Talk:SCO Group, Inc. v. International Business Machines Corp.

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2003 comments[edit]

Moved from article:

This page is a work in progress, consolidating earlier article fragments relating to this lawsuit -- this article needs major fact-checking and copy-editing

Merphant 22:25 30 May 2003 (UTC)

(Tarantella did not initiate this lawsuit).

Snipped this too, since I couldn't find any mention of it in the linked articles (not that I looked very hard). -- Merphant 22:43 30 May 2003 (UTC)

Should this page not be named "SCO vs. IBM Linux lawsuit"? vs. is the standard contraction of versus, not v. --AW

Both abbreviations are listed in Websters's. -- Iseeaboar 00:22 18 Jul 2003 (UTC)
In my textbooks (I am a student), legal cases are always titled with "v."

There's something about copyright in re: this case today on slashdot. I haven't had time to read it yet--have to go to bed. People following this case may want to look into it. Koyaanis Qatsi 00:18 22 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Could someone clarify which of the following the allegations are about:

  • copying SCO code verbatim
  • copying the gist of SCO code
  • using an algorithm that SCO has a patent/whatever on

Is the particular claim based on copyright law, or some other type of intellectual property law?

The allegations made by SCO are that code was copied verbatim, as in cut-and-pasted. One consultant who signed an NDA to see the code said that he saw approximately 80 lines that were identical, down to mis-spellings in the comments. This proves nothing, since it says nothing about the genesis of the code, but there are apparently identical parts in both.

If even one line of that went from GPL'd Linux to SCO, rather than the other way around, then SCO Unix is infected, and anyone who got a SCO binary has the right to the source code. If someone wants to post the source code, or make it available to someone who wants to post it (preferably someone who was going to declare bankruptcy soon anyway, just in case), I'd say they have a right to.

SCO is claiming that IBM coders copied that code into Linux, which was then released publicly in contravention of their licencing with SCO; IBM disputes all of the preceding sentence. Copyright comes into play insofar as, assuming Linux contains trade secret code, there is a copyright violation for anyone using it.

I've seen speculation that this is all an elaborate pump-and-dump by SCO shareholders: Apparently the major stockholders were buying back large chunks of stock just before launching the lawsuit, and are now in a position to sell them for large profits (given how SCO's stock has climbed over the last few months). Can anyone confirm?

Justin Johnson 10:02:00 22 Jul 2003 (CST)

The suit itself states that IBM, who had a partnership with the SCO Group (now Tarantella), had access to code now owned by The SCO Group, and abused that access by getting it incorporated in the Linux kernel code base.
Executives of The SCO Group have muddied the waters by claiming that because of this act, all users of Linux have violated their intellectual property & are liable to be sued by The SCO Group. They have evaded defining exactly what code was wrongfully incorporated, and also from where -- at one point MacBride claimed that the original AT&T license to the UNIX code required all modifications made to derived variants became the property of AT&T, & therefore any modifications IBM made to AIX belonged to The SCO Group, & could not be shared with Linux.
Would such a claim hold any legal water?
This effective vagueness of The SCO Group's claims have raised the suspicions of all observers, except for those most obviously hostile to Linux. As a result, many observers suspect that this lawsuit is an attempt to pump up The SCO Group's stock before major stockholders (e.g., corporate officers, the Canopy Group) sell stock at an inflated price. And I believe several individuals are closely following the usual reporting agents for possible proof.
(Note -- the above is more POV than fact. Before putting any of this in the main article, please take the time to research specific supporting material -- which I have in many places glossed over -- & add them to this analysis.) -- llywrch 18:50 27 Jul 2003 (UTC)

What does this sentence mean:

On July 28, it was reported that IBM was briefing its salespeople that out SCO's distribution of Linux under the GPL appeared to undermine SCO's case.

Either there's a missing word there or the sentence needs to be reworded.

