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In many cases, the end of the year gives you time to step back and take stock of the last 12 months. This is when many of us take a hard look at what worked and what did not, complete performance reviews, and formulate plans for the coming year. For me, it is all of those things plus a time when I u...
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IBM and SGI Both 'Stowellized' in Latest Open Letter
"Why would anyone in their right mind sign over a license to anyone that was not revocable?" asks SCO's Blake Stowell

[Writing to the San Francisco correspondent of the UK-based Web site The Register, SCO's indefatigable Director of Public Relations tells him he thinks SGI, and IBM before it, do not have a tenable position when claiming their Unix licenses to be "irrevocable."]

To: Subject: Why do these guys keep calling the license irrevocable?

I have read over SGI’s licenses and I’ve found no place where it says it is irrevocable. Why would anyone in their right mind sign over a license to anyone that was not revocable?

“Congratulations sir, I know you were speeding and drunk at the wheel, weaving in and out of your lane, but lucky for you, you had one of these drivers’ licenses that is irrevocable. Have a nice day.” There is no such thing as an irrevocable license. You have to abide by the statutes of a license or it can be revoked.

You can’t take code based on a license you signed, change it a little and then give it away for free (as in the case of XFS from SGI). If SCO allowed companies to contribute derivative UNIX code to Linux and give it away for free, it would destroy the value of all other versions of UNIX, including SCO’s own, not to mention the versions of UNIX made by SUN, HP, IBM, SGI, Sequent, Hitachi, Fujitsu, Siemens, and every other one of the 6,000 other licensees. Why would SCO not have such a provision in their licenses? This line of thinking is absolutely ludicrous.

In fact, this very language comes from SGI’s license it originally signed with AT&T which license SCO now owns:

If LICENSEE fails to fulfill one or more of its obligations under this Agreement, AT&T-IS (AT&T Information Systems) may, upon its election and in addition to any other rememdies that it may have, at any time terminate all the rights granted by it hereunder by not less than two (2) months’ written notice to LICENSEE specifying any such breach, unless within the period of such notice all breaches specified therein shall have been remedied; upon such termination LICENSEE shall immediately discontinue use of and return or destroy all copies of SOFTWARE PRODUCTS subject to this Agreement.

Irrevocable? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Blake Stowell, Director, Public Relations, SCO

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Reader Feedback: Page 1 of 1

Blake Stowell wrote:

>In fact, this very language comes from SGI’s
>license it originally signed with AT&T which
>license SCO now owns:

FUD.

Stowell does not indicate the date of the license quoted. If it was after, or part of the AT&T Unix settlement, it might continue in force. But if it was *before* the AT&T Unix settlement, it may have been superceded by the subsequent terms of the license mandated by the court, which according to many parties (including Stanford University (Berkley Unix) as well as BSDI), granted irrevocable Unix licenses. Not only that, but Novell continues to control the Unix licenses!

Other than an undated cite from *some* AT&T license, the only other claims Stowell makes are rhetorical.

SCO paid $100 million for an OS that had ATT-monopoly baggage from a court decision stuck to it. Naturally SCO would like their ROI. Sorry SCO, but it appears to me, and most of the IT cognoscenti that you played the wrong cards & you lost. Hmmm.... What do you call a sore loser who pulls a gun after losing at cards?

SCO hasn't sued any of the Linux distribution outfits yet. Why? Because SCO is still a member (by contract) of UnitedLinux - a partnership with RedHat, SUSe & SCO. Since SCO won't sue themselves, they can't arbitrarily sue Linux distributors who are on the same vendor tier as themselves without appearing deliberately selective in litigation.

What I find curious is M$'s willingness to quickly and instantly settle with SCO. How much did M$ pay to buy off SCO's eminently disputable claims? Why did M$ capitulate so willingly when nobody else has? Did it behoove M$ to shore up SCO's coffers so that SCO could go play brinksmanship games?

I hope SCO gets hoisted by its own petard. Better yet, I hope someone digs some bones out of the graveyard and SCO takes M$ with it.

Stowell stated the parts of the SGI license that supported his view. Let me state a conflicting part of the IBM license.

The following is quoted from http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=191&mode=print
GROKLAW was quoting court documents. Whether or not IBM violated the agreement, SCO has no right to terminate IBM's license. The most it can do is sue IBM.

"11. Thereafter, IBM obtained additional rights with respect to UNIX software. Pursuant to an agreement known as Amendment X, entered into by IBM, Novell and Original SCO on October 17, 1996, for example, IBM acquired the "irrevocable, fully paid-up, perpetual right to exercise all of its rights" under the AT&T Agreements. A copy of this amendment is attached hereto as Exhibit G. . . .

"H. Novell's Exercise of Rights

"32. On June 9, 2003, in response to SCO's actions, and pursuant to its obligations under Amendment X, Novell stated its belief that SCO has no right to terminate IBM's UNIX License which is perpetual and irrevocable, and Novell exercised its retained rights to UNIX to put a stop to SCO's misconduct. Under Section 4.16(b) of the Asset Purchase Agreement between Novell and Original SCO dated September 19, 1995 ('APA'), attached hereto as Exhibit J, Novell directed SCO to 'waive any purported right SCO may claim to terminate IBM's [UNIX] licenses enumerated in Amendment X or to revoke any rights thereunder, including any purported rights to terminate asserted in SCO's letter of March 6, 2003 to IBM'. A copy of Novell's June 9, 2003 letter is attached hereto as Exhibit K.

"33. When SCO failed to take the actions directed by Novell, on June 12, 2003, Novell exercised its rights under Section 4.16(b) of the APA to waive and revoke, in SCO's stead, any purported right SCO claimed to terminate IBM's licenses. A copy of Novell's June 12, 2003 letter is attached hereto as Exhibit L."


Your Feedback
anonymous coward wrote: Blake Stowell wrote: >In fact, this very language comes from SGI’s >license it originally signed with AT&T which >license SCO now owns: FUD. Stowell does not indicate the date of the license quoted. If it was after, or part of the AT&T Unix settlement, it might continue in force. But if it was *before* the AT&T Unix settlement, it may have been superceded by the subsequent terms of the license mandated by the court, which according to many parties (including Stanford University (Berkley Unix) as well as BSDI), granted irrevocable Unix licenses. Not only that, but Novell continues to control the Unix licenses! Other than an undated cite from *some* AT&T license, the only other claims Stowell makes are rhetorical. SCO paid $100 million for an OS that had ATT-monopoly baggage from a court decision stuck to it. Naturally SCO would like their ROI. Sorry SCO, but it appea...
Thomas Frayne wrote: Stowell stated the parts of the SGI license that supported his view. Let me state a conflicting part of the IBM license. The following is quoted from http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=191&mode=print GROKLAW was quoting court documents. Whether or not IBM violated the agreement, SCO has no right to terminate IBM's license. The most it can do is sue IBM. "11. Thereafter, IBM obtained additional rights with respect to UNIX software. Pursuant to an agreement known as Amendment X, entered into by IBM, Novell and Original SCO on October 17, 1996, for example, IBM acquired the "irrevocable, fully paid-up, perpetual right to exercise all of its rights" under the AT&T Agreements. A copy of this amendment is attached hereto as Exhibit G. . . . "H. Novell's Exercise of Rights "32. On June 9, 2003, in response to SCO's actions, and pursuant to its obligations under Amendment X...
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