back to article SCO vs. IBM battle resumes over ownership of Unix

IBM's lawsuit with SCO over just who owns Unix has crawled out of the grave and seems set to shuffle back into US courts. For the uninitiated, or those who've successfully tried to forget this turgid saga, a brief summary: SCO in 2003 sued IBM for doing something nasty to bits of Unix it owned. Or felt it owned. SCO also sued …

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  1. enerider
    WTF?

    Oh you gotta be kidding....

    Really?

    Really?!

    SCO - die quietly already. It is beyond over. Let it go.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. DaLo

        Re: Oh you gotta be kidding....

        SCO had a deal with Boies Schiller to provide legal representation for a fixed fee and a percentage of win for all the litigation.

        As the only asset retained by The SCO Group was the litigation it may be that Boies have to carry on the fund for this? Otherwise it is likely to be some of the crazy investors (Yarro?) who are still hoping for a payout or a buyout.

        Either way it is impossible for there to be any requirement for licensing of Linux due to the cases already gone. They didn't even get to the Copying of code by IBM part, as it was a moot point due to the Novell no transferring copyright in the first place part. Even after the IBM part there was the fact that SCO produced and distributed Linux themselves which was licensed under the GPL, so they wouldn't be able to sue due to that.

        This case does allow IBM to vindicate itself and bring in its counter claims so it's no bad thing but obviously there will be no payout for IBM but it could. at least, put the nail in the coffin.

        The biggest travesty is the bankruptcy court that gave a safe habour to SCO with absolutely no hope of them getting back on their feet, which meant that their lawsuits were a free ride with none of their assets or dwindling funds being at risk.

        1. Charles Manning

          How does the bankruptcy help?

          Sure a bankruptcy means SCO ca, in theory, get a free ride by spending up on lawyers without having to actually pay in the end.

          But what law firm would be stupid enough to fall for that?

      2. Jamie Jones Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Oh you gotta be kidding....

        I thought Eadon owned Unix....

      3. rogerpjr
        Trollface

        Re: Oh you gotta be kidding....

        MicroSoft once attacked IBM head on. When they met, IBM showed Microsoft, IBM'S HUGE portfolio of SOFTWARE patents developed no doubt since the 1940's. IBM showed the Microsofties that even the cursor going to the top of the next page's screen, ( the days of the C:\ ) was patented by IBM. IBM then said by the way you know what to do on the way home from this meeting. Yeah, the millions you wanted us to extract from OUR bank, why not YOU pay those SAME millions for your violating OUR patents instead, to same said bank. Which of course Microsoft did. ( IBM had been cool about MICROSOFT'S blatantly violating IBM'S untill Microsoft's attack on IBM )

        Microsoft ( who once OWNED SCO in whole, or part ), ALSO was found in court to have prompted the initial SCO attack on Linux/IBM. A document was entered into evidence verifying the same. Microsoft was found guilty of skullduggery, and highly unethical business practices in the EU ( that was not tolerated AT all over there ). Microsoft thought they could do as they wanted the world over. The EU is to be praised for catching sentencing, and then levying serious fines $1.4 billion ( 2008 $$s ) against Microsoft for wanton unethical practices, and then FAILURE to comply with the agreement Microsoft signed, promising they would. (ft.com quote)

        http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/cba37560-e529-11dc-9334-0000779fd2ac.html#axzz2WfPSOqD8

        Microsoft and Apple team up literally, to take on adversaries. Remember, Microsoft once invested in Apple.

    2. Bob Vistakin
      Linux

      Re: Oh you gotta be kidding....

      Once again, the most important feature in all this - who is *really* behind SCO - is totally left out. There's so much FUD involved it's enough to make you want to throw your chair across the room and bury someone.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh you gotta be kidding....

        Yeah, Bob, and I'm sure none of that FUD is people like you and Eadon suggesting that Microsoft are teh evils and behind everything that's bad on the Internet and everything bad that happens to Linux.

        1. james 68

          Re: Oh you gotta be kidding....

          FUD? not so much...

          "Microsoft funding of SCO controversy

          On March 4, 2004, a leaked SCO internal e-mail detailed how Microsoft had raised up to $106 million via the BayStar referral and other means. Blake Stowell of SCO confirmed the memo was real. BayStar claimed the deal was suggested by Microsoft, but that no money for it came directly from them. In addition to the Baystar involvement, Microsoft paid SCO $6M (USD) in May 2003 for a license to "Unix and Unix-related patents", despite the lack of Unix-related patents owned by SCO. This deal was widely seen in the press as a boost to SCO's finances which would help SCO with its lawsuit against IBM"

          (from wikipedia - cause i knew it had happened but couldnt remember when etc)

        2. Bob Vistakin
    3. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: Oh you gotta be kidding....

      I can't really understand how anyone thinks this has a chance.

      Hurdle No. 1: SCO does not own the copyright to Unix, Novell owns it.

      Hurdle No. 2: Linux did not copy from Unix, both copied from BSD, and both are entitled to do that.

      Hurdle No. 3: SCO published the code in question as part of Caldera Open Linux, and licenced it under the terms of the GPL, which gives people permission to copy it. Novell did the same as part of SuSE Linux.

      If you fall at any one of those hurdles, the case fails. They fell at hurdle no. 1 last time round. Even if they get over that hurdle this time, they still have hurdles 2 and 3.

      1. t.est

        Re: Oh you gotta be kidding....

        "Linux did not copy from Unix, both copied from BSD, and both are entitled to do that."

        What?

        check link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Unix_history-simple.svg

        1. jonathanb Silver badge

          Re: Oh you gotta be kidding....

          Well I moved one of my servers from OpenSuSE to FreeBSD. They have a lot more in common than the differences between them. ZFS is a difference, and the reason why I switched. There is ZFS for Linux, but it isn't mature enough for me at the moment. The kernels are obviously different, but most of the stuff running on top of the kernels seems to be the same on both.

        2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: Oh you gotta be kidding....

          > What?

          Berkley started with an early AT&T Unix and contributed lots of code back into Unix. Later they created their own distribution.

          """Though these proprietary BSD derivatives were largely superseded by the UNIX System V Release 4 and OSF/1 systems in the 1990s (both of which incorporated BSD code and are the basis of other modern Unix systems), ..."""

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berkeley_Software_Distribution

      2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: Oh you gotta be kidding....

        > Hurdle No. 1: SCO does not own the copyright to Unix, Novell owns it.