Lduperval 20:39, 4 Aug 2003 (UTC)

This article now has enough stuff in it that it can be refactored to reflect the issues more than the timeline. -- The Anome

Also, any chance of a very quick 5-line or so summary, maybe on another page? This would help those who have a passing interest in the case to see at a glance what it's all about without wading through the minutiae? GRAHAMUK 07:03, 5 Aug 2003 (UTC)

I what way does the introductory paragraph fail to do this? That and the next 3 paragraphs, "SCO's claims", "Free software community reaction", and "The GPL issue" pretty much sum it up AFAICT. -- Merphant
My bad - somehow my eye skipped past that, maybe because the table of contents got in the way. GRAHAMUK 00:30, 6 Aug 2003 (UTC)

A vast extlink farm was added to the article: I've put it on SCO v. IBM Linux lawsuit/more external links. Wikipedia is not Google.

Sure it isn't. However, Wikipedia's an information source, and I think links to the (extensive) press coverage of the development of this case is a good thing. No objections to the move, though; it's something I'd have done myself later on, anyway. I moved the newly-created page to a more sensible title, though (SCO v. IBM Linux lawsuit/Press coverage) and also added a link to the main page about the lawsuit. -- Schnee 21:18, 5 Aug 2003 (UTC)


So, can we have an article specifically on the claim that all of SCO Unix is now GPL'd, and that the complete source code is legally redistributable now as GPL code? It would seem that if even one line of Linux got into SCO Unix, then, it's all wide open. This backs Microsoft's claim that open source is dangerous, but, so what? SCO Unix was all of real Unix - if that's now GPL'd, what fun!

That's a serious enough competitor for Microsoft, isn't it?

Who would care if no commercial player was ever motivated to sell a proprietary OS ever again?

No, that's not how it works. If SCO copied Linux code into their Unix and then distributed it, they have been violating copyright; and the copyright owner of the copied code can sue them to make them stop (and possibly recover damages). If such a lawsuit occurred, then an offer by SCO to GPL their Unix might be part of an out-of-court settlement; but it's unlikely that such a penalty would be imposed by the court (any more than copying some of Microsoft's source code would make the court rule that all of SCO's code belonged to Microsoft).

The argument about hypothetical SCO Unix code in Linux is different. If such code exists, the argument goes, then SCO knowingly distributed it under the GPL; in that case, SCO is bound by the terms of the GPL for said code. -- Cwitty 23:32, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)

There should be something about the older Unix source that SCO's predecessor, Caldera, made open-source in 2002 under a BSD-style license. ( See ) The alleged infriging codes shown during the SCO Forum seem to be covered under the 2002 release, which is publicly archived by "The Unix Heritage Society" ( ) and mirrored at numerous other locations.

Should be filled in under "Examples of controversial code revealed"; maybe the title of that section should be expanded appropriately, too. -- Schnee 23:15, 19 Aug 2003 (UTC)

The Al Jazeera parody isn't linked correctly. I would have fixed it myself, but I can't figure out where it's supposed to go. -- Logotu 16:10, 17 Sep 2003 (UTC)

It is an edonkey 2000 link (which is a p2p network). The wikipedia software doesn't seem to recognise it as a link. But if you copy and paste it into an edonkey client it the link does work. Anyway I tried to download it but only two people seemed to be sharing the file. But it probably should only be listed if it is permanent link, so I have removed it. -- Popsracer 02:35, 29 Sep 2003 (UTC)

I'm moving the following sections here from the article; they were commented out, but that was throwing off wikipedia's "edit just this section" edit links. They should go back in when they have some content:

Novell and SCO's claims to have terminated IBM's AIX license[edit]

to be written -- see GROKLAW?

Did the "old" SCO donate source to Linux?[edit]

to be written: see NWfusion story at [1], and GROKLAW
Wesley, you have put your editorial finger on one of the continuing weaknesses of this article: editors are eager to add more content as it happens to this article, but do not try to integrate it into the existing content. And yes, I'm probably as guilty as anyone. -- llywrch 16:07, 24 Dec 2003 (UTC)

From the article: "Therefore, as per SCO's own estimate, the allegedly infringing code would make up about 0.001% of the total code of a typical GNU/Linux installation."

