How do you spell Lawsuit?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Lance Nichols, Nov 19, 2003.

  1. Lance Nichols

    Lance Nichols Supporting Actor

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    According to Darl McBride... SCO is how it is spelled

    For those not in the loop, Darl is the CEO of SCO, a company that seems determined to go down in the annuls of computer history as having launched the stupidest lawsuits and threats of lawsuits ever. SCO is suing IBM for IP infringement over code included in the open source OS Linux.

    SCO refuses to indicate what code is being infringed, essentially demanding that IBM, and others targeted in the suits have to find it themselves. What code has been revealed was quickly shot down as having being eliminated from LINUX quite some time back, either because questions about the IP validity, or because the code was obsolete.

    The general consensus in the community at large is SCO has NO legs to stand on. So what does SCO do? Well according to this NEWSFORGE article they intend to broaden the lawsuits, going after other open source *nix operating systems by attacking the AT&T/Berkley settlement of nearly a decade ago.

    For those unfamiliar with the history of the various *nix flavors, most of the tools developed for modern computing, and Internet usage were developed on one, or more, of these open source OS. SCO is hoping to take down the very basics of modern computing's origins.
     
  2. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    I'm expecting someone to try to patent the alphabet soon, and charge us per word for speaking, writing .. [​IMG]

    On a previous unrelelatd thread, I created the word Suitaphobia for "fear of lawyers" [​IMG]
     
  3. Lance Nichols

    Lance Nichols Supporting Actor

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    I really don't understand the reasoning behind all this. Near as I can think of it, is Darl is working to get the GPL ruled on in a Court of Law. If the rulings are unfavorable, this opens a whole can of worms. Invalidating thousands, if not millions of licensing agreements that have been worked out over the last 10 years or so.

    Even worse would be the possible invalidation of the *BSD style license agreements, often thought to be much more restrictive the then GLP for freely distributing code, but more "commercial software friendly" then the GPL.

    Invalidation of either, or both these licenses would essentially make only "for profit", restrictive licenses the only remaining option for developers. This would in essence force the re invention of the wheel each and every time someone whats to code a title to do X, Y or Z, even if X, Y or Z was done before by other coders, trapping everyone in a sea of interoperability. Granted that is worse case scenario, and unlikely, as (IIRC) the *BSD licenses have been tested in court. The big question mark is the GPL, as it has never been tested in court.
     
  4. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    For a really good laugh, take a look at the court filings, especially IBM's Memorandum in Support of its Motion to Compel Discovery. It appears that SCO is dragging its feet in the discovery phase of this court proceeding, and not providing IBM with even a single fact or line of code to back its allegations. Darl claims that SCO has provided over a million pages to IBM in the discovery process, but he fails to point out that none of it is responsive to any of IBM's questions.

    More recently, SCO has filed documents with the court claiming that it has never accused IBM publicly, and yet Darl had this to say to VARBusiness:
     
  5. Tony Whalen

    Tony Whalen Producer

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    Personally, I spell lawsuit like this:

    H-O-T-C-O-F-F-E-E

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Colin Davidson

    Colin Davidson Second Unit
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    Brian,

    Thanks for your post above. I have been trying to wade through all the information related to this case and it's hard, for me at least, to tell the "smoke and mirrors" from the facts.

    Appreciate your time and efforts.
     
  7. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    No problem, Colin. Since I've been following the story for a few months now, it wasn't that hard for me to slap the above post (including the “Crap, crap, crap!” part) together.

    Another thing worth noting is that IBM asked SCO to identify each of the trade secrets and Unix code SCO thinks have been misappropriated, why SCO claims ownership of these trade secrets and code, and how they came into possession of these trade secrets or code (whether developed by them, or acquired by them, etc.). IANAL, but as far as I can tell, this is standard. When someone accuses you of stealing something, the accuser must identify the item that was stolen and offer some evidence that he actually owns it. The accusation must be specific enough to be investigable. He can't just make a general accusation and be granted court authority to go rummaging through your house looking for something – anything – that he thinks he can get away with claiming as his own.

    In response to this request for specificity, SCO returned a list of 591 Linux source files that “may or may not” contain misappropriated code.

    It may not be obvious, but this is not what IBM asked for. Linux source code is available for anyone to look at, and singling out 591 files of open-source Linux kernel code does nothing to identify misappropriated trade secrets or stolen Unix code. Unless SCO identifies SysV Unix code, it's not identifying anything that it can demonstrate it owns.

