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If we have clients that really want to buy these licenses, we will sell them. That is just meeting the customer’s need. But in general we advise customers that it is not necessary at this point in time.

-- Gordon Hubbard, Managing director of SCO reseller CustomTech? ARN, 27 January 2004

(See SCOvsIBMQuotes for past weeks' text bites.)


About This Site

This page was originally set up to document and collect developments on the then-breaking Caldera vs. IBM lawsuit. For the latest on the case, we strongly recommend Groklaw which focusses on keeping up with the latest and greatest on the case. Here you'll find an overview and summary. Yes, it's still live.

Recent Developments

This section is contained in the SCOvsIBMLatest page.

February 17, 2005: SCO in Danger of NASDAQ Delisting. The SCO Group Inc. was warned by NASDAQ Wednesday that it is in danger of being delisted from the NASDAQ SmallCap Market stock market because it has failed to file its 2004 annual report by its deadline.

December 21, 2004: Quarterly report with disasterous results. Ouster of Canopy Group's Yarro (CEO) and Mott (Treasurer). Newly installed CEO is a Mr. Mustard. Clue?

May 4, 2004: Reg Broughton disappears from SCO executives page.

April 21, 2004: SCO hires BertYoung as chief financial officer to replace RobertBench. Young's previous experience includes stints as CFO and COO of dot-bomb archetype marchFIRST.

April 16, 2004: BayStarCapital reportedly asks SCO to redeem its $20 million in convertible preferred stock, citing breach of "Sections 2(b)(v), 2(b)(viii), 2(b)(viii) and 3(g) of the Exchange Agreement."

March 3, 2004: Eric Raymond turns up a Smoking-gun memo linking Microsoft to $80 million plus in payments to Marin-based investments firm Baystar channeled to Caldera/SCO. Both Caldera/SCO and Microsoft deny this charactization.

Executive Summary

This section is contained in the SCOvsIBMExecutiveSummary page.

On 07 Mar 2003, Caldera Systems, Inc., d/b/a The SCO Group, (SCO) initiated a civil lawsuit against IBM (case docket). Cites of damages range from $3 to $50 billion, with most sources citing $5b. Subsequent suits were filed against AutoZone? and DaimlerChrylser? (both dismissed), and RedHat and Novell (pending).

IBM has filed a response to Caldera/SCO's original complaint denying virtually all claims, and citing: lack of standing, statute of limitations, economic-loss and independent-duty doctrines, laches, delay, unclean hands, waiver, estoppel, federal law preemption, and improper venue, for Caldera/SCO's claims and prayers for relief. On August 4, Red Hat, Inc. filed suit for Declaratory Judgment, requesting permanent injunctions, costs, and treble damages from Caldera/SCO, on the basis that there is no infringement of trade secrets or copyright by Red Hat in Linux, and that SCO is engaged in false advertising in violation of the Lanham Act, deceptive trade practices, unfair competition, and trade libel and disparagement. Several Open Source and Free Software organizations have strongly criticized the claims, including both the Open Source Initiative and Eben Moglen, counsel of the Free Software Foundation.

The case has been cited as highlighting intellectual property risks in Linux and other FreeSoftware, though this is countered by others both downplaying the threat, and noting that proprietary software is similarly vulnerable. Several companies now offer services for reviewing Free Software code for potential legal concerns.

Specific claims are both vague and fluid, but the main thrust is generally: SCO/Caldera are claiming that IBM, through its support and development of Linux, has breached contracts IBM entered into with Caldera/SCO's predecessors in Unix ownership regarding non-disclosure of Unix code. Caldera/SCO alleges IBM improperly introduced Unix code and methods into Linux. Going on three years into the suit, no clear and undisputed identification of infringing code has been made.

Much of the substance of the original complaint has been demolished (see particularly the OSI analysis) in both factual and IP claims. Caldera/SCO now asserts only contract rights, though it reserves pursuit of copyright or other claims for later.

The suit has been a circus. The Free Software / Open Source communities have been vociferously skeptical from the start (including this site). While some initial press coverage was neutral or favorable to Caldera/SCO, most is now openly dubious, even among some notably partisan sources such as Laura DiDio, Rob Enderle, and David Politas, each of whom is engaged in PR, has prior business relationships with Caldera/SCO management, or both. Skepticism over Caldera/SCO's fluid claims has extended to the judge in the case. Other skeptics include Linux creator Linus Torvalds, Novell, IBM, Linux distributors Red Hat and SuSE, industry analysts, legal experts, and the press. Additionally, numerous websites have taken on following, analyzing, and debunking claims concerning the cases, including both this site and Groklaw.

On July 21, 2003, Caldera/SCO announced a licensing program for Linux users, SCOSource. It is now widely regarded as a flop. In 2004Q2, "the company spent $4.4 million on SCOsource and its related lawsuits but garnered only $11,000 by selling SCO intellectual property licenses." Major licensees are principally Linux foes Microsoft and Sun. Additional licenses to and Computer Associates have been disputed or discredited. EV1's CEO Robert Marsh stating: "Would I do it again? No. I'll go on the record as saying that."

While Caldera/SCO's claims should be given some consideration, but must be balanced by the vagueness and lack of specificity of these, as well as behavior of organizations with longstanding and deep relationships with Unix and Linux. Participation in Caldera/SCO's licensing program appears very weak. Though Microsoft has entered into a license agreement with Caldera/SCO "to respect SCO's intellectual property", the move is widely regarded as a way provide financially strapped Caldera/SCO with funds to survive prolonged litigation and to cast doubts over the legal status of its major challenger Linux. Other Unix vendors, notably Sun, have exhibited their petty streak by seeking near-term gain reminiscent of the worst divisiveness of the Unix wars.

There are many curious complications involved in the case, including but not limited to:

Table of Contents


This section is contained in the SCOvsIBMTimeline page.

A brief history of SCO. And Unix. And Linux. And Caldera....

We also highly recommend Groklaw's IBM Timeline from which some information here is sourced.


December 2005

November 2005

October 2005

September 2005

August 2005

July 2005

June 2005

May 2005

April 2005

  • Apr. 11: Scheduled beginning of a 5-week jury trial (source: Scheduling Order dated 6/20/03)

See Also: John C. Dvorak's SCO Timeline, which includes this financial note:

Salaries and details of management were held from Jan 29 10K document and filed as a separate "10K/A Amended Annual Report" on 2/28/03. It reveals that McBride was granted 600,000 shares of stock at an option price of 78-cents. More interesting is the fact that this document shows the actual ownership of SCO with some company called The Canopy Group being at the top of the list with over 5 million shares. It's headed by Ralph Yarrow. "Ralph J. Yarro III has served as a member of the Company's Board of Directors since August 1998. Mr. Yarro has served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Canopy Group, Inc. since April 1995. Prior to joining The Canopy Group, Inc., he served as a graphic artist for the Noorda Family Trust. Mr. Yarro holds a BA from Brigham Young University."

See Also RalphYarro.

March 2005

February 2005

January 2005

  • Jan 17: SCO in Danger of NASDAQ Delisting (eWeek) "The SCO Group Inc. was warned by NASDAQ Wednesday that it is in danger of being delisted from the NASDAQ SmallCap? Market stock market because it has failed to file its 2004 annual report by its deadline. SCO failed to file its Form 10-K for its fiscal year ended Oct. 31, 2004, in a timely fashion, as required under Market Place Rule 4310(c)(14). This notice by itself does not mean that SCO will be immediately delisted."


December 2004

November 2004

October 2004

September 2004

  • Sep. 24: deadline for reports from IBM's experts (source: Scheduling Order dated 6/20/03)

August 2004

  • Aug. 25: deadline for reports from SCO's experts (source: Scheduling Order dated 6/20/03)

April 2004

  • Exact date unknown: Deutsche Bank apparently drops coverage of SCOX.
  • April 16: BayStarCapital tells SCO it wants out of the deal, requesting redemption of its $20 million in preferred stock.

