- Two more stories on GL, covering some new exhibits in the Novell case. Seems a GL volunteer picked 'em up at the courthouse while attending the hearings on the 31st:
- First, we get "Deposition of Darl McBride in Novell: Dreaming of Billions From Linux". PJ covers it first "because I know it's the one you'd read first", which is true, of course. If you want to jump straight to the source material, the doc is here. The fun bit is how SCO could've gotten maybe $50M from HP, and a few tens of millions from Google, if only they hadn't gotten greedy and demanded a much bigger pile of cash. The matter dragged on and on, until the copyright dispute with Novell put an end to the negotiations.
It's really kind of a sad spectacle, and is a great example of SCO's unique flair for gross miscalculation. Every successful swindler, from small-time slip-n-fall scammers up to the most high-profile patent troll, knows that the trick is to demand an appropriate sum of money, such that the target decides it's cheaper to settle up instead of fight. This is especially important when you can't back up your claims in the courtroom. And now... well, it's a bit late to come up with a Plan B, isn't it?
- Second, there's "More Novell Exhibits: We Find Out What MS & Sun Paid SCO For". PJ thinks the new docs make Sun look really bad. Perhaps I'm biased (and yes, I do have a Sun box sitting under my desk here), but the new docs just detail what SCO claims it sold to Sun under the deal, and SCO's always insisted it was a SCOSource arrangement... well, except when Novell asked for their 95% cut. In any case, nothing fundamentally new here, I think.
Some of the other exhibits look interesting, like Exhibit 46, a spreadsheet of companies SCO sent demands to, with responses given if the company bothered to respond. I haven't gone down the whole list yet, but I noticed that in the cases of both Intel and Apple, SCO sent their demands to a branch office, not headquarters. SCO says Apple responded anyway, with a letter saying they were in compliance (i.e. not using Linux), and SCO apparently didn't pursue the matter any further. OS X is based on BSD, not Linux, and apparently SCO didn't have a problem with that, despite their occasional anti-BSD FUD. I don't know if that's significant or not, but it's an interesting data point.
- From Slashdot, the latest unfortunate development in the M$-Novell partnership. Apparently the F/OSS community is second in line behind M$ when it comes to getting documentation from Novell, according to the terms of the deal. It would be interesting to learn exactly what M$ threatened Novell with to get them to sign on to the deal's terms. It's just been one PR black eye after another ever since the thing was announced. I guess I'm trying to understand what got them on board. I've never seen any cause to assume malice on Novell's part, and while stupidity is possible, I'm not sure anybody's that stupid. So until I learn otherwise, I'm going to assume it was good old fashioned duress that made them sign up.
- In other news, a piece on the controversial, upcoming RealPlayer 11, which will supposedly let you save streaming video to a local file and burn it to a DVD. I guess you can't blame 'em for trying to differentiate their product, but it's going to take a lot more than that to grab my interest. Over the years, every time I've given in to short-term necessity and installed the then-current RealPlayer release, I've always ended up nuking it in short order. Maybe the new version will be different, and not be a steaming pile of infuriating, gimmicky bloatware. But I'm not holding my breath.
Labels: linux, open source, sco, tech