SCO hints it may sue Linus Torvalds for patent infringement

Posted 28 May 2003 at 21:09 UTC by atai Share This

SCO is taking its war against GNU/Linux to new heights. After Novell claims that Novell never transferred Unix copyrights to SCO, SCO responds by asserting that, if more companies do not fall into line, SCO may go to the root of the Linux kernel and sue Linus Torvalds for creating a kernel that violates SCO's patents. More information is in this article.


The Market didn't like it, posted 29 May 2003 at 02:16 UTC by bwtaylor » (Journeyer)

I think the market started to get a sense today of just how insane SCO is behaving. SCO lost about fell 2.11 points today to 6.60 and thus lost 24.23% of its market value today.

I expect the intensity of this fight to increase. I hope Linus has a good lawyer. Up until today, I think his "don't feed the troll" stand-offishness was wise. Today SCO crossed a line and I hope that Linus realizes that the fight may come to him, like it or not, and that if it does he needs to win or his life's work could be enjoined.

Wow, I'm so scared, posted 29 May 2003 at 02:38 UTC by tk » (Observer)

"We talked to those guys, but there was never one comment at any time that, 'Hey, we want to buy copyrights from you,' " McBride said. "It was very clear in our minds that we already purchased that."

What gives? Very clear in your minds? Who cares about your minds?

I think, if SCO can't show black-and-white proof that they have purchased rights from Novell, all their "IP rights" claims will go up in smoke... and when that happens, even if Linus keeps quiet, Novell will still be able to beat them to a pulp.

Novell gets all royalties..., posted 29 May 2003 at 04:30 UTC by gilbou » (Observer)

Check this:

http://ir.sco.com/EdgarDetail.cfm?CompanyID=CALD&CIK=1102542&FID=1047469-03-3091&SID=03-00

This is a financial report from Sco. On this document there is a part called "Restricted Cash and Royalty Payable to Novell, Inc." where we discover that Novell gives 95 % of royalties back to Novell (owner of rights) while 5 % are used as "paperwork processing fees"

This has been found by Karsten Self whom posted it on the linux-elitists list from this report :

"The Company has an arrangement with Novell, Inc. ("Novell") in which it acts as an administrative agent in the collection of royalties for customers who deploy SVRx technology. Under the agency agreement, the Company collects all customer payments and remits 95 percent of the collected funds to Novell and retains 5 percent as an administrative fee."

What is funny is Microsoft just bought a licence, and 95 % of that money went directly into Novell pockets.

I feel like quoting our dear Morpheus about fate and irony... :>

Can the problem be avoided entirely?, posted 29 May 2003 at 14:17 UTC by lkcl » (Master)

Like Windows NT, the GNU/Hurd is based on the Mach kernel.

Like Windows NT, the GNU/Hurd has a POSIX subsystem which runs on top [of both these OSes].

Unlike the GNU/Hurd, Windows NT has two other subsystems that have been available for years: one is Win32 and the other is OS/2.

i _really_ do believe that the most sensible technical approach for Linux (the kernel, not GNU/Linux the POSIX-compliant suite of programs) is for it to embrace the GNU/Hurd project in its entirety.

after all, the GNU/Hurd kernel itself is actually tiny: the rest of the code is the entire Linux device driver codebase, last updated from 2.0.36, presently being replaced with one of the 2.2 device driver sets.

can anyone please confirm what the difference between POSIX and Unix actually _is_: it may be significant.

the reason why i ask is that i am wondering if there is a way to avoid SCO's riotous behaviour altogether: by adopting POSIX as a subsystem of the Linux kernel.

that way, it can't be called Unix, can it? :) :)

p.s. if SCO doesn't win, what's to stop Novell from trying the same trick?

Can the problem be avoided entirely?, posted 29 May 2003 at 14:17 UTC by lkcl » (Master)

Like Windows NT, the GNU/Hurd is based on the Mach kernel.

Like Windows NT, the GNU/Hurd has a POSIX subsystem which runs on top [of both these OSes].

Unlike the GNU/Hurd, Windows NT has two other subsystems that have been available for years: one is Win32 and the other is OS/2.

i _really_ do believe that the most sensible technical approach for Linux (the kernel, not GNU/Linux the POSIX-compliant suite of programs) is for it to embrace the GNU/Hurd project in its entirety.

after all, the GNU/Hurd kernel itself is actually tiny: the rest of the code is the entire Linux device driver codebase, last updated from 2.0.36, presently being replaced with one of the 2.2 device driver sets.

can anyone please confirm what the difference between POSIX and Unix actually _is_: it may be significant.

the reason why i ask is that i am wondering if there is a way to avoid SCO's riotous behaviour altogether: by adopting POSIX as a subsystem of the Linux kernel.

that way, it can't be called Unix, can it? :) :)

p.s. if SCO doesn't win, what's to stop Novell from trying the same trick?