March 2004

  • Mar. 3: Eric S. Raymond unveils Smoking gun memo linking Microsoft to Caldera/SCO financing through Marin County based investment firm Baystar. Caldera/SCO confirms the email's authenticity. Both Caldera/SCO and Microsoft deny the charactization of the memo.

February 2004

updates needed

January 2004

updates needed


December 2003

Much filing and counterfiling of court documents this month, see Groklaw for details (or add them here if you're ambitious).
  • Dec. 5: Court orders SCO to identify the disputed code; SCO reschedules fourth-quarter conference call from Dec. 8 to Dec. 22.
  • Dec. 22: SCO claims direct copying of code from BSD in 73 kernel header files in a letter allegedly sent to Fortune 1000 corporations; demands compliance notices from UNIX source licensees. SCO also makes far-reaching DMCA claims regarding binary code compiled against those kernel headers.
  • Dec. 23: The chairman of SCO's audit committee, director SteveCakebread, announces his resignation.
  • Dec 26: Short interest rises again (see SCOvsIBMStockPrice) Chairman of SCO's audit committee resigns (see SteveCakebread)

November 2003

  • Nov. 4: Novell closes a deal to acquire Linux vendor SuSE AG, complementing its recent purchase of Ximian.
  • Nov. 12: SCO announces subpoenas of Linus Torvalds, Richard Stallman and Novell, among other parties.

October 2003

  • Oct. 1: SGI discloses that SCO has threatened to terminate its UNIX license. Like IBM, SGI maintains that its license is fully paid-up and irrevocable.
  • Oct. ??: Former Canopy Group affiliate Lineo reportedly settles GPL infringement lawsuit brought by Monte Vista.
  • Oct. 16: Private VC firm BayStarCapital Capital and Royal Bank of Canada buy 17.5% stake in SCO for $50 million cash.
  • Oct. 30: IBM subpoenas BayStar Capital, Renaissance Ventures, Deutsche Bank and Yankee Group.

September 2003

  • Sept. 9: DarlMcBride publishes an "Open Letter to the Open Source Community," which he describes as an "olive branch" in a ComputerWorld interview. The letter arouses both outrage and bemused derision from open-source community leaders.
  • Sept. 24: Hewlett-Packard offers indemnification (albeit highly restricted) against SCO claims to its customers.
  • Sept. 25: IBM asks for declaratory judgment in a filing that includes counterclaims of patent infringement, copyright infringement and GPL violation.

August 2003

  • Aug. 4: Red Hat files for declaratory judgment against SCO. A text transcription of the PDF filing is available. -- KarstenSelf - 04 Aug 2003
  • Aug. 6: IBM countersues Caldera/SCO. 45 page filing text transcription here.
  • Aug. 13: SCO announces the revocation of the UNIX license for IBM subsidiary Sequent.
  • Aug. 18: SCO reveals samples of allegedly infringing and obfuscated code at SCO Forum 2003 in Las Vegas. Detailed critiques of SCO's claims soon appear, based on leaked copies of the slide show.
  • Aug. 26: IBM subpoenas CanopyGroup CEO RalphYarro, requesting among other things "All documents concerning plaintiff's alleged evidence of UNIX in Linux."

July 2003

  • July 8: SCO misrepresents its UNIX rights in an SEC filing. In a Form S-3, the company claims "One of the assets we acquired from Tarantella was all right, title and interest in and to UNIX and UnixWare, including source code and intellectual property rights."
  • July 21: SCO publicly considers demanding licence fees from businesses using Linux.
  • July 31: End of SCO employment for OpinderBawa, SCO's Senior Vice President of Engineering and Global Services.

June 2003

May 2003

April 2003

March 2003

February 2003

January 2003

  • Jan. 10: Maureen O'Gara reports ( that Caldera/SCO had hired David Boies in what was rumored to be a run-up to legal action against Linux distributors and users.


June 2002

January 2002

  • Jan. 23: Bill Broderick, Director of Licensing Services for Caldera (now SCO), releases historic versions of Unix, dating back to the 1970s, under a BSD-like license, explicitly allowing for copying and redistribution.


December 2001

Santa Cruz Operation, Inc. changes name to Tarantella, Inc. Both of Santa Cruz Operation, Inc.'s patents, 6,104,392 and 6,362,836, stay with Tarentella.

March 2001

Caldera Publish Linux and Unix Are Coming Together : A Caldera Business Overview white paper. Web archive copy of version 2.2 March 8th 2001


August 2000

Caldera announces intent to buy the SCO Server Software Division and the Professional Services Division from Santa Cruz Operation, Inc.

Ransom Love's Linuxworld 2000 Keynote Speech Linux and the Chasm: Where Are We? Caldera President Ransom Love explains what it will take for Linux to be adopted accross the entire landscape, the SCO acquisition, TrillianProject AI64 Linux and Monterey.

February 2000

IBM announces the release of Journaled File System code for Linux under the GPL. (Source: Linux World News)

1990 - 1999

October 1996

IBM, Novell and (old) SCO execute "Amendment X" to the original Unix contracts, which appears to include a one-time royalty buyout among other changes. Section 1 describes IBM's licensing rights are "perpetual, irrevocable, fully paid-up." (source: Exhibit D)

August 1998

Novell assigns the trademark "UnixWare" to Santa Cruz Operation, Inc., but assigns no patents. This is around the same time as Novell assigned the trademark "Unix" to the X/Open Company, Ltd. (source: USPTO)

September - December 1995

November 1995

Unix System Laboratories Inc. assigns 3 patents to Novell: 5,652,854, 5,265,250, and 6,097,384. Apparently, Novell made sure to keep Unix-related patents when selling the Unix source code to the original SCO, whose full name was "Santa Cruz Operation, Inc." (source: USPTO)


IBM announces the RISC System/6000, a family of nine workstations that are among the fastest and most powerful in the industry. The RISC System/6000 uses Reduced Instruction Set Computer technology, an innovative computer design pioneered by IBM that simplifies processing steps to speed the execution of commands. It also features AIX V3 incorporating innovative features like a logical volume manager (LVM) and the journaled filesystem (JFS).

1985 - 1989

February 1985

IBM signs "Agreement Number SOFT-00015," which appears to be a revocable, renewable licensing contract for Unix System V source code from AT&T. (Source: Exhibits A, B and C)


IBM introduces the IBM RT Personal Computer line of high-speed workstations intended for technical professionals. The RT is the first workstation to use the Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC) architecture originated by IBM researchers. The RT PC is the first commercial IBM Unix offering. The Unix variant is called AIX (Advanced Interactive Executive).

Novell "sells Unix" to SCO. However, the asset purchase agreement, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, specifically excludes "all copyrights" and "all patents" from the purchase.

Subsequently, Caldera (d/b/a The SCO Group) has produced a subsequent "Amendment 2" it claims transfers some of the related copyrights. Novell can't locate its copy of the contract, but says it "appears to bear a valid Novell signature" and "though convoluted, seems to support SCO's claim that ownership of some copyrights for Unix did transfer to SCO".

The Early Days

History prior to 1985. Most of it post stone-age.

Thanks to ChrisKoontz for compiling this list, DonMarti for contributions.

Stock charts from Yahoo Finance

Note that SCOX are in danger of delisting as of 17 Jan 2005 and the following chart may not track current trades.

