SCO Fails to Ask for a Preliminary Injunction

Monday, June 16 2003 @ 08:16 PM EDT

Contributed by: PJ

SCO Fails to Ask for a Preliminary Injunction
Says Terrorists Use Linux and Yes, They Mean ALL UNIX

Well, they say they are filing for a permanent injunction, not a preliminary injunction. I went to the Utah District Court web site, but it isn't posted yet.

What does this all mean? A preliminary injunction is what you ask the judge to give you right this minute, because you allege that you have a good case and you'd be so harmed by delay that you can't wait til the trial is over. A permanent injunction is what you ask for if you are asking the judge to give you that relief at the end of the trial, along with the billion they want.

There are several possible interpretations on their failure to ask for a prelim: they are worried they might be turned down for a preliminary injunction, with all the consequences to their FUD; they knew they would have to show some code if they asked for a preliminary and that would make it possible to rewrite fast; they don't have the money to post a bond; they know their case is vaporware. Maybe there are some others I can't think of. Stephen Shankland, once again, has good coverage of what this all means legally.

"Despite the harsh rhetoric, the fact that SCO is seeking a permanent rather than preliminary injunction means that the issue won't be resolved soon and customers need not worry, said Daniel Harris, an intellectual-property attorney with Clifford Chance . 'There isn't going to be any practical impact now,' Harris said. 'Unless they seek a preliminary injunction, there's no (court) order impacting IBM or IBM's customers.' . . .

"As a result, SCO's move means that AIX customers might feel a reprieve, Harris said. 'If anything, I think the customers may breathe a sigh of relief that there isn't going to be any hearing on a preliminary injunction that might impact them,' Harris said. Seeking a permanent injunction as part of a trial 'is going to take years.'

Shankland also tells us some of the AIX customers from this last year include Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the National Weather Service.

SCO's Sontag Says Terrorists Use Linux So the Government Might File Friend of the Court Brief on Their Side

--Speaking of the goverment, SCO's Chris Sontag is quoted in Byte as saying that terrorists use Linux, so we shouldn't be surprised if the government files a Friend of the Court brief:

"I listened to how IBM has bypassed U.S. export controls with Linux. How 'Syria and Libya and North Korea' are all building supercomputers with Linux and inexpensive Intel hardware, in violation of U.S. export control laws. These laws would normally restrict export of technologies such as JFS, NUMA, RCU, and SMP[~]and, (I was waiting for this) 'encryption technologies.' 'We know that is occurring in Syria,' I heard, even though my mind was fogging over at this point. 'So are you saying that the U.S. government might file a "Friend of the Court Brief" to support your case against IBM?' I blurted out. 'Don't be surprised' was Sontag's answer."

Um... "we know"? Who is the "we" in this sentence? So now we're not just pirates if we use Linux... IBM is aiding terrorism? Is nothing beneath this company? Or is it possible he speaks from knowledge and the government is actually pushing this? I find that hard to believe. But then, I find this whole thing hard to believe. How would he dare to say this, though, if he was not speaking from knowledge of the government view? The word defamation leaps to mind. And Boies did work with the Justice Department on the MS antitrust case... my mind is spinning... I better sit down . . .

Yup. SCO Means All UNIX is a Derivative of "Their" IP --Sontag also confirms in the Byte interview what I wrote yesterday after reading their quarterly report, that SCO views derivative code as the main issue and he means all UNIX, including possibly BSD, hence Apple's OS X.

"Specifically, Sontag believes the 'SCO technologies' which were misappropriated into AIX, IRIX, and the derivative UNIX-alikes (including Linux) are:

JFS ( Journalling File System ).
NUMA (Non Uniform Memory Access), a SGI/Stanford collaboration .
RCU ( Read-Copy-Update ).
SMP ( Symmetrical Multi-Processing ).

"'So you want royalties from FreeBSD as well?' I asked. Sontag responded that 'there may or may not be issues. We believe that UNIX System V provided the basic building blocks for all subsequent computer operating systems, and that they all tend to be derived from UNIX System V (and therefore are claimed as SCO's intellectual property).'"

What about the fact that there already was a try to attack BSD in court and there was a settlement basically ending this issue? Sontag says that there could be issues, because Berkeley may not have lived up to the terms of the settlement.

There is a great deal more in the Byte article, so go and take a look. I have to go throw up.


Whew. Feeling better now. Here is an announcement from the Department of Defense that it is OK to use open source. Unless the Pentagon didn't get the memo, it seems to indicate that Sontag is, well, FUDding. It's dated June 6, 2003, and the article begins:

"The U.S. Department of Defense has issued a policy that officially authorizes the use of open-source software at the department, a move open-source pundits said opens the door to more government use of open-source software."