- Shortly after I posted Friday's SNR, there were a few more court filings, sealed as usual.
- A lot more stuff about the latest M$ threats against Linux. The coverage often mentions SCO, unsurprisingly. Examples here and here.
- The Comes v. Microsoft archives are now available by BitTorrent. SCO gets a mention here as well, in connection with the mysterious destruction of all those old Caldera v. M$ docs a few years ago -- which I'm sure was 100% unrelated to the subsequent visit from the PIPE fairy.
- Looks like all the Linux lobbying on Dell's IdeaStorm suggestion box might actually be working. Kewl.
- ESR has turned his back on Red Hat, partly because he's unhappy with company management, and partly over disagreements about shipping non-free software with the OS. I gather he's in favor, and Alan Cox, RMS, etc., aren't. So we'll see if Ubuntu makes him any happier. That isn't meant as a pro- or anti- ESR comment, since I'm probably in the minority in having no strongly held pro- or anti- ESR opinions. How about we just agree that he's a colorful and often polarizing figure, and leave it at that?
- The DOD gets another monster-sized SGI Altix machine. Linux on Itanium, NUMA, XFS (probably), the whole works. Yet another sign that SCO's effort to block the use of these technologies isn't working out. Film at 11.
- The latest piece from "Paul Murphy" mentions SCO in passing, but mostly it's about some sneaky business M$ did in Win3.0 to make it look faster than it really was. I think. It's always hard to tell with Murphy's stuff. I think he's saying he's against that sort of thing, but I could be wrong.
- Slashdot on the new ShowUsTheCode.com initiative. There are plenty of other stories about this, but I figured the /. one was the most fitting; it's a naive and silly idea (IMHO), and M$ is just going to ignore it. So it's the perfect Slashdot story, really.
I'll admit to quickly scanning the comments section this time. SCO gets quite a few mentions, unsurprisingly.
- More delays for Dayjet. Dayjet's founder happens to be a SCO BOD member, in case you haven't been following this particular tangent. It's supposed to be a sort of flying taxi service aimed at busy and important executive types. (And priced to match, presumably.)
Apropos of nothing, here's a bit about aviation and global warming.
- If you're a gadget geek, and you have nearly everything already, you may be interested in the new iPod breathalyzer (note: not an Apple product.) This baby would be perfect for music trivia drinking games.
Rumor has it the device contains an easter egg: If you blow over 3x the legal limit, it will replace your current playlist with the greatest hits of Hank Williams Sr.
- More articles on the Alcatel/MS suit. for all of MS's faults, generally speaking they only threaten to be a patent troll.
The suit concerns some patents that originated at Bell Labs, which became part of Lucent in the Great AT&T Trivestiture, and Lucent was in turn eaten by Alcatel a few years ago. Yes, Bell Labs belongs to a French company, believe it or not. If Alcatel decides it wants to pursue the IP troll business model, things could get really ugly even beyond the MP3 world. The SCO v. Novell case centers around the chain of ownership of the Precious UNIX(tm) IP, specifically whether there was ever a valid transfer of copyrights from Novell to OldSCO, and from OldSCO to Caldera/NewSCO. Novell, in turn, had bought the Unix biz from AT&T, but I don't think it's been established yet that that deal transferred any copyrights. The parties may have intended for that to happen, but if they didn't comply with legal requirements to the letter, the copyrights would've stayed with AT&T. This seems entirely possible, since it and the subsequent OldSCO and Caldera deals were done on a smile-and-handshake basis. Back then, nobody envisioned it would all end up in court like it has. Ahh, that was a simpler, happier era...
So if the copyrights stayed with AT&T, who has them now? Back in the late '90s, the company split into thirds: AT&T proper, which kept the long distance business, and which was bought by SBC a couple of years ago; NCR, which got the computer hardware business; and Lucent, which got network gear and miscellaneous tech bits and pieces, including Bell Labs (the birthplace of Unix). If they didn't realize they still owned the Unix copyrights, they wouldn't have specified which piece got them in the big trivestiture. So it would probably depend on the precise wording of the deal. I doubt the rump AT&T would've been the lucky winner, which leaves us with either Lucent/Alcatel or NCR. And as the owner of Bell Labs I imagine Alcatel may have the better claim of the two. Although Lucent spun off a number of divisions before the Alcatel deal, and sold others, so there could be quite a few other claimants out there.
I'm not trying to give anyone ideas here. I'm just speculating about how the murky Unix copyright situation might get even uglier. Although an Alcatel-owned Unix might not be a bad thing; they've been doing a bit of Linux work lately, like this for example.
But then, even if Alcatel (or NCR, or some other firm) had clear title to the original Unix copyrights, they still might not be out of the woods. Multics (the predecessor to Unix) ended up in the hands of Groupe Bull, another French company. So there could be a really fun "derivative works" case there.
Labels: linux, open source, sco, tech