Caldera / The SCO Group

    SCOX stock chart -- Yahoo Finance


    IBM stock chart -- Yahoo Finance

Red Hat Linux

    RHAT stock chart -- Yahoo Finance


    NOVL stock chart -- Yahoo Finance

Child Pages of this Page


  1. ChanderWhyIBMShouldWin
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  3. FUDOpenSourcesMomentOfTruth
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  5. PiratesOfPenguinance
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  6. ProjectMonterey
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  8. SCOvsIBMArticles
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    38. RonRecord
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  25. SCOvsIBMResources
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About This Document

This is an informational resource on issues concerning Caldera/SCO's legal actions against IBM and FLOSS (free, libre, and open source software) projects, notably the Linux kernel.

For a solid analysis and background on this case, we strongly recommend the Open Source Initiative's OSI Position Paper on the SCO-vs.-IBM Complaint by Eric S. Raymond and Rob Landley. This is intended as a complementary resource.

The OSDL (Open Source Development Lab) has released a position paper raising serious questions about SCO Group's threatened litigation against end users of Linux. The position paper, which casts doubt on SCO's position, was authored by one of the world's leading legal experts on copyright law as applied to software, Professor Eben Moglen of Columbia University. Questioning SCO: A Hard Look at Nebulous Claims

The Open Group's statement: Please read the full page at the URL later. "UNIX is a registered trademark of The Open Group in the United States and other countries."

The Open Group's UNIX Backgrounder Press Release document

This Web page is on a Wiki site. You're welcome to browse, or to contribute. See SCOvsIBMEditorsRoundtable for more information, or here for a quick overview of TWiki.

-- KarstenSelf 11 Jun 2003


This section is contained in the SCOvsIBMAnalysis page.

Analysis of salient facts concerning the SCO v. IBM lawsuit and general assault on Linux by The SCO Group.




Recommended Articles

This section is contained in the SCOvsIBMArticles page.

Significant articles relating to the SCO vs. IBM case, most recent first.

Please note lesser resources in the SCOvsIBMResources page.

Ransom Love, Co-founder of Caldera and SCO, Speaks of Unix, GPL and the Lawsuit, Sept. 26, 2003. After months of near-silence, Caldera co-founder Ransom Love speaks out. Love does express some anger over Project Monterey and questions the validity of the GPL, but openly questions SCO's litigation-shop business model: "If you start down a path, and you get high-powered attorneys and [then] you begin to believe things you might not have at the beginning. ... It's like a fire. Right now in Utah, they started a controlled burn, and it's turned into the worse fire of the season. They had been afraid of a lightning strike and then they lit the match." Love also claims that he sold all his remaining SCO stock earlier this year.

And let us not overlook this gem:

Indeed, at first we wanted to open-source all of Unix's code, but we quickly found that even though we owned it, it was, and still is, full of other companies' copyrights.

SCO CEO Posts Open Letter to the Open Source Community, Sept. 9, 2003. DarlMcBride breaks an uncharacteristic weeks-long period of silence to brandish a sharpened olive branch at the Open Source community. There are no prophecies of an apocalyptic confrontation with free-software communism -- just talk of "obvious intellectual property problems" and "healthy and beneficial" debate. Best contemplated in context with the author's previous statements. McBride describes his motivations in a ComputerWorld interview: "The simple thing we would like to see going forward is that there's a business model around Linux that allows companies like ours to be able to get compensation when their IP is showing up inside Linux."

Can be summarized with this bit of movie dialogue: "With our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy. ... If you only knew the power of the dark side. ... I am your father."

See also the joint reply by Bruce Perens and ESR: "[W]e of the open-source community do not concede that there is anything to negotiate. Linux is our work and our lawful property, the distillation of twelve years of hard work, idealism, creativity, tears, joy, and sweat by hundreds of thousands of cooperating hackers all over the world. It is not yours, has never been yours, and will never be yours." In other words: "I'll never join you!" Linus Torvalds' response lacks the vitriol but is no less pointed.

Analysis of SCO's Las Vegas Slide Show

Updated version of Bruce Perens' analysis of the SCOForum slide show traces the roots of the allegedly infringing code samples ... to BSD, Ancient Unix and a 35-year-old textbook. Redirect to this paper also available at (it wasn't me, I wish I'd thought of it first).

Why SCO won't show the code

Linux World News, August 19, 2003. The "smoking gun" shown at SCOSource on August 18 seems to point to a bloody hole in DarlMcBride's foot. LWN and readers trace the disputed code to ancient Unix sources long since available under BSD. See also Bruce Perens' analysis above.

SCO vs. the Linux world…what's a Linux user to do?

Thomas Carey, ZDNet, August 11, 2003. A software and technology lawyer, and partner at Bromberg & Sunstein, presents a brief, clear outline of the threats from SCO, from the point of view of a business Linux user.

Analysts mixed about SCO actions

(CNET)Stephen Shankland, July 25, 2003. Research firm Illuminata maintained the skeptical tone it's had since SCO launched its lawsuit against IBM in March. SCO's actions are neither trivial enough to be dismissed nor significant enough to spur changes in plans, but SCO and its lawyers have "many, many legal overcome," Illuminata's Gordon Haff said. "That SCO's claims are not laughable but merely enormously suspect is no reason for corporations to start a Chicken Little routine at significant cost."

What Goes Around Comes Around -- The Only Clear Winner in This SCO Versus IBM Case is Microsoft

(PBS) Robert X. Cringely, June 19, 2003. After a couple of stinkers, Cringe lands a genuinely good, insightful article on the Caldera caper. While his Microsoft Is Winner conclusion could be disputed (memo to self), the RCU analysis is spot on, as well as typical in indicating Caldera/SCO's overeagerness, overrepresentations, and poorly developed case.

The RCU code inside the Linux version 2.2 kernel even includes the name of Paul McKenney, who was a major contributor to both the DYNIX and Linux versions. The same guy wrote both pieces of code and probably did do some cutting and pasting between them. To SCO, this is the smoking gun that makes IBM viable for treble damages because SCO's Unix licenses cover derivative works. That means if I have a System V source code license and I change that code, any changes I make live under the original Unix copyright.

So that makes IBM guilty, right? Wrong.

If we go back to the Sequent RCU research papers published about this work, we'll see they are very carefully written to present a general way of solving this problem on almost any multi-threaded operating system. It is a general solution.

...and as Cringely goes on, it's not traced to Unix, but to a precursor work above Unix. But let him tell you.

SCO Owns Your Computer

(Byte) Trevor Marshall, June 16, 2003. Taking the SCO case to its (il)logical extreme. Useful as a worst-case scenario, though it also hints at the delusions (or grandstanding) emanating from Lindon:

"But what about BSD?" I asked. Sontag responded that there "could be issues with the [BSD] settlement agreement," adding that Berkeley may not have lived up to all of its commitments under the settlement.

"So you want royalties from FreeBSD as well?" I asked. Sontag responded that "there may or may not be issues. We believe that Unix System V provided the basic building blocks for all subsequent computer operating systems, and that they all tend to be derived from Unix System V (and therefore are claimed as SCO's intellectual property)."

"So is anybody clean? What about Apple and Microsoft?" I wondered. "Sun is clean," he said -- but he gave no answer in regards to Apple and Microsoft.

"But I thought that Microsoft had signed a license agreement?" "No," Sontag said. Microsoft merely licensed an "applications interface layer."


Marshall makes the case that SCO:

Thankfully, hits on the Great Patriarch's Crack Pipe cease at this point, and Marshall points out some weaknesses (covered elsewhere in these pages) in SCO's case. Hold the thought on perpetual copyright grants for a moment. They don't exist, though this may or may not help Linux.

Cyber Cynic: SCO's Hands in the Source Jar

(Practical Tech) Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, 12 June 2003

I've known for about a week now - known, not assumed, not puzzled it out, known - that SCO had mixed Linux code into Unix. I know it, because a source I trusted who was in a position to know had told me that had been the case. I haven't written it up as news, though, because the person who's told me this doesn't want their name used, and I haven't been able to get anyone else who was at SCO in those days to confirm or deny the story. Those outside of SCO are reluctant, because, quite frankly, they don't want to be sued by SCO. Those inside either don't want to lose their jobs, or, at the top, they must not have a good explanation, because they don't have a good answer.

