Message ID: 10730
Posted By: martin_lvnv
Posted On: 2003-06-04 01:17:00
Subject: Contract rights

Lets assume Novell is correct and owns the copyrights. I doubt they would have made the statement about copyright ownership they did unless they felt very confident about it after discussing it with their legal team.

So SCO has their little NDA show-and-tell and shows people code similarities between Linux and Unix but without copyrights can only whine: "if we only had a contract we could sue them".

What good does it do for SCO to show copyright infringement when it seems they don't own the copyrights?

Message ID: 10754
Posted By: martin_lvnv
Posted On: 2003-06-04 03:43:00
Subject: Strategy

What is SCO's Strategy?

First they say they aren't going after Linux users, just IBM. Then they send 1500 letters to Linux users.

Then they say they might sue Linus. Later they reverse their position.

The problems sometimes are claimed to be in the kernel, other times in associated programs.

One day its "We own all unix IP". Later they claim its based on contracts not copyright.

They have Boies firm represent them on contingency. Now they hire Tibbets as an employee.

Boies couldn't understand "why nobody liked his client". Tibbets talks about a "firestorm that has started". When the reaction shouldn't surprise anyone.

And I've never heard anything so stupid as refusing to specify what infringes your copyright. There is no way to get damages without specifying what you own.

Even more amazing is the fact that they want to license IP for free software. Look at the GPL and its obvious there is no legal way to add proprietary licensed code. Instead, thousands of programmers will just replace anything that infringes.

Some have speculated this is world class FUD bought and paid for by Microsoft. I don't believe it. I think its more likely SCO is just desperate and clueless and reacting to events without a strategy.

Like a ping pong ball going over Niagra Falls. Who knows what they will try tomorrow?

Message ID: 11703
Posted By: martin_lvnv
Posted On: 2003-06-07 14:42:00
Subject: What are SCO damages?

I think there is no chance that IBM could be found guilty, but just to kick it around, I'm going to speculate on damages if IBM were to be found guilty. Disclaimer: IANAL and this is my opinion.

Obviously a billion dollars is just a number pulled out of thin air. SCO will get damages they can prove. To get a billion, they are claiming that SCOs unix code was worth a billion and now since IBM stole their technology and gave it to Linux, their stuff is worth zero: volia: IBM should pay a billion.

Lets assume during the trial SCO shows "hundreds of lines of code". Even McBride admits SCO doesn't want to publish even the location of the code in Linux because the Linux people will just rewrite it. Remember the "wiping the fingerprints off the gun" quote. So SCO shows "hundreds of lines of code" and the Linux people remove and replace the code over a weekend. What are SCOs damages? If Linux didn't have the code they would have been slowed down by the two days it took to write it. Therefore, SCOs code made almost no difference. That means SCOs unix codebase thats now worth zero, would still be worth zero if Linux hadn't used the couple hundred lines of code. Therefore SCOs damages, even if the court found IBM guilty, could be one dollar or some other nominal amount.

Message ID: 11777
Posted By: martin_lvnv
Posted On: 2003-06-08 04:32:00
Subject: What SCO wants is backwards

I just realized that SCO really wants something exactly backward from what most copyright holders want.

Its normal in a copyright case for the owner of the stolen property to demand others stop using the stolen property. The reason is that the owner wants exclusive use of its own property and expects to make money from what it thinks is its own valuable IP.

SCO seems to want something different. They apparently don't want Linux users to stop using SCOs code. In fact with their silence and NDAs SCO is trying to prevent Linux users from even finding out what code might be SCOs. What SCO apparently wants is Linux users to *continue using* SCOs code and pay SCO a royalty or license fee (not going to happen, as has been explained).

SCO is basically admitting that SCO can't make money from exclusive use of the "stolen" code in its own operating system. They also seem to be admitting that the stolen code isn't valuable in itself and that Linux would have no trouble functioning without SCOs property. SCO wants to prevent Linux users from the normal legal practice of removing SCOs code.

This is not how copyright law works. I've never heard anyone attempt this: "You must pay us for a license since you're using our copyright without a license and you can't stop because we won't tell you what property is ours." Amazing. I don't think its going to work even a little.

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