SCO Loses Yet Again; Is It Finally Over?

from the will-it-ever-die? dept

Is the bogus "we own Linux" lawsuit from SCO finally, finally over? I guess we can never say never, because it keeps coming back from the dead. However, it's taken another head shot. As you may recall, many years back SCO claimed to own the copyrights on Unix, and sued IBM and some other Linux users for infringing on their copyrights -- though, it never actually showed any evidence to back that up. Soon after all this started, Novell came along and noted that, as far as it knew, Novell still held the copyrights, not SCO. So the legal battle shifted to who actually held the copyrights, and SCO has repeatedly come out with the short end of the stick. First a judge ruled that Novell held the copyrights. After an appeals court said that a jury should decide that issue, rather than the judge, the case went back to a jury who also found that Novell, not SCO, held the copyrights. SCO then told the judge that the jury didn't really mean what it said in plain language, and said that the judge should order Novell to hand over the copyrights anyway.

That's not happening. Once again, the judge has ruled for Novell over SCO. In theory, this should end the whole saga. The judge ordered that the case be closed, and without the copyrights, SCO's suit against IBM is dead as well. Will SCO give it up finally? Or will it somehow be reanimated yet again?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2010 @ 6:17pm

    ...as far as it ***k***new...

     

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  2.  
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    FormerAC (profile), Jun 10th, 2010 @ 6:29pm

    Re:

    Oh look, grammar nazi gets first.

     

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  3.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jun 10th, 2010 @ 6:34pm

    Microsoft has been fighting a holding action here ...

    The rationale behind this lawsuit has been to keep corporate and government customers from moving over to linux on their servers followed by their workstations. It has and hasnt worked. It has worked in that corporations havent been adding to the pool of help, documentation, and code the way they should be. This has slowed the acceptance of Linux. It hasnt worked in that everyone knows who is behind this lawsuit and Linux is being implemented everywhere.

     

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  4.  
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    davebarnes (profile), Jun 10th, 2010 @ 6:40pm

    Finally, SCOXQ is down to a nickel

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/quote?ticker=SCOXQ%3AUS

    About time.
    How anyone, in the last year, thought this stock was worth $0.80 USD per share is beyond me.

    YOU, yes, I mean YOU, could buy controlling interest in SCO for only $500K USD.

     

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  5.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 10th, 2010 @ 6:49pm

    Re:

    Yikes. That was a bad typo. Fixed. Thanks.

     

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  6.  
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    BearGriz72 (profile), Jun 10th, 2010 @ 6:49pm

    Valve Announces New "Left 4 Dead 2" DLC Expansion

    With a new Infected Class "The SCO Patent Lawyer", new weapon "The Explosive Lawsuit", and new maps including the United States District Courthouse for the District of Utah.
    :)

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Jun 10th, 2010 @ 7:35pm

    When will the SEC and DOJ begin the stock kiting trials ?

    Do any of the suckers get their $699 back ?

     

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  8.  
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    NAMELESS ONE, Jun 10th, 2010 @ 7:48pm

    @2 YOU MEAN

    NAZI gets it FIRST
    HOW I LOVE MY CAPS
    AND UNPWOPER PUN.UATIONS
    7-8 yaears to say YOU DONT pwn it what a scam the usa system of law is
    and you want to export this BS to the world with ACTA

    GOOD LUCK WITH THAT TOO

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2010 @ 7:57pm

    wtf

    This webpage is not available.

    The webpage at http://www.techdirt.com/comment_process.php might be temporarily down or it may have moved permanently to a new web address.

    More information on this error
    Below is the original error message

    Error 324 (net::ERR_EMPTY_RESPONSE): Unknown error.

     

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  10.  
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    mrtraver (profile), Jun 10th, 2010 @ 8:58pm

    It will end when...

    ...Duke Nukem Forever is released

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2010 @ 9:35pm

    Darn these zombies.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2010 @ 10:32pm

    I may be the only one, but I wish we could have seen the actual copyright infringement issues played out.

    I was surprised when the jury verdict came down saying Novell owned the copyrights, since all the Novell execs from the time said they thought they transferred them to Santa Cruz, but SCO can't say they didn't have their opportunities.

