Linux were
trade secrets that are tied to the original System V code base.  SCO
pretty much claims that anything built to run in Unix is protected as
strongly as their original code.  In reading through the contracts and
side letters (don't forget Amendment X), it's pretty obvious that this is
not the case.  It's clear that a "product" (such as AIX) built from the
original code would be protected, but it's difficult to see how IBM 
contributing their own code hurts SCO and breaks their contract.

SCO also seems to believe that they can revoke IBM's contract as a result
of their claims.  It's clear that IBM's contract is perpetual, and even if
it were possible to revoke, Novell retained the right to overrule SCO,
which they have done.

SCO claims that because Linux has their Intellectual Property (a nebulous
claim at best), everyone running Linux should pay them.  It's a ridiculous 
concept that holds no water.

The legal threats against Linux users is little more than a scare tactic
designed to solicit money out of companies that don't want to get sued
(they got money from Sun and from MS).  They'll never send out bills
because they know that they have no basis for doing so (see RedHat's
suit).  They plan to keep fishing (threatening companies) around until
someone buys them out.  That's not going to happen any more, because
they're tainted now.  They've destroyed themselves, and nobody could buy
them.  IBM's countersuit would still go on, so why buy a lawsuit.

> In section 98 of the lawsuit, SCO is complaining about IBM's statement
> about LINUX saying "Linux will be on par with UNIX in no time"  Since
> when is it illegal to have a product compete with another? Oh no,
> X-windows will be just as good and windows XP in no time. Maybe
> Microsoft should sue! Looks like to me that SCO is mad because IBM had a
> good idea, to make money, first.

SCO is mad because they are irrelevant.  They aren't getting any money out
of the old unix code, and they wish to hijack Linux for their own profit.  
In the end, it will backfire.  Instead of pushing people to license their
cruddy OS, people (IBM) will pour money and resources into Linux to make
it better.  The end result will be that eventually IBM servers will run
Linux not AIX, and nobody will need the old OS code.  SCO is doing it to
themselves.

What SCO refuses to understand is actually the basis for the entire
Free/Open Source Software movement.  Everyone is Free to use the IP that 
is released to the rest of the world.  People are creating IP and freely 
contributing it to the benefit of everyone else.

Darl said "We don't understand the whole 'Free Lunch' thing".  What he
doesn't understand is that the lunch isn't free (lots of people are
working on it), but that you're Free to eat a liverwurst and pickle
sandwich on toasted rye, with watery orange juice and lemon-asparagus pie,
if you so choose.  (Not recommended, by the way!)

Frank
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Frank Sorenson - KD7TZK
CSR Computer Science Department
Brigham Young University
frank@byu.net

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