Open Letter from SSC President to The SCO Group

If SCO wants to bring a Linux user to court, Phil Hughes says SCO knows where to find us.

Dear SCO Folks:

Being on your press release list, I regularly receive your musings. The fact that they first appear to be legal in nature but actually come from a PR firm amuses me.

That said, on to the important stuff. I would like to inform you that SSC is a Linux user--a long-term Linux user. In fact, we upgraded from SCO UNIX to Linux about ten years ago.

SSC President Phil Hughes, who upgraded from SCO UNIX to Linux ten years ago, at the 1998 Future of Linux conference. Photo: Jim Howell, Linux Gazette

Some other amusing data points from along our road to Linux use include:

  • I interviewed Brian Sparks of Caldera years ago. We agreed that the only reason Caldera had a product was because SCO hadn't put Linux in a grey and yellow box with its name on it.

  • Technical support on Linux always has been better than it is on SCO Xenix or UNIX. We actually get quick answers from the people that know whenever we have had a problem.

  • Today, there is a Linux system on everyone's desk at SSC as well as Linux-based servers in the office and our web servers in Costa Rica.

  • SCO FUD has made for great entertainment, interspersed with articles about governments around the world embracing Linux on our new WorldWatch Web site.

So, why this letter? Well, I would like to make it easier for you folks to know where to find another Linux user if you still are running your protection racket. The office address for SSC is in your copy of Linux Journal (I know there are people at SCO that get Linux Journal).

Finally, this letter is being written on one of my Linux systems. There are six others here. Send your lawyers to Calle Paula, 100m este, Carretera Alajuela a Carrizal, Alajuela, Costa Rica. I will be happy to give them a quick introduction to Linux.

Phil Hughes, PresidentSpecialized Systems Consultants, Inc.phil@ssc.com

Phil Hughes is the publisher of Linux Journal.

email: phil@ssc.com

______________________

Phil Hughes

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Re: Open Letter from SSC President to The SCO Group

dmarti's picture

"We are informed that participants in the Linux industry have attempted to influence participants in the markets in which we sell our products to reduce or eliminate the amount of our products and services that they purchase. They have been somewhat successful in those efforts and will likely continue." -- SCO Amendment No. 2 to Form S-3, October 14, 2003

Linux is unique and I love FreeBSD

Kyliptix's picture

I think FreeBSD is the best also Linux is great too also we can not neglect Solaris' Power.

There is nothing perfect, if we do not work hard for it...

We make things run better with open source, team of minds can do it…
Operating Systems are making it happen too … Apache, MySQL, Perl, PHP…

Good Luck for all our friends...

Re: Open Letter from SSC President to The SCO Group

Anonymous's picture

Actually, the SCO Group letter is a variation on the protection racket run by various criminal organizations:- pay us an "insurance" fee, and we'll make sure your business doesn't suffer damage. There are laws against this in the U.S.A. I suggest that a recipent of the letter file a complaint of attempted extortion, and see what SCO, and its board of directors think of their assurances. I also note that Scott McNealy has joined the racket, by saying that buying from Sun will provide you with that "insurance".

Re: Open Letter from SSC President to The SCO Group

Anonymous's picture

I don't think anyone could be MORE RIGHT than Phil here. I'm a win(bl)ows guy, but I have a disk set of RedHat 9.0 sitting directly in front of me, just asking to be installed. I might just do that tonight :)!

Keep up the fine fight against the heathens and devils of SCO! GO PHIL! YOU ARE THE MAN!!!!

Re: Open Letter from SSC President to The SCO Group

Anonymous's picture

Go Phil! SCO's tactics are trashy to say the very least. I signed the online petition as well. They know how to reach me. Bring them on! BTW, I'm a two year subscriber to this magazine, keep up the great work.

Glen

Re: Open Letter from SSC President to The SCO Group

Anonymous's picture

I wonder what Kernigan and Ritchie have to say about all this noise about who owns Unix and its derivatives_

Re: Open Letter from SSC President to The SCO Group

Anonymous's picture

Enough about the boneheads at SCO. The case won't even be heard until 2005 -- at the earliest. By the time the lawyers from both sides (IBM & SCO) file all their motions we will all long be retired and using Linux kernel version 98.9.0.

Tell us about Costa Rica. I here its beautiful there. Why did you pick Costa Rica? The coffee?

Re: Open Letter from SSC President to The SCO Group

Anonymous's picture

HAHAHAHAHAHA

Re: Open Letter from SSC President to The SCO Group

Anonymous's picture

Absolutely right on! Thank you. I did the same on SCO's "contact us" web form, although I fear I wasn't quite so polite, and suggested that we might find a constructive and sanitary use for any papers they might serve on me in our SOHO restroom.

Re: Open Letter from SSC President to The SCO Group

Anonymous's picture

Just renewed myself...

