Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 07:02 UTC, submitted by SEJeff
SCO, Caldera, Unixware On April 29, SCO will finally have its day in court, but not exactly in the way the Unix and Linux litigation company had planned. If things had gone the way SCO wanted, it would be facing IBM to see how much money it would get for IBM using Unix code in Linux. Instead of that fantasy coming true, SCO will be trying to hang on to what's left of its assets from Novell.
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Faulty business model
by SReilly on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 07:37 UTC
SReilly
Member since:
2006-12-28

I'm really happy to see one patent troll get what they all deserve.

I remember when the Wall Street journal ran a piece on how patent hoarding and litigation was the business model for the 21st century. I guess this situation actually puts the whole model into perspective.

If you don't have a product to sell, or you don't want to reinvest into what you already have, you can sue all you want but you are gonna end up going bust.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Faulty business model
by yahya on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 08:23 UTC in reply to "Faulty business model"
yahya Member since:
2007-03-29

I'm really happy to see one patent troll get what they all deserve.


However, the whole SCO story is not about patents but about copyright. Their claim was that Linux included original Unix code. They did not claim that any of their patents (if they have any) had been violated.

Edited 2008-01-23 08:24 UTC

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Faulty business model
by SReilly on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 11:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Faulty business model"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

You and Butters are right of course and I guess I expressed myself inadequately.

What I was getting at, and didn't explain properly, is how much SCO's tactics resemble those of a patent troll's.

I know I've made the same comparison in other posts of mine, but come to think about it those posts could have been quite some time ago. My bad!

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Faulty business model
by sbergman27 on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 14:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Faulty business model"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

What I was getting at, and didn't explain properly, is how much SCO's tactics resemble those of a patent troll's.


I knew what you meant, but also knew, as soon as I read it that people would be lining up to point out the difference.

But as you say, the tactic is the same; Only the weapon is different. SCO had a particularly poor patent portfolio, and patents were not an option. So they had to work with what they had... or more correctly, what they could *claim* they had with anything at all approaching credibility.

Again, same intent, different weapon. If copyrights are an exacto-knife, patents are a hatchet.

Edited 2008-01-23 14:35 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Faulty business model
by kaiwai on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 14:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Faulty business model"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Actually, if you have a look at the IBM case, and their (SCO's) public statements, they said they would also go out and demand payments for patented stuff they owned. They even went as so far to claim that they owned the C programming language - and all companies had to pay them for the privilege.

Basically its just one big fascicle round-about where by a company who can't get its business act together tries litigation instead of improving their product line-up. But I'm not surprised. This is Caldera after all - anyone remember the anti-GPL rhetoric, claiming that it was destroying software - or more like the fact that Caldera was unprofitable for years and Red Hat was charging ahead. Caldera then turned around and failed to take advantages when it was given to them - where was their relationships with companies when it came to their OpenLinux server product?

Quite frankly, SCO would have survived had it never been bought out by Caldera - Had SCO remained a stand alone company, re-organised themselves, and priced their server line up competitive with Windows and Linux over 9 years ago, they wouldn't be in the stick they are now. For those who don't know, SCO back then was Santa Cruz Operations, they were bought out by Caldera who hoped to leverage the UNIX assets and bring that to their Linux product line. They failed to properly commercialise their Linux product line, so they grabbed onto any possible thing that might allow them to survive a little longer - ranging from open source bashing to suing companies based off unprovable claims.

Edited 2008-01-23 14:27 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Faulty business model
by butters on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 08:39 UTC in reply to "Faulty business model"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

The SCO case was about copyright, not patents.

The bar for copyright infringement is higher than for patent infringement. Copyright covers the actual expression, so an infringing work must exhibit substantial similarity at the code level. Patents cover the idea or method, so an infringing work only needs to exhibit substantial similarity at the conceptual level.

Free software is on relatively firm ground in terms of copyright. The SCO case served as a good wake-up call, and now free software projects are more deliberate than ever with their copyright policies. However, free software remains quite vulnerable to patent suits.

EDIT: Sorry for "piling on".

Edited 2008-01-23 08:41 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: Faulty business model
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 09:15 UTC in reply to "Faulty business model"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I'm really happy to see one patent troll get what they all deserve.


I'm happy SCO is going away, but I do feel sad for its employees. They have mouths to feed, too.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Faulty business model
by ValiSystem on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 09:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Faulty business model"
ValiSystem Member since:
2006-02-28

Anybody with a little bit of common sense would have quit since a long time. When a company has almost no income, no competitive products, and its only real activity is to sue people, it's really really time to go away, even when it's legit.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Faulty business model
by SEJeff on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 12:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Faulty business model"
SEJeff Member since:
2005-11-05

Surely the non-trolls have left by now or been laid off. Even if you weren't a geek, would you want to work for a company whos only (un)viable option was to litigate? I for one would not.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Faulty business model
by B. Janssen on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 12:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Faulty business model"
B. Janssen Member since:
2006-10-11

Since when have geeks portrayed more common sense than any other arbitrary group of human beings?

