[linux-elitists] The breadth of SCO's claims

Willy willy@linuxgazette.com
Tue Jun 17 14:46:23 PDT 2003


>> Take a look at Darl McBride's POV on how "viral" his
>> license is.
>
> It gets even better:
>
> 	"So you want royalties from FreeBSD as well?" I asked. Sontag
> 	responded that "there may or may not be issues. We believe that
> 	UNIX System V provided the basic building blocks for all subsequent
> 	computer operating systems, and that they all tend to be derived
> 	from UNIX System V (and therefore are claimed as SCO's intellectual
> 	property)."
>
> 	http://www.byte.com/documents/s=8276/byt1055784622054/0616_marshall.html
>
> SCO, it would seem, owns everything.  This is why they can put claims on
> things like read-copy-update, despite the fact that they never went near
> that code.  "all subsequent computer operating systems...are claimed as
> SCO's intellectual property."
>
> One could make the argument that this claim includes Windows, especially
> given that Microsoft bought a license.
>
> Given that SCO appears to have an absolute monopoly on operating systems,
> it would appear that an antitrust action is in order.
>
> jon

>> Take a look at Darl McBride's POV on how "viral" his
>> license is.
>
> It gets even better:
>
> 	"So you want royalties from FreeBSD as well?" I asked. Sontag
> 	responded that "there may or may not be issues. We believe that
> 	UNIX System V provided the basic building blocks for all subsequent
> 	computer operating systems, and that they all tend to be derived
> 	from UNIX System V (and therefore are claimed as SCO's intellectual
> 	property)."
>
> 	http://www.byte.com/documents/s=8276/byt1055784622054/0616_marshall.html
>
> SCO, it would seem, owns everything.  This is why they can put claims on
> things like read-copy-update, despite the fact that they never went near
> that code.  "all subsequent computer operating systems...are claimed as
> SCO's intellectual property."
>
> One could make the argument that this claim includes Windows, especially
> given that Microsoft bought a license.
>
> Given that SCO appears to have an absolute monopoly on operating systems,
> it would appear that an antitrust action is in order.

I'm trying really hard to not get my paranoia bit set today. But, the
three problems I have with this whole mess are:

1) The amount of the suit, while enough to feed a passle of geeks like me
through multiple reincarnations, is getting big enough that it could feed
several firmfuls of poor hungry lawyers for several years, and even the US
government for perhaps many hours. As the stakes get higher, the
interested predators get larger.

2) As pointed out in the above post, the breadth of SCO's claims is
immense and could have long-term effects in developed countries over the
future of Linux and IP laws.

3) Now that SCO is calling on Caesar by accusing IBM of exporting to
enemies of the United States, there could be intervention on a much larger
scale. This not only bodes ill for the whole case, but also for general
availability of knowledge of what's actually going on. I wasn't kidding
about EO's.

From:

http://www.corporatecrimereporter.com/russellstatement.html

"The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control -- also known
as OFAC ? enforces economic and trade sanctions against targeted foreign
countries. Among its duties, OFAC enforces the Trading With The Enemy Act
and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. The Trading with the
Enemy Act imposes sanctions against Cuba and North Korea. The
International Emergency Economic Powers Act, targets, among others, Iran,
Iraq, Libya, and Sudan. The idea is to try and shut down economic access
and isolate those countries that are either considered "enemies" of the
United States or those against whom we want to impose economic
sanctions...While there is an ongoing public policy debate about who
exactly is an "enemy of the United States" and whether or not these
sanctions laws actually work in achieving their desired ends, there is
little debate that when the government enforces the law against major
American corporations, the results should be made public. Adverse
publicity is one of the greatest deterrents against corporate crime and
wrongdoing. Law enforcement generally understands this principle. When the
Justice Department brings criminal prosecutions against major American
corporations, the results are made public within a couple of days on its
web site. Press releases are faxed to major news outlets. And in cases of
major wrongdoing by large American companies, the Attorney General and his
chief law enforcement officials will hold a press conference to announce
the plea agreement or the indictment. Same for the state attorneys
general, district attorneys, U.S. Attorneys, and various regulatory
agencies. And yet, for years, the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign
Assets Control would enforce the laws against major American corporations
for trading with enemies of the United States and not make the results
public."

There's more, you can read it if you're interested. I have no idea why SCO
is continuously raising the stakes, as the whole thing has seemed like a
giant bluff. But strange things can happen when an event is blown out of
proportion and then spun by The Media.

Anyway, just typing this email is therapeutic for me and lowers my
paranoia level. I hope I'm wrong, I hope these actions are just what Frank
Zappa would probably call "Cocaine Decisions". Perhaps some of you can
disabuse me of my concerns.

Cheers,

Willy Smith
Editor in Chief
WorldWatch.LinuxGazette.com



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