From : ""The amount of Unix code in Linux could be greater than 25%." [...] "That [1,549 lines of allegedly copied code] is just the number identified so far. It will probably end up being a lot higher." September 2 2003"

Does that make the 0.01‰ figure out of date? Κσυπ Cyp   14:31, 27 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I agree that this page should be more content-structured and not timeline-based anymore. Other parts should probably be broken out to separate pages, like the RedHat vs SCO case. I'm going to try to keep my changes in small bits. Jhf 14:50, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Are the humour links really necessary or relevant? Wikipedia is not a link repository, and since these humour pages are all anti-SCO, is it not POV to include them? Fredrik 22:41, 28 Feb 2004 (UTC)

They are relevant, at least they give some idea of the general opinion of the case, and some people may enjoy the humour. Perhaps there should also be some that make fun of IBM's side as well, to be fair... (If any that do that exist, that is...) Κσυπ Cyp   10:29, 29 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Just to say nice overall introduction to the topic, and about as NPOV as its possible to be without being written partly by SCO. Good work people. -- 02:56, 17 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Could someone please put information upfront about which court this case was filed in? I imagine it's in the United States, but beyond that assumption I can't tell anything more from the article. Thanks! Postdlf 19:12 22 June 2004 (UTC)

SCO sues AutoZone and DaimlerChrysler[edit]

I'm pretty sure that the article is incorrect about the AutoZone and DaimlerCrysler suits. The case reasons should be switched. SCO did sue AutoZone, then DaimlerCrysler, but they sued AutoZone for "commerical use of Linux" and they sued DaimlerCrylser for allegedly breaching an agreement that required DaimlerCrylser to provide information about UNIX-licensed CPUs upon request, but not more frequently than annually. The article has the cases switched. Someone with more knowledge should alter that section.

Ugly organization[edit]

Whoa, this thing is really ugly. It needs to be massively reorganized to look less like a blog. -Joseph 19:36, 2004 Jul 29 (UTC)

You just volunteered! :-D - David Gerard 20:28, 29 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I propose a major reorganisation of this page, together with the main SCO Group page. A structure like this seems ideal to me:
  • The SCO Group: General information about SCO and its products.
  • SCO vs. Linux: General information about SCO's claims and links to various lawsuit pages
  • SCO vs. IBM: Informatin about the IBM lawsuit
  • Red Hat vs. SCO: Information about the Red Hat lawsuit
  • SCO vs. Novell: Information about the Novell lawsuit
  • SCO vs. AutoZone: Information about the AutoZone lawsuit
  • SCO vs. DCC: Information about the DCC lawsuit
This will help clean up this page with information that is not directly related to the IBM lawsuit and bring some sensible structure into the massive amount of information.
[User:Niels Leenheer|Niels Leenheer]
I'm going to combine some topics (IBM counterclaims and New IBM counterclaims, for example) as well as update the page to reflect the current state of the case. If you disagree, write here or to my usertalk. Jannex

SCO acts against SGI removed[edit]

I have removed the section, because it has nothing to do with the topic. It has its own page, where the details can be found. Any comments about this? I also took out the section which was about SCO suing Autozone and DaimlerChrysler. Those cases have their own pages and they are not related to this case.Jannex

Now I also took out the Baystar dispute. I think it has more to do with SCO-Linux controversies than this lawsuit. Here's the complete text:

On April 16, 2004, SCO announced in a press release that BayStar had demanded that SCO redeem 20,000 shares of SCO A-1 Convertible Preferred Stock. At $1000 per share, this would cost SCO $20M. SCO stated in their press release that they believed that BayStar did not have grounds for making this demand. [2]
On April 22, 2004, The New York Times (p.C6) reported that BayStar Capital, a private hedge fund which had arranged for $50M in funding for SCO in October 2003, was asking for its $20M back. The remainder of the $50M was from Royal Bank of Canada. In 2003, BayStar looked at SCO on the recommendation of Microsoft, according to Lawrence R. Goldfarb, managing partner of Baystar Capital: "It was evident that Microsoft had an agenda". The April 15, 2004 letter to SCO asserted that SCO's management had breached certain provisions (detailed above) of the investment agreement with BayStar; Goldfarb stated that if SCO reformed its management practices (spending and focus), "BayStar might keep its funds in SCO".


