Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Liz McMillan, Vaibhaw Pandey, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: Linux Containers

Linux Containers: Article

SCO & Linux: "OS Agnostic" Anderer Comes In From the Cold

SCO & Linux: "OS Agnostic" Anderer Comes In From the Cold

S2's CEO, strategic consultant Mike Andererer - author of the infamous memo of October 12, 2003 to Chris Sontag, Vice-President and GM of SCOsource, copied to SCO Group CFO Bob Bench - has emerged from the shadows to share with readers of NewsForge his thoughts on the whole episode.

Here is how Perens characterized the leaked memo:

The e-mail details how, surprise surprise, Microsoft has arranged virtually all of SCO's financing, hiding behind intermediaries like Baystar Capital. SCO spokesperson Blake Stowell has admitted that the email is real, but called its implications a "misunderstanding", while Microsoft softly called them "not accurate". We'd hear stronger denials if there wasn't some truth there. This was followed by a comment from the the Securities and Exchange Commission that, yeah, they're interested. Mr. Anderer, expect to see lots of subpoenas with your name on them.

Now Anderer himself comes forward and, describing himself as "OS agnostic - the more there are the better," says "my background is integration...I will file close to 20 patents this year for companies in many spaces, including homeland security, anti-terrorism, several grid computing and virtual machine patents."

"I have helped many companies and individuals who run companies in the GNU/Linux, BSD, and Unix world as well as those in the Microsoft world," Anderer writes. 

"I admire the good parts and despair the bad parts," he adds.

As he is under a non-disclosure agreement he can't say very much about the $50 million PIPE deal, he notes, but what he describes as a "licensing project" is not his main gig:

"I would state that this licensing project represented only a small fraction of my time over the last year and has completely gone away in recent months. This was a job for me, and licensing IP has been an increasingly significant portion of my work."

What he writes next will send shudders down many a spine:

"I think one real issue, that people are skirting, is who will be the ultimate guarantor of IP-related issues in a world that is governed by the GPL and GPL-like licenses. I could easily see IBM, HP, Sun, and many of the other large hardware players solving this problem tomorrow by settling the dispute with SCO and maybe even taking the entire code base and donating it into the public domain. I know this is what I originally thought would happen, at least the settlement part. I am not certain what people who paid tens of millions for licenses would say if what they paid for was now free, but that is a different issue.

In a world where there are $500 million dollar patent infringement lawsuits imposed on OS companies (although this is not completely settled yet), how would somebody like Red Hat compete when 6 months ago they only had $80-$90 million in cash? At that point they could not even afford to settle a fraction of a single judgment without devastating their shareholders. I suspect Microsoft may have 50 or more of these lawsuits in the queue. All of them are not asking for hundreds of millions, but most would be large enough to ruin anything but the largest companies. Red Hat did recently raise several hundred million which certainly gives them more staying power. Ultimately, I do not think any company except a few of the largest companies can offer any reasonable insulation to their customers from these types of judgments. You would need a market cap of more than a couple billion to just survive in the OS space."

"Nobody wants to be the ultimate guarantor for software that was free (or close to it)," acccording to Anderer. "I think the dispute with SCO would have been settled a long time ago if everybody knew this was the last one," he writes.

"The world of software is changing," he adds. 

"I think everybody sees that part on the product side, but the economic underpinnings are changing too. It used to be you included R&D and patent development costs into your license add your costs and a markup and you could make a living. We relied on cross-licensing, licensing, and innovation, and our ability to prevent other people from copying our work without permission. Now things are shifting, but I am not certain anybody has completely figured out this new model, and if you think it is just any one company that is concerned about this, you are wrong."

So in the World According to Anderer, whales like Microsoft - either directly or through proxies - will sue open source minnows until basically they either asphyxiate through lack of cash or are forced into some kind of cross licensing agreement with Microsoft and/or other companies acting in the same fashion.

Not if Pamela Jones and the Groklaw brigade can help it, mind you. In a scathing essay yesterday entitled "Anderer's 'Old Think' Tries to Justify A Dying Business Model," she declares why:

Because there are millions of people in this world who love GNU/Linux software and despise SCO's way of thinking and their business model and are willing to stand up and say no. We're willing to research and testify and produce evidence and leak memos and use our considerable talents, for no money and at considerable risk, I might add, to defeat this monstrously ugly attack. SCO can't buy this at any price. Not even Microsoft can buy it, with all their billions. It's not for sale.

"So far," Jones says, "we're winning by a mile." She adduces as evidence the fact that SCO is only still alive through the cash infusion that was the subject of Anderer's intervention. "Without MS propping them up," she writes, "where would [SCO] be today?"

The company BayStar gave its $50 million to, in other words, has as yet produced just $20,000 in Linux license revenue. But then, alas, the software patent wars are perhaps only just beginning.

The one hope is possibly the Federal Reserve's Alan Greenspan, who gave a speech last month regarding intellectual property rights which - while noting that protection of IP is a good thing - could be interpreted as mooting the idea that protection for IP should get weaker, not stronger, if the US economy is to keep growing.

 

 

 

More Stories By Linux News Desk

SYS-CON's Linux News Desk gathers stories, analysis, and information from around the Linux world and synthesizes them into an easy to digest format for IT/IS managers and other business decision-makers.

Comments (11) 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
penguinbrat 03/13/04 03:40:55 PM EST

The essence of the GPL is to provdide a protected way to share knowledge and ideas, and to encourage such a freedom. At the intellectual level, this is the best thing to come along since boxed bread. However, at the business level there is no inherent value of the GPL simply because of the fact that the end user(s) of the resulting products, may very well never know who authored the said product and consequently there could conceivably never be any return on the hard work.

Take the revised XFree86 license that essentially just expects acknowledgement of their hard work.

