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07/27/2003 Archived Entry: "SCO Group"
A rainy day with a heavy workload...so I'm just posting a note from friends, Dick and Jill Miller, on SCO's attempt to cash in on the incredible spread of Linux, with which Brad is enchanted. The note -- circulated to the Miller's -- includes a parody of the SCO grab written by Brad along the lines of those omnipresent scam letters, "I am the son of the former President of Nambia and I wish to offer you a business opportunity!" The 3rd, 4th & 5th paragraphs are basically factual.
The Millers write, "Have you been following The SCO Group's 'Linux users owe us' lawsuit against IBM? It's already threatened all commercial Linux users who don't pay SCO's hold-harmless fee. SCO recently expressed interest in suing the U.S. government too, and at least indirectly it also threatens home users.
At MMS, we HAVE been following it. It seems that neither IBM nor many others are buying SCO's argument. There's no lack of good reading on the subject. You might start with MozillaQuest Magazine or The Open Group. Or you can go for the long-range, international social view -- for more on this click here.
There's a certain humor to all of this. Cutting through the technical details, 'and explaining all'...
I particularly like an Australian Linux group's argument: '..this whole fiasco is the IT industry equivalent of a Nigerian scam or Internet extortion ploy.' Brad quickly provided us with this perfect follow-up to that Nigerian scam argument:
SUBJECT: URGENT ASSISTANCE REQUIRED
I AM MR. DARL MCBRIDE CURRENTLY SERVING AS THE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF THE SCO GROUP, FORMERLY KNOWN AS CALDERA SYSTEMS INTERNATIONAL, IN LINDON, UTAH, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. I KNOW THIS LETTER MIGHT SURPRISE YOUR BECAUSE WE HAVE HAD NO PREVIOUS COMMUNICATIONS OR BUSINESS DEALINGS BEFORE NOW.
MY ASSOCIATES HAVE RECENTLY MADE CLAIM TO COMPUTER SOFTWARES WORTH AN ESTIMATED $1 BILLION U.S. DOLLARS. I AM WRITING TO YOU IN CONFIDENCE BECAUSE WE URGENTLY REQUIRE YOUR ASSISTANCE TO OBTAIN THESE FUNDS.
IN THE EARLY 1970S THE AMERICAN TELEPHONE AND TELEGRAPH CORPORATION DEVELOPED AT GREAT EXPENSE THE COMPUTER OPERATING SYSTEM SOFTWARE KNOWN AS UNIX. UNFORTUNATELY THE LAWS OF MY COUNTRY PROHIBITED THEM FROM SELLING THESE SOFTWARES AND SO THEIR VALUABLE SOURCE CODES REMAINED PRIVATELY HELD. UNDER A SPECIAL ARRANGMENT SOME PROGRAMMERS FROM THE CALIFORNIA UNIVERSITY OF BERKELEY DID ADD MORE CODES TO THIS OPERATING SYSTEM, INCREASING ITS VALUE, BUT NOT IN ANY WAY TO DILUTE OR DISPARAGE OUR FULL AND RIGHTFUL OWNERSHIP OF THESE CODES, DESPITE ANY AGREEMENT BETWEEN AMERICAN TELEPHONE AND TELEGRAPH AND THE CALIFORNIA UNIVERSITY OF BERKELEY, WHICH AGREEMENT WE DENY AND DISAVOW.
IN THE YEAR 1984 A CHANGE OF REGIME IN MY COUNTRY ALLOWED THE AMERICAN TELEPHONE AND TELEGRAPH CORPORATION TO MAKE PROFITS FROM THESE SOFTWARES. IN THE YEAR 1990 OWNERSHIP OF THESE SOFTWARES WAS TRANSFERRED TO THE CORPORATION UNIX SYSTEM LABORATORIES. IN THE YEAR 1993 THIS CORPORATION WAS SOLD TO THE CORPORATION NOVELL. IN THE YEAR 1994 SOME EMPLOYEES OF NOVELL FORMED THE CORPORATION CALDERA SYSTEMS INTERNATIONAL, WHICH BEGAN TO DISTRIBUTE AN UPSTART OPERATING SYSTEM KNOWN AS LINUX. IN THE YEAR 1995 NOVELL SOLD THE UNIX SOFTWARE CODES TO SCO. IN THE YEAR 2001 OCCURRED A SEPARATION OF SCO, AND THE SCO BRAND NAME AND UNIX CODES WERE ACQUIRED BY THE CALDERA SYSTEMS INTERNATIONAL, AND IN THE FOLLOWING YEAR THE CALDERA SYSTEMS INTERNATIONAL WAS RENAMED SCO GROUP, OF WHICH I CURRENTLY SERVE AS CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER.
MY ASSOCIATES AND I OF THE SCO GROUP ARE THEREFORE THE FULL AND RIGHTFUL OWNERS OF THE OPERATING SYSTEM SOFTWARES KNOWN AS UNIX. OUR ENGINEERS HAVE DISCOVERED THAT NO FEWER THAN SEVENTY (70) LINES OF OUR VALUABLE AND PROPRIETARY SOURCE CODES HAVE APPEARED IN THE UPSTART OPERATING SYSTEM LINUX. AS YOU CAN PLAINLY SEE, THIS GIVES US A CLAIM ON THE MILLIONS OF LINES OF VALUABLE SOFTWARE CODES WHICH COMPRISE THIS LINUX AND WHICH HAS BEEN SOLD AT GREAT PROFIT TO VERY MANY BUSINESS ENTERPRISES. OUR LEGAL EXPERTS HAVE ADVISED US THAT OUR CONTRIBUTION TO THESE CODES IS WORTH AN ESTIMATED ONE (1) BILLION U.S. DOLLARS.
UNFORTUNATELY WE ARE HAVING DIFFICULTY EXTRACTING OUR FUNDS FROM THESE COMPUTER SOFTWARES. TO THIS EFFECT I HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE MANDATE BY MY COLLEAGUES TO CONTACT YOU AND ASK FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE. WE ARE PREPARED TO SELL YOU A SHARE IN THIS ENTERPRISE, WHICH WILL SOON BE VERY PROFITABLE, THAT WILL GRANT YOU THE RIGHTS TO USE THESE VAULABLE
SOFTWARES IN YOUR BUSINESS ENTERPRISE. UNFORTUNATELY WE ARE NOT ABLE AT THIS TIME TO SET A PRICE ON THESE RIGHTS. THEREFORE IT IS OUR RESPECTFUL SUGGESTION, THAT YOU MAY BE IMMEDIATELY A PARTY TO THIS ENTERPRISE, BEFORE OTHERS ACCEPT THESE LUCRATIVE TERMS, THAT YOU SEND US THE NUMBER OF A BANKING ACCOUNT WHERE WE CAN WITHDRAW FUNDS OF A SUITABLE AMOUNT TO GUARANTEE YOUR PARTICIPATION IN THIS ENTERPRISE. AS AN ALTERNATIVE YOU MAY SEND US THE NUMBER AND EXPIRATION DATE OF YOUR MAJOR CREDIT CARD, OR YOU MAY SEND TO US A SIGNED CHECK FROM YOUR BANKING ACCOUNT PAYABLE TO "SCO GROUP" AND WITH THE AMOUNT LEFT BLANK FOR US TO CONVENIENTLY SUPPLY.
KINDLY TREAT THIS REQUEST AS VERY IMPORTANT AND STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL. I HONESTLY ASSURE YOU THAT THIS TRANSACTION IS 100% LEGAL AND RISK-FREE.
I'm currently enjoying free downloads of Red Hat Linux 9, and Open Office 1.1 and Ximian Evolution 1.4.3."
Best to all,