[linux-elitists] SCO: SEC letter

Don Marti dmarti@zgp.org
Wed Sep 10 09:19:04 PDT 2003

Well, I took a stab at a letter to the SEC.  Anyone who wants
to grab it, change it, and send a derivative work is free to
do so.

Securities And Exchange Commission
Division of Enforcement
450 Fifth Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20549.

To whom it may concern:

In its Registration Statement on Form S-3 dated July 8, 2003,
The SCO Group writes:

  One of the assets we acquired from Tarantella was all right,
  title and interest in and to UNIX and UnixWare, including source
  code and intellectual property rights.

This statement is incorrect, because several forms of intellectual
property rights clearly apply to UNIX, and of these, The SCO Group
holds only copyright on the original implementation of UNIX.

1. The SCO Group does not hold the UNIX trademark.

UNIX and UNIXWARE are trademarks of The Open Group.


Any software that complies with The Open Group's standards for UNIX,
called the Single Unix Specification, may be sold as UNIX.  The SCO
Group has no control over the standard or trademark, and itself
uses the trademark UNIX only under a license from The Open Group.

2. The SCO Group does not hold UNIX patents.

According to the US Patent and Trademark Office's CASSIS2 system, in
November 1995, Unix System Laboratories Inc. assigned three patents
to Novell: 5,652,854, 5,265,250, and 6,097,384.  When Novell sold
software copyrights to The Santa Cruz Operation Inc., it did not
assign these patents, and still holds them.

The Santa Cruz Operation Inc. later sold the UNIX copyrights to
the company now known as The SCO Group.

Other patents related to UNIX are held by other companies including

3. UNIX trade secrets existed in the past, but have been published
with The SCO Group's approval.

On January 23, 2002, Bill Broderick, Director of Licensing Services
for The SCO Group, made copyrighted source code versions up to and
including "32-bit 32V Unix" available under a license that allows
users to read, modify, and redistribute the software, for commercial
or non-commercial purposes.

While the letter does not affect the fact that The SCO Group holds
its copyrights, the letter clearly shows that if the company does
have any trade secrets in its copyrighted source code the trade
secrets would only include new information introduced in versions
after the ones listed in the letter.

The market price of the SCO Group's stock depends largely on the
company's misleading statements regarding UNIX intellectual property.
The SCO Group should be required to file an amended Registration
Statement to state correctly the copyright it actually holds instead
of the broader and incorrect "all right, title and interest" it
now claims.  Thank you for your attention to this matter.


Don Marti                Reform copyright law -- return abandoned works
http://zgp.org/~dmarti   to the public domain after 50 years:
dmarti@zgp.org           http://www.PetitionOnline.com/eldred/petition.html

More information about the linux-elitists mailing list