[linux-elitists] Reading about the SCO stupidity on Slashdot..

Karsten M. Self kmself@ix.netcom.com
Thu Mar 6 21:17:17 PST 2003

on Thu, Mar 06, 2003 at 07:51:23PM -0800, Alan DuBoff (aland@SoftOrchestra.com) wrote:
> On Thursday 06 March 2003 13:17, Don Marti wrote:
> > Short answer: SCO has no patents.
> Don't look now but they've chosen to pick on the big boys...
> http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,3959,920731,00.asp
> Wait until IBM's legal weenies throw those pukes for a loop, 'ol Darl
> McBride won't know what the f#@$ slap'd him upside the head...

This is suicide by cop[1].

Or it's something similarly twisted.  SCO is simply dead.  The back
story may be interesting though.

The news.com story notes that SCO may be pissed over the failure of
Project Monterey, which was aimed at reimplementing GNU/Linux as a
proprietary Unix for the Itanic (that's just so wrong so many ways I
won't even start).

Just a few off-the-cuff observations.

  - You don't launch a land war in Asia.

  - You don't launch a billion-dollar patent battle with IBM, if your
    strategy is in fact to win that battle.

  - Corrolary of the above is that you're either trying to lose, you're
    not calling the shots, or you're aiming to win another battle.
    These are not mutually exclusive, though options 2 & 3 are the most
    likely pairing.

  - Aside:  IBM generates over $1b (approaching 1.5b IIRC) annually in
    patent licensing revenues.  Their patent portfolio numbers over
    22,000.  IBM is the single largest holder and recipient of US patent

  - Theory:  somebody's trying to sow patent problems for IBM, and/or
    tie up IBM legal in a suit, while somebody else pulls a fast one.

  - Theory:  Caldera wants to prod IBM into reviving the DR-DOS suit (or
    something similar) against Microsoft (or other parties).  I find
    this unlikely, but mention it for completeness.

  - Theory:  Caldera's management is trying to avoid breach-of-
    fiduciary-interest or other similar charges, while disposing of the
    company while putatively pursuing a fiduciary interest of the

  - Theory:  This is Wang v. Netscape again.  In that case, Microsoft
    bought a significant interest in the dying Wang corporation, and
    Wang pursued patent suits against Netscape.  The patent was
    eventually invalidated, but such battles are costly.

  - Theory:  (left field variety)  LFP or similar[2] have corraled
    Caldera into making a blatent demonstration of just how broken the
    patent system is by going after its (the patent system's) largest

Watch this space, things got interesting.



1.  If you're not familiar with the term: a perp assaults a police
    officer, in such a way that the cop has to use deadly force. This
    being the apparently desired outcome of the perp. 

2.  LPF: League for Programming Freedom, an anti-patent group associated
    with Richard M. Stallman.

Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>        http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
   Keep software free.         Oppose the CBDTPA.         Kill S.2048 dead.

More information about the linux-elitists mailing list