     

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  13.  
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    Daniel, Jun 10th, 2010 @ 11:09pm

    Re: Stupidity

    I don't think so Darl. The lawyers negotiating the agreement and drafting the language between Santa Cruz and Novell said the copyrights were retained as did the Novell board of directors.

    Nice try though.

     

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  14.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jun 11th, 2010 @ 1:23am

    As The Black Knight Said ...

    ... “It’s just a flesh wound!”

     

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  15.  
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    IT Expert, Jun 11th, 2010 @ 1:46am

    Novell cleared. SCO loses because the contract didn't transfer the copyrights. No big surprises there.

    Even so, it's hard not to feel sympathetic for SCO. Even though they didn't have all their legal technicalities in order, so couldn't win the case, most will agree I think they won a moral victory, and based on their continuing support for members of the public, in the court of public opinion too.

     

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  16.  
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    grumpy (profile), Jun 11th, 2010 @ 2:48am

    Sprinkle a bit of holy water on them, that should do it.

    @IT Expert: I take it you don't get out much? SCO is generally reviled out here in the real world for even trying to lock down all things Linux.

     

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  17.  
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    Cynix, Jun 11th, 2010 @ 3:33am

    Re:

    Sympathy for SCO? REALLY??

    So-called "IT Expert" - you're trolling, right?

     

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  18.  
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    packrat (profile), Jun 11th, 2010 @ 3:52am

    sco

    and NOW onward to break the service conglomerate monopoly control.

    not as a cost saver, not as a security feature, not as a efficiency measure, not in any liberal (open/truth/justice) effort, not in effort to re-intagrate with the world...

    but because linux is cuter.

     

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  19.  
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    Mark Harris (profile), Jun 11th, 2010 @ 4:05am

    It won't be over

    unless ALL the lawyers have been staked.

    Through the heart.


    Where it hurts...

     

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  20.  
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    abc gum, Jun 11th, 2010 @ 5:23am

    Re:

    "actual copyright infringement issues "

    You could've seen their "evidence" had you signed an NDA.
    Even with the secrecy, word got out about what SCO considered to be evidence. This included:
    1) portions of BSD, which SCO can not lay claim to
    2) headers and comments, which are not subject to copyright
    3) contributions from the open community
    4) similar such nonsense

     

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  21.  
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    abc gum, Jun 11th, 2010 @ 5:27am

    Re:

    Darl ?
    Is that you?

    No, it is not difficult at all to feel total disgust toward what SCO & friends have done. Many of them should be behind bars.

     

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  22.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jun 11th, 2010 @ 6:23am

    Re: sco

    I do love the penguin ... ;)

     

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  23.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Jun 11th, 2010 @ 6:34am

    Re: It won't be over

    That is, if these lawyers even have a heart. :)

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2010 @ 6:52am

    What moral victory?

    A "moral victory"? I would love to know how you came to this conclusion. SCO sent out letters demanding that all Linux users pay them (per CPU) for Linux, using copyrights that were clearly excluded from the relevant purchase agreement as the rationale.

    What moral victory has SCO won?

    I haven't seen a lot of support for them in the "court of public opinion" either, at least not from anyone who wasn't a known shill.

     

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  25.  
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    Cynix, Jun 11th, 2010 @ 7:28am

    Re:

    Sympathy for SCO? REALLY??

    So-called "IT Expert" - you're trolling, right?

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2010 @ 8:47am

    We can hope this is over...

    But with Novell up for sale right now, I can imagine another sequel to this "Revenge of SCO" series, that involves Darl somehow acquiring that little piece of Novell's assets.

     

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  27.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jun 11th, 2010 @ 9:13am

    Re: It won't be over

    Lawyers dont have hearts silly, they have an abysmal dark black pit of despair and desolation that is the source of all evil were their hearts should be.

     

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  28.  
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    Bruce Ediger (profile), Jun 11th, 2010 @ 9:41am

    Re: Actual Copyright Issues playing out

    Don't we have quite a good handle on that? Discovery in the SCO v IBM case is long, long over. SCO seems to have found exactly zero evidence even after trolling through the versioning system that IBM uses to keep AIX source in.