Can the problem be avoided entirely?, posted 29 May 2003 at 14:17 UTC by lkcl » (Master)

Like Windows NT, the GNU/Hurd is based on the Mach kernel.

Like Windows NT, the GNU/Hurd has a POSIX subsystem which runs on top [of both these OSes].

Unlike the GNU/Hurd, Windows NT has two other subsystems that have been available for years: one is Win32 and the other is OS/2.

i _really_ do believe that the most sensible technical approach for Linux (the kernel, not GNU/Linux the POSIX-compliant suite of programs) is for it to embrace the GNU/Hurd project in its entirety.

after all, the GNU/Hurd kernel itself is actually tiny: the rest of the code is the entire Linux device driver codebase, last updated from 2.0.36, presently being replaced with one of the 2.2 device driver sets.

can anyone please confirm what the difference between POSIX and Unix actually _is_: it may be significant.

the reason why i ask is that i am wondering if there is a way to avoid SCO's riotous behaviour altogether: by adopting POSIX as a subsystem of the Linux kernel.

that way, it can't be called Unix, can it? :) :)

p.s. if SCO doesn't win, what's to stop Novell from trying the same trick?

Re: Can the problem be avoided entirely?, posted 29 May 2003 at 15:07 UTC by tk » (Observer)

can anyone please confirm what the difference between POSIX and Unix actually _is_: it may be significant.

The main difference is that some people think Unix is owned, while the same people think POSIX is not owned.

I fail to see how your `solution' will solve anything. POSIX itself is ultimately derived from the Unix interface, so SCO can just as well claim (in their usual insane manner) that POSIX is theirs.

Perhaps the best thing for us to do is just to live life as usual. It doesn't make sense to throw in hundreds of man hours to `port' Linux to Mach, just because some silly company is trolling.

p.s. if SCO doesn't win, what's to stop Novell from trying the same trick?

Stock prices?

let's get real, posted 29 May 2003 at 18:01 UTC by jbuck » (Master)

First of all, GNU/Hurd still doesn't really work. It's still at the stage of a research toy; this will change when someone manages to produce a distribution based on it. Also, since SCO has also made FUD noises about applications outside the kernel, replacing the kernel wouldn't stop their FUD. In any case, we can't just abandon software because someone, somewhere, raises a bogus claim in the media.

Second, the way to stop Novell from changing their mind in the future is to get them to do two things: first, distribute the Linux kernel themselves; second, go on record explaining the GPL consequences of doing so (that by distributing the kernel, they, Novell, are giving all recipients the right to continue to use, modify, and distribute the kernel under the GPL). It's quite likely that they could be persuaded to do this in the short term.

Novell distributing GNU/Linux?, posted 29 May 2003 at 22:25 UTC by lkcl » (Master)

1) GNU/Hurd doesn't fully work because the number of eyes on the project is too small.

2) GNU/Hurd does have a distribution - it's been Debianised.

3) I believe that merging GNU/Hurd into the kernel.org distributed code, i.e. GNU/Hurd being a patch on the Linux Kernel rather than effectively the other way round, would MAKE it become more accepted (more eyes, more maintenance).

4) i have to specifically point out to you i did NOT say software should be abandoned due to bogus media claims.

5) "FUD noises" implies a judgement call on your part about whether SCO has any grounds for what they claim (which i happen to agree with).

in the instance where their claims COULD have merit, or in the instance where Novell decides to take over from where SCO cannot (because Novell really DOES own Unix rather than SCO), then Linux-the-Unix-like-kernel, or GNU/Linux-the-suite-of-Unix-compliant-packages, are in trouble.

the reason that they would be in trouble is because even the THREAT of a possible court case would be sufficient to swamp any possible resources that the open source community could bring to bear.

several such accumulative attacks, if they failed, could be construed as "assault by attorney", but only one such attack would be sufficient to bring down Linux and/or GNU/Linux.

... or, it would, rather amusingly, like the Mindcraft example/fiasco, so enrage the open source community as to rewrite entirely the sections required so as to not infringe on whatever stupid patents are claimed.

and probably do a better job in the process.

and possibly the best starting point for such an endeavour is, in my opinion, the GNU/Hurd kernel. at least there's been 15 part-time years of development work gone in to it, so it's not just peanuts.

microsoft paying for their POSIX subsystem?, posted 29 May 2003 at 22:27 UTC by lkcl » (Master)

p.s. i presume that microsoft - and opennt.com - are paying license fees for _their_ POSIX subsystems?

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