Re: Open Letter from SSC President to The SCO Group

switchX's picture

... but what if SCO wins the suite :-( doesn't that mean the end to the Linux community i guess these kind of letters can only be of some worth when you are sure SCO won't won but these days the situation ain't clear that much so we shud avoid writing these kind of letters so that we won't be ashamed in future!

my 2 cents!

Re: Open Letter from SSC President to The SCO Group

Anonymous's picture

If SCO wins, all it means is a judge (and possibly a jury - I don't profess to understand the US legal system in these matters) got fooled by a high paid lawyer. It doesn't make SCO 'right' in a moral sense.

Say what you feel is 'right' and you can have nothing to be ashamed about!

Re: Open Letter from SSC President to The SCO Group

Anonymous's picture

Yes, and George Washington should have avoided taking that general job, because it would sure make the King mad if he lost! Everyone should keep quiet and not offend anyone.

Re: Open Letter from SSC President to The SCO Group

Anonymous's picture

To the best of my knowledge, the only suit filed is SCO against IBM--for something, it does seem to keep changing. As a sideline, SCO has been harassing Linux users for what could best be called protection fees. This would be similar to me filing a suit against VW, Porche and a few others claiming I had a patent on an air cooled engine and then going to all VW and Porche owners and telling them they should pay me $500 just in case I actually do have the patent.
If there is some SCO code in Linux, it is not the end user's fault. And, if there is and if SCO would tell people what, it would soon be gone. This is the same as when BSD UNIX was freed of AT&T code.

Re: Open Letter from SSC President to The SCO Group

Anonymous's picture

Mr. Hughes:

I very much enjoyed your frank and intelligent letter. These days, one must speak truth to power. I have not subscribed to Linux Journal before, but my check was just sent.

Matt

Re: Open Letter from SSC President to The SCO Group

Anonymous's picture

I recently let my subscription to LJ lapse. I will be
renewing today.

Re: Open Letter from SSC President to The SCO Group

Anonymous's picture

Way to go..i will be extending my subscription by 2 more years .it expires in feb 04

Re: Open Letter from SSC President to The SCO Group

Anonymous's picture

As a Linux user I would like to say thanks for your support.

As a member of the Linux Community I'd like to show you my support... so I subscribed also!!!!!

Thanks!

SuSE for

Anonymous's picture

Yesterday I read an interview with two people from SuSE, one of them being Holger Dryoff (sorry, misplaced the link.) One of the points that the SuSE people made was that because of the United Linux contract (where SCO is a partner), someone who buys SuSE's server product would have a license to any of the disputed code in question. They went on to admit that they didn't know what code that was either but, with the license, everyone should be ok.

So, if you are concerned about what SCO is saying, you can actually license a real Linux distribution with source code for, as I remember, about the same price as what SCO is asking for in their protection racket.

Phil Hughes, phil@ssc.com

Re: SuSE for

Anonymous's picture

So, if you are concerned about what SCO is saying, you can actually license a real Linux distribution with source code for, as I remember, about the same price as what SCO is asking for in their protection racket.

This is stupid. They sue who they want, whenever they want. The least thing I want is any kind of contract with SCO.

Re: Open Letter from SSC President to The SCO Group

Anonymous's picture

My name is Matt, I'm writing this from Windows 98 at work. (before you say it, mister funnyman, I'm on lunch break, not slacking!)

I was just reading tech news looking for info on this sobig virus some of the guys here seem to have gotten, when I came across the SCO story. Well, four or five links later, I'm here.

I've decided. I'm downloading Knoppix Linux tonight to try out. Hopefully, after a bit of time and effort, I can get off Windows at home, then talk to the technical guys at work and see about getting off windows there. Looking at art.gnome.org, I see Linux is pretty much the same as Windows but with technical hassles instead of legal ones, which I'll choose any day. At least you learn how to support yourself from technical hassles, you only learn how corrupt the system is from legal hassles.

As a Windows user, I can honestly say I don't like Microsoft very much, and I don't like the way they do business. I'm 100% legitimate and licensed, and I'm still afraid of them. I don't know SCO, or what they sell, but I don't like them either after reading about them. The general consensus is that they're slimy and about to go under, and this is one last desperate attempt to hang on. They're pathetic and dishonorable. Impotent.

The next time I write to you, it will be from Linux. So some good is coming from this after all, and probably not what Microsoft envisioned when they started funding SCO's legal battles for them....

Re: Switching from Windows to Linux

Anonymous's picture

Knoppix is a good first step! I dipped my toe in the Linux pool back on RedHat 5.1. I didn't keep it for long, but have always had Linux in my brain - for when it was ready for me (and vice versa). I did the RedHat7.3 thing more recently and liked it a lot (HUGE improvement for a more casual user), and 8 came out months later...

