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07 April 2006 @ 03:59 am
Who's afraid of the big bad SCO?  
Has anything good ever come out of Utah? Certainly not SCO.

SCO was ordered by the court to "disclose with specificity all allegedly misused material identified to date."

In response to SCO's recent filing, nominally in compliance with that order, IBM says of 198 out of the 201 items noted "SCO does not provide a complete set of reference points (version, file and line) for any of the 198 items. Astonishingly, SCO fails specifically to identify a single line of System V, AIX or Dynix, and Linux code for any of the 198 items." According to IBM's response to the filing, the remaining three items are also without merit, but at least bear the appearance of compliance so that IBM will deal with them at summary judgment rather than in its initial response. "This motion is directed only to 198 of the items because SCO's disclosures as to those items are utterly lacking in the required detail." They're not even worth taking to summary judgment. Furthermore, "It is beyond reasonable debate that SCO acted willfully in not specifying its claims. The court made it perfectly clear what SCO was required to do."

"To create the false impression that it has provided information that it has not provided, SCO tells the court that it has provided 'color-coded illustrations', 'line-by-line source code comparisons' and 'over 45,000 pages of supporting materials'," IBM said in relation to SCO's opposition brief. "What SCO fails to mention is that 33,000 of those pages concern item 294, which SCO abandons in its opposition brief."

Is there more that's wrong with the 201 items? You betcha. "Moreover, while the Final Disclosures include color-coded illustrations and line-by-line source comparisons, they do not do so with regard to any of the 198 items at issue."

In summary: "By failing to provide adequate reference points, SCO has left IBM no way to evaluate its claims without surveying the entire universe of potentially relevant code and guessing." Yeah. Throw darts at 5.7 million lines of source code and see if you hit something relevant.

Two good things would come of IBM actually doing an exhaustive survey of the Linux kernel's source code for matches with code for which SCO claims copyright:

  1. SCO would be substantively and without question fed their own damned feet.

  2. Some bugs would get fixed in the process.

Actually (if I remember the timing correctly) at the time of SCO's original complaint, it seems there were about 2.4 million lines of source code, and SCO was claiming 1.1 million lines of code infringed on SCO's copyrights. Say what? In the period between the 2.2 and 2.4 kernels (when the malfeasance supposedly occurred, I believe), there wasn't enough time to incorporate anywhere near 1.1 million new lines of source code from any single source. That would have required willfully setting out to create the biggest copyright infringement SNAFU in the history of computer software and for probably half of IBM's programmer staff to stop doing anything else for that entire period but copy and integrate source code, throwing out great gobs of source code that was legitimately generated by the open source development community at large for no other reason than to make more room for copyright-infringing code. What kind of asinine nonsense is this?
Brian Martinezcluebyfour on April 7th, 2006 03:57 pm (UTC)
To be fair to Utah, SCO didn't originate there. Caldera was already based in Utah when it acquired SCO.

None of this bullshit would have happened if they hadn't hired Darl McBride. He's the Svengali behind SCO's IP circus act.
Autolatristapotheon on April 7th, 2006 07:06 pm (UTC)
Darl McBride is a tremendous buffoon. Just wow. The guy once said he started carrying a gun because of all the Linux geeks that hate him.

Excuse me? What a moron.
(Deleted comment)
Autolatristapotheon on April 7th, 2006 07:22 pm (UTC)
Re: Erm.
SCO is a corporation that is the solely licensed distributor of the core UNIX code that can claim direct lineage descent from the original UNIX developed by AT&T Bell Labs in the late '60s and '70s. A few years ago, SCO (under Darl MacBride's "leadership") decided to sue IBM for infringing its copyright by incorporating code from SCO's UnixWare product into the Linux kernel. Of course, IBM has maintained all along that SCO is full of crap, and kept asking the judge(s) hearing the case to demand that SCO produce evidence of such acts on the part of IBM. Thus far, SCO has failed to produce much of anything that it claimed was evidence, what it has produced has always been extremely late, and it still hasn't produced anything that looks solid enough to use for anything beyond toilet paper.

Meanwhile, the SCO marketing machine has been in overdrive, telling anyone who will listen just how badly Linux necessarily infringes SCO's copyrights. SCO has started trying to scare companies that use Linux into paying exhorbitant fees to SCO for a use license for the code it claims is in the Linux kernel, as "indemnification" and based on the fact that SCO promises to sue people who don't pay for such licensing "when" it wins its case against IBM. For the most part, SCO's licensing drives have been alternately ignored and laughed at.

Early on, some venture capitalist companies jumped on the SCO bandwagon. They, like everyone else in the world when this first started, thought SCO might be exaggerating but surely had some kind of case because nobody would be stupid enough to go after IBM on copyright infringement without some solid proof (IBM has the largest stable of intellectual property lawyers in the world, outnumbering the total of all lawyers in the Department of Justice), but after a bit of SCO's antics and the increasing appearance of vaporware growing up around the whole exercise, the venture capitalists started abandoning like rats on a sinking ship. At one point, Microsoft paid a huge, and apparently entirely unnecessary to Microsoft (since MS has its own version of Unix that it basically doesn't use), licensing fee to SCO: it has been speculated far and wide that Microsoft's purpose was to help fund the lawsuit.

SCO has been losing money on the court case faster than they could burn the stuff if they hired shifts to cover twenty four hours a day, venture capitalists are no longer interested in funding them, their customers are moving to other systems (they've really sorta ignored their legitimate Unix business), their stock has been in free fall for a couple years or so now, and there have been calculations posted to the Web indicating that at the current rate of expenditure they'll be entirely bankrupt a few months from now. People in the Linux world are actually hoping SCO won't go belly-up financially before IBM has a chance to beat them soundly in the courtroom and sue for frivolous litigation.

Darl McBride, by the way, is SCO's CEO and President. He started this whole fiasco as one of the first substantial decisions he made upon assuming this position, and it's believed SCO may have hired him based on some half-baked plan of his to turn SCO into a copyright infringement lawsuit moneymaker. Clearly, this has backfired. One wonders how the boardroom must look, with old rich white men pulling out their hair and swearing all the time, wondering what they can do to get out of this mess.
Brian Martinezcluebyfour on April 7th, 2006 10:58 pm (UTC)
Re: Erm.
Other interesting trivia:

SCO started out as the Santa Cruz Operation. It has a long and turbulent history with Microsoft; they acquired Xenix (MS' version of Un*x for 16-bit computers) from MS in exchange for a 25% stake in SCO. Xenix then later became SCO Unix. After some protracted legal wrangling over the payment of Xenix royalties, MS and SCO ended their partnership in the late 90s.

Eventually SCO, through some complicated partnerships involving Novell and Caldera, acquired the right to the Unix name. Caldera (OpenLinux) then bought most of SCO's IP, and eventually renamed itself the SCO Group.

And then MS, in a move that puzzled the hell out of everyone, decided to license Unix from SCO in 2003, right about the time SCO launched its IP infringement suits. COINCIDENCE? ;-)
Alex Nagydarkknightradic on April 9th, 2006 03:16 am (UTC)
Re: Erm.
And then MS, in a move that puzzled the hell out of everyone,

Except me, IIRC. go check my journal about that time and see what I have to say about it.
Alex Nagydarkknightradic on April 9th, 2006 03:16 am (UTC)
Dude, check out Ameliorations if you have a D-Link router, needed info there.