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has what appears to be the ultimate smoking gun. Not merely is SCO distributing the code that it claims is infringing its work, but it has misappropriated Linux code within Unixware. This allegation is leaking out from several sources, and can do SCO no good.

Did SCO Violate the GPL?

(eWeek) Peter Galli, June 10, 2003.

Showing, at the very least, that unsupported allegations and innuendo can cut both ways, and, more ominously, that SCO may have its own misappropriation charges to answer.

Some members of the open-source community are claiming that the SCO Group may have violated the terms of the GNU GPL (General Public License) by incorporating source code from the Linux kernel into the Linux Kernel Personality feature found in SCO Unix without giving the changes back to the community or displaying copyright notices attributing the code to Linux. A source close to SCO, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told eWEEK that parts of the Linux kernel code were copied into the Unix System V source tree by former or current SCO employees.

The code in question may have been used "to build what is now known as the Linux Kernel Personality (LKP) in SCO Unix."

SCO & UNIX: A Comedy of Errors

(Always On Network) May 30, 2003.

With the recent announcement by Novell that SCO does not own the copyrights and patents to Unix, SCO's aggressive legal campaign is losing air fast. It is beginning to look like classic farce. I have always been skeptical about the SCO claim, because they sued IBM for trade secret misappropriation and unfair competition, their weakest claims. As an intellectual property lawyer, I would have expected them to lead with their strongest claims; patent and copyright infringement, claims that were notably absent in the lawsuit.

A very good overview, raises a point identified by many, that SCO seems to be backsliding radically in its legal claims supporting its complaint.

Analysts to SCO: No thanks to code review offer

(ComputerWorld) May 30, 2003.

Analysts are balking at The SCO Group, Inc.'s offer to view its proof that there is illegal Unix code in Linux, with one calling the move a publicity stunt. Meanwhile, Linux creator Linus Torvalds today said that he has no plans to look at the code and that the battle between SCO, IBM, and Novell, Inc. is on par with a rancorous episode of the Jerry Springer Show.

SCO Still Providing Linux Source Under GPL

(Linux Journal) May 27, 2003.

SCO is still, as of this writing (May 22), providing Linux source code. When I wrote the review of SCO Linux 4 (see the June 2003 issue of Linux Journal, page 78), SCO provided me with a temporary account on their update service so I could review it. I still have a test computer with SCO Linux installed on it, and I used apt-get to download the Linux kernel from the SCO apt server ( I downloaded and installed the "kernel-source#2.4.19.SuSE-106 @i586_2.4.19.SuSE-106_i586.rpm" package.

SCO to Reveal Allegedly Copied Code

(Linux Journal) May 15, 2003.

Chris Sontag, senior vice president and general manager of The SCO Group's SCOsource licensing operation, said in an interview that he will show independent experts, under a non-disclosure agreement, the evidence behind SCO's allegations that the Linux kernel source contains code copied from SCO UnixWare illegally and without credit. The independent panel will be invited to see SCO source code and the corresponding code in Linux "in a couple weeks"

The offer was made May 14, according to DonMarti. Time's up, SCO, it's June 1.

SCO: We're After IBM, not Linux Developers

(Linux Journal) March 07, 2003

An eWeek story begins: "The SCO Group, which holds all the intellectual property rights to the Unix operating system..." However, as Richard Stallman and others carefully point out, "intellectual property" (is) a term that also includes patents, trademarks, and other more obscure areas of law. These laws have so little in common, and differ so much, that it is ill-advised to generalize about them. It is best to talk specifically about "copyright," or about "patents", or about "trademarks." The term "patents" does not appear in the press release, and only makes two appearances, in a quote from an IBM executive, in the complaint. There is a good reason for this: SCO doesn't hold any patents, according to a search on the US Patent and Trademark Office's CASSIS2 system that Linux Journal editor in chief Don Marti did earlier this week.

Subsequently, it appears that SCO holds one obscure patent. The company has also threatened to sue Linus Torvalds (29 May 2003).

Scaldera vows a better Linux than Linux

The Register (UK), Aug. 22, 2000

Much interesting info out of the 2000 SCO Forum. According to Andrew Orlowski, Caldera/SCO said at one point that the LKP contained a substantial amount of code from the Linux kernel sources.

Scaldera intends to ship the [Linux Kernel Personality] environment by the end of the year. At the session, SCO officials said that the the environment amounts to around 40,000 lines of code, plus around 2m drawn from the real Linux kernel tree. This doesn't seem to be the case however, and see our front page for a detailed update. It supports Linux Binary Interface and APIs, says SCO, and provides device support too.

Shortly thereafter Caldera/SCO issued a retraction/correction as detailed in "More on SCO's Linux-in-UnixWare gambit":

Although our notes from yesterday's session include the words of "subset" and "Linux kernel" - and so do notes of our colleagues - we're assured that this was a ZDNetification of the truth. It's all very odd - as we were even given detailed figures - but the word is now to disregard these completely.

Also see the related Reg article "Linux to surpass Unix 'within five years' - Caldera" from August 21, 2000, in which Orlowski quotes an unidentified Caldera/SCO representative as saying: "In two to five years Linux will surpass where Unix is now." If so, Caldera/SCO knew the Unix business had limited future prospects a few weeks after the acquisition was announced -- and months before the deal became final.


This section is contained in the SCOvsIBMReferences page.

Caldera / SCO Source Materials

Legal, financial, and other background documents pertaining to Caldera, The SCO Group, and its actions against IBM and other entities regarding Linux.

Legal Documents Directly Pertaining to the Unix / Linux Suit

Some of these documents may be found at Caldera/SCO's SCOSource Web site. Some documents previously available have been "disappeared". Local copies of all Caldera/SCO documents should be created.

IBM Amended Counterclaims (Sept. 25, 2003)

On Sept. 25, 2003, IBM filed amended counterclaims against SCO, originally filed Aug. 6. The amended filing included a request for declaratory judgment against SCO. The accusations and revelations in the two filings merit a separate section, if not a separate Web site.

Red Hat Filing for Declaratory Judgment and Injunctive Relief

On August 4, 2003, Red Hat, Inc. filed a request for Declaratory Judgment against Caldera/SCO.

Amended Complaint

The original complaint has been amended. Damages were trebled to $3 billion, some statements are reported to be redacted, and additional claims made.

Note: Exhibits A-G are scanned PDF documents. Assistance in producing raw text or HTML versions of these documents would be greatly appreciated. Indicate your interest at SCOvsIBMEditorsRoundtable. Thank you. -- KarstenSelf - 21 Jun 2003

Subsequent SCO vs. IBM filings:

File by date

Analysis of original complaint:

Additional court documents in this case may possibly be available through the Utah Federal District Court's Web site. Since "SCO Grp v Intl Bus Mach Inc" has been deemed a "high-profile" case many documents are available free of charge. Others may be available through the PACER system.

Additional Caldera/SCO case documents and resources.

Recent Financials

Caldera/SCO's FORM 10-Q APRIL 30, 2003 (Referenced from Linux Weekly News.)

Highlights on a quick read:

Older Legal & Corporate Documents

Novell 10-K, 1996-01-26

On December 6, 1995, Novell completed the sale of its UnixWare product line to the Santa Cruz Operation, Inc. (SCO). The Company expects to report a gain on this transaction in the first quarter of fiscal 1996. Under the agreement, Novell received approximately 6.1 million shares of SCO common stock, resulting in an ownership position of approximately 17% of the outstanding SCO common stock. The agreement also calls for Novell to receive a revenue stream from SCO based on revenue performance of the purchased UnixWare product line. This revenue stream is not to exceed $84 million net present value, and will end by the year 2002. In addition, Novell will continue to receive revenue from existing licenses for older versions of Unix System source code.