Scheduler and RCU sections out[edit]

I will remove Scheduler code claims and Increased damage claims, and read-copy-update claims, because I think that the Scheduler-section doesn't provide enough factual information. It isn't clear, what is the code that is talked about. The issues talked about in Increased damage claims-section are covered elsewhere, so there's no need for that section IMHO. Tell me, if I'm cleaning this article up too much. Jannex 21:56, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Article needs updating and other comments[edit]

How should we go about adding the fact that Judge Kimball's recent rulling stated that the SCO group had in fact made a copyright infringement claim against IBM regarding Linux? Currently the article basically says that SCO retracted that claim (they actually tried to make it seem as if they had never made that claim but the judge caught on). I think there are lots of other clean ups that can be made to this article. Someone relatively recently removed SCO's claims to ELF, even if they aren't lawsuit related where else should public claims by SCO against IBM be put? zen master T 02:13, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I have added SCO's claims to the article. As it says, they do claim copyright infringement. If the article claims otherwise somewhere else, it has to be edited out. I agree that there should be a clean up, and I'm gradually trying to do one. It was also me who removed the ELF allocation. It is covered in SCO-Linux controversies, and it isn't part of this lawsuit. --Jannex 18:47, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I went through the external links list and moved useless and outdated links to the Press Coverage page. Any comments? --Jannex 13:19, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Terminology problems[edit]

There is no Linux operating system. GNU is the operating system, and when it uses the kernel created by Torvalds it can be called GNU/Linux, but GNU can also run with a different kernel (see HURD).

The article should make clear just exactly what SCO is claiming in its suit. Stallman said the OS is not involved, just the kernel. [3] Uncle Ed 20:59, August 2, 2005 (UTC) Although this was once the case, SCO are now making claims against non-kernel code too. For example Item 18, Exhibit B of "Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File a Second Amended Complaint" in SCO v Novell is "SuSE's implementation of dynamic linking".

Case dismissed?[edit]

The SCO-Linux controversies article contains the following text:

On June 28, 2006 Judge Brooke Wells granted IBM's motion to dismiss most of SCO's case, citing in part SCO's inability to provide any evidence to back up their claims:
In December 2003, near the beginning of this case, the court ordered SCO to, "identify and state with specificity the source code(s) that SCO is claiming form the basis of their action against IBM." Even if SCO lacked the code behind methods and concepts at this early stage, SCO could have and should have, at least articulated which methods and concepts formed "the basis of their action against IBM." At a minimum, SCO should have identified the code behind their method and concepts in the final submission pursuant to this original order entered in December 2003 and Judge Kimball’s order entered in July 2005. [4](paragraph 30)

Surely that's a major development which should be in this article? I'd put it in myself, except I don't know enough about the case or law in general. 10:51, 1 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Oh, I see the article was updated yesterday with this news. Must have been my browser cache. 13:15, 1 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Current Status[edit]

