As the Media Turns

Wednesday, August 13 2003 @ 02:11 PM EDT

Contributed by: PJ

Even ZDNet has seen the light, at last. They have an article by an attorney, Thomas C. Carey, a partner at Bromberg & Sunstein, who was a programmer before he became a lawyer, which outlines some reasons he thinks SCO is in trouble. He outlines all the factors to consider by those thinking of getting a license. This article might come in handy when talking to PHBs. He makes one point that I'd never thought of:

"SCO may have set a ceiling on recovery. SCO has already announced a licensing program with specific licence rates. In the worst case, and unless and until SCO makes a much clearer and more public case that its code has been stolen, SCO is not likely to recover from individual users more than it has announced its licence fees to be. Why pay now when you can pay later or quite possibly not at all?"

A number of articles are beginning to appear where the reporter actually does some digging and evaluating. There is an outstanding example in the story here, "Novell letters throw new light on IBM case" by Sam Varghese. He's been a fair guy for some time, but take a look at this opening section:

"Two letters written by Novell chairman and CEO, Jack Messman, to SCO president and CEO, Darl McBride, in June throw an entirely different light on the lawsuit between SCO and IBM, which the former initiated in March.

"Both letters were cited by IBM as exhibits last week when it counter-sued SCO, on a range of issues.

"The letters indicate that SCO has no contractual right to terminate IBM's AIX licence. The agreement under which IBM acquired these rights appears to have been a three-way contract under which Novell retained certain rights, one being the right to compel SCO to waive or revoke any of its (SCO's) rights under the contract."


He then proceeds to show what it all means. It's so refreshing to see reporters start to get it. It does look like the media tide is turning. SCO's PR team must be up nights.

Here's another one from Linux World, "Is SCO Perfecting the Art of the Big Lie?" by James Turner, senior editor of LinuxWorld Magazine and president of Black Bear Software as well as director of software development of Benefit Systems, Inc. He has a suggestion for SCO, one we've seen before, but I like his spin:

"Maybe they should hire the former Iraqi information minister. 'Thousands of companies have bought our licenses!  I will show you the list this afternoon! The blood of the open source infidels will run through the streets of Salt Lake!'"  

I'm thinking some Groklaw readers will top him, though. They're a very creative bunch.

Here is another, "SCO Group mines PR of Linux claims, but offers few specifics":

"SCO's poisonous tactics have made it a pariah. The prevailing view in the tech world, as far as I can tell, is the hope that IBM will squash SCO like a bug. "

Here's one that carefully first explains who SCO thinks needs a license, called "Damned if you do and damned if you don't", but it ends like this:

"But when you look at the entire trail of events, one can't help but wonder--is this just a clumsy execution of an 11th hour plan or perhaps a smokescreen for a hidden SCO agenda?"

On the MS Front

Well, they just were found guilty of violating someone's IP. It is a patent case, and they say they will appeal, natch. Eventually, even the large corporations will logically notice that these types of lawsuits are more than annoying. But notice the link to SCO that popped into the reporter's head:

"Microsoft--a stalwart supporter of SCO's IP infringement claims against IBM--has vowed to fight the verdict of a US federal jury that affirmed that the company's Internet Explorer browser violated the IP rights of a smaller ISV. On Monday, a US federal jury in Chicago agreed that IE violated an existing patent and awarded $US521 million to the University of California and Chicago-based Eolas Technologies, which originally asked for $US1.2 billion in damages. . . .

"Microsoft stands by its products and will continue to develop innovative technologies that benefit consumers. Regardless of the ultimate outcome of this case, Microsoft will work hard to ensure that there is very little if any impact on our customers."


"Very little, if any." Say, is that the same as indemnification? Kidding.

Speaking of kidding, or is it you must be kidding:

"Scott Charney, chief security strategist at Microsoft, told developers at the TechEd 2003 conference in Brisbane, that information collected by Dr Watson, the company's reporting tool, revealed that 'half of all crashes in Windows are caused not by Microsoft code, but third-party code'".

I knew there must be a "reason" that keeps happening to Windowsfolk.

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