Anyway, good riddance, SCO. What a shame that such a great name will now only be remembered the stupid twats that sued everyone about nothing.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Faulty business model
by sbergman27 on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 14:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Faulty business model"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

I'm happy SCO is going away, but I do feel sad for its employees. They have mouths to feed, too.


I'm not, particularly. Three or four years ago, I agreed with that sentiment and remember expressing it a time or two. But these people have had nearly *five years* to see the handwriting on the wall regarding SCO's future, and the nature of the company to which they are contributing their talents. I mean, you don't have to be a Kreskin. ;-)

It's hard to feel too sorry for anyone left on that sinking ship. It's not like there were not plenty of life boats, and plenty of time to disembark.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Faulty business model
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 15:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Faulty business model"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I'm not, particularly. Three or four years ago, I agreed with that sentiment and remember expressing it a time or two. But these people have had nearly *five years* to see the handwriting on the wall regarding SCO's future, and the nature of the company to which they are contributing their talents. I mean, you don't have to be a Kreskin. ;-)

It's hard to feel too sorry for anyone left on that sinking ship. It's not like there were not plenty of life boats, and plenty of time to disembark.


Still so. People are people, even assholes, and they have children and wives/husbands to support. And those have no partaking in this case, but will still feel the aftermath, and that's why I feel sad for them.

Part of my upbringing.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Faulty business model
by sbergman27 on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 16:19 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Faulty business model"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

that's why I feel sad for them.


Well, you can take solace in the fact that there are not many of them. According to Wikipedia (yeah) they had 166 employees in 2005. Subtracting out those notable ones whom we know are well taken care of, but wish could be dealt with more harshly, and assuming that there has been a fair degree of attrition of their work staff over the last 2 or 3 years, the Salvation Army should be well able to cope with the remaining refugees.

Edited 2008-01-23 16:21 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Faulty business model
by wannabe geek on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 17:43 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Faulty business model"
wannabe geek Member since:
2006-09-27

Burglars also have wives and children to feed. Should society feel guilty for sending them to jail? Not really. It was their own decision to break the law and steal the money from honest citizens (who also have wives and children). Only they are to blame for all their families' suffering. The same applies to copyright troll Darl McBride and all his crew.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Faulty business model
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 17:51 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Faulty business model"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Only they are to blame for all their families' suffering. The same applies to copyright troll Darl McBride and all his crew


Are you just stupid, or am I really smart? What part of feeling sorry for family members, and not the actual workers, don't you understand? What does blame have to do with this?

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Faulty business model
by wannabe geek on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 19:46 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Faulty business model"
wannabe geek Member since:
2006-09-27

"Are you just stupid, or am I really smart? What part of feeling sorry for family members, and not the actual workers, don't you understand? What does blame have to do with this?"

You said: "I'm happy SCO is going away, but I do feel sad for its employees. They have mouths to feed, too.". If you had said "I'm sorry for its employees' families", you would have a point, but that's not the case.

BTW, isn't personal insult against the rules of this news site? Oh, I forgot, as you said, it's no news site at all, it's your personal blog. I should have checked whom I was responding to.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Faulty business model
by sbergman27 on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 19:56 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Faulty business model"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

FWIW, Thom's response to you seemed way out of proportion to me. And I, too, noted with surprise the violation of the site's TOS.

There is an overwhelming mass of injustice going on in this world. Every day, every hour, every minute. Sympathy and caring are finite quantities. In the grand scheme of things, the plights of the remaining SCO Group employees and their families ranks pretty low on my list of charitable causes. If OSNews wants to organize a support fund, I certainly would not object. But don't expect me to contribute to it.

Edited 2008-01-23 19:59 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Faulty business model
by polaris20 on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 21:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Faulty business model"
polaris20 Member since:
2005-07-06

Hopefully most have already abandoned ship. Those that are dumb enough to stick by Darl's side deserve what they get.

Those that don't but are stuck there anyway I do feel sorry for.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Faulty business model
by lemur2 on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 09:53 UTC in reply to "Faulty business model"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I'm really happy to see one patent troll get what they all deserve.


As has been pointed out in previous posts, the SCOG case was about copyrights, not patents. SCOG claimed that there was literal copying of UNIX source code into Linux ... as there would have to be if SCOG had a legiimate case.

SCOG effectively claimed that (a) Linux was a derivative work of UNIX, and that (b) SCOG were the copyright holders of UNIX.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derivative_work

It turned out in the end that neither claim had even the slightest element of truth about it. SCOG turned up not one line of infringing code, and SCOG had no "transfer of title" writing which showed they owned the UNIX copyrights anyway. In fact, the only thing that SCOG did have was a contract between old SCO and Novell that said that the UNIX copyrights were excluded assets, to be retained by Novell.

