More on the SCO Linux thing… Novell has release…

More on the SCO Linux thing…

Novell has released a bunch of correspondence with SCO about this whole Linux infringement accusation. They also list their copyrights on this page. This Slashdot posting is a good summary of the letters. http://www.sco.com/novell/ has the Purchase Agreement and other stuff. GROKLAW is working on converting all the PDFs to text.

It’s up to the courts to figure things out, but SCO seems to be making lots of claims that they own things and there are infringements against SCO’s stuff in Linux (starting with 2.4, so you people running older stuff are safe too). If you read certain extracted parts of the agreement, it sounds like Novell basically handed off anything and everything UNIX to SCO. But they also mention that it’s everything but the specified exceptions. If you look at the exceptions, Novell still retains ownership of most of the stuff. SCO’s actions back this up, like recently requesting that Novell transfer copyrights for UNIX stuff to them (and being denied). Basically, it’s questionable if this code which may or may not be in Linux (you have to sign an NDA to see SCO’s “trade secret” code which has been put into Linux, and I don’t know of any unbiased source who has done so and verified SCO’s claim) is even SCO’s property to begin with. Novell also says that the agreement expressly forbids SCO from terminating licenses without Novell’s permission. SCO has talked about terminating IBM’s license for doing stuff with the AIX source code. Novell says that IBM’s AIX code is IBM’s and has nothing to do with SCO, but that they’re not giving SCO permission to cancel the license anyway. The whole situation with SCO’s IP being in Linux is confusing, but Novell is simply taking out SCO’s legs, saying it’s not their IP so this whole issue is a moot point.

Depending on how the whole Purchase Agreement is interpreted, some of SCO’s actions could be a breach of contract with Novell. For example, SCO claims some of their sales are new ones and not revisions of old ones. If they are determined to be revisions, Novell gets 95% of “their” sale and SCO gets a 5% “commission”. If they knowingly did this, that’s fraud and SEC stuff. According to a /. poster, the employee responsible for doing the SEC filings mysteriously left right before their last earnings report was due. Hmmmmm… Man, it’d suck to be SCO and find out that you didn’t actually have all that money that you just spent on lawyers to get back your property, which turned out to not be yours.

I’m not a Linux zealot or anything, but I don’t like to see innocent people/companies get screwed. I don’t mind seeing money-grubbing, dishonest people/companies go belly-up though.

Another interesting thing that has come about from the /. posts… They’re trying to “Hack Google” by creating lots of links to make the results show what they want. To see examples, type in “miserable failure”, “French military victories”, or “Weapons of Mass Destruction” and hit the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button. The idea is to make SCO’s website come up when you use the phrase “litigious bastards”. To do so, they need to get as many pages as possible out there with the words “litigious bastards” linked to “www.sco.com”. In order to make things more fun for SCO, they also thought it would be good to use “www.sco.com/?sco=litigious%20bastards” instead of just “www.sco.com”. This will put lots of lines with “sco=litigious bastards” into their webserver logs. Like this: litigious bastards Hehe.

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