    I know that the outcome isn't a 100% certainty, Perry Mason moments do happen, I suppose. But still, wouldn't the betting man put his money on IBM at this point in that legal action?

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2010 @ 9:58am

    Re: Re: Stupidity

    My understanding is that the lawyers were the star witnesses for Novell, but many of the Novell execs involved in the deal opined that the copyrights were being transferred.

    I'll be the first to admit that the agreement language was poorly crafted by SCO's attorneys at the time, but it's telling that Novell first agreed that SCO owned the copyrights when it announced its licensing program, then came back and said that Novell still owned them.

    Also, I'm not Darl.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2010 @ 10:01am

    Re: Re:

    "headers and comments, which are not subject to copyright"

    I wouldn't be so sure about that.

    Aside from that issue, everyone knows that Linux is a "clone" of Unix-based systems. The most interesting (to me) issue that could have been addressed is whether copying the overal structure of an OS while re-writing (most of) the literal code constitutes copyright infringement.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2010 @ 10:04am

    Re: Re: Actual Copyright Issues playing out

    "SCO seems to have found exactly zero evidence even after trolling through the versioning system that IBM uses to keep AIX source in."

    Not so. So much of the case was deemed confidential that nobody in the public really knows much of what either party's experts said or didn't say regarding the copyright infringement issue.

    At *this* point in the action, you'd have to be an idiot to put any money on SCO. But if they had been deemed the copyright owners, it would be a different story.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2010 @ 10:19am

    Re:

    What the fuck are you smoking?

    TROLL

     

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  33.  
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    Redwood Rhiadra, Jun 11th, 2010 @ 11:33am

    Re: It won't be over

    To hurt a lawyer, you have to stake them through the wallet - they don't have hearts.

     

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  34.  
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    Kestrel, Jun 11th, 2010 @ 12:53pm

    What a *GREAT* Day

    Oh - what a fantastic day!

    I can remember the drea of working on SCO UNIX back in the late 1980's - what a terrible product then... And from what I have heard since, it just never improved much. Hence now I understand why they would want to put their wretched hands on Linux...

    Sympathy for SCO? !!!! WTF !!! ??? I *burned* my SCO software kits years ago. What a *** waste!

    Anyway, 2 points:

    - Whoever the lawyer was that consummated the original sale from Novel to SCO (on SCO's behalf) is in deep ca-ca now! Whoever (s)he was, overlooking the fact that the sale did not transfer title of copyright on the UNIX OS was just plain stupid.

    - As for the rank and file being hesitant for migrating lock-stock-and-barrel away from Mico$oft products to LINUX: SCO's accusations and assertions never brought pause to *any* executives that I knew as far as migrating to LINUX. What brought pause were the support issues. For instance, right now, Samba 3-5-3.61 for FC13 has a memory hole the size of a Greyhound Bus, and no one appears to be working on the problem.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2010 @ 1:28pm

    Re: What a *GREAT* Day

    "Whoever (s)he was, overlooking the fact that the sale did not transfer title of copyright on the UNIX OS was just plain stupid."

    Seriously. I think that's what happens when you have a corporate attorney without IP experience drafting an agreement for an IP-based business.

    "As for the rank and file being hesitant for migrating lock-stock-and-barrel away from Mico$oft products to LINUX: SCO's accusations and assertions never brought pause to *any* executives that I knew as far as migrating to LINUX. What brought pause were the support issues. For instance, right now, Samba 3-5-3.61 for FC13 has a memory hole the size of a Greyhound Bus, and no one appears to be working on the problem."

    That might be so, but for all the benefits of an "open-source" or "crowdsource" model, the risk of this type of suit (i.e., somebody contributed something they shouldn't have) is a significant problem in my mind.

     

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  36.  
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    Bruce Ediger (profile), Jun 11th, 2010 @ 1:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Actual Copyright Issues playing out

    So much of the case was deemed confidential that nobody in the public really knows much of what either party's experts said or didn't say regarding the copyright infringement issue.
    Really? Really? What about http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCO_v._IBM#Discovery?
    If Wikipedia has it wrong, it's your obligation to go change it to The Facts. Otherwise, I'm calling BS on your assertion.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2010 @ 6:18pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    That car you are driving has four wheels, I think you copied my design.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2010 @ 6:21pm

    Re: Re: What a *GREAT* Day

    "That might be so, but for all the benefits of an "open-source" or "crowdsource" model, the risk of this type of suit (i.e., somebody contributed something they shouldn't have) is a significant problem in my mind."

