In a press release issued yesterday, SCO (SCOX) announced that:
Also yesterday, in a telephone press conference for journalists and analysts, SCO CEO Darl McBride repeated that announcement. Other than SCO claims that it now has registered Unix System V copyrights, there is not really anything particularly new in yesterday's press release or yesterday's teleconference announcement.
Just What Unix or Linux Intellectual Property Does SCO Own?
Interestingly, just about everyone had assumed that SCO already owned the Unix System V copyrights when it filed its Caldera v IBM lawsuit. However, in March 2003 Linux Journal Editor Don Marti revealed that SCO did not own any Unix patents. Following that, Novell CEO Jack Messman announced in May that SCO did not acquire the Unix copyrights when it purchased Novell's Unix business in 1995. A week later, Darl McBride managed to come up with a later agreement conveying some, un-specified, Unix copyrights to SCO.
However, the real issue, which McBride managed to evade in SCO's press release and his teleconference announcement is whether the kernel.org Linux kernel infringes on any SCO copyrights. GNU/Linux community spokespeople have repeatedly denied SCO-Caldera and McBride's claims that GNU/Linux infringes on SCO copyrights. Moreover, the German Courts have ruled it illegal for SCO and McBride to make such claims in Germany. Additionally, SCO is facing pending contempt of court charges for violating the German court orders.
It's just the same lame SCO claims that Linux contains SCO-owned Unix code that SCO-Caldera and McBride have been making for months -- in a new package with a new twist -- but the same old FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt).
Richard Gooch Denies SCO-McBride's Claims
For example we have discussed these same basic issues with kernel.org's Dr. Richard Gooch, the linux-kernel-mailing-list maintainer, before SCO filed its Caldera v IBM lawsuit and after the Caldera v IBM lawsuit was filed. Just to see if yesterday's SCO-McBride announcements had changed anything, we checked with Richard Gooch yesterday to see.
We agree! MozillaQuest Magazine's editorial position about yesterday's SCO press release and teleconference announcements is that it is just more of the same old SCO-McBride FUD, reasonably calculated to muddy the SCO IP issues, and to stampede the more scared-rabbit Linux developers and users into buying UnixWare licenses from SCO -- in our opinion that is tantamount to extortion. It's really a shame that more people and organizations in the GNU/Linux community do not follow the Germans' lead and obtain court orders mandating SCO and McBride to stop this crap!
Germans Tackle McBride the Bully
SCO and McBride have been and are using bullying tactics in attempts to force GNU/Linux developers, distributors, and users into knuckling under to SCO and McBride's demands and dictates -- and to discourage people from developing and using Linux. The way to stop a bully is to stand up to the bully and to beat-up the bully.
The Germans have shown the way to do that. The Linux communities in all the nations need to stand up to the SCO-McBride bully just as did the Germans. It's time for Linux user groups, developers, distributors and so forth everywhere to file lawsuits against SCO and McBride.
Moreover, SCO and McBride can be in store for lots more legal beatings by the Europeans. Earlier today, LinuxTag's Klaus Knopper told MozillaQuest Magazine:
Please see the first two parts of our series about SCO-Caldera's IP claims plus its intentions to enforce and license its intellectual property rights.
Related MozillaQuest Articles
SCO-Caldera v IBM: