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Unix users warned on SCO legal action
| Robert Jaques
Posted on 07/29/2003 5:13:22 AM PDT by yonif
The SCO lawsuit against IBM for Unix copyright infringement "is not going away", industry experts have warned.
Enterprise Unix customers must immediately review their software licence indemnity clauses to see whether they are at risk, according to an advisory issued by analysts the Yankee Group.
"Corporations should take nothing for granted. Review the indemnity clauses in all software contracts, particularly IBM's," the analyst said.
"Contact IBM or the reseller directly to determine whether you are covered and to what extent."
The Yankee Group went on to warn that many software vendors have a cap on liability coverage and urged IBM Linux licensees to contact SCO.
"It doesn't cost anything to have the conversation and determine the cost of their binary Linux licence offering," the advisory said.
"Only after a company reviews its existing contracts, and then speaks to IBM and SCO, will it be in a position to make an informed decision as to whether or not it should negotiate a licence deal with SCO or stand firm and do nothing."
The Yankee Group also slammed IBM for keeping its Unix customers in the dark about the full implications of the lawsuit.
"IBM should share its position on indemnifying customers. Merely saying that it will support customers is not acceptable," the analyst said.
"Telling enterprise accounts not to worry only gives them a false sense of security. IBM must provide specifics as to whether, or to what extent, it will protect customers from SCO suit liability and any other future litigation."
According to the Yankee Group, the fear uncertainty and doubt surrounding SCO's legal action creates opportunities for IBM's competitors.
"IBM rivals Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Oracle, and Sun Microsystems can and should use this opportunity to demonstrate to their own client bases the effective cost savings their products deliver while the cloud of uncertainty hangs over IBM's Linux offerings," the analyst advised.
TOPICS: Business/Economy; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: caomputer; ibm; legalaction; os; unix
posted on 07/29/2003 5:13:23 AM PDT
On the other hand, having IBM on your side isn't such a bad position.
posted on 07/29/2003 5:18:45 AM PDT
The purpose of copyright law is to enable lawyers to own everything.
posted on 07/29/2003 5:50:29 AM PDT
by E. Pluribus Unum
(Drug prohibition laws help support terrorism.)
Are you being sarcastic and just trying to get IBM supporters to read the article. The way I read it was IBM is desparate and must know that SCO has a good case because they are banking on the GPL to say SCO released the IP when they unkowningly released it in their version of Linux.
Kind of "iffy" to me, but it is "iffy" so it may work. Just like if someone plants drugs in your car and you get pulled over by the cops. If you can prove they were planted you may get off the hook, but if you can't you're probably screwed. It seams SCO is missing the one thing to send this over the top...they need an IBM insider to say that IBM put the code in Linux. Without that it's a tough sell. And that's why Linux is a very dangerous product. It is the Borg. If someone steals your IP and sticks it in there it has been assimilated and there's no way to recover damages.
posted on 07/29/2003 6:12:03 AM PDT
(If at first you don't succeed keep on sucking until you do succeed)
This is premature, in my opinion. SCO has thus far given no credible evidence that they actually have a case.
posted on 07/29/2003 6:18:15 AM PDT
by B Knotts
IBM is correct. SCO is still distributing the Linux kernel, so their argument that they did not knowingly distribute the code in question is bogus.
posted on 07/29/2003 6:21:53 AM PDT
by B Knotts
To: B Knotts
SCO is still distributing the Linux kernel, so their argument that they did not knowingly distribute the code in question is bogus.
Yeah, I thought this was the most compelling argument that IBM makes. IOW, SCO is giving away its copyrighted code from its own servers for free but then claiming someone else is infringing them. It impeaches any claim that they 'discovered' it. I wonder if they've chosen to go after their own Linux customers first with a pack of lawyers. It would make sense since they already have their names and addresses, wouldn't it?
Even a court should be able to see through this scam.
(geeky toned voice)
"I'm warning you now, you'd better stop using that Unix or I'm gonna...I'm gonna...I'm gonna sue you and your company too."
posted on 07/29/2003 6:40:13 AM PDT
(If everything you experienced, believed, lived was a lie, would you want to know the truth?)
To: E. Pluribus Unum
You got that right! On the consumer side (i.e. non-business buyers) there has to be a false advertising issue with regard to software sales. They explicitly urge you to "buy" their software, but you're not "buying" anything. People think that they "own" something when all they are really doing is leasing or renting it. The system of commerce in the US has been centered around ownership of goods. With software, the publisher retains all ownership rights and all you are buying is a license, which is basically a leasing agreement. The industry does a pi$$ poor job of telling people what they are "buying" and it's only a matter of time before the lawyers go after the consumer as they are now going after the business market.
posted on 07/29/2003 6:43:16 AM PDT
(Soccer-Moms are the biggest threat to your freedoms and the republic !)
To: George W. Bush
Because they continue to distribute it knowingly, they have accepted the GPL, or they are illegally distributing copyrighted code. People tend to forget that all the code in the kernel is copyrighted code, contributed and licensed under the GPL by hundreds of people and companies. SCO, if it claims its code is not released under the GPL, has no legal right to distribute the kernel. So, as I see it, they lose either way.
posted on 07/29/2003 6:43:39 AM PDT
by B Knotts
There's nothing dangerous about it to ethical people. It's only a danger to shysters who buy the remains of a failed Linux vendor, and try to sue everyone else in the marketplace for revenge.
If they were ethical and truthful, they could simply notify Linus of the offending code, which could then be removed. Problem solved. But these guys don't want that; they want to illegally re-license GPLd code, and profit from the work of others that has been freely given.
posted on 07/29/2003 6:59:08 AM PDT
by B Knotts
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