back to article SCO vs. IBM case over who owns Linux comes back to life. Again

The seemingly endless legal battle between SCO and IBM battle over who owns UNIX, and perhaps bits of Linux, too has re-emerged. And this time SCO has had a win. As Groklaw records, this case kicked off in 2003. The dispute centres on “Project Monterey” a joint effort by SCO and IBM to build a unified UNIX capable of running …

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  1. Tom 7 Silver badge

    WTF

    WTF WTF WTF!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WTF

      I guessed Larry gave them more money once again.

      Oracle, the stalwart Open Source supporting company (and Sun before that).

      1. Hans 1 Silver badge
        Angel

        Re: WTF

        More like Gates gave 'em some dosh ... as he already did in the past.

        Icon, coz, well, Gates does it really nicely ... shaft the world, then hide behind fake philanthropy and attempt to become some "saint".

        1. Hans 1 Silver badge

          Re: WTF

          As one close friend [of Darl McBride, SCO CEO], Ty Mattingly, a former co-worker at Novell, said to him: "Congratulations. In a few short months you've dethroned Bill Gates as the most hated man in the industry."

          source: https://web.archive.org/web/20040202025445/http://www.crn.com/sections/special/top25/top25_03.asp?ArticleID=45992

          Now, Darl is irrelevant, however, for some reason, the pile of excrement who has repeatedly lied to all and sundry, even under oath in front of various courts, is now considered some kind of God-like creature because he promised something ? Gates is a serial liar and a fraud!

          1. Hans 1 Silver badge
            Coffee/keyboard

            Re: WTF

            Downvote all you want, it is RECORDED FACT that that ******* is a serial liar, why would you trust him now ? @Downvoters ... I should know I cannot help stew PID.

  2. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Anybody got a stake, silver bullet, holy water and garlick?

    Zombie SCO need to die.

    Now.

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Undead

      The IT world Jarndice vs Jarndice.

      SCO is an "Undead" company. It's not even the original SCO!

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: s/SCO/TSG/g

        IIRC it wasn't SCO at all. There was "The Santa Cruz Operation" that was frequently called SCO. For most of the active part of the litigation, the plaintive was TSG (The SCO Group) who fooled others into referring to them as SCO. The Santa Cruz Operation got renamed to Tarantella to avoid making the deception too obvious.

        The good news is this has nothing to do with the vast majority of Linux/Android users. TSG's barely surviving complaint is violation of tort. If you never entered into an agreement with TSG then they have nothing on you.

        There was a complaint about IBM contributing to Linux. It failed for pretty much every possible reason. According to TSG, when IBM added code to AIX that made the code a part of System V and therefore TSG's property and so couldn't be contributed to Linux without TSG's permission. Adding code to AIX does not make it a part of System V which belonged to Novell (later acquired by Attachmate). IBM created design documents for new features. Those design documents were used by different teams of programmers to implement the features in AIX and Linux, so AIX code was not contributed to Linux.

        TSG filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. What they got instead was a court appointed trustee who did a thorough job of converting TSG's (and Novell's) asserts into legal advice from his law firm. Something to do with System V was sold. I think the victim purchaser believed he had bought System V, which the trustee never had. TSG used to have the right to collect license fees for System V on behalf of Novell, give all the money to Novell and Novell would give back 5%. Long before the bankruptcy, TSG treated Novell's money as their own and there was no mention of the trustee sorting this out. The purchaser could have bought the right to collect license fees, but TSG could not transfer that right without Novell's permission.

        Last I heard, TSG retained the litigation - and there is some value to it. David Boies of Boies Schiller and Flexner agreed his law partnership would do the legal work (including appeals all the way to the high court) for a percentage of the settlement. The obvious thing for the trustee to do is to keep sending BS&F to court until BS&F buy their way out. Clearly the Trustee and BS&F have not agreed on a figure yet.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: s/SCO/TSG/g

          David Boies of Boies Schiller and Flexner agreed his law partnership would do the legal work (including appeals all the way to the high court) for a percentage of the settlement.

          ISTR that TSG also paid them a lump-sum up front and BSF agreed to pursue the case to conclusion. That money ran out long, long ago and so BSF is effectively paying for the court case to continue.

          I wonder if they are using it to train apprentice attorneys?

          1. Paul Shirley

            Re: s/SCO/TSG/g

            "TSG also paid them a lump-sum up front and BSF agreed to pursue the case to conclusion"

            BSF noticed owning part of the case was going to cause them a lot of legal problems in court even before noticing the case was worthless. To dig themselves out they had to offer an underpriced fixed fee deal and it's still biting them in the wallet. Given it was hard to tell which of SCO or BSF were the slimiest scum on any given day it's nice to see the pain shared.

          2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

            Re: s/SCO/TSG/g

            > ISTR that TSG also paid them a lump-sum up front

            Yes, they did. Not only to get BSF to act for them indefinitely, but also to prevent Novell getting paid for their win in in court.

