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 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 Parent Score: 8

RE[2]: Faulty business model
by SReilly on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 11:37 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 Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Faulty business model
by kaiwai on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 14:26 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 Parent Score: 3

RE: Faulty business model
by butters on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 08:39 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 Parent Score: 5

RE: Faulty business model
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 09:15 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 Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Faulty business model
by ValiSystem on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 09:58 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 Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Faulty business model
by SEJeff on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 12:00 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 Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Faulty business model
by sbergman27 on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 14:25 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 Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Faulty business model
by polaris20 on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 21:50 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 Parent Score: 3

RE: Faulty business model
by lemur2 on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 09:53 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 Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Faulty business model
by yahya on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 10:15 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 Parent Score: 2