        That is rather simplistic and actually wrong. It is true that no copyrights transferred from Novell to SCO at the time of the sale. Since then any original lines of code written by SCO would probably be their copyright. Whether Novell actually has any protectable copyrights in Unix has not been addressed. The original Unixes are likely to no longer have any copyright due to lack of registering, at least one version was put in the public domain. Over the years there have been many contributions from hundreds of different parties who may have retained copyright on their code, or have licenced it in ways that allow usage. Determining the state of those is just not practical.

      3. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

        Re: Oh you gotta be kidding....

        > Hurdle No. 1: SCO does not own the copyright to Unix, Novell owns it.

        Yes, but who owns Novell these days?

        1. Vic

          Re: Oh you gotta be kidding....

          > Yes, but who owns Novell these days?

          Doesn't matter.

          Novell knowingly and deliberately released code under the GPL, and has been very open about that.

          Should Novell actually own any Unix copyrights - if there are any to own - everything they have released under the GPL is properly licensed as such. Anyone who subsequently owns these putative copyrights cannot rescind that license; it is permanent.

          Vic.

  2. DJGM
    Devil

    SCO ... do us all a favour . . .

    . . . die already!

    Funnily enough, I thought SCO was long dead anyway

    1. Ole Juul Silver badge

      Re: SCO ... do us all a favour . . .

      They are long dead. That's what so scary.

      1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

        Re: SCO ... do us all a favour . . .

        Too true, the "Zombie lawsuit..." should have been a dead [no pun intended but hey it works] give away.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Devil

      Re: SCO ... do us all a favour . . .

      Funnily enough, I thought SCO was long dead anyway

      Oh but it is. However, this needn't be a major impediment. I predicted this event 3 years ago. They said I was mad, they said I was wrong, they laughed at me! But who's laughing now? Mwahahahahahahahaha! I was right all along!

      IT LIVES! The Master Lives!!!!

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

        Re: SCO ... do us all a favour . . .

        Is their legal team run by Mr Slant?

        Alternatively, SCO might really be a vampire outfit. Somebody spilled blood in the wrong place.

    3. Lars Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: SCO ... do us all a favour . . .

      I agree very much, still I feel sorry for those guys who worked and developed SCO Unix. I worked some 15 years with different Unix-like systems like FOR-PRO, SCO, HP-UX, Solaris and AIx. SCO was not bad at all but was run on cheaper hardware. The word to remember here is not Unix but the POSIX standard for Unix-like systems. Porting software between different "systems" was not always "automatic" but possible when you understood what to avoid. Anybody could write a Unix-like system and call it what ever just not Unix without breaking any law. Code copying without permission is out of the question of course. And Linux is Linux.

      If you look at this graph you can see that Linux stands alone.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Unix_history-simple.svg

  3. Daniel B.
    WTF?

    Huh?

    What's this, zombie rush? SCO went down years ago, how the hell can this lawsuit even happen?

    1. P. Lee Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Huh?

      > What's this, zombie rush? SCO went down years ago, how the hell can this lawsuit even happen?

      Like zombies, corporations and intellectual property are (legal) fiction. Just like in films, they can always come back, a little more mutilated and even more scary.

      1. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

        Re: Huh?

        Zombies, Lawyers.

        Ever read the Disk World books?

        Who ever said Pratchett wrote fiction?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      @Daniel

      Someone forgot to kill the parent process. That's the only sure way to get rid of defunct processes.

      1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: @Daniel

        Only sure way to get rid of it is to nuke the site from orbit

        1. Silverburn
          Mushroom

          Re: @Daniel

          Nukes only work against stuff with substance.

          But since SCO has no substance...

  4. Captain DaFt

    Like P. Lee said

    Corporations are nothing but papers filed in a court somewhere, a legal fiction designed for profit.

    Anyone that thinks there's something to be gained from one, no matter how defunct it is, merely has to contact the owners and strike a deal with them.

    Now the *big* question, who, besides the lawyers hired, stands to profit from this, and how? (Money, IP, FUD, LULZ?)

    1. Shannon Jacobs
      Holmes

      Corporations are people, my friend!

      Haven't you been paying attention? The SCOTUS (Supreme Court) says corporations are people. Sociopathic people focused on nothing but making money.

      Then the SCOTUS wonders why people are losing respect for the law? Don't forget Bush v. Gore, for-profit prisons, and the pursuit of pot smokers. Oh? You thought they were pursuing happiness? Fie fie on you.

      Short summary of why the system is increasingly phucked even though most businesspeople are fine and upstanding people. It is because a FEW of the greediest and least ethical businessmen are bribing the cheapest professional politicians to rig the game. The insane IP laws and the resulting insane SCO lawsuit are just part of the rigged game.

      But don't worry, they'll settle down as soon as they have enough money. ROFLMAO.

      1. Captain DaFt

        Re: Corporations are people, my friend!

        "Haven't you been paying attention? The SCOTUS (Supreme Court) says corporations are people. Sociopathic people focused on nothing but making money."

        Actually, although that's technically the case, if you look at that ruling, interpreted correctly. it would outlaw corporations! (Follow me here)

        A. People create and own a corporation.

        B. Corporations are legal entities that the SCOTUS gave human rights.

        C. Slavery is illegal. (You may not own another person.)

        D. Since forming a corporation creates an entity with human rights, stockholders are technically slave owners.

        E. Therefore, forming a corporation is an act that facilitates slavery, and is illegal.

        Disclaimer: No, I'm not serious, just pointing out how absurd that "Corporations are people" ruling actually is.

        Remember that lawyer that claimed he could drive in the carpool lane because he had a briefcase full of corporate paperwork and thus was legally carpooling? Judge didn't see it that way. Ah, here's the story:

        http://www.marinscope.com/news_pointer/news/article_a9168c46-5a93-11e2-abaf-0019bb2963f4.html

        1. Kool-Aid drinker

          Re: Corporations are people, my friend!

          "C. Slavery is illegal."

          Not where I work it isn't.

      2. ChrisM

        Re: Corporations are people, my friend!

        If corporations are people.... how come they are taxed on profit rather than income as the fleshy people are... No one has satisfactorily explained this anomaly to me...

        Or is it an application of the golden rule...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Software patents

    When a single company can make this kind of noise and if successful, undermine huge amounts of business simply by creating instability, isn't that a threat to national security.... it would be if we switched SCO for Huweii ....

    But large US tech companies trying to destroy each other, thats just all in the game and definitely benefits US business as whole right? (sarcasm)

  6. kain preacher Silver badge

    Ok what just happened to the statues of limitations ? How they hell can you just put a law suit on hold ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I think they're kept next to the Elgin Marbles.

