[linux-elitists] SCO Teleconference transcript (Friday, May 30, 2003)
Karsten M. Self
Sun Jun 1 20:43:08 PDT 2003
on Sun, Jun 01, 2003 at 12:30:57AM +0100, Karsten M. Self (email@example.com) wrote:
> Following is my transcript of the SCO conference call.
> Any errors are mine.
> This and an ogg of the call will be posted shortly to
> Times correspond to the start of the recording.
> If anyone could provide me with the proper attributions of:
> Robert Mania (?), Cooper-Beech (?)
> Amy Hole (?), Hole(?) & Associates
> Kyle Kruger (?), Apollo Capital
> George Weiss (?), Gartner
> I'm familiar with the other participants.
> Further commentary to follow.
> SCO Conference Call
> Friday, May 30, 1pm US/Eastern
See the TWikIWeThey site above for the current version of the
transcript. I'm correcting typos and attributions as I go.
For those who are following links from elsewhere, a brief summary of
corrected attributions and highlights:
- From SCO: Blake Stowell (Dir. Corp. Communications), Darl McBride
(CEO), Chris Sonntag (VP, SCOSource)
- Robert Maina from Cooper-Beech Capital / CIBC
- Maureen O'Gara, Client/Server News
- Joe Barr, LinuxWorld.com
- Dennis Powell, Linux and Main
- Amy Wohl, Wohl and Associates
- Hiawatha Bray, Boston Globe
- David Politis, Utah Tech Watch
- T.C. Doyle, VAR Business
- Kyle Kruger, analyst, Apollo Capital
- George Weiss, Gartner
- Stephen Vaughan Nichols, LinuxToday
- SCO establishes that its claims are based on contract, not copyright
or patent claims.
- Much is made of the "broad and deep" reach of SCO via its extensive
licensing agreements -- 30,000 agreements with 6,000 entities,
comprising much of the Fortune 2000, and many companies worldwide.
- SCO disputes Novell's claims that SCO does not own Unix copyrights,
and reiterated both in its initial statement and Q&A followup, that
its current actions don't rely on patent or copyright claims. "When
you're holding a couple of aces it doesn't make sense to go down and
focus on a seven and a five that you might have in your hand....We
are holding aces and those are the hand that we're playing.". The
repeated references to "57 pages" of Novell-SCO contract are
- The 1995 SCO-Novell agreement is referenced (We don't have a copy of
this though it's apparently part of a prior SEC filing. Forwarding
of an electronic copy would be greatly appreciated).
- SCO claims that the answer to the question: is there evidence of
infringing SCO code in the Linux kernel is "a resounding 'Yes!'",
with "hundreds of lines" of allegedly infringed code to be shown.
Much is made of the scale of the source code search: "we're dealing
with multiple versions of Linux over many years, and huge amounts of
- SCO claims three groups have examined this matter over recent
months. In Q&A, it develops that the investigation has centered on
the Linux 2.4 kernel within the past few years. This is the same
version of the Linux kernel SCO itself has distributed for three
years, and continues to distribute today, under the GNU GPL.
- Evidence will be made available to interested parties, under NDA,
starting the week of June 1, 2003, to customers, press, analysts,
and other parties.
- SCO says disputes over copyright and other rights haven't affected
its ability to negotiate with parties, its contract rights are
- SCO offers access to its attorneys for questions, though they're not
present on this call.
- SCO reiterates that its business prospects are "very positive", in
response to a question from Dennis Powell that SCO "has pretty much
rolled all the company dice on this one set of litigation", with
many predicting failure.
- In a soft-ball pitch from fellow Utahn Politas, SCO is "surprised"
and "disapointed" in Novell's actions this week disputing SCO's
ownership of Unix copyrights, and timing the announcement "to try
and screw [SCO's earnings report] up".
- SCO is nonresponsive to questions of whether there is other
legitimate Unix code which might have worked its way into the Linux
kernel, or whether or not SCO itself, in its prior incarnation as
either Caldera Linux, or the Santa Cruz Operation, might have put
its own code into Linux.
- As several observers have pointed out, SCO's reliance on contract
rights rather than copyright or patents strongly implies that
those who are at greatest disadvantage are those who sign
contracts with SCO. Namely: it's customers and potential
customers. SCO has compared itself to the recording industry in
this conflict, and appears to wish to strengthen the resemblance
by directly attacking its own commercial support base.
- It's interesting to compare, once again, SCO's insistance that its
own contracts provide "broad and deep" rights, while ignoring
completely the GNU GPL, and insisting that its 1995 Novell agreement
"very clearly shows intent" to transfer copyright...when according
to Novell, it does not in fact do so. As Rick Moen has pointed out,
copyright transfer must take place explicitly, in writing.
- There is no mention of what code review was conducted in advance of
the SCO-Caldera merger, or following the merger of the two
companies, prior to the current review, following three years on the
- The conference makes four mentions of 30,000 contracts; nineteen
references to licences, licensees, sublicenses, and sublicensors;
thirty-two references to rights and copyrights. As for references to
the GNU GPL, the license SCO currently distributes Linux kernel 2.4
under, and which it has distributed Linux code under since 1994,
over nine years, and which obligates SCO to allow others to freely
use, modify, copy, and distribute Linux with no additional
Karsten M. Self <firstname.lastname@example.org> http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
"Charming man," he said. "I wish I had a daughter so I could forbid
her to marry one ..."
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