That is why Novell are now owed all that money that SCOG raised to bring the case in the first place.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Faulty business model
by yahya on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 10:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Faulty business model"
yahya Member since:
2007-03-29

What remains a complete mystery to me is: Did they really think they could win a case without having the slightest bit of evidence (except for that funny Las Vegas slideshow
http://perens.com/SCO/SCOSlideShow.html ).

Or is this how the US legal system usually works? But if so, then probably not against the force of IBM's lawyers.

Or could the motivation behind SCO's efforts be that this case helped some people to make a fortune, even though they would eventually run the company into the ground?

Edited 2008-01-23 10:18 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Faulty business model
by Cutterman on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 11:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Faulty business model"
Cutterman Member since:
2006-04-10

Darl McBride is a silly, greedy, amoral man, well acquainted with lawsuits and threats of lawsuits. Someone from A Large Company Who Would Benefit From Linux FUD (ALCWWBFLFUD) whispered in his ear that there were millions just ripe for the picking.

Despite evidence that his case was shaky to say the least, Darl pressed on in the belief that folks would just pay him to go away and that IBM would too. ALCWWBFLFUD knew that in the end he hadn't a prayer but that wasn't the point, the whole brouhaha made a (disappointingly small) number of people hesitate before dumping MS. More importantly these shenanigans motivated GPL3 which split the codebase and polarised the FOSS camp - a perhaps unforeseen but welcome side effect.

ALCWWBFLFUD told RBC and BayStar that they reckoned SCO was a good place to put money and greed did the rest. A number of folks burned their fingers but that was of no concern to ALCWWBFLFUD.

Now SCO is going down the toilet and Darl and others face some serious charges but ALCWWBFLFUD doesn't care. For the expenditure of a few million they've caused serious aggravation to their main rival and have plausible deniability.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Faulty business model
by yahya on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 12:35 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Faulty business model"
yahya Member since:
2007-03-29

Darl McBride is a silly, greedy, amoral man, well acquainted with lawsuits and threats of lawsuits.


If that is what he is, then one wonders how he could be so stupid thinking he could attack the nazgul (IBM's lawyers) without being properly armed.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Faulty business model
by wirespot on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 21:40 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Faulty business model"
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

He doesn't care. He was a mercenary, and he's getting his more than fair share out of the whole thing. And so are other SCO execs and their lawyers and some employees. The ones that are screwed here are share holders and the clients who bought into SCO's wild stories.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Faulty business model
by yahya on Thu 24th Jan 2008 14:23 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Faulty business model"
yahya Member since:
2007-03-29

He doesn't care. He was a mercenary, and he's getting his more than fair share out of the whole thing.


I assume he does. However at the same time, the whole story has probably damaged his reputation beyond repair. I would think that in the business world you can always live fine with a reputation of being amoral, greedy and so forth as long as you are successful. b
But if you are widely known to be a looser, you are finished, not?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Faulty business model
by searly on Thu 24th Jan 2008 12:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Faulty business model"
searly Member since:
2006-02-27

.... Hmmm I guess some people did very well out of it actually ... remember back when the whole thing started, share prices rocketed from sth like 0.5 $ to about 12 $ (can't remember the exact figures).

Reply Score: 1

However
by shotsman on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 09:54 UTC
shotsman
Member since:
2005-07-22

There has been much speculation on sites like Groklaw about the rate of SCO is burning what little dosh they have left since they went to Chapter 11 and if there will be any money left in the coffers by April 29.
My guestimate on this is Nope. They will be skint or the Delaware Bankrupcy Court will send them to Chapter 7 as there have been no signs that they are coming up with a viable rescue plan. After all, they went to Chapter 11 in September.

Reply Score: 4

Thanks to Online Bloggers
by leguirerj on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 12:49 UTC
leguirerj
Member since:
2005-08-21

I appreciate the fact that if it was not for ordinary bloggers shedding the light on SCO's schemes, they would have had alot of small and medium business's sending the $699.00 per CPU checks. The mainstream media(Zdnet, Cnet, and Forbes) did a lot to bolster SCO's credibility or a least did nothing to call them to task on their claims. They also served as a podium for a lot of others to bad mouth open source as well.

Reply Score: 7

Thank you IBM
by icoqc235 on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 16:19 UTC
icoqc235
Member since:
2007-04-11

I think we have to thank IBM for going trough this. If they had simply bought SCO, this "business model" would have had some success and the "moneymakers" would try it everywhere. I hope this example goes deep into the mind of all those clever guys, who want to make money out of nothing. But I'm sure, one day another moneymaker will have some strange "clever" idea....