    And it gets better. Never mind the fact that IBM is entitled to know exactly what it's accused of; SCO has been blasting IBM in public, claiming over one million lines of SysV Unix code have been copied directly into the Linux kernel. Furthermore, SCO has taken investors, analysts, and members of the media behind closed doors, and under protection of a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) purportedly showed them examples of SysV Unix source code side-by-side with Linux kernel source code, proving to them that infringement has indeed taken place. (Not surprisingly, this has had an incredible positive effect on SCO's stock price.) Darl himself has proclaimed that SCO had hired teams of NASA rocket scientists and MIT mathematicians to perform “spectral analysis” to compare Linux kernel source code with SCO's SysV Unix code, and, according to SCO, the results indicate that Linux is almost a verbatim, line-for-line copy of Unix.

    Yet, when it comes time in a court of law to put up or shut up, SCO won't have the courtesy to show any of this proof of infringement to IBM, the company who stands accused of misappropriating the Unix code.

    So they didn't put up. And they haven't shut up, either. They've recently proclaimed that they're going to sue a prominent Linux user within 90 days, even though they have yet to publicly prove that they own even a shred of Linux.

    Oh, but it gets even better. Much, much better.

    Remember those 591 Linux files identified by SCO that “may or may not” contain misappropriated trade secrets? Well some geeks (I'm a geek, as if you all didn't know) have been taking a look at it and, well, laughing, mostly.

    For example, consider the following, which is the entire contents of include/asm-arm/spinlock.h, one of the files on SCO's infringement list:
     
  8. Lance Nichols

    Lance Nichols Supporting Actor

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    Holy! Brian, you had much more in this then I had. Hell, I didn't even know you could post comments that long!

    Yeah, I suspect tghat Darl was hoping that IBM would just do the old "buy them to shut them up" routine. IBM knew better, and now SCO is looking at the end of the line, no matter what they do. Darl, and others are likely doing a bit of "if I am going to be damned I may as well really be damned."

    I too have been following this from the start, and have gotten a mild chuckle - ok - out right laughed at some of the statements coming out of SCO. I really don't know what is happening in the back end of SCO, but they have not released new product in years. They expect to stop the rest of the world's march forward by hoping to have lawyers and bean counters side with them on the off chance that SCO might have a case. Basically they are blowing a lot of smoke, then mentioning big numbers and hoping that people will be scared with the big numbers, and not look past the smoke. IIRC, Darl has tried similar stunts in other companies as well.

    I hope that the presiding judge throws this case out with extreme prejudice, and rules that SCO must open its code for all to see.
     
  9. JamesHl

    JamesHl Supporting Actor

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    One of the big pieces to this puzzle is that a lot of the senior management (McBride included) get a large bonus if the company shows profit for 3 quarters, and with some creative accounting utilizing this linux licensing drek that's what they're shooting for. It's also why the lawsuit is being extended. I think they know they don't have much of a chance, but they have to pretend that they do until they can cash out and let the company go down the drain.
     
  10. Lance Nichols

    Lance Nichols Supporting Actor

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    Looks like the all knowing and wise leaders of SCO plan on targeting GOOGLE as their next extortion attempt.

    Google in SCO sights for "Linux Tax"

    Man, I can't wait for the Judge to slap them back to the stone age. I feel sorry for any investors left holding the bag by then.
     
  11. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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  12. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    Oral arguments are to be heard on multiple motions to compel discovery (since SCO is stalling) on December 5, so there's actually a lull in the news pending the outcome of that hearing. If SCO can stall until the end of December 2003, then that will complete SCO's fourth quarter of qualifying stock prices, which will lock in Darl McBride's executive bonus package. Coincidentally, SCO has petitioned the court to delay further discovery until December 29 because - get this - they don't have a patent attorney to represent them.

    Oh, yeah, the lull...

    So instead of more rantings from a lunatic (me), I give you the top contenders for The SCO Group's new slogan.

    ---------------------------------------------------------

    SCO: All your code are belong to us.

    The New SCO: What's yours is ours.

    SCO: Come to us for all your licensing needs. No, really - we mean for ALL your licensing needs.

    SCO: Alleging it makes it so.

    SCO: Educating the world with a baseball bat.

    SCO: It's our world. Get off.

    SCO: Don't forget to zip up when we're done.

    SCO: Ya got anything else you owe us for?

    SCO: Your partner in IT. Or else.

    SCO: We'd tell you how to fix it, but then we wouldn't be able to make any money.

    SCO: We'll be in touch, because you have to.

    SCO: GPL, Shmee pee ell!

    SCO: Lawsuit insurance... Yeah, that's what it is!

    SCO: We'd tell you what you're doing wrong, but then we'd have to kill you.

    SCO: Because shaking down kids for their lunch money just wasn't enough.

    SCO: Pump and Dump - It worked for us, it can work for you.

    SCO: Linux isn't free, unless you're us.

    SCO: We'll turn the lights out for you when we're done.