Santa Cruz Operation 10-K, 1996-12-24

In December 1995, the Company acquired certain assets related to the Unix business including the core intellectual property from Novell. The consideration consisted of 6,127,500 newly issued shares of non-registered common stock and assumed liabilities totaling approximately $9.3 million. Additionally, cash payments to Novell with a present value of $84 million will be paid periodically by SCO to Novell provided certain unit volumes of Unix system distribution is achieved. To date, distribution unit volume of Unix systems has not reached levels which have required the Company to make cash payments to Novell. Such payments terminate at the end of the calendar year 2002. Also, Asset Purchase Agreement By and Between The Santa Cruz Operation, Inc. and Novell, Inc. is Exhibit 2 to this filing (but not within the linked text file). Note that this agreement is also referred to in the Tarantella 10-K of 2002-12, perhaps by copy/paste error.

Historical EDGAR search

For other filings (please post relevant ones here).

June, 2003 Source Code NDA

SCO NDA Offers Little Information, Much Risk (Linux Journal) June 4, 2003

Dan Ravicher, an attorney who specializes in free software and open-source issues at the firm of Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler, said in an interview there are three key problems with the NDA. First, Ravicher said, "SCO can pick and choose among all its evidence" to show only the parts that back up the company's claims. "They're agreeing to let you see the half of the picture that they want you to see", he added.

Second, the NDA does not exclude information that the recipient obtained in ways other than from SCO. If SCO showed a patent or other public document to someone bound by the NDA, that person would not be allowed to discuss it even if he or she had been previously aware of it, Ravicher said. "The definition of confidential information is much larger than I've seen in any other agreement", Ravicher said. "It covers a lot of stuff that wouldn't be, by a textbook definition, confidential."

More at the full article, including the NDA text itself.

Google Searches


Analysis elsewhere. Local analysis goes to SCOvsIBMAnalysis.

Chander: Penguin on Thin Ice? Why IBM Should Win in the Fight to Save Linux June 26, 2003

Anupam Chander is Professor of Law at the University of California, Davis, School of Law. A graduate of Yale Law School and Harvard College, he specializes in cyberlaw and international law.

SCO has benefited from its decision to file the suit. During the last year, its share price had dropped to as low as $0.60 a share. Since the day its suit was filed in March, SCO's stock has traded up, currently trading above $10.00 a share.

But that rise in stock price may be illusory, for it seems unlikely that SCO's suit has any true merit. Rather than unfair competition, what likely occurred between SCO and IBM was healthy competition - the kind that helps consumers, and the economy, by pushing quality up and prices down, and increasing efficiency.


In its complaint, SCO claims, in essence, that without its UNIX contracts, IBM was nothing, and without IBM, Linux was nothing. But both of these claims, like SCO's allegations, are dubious.


For this reason, SCO's claims that its intellectual property rights extend to basic computing features of large operating systems cannot be allowed to stand. Otherwise, there will be no such thing as truly open, free software - and as a consequence, there will effectively be an economy-dragging tax on information technology.

See also the local analysis of chander's article.

Eben Moglen: SCO v. IBM June 12, 2003

(Also at the FSF)

Eben Moglen is professor of law at Columbia University Law School. He serves without fee as General Counsel of the Free Software Foundation. You can read more of his writing at

Moglen argues the case that Caldera/SCO's distribution under GPL seriously undermines its case.

[T]here remains the simple fact that SCO has for years distributed copies of the Linux kernel as part of GNU/Linux free software systems. Those systems were distributed by SCO in full compliance with GPL, and therefore included complete source code. So, SCO itself has continuously published, as part of its regular business, the material which it claims includes its trade secrets. There is simply no legal basis on which SCO can claim trade secret liability in others for material it widely and commercially published itself under a license that specifically permitted unrestricted copying and distribution.


© Eben Moglen, 2003.
Verbatim copying of this article is permitted in any medium, provided this notice is preserved.

SCO - Death Without Dignity 19 May 2003 and updates

Andrew Grygus, owner of Automation Access. Grygus has been a SCO / Caldera VAR supporting numerous small businesses in the Los Angeles area. His editorials on important issues facing the VAR market are an informed, practical, and popular read. Grygus's Caldera/SCO coverage shows the perspective only someone with over 16 years' direct, in-the-trenches experience, answerable to business customers, and with a familiarity with many of the key players in this case, would have.

Automation Access has sold and supported SCO Xenix and Unix continuously since 1987. While we have always considered the SCO products substandard and overpriced, software publishers refused to support any other Unix, so we support clients running SCO Open Server Unix 4.2 and 5.0 to this day.

In contrast, we have used Caldera/SCO Linux extensively since it appeared on the market and always considered it a superior product. Actions by SCO have, however caused us to abandon that product and move to SuSE Linux, a German company with a strong California presence (Caldera/SCO Linux was also developed in Germany).

SCO's recent behavior has made it impossible for us to continue supporting the company in any way. We will, however, support existing and new clients in their use of SCO products indefinitely. Clients should be aware their current SCO Unix applications should continue to function as-is until 2038 (the Unix "Y2K"). Clients on a growth path should plan migration to Linux.

SCO has embarked on irrational adventures I can only describe as suicidal, and highly damaging not only to themselves but to businesses that publish and use Unix and Linux on their systems. I don't expect SCO to still be in business three years from now (their own 10-K filing questions their viability A5), and it's possible they'll be put out of their misery a lot sooner than that.


GNU/Linux vs. SCO: The Decision Matrix

A tabular presentation of possible scenarios, liklihood, and consequences, of the Caldera/SCO case:

Specifically gets at the "what if Caldera/SCO is right" issue.

Other Caldera/SCO vs. IBM information sources

These are pointers to other information aggregations, not single news articles.

News coverage

Specific articles, but not significant enough to call out in the Recommended Articles section of the SCOvsIBM page. If/when we fall behind try Google News. Or paste the links in here yourself smile

January 2004

December 2003

October 2003

September 2003

August 2003

July, 2003

June, 2003

May, 2003

April, 2003

March, 2003

February, 2003

January, 2003

Dec, 2002

Corporate communications


July 2003

A couple of months back, it was all honky-dory at SCO. They were going ga-ga over Linux. Going through an identity-crsis period they called themselves Caldera for some time, in accordance with their distribution, before reverting back to SCO. Then came UnitedLinux? and SCO jumped on the bandwagon along with other bigwigs.

Then came the bolt. It was as sudden as "Uh Oh, I saw that for loop somewhere, now where......oh my god, get me headquaters".

Raw links

These need to be weeded through, and preferably placed into one of the headings above in this (SCOvsIBMReferences) page.

Please do not dump links here unless you simply can't figure out where to put them elsewhere in related SCOvsIBM pages.

We also actively need people to comb and classify these links. In other words: this list should get smaller, not larger.

Preferred final format is:

Link title: (Source Site) Author, Date. Quotation. Commentary / context.

Those who know me are aware that I'm a huge fan of microcontent. That's the 40-60 characters which anchor a link in some meaningful context. More is OK, but, for general links, you want it very short and sweet.

Source Materials

Documents, statements, code snippets, profiles of individuals or companies, technical background, etc.

Complaint and other legal docs

Petitions, boycotts, etc.

Company and individual background

Technical background


Legal, strategic, or other analysis of the case, including mailing list postings.



This section contained in the SCOvsIBMResources page.

Note resources -- generally, things other than significant articles, including useful background, synopses, links, coverage elsewhere, "color", etc. -- here.