I became totally (100%) Windows-less at home in January 2003. To be honest, support isn't an issue. My last purchased PC was a Compaq, and I had called them for problems once (JUST once), and thier solution? -- Reload the PC from the recovery CD-ROMS and the software issue will go away... :| Some vendor support.

Give Linux a solid chance. Take some time to learn about it. Buy a book or two. To be honest, I would advise *against* dual-booting. I did that for a long time, and the bouncing back and forth hindered me. Put your current hard drive(s) aside, and load up a new (or used) drive with Linux. Jump in the pool, so to speak. The water is more than just 'fine'! :)

Mark Jensen
markjensen AT charter DOT net

Re: Switching from Windows to Linux

Anonymous's picture

Hi Mark! Good to my word, I'm posting this from Konqueror on Knoppix (newest version, whatever that is). This is VERY COOL. I'm on highspeed, there was no setup at all of ANYTHING. I just boot off the disk and go.

This is crazy. There's like 3 million apps on this disk. I think I'm going to format my Windows away like you suggested once I burn a backup CD and save my favorites in mozilla format and stuff like that. Linux is waaaaaaay better than I thought it would be. I'm not at all afraid to switch totally now that I've seen it in action. :-)

signed,
Matt #1 (there's another Matt who posted down a few posts toward the bottom and just subscribed)

Re: Switching from Windows to Linux

Anonymous's picture

Heh, if this isn't a perfect example of how Knoppix "try linux w/o breaking windows" method is a great way to bring people over from the dark side, I dunno what is.
I've been 100% Linux myself since around '96...learned the hard way..in my excitement to try Linux, I deleted my Windows partition.
I look back and am pretty sure it was a subconscious move and not accidental.

Re: Switching from Windows to Linux

Anonymous's picture

These youngters and their Knoppix (insert grumpy old fart grumble here), why way back when I started it was Slackware. Oh, nevermind! :-)

Welcome to the Linux community!

I've been successfully MS free at home since January of 1998 and first started playing with Slackware 3.0 almost 7 years ago back in September 1996. Things sure have changed. Now I run Debian Sarge that gets updated occasionally.

My brother uses a Debian machine I set up for him and after a few learner's questions, things have been working just fine and I've not had to touch the box for several months.

- Nate >>

n0nb at arrl dot net

SSC under IBM control too !?!

Anonymous's picture

Wow, it looks like SSC is now under the influence of IBM now, too. At least according to SCO.

The only thing I ever bought directly from IBM...

Anonymous's picture

...was a DeathStar, with inevitable consequences. I have no particular reason to love IBM, and so I don't. I don't (and wouldn't) take instructions or money from IBM.

As most of you know, the actions of The SCO Group would try the patience of a saint and find it wanting. If I act against The SCO Group, it is without IBM's foreknowledge, planning or direction. If I act against The SCO Group, it's because I think they've earned it.

IMESHO, they've earned more grief than I can ever give them.

Re: SSC under IBM control too !?!

Anonymous's picture

Cute article. I have to admit that IBM does advertise in LJ but they sure didn't tell me to write that letter. Back when SCO, then Caldera, was in the software business instead of the protection racket, they used to advertise too. Based on the read count for this article, maybe they should be advertising their protection racket with us.

Phil Hughes, phil@ssc.com

Re: SSC under IBM control too !?!

Anonymous's picture

Does SCO qualify for a "special" ad plan where you bill them an extra $1400 for all their ads in *other* magazines???

Re: Open Letter from SSC President to The SCO Group

Anonymous's picture

Subscribed today (8-22-03).
Looking forward to it.
-Terry

Re: Open Letter from SSC President to The SCO Group

Anonymous's picture

Would the open letter read the same if it were from an address in the United States? I'm not implying the reverse; just wondering about the relative "safety" of tilting at the windmill of SCO's lawyers.

And don't think SCO is unique in its royalty-collecting tactics; many other fine examples of Corporate America do this for a living. The little coffee shop at the end of my block has a thug-in-a-suit from ASCAP/BMI visit him every few months, threatening legal action unless he pays protection money. And they've been doing it for years, even though there is no music played in his coffee shop.

Re: Open Letter from SSC President to The SCO Group

Anonymous's picture

SSC is a US company according to its Statement of Ownership (which all US publications are required to print to qalifiy for the magazine postal rate). Whether or not Phil Hughes is a US citizen, his company is based in the USA and the *company* can be sued there.

Re: Open Letter from SSC President to The SCO Group

Anonymous's picture

Excellent article, and nice tie. Perhaps the Yanagapa can be unleashed upon SCO?

Its a shame you can't run very fast...

Anonymous's picture

what with that huge set of ballz getting in the way and all.

