DaimlerChrysler fights back!

DaimlerChrysler have filed in their suit against SCO and it looks like it’s going be be a humdinger: They’ve gone straight for a Dismissal with Prejudice. If the Groklaw site is anything to go by, general opinion is that this is a great move. They have stated more affirmative defences than you could shake a big cruddy stick at: failure to state a claim, waiver, estoppel, laches, unclean hands and acquiescence, lack of capacity to sue, lack of standing, lack of case or controversy, lack of breach/cure of alleged breach, mitigation of damages, Plaintiff’s claims are moot, bar by third-party contract, and reservation of right. The WHEREFORE clause asks that the complaint be dismissed with prejudice, and that the court award DaimlerChrysler costs and attorneys’ fees.

Not only am I not a lawyer, but I also dunno if the Americans have odd legal terms. Even so, it seems like DC have come up with a whole cartload of reasons why the case should be dismissed.

TurboTas 2004

New Look For TurboTas

Yep, to coincide with the new job, here’s a new look for the TurboTas site. This theme is crafted by my good self from a theme called anjara. The basic premise is to try really hard to make this look like it’s not a Nuke site! How am I doing? This theme will be mirrored on the other sites soon, so woooosh, linuxsupportservices and sessl will go the same way soon.

AutoZone Requests a Stay

Yet another Groklaw link I’m afraid. Autozone have requested a stay on their case with SCO. The obvious logic is that as there are three cases already on the boil, let them go first! Of course, it’s even more relevant that AutoZone depends on the outcome of those cases anyway.Even in basic terms: Does SCO own Unix (Novell), is there stuff in Linux that SCO owns (IBM) and are Linux vendors liable (Redhat) needs resolving before Autozone goes to court.

The above paragraph nothwithstanding, the AutoZone Motion to stay is a great piece of work: read this if you read nothing else about the suits: it’s a great updater.

TurboTas 2004

BayStar Refund Reason Discovered?

The recent request from BayStar for their $20M investment back is a first for them. Out of over 100 large investments, this is the fisrt time they’ve had misgivings.

Groklaw are running an article today that suggests why that might be.

SCO recently hired a new CFO. It transpires that openness about the history of Bert Young, like so many thinks with SCO, is a bit of the stretch of the truth.

SCO said:

“Young brings to SCO a seasoned background in executive-level management responsibilities from a variety of information technology companies including worldwide finance, operations, mergers and acquisitions expertise.

“Previous to SCO, Young was the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for LANDesk Software, where he was accountable for all financial management and reporting to company stockholders. He has also served as CFO for several other companies including Talk2 Technology, Inc. and Whittman-Hart. He was also the CIO for Chicago-based Waste Management, Inc.”

What they failed to day was that Bert Young is presently named as a defendant in the bankruptcy of MarchFIRST, a US company that went bust in 2001 amongst allegations of
corporate waste and breach of fiduciary duty.

Bert Young was (you guessed it) CFO when the 9000 employee company went titsup after the disastrous merger of two of the companies that SCO did mention: Talk2 Technology, Inc. and Whittman-Hart. And this is not old news: the most recent hearing was last week!

Can’t help wondering if hirings like this might be what BayStar are worried about!

TurboTas 2004

New Developments

It’s been a while since I wrote anything about SCO, so it’s probably about time for an update. I’ve only scratched the surface with this update. Check out Groklaw for the full stories.Firstly, the RedHat trial has been ‘stayed’ pending an outcome in the IBM case. The judge took this steep unilaterally and RedHat are appealing it on the grounds that SCO are continuing to bully end users.

Secondly, Baystar, the finance group that invested heavily in SCO last year to finance their litigation spree, has asked for their money back. Indications as to why are not clear but BayStar have hinted that much of it may be down to Darl’s persistent half-truths.

Third, SCO shares have nosedived recently having dropped to around 50% that at their peak in October last year.

A forth newsworthy article is that Laura Didio of the Yankeee group is now saying that the case is like a rollercoaster ride. WTF? Last time I looked, she was a staunch supporter of SCO. Now it’s a Rollcoaster ride?

eInk update

Those of you that read the article in July last year about the incredible new paper-like display technology may be interested in this update.

Sony have released the first product based on the technology. The Sony LIBRIé is the fist commercial product to be based on the technology and the specs are impressive.As the display does not require refreshing, the device can switch off between page turns thus drastically reducing power requirements over other similar sized display technologies.

This first product can store around 500 eBooks and the batteries will last for 10,000 page refreshes: probably enough to read about 20 of those books!

The Phillips manufactured display used in the LIBREé runs at around 175 pixels per inch. Any of you familiar with the technology should immediately realise that even as a first generation implementation, this is comparable with newsprint.

The ebook is a very high contrast medium and can be read in bright sunlight and low light conditions.

Here’s the press release.

TurboTas 2004

Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI), Sony Corporation(NYSE: SNE) and E Ink Corporation announced today the world’s first consumer application of an electronic paper display module in Sony’s new e-Book reader, LIBRIé, scheduled to go on sale in Japan in late April. This “first ever” Philips’ display utilizes E Ink’s revolutionary electronic ink technology which offers a truly paper-like reading experience with contrast that is the same as newsprint.

The Electronic Paper Display is reflective and can be easily read in bright sunlight or dimly lit environments while being able to be seen at virtually any angle – just like paper. Its black and white ink-on-paper look, combined with a resolution in excess of most portable devices at approximately 170 pixels per inch (PPI), gives an appearance similar to that of the most widely read material on the planet – newspaper. Because the display uses power only when an image is changed, a user can read more than 10,000 pages before the four AAA Alkaline batteries need to be replaced. The unique technology also results in a compact and lightweight form factor allowing it to be ideal for highly portable applications.