The Case in Numbers

This might be a useful way to put this case into perspective.

Misc References

SCOForum NDA-free Source Reviews

Links and contextual commentary in this area. Out of concern for the size of the index I suggest we spin this discussion off into a separate page in the near future.

-- AllanKim - 21 Aug 2003

To give credit where credit is due, Slashdot poster "lspd" pointed out the potential problems with SGI's ia64 code back in June (links to posts here and here). Kernel developers picked up on this, leading to an LKML discussion that concluded: "atealloc is even worse than I noticed immediately ... it seems the author never heared of include files."

Links to the various slide shows ( including the notorious "SCOSource Update" (HTML) (PowerPoint) and other manifestations of Darl McBride's ego.

SCO's Evidence: This Smoking Gun Fizzles Out

Eric S. Raymond's analysis concludes that the SGI-contributed code sample came from 32V, not System V, BSD or classic UNIX textbooks. However, he concludes this makes no substantial difference as 32V was released under a BSD-style license in the Caldera days.

Analysis of SCO's Las Vegas Slide Show

Bruce Perens traces the "obfuscated" leaked code sample to Berkeley Packet Filter code originating from government-funded research at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories, charitably concluding that someone at SCO may have dropped the BSD copyright attribution from the code.

Ian Lance Taylor's NDA'd SCO Source Review

As reported at Linux Journal, on June 17, 2003, Ian Lance Taylor, author of Taylor UUCP among other projects, reviewed SCO's source code "evidence" under NDA, and provides this report (local copy). Original at Ian's essay collection.

SCO was willing to show me only one example. They showed me a source file they said was from SVR4, and compared it to a source file from Linux. They highlighted the identical portions of the code. There were indeed substantial similarities in the code: very similar comment text, the same variable names, the same algorithm. There were some differences also, but it seemed quite plausible that both pieces of code came from the same source.

SCO refused to show me the revision history of the Unix file. I pointed out that this made it impossible to judge the order of derivation; they agreed, and said it was a matter of discovery for the court case. They said they were confident that the code had not appeared in BSD, and that it was developed internally at AT&T and successors.


Here is what I think I can say about the code I saw: The code is fairly trivial -- the kind of stuff I wrote in school. The similar portions of the code were some 80 lines or so. Looking around the Net, I found close variants of the code, with the same comments and variable names, in sources other than Linux distributions. The code is not in a central part of the Linux kernel. The code does not appear to have been contributed to Linux by SCO or Caldera. The code exists in current versions of the Linux kernel.


SCO May 30, 2003 teleconference call:

Speakers are:


SCO continues to distribute Linux 2.4 kernel

This is the same kernel SCO claims contains infringing code.

Sources may be obtained at:

The specific versions of the Linux kernel downloaded on 30 May 2003 are:

Verifying signatures, these RPMs were produced by SuSE, Nov 14, 2002. See RPM signature verification output.

SCO Skunkware

Caldera/SCO provide a set of free software utilities, assembled by Ronald Joe Record, called SCO Skunkware. The package list shows 268 utilities, from Acme to zsh.

Historical Caldera/SCO comments on Linux, Free Software, and Open Source

Favor-currying Publicity Stunts

How many time can SCO accuse others of PR and publicity stunts? We'll try to keep track....

  1. In its May 30 teleconference, Novell's dispute of SCO's Unix copyright claim is called "a desperate measure to curry favor with the Linux community".
  2. In responding to LinuxTag's retraining order against SCO's unsubstantiated claim that "Linux is... an unauthorized derivative of Unix" (SCO's letter to commercial linux users, local copy), SCO says "we believe it may be a bit of a publicity stunt" Court Puts Muzzle on SCO May 30, 2003, eWeek.

Pointers back to

If you haven't been following this IT industry soap opera, scripted by and starring The SCO Group, and you'd like real information instead of SCO-inspired FUD, I cannot recommend a better resource than the Unix and Linux communities' collaborative grass-roots IWeThey Wiki on SCO vs IBM.

A method for identifying identical code blocks within multiple codebases

This section contained in the CodeSimilarityDetection page.

Given Caldera/SCO's unwillingness to publicly disclose the portions of the Linux kernel that it alleges infringe its rights, methods of identifying similarities between two codebases without disclosing the specific content of a non-public codebase are useful.

more information...


All indications suggest that SCO started with the intention of pursuing licensing fees before finding any avenues they thought would have traction. As evidence, consider that Chris Sontag, senior vice-president of SCO's operating systems division, attacked the GPL in January of 2003 as the first salvo in this battle. If nothing else, this refutes any current claim that for SCO it has always been about IBM's license.

And looking even further back, we see that Caldera planned to integrate SCO code into Linux! This link and the following quotation are from Andrew Grygus, a long-time SCO reseller.

Well, this question seems pretty much answered by the Caldera / SCO traveling dog & pony show I attended today. This show was primarily aimed at SCO VARs, dealers, and software developers who are all about to become Caldera Linux VARs, dealers, and software developers - whether they like it or not ...

-- DrewKime - 03 Jun 2003

I'd like to disabuse everybody of the notion that IBM could buy SCO for cheap. Remember that current prices are set at the margin; thus, the $6 you're seeing means, possibly, that somebody sold a single stock at $6.

BUT there's a HUGE difference between margin and buying ALL of it. Remember, most SCO stock is closely held. And, if SCO holders smell a desperation buyout attempt, the price goes UP and UP and UP.

That's part of their current desperation (interviews, conference calls, threats of more and more litigation). They saw the price getting jacked up and were probably breaking out the champagne. Then, the midden hit the windmill down Utah way. THANK YOU, NOVELL!!

-- SanjeevSharma - 03 Jun 2003

IANAE(conomist), so maybe you can explain the numbers better. But, from what I'm seeing, their current ( 6 p.m. EST, June 3, 2003 ) market cap is $75 million. Isn't that the total current value of all outstanding shares? Then, a controlling interest should cost only about half that. So, even if the stock price doubles on speculation of an IBM buyout, they can still buy their way out of this case for $75 million. With a current market cap of $144.8 BILLION, I think IBM could manage that.

-- DrewKime - 03 Jun 2003

'Majority share' of common stock may mean nothing. (IANAL) Shareholders don't run a company, that's (one of the reasons) the corporation was invented, to separate ownership and control. That's the reason CEOs (controllers) could go to jail for corporate lawbreaking, and shareholders (owners) cannot. Just look at all the recent proxies that have been completely ignored by management. Suppose Noorda won't part with his stock for less than $50 a share. He has enough other money that if IBM is desperate to do a buyout, he could hold out for an outrageous amount.

So your $75 Mil figure is as good as any guess I could come up with. Perhaps my cynicism and 'worst-case-scenario' thinking are coming to a head here, but, if SCO positions itself correctly, I can see $400 Mil easily. And Boies, who knows IBM finances, I assume, thinks the $1 billion figure is 'rounding error'. I take his take on what SCO will take with a LOT of salt, of course.

Update 4 Jun 2003 - Well, knock me over with halitosis, SCO hired Tibbits as in-house counsel apparently at the insistence of Canopy Group, so it looks like any Chinese Walls in Utah are pretty porous.

Update 7 Jun 2003 - Several analysts have taken SCO's bait and are carrying SCO's FUD waters. This article is a bit better than others in raising the 'prove source and direction' issues, but several other articles have had no such balance. SCO is now demanding a retraction from Novell for "harming SCO's public image" with some appropriate "we'll sue you for this, Novell."

The longer this type of stuff goes on, the more I believe in my 'nightmare scenario', and the more it looks like SCO could get some completely unearned money and an outside chance they'll get de facto control of Linux.