        2. thames

          Re: s/SCO/TSG/g

          @Flocke Kroes - "The SCO Group" was originally Caldera Linux - one of the also-ran Linux distributors of that era. They bought the Unix business of SCO, and then renamed themselves The SCO Group.

          I read the legal paper, and essentially the ruling has to do with technicalities about whether SCOG is allowed to appeal their loss and amend their complaint.

          The remaining issues mainly revolve around how the IBM-SCO partnership was dissolved, and whether AIX for Power contains source code which should have been limited to AIX for Intanium. this latter issue revolves around release dates and versions for each product.

          There's not much if anything which affects Linux users. Groklaw noted some years ago that the IBM-SCO partnership issues were separate from the supposed Linux issues.

          1. hititzombisi

            Re: s/SCO/TSG/g

            Caldera - all the way from the DR-DOS litigation - they thought they could do the same to IBM and win big bucks.

            At least it kept them running as a joke for some years.

        3. oldcoder

          Re: s/SCO/TSG/g

          " when IBM added code to AIX that made the code a part of System V and therefore TSG's property and so couldn't be contributed to Linux without TSG's permission."

          Except that the code added to Linux didn't come from AIX.

          It came from OS/2. JFS v1 was added to AIX; but JFS v2 had a different foundation. The only thing that was the same was the three letters "JFS"

          So the claim still fails.

    2. vincent himpe

      you forgot your lead overcoat and asbestos underwear ...

    3. Langalf

      I think someone forgot to cut off the head, burn all the parts and bury them at a crossroads.

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Pirate

      "Zombie SCO need to die."

      too late, it's already "undead". Not even "destroying the brain" would be enough...

      Patent Trolling, la, la-la, la-la

      We do not care if it is fair,

      We just want YOU to pay!

      We're just pirates, sailing the lawsuit waves

      Forever we continue forth,

      until the end of days!

      pirate icon, because that's really what SCO is

  3. jake Silver badge

    One definition of insanity ...

    ... is doing the same thing over and over, each time expecting a different result.

    The mind absolutely boggles ...

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: One definition of insanity ...

      Another definition is letting something happen that is different, and should never be able to happen after many many tries...

      Or that could just be corruption.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: One definition of insanity ...

      It should be noted that the first 6 posts in this thread were downvoted about 10 minutes after the first post was published. I've never really cared about thumbs (up or down) since ElReg implemented them many moons ago ... so I'm kinda ashamed to admit that if I had moderator capability here at ElReg, I'd be curious as all hell about the posting history of the thumbs-downer.

      NOTE! I do NOT want to know whodunnit, and I'm not asking! In fact, I'd be the first to bitch about it if ElReg were to out the individual. Consider this a metacomment, nothing more.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Meh

        Re: One definition of insanity ...

        Think of it as a badge of honour.

        To get that single down vote means the loner noticed your post.

        If you don't get one, you clearly are not important enough.

        1. Korev Silver badge
          Pirate

          Re: One definition of insanity ...

          I'm going to mess with your theory and upvote you...

      2. Pirate Dave
        Pirate

        Re: One definition of insanity ...

        "It should be noted that the first 6 posts in this thread were downvoted about 10 minutes after the first post was published."

        So now we know what Darl McBribe is doing with his free time - trawling El Reg and downvoting any posts that denigrate TSG. Hard to believe tha anybody but a few lawyers still give a positive shit about TSG - the rest of the world hates them like a burning rash.

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: One definition of insanity ...

          "TSG - the rest of the world hates them like a burning rash"

          I think a burning rash is preferable, even a burning rash *IN* *HELL*.

          TSG ranks below explosive diarrhea, going through an aggressively contested divorce [in Cali-fornicate-you], getting fired for doing the right thing, and being audited for the last 7 years' worth of taxes. All at the same time.

          /me reminded of 'Little Nicky' opening scenes

    3. cosmogoblin

      Re: One definition of insanity ...

      That's a rather useless definition of insanity. The Large Hadron Collider, for example, smashed zillions (I don't know the actual number) of protons into each other before detecting the Higgs boson.

      Or how about coin flipping? Rosencrantz and Guildenstern comes to mind - when they spend ages flipping heads, and considering the implausibility of the result being the SAME every time.

  4. Kevin Johnston

    So, timing on this is interesting....awoken just in time for Halloween

    Are the legal beagles horror film fans?

  5. 0laf Silver badge
    WTF?

    WTF SCO is still around?

  6. JimC Silver badge

    You Seppos really need

    to do something about your civil law system... I suppose the trouble is it succeeds in its first priority - to make lawyers rich.

    Ironic that the case has managed to outlive Groklaw.

    1. jake Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: You Seppos really need

      We'll get right on that ... as soon as you fix your government.

      Neither will happen this week, so during the meanwhile this round's on me :-)

      1. frank ly Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: You Seppos really need

        We're obviously incapable but it's the fault of the 'system'

        Coat: Blame somebody else then run away after grabbing the pint..

        1. jake Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: You Seppos really need

          Exact ly, frank ly.

          Methinks many more beers will be needed before somebody comes up with a viable answer.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You Seppos really need

        > We'll get right on that ... as soon as you fix your government.

