SCO Scoop.

When you want to know more
about the story
but don't know where to look.

IANAL. I am a paralegal, so if you have a legal problem
and want advice, this isn't the place. Hire an attorney
instead. Research is, however, what paras do, so here
I am sharing things I have found in my research.

Subscribe to "GROKLAW" in Radio UserLand.

Click to see the XML version of this web page.

Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog. Dictionary

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

More Threats from SCO

They don't like it there are no lines to pay them for their license, so they say they will now start suing. Soon. Someday. It's in the works. They're making a list and checking it twice. McBride:

"'We are prepared to have this heard on a quicker basis in a customer environment if that's what it takes to quicken it up,' he said.

". . . McBride added SCO is identifying Linux users for possible litigation. He said SCO had for the last month gathered information on Linux users, and identified about 10% of the total Linux servers sold last year. McBride added that he expected that figure to rise to 40% over the coming weeks before SCO would take action.

"SCO has three groups working on identifying and approaching Linux users. The first is drawing up the list, the second will send out letters offering the chance to license the code SCO says has been copied into Linux, and the third will take legal action against those who refuse.

"McBride said SCO was likely to be selective about who it targets, probably choosing a company using IBM Corp's AIX and Dynix operating systems as well as Linux, so it can settle several legal arguments in one go."

So, they know who's being naughty. They have ways. Legal ways, one hopes, of invading people's privacy. And it's the fault of the GPL. It's forcing them to do this "despite being able to identify which companies and individuals are responsible for copying its code into Linux."

"'There's a bouncing ball that ends up in the hands of customers because of the GPL,' said McBride.

"Chris Sontag, senior vice president and general manager of the company's SCOsource business, added: 'There is no warranty for infringement of intellectual property [in the GPL], so all of the liability ends up with end users.'"

So, watch your mailbox. You know who you are. And so does SCO. They are tracking you. Say, how come the reporter didn't think to ask what methodology they are using to track their victims down?

comment [] 4:38:37 AM    

Where Was Ms. DiDio On This Day of Days?

I can't help myself.

We've all listened to her expound on this code for months now. Hardly a day went by without another quotation from the lovely and tireless Ms. DiDio on how credible SCO's code claims are and how seriously the community should be taking them. And today, not a peep.

Well, we can't have a DiDio-free day on the one occasion we all particularly want to hear from her the most. Since she does not oblige, and is perhaps wanting to hide behind the couch so no one ringing the bell will know she's home, perhaps a quick review. After all, she's a senior analyst, so her words have lasting value. In a perfect world, her boss reads Groklaw.

So here, on this supremely satisfying day, for your reading pleasure and for the edification of all, I will let her speak, in her own words:

"Laura DiDio, an analyst at The Yankee Group in Boston, said she was shown two or three samples of the allegedly copied Linux code, and it appeared to her that the sections were a 'copy and paste' match of the SCO Unix code that she was shown in comparison.

"DiDio and the other analysts were able to view the code only under a nondisclosure agreement, so she couldn't divulge intricate details of what she was shown. 'The courts are going to ultimately have to prove this, but based on what I'm seeing ... I think there is a basis that SCO has a credible case,' DiDio said. 'This is not a nuisance case.'"

"'One could argue that developers could write exact or very similar code, but the developers' comments in the code are basically your DNA, or fingerprints, for a particular piece of source code,' said Laura DiDio, a senior analyst with the Yankee Group (Boston), who viewed the evidence."

"'My impression is that [SCO's claim] is credible,' says Laura DiDio, a Yankee Group analyst who was shown the evidence by SCO Group earlier this week. 'It appears to be the same' code. But DiDio says the developing battle could hinge on legal fine points that are hard to sort out in the current atmosphere of claims, denials, and counterclaims.

"Apparently the most telling evidence is that parts of the SCO code and Linux code include identical annotations made by developers when they wrote the programs, says DiDio, who compares such notes to the signature or fingerprint of a developer's work. 'The fact that these appear to be transposed from Unix System V into Linux I find to be very damaging.' DiDio says she was shown several instances where the source code and developer's comments in one operating system were the same as in the other operating system."

"Some lines of code in Linux are the same as those in Unix, which SCO controls, even down to the wording in explanatory comments made by the programmers, according to Yankee Group analyst Laura DiDio, who reviewed samples.

"While different versions of so-called executable code can be very similar, 'comment lines are like fingerprints,' said DiDio, who added that she believes SCO could make a credible case against IBM."

And my personal favorite, although off-topic:

"Securing copyrights adds a measure of credence to SCO's claims, says Yankee Group analyst Laura DiDio. 'They are striking the right note of righteousness and responsibility.'"

And the first runner-up:

"'SCO won't be stupid about the pricing. They won't gouge customers,' said Laura DiDio, senior analyst, application infrastructure and software platforms, at the Yankee Group."

Enough. The hole she dug for herself is deep enough. I don't want to humiliate anyone. She is a fellow human, after all, and humans make mistakes. But her mistaken ideas, expressed with conviction, did damage to GNU/Linux, and she is probably better suited to talking about Windows, her previous area of ...I started to say expertise, but who knows? There is always a danger in listening to only one side of a story. When you are an analyst, I'd say it's professional suicide. At least it ought to be.

Now that the rug has been pulled out from under her, and her conclusions have gone splat, I'd like to see her say she was wrong. Ok, it's not a perfect world yet, so I won't hold my breath. She's really a metaphor anyway to make a serious point. There was plenty of information out there she and other analysts, and reporters too, for that matter, could have been considering, but didn't, that would have shown them they were barking up the wrong tree. Literally. And now, how do they look? Not you, Bill Claybrook. You were an honest man who knew enough about programming to ask the right questions and express the right doubts.

Finally, I think this Babelfish translation of the Heise article pretty much says it all, when it talks about McBride's message to the faithful at SCOForum:

"Matured technology is not to be had evenly to the zero tariff. 'free software -- that is not our thing.' Into Unix were 20 years development: With this basis SCO wants to make also in the next 20 years money. It called developers and partners from the Unix surrounding field for support, because 'otherwise the times of the good business will soon past be'."

Here's hoping.

comment [] 4:04:22 AM    

Click here to visit the Radio UserLand website. © Copyright 2003 PJ.
Last update: 9/1/03; 3:19:11 AM. Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

August 2003
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Jul   Sep