    2. graeme leggett

      You may be thinking of criminal law. Civil law scoffs at the passage of years.

      the "McLibel" case took 10 years to sort out.

      and although Jarndyce vs Jarndyce is fictional, it is also plausible

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Jarndyce vs Jarndyce is not that fictional

        I resently heard of a court case (a real one) regarding a will that actually ran for 110 years, and then collpsed because all of the money ran out. I can't remember its name at the moment, but will probably try to look it up later.

        1. Justicesays

          Re: Jarndyce vs Jarndyce is not that fictional

          Jennens vs Jennens

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

          If you can trust Wikipedia.

          Looks like Americans were to blame for the extended litigation here as well, so the tradition has a long history.

          1. Ian 55

            Re: Jarndyce vs Jarndyce is not that fictional

            See also the Marks and Spencer 'tea cake' case which lasted for 13 years, via the House of Lords and the European Court of Justice. Especially if you have a receipt for some between 1973 and 1994.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Jarndyce vs Jarndyce is not that fictional

          Yeah, but you heard about it on QI, so there is a pretty high chance that it's a load of cobblers.

          Honestly, that a program which holds itself up on being factual get so much wrong or 90% correct really gets on my wick.

          1. Silverburn
            Holmes

            Re: Jarndyce vs Jarndyce is not that fictional

            QI = Questionable Integrity

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Laches?

        According to Wikipedia:

        Laches is an "unreasonable delay pursuing a right or claim...in a way that prejudices the opposing party" ... ...The person invoking laches is asserting that an opposing party [in this case SCO] has "slept on its rights," and that, as a result of this delay, circumstances have changed such that it is no longer just to grant the plaintiff's original claim.

      3. kain preacher Silver badge

        Not in the US

        At least in my states there are time limits to bring civil cases. There are time limits to file and respond to civil cases.

        1. Vic

          Re: Not in the US

          > There are time limits to file and respond to civil cases.

          Doesn't apply here.

          The SCO v. IBM case was filed in plenty of time - but was stayed because of the bankruptcy[1].

          Vic.

          [1] SCO wasn't actually bankrupt when it filed that - it just expected to become so when it lost its case. And the judge allowed it...

  7. jake Silver badge

    Daftest thing is ...

    ... no company in their right mind will ever actually use IP that is lawfully owned by SCO! The world at large will simply code around it. They are spending money, with absolutely zero potential for profit.

    SCO is a really, really good example of why manglement & lawyers should be separated from technology, kinda like Church & State (Yes, I know, shaddup about the US, I'm intelligent, I vote, and will continue trying to fix the system ... ).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Daftest thing is ...

      The lawyers profit. The lawyer-children of the original lawyers could have persuaded someone to stomp up some money in return for 1/3 of the settlement - or something like that.

      Enterprising lawyers could create a lawyer-version of kickstarter: "Sue4Ca$h.com" - f.ex. A site where people cast money into the pit to sue anyone they think should be sued and perhaps share the potential profit. It could work except the lawyers would inevitably find a way to appropriate all the money.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Facepalm

        AC@11:40

        "Enterprising lawyers could create a lawyer-version of kickstarter: "Sue4Ca$h.com" - f.ex. A site where people cast money into the pit to sue anyone they think should be sued and perhaps share the potential profit. It could work except the lawyers would inevitably find a way to appropriate all the money."

        Oh sweet $deity NO.

        Did you have to give them ideas.

      2. Fatman Silver badge

        Re: Enterprising lawyers could create a lawyer-version of kickstarter: "Sue4Ca$h.com"

        That has been already done!!!

        It is (hopefully soon to be was) called Prenda Law.

      3. Shannon Jacobs
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Daftest thing is ...

        Not the .com domain. Belongs in http://www.sue4ca$h.scam website.

    2. Fatman Silver badge

      RE: Re: Daftest thing is ...

      SCO is a really, really good example of why manglement & lawyers should be separated from technology, kinda like Church & State strangled at birth

      There!

      FTFY

  8. ChrisM

    Answer me a question...

    How many bites of the cherry do you get? How many times of getting told no do you have to finally give up and go away...

    Isn't there a limit you get to up the chain of courts where there is no appeal from that? Please say yes for my sanity if nothing else?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Answer me a question...

      Keep in mind that the legal system is designed by lawyers, so it should be no surprise that the winners here are, by an amazing and veritable shocking coincidence, also lawyers.

      As far as I can see it (and apologies if I've said this a million times before). this lawsuit will have legs as long as the money is around, and now acts as a textbook example for other lawyers on how to totally milk a case for maximum reputational damage. This lawsuit isn't about justice, it's about creating uncertainty in the minds of the clueless (read: managers) about using Linux. Thus, it has no need to win (that would be a bonus, but is unlikely IMHO), it just has to rumble on and on.

      Thus, for what it has to do it seems it is excellent value for money. Whose money is a guess, but not a hard guess - I can imagine it's still cheaper than a marketing campaign.

      1. Mad Chaz
        Linux

        Re: Answer me a question...

        and probably cheaper then releasing a product people actually want ...

        1. Fatman Silver badge

          RE: Re: Answer me a question...

          and probably cheaper then releasing a product people actually want that actually works ...

          FTFY

      2. Vic

        Re: Answer me a question...

        > a textbook example for other lawyers on how to totally milk a case for maximum reputational damage

        Indeed. But that damage appears to have happened to BSF...

        > it's about creating uncertainty in the minds of the clueless (read: managers) about using Linux

        I think that boat has sailed.

        Vic.

  9. MrDamage
    Mushroom

    IBM & Novell's Failure

    Was to apply Rule #2, Double Tap.

    It took a few years for the SCO zombie to reawaken and climb back onto its feet, but it has and it is now shuffling and moaning once more for brains, I mean money.

    If they cant take the headshot, then take off and nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

    1. Goat Jam
      Thumb Up

      Re: IBM & Novell's Failure

      Way to mix your movie metaphors dude. A triple shot, nicely played.

      1. Silverburn
        Coat

        Re: IBM & Novell's Failure

        Double taps and triple shots. The bane of Pre. Ej. sufferers everywhere.

  10. xpusostomos

    Hurrumph

    I thought the outcome is, Novell won proving they own UNIX. That Linux actually doesn't contain any UNIX. (not to mention Oracle lost recently in the claim that APIs are copyrightable, which was SCO's only hope in the first place). This is deader than the deadest dead dog.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hurrumph

      SCO are now saying that IBM developed a competing product that was more successful. They want to courts to declare that it was unfair and that IBM should be punished.