Has this case shown any sign of being resolved yet? I know that SCO has recently been mentioned in the news as being on the brink of bankruptcy, but has any real progress been made on this case been made since November when the decision to confirm the dismissal of most of the claims was confirmed? Avador 02:27, 8 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The case is as dead as a dodo. There is no code at question (SCO came up with no evidence whatsoever, in four years of trying), there is no IP infringement, there are zero lines of Unix code in Linux, the "methods and concepts" at issue are actually IBM's IP (even to the extent of IBM owning patents eg to JFS, NUMA and SMP), and SCO don't own any of the Unix copyrights in any event. The judge has decided that SCO is illegally in posession of Novell's money, and just before the trial to determine exactly how much of Novell's money SCO had misappropriated SCO have filed for bankruptcy. They are in the bankruptcy court now, fighting over the carcass of SCO, and the bankruptcy court judge is about to decide if he will lift the stay so that Novell can get its money that SCO are holding. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:51, 22 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The case SCO v. IBM is *not* dead. It was administratively closed on 20-Sep-2007 by Judge Kimball pending bankruptcy proceedings against SCO. As soon as these are resolved, the case will continue where it left off. I added this note plus a Groklaw reference to the Order in the main page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:32, 25 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just to refresh:
  • For practical purposes, the case is dead. SCO exists as some papers in a bankruptcy trustee's filing cabinet and IBM has won.
  • However, SCO is only mostly dead. Although SCO's lawyers would like to walk away from the smoking wreck, they (dazzled by visions of a contingency fee coming out of pockets the depth of IBM's) signed an "all you can eat" contract some years ago, so it doesn't cost the trustee much to keep going.
  • And IBM still has open counterclaims that it's not going to drop until SCO's corpse is crucified on public display over the salted fields where its headquarters used to stand pour encourager les autres who might try such a legal shakedown in future.
  • It was reopened on 14 June 2013
  • The Novell ruling settled (with prejudice) most of SCO's nine claims, leaving only claims 7, 9, and part of claim 6.
  • In 22 July 2013, IBM moved for partial summary judgement on the remaining claims, and two of its counterclaims.
  • Judge Nuffer sat on that motion for more than a year.
  • A December 2014 ruling granted most of IBM's motion. Judgement was entered in favor of IBM on SCO's remaining claims "insofar as they allege that SCO, and not Novell, owns the copyrights to the pre-1996 UNIX source code and/or that Novell does not have the right to waive IBM’s alleged breaches of the licensing agreements pursuant to which IBM licensed pre-1996 UNIX source code". No, I'm not sure exactly what that means; I wish we had PJ around to interpret.
  • IBM was also granted its counter-claims 9 and 10. That's for a Declaratory Judgment of Noninfringement of Copyrights, so no damages.
  • So SCO has the skeletal remains of three of its claims.
  • IBM has won two if its fourteen counterclaims, and twelve more are still open.
Yes, at this point it's a rubble-bouncing exercise, but the case *was* important, so the article ought at least document its formal end. (talk) 09:44, 19 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

SCO has lost the Novell case[edit]

My editing skills are a little rusty, but basically SCO has lost the Novell case, meaning it will probably lose everything. Have a look at —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Chutzpah (talkcontribs).

SCO Group files for Bankruptcy[edit]

SCO Group filed for Chapter 11 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on Friday September 14. Case number 07-11337 Wdanner 21:49, 17 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Recent reverts[edit]

This edit made the article internally inconsistent, using the terms "Linux" and "GNU/Linux" interchangeably. This is confusing; we should use one or the other. It should be reverted.

I think "Linux" as the lawsuit refers to the kernel, not the GNU tools. outboxing (workyada) 19:59, 17 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

IBM Unix license[edit]

What is the nature of IBM's license to use and develop a Unix derivative? Does it pay royalties to SCO or Novell? -- Beland (talk) 14:27, 6 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Why have all case developments after 2003 been wiped from the article?[edit]

Somebody has been allowed to cover the tracks of SCO in this case. I believe everything turned out very badly for SCO in this case, but all evidence of developments after 2003 have been deleted from the article. I hope a wiki editor can restore the content that has been wiped. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:33, 1 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

nominate for deletion[edit]

Since nobody cares and/or knows enough to update the article, it is useless. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:37, 8 July 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

no Disagree . It's a lot harder now that we don't have groklaw collecting all the information in one place and having lawyers write commentaries, but although it's just a matter now of watching the rubble bounce, the case was very important in its day, so it's worth documenting its bitter end. (talk) 09:47, 19 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]