Floss Attacked: SCO case

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Floss Attacked: SCO case

  1. 1. Introduction The SCO case Bibliography FLOSS under attack: the SCO case Master on Free Software Juanjo Amor jjamor@gsyc.escet.urjc.es GSyC/Libresoft 22 December 2007 Juanjo Amor FLOSS under attack: the SCO case
  2. 2. Introduction The SCO case Bibliography (cc) 2007 Juanjo Amor Some rights reserved. This work licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. To view a copy of full license, see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ or write to Creative Commons, 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, California 94305, USA. Juanjo Amor FLOSS under attack: the SCO case
  3. 3. Introduction The SCO case Bibliography Origins of attacks FLOSS is gaining traction in the IT marketplace. Resistance mounted by some commercial vendors Vicious attacks mounted by others Enemies are using the well known “FUD” attacks (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt). Juanjo Amor FLOSS under attack: the SCO case
  4. 4. Introduction The SCO case Bibliography What is a FUD? FUD: Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt Articles in press. “Expert” talks. Partial analysis. ... Also, attacks through tribunals. Juanjo Amor FLOSS under attack: the SCO case
  5. 5. Introduction The SCO case Bibliography The SCO case: the Legal Quandary of FLOSS Probably, the most well known FUD until the date. Created by SCO Group in 2003, as a lawsuit against IBM, and its aftermath. Objective: to bully companies into avoiding FLOSS. This objective has, mainly, failed (fortunately). Juanjo Amor FLOSS under attack: the SCO case
  6. 6. Introduction The SCO case Bibliography The SCO case: origins SCO was a small company, born after merging Santa Cruz Operation, a small company what bought several Unix patents to Novell, with Linux vendor Caldera. SCO was viewed as one of the companies which wanted to open its market model to the FLOSS (through free operating systems). This changed in March 2003, when 2003 dropped the bomb. Thanks to original patents owned by Santa Cruz Operation, SCO claimed that they were the intellectual owners of Unix and their patents. They considered that IBM engineers infringed SCO rights, by copying some copyrighted material from AIX to Linux. Results: SCO sued IBM for $1 billion. Two months later, SCO announced that they had discovered more code inside Linux. SCO sent also a letter to everyFLOSS under attack: the company, Juanjo Amor Fortune 1000 SCO case
  7. 7. Introduction The SCO case Bibliography Realistic claims or FUD? Some companies were wondering whether SCO’s claims were real. For example: the Munich Council case. What to learn? This could be a FUD or not, but we should assume some risks when using FLOSS solutions. Copyright infringement, patents, etc. are ever possible. Juanjo Amor FLOSS under attack: the SCO case
  8. 8. Introduction The SCO case Bibliography What should we know about SCO? The story of this dispute begins at Novell, which initially started to explore to FLOSS as business model. This triggered a series o events that led to the current situation. Juanjo Amor FLOSS under attack: the SCO case
  9. 9. Introduction The SCO case Bibliography Brief story of SCO A secret project of Novell, in the early 1990s. During that project, Novell bought Unix original patents and other rights to AT&T (1993). After reorganization, Novell sold these goods to Santa Cruz Operation. Caldera bought the goods and the SCO Group arrived. Changes in management team. New CEO, Darl McBride, expert in businesses models related with patents. Results: the case against IBM. Creation of SCOSource to sell licenses. Juanjo Amor FLOSS under attack: the SCO case
  10. 10. Introduction The SCO case Bibliography The lawsuit against IBM Based in copies of chunks of Unix code from AIX to Linux, to add new improvements that IBM wanted to Linux. SCO considered license violation. SCO rejected to publish the “copied” chunks. War of words: the copied code is not public. So it does not exist. However, Microsoft and Sun bought licenses to SCO. Juanjo Amor FLOSS under attack: the SCO case
  11. 11. Introduction The SCO case Bibliography The lawsuit against IBM Two months later: SCO announces that they have found more code copied from Unix to Linux. They sent the letter to 1000 Fortune and 500 Fortune Global companies. They claimed a license of $699 for each Linux processor. Some companies bought the license. SCO announced that they earned $11,000 in second quarter 2004. That is, only about 15 companies bought the license. Success? Juanjo Amor FLOSS under attack: the SCO case
  12. 12. Introduction The SCO case Bibliography Novell enters the arena May 2004: Novell enters the arena: SCO has not any legal foundation on which to sue IBM. Novell still owned the copyrights and patents that SCO needed for this case. That is, Novell didn’t sold all the patents, only a subset (and not useful for the SCO claims). Juanjo Amor FLOSS under attack: the SCO case
  13. 13. Introduction The SCO case Bibliography FLOSS activists enter the arena Eric Raymond dissected many SCO arguments: see http://www.opensource.org/sco-vs-ibm.html. SCO assertion that Linux was not scalable, robust OS unable to compete with Unix until IBM dumped AIX code into it. SCO’s protests that IBM had infringed on proprietary code. Most code published by SCO as copied, was released as Open Source by SCO in 2002, and didn’t come from IBM. Juanjo Amor FLOSS under attack: the SCO case
  14. 14. Introduction The SCO case Bibliography The Microsoft connection 2004: SCO sues two Linux end users: DaimlerChrysler and AutoZone. SCO can initiate a war agains these two companies since they had $25 million from Sun and Microsoft. Investment of $50 million by BayStar Capital venture firm. Microsoft had played matchmaker, and a BayStar principal openly admitted this. The Halloween Documents (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween_Documents, look for Document X. Juanjo Amor FLOSS under attack: the SCO case
  15. 15. Introduction The SCO case Bibliography The Implications of the SCO crisis SCO suits have exposed the myth that says that FLOSS is immune from questions of authorship and ownership. From a legal standpoint, copyright precedents for FLOSS are not as clear at its advocates might like. When RMS drafted the GPL in 1984, he tried to be very careful in basing his Copyleft model on contemporary copyright law. But GPL had not been tested in the courts, meaning there is little precedent for how the SCO suit might play out. For FSF legal counsel, this has a simple explanation: there are not precedents because the GPL works. Aggressive interpretation of the SCO license for the SCO suit against IBM. Juanjo Amor FLOSS under attack: the SCO case
  16. 16. Introduction The SCO case Bibliography The results The case against IBM is tenuous and is not really relevant. IBM engineers assumed they were in the right. If SCO wins, IBM will have to pay the costs, but Linux and the GPL should hardly fatally flawed. The GPL never arrived to the courts because IP violations. RMS anticipated the problem when he wrote GPL. Linus Torvalds, however, never required to contributors to sign as they owned the contributed code. This facilitated SCO claims. Possible solution: to rewrite all parts presumably copied from original Unix. Raymond says that this was done with all code showed by SCO as “copied”. The patents infringed by Linux (283 patents, Steve Ballmer said). Juanjo Amor FLOSS under attack: the SCO case
  17. 17. Introduction The SCO case Bibliography More FUD? Patents OpenSolaris ... Defending against FUD: To buy the “licenses” To get help from OSS big companies. Open Source Risk Management. Juanjo Amor FLOSS under attack: the SCO case
  18. 18. Introduction The SCO case Bibliography Bibliography D. Woods, G. Guliani: “Open Source for the Enterprise”. O’Reilly, July 2005. Wikipedia entries: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCO_Group http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCO_v._IBM http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCO_v._Novell Juanjo Amor FLOSS under attack: the SCO case

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