        Why is is with so many Americans (not all) that if a non-American dares criticise something, they take it as a personal insult, and some sort of one-upmanship attempt, and so reply with a counter insult...

        It's almost like:

        "So? My Daddy is bigger than your daddy"

        Our government needs fixing.. damn right it does, and I don't care if an american points it out, but I'm puzzled as to why we have so much apparent power that you "won't fix your problems until we fix ours" - do you care for us brits so much, you'll sacrifice your own interests until our problems are fixed? mighty galant of you Jake!

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: You Seppos really need

          Earth to AC, come in AC, is there anybody home, AC?

          The original poster made the comment with the above subject line. I replied in kind, but in jest, as signified by the offer of purchasing a round for all so we can commiserate on our various awful executive/judicial/legislative fuckwits-in-charge.

          You, in all your glory, decide that *I* am somehow at fault for something because I'm a Yank, and for no other reason? You, sir or madam, are in the words of your countrymen "a right wanker". Have a nice day.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: You Seppos really need

            Dear Mr Jake, resorting to the ad hominem now?

            Not sure which earth you are on, but on the real one, at no point did this "right wanker" accuse you of being at fault over anything.

            To top it off, when you then said I made that (imaginary) accusation because "you're a yank", then you go and prove my point.

            Thanks for that, but please stop - I love America, and Americans, whilst you are just helping to promote that very negative stereotype I mentioned.

            HTH.

      3. VinceH Silver badge

        Re: You Seppos really need

        "We'll get right on that ... as soon as you fix your government."

        I think both may be way beyond repair by this stage.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You Seppos really need

      "Ironic that the case has managed to outlive Groklaw."

      Maybe not. The page linked to in the article was updated relatively recently. It seems that PJ might also be among the undead (though more akin to Jesus than to Dracula, some folks might think).

    3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Outliving Groklaw

      The case has outlived Groklaw but there were other reasons why PJ closed down new sumbissions to Groklaw (the site is still there) including death threats to her.

      You can read the final straw in her last post on www.groklaw.net.

      Things have only gotten worse since she wrote it.

      As for the court appointed trustee... that job seems to be a license to print money, someone elses money.

      The more work they do at $150/hour the more that the case needs to recover just to pay the trustee.

      I think that it is a rather nice retirement plan for aging judges. Get a golfing buddy judge to appoint you and you are set for life.

  7. Spod

    Will nobody rid us of this meddlesome beast?

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Devil

      Will nobody rid us of this meddlesome beast?

      "First, kill all the lawyers."

    2. Korev Silver badge

      IBM or SCO?

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        IBM or SCO?

        Yes...

      2. bobajob12

        No, I have to stick up for IBM here. IBM's lawyers are exactly the kind of ruthlessly efficient legal machine that Linux needed to fend off SCO at the time. Sure esr and his buddies did excellent, excellent work - but in front of a judge, SCO would have crushed him. When some douchebag organization sues you, you find your best lawyer. IBM has some of the best.

        (Ruminates on what might have been if IBM had sued Windows for infringing on OS/2 and won...)

        1. Kiwi Silver badge
          Coat

          (Ruminates on what might have been if IBM had sued Windows for infringing on OS/2 and won...)

          (ruminates on what would've happened had IBM and MS swapped marketing teams)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            ruminates on what would've happened had IBM and MS swapped marketing teams

            I had once suggested that as a remedy/punishment in the Microsoft case some years back. Along with making MS use Lotus Notes.

            1. Kiwi Silver badge
              Pint

              ruminates on what would've happened had IBM and MS swapped marketing teams

              I had once suggested that as a remedy/punishment in the Microsoft case some years back. Along with making MS use Lotus Notes.

              Cruel!

              Normally I hate torture.. Even the idea of it.. Even brief mentions of it.. But in a case like this, I'll get the popcorn!

  8. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
    Terminator

    Had to happen really

    SCO are not going to give up, so it's a safe bet...

    Lawyers & judges (in the Court of Appeals) ensure that other lawyers & judges (in District Court) continue to get paid work.

    This isn't about the case; it's about the lawyers making money.

    1. John G Imrie Silver badge

      It's about the lawyers making money.

      Surprisingly it's not.

      IBM are either using their in house lawyers aka The Nazgul , who'd be getting paid any way or a law firm on a retainer and SCO's law firm agreed to do the job, for a percentage of the payout, until, as far as I can tell, the heat death of the next Universe.

  9. Archivist

    Groundhog day

    That!

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Groundhog day

      movie references, yeah. how about these:

      "They're BA-AAACK!" (ok a quote not a title)

      "Shark-C-O III - Oh, Hell No!"

      "SCO Wars - revenge of the ASS-HATS"

      "Source Code II" <-- has a kind of groundhog-day-like theme in it,name appropriate

      "Ghost in the Shell (corporation)" <-- what SCO has really become

      "Appalled XIII"

      "Pirates of Santa Cruz County"

      grabbing coat now...

      1. Sierpinski

        Re: Groundhog day

        Planet of the APIs?

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