Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Zakia Bouachraoui, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Linux Containers

Linux Containers: Article

Is SCO Perfecting the Art of the Big Lie?

Is SCO Perfecting the Art of the Big Lie?

"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it," said Joseph Goebbels (1897-1945), Hitler's Minister of Propaganda. I would take the position that out in Utah, SCO is taking this "Big Lie" strategy into the computer age.

Take for example their August 11th press release touting the first Fortune 500 company to sign on with their $700/CPU
extortion-program-masquerading-as-a-license-fee.  Conveniently left out of the release are:

  • Who the company was (conveniently citing a confidentiality agreement).
    Are they afraid that the company would be the subject of massive
    protests and attacks?  Or maybe that the company's stock would fall,
    given how boneheaded it would be to pay anyone $700/CPU for a piece of
    free software?
  • How many licenses were bought?  Maybe this company only has a single
    CPU running Linux.  Maybe they have 1,000.  How can we judge the
    significance of the deal without this detail?
  • How much the company paid.  Did SCO offer the company a $1
    company-wide license to garner the publicity value of scoring a Fortune
    500 firm?  Who knows?

Add into this the factor that the SCO license only covers running their own binary-only version of Linux.  What's the likelihood that any company with a major investment in Linux technology could cut over in any short timeframe to a new Linux release running on hardware that might not even be compatible with the SCO binary?

All this leaves me wondering if such a company exists at all, or if this is just another in the collection of "We'd tell you, but then we'd have to kill you" statements issued by SCO.  As others have remarked, the moment SCO starts laying facts on the table is the moment that their case starts to fall apart.  The odor of "pump and dump" stock manipulation hangs in the air, and unless SCO starts to make good on some of their claims, the only people who are going to end up taking them seriously are the SEC.

Maybe they should hire the former Iraqi information minister. "Thousands of companies have bought our licenses!  I will show you the list this afternoon! The blood of the open source infidels will run through the streets of Salt Lake!"  Comical Ali understood the value of the Big Lie too.


More Stories By James Turner

James Turner is president of Black Bear Software. James was formerly senior editor of Linux.SYS-CON.com and has also written for Wired, Christian Science Monitor, and other publications. He is currently working on his third book on open source development.

Comments (7) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
Doc 10/06/03 10:55:33 PM EDT

Why can't the linux community all look up SCO's 1-800 numbers and call them up non-stop? Every call costs money, right?

Tim Rentsch 09/05/03 06:31:57 PM EDT

A Fortune 500 company - how about Microsoft? There
was a non-disclosure agreement because Microsoft doesn't
want anyone to know that they are running Linux. :)

chitta mylvaganam 09/03/03 11:29:34 AM EDT

This whole SCO story re it's UNIX and LINUX rights seems to stink!. It is too complex for me to get a detailed grasp of, but in simple terms I understand it thus:

Once upon a time made and AT&T owned UNIX. Then it sold UNIX to several (two?) parties who went ahead and developed their own versions. I believe BSD is one of these. Apparently from what I am reading now, SCO's was the other, and today's SCO is only an inheritor of an earlier incarnation, and the earlier SCO was not even in existence when AT&T, still the owner of UNIX licensed its use to IBM, who promply went ahead and developed their own AIX flavour and their own hardware (RISC 6000) for it.

Probably IBM's lawyers never used the eyes in the backs of their heads to know that someone in the distant future would pull the carpet from under their feet - ie; that the owner of UNIX who gave them their license would sell its ownership to another party without clarifying or notifying (my assumption) the future rights of its licensees.

So IBM gets screwed for not watching over its shoulder. Also, as some others have suggested, is their an evil Ming (remember Flash Gordon) instigating this dirty game, and watching the fight from behind a curtain? I think everybody knows the Ming Empire. Empires are not eternal.

A Smith 08/29/03 02:58:11 PM EDT

Doubts about SCO DoS attack claim

Reviewing a NetCraft graph of www.sco.com reveals that their periods of downtime seem to be as regular as clockwork. That sure would be a surprising pattern for a DoS attack!

Further doubts arise about whether there was a DoS attack, because at least three times SCO employees seemed to say that there wasn't one.

chrismac 08/28/03 02:45:02 PM EDT

I think the Author is confused about the SCO binary license.

"Add into this the factor that the SCO license only covers running their own binary-only version of Linux."

They are issueing a license for a binary run-time format. They are not providing any software or version of Linux.

Juls 08/28/03 10:21:27 AM EDT

I think the Company that signed the licensing agreement was none other than Microsoft, remember that they just got a lab full of Open Source products to test them as to how they compare against Microsoft products. I would be a good way for them to increase the fear around Linux

javateddy 08/27/03 07:24:52 PM EDT

good article.
I think Sco'lawsuit is the first thing MS did to beat the linux. Maybe have second,third,let me see that.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Early Bird Registration Discount Expires on August 31, 2018 Conference Registration Link ▸ HERE. Pick from all 200 sessions in all 10 tracks, plus 22 Keynotes & General Sessions! Lunch is served two days. EXPIRES AUGUST 31, 2018. Ticket prices: ($1,295-Aug 31) ($1,495-Oct 31) ($1,995-Nov 12) ($2,500-Walk-in)
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
The challenges of aggregating data from consumer-oriented devices, such as wearable technologies and smart thermostats, are fairly well-understood. However, there are a new set of challenges for IoT devices that generate megabytes or gigabytes of data per second. Certainly, the infrastructure will have to change, as those volumes of data will likely overwhelm the available bandwidth for aggregating the data into a central repository. Ochandarena discusses a whole new way to think about your next...
CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
All in Mobile is a place where we continually maximize their impact by fostering understanding, empathy, insights, creativity and joy. They believe that a truly useful and desirable mobile app doesn't need the brightest idea or the most advanced technology. A great product begins with understanding people. It's easy to think that customers will love your app, but can you justify it? They make sure your final app is something that users truly want and need. The only way to do this is by ...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Big Data Federation to Exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO, colocated with DevOpsSUMMIT and DXWorldEXPO, November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Big Data Federation, Inc. develops and applies artificial intelligence to predict financial and economic events that matter. The company uncovers patterns and precise drivers of performance and outcomes with the aid of machine-learning algorithms, big data, and fundamental analysis. Their products are deployed...