SCO bites back on Linux memo claims

SCO bites back on Linux memo claims

Summary: The SCO Group has slammed as "inaccurate" suggestions an e-mail from one of its own engineers showed Linux did not contain copyright Unix code.The 2002 e-mail, published by Internet law site Groklaw as part of its ongoing coverage of SCO's copyright infringement claims against Linux vendor IBM and user Autozone, was sent to a senior vice president at the company by an in-house engineer and later forwarded on to chief executive Darl McBride.

SHARE:
TOPICS: IBM, Linux, Open Source
30
The SCO Group has slammed as "inaccurate" suggestions an e-mail from one of its own engineers showed Linux did not contain copyright Unix code.

The 2002 e-mail, published by Internet law site Groklaw as part of its ongoing coverage of SCO's copyright infringement claims against Linux vendor IBM and user Autozone, was sent to a senior vice president at the company by an in-house engineer and later forwarded on to chief executive Darl McBride.

"At the end, we had found absolutely nothing ie (sic) no evidence of any copyright infringement whatsoever," engineer Michael Davidson wrote of his and an external consultants' attempts to find copyrighted Unix code in Linux.

However, SCO said in a statement this afternoon, "it would simply be inaccurate - and misleading -- to use Mr Davidson's e-mail to suggest that SCO's internal investigation revealed no problems."

SCO e-mailed the media a memo sent in 1999 from that external consultant, Robert Swartz, to SCO's Steve Sabbath, who was at the time the company's general counsel. The memo details Swartz's initial findings which -- according to the vendor -- demonstrate there is cause for concern as to whether portions of protected Unix code were copied into Linux.

"This memo shows that Mr. Davidson's e-mail is referring to an investigation limited to literal copying, which is not the standard for copyright violations, and which can be avoided by deliberate obfuscation, as the memo itself points out," the company continued. SCO also pointed out its legal wrangling with IBM dealt with more recent versions of the Linux code than were mentioned in the memo.

"Even more importantly, this memo shows that there are problems with Linux. It also notes that additional investigation is required to locate all of the problems, which SCO has been continuing in discovery in the IBM and Autozone cases," said SCO.

SCO sued IBM in 2003 for more than US$1 billion, alleging that IBM had misappropriated Unix technology to which SCO claimed intellectual property rights.

News.com's Ina Fried contributed to this report.

Topics: IBM, Linux, Open Source

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

30 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Spin, spin, spin. Spin me a web of lies, little spider.

    Your own man said:

    "no evidence of any copyright infringement whatsoever"

    He didn't merely say:

    "no evidence of direct code copying"

    as you are trying to spin.

    Too late SCO. You've had 30 MONTHS, and still no evidence or proof to offer the world or the judge.

    This leaked memo just goes to show you for the morally bankrupt entity you really are.

    It will be an absolute pleasure when Linux steamrolls over the last functioning copy of SCO Unix out there in the hinterlands.

    One wonder what your opponents lawyers will make of the fact that you _knew_ there was no infringing code, and yet you proceeded with this frivolous and spurious lawsuit. I do believe there is a law which prohibits all that, and it's criminal law at that.

    Will be fun to see Darl et al eventually doing time over this fiasco.
    anonymous
  • OK. So show us some evidence.
    anonymous
  • hehe
    HEHE
    LOL
    ROTFL
    ROTFLMAO
    anonymous
  • Too much spinning causes dizziness and sometimes loss of consciousness (sense of one's personal or collective identity, attitudes, beliefs, and sensitivities). SCO's current state proves it.
    anonymous
  • So, let me get this straight...Darl produces a memo written *three years prior* to the memo in question, that "demonstrate[s] there is cause for concern as to whether portions of protected Unix code were copied into Linux"

    Do you think that *maybe* Mr. Swartz could have learned during his investigation that his initial suspicions were mistaken?

    The 2002 memo from Davidson *unambiguously* states that there was no code copied from Unix to Linux. And it's being forwarded to Darl by Broughton, who is obviously looking into "Patents and IP", (as indicated by the memo subject) and his conclusion, after examining (we would hope) all the available evidence, is that there is no copyright case. Not even a chance of one.

    How does an earlier memo (written when everyone knew *less*) refute that?
    anonymous
  • Stowell hopes you have no memory. That's the only way Stowell's latest pronouncements will have any believability.

    Stowell hopes you have forgotten

    1. when the judge ordered SCO Group to produce all its evidence to IBM, ORDERS THAT WERE REPEATED, SCO Group produced ZERO evidence.

    2. that judge Kimball wrote that he was "astonished" (Kimball's words) "that SCO has produced no competent evidence" to support their claims.
    anonymous
  • SCOG has told so many lies, it's unbelievable that SCOG thinks anyone believes a word they say anymore.

    SCOG & Blake Stoolwell, Your entire NDA freakshow has been exposed as a media manipulation.

    Where are the "Linux Invoices" you promised?

    Darl McLied told the world in a conference call "our case is in the sealed documents. When they're unsealed you'll see how strong our case is."

    Now that the judge has ORDERED you to unseal your documents, SCO Group has NOT UNSEALED A SINGLE ONE, while IBM has unsealed at least 10.


