[linux-elitists] SCO Call summary

Karsten M. Self kmself@ix.netcom.com
Fri May 30 10:48:52 PDT 2003

Following are my (very rough) notes from the call.  Most of this is
paraphrased, quotes are approximate.  Spirit should be close.

SCO will be making a recording available later today, though not,
apparently, online (can someone host this?).

Hope this informs some of you, and other journos here can check their
own recollections.


  - SCO is basing its claims under contract, not copyright or other 
    patent rights.  These extend to source *and* derivatives.

  - SCO claims it has other rights, but its contract rights are broad,
    deep, and are "aces" rather than "sevens and fives".

  - SCO will begin showing allegedly infringed source under NDA next
    week (first week of June).  Will show "hundreds" of lines of
    infringed code.

  - Infringement claims relate to 2.4 and later kernels.  NB:  2.4 was
    released Jan,5, 2001.  SCO and Caldera merged August, 2000.

  - Stephen Vaughan Nichols (sp) asks good (last) question about the
    less than linear relationship between Caldera, SCO, and Linux,
    regarding Linux/Unix integration.  SCO's reply was largely
    nonresponsive on this point.

Call starts.

Speakers are Sonntag and another exec (Bench?)

Following is a statement from SCO.

Claims based on contract, not copyright.
Claims right to own copyright.  "View this as a desperate measure to
curry favor w/ Linux community".  Matter turned over to attorneys.

Text of SCO/Novell agreement part of earlier SEC filing, and is publicly

SCO owns all rights and claims arising from all parties in rights to
unix/unixware.  Owns sublicing agreemtns including source code.

Total number of agrements:  30k.  Pulled from text of agreement.

Why actions focused on initial rights?

Owns license and licensing agreements.

Licensees include virtually all HW/SW vendors.  Large portion of F-2000
and worldwide companies.

Sublicensees have rights, obligations.  Includes standard of care.

Significant portions of SCO's unix rights extend not only to source but
to derivative products.  SCO has broad and deep rights.

Do not rule out subsequent enforcement on basis of copyright.

2nd question:  evidence of SCO code in Linux/Linux kernel.  "Resounding

Several groups researching this over past months, code, methods,
concepts "improperly donated" to Linux.

Limitations to what they can disclose.

Starting next week:  viewing opportunities under NDA to experts, press,
SW community.  Showing "tip of iceberg of evidence".

End statement.

Press *1 key to ask question.
Press # to remove question.

Q: Cooper-Beech capital.:  Novell claims...

A: ...

Q: Maureen O'Gara.  "Turned Novell matter over to attourneys to rectify

A: Copyright issues not important to current enforcement actions.

Q: Joe Barr:  Sco claims that they're being damaged by their IP in Linux
kernel?  If true are they contributing to damage by showing code?

A: Showing evidence in next week.  Showing direct lines of code &
derivative works code.

Q:  Linux & Main:  rolling all dice on Linux enforcement.  What's left
of company if they lose?

A:  Company is strong.

Q:  Amy ?:  text of contract.  No mention of copyright & patents.  Why?
Not in contract?

A:  56 pages of Novell/SCO document, majority shows intent that
copyright contracts covered "as sco goes to market".  Will settle issues
in court.  "We do not have any issues with copyright or patents with any
claims that we have made".  Contract rights are senior in  position, and
are so broad in nature that when you hold aces, there's no need to go
down to the 7 and 5 in your hand.

Q: Haiawatha Brey, Boston Globe:  SCO claims it holds copyright, that
Novell's claim is incorrect.

A:  Strong and deep rights...

Q:  Utah tech watch (david):  I'm curious, former Novell exec, are you
surprised by Novell's response this week?  

A:  Had meeting 11 am Tuesday scheduled by Novell, Novell didn't show,
later that evening Chris put together a segment saying Novell said ??
they have to show us the code.  Novell's announcement timed to coincide
w/ SCO's earnings release to screw that up.  Short answer:  yes, it was
a surprise.

Q:  Boyle, VAR Business:  Is there any legitimate Unix code out there?
Any way that people could be using Unix code w/o violating copyright?

A:  Many versions of Linux and many versions of source code.  Looking at
past few years of Linux.   Specifically versions 2.4 and beyond of

Q:  Another VC type.  He's been talking with community types asking
about claims.
A: ...

Final question:  Stephen Von Nicholas w/ Linux Today.  Caldera & SCO
Project Monterrey history.  Went nowhere.  Caldera bought code.  Stated
publicly they would work to bring Unix & Linux together.  Until recently
this was a main thrust of Caldera/SCO.  Very mixed history.  In what way
can you demonstrate that SCO engineers themselves working on their
mission didn't merge code bases together?

A: "It is an interesting history".  Caldera has held core Unix
ownership.  IBM walked away from Monterey.  Owns all legal claims.  On
linux side, there's some linux-on-intel capabilities, but there are some
significant issues.  Community knows there is code in there, knows that
there are contract issues.  Everybody who really knows knows that SCO
has a strong position.  QUestion is how this is going to be resolved --
will SCO be shut down before this can go to court?
We know we have a strong set of rights.  We have legal rights, these are
our crown jewels, this is what we are fighting for.

Month of June is show-and-tell time.  "We're not going to show two lines
of code, we're going to show hundreds of lines of code.  We're not going
to show all the code, we're going to show the code."

"If system five code shows up in the kernel, then that changes the
playing field".  We're going to be responding to our customers..

Unix-side licensees will see code.  All under NDA because of SCO's own
obligations.  We're stepping forward with requests, starting next week,
first month of June, we'll show the code.

Call ends.

Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>        http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
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