    SCO: Oh, yeah? Well, you can't prove we DON'T own the world!

    SCO: You don't even have to do business with us for us to screw with you.

    SCO: Love us, or die.

    SCO: Holy crap, we're stupid! Do we actually think this will work?

    SCO: Doing business with us is like... Aw, who are we kidding?

    SCO: Man, this is just too easy.

    SCO: Blah, blah, blah! Give us your money!

    SCO: You innovate, we litigate!
     
  13. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    BrianW, that's some pretty funny stuff.
     
  14. James E

    James E Stunt Coordinator

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    how about

    SCO: our code is made of people.:b
     
  15. Lance Nichols

    Lance Nichols Supporting Actor

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    This was taken from a posting from Groklaw - quite humorous!

    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, December 05 2003 @ 04:19 AM EST
    Since I've seen a couple Monty Python quotes, here's a sketch retooled to fit
    SCO [​IMG] Hope you enjoy [​IMG]

    SCO's Verbal Argument

    (a judge takes his seat)

    Judge: Good Morning.

    SCO Lawyer: Good Morning, your honor!

    Judge: Ah, thank you.

    SCO Lawyer: What can I do for you, sir?

    Judge: Well, I called this hearing to hear your reasons why you are suing IBM.
    More specifically, to hear what kind of evidence you have against IBM.

    SCO Lawyer: Ah, evidence!

    Judge: In a nutshell, yes. So I thought to myself "a bit of verbal
    argument from SCO might do this case good and shed some light on what this is
    all about."

    SCO Lawyer: Come again?

    Judge: I want to know about the code.

    SCO Lawyer: Oh, I thought you were complaining about Mr. McBride's open
    letters!

    Judge: Oh, heaven forbid - I find those laced with humorous snippets of verbose
    prose!

    SCO Lawyer: Sorry?

    Judge: The letters are funny.

    SCO Lawyer: So he can go on typing then, can he?

    Judge: Most certainly! Now then, some evidence please, my good man.

    SCO Lawyer: Certainly, sir. What would you like?

    Judge: Well, eh, how about some SMP code violations?

    SCO Lawyer: I'm afraid we couldn't actually find any, sir.

    Judge: Oh, never mind, how about JFS?

    SCO Lawyer: I'm afraid we won't have that till after discovery from IBM.

    Judge: Tish tish. No matter. Well, stout lawyer, let's see what you have
    about NUMA.

    SCO Lawyer: Ah! It's still waiting on someone to put it on a cd, we were
    expecting it this morning.

    Judge: It's not my lucky day, is it? Aah, RCU then?

    SCO Lawyer: Sorry, sir.

    Judge: Memory Allocation?

    SCO Lawyer: Normally, sir, yes. Today the courier's van broke down.

    Judge: Ah. USB?

    SCO Lawyer: Sorry.

    Judge: LPT ports drivers? Serial ports?

    SCO Lawyer: No.

    Judge: Any evidence about IDE drivers?

    SCO Lawyer: No.

    Judge: SCSI?

    SCO Lawyer: No.

    Judge: SATA?

    SCO Lawyer: No.

    Judge: Floating point emulation?

    SCO Lawyer: No.

    Judge: Video drivers?

    SCO Lawyer: No.

    Judge: Keyboard drivers? Vi, emacs, sendmail, x-windows, man pages, bash
    shell?

    SCO Lawyer: No.

    Judge: "Tux Racer", perhaps?

    SCO Lawyer: Ah! We have evidence for that, yessir.

    Judge: (suprised) You do! Excellent.

    SCO Lawyer: Yes sir. The media it's on tho, it's ...ah...it's a bit smudged
    up...

    Judge: Oh, I don't mind a bit of a reading challenge.

    SCO Lawyer: Well...It's very smudged, actually, sir.

    Judge: No matter. Fetch hither the evidence of IBM's wrong doing!

    SCO Lawyer: I ... think it's a bit more smudged than you'd like, sir.

    Judge: I don't care how ****ing smudged it is. Hand it over will all speed.

    SCO Lawyer: Ooooooooooohhhh...!

    Judge: What now?

    SCO Lawyer: The paralegal's eaten it.

    Judge: Has he.

    SCO Lawyer: She, sir.

    (Pause)

    Judge: Grep?

    SCO Lawyer: No.

    Judge: Gzip?

    SCO Lawyer: No.

    Judge: You... do have some evidence, don't you?

    SCO Lawyer: (brightly) Of course, sir. It's a lawsuit, sir. We've got...

    Judge: No no... don't tell me. I'm keen to guess.

    SCO Lawyer: Fair enough.

    Judge: Uuuuuh, Gimp?