-- SanjeevSharma - 3 Jun 2003

There is no really solid evidence to back this up -- but I want to get my prediction on record today:

On Friday, Chris Sontag threatened to target other companies: 'In particular, Sontag said that a "major" hardware vendor inserted code protected by SCO's Unix intellectual-property rights into a Linux product.'

Who else was a partner in ProjectMonterey? And who else was a partner in the Trillian Project? (Never mind that SCO was part of Monterey and Caldera part of Trillian...)

From a legal standpoint, given a trade-secret claim, I think SCO is just kinda screwed if they don't name "major" hardware vendor as a defendant. Otherwise, in the very last resort, if all else fails, IBM can pin all the blame on the other partner in both Montery and Trillian: "major" hardware vendor.

The real plausible motivation, though, is to keep alive SCO's non-stop FUDstering. Come tomorrow morning, down at the Federal courthouse, SCO cannot show a likelihood of success on the merits. Nor can they show irreparable harm. And, even if they buy the judge, a preliminary injunction against AIX would get tossed out on appeal so fast it'll make your head spiiiin and your eyes water.

So, SCO needs a distraction -- or tech's chattering class will start jeering at them. Hence, a new defendant.

And with due credit to my sister-in-law: Back in March, a billion dollars was big bucks. But money just ain't what it used to be. With the J.D. Edwards / PeopleSoft / Oracle imbroglio flinging around $1.7bn numbers, The SCO Group needs something to keep the (electronic) ink-stained copy editors drooling: Ten billion dollars.

Of course, fortune-telling is a risky business, and y'all might just be laughing at me tomorrow. smile

-- NedUlbricht - 15 Jun 2003

Editors Roundtable

This section is contained in the SCOvsIBMEditorsRoundtable page.

The roundtable is a place for editors and contributors to this topic to discuss plans, issues, formatting, and related "meta" topics, out of band.

Join us here for more...


For comments posted prior to August, see SCOvsIBMDiscussionArchive

About SCO's main contention:

You know, the one where they say IBM deliberately trashed SCO's money-maker, Unix, by incorporating System V Release 4's crown jewels, such as OS/2's JFS, DYNIX/ptx's RCU (DYNIX/ptx was a System V Release 4 compatibility layer on top of 4.3BSD if I remember correctly.), etc, into Linux?

There's a form of market prompting called loss leading, well described in the following:

VinodV? neglected the third use of loss leading - reviving interest in a market failure - it's partly why shops closing doors have their closing down sales - once people start turning up for the bargains, the fact that people are still buying can be used to prove that said shop can trade its way out of difficulties.

Now how about this:


Caldera Free Products Licensing
Caldera Ceritificate of License

Your License Numbers and License Information for your single-user copy are displayed below. You will need to enter all the license information below during your installation.

Open UNIX 8 License Number: 3IH029656
License Code: tccltmaw
License Data:

Caldera UnixWare 7 License Number: 2GL074056
License Code: duyzkcfs
License Data: k0;mp2gtgm

Caldera OpenServer 5.0.5 Enterprise System
License Number: 1NC055561
License Code: scdnrdyf
License Data: c1;g0;k1;q1;mk5g3je

Caldera OpenServer 5.0.5 Development System
License Number: 2NC022750
License Code: nxljppqz
License Data: g0;k0;q1;mfzwzdf

Return to Caldera Home Page ( Information on Free Caldera products (


Now if that is not a loss leader - and SCO Original was offering this back in [correction] 1996, I kid you not - , - then I don't know what would be. IBM got involved in Linux around about the time Bigfoot was started. And IBM only got into Linux when it had been shown to port satisfactorily to the System 370-390 computer architecture, which happend around 1999.

SCO Original had been losing to Linux for at least a couple of years before then. If fact, Doug Michels had reportedly - during 1997 or earlier - had offered Linux users an "upgrade" to either UnixWare of OpenServer?, I'm not sure which, and had been laughed out of court.

-- WesleyParish - 04 Aug 2003

IANAL - she's not either - 2nd item down

Anyway, QUESTION for all of you, were the SCO related trademarks (I'm specifically interested in international) transferred from now-Tarantella to Caldera or were all the SCO related trademarks allowed to lapse, with Caldera only recently registering new trademarks as SCO over top of existing lapsed-trademarks? If you don't know offhand, where should I look? Googling is not getting me anywhere.
-- SanjeevSharma - 24 Jul 2003

Btw SCO keeps claiming that they are not "knowingly distributing linux".. has anyone sent them a certified letter telling them that they are? -- ChrisKoontz - 26 Jul 2003

Anyone going to be distributing Linux CDs at the SCO fest in Vegas? I would love to contribute money for CDs for such an event wink . -- ChrisKoontz - 12 Aug 2003

According to the newsticker Mark Heise (nor relation to of of SCO's law firm, Heise, Boies, Schiller & Flexner has declared the GPL to be 'invalid'! Forcing code to be open and freely distributable would apparently be contrary to US copyright law, thus rendering the GPL inapplicable. The reasoning being (through logic inaccessible to me) that current case law only allows the creation of single copies for safeguarding purposes. Apparently this was written up in the Wall Street Journal. If anyone has additional details...
-- DavidTonhofer - 15 Aug 2003

Found some details myself:
-- DavidTonhofer - 15 Aug 2003

Also: a NetCraft survey (a bit old: 24th of July) showing that companies are undeterred by the SCO flap and still migrating to Linux.
-- DavidTonhofer - 16 Aug 2003

SCOForum code analysis: Reading the tea leaves

At the SCOForum of August, 18th, SCOX showed some slides illustration the alleged large-scale lifting of code from SCOX's SysV? into Linux. A reporter of Heise Germany took two snapshots (probably breaking some sort of restriction, maybe even an NDA). The original article at "SCO declares war on Open Source" shows the JPEGs:

Notice the greek encryption? If you own Microsoft Word, you can verify that the text says: "As part of the server evolution towards modular naming, the functions malloc and mfree are being renamed to rmalloc and rmfree. Compatibility will be maintained by the following assembled code: (also see mfree/rmfree below)" Thanks to for this info

So this was all about some memory allocation (malloc) routine. It was quickly pointed out that the text in Greek could be found in the Lions Book (noted here) and thus was quite old.
At Groklaw on the 23rd of August, Dennis Ritchie himself acknowledged the code:

"So: either Ken or I wrote it originally. I know that the comments that first appeared by the 6th edition were definitely written by me, since I spent some time annotating the almost comment-free earlier editions."

There was a second example shown at SCOForum, whose slides emerged somewhat later and which was quickly traced down to the Berkeley Packet Filter.

Bruce Perens did an analysis of the two slides with the first example, and of the remaining slides as well. Here are the links:

Here's an analysis by Eric S. Raymond. Yet another must read! Note that Eric and Bruce seem to have some animosity towards each other. Does it matter? Here is an analysis of the two examples by Greg Lehey. He comes to a different conclusion than Eric regarding the first example though:

I tried to do a diagram myself. Not of high quality but helpful when reading the above.

The wrap-up from Maybe SCO had a point posted on the 21st (?)

Note that all the analysis shown above appeared gradually over the week (18th-22th August) and still somewhat seem to be works in progress.

All this means what was not worth much in court. Worse, that SCOX might be in violation of the BSD license - having removed the copyright notices they no longer know that code they think comes from System V actually comes from BSD. Ouch! On the other hand, SCOX may not yet have shown their weapons of mass destruction. If they have any at all.

This begs for some humor: (Don't know who that guy is? Hint)


Reactions on the 20th of August

(Rewritten by Author. Shouldn't I move this stuff someplace else? Where is the moderator?)

-- DavidTonhofer - 23 Aug 2003

Stock pumping?

A financial analyst (not the financial analyst that took a look at the Linux Kernel code under NDA and found a "direct and near-exact duplicate of source code") but the non-kernel-guru garden variety one recommends SCOX stock.