Re: Open Letter from SSC President to The SCO Group

Anonymous's picture

Thank you for your efforts. I have just subscribed to Linux Journal. I can't wait for my first issue! Ahhhh...I hope you have an "SCO" section on the magazine.

Jos

Re: Open Letter from SSC President to The SCO Group

Anonymous's picture

Can I join myself to SSC for the purpose of being sued, as well?

I'm a Linux user, I took out the Caldera Free Unix licenses for UnixWare, OpenServer, etc, in 2001 before they canned the idea - and incidentally they've never got back to arranging with me a method of payment for the cdroms so I could pay and continue to eat at one and the same time. http://twiki.iwethey.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/SCOvsIBM
"About SCO's main contention"

Only thing besides that is getting IBM to give me a free license to both AIX - can be obsolete, nusuth - and DYNIX/ptx - already obsolete, nusuth - so SCO can feel appropriately prepared when they decide to move.

Let me know if you want me on the team, if and when SCO decides to take up your generous offer.

Wesley Parish
wes DOT parish AT paradise DOT net DOT nz

Re: Open Letter from SSC President to The SCO Group

Anonymous's picture

Its all about SCO's share price.
See share price rise,
see execs selling stock,
see no one else noticing because of all the vitriol in the press.

Neat, I wish I had thought of it.

P

Re: Open Letter from SSC President to The SCO Group

Anonymous's picture

I see only 2 outcomes from this entire debacle:

1. A lot of lawyers getting rich

2. SCO shareholders being sold down the drain

If the directors of SCO had any sense they would give up while the muck is only knee deep [and a good covering on faces] and before they drown in it.

Re: Open Letter from SSC President to The SCO Group

Anonymous's picture

You got it!!! So, why isn't the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) moving in? Sounds a lot like the kind of thing Executives have been caught doing the last several years. Lining their pockets and then leaving a company hanging when the going gets real rough.

Re: Open Letter from SSC President to The SCO Group

Anonymous's picture

So great! I would like to say thank you for your fighting. Do you have international subscription available? I'm in Japan.

Re: Open Letter from SSC President to The SCO Group

Anonymous's picture

If you are outside the USA, Canada, and Mexico,use the "other international"subscription form at:

https://www.ssc.com/lj/subs/NewOther.html

Re: Open Letter from SSC President to The SCO Group

Anonymous's picture

Wow! Very entertaining.

Reminds me of those cop shows where the felon finally confesses to murder.

"Slap the cuffs on me copper!"

Of course, he ends up in Ryker for a life sentence, and has to change his name to Mary to feel better about his cell-mate's constant advances.

Re: Open Letter from SSC President to The SCO Group

Anonymous's picture

hahahahaha...yeah, that beard would make him very popular in prison!

I signed

Anonymous's picture

My company, CyberKnights Pty Ltd, uses and distributes Linux extensively. There are four Linux systems running on our premises as I type (I'm typing this from a Linux-based thin client hung off a Linux terminal server in a linux-protected LAN at a customer site, all of which CyberKnights installed).

Our contact details are on the website. Message to The SCO Group: come and get us, if you're feeling suicidal.

I hereby extend an invitation to other Linux-using and/or Linux-distributing firms to join Phil in this challenge.

I've repeatedly asked poor long-suffering Kieran O'Shaughnessy (SCO Australia/NewZealand's manager) for a price on the SCO-IP-in-Linux licence and he's been unable to give me one. This is unfair and damaging from a risk-analysis perspective (as well as stressing your own employee out), so if SCO head office can't give him a firm price pronto I'll be suing SCO Australia for damages including restraint of trade. I have worried customers ready to write and sign legal statements in order to straighten this out.

If/when SCO ANZ do send me a price, I'll be giving them a reasonable window in which to prove that they have a real product to sell, and jurisdiction, else I'll be riding an ACCC case against them for fraud.

Meanwhile, due mainly to the ongoing threats and shoddy service follow-through from The SCO Group, I'll be upgrading another two systems from SCO OpenServer 5 to Mandrake Linux 9.1 next week.

Re: I signed

Anonymous's picture

No, I'm Spartacus!

Re: I signed

Anonymous's picture

Way to go!

Re: Open Letter from SSC President to The SCO Group

Anonymous's picture

Way to go! I've let my subscription lapse for a couple of months after I changed locations. I figure now is as good of a time to restart it and share it with the geeks in the crew onboard.

RET2 Larsen
USNS RAPPAHANNOCK (TAO-204)
FPO AP 96677-4027

Addendum to above entry.

Anonymous's picture

Our proxy server seems to not like your subscription server. Had to send in subscription request via fax.

Re: Addendum to above entry.

Anonymous's picture

What do you expect for something run by msc. :)

=o)>

Anonymous's picture

There's nothing like a little civil disobedience to brighten my day. =o)> Way to go Phil, stand firm.

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