    SCO Lawyer: Yes?

    Judge: Ah, well, let's see the evidence on Gimp!

    SCO Lawyer: Oh! I thought you were talking to me, sir. Mr. Gimp, that's my
    name.

    (Pause)

    Judge: KDE?

    SCO Lawyer: Uh, not as such.

    Judge: Uuh, GNOME?

    SCO Lawyer: No.

    Judge: Ximian?

    SCO Lawyer: No.

    Judge: OpenOffice?

    SCO Lawyer: Not today, sir, no.

    (Pause)

    Judge: Aah, how about how you found your evidence then?

    SCO Lawyer: Well, we weren't expecting to have to answer that.

    Judge: Weren't expecting?... It's one of the single most important pieces of
    discovery!

    SCO Lawyer: Not according to SCO, sir.

    Judge: And just what is the most important piece, "according to
    SCO"?

    SCO Lawyer: Our MIT analysts.

    Judge: Is it?

    SCO Lawyer: It's our number one piece of evidence, sir!

    Judge: All right. Okay. 'Are they here today?' he asked, expecting the answer
    "no".

    SCO Lawyer: I'll have a look, sir ... nnnnnnnnnnnnnnno.


    Judge: It's not much of a lawsuit, is it?

    SCO Lawyer: Finest money can buy!

    Judge: (annoyed) Explain the logic underlying that conclusion, please.

    SCO Lawyer: Well, it's so full of legal jardon, sir!

    Judge: It's certainly uncontaminated by the burden of evidence...

    SCO Lawyer: (brightly) You haven't asked me about Pine, sir.

    Judge: Would it be worth it?

    SCO Lawyer: Could be....

    Judge: Have you - (to McBride)SHUT THAT DAMN WORD PROCESSOR OFF!

    SCO Lawyer: Told you sir....

    Judge: (slowly) Have you any evidence that IBM misappropriated SCO UNIX code
    into the PINE e-mail program?

    SCO Lawyer: No.

    Judge: Figures. Predictable, really I suppose. It was an act of purest optimism
    to have posed the question in the first place. Tell me:

    SCO Lawyer: Yes sir?

    Judge: (Deliberately) Have you in fact got any evidence against IBM at all?

    SCO Lawyer: Yes, sir.

    Judge: Really?

    (Pause)

    SCO Lawyer: No. Not really, sir.

    Judge: You haven't.

    SCO Lawyer: No sir. Not a scrap. I was deliberately wasting your time, sir.

    Judge: Well I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to sentence you to death.

    SCO Lawyer: Right-Oh, sir.

    (The Baliff takes the SCO Lawyer out of the courtroom . A few minutes later, a
    distant scream can be heard while the lights in the courtroom dim momentarily)

    Judge: What a senseless waste of human life.

    (derived as a parody from Monty Python's 'Cheese Shop' sketch)

    --Brent
     
  16. Paul McElligott

    Paul McElligott Cinematographer

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    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  17. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    Lance, that was great! [​IMG]

    Update: In today's court hearing, SCO argued that IBM should be compelled to deliver more stuff so they can have their experts look through it and figure out exactly what IBM did wrong. IBM argued that SCO has been bragging to the media that it has proof of IBM's misappropriation of SCO's Unix code and that SCO has made a public spectacle of showing this proof to financial analysts, so SCO should be compelled to put up or shut up before IBM produces any more documents for SCO to fish through.

    Outcome: Basically, IBM won this round. Under court order, SCO must now particularize its claims (by actally saying what they think IBM has done wrong - what a concept!) and produce evidence to back these claims up within thirty days from Wednesday, or explain to the court's satisfaction why it couldn't do so. All other discovery is on hold until SCO complies with this court order.

    Funny Note: The judge really wasn't happy with the way SCO delivered Linux source code (which was unresponsive, anyway) to IBM. First, SCO delivered the source code as a stack of paper printouts, incapable of being scrutinized by ASCII search engines on a computer. Then, SCO delivered the source code on CDs, but the CDs contained not ASCII text files, but bitmapped images of the paper printouts, which were just as unusable. The judge, savvy enough to know what it takes to comply with a request for "human-readable ASCII source code in electronic format," saw SCO's antics for the time-wasting, non-compliant tricks they are and called them on it. Any bets on whether SCO will now fax the source to IBM and hope the judge accepts that as a compliant "electronic format"?

    Prediction: IMHO, I believe SCO will actually fail to produce ANY specific claim or evidence, and say it failed to do so because, pursuant to the court order to suspend all other discovery, SCO was unable to obtain the documents from IBM that it needed to conduct its fishing expedition.

    Lame, yes. Stupid, yes. But could it be just crazy enough to work?

    I really don't think so.
     

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