[TriLUG] SCO sets lawyers on Novell
Matthew.Frye at rexhealth.com
Tue Nov 25 12:28:55 EST 2003
The comedy continues...
> Today's focus: SCO sets lawyers on Novell
> By Dave Kearns
> I was really hoping to keep the "Linux" word out of this
> newsletter today but events, as they say, have overtaken my
> resolve. Last week, former Novell bag carrier Darl MacBride (he
> was formerly vice president and general manager of Novell's
> Extended Networks Division a.k.a. "NEST" - Novell Embedded
> Systems Technology), now the devil-in-chief at The SCO Group
> announced that SCO is ready to sue Novell over the acquisition
> of SuSE Linux.
> Well, why not - SCO's suing just about everyone else in the
> operating system business as well as threatening to sue most of
> its customers.
> According to a story last week by the IDG News Service, MacBride
> claims that Novell's planned acquisition of SuSE will put it in
> violation of a non-compete agreement the networking vendor has
> with SCO. This charge appears to be cut from the same cloth as
> the previous charge (by SCO) that GNU General Public License
> "...violates the U.S. Constitution, together with copyright,
> anti-trust and export control laws."
> When Novell sold Unix System V Release 4 to SCO (along with its
> UnixWare derivative), there was a non-compete clause in the
> contract, which according to MacBride prohibits Novell from
> directly competing with SCO's Unix-on-Intel business.
> Linux isn't Unix, of course. It may be "Unix-like" (as some have
> called it), but it certainly ain't Unix. If it were, then SCO
> would be suing even more people simply for distributing any
> Linux product. But it isn't. SCO is suing IBM for including
> protected Unix code in a Linux distribution.
> SCO can't re-interpret the non-compete clause to imply that
> Novell can't sell any Intel-based operating system, or it would
> be suing to stop NetWare from being distributed. Of course that
> would imply that Novell was so dumb as to waive all of the
> rights to its core product when it sold off (for a pittance, I
> might add) the Unix stuff that it had acquired from Unix Systems
> On its face, this looks like a desperate attempt to coerce
> Novell into paying its Linden, Utah neighbors a few bucks
> because of the nuisance value of the suit. But it could be that
> a "few bucks" might be needed in Linden. In other news last
> week, SCO announced it is paying close to $9 million in
> lawyer-fees to cover the suits and filings already announced.
> And in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, SCO
> appeared to be saying, in essence, that it isn't selling much of
> anything these days.
> The official language was: "We are informed that participants in
> the Linux industry have attempted to influence participants in
> the markets in which we sell our products to reduce or eliminate
> the amount of our products and services that they purchase. They
> have been somewhat successful in those efforts and similar
> efforts and success will likely continue. There is also a risk
> that the assertion of our intellectual property rights will be
> negatively viewed by participants in our marketplace and we may
> lose support from such participants. Any of the foregoing could
> adversely affect our position in the marketplace and our results
> of operations."
> Which is the legal equivalent of saying, "Nobody likes me,
> everybody hates me, I'm going to go and eat worms."
> Maybe it was something in the water. I'd like to suggest that
> the Environmental Protection Agency investigates the land
> around MacBride's old office at Novell. One office mate,
> formerNovell Vice President of AppWare, Joe Firmage
> (see <http://www.nwfusion.com/go2/1124nw1a.html> )
> left hi-tech to pursue his dream of investigating flying saucers.
> Or maybe BYU graduate (and award-winning science-fiction and
> fantasy author) Orson Scott Card should take a look.
> EDITOR's NOTE: Due to the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday we will be
> sending just one newsletter this week. Regular service will
> resume next week. We wish you and your family a happy
> RELATED EDITORIAL LINKS
> SCO to pay lawyers millions for more legal firepower
> IDG News Service, 11/18/03
> SCO CEO: Novell-SuSE breaks SCO contract
> IDG News Service, 11/18/03
> SCO: IBM cannot enforce GPL
> IDG News Service, 10/28/03
> Follow the SCO saga at Network World Fusion
> To contact: Dave Kearns
> Dave Kearns is a writer and consultant in Silicon Valley. He's
> written a number of books including the (sadly) now out of print
> "Complete Guide to Novell Directory Services." His musings can
> be found at Virtual Quill <http://www.vquill.com/>. Comments on
> this newsletter should be sent to him at
> <mailto:netware at vquill.com>.
> Kearns provides content services to network vendors: books,
> manuals, white papers, lectures and seminars, marketing,
> technical marketing and support documents. Virtual Quill
> provides "words to sell by..." Find out more by e-mail at
> <mailto:info at vquill.com>
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