Sony’s e-Book reader LIBRIé, the first device to utilize Philips’ display solution for enhanced reading, is similar in size and design to a paperback book. LIBRIé allows users to download published content, such as books or comic strips from the Internet, and enjoy it anywhere at any time. LIBRIé can store up to 500 downloaded books.

Playstation Parts Used in Ministry of Death and Destruction!

Sony on Friday announced that it would investigate claims by a former US military official that parts from its Playstation 2 video game console are being tested in military equipment for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.According to the official, who wished to remain anonymous, the US military has been purchasing hundreds of Playstation analog controllers and retrofitting them to Abrams tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles, and missile defense computers at the US command’s headquarters in Baghdad.

Sony’s main distributor in Europe, Centresoft, has been providing the military with the controllers, says Stewart Richmond, chief legal counsel for Sony Europe.

Throughout the late-nineties it was widely speculated that the US military used video games to train soldiers for combat. But advances in technology and gaming ability among younger soldiers led engineers to base the next generation of command/control hardware on the Playstation controller, according to the former military official.

This is troubling to Sony executives because there is wide speculation that the Playstation controllers were tested in a military exercise in Southern Iraq where 72 Iraqi soldiers and 300 civilians were killed. Fifteen US soldiers were killed from friendly fire.

“While it’s nice that they’d [US Army] use our controllers to help fight the war on terror,” says Sony spokesman Yoshikazu Ochiai, “We’re a little concerned about our products being used to harm people.”

Lawyers for Sony also say the US military may be violating international law for not letting the company know its products are being used for military purposes.

During the Vietnam War, Mattel successfully sued the US Air Force for airdropping “Vietcong” Ken Dolls over North Vietnam in hopes of taunting the communists.

“The soldiers today are so used to handling the Playstation controller,” says one former military official, “it makes perfect sense that they’d use it to control army tanks and shoot missiles.”

According to military engineers, the Playstation controllers offer more pinpoint accuracy than their current set of controllers, which were mainly developed during the 1970s.

Source: Wired News


Fear Not! All is in hand. This is a just another facelift for TurboTas. You happen to have caught the site at a …ahem…. 50% stage. check back tomorrow and it’ll be done.

So the OSS Community can litigate too?

An Interesting article this week highlighted the OSS legal position.

There are many Hardware Manufacturers using OSS software in their products. This is a Good Thing.

The manufacturer gets a robust code base with good support etc and the OSS community gets the kudos of having their work put into hardware product.

The most common misconception is that because the software is free (as in both free speech and free beer), they have no legal contraints.

This is simply not so. the most common OSS licence, the GPL, allows for all and any use of the code with the very simple provisions that the Source Code must be distributed or be available with the product. This is more or less the only constraint placed on the developer.

This is why you will always get a source code CD when you buy a RedHat distro for example.

Some hardware vendors seem to be forgetting this and are assuming they get carte blanche rights to the software: ie they make the assumption that because something is free-as-in-beer they can do what they like with it.

A court case this week highlighted the issue. For the details read on or check out the original article on Groklaw. It seems that at least in Germany, the legal system is fully prepared to respect and protect the GPL.

Showing and proving that OSS software has valuewithout price is going to be absolutly critical to the sucess of OSS in the big bad world. Bravo to the netfilter/iptables team!

TurboTas 2004


BERLIN, Germany – Apr. 14, 2004 — The Munich district court granted a preliminary injuction against Sitecom Germany GmbH (http://www.sitecom.com/). This injunctive relieve has been applied by the netfilter/iptables project (http://www.netfilter.org/).

Sitecom is offering a wireless access router product (WL-122) based on software licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL), developed by the netfilter/iptables project.

The GNU GPL is a license commonly used for many free software projects, such as the Linux Operating System Kernel. The GPL licenses software free of cost, but requires any redistributor to provide the full source code.

According to the court order, Sitecom did not fulfill the obligations imposed by the GNU General Public License covering the netfilter/iptables software. In particular, Sitecom did not make any source code offering or include the GPL license terms with their products.

Following a warning notice, Sitecom refused to sign a declaration to cease and desist. Thus, the netfilter/iptables project was compelled to ask the court for a preliminnary injuction, banning Sitecom from distributing its product, unless Sitecom complies with all obligations imposed by the GNU GPL.

“To my knowledge, this is the first case in which a judicial decision has been decreed on the applicability and the validity of the GNU GPL”, says Dr. Till Jaeger, partner of the Berlin and Munich based law firm JBB Rechtsanwaelte (http://www.jbb.de/) that represented the netfilter/iptables project in the litigation.

This preliminary injunction follows a series of out-of-court settlement agreements that the netfilter/iptables project has concluded within a short period of time. When asked about the reasons for the sudden rise in legal pressure for GPL compliance, Harald Welte, Chairman of the Netfilter Core Team states:

“We are not in any way opposing the commercial use of free and open source software. Specifically, there is no legal risk of using GPL licensed software in commercial products. But vendors have to comply with the license terms, just like they would have to with any other, even proprietary software license agreement.”

About the netfilter/iptables project

The netfilter/iptables project provides state-of-the-art network security software for Linux firewalling, packet filter and network address translation (NAT), distributed as Free Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License. Being part of the linux operating system kernel, the software is running on virtually every Linux installation.

For more information on the project or the software, visit http://www.netfilter.org/