      Personally I'm looking forward to Groklaw's coverage on this. Pass the popcorn!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hurrumph

        IBM was a legitimate source code licensee, with a grant of their SVR2 license in perpetuity from AT&T.

        SCO claimed that they could revoke this license, and then sue IBM for shipping code subject to license to customers.

        IBM said 'We'll see you in court for you to attempt to prove you have the right to revoke the license".

        Strangely, that court case never happened.

        If SCO could claim that shipping a more successful product was unfair, then seeing how well UnixWare is doing now, everybody still producing UNIX systems would be in danger. Not!

        1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Hurrumph

          And there I was thinking that producing better, more competitive products was what capitalism was about!

          Deary me, how naive of me.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Hurrumph

            > And there I was thinking that producing better, more competitive products was

            > what capitalism was about!

            > Deary me, how naive of me.

            Actually, it *is* what capitalism is all about. We don't have that in the USA anymore. What we have is lawyer and liberal-supported corporate entitlement programmes.

    2. Vic

      Re: Hurrumph

      > Novell won proving they own UNIX.

      Not quite...

      Novell proved that they didn't transfer any ownership to SCO. Whether they ever owned anything in the first place was not addressed.

      Vic.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: If SCO wins it can start throwing sueballs...

    If I remember correctly SCO was already trying to sue World + Cat, Mouse & Dog back when this case hit the headlines. Quite literally everyone who they'd suspect of even thinking of using anything *n?x was targeted.

    But seriously now... WHAT THE F**K? I can't believe these leeches are still around...

    Let alone having resurrected this heap of Godzilla Dung of a "case".

  12. Neoc
    Unhappy

    Translation...

    SCO had an influx of cash from an interested third party. Again.

    I'm looking at *you*, MSFT.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Translation...

      Looking in the wrong direction. Look in the direction where yachts are wind propelled, not motor propelled.

      What did you think that "the interested party" will enjoy the API Cannot Be Copyrighted shafting? It (in one of its prior incarnations) supported SCO before, I am betting a case of bubbly that it did support it this time too.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Translation...

        > Look in the direction where yachts are wind propelled

        Off topic; but as much as I dislike Ellison, his company and all he stands for, those "yachts" are awesome...

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9Ap_-8NZuU

  13. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  14. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Ha Ha!

    if SCO wins it can start throwing sueballs at the Googles, IBMs and Red Hats of the world and cash in big time

    Nobody would pay and nobody would care.

    Additionally, by that time, the US and probably Yurop and more likely than not China will be well and truly mired in Superland with the economy doing the final Keynesian titsup limbo dance ... there will be other problems than trying to hoover up money across the world for some sh*t company full of sh*t.

  15. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce...

    From Wikipedia:

    "Jennens vs Jennens commenced in 1798 and was abandoned in 1915 (117 years later) when the legal fees had exhausted the Jennens estate of funds. Thus it had been ongoing for 55 years when Bleak House was published."

  16. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    Do like Deep Throat says...

    Follow the money.

  17. Richard Wharram

    The money?

    Is anyone aware of a way to find out where the money to fund the all-new 'SCO' is coming from?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The money?

      Have you ever made "high risk" investments? this is often how casino style banking works. They pay for lawsuits as a gamble, if they win then eventually some big money from damages or licensing flows.

  18. jadecat
    FAIL

    Killing Linux

    Well SCO did kill off Caldera Open Linux. Why not the rest?

    Still, we have the BSD's. Don't we?

    1. Vic

      Re: Killing Linux

      > Still, we have the BSD's. Don't we?

      SCO has already claimed ownership of BSD code...

      Vic.

  19. jadecat
    FAIL

    Killing Linux

    SCO managed to kill off Caldera Open Linux - which was a great distribution, imo - why not the rest?

    Still, we have the BSD's. Don't we?

    1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: Killing Linux

      > SCO managed to kill off Caldera Open Linux

      After Caldera purchased Unix (and UnixWare and OpenServer) from SCO they renamed themselves The SCO Group and sometime later ceased distribution their Linux distros. But software they wrote for Linux still continues.

  20. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

    This will only end when the case is ruled on

    I said a couple of years ago that this may come back. Until it is finally ruled on and closed, beyond all hope of an appeal, it will keep coming back. This is both because the claim is big enough to keep creditors and lawyers interested, and because it is a vector to attach Linux as a platform.

    Mind you, the landscape has changed. I never fully understood where Novell's IP went to when SuSE got bought. If it is the case that it ended up with a shell company that is controlled by parties who have an interest in derailing Android, Chrome, Tigon and all of the other Linux related platforms, then consolidating SCO's claim with the ex-Novell's IP could prove more than an annoyance.

    It all hinges around UNIX code that was allegedly incorporated into the Linux source tree by IBM as part of AIX code that was ported to Linux (I know that JFS was one thing quoted), but IIRC the case was never proved, as SCO could or would not point out the code in question. There were also arguments about derivative works. But they were never closed either.

    Like the MS patent list, I feel that it would be in the best interests of all of the interested parties of Linux to make sure that any code that could be cited was rewritten and expunged from the Linux code tree. At least this would protect future Linux products, and turn this into a chase for money, rather than a FUD attack on Linux.

    In one bizarre slant on this, it may actually prolong the life of Genetic UNIX (directly descended from the Bell Labs code), as it keeps it in view. I would love to see the SVR4/UnixWare source opened up as a result of any real settlement of this case, but I think that this is unlikely.

    1. __________

      The code allegedly ported was written by IBM in the first place

      And, moreover, it seems to have had its origins in OS/2

      So SCO are coming it

      1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: The code allegedly ported was written by IBM in the first place

        @__________

        If you are talking about JFS, then the original implementation was on AIX 3.1, but it was re-implemented (not ported) for OS/2, and it is this that was this OS/2 code that was then ported to Linux. So you are probably right, but not in the way you think.

    2. Peter Simpson 1
      Linux

      Re: This will only end when the case is ruled on

      Your summary is dead on.

      SCO claimed that portions of its valuable UNIX source code had been stolen after being shared with IBM during an abortive collaboration. Never mind that IBM has probably forgotten more about writing operating systems than SCO ever knew. Also please ignore the fact that SCO, when pressed, was not able to show examples of where this valuable source code was located in the publicly available Linux sources.