The big difference between XFree and IBM/Novell/Redhat/etc.. is that the later would conceivably see a return from their efforts with supporting the entire system that they help build, while XFree would never see such a return because they only help build it and to the enduser they are never acknowledged.

Perhaps what the open source community needs to consider is a way to acknowledge the given author(s) if so required - for example in the configuration the X server, acknowledgement of XFree86 and the comercial video driver manufacturer (NVidia/ATI/etc..) could be linked back to their respective sites or something.

Without this acknowledgement, the open source community is essentially alienating the software business world (the community itself will figure out how to support the given product and likewise make any business efforts moot to a certain extent), and these tif's and battles with companies such as SCO and Microsoft are going to be inevitable.

The open source community needs to make every effort to bridge this gap between the intellectual and business worlds - other wise these battles and wars will just get worse, and consequently just as threatening...

the banker 03/13/04 03:38:57 PM EST

There are a lot of things that Anderer stands for that I despise, however someone like IBM doing what he suggests would actually be good for the community in that it would settle a lot of the licensing murkiness around Unix that has hung like a pall over it for years (AT&T, BSD, Novell, SCO, SCO/Caldera, etc...).

I think this would prove next to impossible in a practical sense, however, as I am sure that other companies would claim that IBM doesn't own *ALL* of Unix and sue on that basis.

The bottom line is that I don't see Unix license issues ever disappearing completely - the best we can hope for is a clear judgement against SCO that prevents any other company from trying similar tactics

tabgeldawad 03/13/04 03:33:02 PM EST

Actually Anderer himself says he's surprised that the quick solution - buy the source to Unix then place Unix source in the public domain - hasn't happened:

>I could easily see IBM, HP, Sun, and many of the other
>large hardware players solving this problem tomorrow
>by settling the dispute with SCO and maybe even taking
>the entire code base and donating it into the public
>domain.

LinuxAdvocate 03/13/04 03:21:09 PM EST

I wonder how many SCO shares the Linux community would have to buy in order to take control of the company and stop this madness. What would it really cost? Could IBM, HP, Red Hat, Oracle and all the Linux folks buy enough stock to throw out the people in change and then open-source all of Unix?

AndererDisgustsMe 03/13/04 01:50:26 PM EST

$500 million?

Isn't that either a $5 or $1.50 judgement per instance of Explorer that MS sold?

That lead to

1) This is an internet browser issue, not an OS issue
2) $500 million judgement could only happen to RedHat if Redhat were to have a nearly 90% market share for several years

It now seems to me that Anderer is in the same clique with Enderle, DiDio, Skiba and Lyons and that all of them read from the same FUD playbook.

Pretty pathetic.

monkelectric 03/13/04 01:11:13 PM EST

This is probably the doomsday scenario for linux... We in the OSS community have been saying, "Linux is good, linux is the revolution, linux is freedom and freedom is inevitable. Besides, what can MS do?" And now we have the answer to that question.

The problem with the legal system is it's stacked against the small guy from start to finish. This is how it's stacked: Consequences. There are *NO* consequences for setting out to ruin somebody. None whatsoever. What are the consequences for MS and SCO for this fraud so far? Lots of money. The money train will end, but it will still have been a nice trip for them. We in the OSS revolution need to make sure MS and SCO get their clocks cleaned.

If the SEC/DOJ won't step up to the plate, we need to be prepared to do real damage on our own. -- which is going to suck because there's no legal way to accomplish that -- court rooms and the halls of government are their venues.

Azureflare 03/13/04 01:09:54 PM EST

I still can't see how anyone can go after distros like Red Hat, Mandrake et. al. They are just distributing the code. The code itself is made by tons of different people around the globe; to stop Linux, people would have to sue every contributor to Linux. I don't think that's possible given that many developers aren't even in the United States.

tmacinta 03/13/04 01:07:34 PM EST

It sounds to me like he's talking about the Eolas suit against Microsoft in the first sentence. He leads off talking about how Microsoft has needed to defend its turf because of the nature of the OS business, says that RedHat would be crushed by a judgment of the same kind which Microsoft was handed (the fine was $500M), and then points out that the Eolas suit is not unique and that Microsoft faces suits like that quite frequently.

oryoa 03/13/04 01:06:16 PM EST

Yes, he says that Microsoft have a great many lawsuits queued up AGAINST them. His perspective is evidently that you can only survive in the operating systems market if you can stand up against the sort of litigation that Microsoft has to:

> In a world where there are $500 million dollar patent
> infringement lawsuits imposed on OS companies (although
> this is not completely settled yet), how would somebody
> like Red Hat compete when 6 months ago they only had
> $80-$90 million in cash? At that point they could not
> even afford to settle a fraction of a single judgment
> without devastating their shareholders. I suspect
> Microsoft may have 50 or more of these lawsuits in the
> queue. All of them are not asking for hundreds of
> millions, but most would be large enough to ruin anything
> but the largest companies.

Question 03/13/04 01:03:39 PM EST

Does Anderer mean that Microsoft has a queue of 50 frivoulous lawsuits against itself, or that Redmond is planning 50 lawsuits against other people? I think it's the former, yes?

dukerobillard 03/13/04 01:00:00 PM EST

>The world of software is changing.... It used to be
>you included R&D and patent development costs into your
>license add your costs and a markup and you could make
>a living. We relied on cross-licensing, licensing, and
>innovation, and our ability to prevent other people
>from copying our work without permission. Now things
>are shifting, but I am not certain anybody has completely
>figured out this new model, and if you think it is
>just any one company that is concerned about this, you
>are wrong.

Hmmm...maybe it'll go back to the way it was before people could get rich on software. That's what RMS was originally after, all those years ago

@ThingsExpo Stories
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...