    That is the goal of their FUD campaign

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2010 @ 6:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    All facetiousness aside, the Copyright Act treats "funcationality" differently when addressing graphic/sculptural works (a category your hypothetical car would fit into) than literary works (which software falls into).

    Thus, "functional" aspects of code are more likely to be protected by copyright than "functional" aspects of other works.

    It would have been interesting to see a court address these issues, along with getting a ruling on where idea/expression divide in terms of an operating system.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2010 @ 6:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Actual Copyright Issues playing out

    First, it's not my obligation to do a damn thing you tell me to.

    Second, nothing in that link refutes a single thing I said.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2010 @ 6:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: What a *GREAT* Day

    Whether or not SCO or any other company had a goal of spreading FUD, it is my independent judgment that the potential for unauthorized/improper contributions is a risk of any crowdsource/open source model.

     

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  42.  
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    Bruce Ediger (profile), Jun 11th, 2010 @ 8:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Actual Copyright Issues playing out



    Temper, temper.

    Second, nothing in that link refutes a single thing I said.

    The link does say this:
    In December 2003, near the beginning of this case, the court ordered SCO to, "identify and state with specificity the source code(s) that SCO is claiming form the basis of their action against IBM." Even if SCO lacked the code behind methods and concepts at this early stage, SCO could have and should have, at least articulated which methods and concepts formed "the basis of their action against IBM." At a minimum, SCO should have identified the code behind their method and concepts in the final submission pursuant to this original order entered in December 2003 and Judge Kimball’s order entered in July 2005.
    Can you honestly say that sounds like SCO had any evidence of infringement?

    Now I see what your game is: "quibbling".

    You're probably strictly, technically correct in writing that "nobody in the public really knows much of what either party's experts said or didn't say regarding the copyright infringement issue". Very sly, very tricky, strictly correct, but wrong in the original, fun-to-see-copyright-infringement-played-out context.

    The Magistrate and the Judge of the case did have access to all of that, and still ruled that SCO had little in the way of evidence. One can safely assume, even though we may not know exactly and precisely what the experts said, that SCO didn't show a whole lot of evidence of infringement.

    Thanks for playing! What do we have for the losers, Johnny?

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2010 @ 8:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What a *GREAT* Day

    "it is my independent judgment that the potential for unauthorized/improper contributions is a risk of any crowdsource/open source model."

    And your statement implies it is impossible to have "unauthorized/improper contributions" in closed source?

    I call BS

     

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  44.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jun 12th, 2010 @ 12:50am

    Re:

    "the actual copyright infringement issues"

    That was the point actually - there were none. After a few years of trying to get SCO to reveal the "thousands of lines" of infringing code they'd found, it was eventually revealed that there were only about 23 lines. Of these, most were uncopyrightable declarations and many of them were public domain material. Groklaw has a full history if you want to read up.

    This is why the Microsoft conspiracy theories play so well (they have been confirmed as investors) - not revealing the actual "infringement" for a few years helped shed doubt on open source at the time MS was losing marketshare to Linux and other open source products.

    "all the Novell execs from the time said they thought they transferred"

    Irrelevant. What matters is what the contracts actually say, and the judges ruled on what was in the contracts, not what somebody thought they might have done 20 years ago.

     

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  45.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jun 12th, 2010 @ 1:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Thus, "functional" aspects of code are more likely to be protected by copyright than "functional" aspects of other works."

    Indeed. But headers and comments are not functional aspects of the code and are not subject to copyright, which was the original statement that you were responding to. (As ever, apologies if you weren't the first AC, please consider logging in to differentiate yourself to avoid confusion in the future).

     

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  46.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jun 12th, 2010 @ 1:31am

    Re:

    I'm confused. Please point out the place where Linux violated SCO's copyrights (the original claim).

    How can you have a "moral victory" when the entire claim was based on falsities? For that matter, if they have "continued public support", why are they going bankrupt?

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2010 @ 3:51am

    Re: Re: Re:

    ..."whether copying the overal structure of an OS while re-writing (most of) the literal code constitutes copyright infringement."
    You mean if coding according to relevant industrial standards like POSIX and RFCs can be regarded as copying?
    Of course the final products will be similar. That's actually the purpose of industrial standards. See electrical sockets.
    Also keep in mind that a good deal of "unix" is based on BSD code, which allows copying and derivative works. All unix vendors, and even M$, use BSD code, or build on it.

    It is a non issue.

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2010 @ 4:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What a *GREAT* Day

    That's BS.
    You, (and everybody, including propietary code owners), can review the source code, and see for yourself.
    The risk is higher in propietary code, since you cannot check the source.
    It is a lot more likely that OSS code will end up copyed inside propietary products, than the opposite.

     

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  49.  
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    abc gum, Jun 12th, 2010 @ 6:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Actual Copyright Issues playing out

    AC -> "But if they (SCO) had been deemed the copyright owners, it would be a different story."
    AC -> "nothing in that link refutes a single thing I said."

    from the wikipedia link:

    Controversial code

    At a reseller show in August 2003, SCO revealed a sample of alleged copied code. This was later shown to be originally released under a BSD License.[56]

    ...

    UNIX creator Dennis Ritchie confirms that either he or Ken Thompson wrote the atealloc code, which is released under the BSD license.[59][60] It is claimed that SCO removed the original license text from Unix source (such as the Berkeley packet filter), allegedly violating the BSD license.[61]

    - So, not only did SCO lay claim to code they had no right to, they also infringed upon the copyright of said code. If it had been determined that copyright was transfered in the sale many years ago, the BSD copyright would not have been affected. I do not understand why you would think otherwise.

     

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  50.  
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    Bruce Ediger (profile), Jun 12th, 2010 @ 7:59am

    Unlike for Microsoft?


    the potential for unauthorized/improper contributions is a risk of any crowdsource/open source model.

    How about this one, where Microsoft let some code into SQL Server that actually did make end user's liable for treble damages: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/02/20/sql_server_developers_face_huge/

    That particular danger exists no matter who develops it, and appears to be a problem in the patent/copyright system, not the coding processes.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2010 @ 3:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If you have any support for the assertion that headers and comments are not subject to copyright protection, I'm interested in seeing it.

    Having looked at the issue before, I don't believe that's true (certainly not as a general statement).

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2010 @ 3:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The question isn't whether coding according to standards is copying. It is (unless you came up with the standard yourself). The question is whether it can be copyright infringement.

    As for the BSD issue (or the GPL issue, or similar "it was licensed" issues), that could be a defense to certain acts of copying, but the case never got so far as for a judge or jury address them.

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2010 @ 3:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Actual Copyright Issues playing out

    This really supports my point. People that are following this case are forming opinions based on slight snatches of information that are public and characterizations of intermediate court rulings.

    I think getting definitive rulings on some of the intersting issues in this case would have benefitted people's understanding of how copyright law applies to such derivative operating systems (not intending to use that term to mean anything from a liability standpoint).

     

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  54.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2010 @ 4:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Actual Copyright Issues playing out

    I tend to take words by their meaning and attempt to use them accordingly. If you consider that "quibbling," so be it.

    SCO and IBM were ordered to exchange expert reports regarding copyright infringement, and that link doesn't address them.

    My *point* is that it would have been informative, at the least, to get a public opinion based on all the confidential evidence regarding the many interesting copyright issues, instead of relying on how normative (i.e. "SCO *should* have done X") Wikipedia articles "sound."

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2010 @ 4:05pm

    Re: Re:

    What makes you think SCO publicly-declared all its evidence of alleged copyright infringement? Groklaw is a good source for documents, but not for unbiased analysis.

    I certainly agree that the language of the contract is paramount, but as a practical matter it can be hard to convince a jury that a contract said something different than what most of the people involved in the deal thought.