      Looking forward to seeing these bozos slapped down hard. This has gone on long enough.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This will only end when the case is ruled on

      There is a possibly apocryphal story that SCO got the court to agree that IBM should provide all AIX source code for inspection. The story goes that IBM delivered an AIX system, with CMVC loaded on it and containing the complete source tree for AIX to SCO's offices.

      When SCO asked what they were supposed to do with it, IBM offered to sell them training courses and consultancy!

      1. Peter Simpson 1
        Thumb Up

        Re: This will only end when the case is ruled on

        @AC "There is a possibly apocryphal story..."

        True:

        http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20050505145639180

        :-)

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This will only end when the case is ruled on

      What code? haven't they looked at *.h files before to determine guilt?

    5. Vic

      Re: This will only end when the case is ruled on

      > I never fully understood where Novell's IP went to when SuSE got bought.

      Novell's copyrights - if any existed - went to Attachmate with the rest of the company.

      > consolidating SCO's claim with the ex-Novell's IP could prove more than an annoyance

      It won't even be that much.

      If Novell had no copyrights, there is nothing to sue over.

      If Novell had some Unix copyrights, it licensed them under the GPL to all recipients of Linux. So still nothing to sue over.

      Vic.

      1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: This will only end when the case is ruled on @Vic

        I think you're wrong. This is what I understand.

        UNIX System Laboratories (USL) was set up as the home for UNIX as part of the SVR4 Unified UNIX program, and was joint-owned by a consortium of companies including AT&T. Part of the set-up was that all UNIX IP and code was not just licensed to USL, but the ownership was transferred from AT&T to USL. (I was offered a job by USL in the UK, and nearly took it, so I have an interest in this part of the history)

        When USL wound itself up it got bought by Novell, and the ownership of all of the IP for UNIX went to Novell. This included all branding, code, copyright and patent information.

        In 1993 or 1994, Novell transferred the UNIX brand and verification suites to X/Open (now The Open Group), and licensed the use of the code and IP to SCO, although through a contractual quirk (SCO not having enough money at the time), the copyright (and I believe that this includes the right to use and license the code) remained with Novell.

        SCO then sold itself to Caldera, which then renamed itself the SCO Group.

        The SCO Group then tried to assert ownership of the code and failed. This was one of the SCO Group vs. Novell (or vice versa) cases that was ruled on in Novell's favour. In parallel, SCO had engaged in campaigns of FUD and law suites against RedHat, IBM and their customers. These cases have never been concluded and are the ones that will not die, particularly the IBM one.

        Novell was then mostly bought by Attachmate, although, and I quote from the Wikipedia article on Novell, "As part of the deal, 882 patents owned by Novell are planned to be sold to CPTN Holdings LLC, a consortium of companies led by Microsoft and including Apple, EMC, and Oracle."

        I was never clear about whether this IP included any of UNIX, or if that remained with Novell. This is the bit I am uncertain about. If it went to CPTN Holdings, this is how it could be used, although looking at the agreement, CPTN's ownership of the IP is subject to GPL2 and the OIN licenses, which may offer some protection.

        Confused? You will be after this years episode of SCO*

        (* with apologies to the creators of Soap for the shameless paraphrase of their catch line)

        Please, please! Whoever own the UNIX copyright, publish the non-ancient code under an open license. There's no commercial reason not to any more.

        1. Vic

          Re: This will only end when the case is ruled on @Vic

          although through a contractual quirk (SCO not having enough money at the time), the copyright (and I believe that this includes the right to use and license the code) remained with Novell.

          Hardly a "contractual quirk"; SCO had a small fraction of the asking price, so the deal was re-nogotiated such that SCO just bought the distribution business.

          SCO then sold itself to Caldera, which then renamed itself the SCO Group.

          SCO sold part of its business to Caldera. The other part renamed itself Tarantella. Caldera then changed its name to SCO. Ther was, quite obviously, no attempt to confuse or deceive. Nope, none at all.

          These cases have never been concluded

          Some have - e.g. SCO vs. Daimler-Chrysler.

          But most importantly, the Court has already concluded[1] that Novell retained ownership of "the UNIX and UnixWare copyrights" (although ISTR there was some discussion over what was actually in that set). SCO vs. Novell is closed[2], with a resounding win for Novell (although we all know that SCO will never actually pay up). The Court has confirmed Novell's ownership of everything in Unix that can be owned, and the Supreme Court has dismissed certiorari. SCO has appealed that, but the chances of the Supreme Court deciding to rule against itself are pretty slim...

          Most of the remainnig cases were stayed pending the outcome of SCO vs. IBM. That was unstayed just a few days ago. It's not currently clear whether or not SCO has anything at all left to litigate after the demolition of the Novell case.

          I was never clear about whether this IP included any of UNIX, or if that remained with Novell.

          Well, there were all those patents. I don't know what those patents covered - indeed, I'm not even sure that was ever disclosed. But patents have a comparatively short lifespan, so there's nothing to worry about there (they'll have expired). Besides which, section 7 of GPLv2 contains an implicit patent grant; if Novell had not licensed any patents it might have had, it would be in breach of copyright. There will not be a patent case against Linux on the back of those patents.

          Copyrights, on the other hand, are long-lived. But GPLv2 section 6 explicitly gives all recipients the right to redistribute. There will not be a copyright case against Linux on the back of these copyrights.

          If it went to CPTN Holdings, this is how it could be used

          It can't - because Novell distributed Linux under the GPL.

          Confused? You will be after this years episode of SCO

          The case itself is not that confusing - SCO claimed the contract gave them certain rights, whereas the contract said the exact opposite. The only bit I find confusing is how supposedly intelligent people can stand up in court and expect this turd of a case to go anywhere.

          Please, please! Whoever own the UNIX copyright, publish the non-ancient code under an open license. There's no commercial reason not to any more.

          There is. Many of the original contributors cannot be traced, and thus their code is orphaned, but the copyright persists. There are also, apparently, a number of commercial organisations who do not want their code publshed.

          Someone tried to open-source Unix a few years back - I *think* it was Sun, but I'm not certain. It turned out to be an intractable problem...

          Vic.

          [1] Memorandum Decision and Order

          [2] Final Judgement

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think Apple owns Unix now anyway

    So what's the worry?

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: I think Apple owns Unix now anyway @AC

      Would love you to justify this. Apple may now ship more UNIX(tm) systems than anybody else, but they own nothing of the UNIX IP.

      OSX is a UNIX derived system, having taken the MACH kernel, married with bits of BSD (which is not branded), and then got UNIX 03 branding. This means that it passes the UNIX test suite, not that it has any UNIX IP in it.