Reply Score: 3

RE: Thank you IBM
by sbergman27 on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 16:42 UTC in reply to "Thank you IBM"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

As Sarek would say: "One does not thank logic". ;-)
IBM knew very well that to buy SCO would have been to invite more of the same, in the same way that leaving food out invites cockroaches. (And yes, that comparison was intentional.) I'm sure that enlightened self interest was at the forefront of the reasons for that decision.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Thank you IBM
by icoqc235 on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 17:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Thank you IBM"
icoqc235 Member since:
2007-04-11

Agree total. But logic is (my opinion) not the way moneymakers are very strong of. ;-)

Reply Score: 1

Still hard at work
by John Blink on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 20:45 UTC
John Blink
Member since:
2005-10-11

Free daylight savings time patch.

:B

http://www.sco.com/
http://www.sco.com/products/dst/

It was advertised on the front page, don't know if it is there anymore.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Still hard at work
by sbergman27 on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 22:25 UTC in reply to "Still hard at work"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Free daylight savings time patch.


Free? Really? No charge?

After the customer buys an OpenServer license, they find out that if they want a C compiler, they have to buy it. If they want to mirror their disks... they have to buy the capability. Not sure about today, but back when I supported it, you also had to pay if you wanted to use SCO Vision to make disk and printer shares available to windows clients, or to print to windows clients. And you had to pay for "Enterprise Server" rather than "Host System" if you wanted a TCP/IP stack. You see, operating systems are rocket science. And SCO deserves to be compensated for all the time and money they have invested in the R&D which make these advanced capabilities possible.

So this free patch is a true act of generosity on their part. No doubt, it is intended as a gift from SCO to its loyal customers.

But... isn't it coming a bit late?

Edited 2008-01-23 22:27 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Remember Microsoft paid for this
by jacquouille on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 21:07 UTC
jacquouille
Member since:
2006-01-02

I see many comments about SCO but none about Microsoft. Remember that the real reason why SCO embarked in that is that Microsoft paid them to (then of course McBride is stupid to have accepted, I don't deny that).

The short version is that Microsoft gave SCO at least $50 million (some sources say $85 million) to sue.

The more detailed version is that in order to cover its tracks (since even Microsoft leaders could realize this is dirty) Microsoft did not pay SCO directly, they used an investment company named Baystar.

Google search:
http://www.google.com/search?q=microsoft+baystar+sco

Some results:
http://www.networkworld.com/news/2006/100906-baystar-exec-says-micr...
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20061008-7932.html
http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/mar2004/tc20040311_8...
http://news.zdnet.com/2100-3513_22-5172426.html
http://www.linux.com/feature/34722
http://www.news.com/Investor-outlines-SCO-Microsoft-link/2100-7344_...


So believe me, Microsoft is getting away with it just too easily.

Reply Score: 2

trenchsol Member since:
2006-12-07

McBride was not that stupid. SCO business was quickly going down even before the lawsuit. They managed to buy some time. The lawsuit increased the price of their shares up to 20-fold, temporarily, and the leadership managed to get rid of them for a very god price.

The lawsuit created an atmosphere of legal doubts around Linux which never disappeared entirely.

The real losers are stockholders, and SCO users, who are going to lose support for their infrastructure.

Reply Score: 2

(Pop!) - sparkling cider anyone?
by JacobMunoz on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 21:41 UTC
JacobMunoz
Member since:
2006-03-17

I've been saving a nice bottle for some good news (in short supply these days). It was either this, or the 2008 November election... and I'm sooooo sick of "polls" and "caucuses" that by the time the election rolls around I'll be sick of the candidates.

Amidst a failing economy, seven years at war, and general 'bad mojo' round the world - let us take a moment to lift a glass (of whatever) to a victory for the good guys, even if its only by having bad guys go out of business...

Cheers! (clink!)

(sip)

(burp)

Reply Score: 1

i just really hope
by broken_symlink on Thu 24th Jan 2008 00:32 UTC
broken_symlink
Member since:
2005-07-06

i just really hope that once the full story is uncovered that someone writes a book about this. I would buy it.

Reply Score: 1

schadenfreude
by MamiyaOtaru on Thu 24th Jan 2008 06:32 UTC
MamiyaOtaru
Member since:
2005-11-11

I happened to be visiting my sister in Lindon when I heard about the chapter 11, so I drove down and took a celebratory picture.

http://img293.imageshack.us/my.php?image=scors5.jpg

I'd have posted it a little earlier, but I just got it developed. That's a joke for those of us who remember film.

Reply Score: 3

Please please let me see this....
by obsidian on Thu 24th Jan 2008 07:47 UTC
obsidian
Member since:
2007-05-12

Darl in the big-house in a nice striped jailsuit, running his tin mug across the bars.... ;-)

Reply Score: 1