    Darl claimed "PJ is not who she claims to be. If you knew what we know things would look a lot different."

    And in fact, PJ turns out to be EXACTLY WHO SHE CLAIMED TO BE, a female paralegal.
    anonymous
  • Swartz initial look in 1999 was completed, and found "some problems". Davidson worked with that consultant, and did analysis of his investigation, and in 2002 came to the conclusion that all initial problems were not actually problems - because it would take humans to sort out that data with lawyers... so they do that.

    But now Stowell is saying that "we found problems in 1999". WHAT? Daivdson's look was MORE COMPREHENSIVE than Swartz' look in 1999 - because it took his work into account, and added more investigation to it.

    How can they now claim that the 1999 look was more authoritative than the final report in 2002?
    anonymous
  • The judge in the SCO-IBM case said SCO has produced no evidence whatsoever of copyright infringement. So where is it Darl?
    anonymous
  • "Even more importantly, this memo shows that there are problems with Linux"

    Where does it show that? Was he reading the same email?
    anonymous
  • SCO, your time is drawing to a close on this evil deed. It's not nice to slander, lie, cheat and steal. But if you feel you must, you should have a better line of logic, cause the rest of the world doesn't see with your skewed vision. Judgment day is coming baby!

    BTW - This was written on a Desktop Linux PC. So, sue me...
    anonymous
  • So there was no literal copying... We knew that already...

    But what about all the things Darl McBride said? Such as "thousands of lines literally copied"?

    It doesn't quite add up - perhaps he'd forgotten that he read the email and memo? Surely he cannot have been stretching the truth *that* much all this time just to juggle share prices?
    anonymous
  • So Bob Swartz does a code dive in 1999 and reports some potential problems. It gets turned over to Michael Davidson and he reports the there are no problems (earlier potential problems are identified as code belonging to others used in both Unix and Linux).

    Where is the mystery and confusion? It seems pretty obvious to me what happened.
    anonymous
  • Blake Stowell == (liar)^N

    MORE LIES from BLAKE STOWELL

    Stowell says : "This memo shows that Mr. Davidson's e-mail is referring to an investigation limited to literal copying,"

    From the Davidson email:
    "(Most of this work was automated using tools which were designed to to fuzzy matching and ignore trivial differences in formatting and spelling)"


    Blake Stowell == (liar)^N
    anonymous
  • BLAKE STOWELL == LIAR, LIAR, LIAR, LIAR

    AFTER THE INVESTIGATION IS FINISHED, SCOG is told by (real SCO) THE INVESTIGATION FOUND NO VIOLATIONS.

    in response, SCOG produces an email FROM BEFORE THE INVESTIGATION WAS COMPLETED saying THERE MAY BE ISSUES.

    Hmmm...... I guess it doesn't occur to Snake Stoolwell that all the issues raised BEFORE THE INVESTIGATION WAS FINISHED were SHOWN TO BE COMPLETELY VALID when the investigation ended.


    SNAKE STOOLWELL = LIAR.
    anonymous
  • "There is, indeed, a lot of code that is common between UNIX and Linux (all of the X Windows system, for example) but invariably it turned out that the common code was something that both we (SCO) and the Linux community had obtained (legitimately) from some third party." -- from the 2002 email. I think this throws this whole "memo" out of the window.
    anonymous
  • So this is Biting Back? The bite is weak.
    anonymous
  • They can't say anything else can they. To do so would be legal suicide.

    Whatever evidence comes up, they have to keep to the party line or face both being laughed out of court and being countersued for wasting everyone's time. They've only narrowly avoided being laughed out of court so far. Now they've started this they have to see it to the bitter end.
    anonymous
  • The X Windowing System ain't Linux. It runs on Linux and many other systems. The reason for commonality in this code is because it is based on FREELY AVAILABLE standards and examples.

    The irony here is that many (most?) of the tools shipped with The Sco Group's operating system these days are NOT from their own UNIX code-base, they are tools written by others de novo, ex nihilo, and many are available only under the terms of that nasty, nasty GPL which D'ohl MacBride stepped in front of a year or so ago.

    For those of you who've read Terry Pratchett's /Truckers/ series, think of Nisodemus and the police car.

    If D'ohl's protestations weren't so predictable, they'd be better than a three-ring circus.
    anonymous
  • The irritating thing in all this is that SCO is really just a puppet for people like Microsoft and Sun in an anti-competitive game to try and run free software out of town, remember SCO's Linux Licence (that still makes me laugh)? and remember who actually bought one? SUN and MS and they paid more than enough money to help finance SCO's little game for a while.

    Think back a few months, does anyone remember a joint statement from EDS, SUN, MS and a couple of other's who stand to lose profits to free software because they haven't worked out the their business model is no longer tennable? The statement claimed that Linux was unstable, did not scale and was unsuitable for an enterprise environment...

    of course what they failed to mention (particularly EDS) is that many of these companies run large sections of their internal IT infrastructure on Linux and EDS had released a statement only a month earlier praising linux and saying how wonderfully secure and stable it was and able to scale to their needs.

    The hypocrisy and plain FUD in the proprietry software world is sickening and I for one will never pay for any software because I will always use software that is free, both economically and politically.
    anonymous