      1. peredur

        Re: I think Apple owns Unix now anyway @AC

        > Apple may now ship more UNIX(tm) systems than anybody else

        Doubt it. How many Apple servers are there? Not a lot.

        How many set-top boxes, routers, GPS systems, super-computers etc etc run OS/X? None that I know of, so the number is likely to be insignificant if they even exist. Not to mention that according to IDC (quoted in http://www.latinospost.com/articles/19393/20130517/ios-vs-android-market-share-apple-google-mobile-operating-systems.htm), Android (i.e. Linux) is beating Apple hands down when it comes to units shipped.

        Nope, Linux is far and away the most widely distributed operating system in the world, even if it's practically non-existent on the desktop.

        1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: I think Apple owns Unix now anyway @peredur

          There are nuances to this. Note that I said "UNIX(tm)" not UNIX-like.

          Want to know the difference?

          There is a set of verification test, owned by The Open Group (http://www.unix.org/), which tests a system for UNIX compliance. There have been several UNIX standards over the years, starting with SVID, through Posix 1003.X, UNIX 93, UNIX 95, UNIX 98 and most recently UNIX 03.

          UNIX(tm) is a registered trade mark. Use of this mark to describe an operating system is restricted to those that have passed one or more of the test suites maintained by The Open Group.

          OSX Mountain Lion has passed the UNIX 03 test suite. As has Solaris 10 and 11, HPUX 11i, and AIX 5.3 and 6.1. All of these operating systems can call themselves UNIX.

          There are absolutely no Linux distributions that have passed any of the UNIX test suites, so legally, no Linux system can be called UNIX.

          Two other quirks. There are no BSD systems that have been tested, so strictly, BSD is not UNIX (although there may be historical justification for BSD 4.4 and earlier) . But z/OS V2R1 (and some earlier versions) have been tested and passed against UNIX 95, so bizarrely, z/OS 2.1, an operating system that has little or no UNIX code in it can be called UNIX!

          Now I don't know how many OSX systems have shipped in total compared to Solaris, HPUX and AIX systems, but in terms of new systems installed, I would hazard a guess that Apple are now shipping more OSX boxes than the other vendors are of their own brand of UNIX. And you can't count Linux.

          This is why I said what I did.

          1. Lars Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: I think Apple owns Unix now anyway @peredur

            Yes Unix is a trademark but AIX or Solaris or HP-UX are not called Unix as nobody wanted to pay for the name and it was not necessary either. AIX was written from scratch as IBM did not want to depend on AT&T then a big company. No copied code was found within Linux and SCO left that claim years ago. So we shall see what funny claims SCO has come up with this time. Oh dear.

            1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge
              Boffin

              Re: I think Apple owns Unix now anyway @lars

              You are so wrong in your suggestion that there is no AT&T code in AIX. Also, you are wrong about people wanting to pay for UNIX branding. Look at the Open Group website, and see which UNIX variants have been put through the various UNIX test suites (which costs quite a lot of money). IBM, Sun (as was), HP and Apple have all paid the money, and achieved the certification.

              IBM has a SVR2 source license and AIX was very clearly derived from AT&T SVR2 code. It was not written from the ground up. I've worked in IBM and had access to the source code, and I have seen parts of the code that are clearly related to AT&T UNIX, complete with the required AT&T copyright notices. This was a long time ago (early '90s), but they were there.

              For Power systems the current AIX can be traced back to AIX 3.1, released on the RISC System/6000 in 1990. AIX 3.1 itself was derived from the code that IBM had for the 6150 RT PC, and this was a direct port of SVR2, mainly by IBM but aided by the INTERACTIVE System Corporation, who had also worked on PC/IX for IBM. Reports of the Kernel (in places like Wikipedia) being written in PL/I or PL/8 refer to the VRM, not to the AIX kernel.

              I admit that there has been a huge amount of code added in AIX over the years, but it is still a genetic UNIX. How much code is related? Maybe you should ask SCO. They've seen the AIX source.

              The same is true for SunOS/Solaris. I was working for AT&T when SVR4 was released, and I can say with absolute certainty that Sun0S 4.0.1 was the same source code base (again, I had access to the source code) as AT&T's SVR4.

              Sun were one of the principal members of UNIX International and the Unified UNIX programme that attempted to standardize UNIX in the late 1980's with AT&T, ICL, Amdahl and various other vendors long gone. I still have the notes from the developer conference. Prior to this release, SunOS 3 and earlier was based on BSD 4.2, with enhancements added from 4.3.

              I am not so clear about HP-UX, but I know that HP had a direct UNIX V7 port on a system I'm sure was an HP 500 in the early 1980s, although I can't find any references (it was pre-Internet). Wikipedia says HP-UX was derived from System III. HP (and in fact IBM and DEC) were in the Open Software Foundation that was set up in opposition to the Unified UNIX. They had their own UNIX called OSF/1, which had a common code base that was taken from DEC and IBM versions of UNIX. The tension between UI and OSF was known as "The UNIX wars".

              Time moves on, and of course there is no feedback from the vendors back into the main tree, so of course the different versions diverge, but I am sure it is safe to say that all three of these are genetic UNIXes, and they all have achieved UNIX branding at various levels. They can all be called UNIX as per the branding rules, but in this day an age, this is not really important. UNIX as a unified OS (much to my regret) is largely a has-been.

              My biggest fear is that without some form of standardization (like the Linux Standards Base which is mostly ignored) Linux will go the same way.

              1. Lars Silver badge
                Linux

                Re: I think Apple owns Unix now anyway @lars

                Thanks Peter Gathercole. but perhaps one should remember that Unix was open for some time and I still believe IBM wanted to be free of any obligations towards AT&T. The history of Unix is an interesting one, as for Linux the kernel has not, as far as I know, gone anyway but straight forward as one Linux kernel. The code found in Linux was openly available too, some 70 lines (not actually code), while SCO spoke about a million lines.

                1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge
                  Boffin

                  Re: I think Apple owns Unix now anyway @lars

                  I would actually dispute that UNIX(tm) has ever been Open, as we would think Linux or other GPL code is.

                  Yes, UNIX code source code has been available, but only under license. Versions (editions) 1-6 were available to academic users under a very permissive license, but one that prevented commercial use. At the time, Bell Labs/AT&T were prevented by a US anti-monopoly judgement from supplying commercial computers, and this included Operating Systems. At this time, there was a thriving pre-Open Source group of academic users who dabbled in the code, and shared their work with others. This was a really exciting time (I was there), and you often found 400' 1/2" tape reels being sent around (it was pre-networks) various Universities.