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2010 @ 4:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What a *GREAT* Day

    I did not intend to imply that "closed source" code cannot possibly be infringing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2010 @ 4:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What a *GREAT* Day

    Your point about being able to review the code is valid, but being able to review the source isn't enough to know whether something is copied. You have to have the copied "something" as well to be able to compare. And with an open-source model there are a lot more parties to check up on if you want to check whether they *actually* had authority to contribute X, Y, and Z.

    Certainly proprietary code is not risk-free, but if you're dealing with a single party you're probably better able to get them to take on the risk if their product is found to be infringing.

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2010 @ 4:14pm

    Re: Unlike for Microsoft?

    Sure. I didn't intend to imply that proprietary models are risk free.

     

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  59.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jun 13th, 2010 @ 5:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'm at work so don't have time to search, but I remember there being a very good series of articles on Groklaw during SCO's attempts at discovery that explained which lines of code SCO seemed to be under question. These were found to be largely comments & headers.

    (EDIT: OK, here's an early article from Linus Torvalds about the headers http://www.groklaw.net/articlebasic.php?story=20031222174158852 - there are many, many other articles on the same subject on that site, especially during the period when SCO was trying to force discovery)

    As you stated above, functional code is more likely to be subject to copyright and so comments would be excluded. I suppose it depends on the nature of the comment as well. But, if the comment is just describing the basic function of the line/block of code it refers to, I do wonder how it could possibly be subject to copyright.

    As for headers, we're talking about standard UNIX-style headers. As I understand the claims (I haven't been following them too closely since it became clear that SCO had no case whatsoever and they filed bankruptcy proceedings), they largely covered headers that were almost impossible to write in any other way. I'm not a coder, nor a copyright lawyer, but it strikes me that an algorithm or section of code that only has one operative way to be written, and said code is vital to the operations of a system, then copyright should not be applicable.

    Now, the SCO case is a little more complicated as they not only distributed many of the files under question under the GPL, but do not even own the copyright to many of the files they're trying to sue over. Maybe a different case would yield a different result, but in this case it's pretty clear there's no copyright infringement.

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2010 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "As you stated above, functional code is more likely to be subject to copyright and so comments would be excluded."

    Functional code is more likely to be protected than function aspects of non-literary works. Functional code is *not* more likely to be protected thatn non-functional code. Thus, there is no reason why comments would not be protected by copyright.

    The "impossible to write any other way" argument w/r/t headers is an interesting one. If the original author couldn't have written the headers any other way, then the headers would be unprotectable. However, the fact (or claim, depending on your point of view) that the alleged copier "couldn't have written them any other way" doesn't strip the original headers of their copyright protection.

    This is the sort of thing that it would have been interesting to see analyzed by a judge in a public opinion, in contrast to simply adopting the "conventional wisdom" on sites like Groklaw.

     

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  61.  
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    abc gum, Jun 13th, 2010 @ 3:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Actual Copyright Issues playing out

    I fail to see how my prior comment supports your point.

    Claimimg rights to something that is obviously not yours and then taking others to court claiming they infringed upon what is not yours ... is simply glossed over with your statement about how "People that are following this case are forming opinions based on slight snatches of information"

    This is not a "slight snatches of information". It looks more like fraud to me.

    "I think getting definitive rulings on some of the intersting issues in this case would have benefitted people's understanding of how copyright law applies to such derivative operating systems"

    Maybe you will get your wish and IBM will pursue SCO for damages. On a side note, Linux is not a derivitive work.

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Jun 13th, 2010 @ 3:05pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "as a practical matter it can be hard to convince a jury that a contract said something different than what most of the people involved in the deal thought."

    Oh please.
    Now you are getting ridiculous.

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Jun 13th, 2010 @ 3:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What a *GREAT* Day

    "if you're dealing with a single party you're probably better able to get them to take on the risk if their product is found to be infringing."

    Now you are blowing smoke.
    Indemnification was the Microsoft FUD battle cry back when this mess started. This silliness was shot down many times.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2010 @ 4:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Actual Copyright Issues playing out

    "is is not a "slight snatches of information".

    Unless you know what was exchanged by the parties and deemed confidential and can compare that to the publicly available information, I don't know how you can say that with any sort of confidence.

    "On a side note, Linux is not a derivitive work."