Oh wait! He actually bought the stock himself earlier! Hear, hear...

-- DavidTonhofer - 21 Aug 2003

Canadians are gearing up

At, we read:

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

As part of the ongoing effort to refute SCO's claims against Linux and Linux Users everywhere the Canadian Linux Interests Coalition has launched. With the strong support and backing of CLUE, CLIC has been in the process of generating an information portal, drafting a press release and organizing a legal response to SCO in Canada. For more information, please see the CLIC page.

-- DavidTonhofer - 21 Aug 2003

It's IBM what done it!

SCOX sees a conspiracy. McBride? is cited as saying:

"You've got all of these guys (Linux, Raymond, Moglen) and it looks like the whole world is coming against SCO. It's really IBM that has wired in all of these relationships. (...) That's why it looks like they're sitting back and not doing anything. It's us fighting a whole bunch of people that they put on the stage."

-- DavidTonhofer - 22 Aug 2003

Eric Raymond in attack dog mode

Writing an Open Letter to Darl McBride. It should also be available here but currently isn't. "Has the reality you inhabit truly become so cramped and ugly...? He's really taking off the rhetorical gloves.

-- DavidTonhofer - 22 Aug 2003

SCOX websites DDOSed?

This Sunday, 24th of August, the websites of SCOX, i.e. (, (, ( are no longer accessible. Also, (, and that's 'Investor Relations', not 'Ireland') seems to have some trouble although it is accessible (turns out that it loads images from, so it's no wonder its slow). I first got wind of this at Groklaw, where this link to The Inquirer was also posted. When did the trouble start exactly? Posts indicate sometimes late Saturday evening GMT.

Speculations being thrown around the net (in no order of preference):

Eric S. Raymond puts his money on the DDoS? possibility and demands that the attackers stand down. However, his letter does not meet with approval everywhere.

As of 20:00 GMT, Sunday, Netcraft has a comment on their homepage. If that is GMT they are showing, SCOX servers have been down since Friday 22:00 GMT.

Also, the SCO stock price jumped a whopping 7% up until closure on Friday, 16:00 EST. That's weird, eh?

-- DavidTonhofer - 24 Aug 2003

Eric S. Raymond actually confirms that there is indeed a DDoS? attack against SCO going on and also strongly condems the manifest lack of ethics behind the same. So the mystery of the missing webservers seems to have been lifted. Partially. Many people on various discussion groups rather believe that Eric's been taken for a ride and expect that this will turn out to be just a major website cleanup operation by SCOX. So, no the conspiracy theories cannot be laid to rest yet. SCOX websites are still down as of 18:00 GMT today. Not a peep from SCOX spokespersons.

Rumors surface that's it's all a website exchange. Or they are moving the servers. Dow Jones Newswires buys into the DDoS? story here. Could it be a top-secret over-the-weekend buyout by Microsoft? Naahh.

-- DavidTonhofer - 25 Aug 2003

Operation Paperclip: The disappearing rocket scientists

SCOX's claim to have hired pattern-recognition experts from MIT to compare the Linux and UnixWare code has been dis-claimed (so to say) by MIT. So far, I have only found references to generic 'pattern recognition experts', or rocket scientists, if anyone does find more...

-- DavidTonhofer - 25 Aug 2003

Major proprietary OS vendors, and what side they are on. (are SGI and IBM the only ones on "our side"?)

HP (HP/UX, Tru64) Appears to be sponsoring SCO PR events:

Sun (Solaris) A SCO licensee

Microsoft: (Windows *) A SCO licensee

SGI (IRIX) "Targeted" in SCO slides

IBM (AIX,OS/390) Being sued by SCO

-- ChrisKoontz 18 Sept 2003

Just a short, sharp comment - has anyone else seen what has happened to comp.unix.sco,programmer? There haven't been many new postings at all, and it's now filling up with virii-postings. I doubt that it will be around much longer.

Also, groklaw is now at - there's still the previous stuff in the previous location, but I think that will be moved over to the new location one of these days.

-- WesleyParish - 23 Sep 2003

As much as I hate to increase the size of SCOvsIBM, I feel the need to switch from the "semi-anonymous editor" role into "talking head" mode. Those who wondered when IBM's lawyers would take the gloves off need not wait any longer. IBM has launched a massive counterattack: think Hannibal at Cannae, Chuikov at Stalingrad or even The Play. The revelations include previously undisclosed correspondence between Novell and SCO; patent and copyright infringement claims against SCO; claims of malicious and tortious interference with business relationships; and GPL violation.

Let us allow ourselves the indulgence of a minute of gloating: IN YOUR FACE! IN ... YOUR ... FACE!

-- AllanKim - 27 Sep 2003

Dow Jones Business News reports that SCO has taken out a Microsoft Communications Protocol Program license. Considering the history of the two companies involved I wonder if this is a harbinger of an attack on Samba.

-- AllanKim - 20 Oct 2003

-- KarstenSelf - 30 May 2003
-- PeterKaminski
-- TorstenH
-- AndreL
-- PeterKaminski
-- NedUlbricht
-- ChrisKoontz
-- SanjeevSharma
-- DrewKime
-- PeterWhysall
-- RickMoen - 21 Jun 2003
-- WesleyParish - 4 Aug 2003
-- DavidTonhofer - 20 Aug 2003
-- DanWallace - 25 Aug 2003 -- WesleyParish - 23 Sep 2003

Any attempt to relitigate the copyright finding in USL v. BSDI will fall under this ruling in the 10th Circuit. The doctrine is "collateral estoppel" and not "res judicata". This is an affirmative defense and under the 10th Circuit ruling it appears it would be hopeless for SCO to attempt to re-open this issue.

In Kahn v. Thorley (link above) the 10th Circuit held: "Under that doctrine, "[w]hen an issue of ultimate fact has once been determined by a valid and final judgment, that issue cannot again be litigated between the same parties in any future lawsuit." Ashe v. Swenson, 397 U.S. 436,443 (1970). In the Tenth Circuit, application of collateral estoppel requiresour determination that: "(1) the issue previously decided is identical with the one presented in the action in question, (2) the prior action has been finally adjudicated on the merits, (3) the party against whom the doctrine is invoked was a party, or in privity with a party, to the prior adjudication, and (4) the party against whom the doctrine is raised had a full and fair opportunity to litigate the issue in the prior action." Dodge v. Cotter Corp., 203 F.3d 1190,1197 (10th Cir. 2000).

In USL v. BSDI the Court held: "Consequently, I find that Plaintiff has failed to demonstrate a likelihood that it can successfully defend its copyright in 32V. Plaintiff's claims of copyright violations are not a basis for injunctive relief."

We can see: 1) The copyright question would be the same. 2) The above ruling was a final order. 3) SCO is a party in privity. 4) USL had every opportunity to litigate its claim.

Attachment: Action: Size: Date: Who: Comment:
scomss.jpg action 24370 20 Aug 2003 - 23:30 DavidTonhofer Humor
alleged_copying_history.png action 37825 23 Aug 2003 - 12:41 DavidTonhofer Diagram relative to SCOX's assertion
SCO_Linux_DS3.qxd.pdf action 126897 01 Dec 2003 - 06:55 DonMarti SCO Linux prod. sheet brags on SMP, NUMA, JFS, XFS
sco.gif action 7370 07 Feb 2004 - 00:18 GuyK SCO Parody Logo

Topic SCOvsIBM . { Edit | Attach | Ref-By | Printable | Diffs | r1.121 | > | r1.120 | > | r1.119 | More }

Revision r1.121 - 24 Aug 2005 - 01:34 GMT - KarstenSelf
Parents: WebHomeTopicList > CurrentNews

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