                  Version 7 tightened this up to prevent the source from being used as a teaching example. Version 7 and earlier code has, since 2002, been published under GPLv2, granted by Caldera (Horray!). This is now "Open", but I don't know of anybody who is shipping a commercial V7 implementation (although a free x86 port is freely available from a South African company called Nordier Associates).

                  Commercial use of UNIX post Version 7, from PWB to UnixWare was under a commercial license that did not contain any right to the source code. The same was true for all other-vendor UNIX systems. Source licenses were available, but under their own strict licensing conditions, and at a high cost (and often required the licensee to have an AT&T source licence as well!).

                  BSD code prior to BSD/Lite required the user to have an AT&T version 7 (or later) license. BSD/Lite or later does not contain any AT&T code (or at least nothing that AT&T were prepared to contest), so is available under the BSD license, but as I have stated before, cannot legally call itself UNIX.

                  Having got that out of the way, why was UNIX used as the basis for Open Systems?

                  Well, UNIX was always easy to port. This meant that there were several vendors (piggy-backing on various academic ports, like SUN and DEC) who could sell UNIX systems, meaning that application writers have something approaching a common base to target their code, although differences had to be worked around. This was unique. There was no other large-system operating system around at the time that had this.

                  It became apparent that if there could be a standardised subset of UNIX (commands, APIs, libraries) that all vendors would support, then this could mean that application writers could possibly entertain a "write-once, compile once per vendor UNIX, and sell" strategy. This was first championed by AT&T (who by this time were allowed to sell computers and operating systems) with the System V Interface Definition (SVID), which was adopted by IEEE, with minor changes, as the various POSIX 1003 standards.

                  These standards are what gave UNIX the "Open" label. Anybody could write an OS that met these standards, whether based on genetic UNIX code or not. This has resulted in numerous interesting products and projects, one of which is GNU/Linux (POSIX compliant, but not any later UNIX standard), and includes such things as QNX, BeOS and z/OS, which can be regarded as UNIX or UNIX-like, some of which are truly open. Not all of these can be called UNIX, however.

                  I agree about the Linux kernel. The reason why this has remained as a single kernel is because Linus keeps an iron hand on the kernel source tree and official release numbers. It is perfectly possible for someone to take this tree, and modify it (and it has been done by several people including IBM and Google) under the GPL, but they can't get their modifications back in to the main tree without Linus' agreement. They could maintain their own version, however, as long as they abide by the GPL. AFAIK, they can even still call it Linux.

                  1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

                    Re: I think Apple owns Unix now anyway @lars

                    > Version 7 and earlier code has, since 2002, been published under GPLv2, granted by Caldera

                    It is also likely that 32v (the port to VAX) is in the public domain.

                    > BSD/Lite or later does not contain any AT&T code (or at least nothing that AT&T were prepared to contest)

                    USL were contesting that but when Novell bought USL outright it settled and agreed that it would not contest BSD after certain conditions were met.

                    But the real point is that Unix probably does contain code written at Berkeley - as well as code written and contributed by many other parties. The likelihood is that there are no protectable copyrights in Unix at least to the point where Novel sold the Unixware business to SCO.

                    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

                      Re: I think Apple owns Unix now anyway @lars

                      Oh. Yes. I forgot about 32v. That was in the same announcement.

                      BSD/Lite was, as far as I understand, BSD 4.4 with AT&T code removed/re-written. I think, although I am prepared to be corrected, that is the reason why it was called Lite.

                      UNIX does indeed contain code written at Berkeley. The obvious example is vi, although it would not surprise me if the paging code had something to do with BSD. As I understand it, there were relatively good relations between the Bell Labs. people and the Computing Labs people as Berkeley.

                      The networking code probably has not, because AT&T took the Wollongong TCP/IP code, and re-wrote most of it to use STREAMS/TLI.

                      But it does not matter how much code cam back from BSD, because the BSD license is a very permissive one that does little to restrict what the code is used for, provided it is acknowledged.

                      It is other contributors (which will mostly be companies working with AT&T) that may be more problematic, but I guess it depends on the contractual relationship between them and AT&T. The best place to look is probably the copyright notices in the header files for each release.

                      1. Vic

                        Re: I think Apple owns Unix now anyway @lars

                        > The best place to look is probably the copyright notices in the header files for each release.

                        No, that's the worst place to look...

                        AT&T were exceptionally blase about copyright notices. That's quite a bit of what was behind the BSD scuffle, and part of the reason there are very few protectable copyrights left in Unix.

                        The whole thing is a tortuous mess. Although there may be no-one with the right to contest open-sourcing it, *proving* that would be nigh-on impossible...

                        Vic.

                        1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

                          Re: I think Apple owns Unix now anyway @Vic

                          I agree that the header files are not necessarily authoritative, but unless you know somewhere else that is generally available, the header files may still be the best even if they are not very good.

                          Most people (and me, now) do not have access to any current UNIX source code. Generally speaking, although the temptation was there, I resisted taking snapshots of the various code when I left companies with source. I try to abide by the rules, even though in hindsight, I have often regretted being so 'moral'.

                          The only UNIX source code I have available to me now is the V6 Lyons commentary, and the V7 code that was freed up by Caldera.

                          When I wrote my previous comment, I had a bit of a dig around in the IBM AIX V7.1 include directories. I was very surprised to see almost no copyright notices to Bell Labs or AT&T (understandable), USL (I suppose that is understandable as well), or Novell, Caldera or SCO, and precious few to the Regents of the University of California at Berkeley.

                          It looks like IBM have been cleaning up the copyright notices over the years.

                          I am currently not working on any other platform to check.

                      2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

                        Re: I think Apple owns Unix now anyway @lars

                        > But it does not matter how much code cam back from BSD

                        In the context of the claim that 'Linux copied code from Unix' it does matter because finding matching code that exists in both may mean that they both legitimately copied it from BSD.

            2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

              Re: I think Apple owns Unix now anyway @peredur

              You seem to have managed to get everything wrong.

              > Yes Unix is a trademark but AIX or Solaris or HP-UX are not called Unix

              > as nobody wanted to pay for the name and it was not necessary either.

              From opengroup.org:

              """NEW UNIX 03 CERTIFICATION FOR IBM Corporation

              We are very pleased to announce that on September 1, 2006,

              IBM registered the following system as conforming

              to the UNIX 03 Product Standard.