    In a copyright sense, that's a complicated question. I don't think there's any doubt that it is "derived" at least in part from prior Unix-type operating sytems, though, is there?

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2010 @ 4:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    How on Earth is that ridiculous?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2010 @ 4:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What a *GREAT* Day

    "This silliness was shot down many times."

    As James Brown said, "sayin' it and doin' it" are different things. If you've got some great explanation as to why meaningful indemnification is just as easy with an open-source model, I'm interested.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 5:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "As for the BSD issue (or the GPL issue, or similar "it was licensed" issues), that could be a defense to certain acts of copying"

    I assume that use of the term "copying" is being used to denote copyright infringement.
    Use of code released under the BSD or GPL is not considered "copying" when the license is adhered to.

     

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  68.  
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    abc gum, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 5:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Actual Copyright Issues playing out

    Keep repeating the same thing and eventually it will become true?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 5:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Keep digging that hole

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 5:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What a *GREAT* Day

    "If you've got some great explanation as to why meaningful indemnification is just as easy with an open-source model, I'm interested."

    Just as easy? - What does that mean?
    In these times of lawsuit carpet bombing I doubt that indemnification is possible. To claim it in a FUD campaign is just shameful.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 9:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "I assume that use of the term "copying" is being used to denote copyright infringement."

    Well, my sentence there was not entirely clear. I intended to state what you just stated (i.e., the "it was licensed" argument, if successful, would mean that acts of copying that might otherwise be considered copyright infringement would *not* be copyright infringement).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 9:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If at first you can't support your assertino with facts, try, try with snark.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 9:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Actual Copyright Issues playing out

    I'm sorry, did you have something substantive to say?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2010 @ 9:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What a *GREAT* Day

    "This silliness was shot down many times"

    is wholly at odds with

    "I doubt that indemnification is possible"

    If you like you some Linux and hate you some SCO, that's fine, but don't pooh-pooh substantive opinions on real issues if you're not going to provide substantive support in response. (please)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
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    Bruce Ediger (profile), Jun 14th, 2010 @ 9:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Actual Copyright Issues playing out

    Why the emphasis on "expert reports"? Those of us with even a smidgen of programming experience don't need an expert to read the entrails of the code and interpret it for us. Show me the supposedly infringing code, and I can make my own judgement.

    Also, SCO has amended the complaint at least twice that I can see, seemingly de-emphasizing "copyright infringement" as a cause of action at each amendment. That, too, tends to indicate that even SCO didn't think much of the alleged infringements as time passed, and discovery progressed.

     

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  76.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 15th, 2010 @ 9:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Actual Copyright Issues playing out

    My emphasis on expert reports is because they were never (to my knowledge) made public, so anybody saying there was/wasn't any infringement is doing so based on less than full information (unless they've somehow seen all the nonpublic information).

    Adding lots of various claims in a massive litigation claiming up to $5 billion in damages is not abnormal, nor does it (usually) indicate lack of faith in the original claims.

    But, since we are never likely to get a public opinion on the infringement questions (as opposed to ownership questions), people will continue to come to conclusions based on small bits of information and innuendo. Such is trial in the court of public opinion.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
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    Bruce Ediger (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 7:19am

    Re: Re: Re:

    What makes you think SCO publicly-declared all its evidence of alleged copyright infringement?

    I don't understand why they didn't. If the issue is "disclosing trade secrets", then just publicly declare things like: "linux kernel file src/arch/x386/vm/blahblah.c, lines 123-234" and give the corresponding Sacred Unix SysV file name and line numbers.

    Since both parties have a SysV source license, they can each double check, without ever filing the source code itself. In short, publicly declare something. As near as I can tell, they declared nothing, not file and line number, absolutely nothing.

    Since SysV is copyrighted, if the issue isn't "revealing trade secrets", they should have the ability to disclose the text of the code.

    As I understand civil trials, which this was, they have to declare all their evidence beforehand, or risk the near certainty of having any such evidence disallowed. So, yes, it's quite puzzling as to why they didn't publicly declare anything as infringing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
    icon
    sprearson81 (profile), Jun 9th, 2012 @ 6:54am

    It's over when it's over . . .

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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