              -- AIX 5L for POWER V5.3 dated 7-2006 or later

              on systems using CHRP system architecture with

              POWER(tm) processors"""

              From Oracle.com:

              """Oracle Solaris 11

              The First Cloud OS

              Brings the reliability, security and scalability of the #1 UNIX OS to the enterprise cloud ..."""

              They do 'pay for the name', and use it.

              > AIX was written from scratch

              Completely untrue. IBM had a licence from AT&T for AIX and paid royalties on every copy _because_ it was based on SVRx. Later they bought a 'fully paid up and perpetual licence' so that they no longer need to pay royalties. It was this licence that SCO attempted to cancel.

              > No copied code was found within Linux and SCO left that claim years ago.

              Not true. There is code within Linux that is similar, or even the same, as code within Unix. This is because they both have code from BSD (which is perfectly legitimate).

  22. peter 45
    Childcatcher

    Flogging a dead horse

    No point telling the lawyer flogging the dead horse that it is dead if he is billing by the hour

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Flogging a dead horse

      A dead horse can still kick you in the balls.

  23. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Joke

    I wonder if you could start a kicksterter project

    To hire a hitman to take all of this scum out.

    I am of course joking.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I wonder if you could start a kicksterter project

      So was the guy who threatend to blow up Robin Hood airport and look what happend to him (yes I know appeals and all that)

      Now bend over and grit your teeth.

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Go

      Re: I wonder if you could start a kicksterter project

      > I am of course joking.

      WHY SO UNSERIOUS?

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: I wonder if you could start a kicksterter project

        "WHY SO UNSERIOUS?"

        Well you can't be too careful with American lawyers.

        I would not want to be accused of inciting murder for hire now, would I?

        Although you do have to wonder if something were to happen to them who would care?

        And as for the suspect pool, that would be in the millions of individuals, not to mention several large corporations.

        I can't help recall that line in Enemy of the State "We pay 100s of 1000s of $ to scumbag lawyers like you because of scumbag lawyers like you."

  24. Lars Silver badge

    I think we need Groklaw again

    People who knew how things where are perhaps gone, lawyers will be new and "empty" headed. Pamela is the only person with all the facts. And I suppose SCO will again try for a 50/50 chance with a jury.

    No icon as there is nothing ugly enough to express my feelings for SCO and its backers.

  25. Desidero
    Childcatcher

    In perpetuity

    Oh my Lord, this case is so old even the posters who understand what it's about are all on pension and age-eligible for the Supreme Court.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: In perpetuity

      Back then, Darl McBride could be heard one TV channel and Baghdad Bob could be heard on another. Only one of them was good and deserves to enter the history books.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well at least it's not Apple claiming ownership.

    1. Anonymous Coward
  27. sisk Silver badge

    What will it take??

    SCO hasn't had any significant customers in years, has posted no profits for even longer, and is basically a rotting corpse. Where the hell are they getting the money to keep this nonsense up? Apple? Microsoft? Do either of you have an explanation?

    1. Pookietoo
      Meh

      Re: SCO hasn't had any significant customers in years

      SCO sold their software IP and business to a company called UnXis (now Xinuos) in 2011. I thought one of the decisions against SCO was that they didn't own the rights to UnixWare, so I wonder how they could sell it, but what do I know?

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    SCO still has employees?

    How? Do they get paid?

  29. phands

    SCO destroyed all documents a while back...

    The bankruptcy administrators of SCO (or "asset strippers", more accurately) got permission to delete and shred lots of paperwork a while back. Thus there will be no evidence that SCO have no case left. I can see the SCOundrels asking for a restart, including full discovery again.

    They won't get it, in a normal world, but this is SCO - a parallel dimension where truth is mutable.

  30. Herby Silver badge

    SCOundrels!!

    We have a winner here!

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    If SCO can prove it owns Unix?

    "Don't be: if SCO can eventually prove it really, truly does own a critical bit of Unix it's a chance of saying it therefore owns that same bit in Linux. And given that world+dog runs Linux – a couple of billion Android devices for starters – if SCO wins it can start throwing sueballs at the Googles, IBMs and Red Hats of the world and cash in big time."

    SCO acquired certain Unix properties from Novell and Caldera and announces their intention of promoting under the UnitedLinux umbrella. Under the leadership of Darl McBride, SCO withdraws from UnitedLinux and announces the intention of sueing some of its former colleges. SCO firstly claimed ownership of certain source code produced in co-operaton with IBM and old-SCO, Project Monterey.

    When asked to produce such codes, SCO failed to do so despite the source being available under the GPL for years previously. SCO then changed tack and claimed there was SCO code in the Linux kernel, if so, then why isn't SCO sueing the kernel developers. SCO has been in litigation with AutoZone, DaimlerChrysler, Red Hat, IBM and Novell at some stage, neither of which paid a cent to SCO. The net effect of the case has been to inject Fear Uncertainity and Doubt into the Linux business. The real story is who was financing SCO these past eighteen years.

    "Williams: Well, there's something I don't understand, which is that Linux is open source, and the source is openly available, so can you not just go to a source repository and pull up a file and say, "Here, you guys stole that from our intellectual property. This is where it is." You can point at it because you don't need to wait for IBM to provide it, do you?"

    "McBride: Well, it's a little bit ..." link

    --

    "The month of June is show-and-tell time," McBride said. "Everybody's been clamoring for the code...and we're going to show hundreds of lines of code." link

  32. shawnfromnh

    Not worried

    Just because the US courts might side for some reason with SCO they can't tell the EU or any other country what to do and they can all take SCO to court and fight this and probably win since they do not like patent trolls and won't put up with this scam.

    1. John G Imrie Silver badge

      Re: Not worried

      SCO tried this in Germany several years ago. The German court said put up or shut up. SCO failed to do either and was promptly shot down.

      See http://heupel.com/eclectic/2003/09/04/sco-must-pay-for-violating-german-court-order/

  33. John 120

    ...and yet in the highly unlikely event that SCO do win, that will confirm that money IS a requirement for justice.

  34. Vic

    > if SCO can eventually prove it really, truly does own a critical bit of Unix

    It can't. That has already been adjudged, and is not up for appeal.

    SCO owns nothing. Even if Blepp's briefcase were to find its way back to this universe, there's sod all there.

    Vic.

    1. Lars Silver badge
      Linux

      @Vic

      Lost in Iceland I think, the home of good old sagas, a good place to bury the SCO saga.

  35. Gil Grissum
    WTF?

    SCO??

    I thought a judge put them out of their misery about four years ago? Who is left there? Didn't all their assets get sold off to pay debt? Why hasn't a judge simply put an end to this travesty??

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