FOSSForce says that SCO is Dead



  • According to FOSSForce, SCO is totally dead.

    ON FRIDAY, IBM AND SCO FILED AN AGREEMENT WITH THE US DISTRICT COURT IN UTAH TO ACCEPT A RULING OF DISMISSAL OF THE LAST REMAINING CLAIMS BY SCO AGAINST IBM.

    It appears as if SCO’s case against IBM, which began as a blustering tornado back in 2003, finally died with a whimper last week.

    And this is awesome, SCO literally claims to have nothing left. It's a stone, no point in suing them for over a decade of damage to the whole industry, they don't have a penny to their names:

    "...its explanation that it has de minimis financial resources beyond the value of the claims on which the Court has granted summary judgment for IBM.”


  • Service Provider

    What is truly amazing is the number of people who work in IT for whom the SCO lawsuit has been a continuous background issue since they entered the field! This lawsuit stretches well over a decade and has coloured nearly everything in the industry. This is the biggest win for Linux and UNIX that there has ever been, in forty years.



  • I've never heard of this lawsuit. Could you explain what it was about?



  • Wasn't SCO funded by Microsoft? And wasn't it Microsoft pushing for these lawsuits to halt or cripple Linux development?


  • Service Provider

    @coliver said:

    I've never heard of this lawsuit. Could you explain what it was about?

    It's the biggest lawsuit in IT history. Basically the high level is something like this (I'll probably get details wrong...)

    • UNIX was created
    • Novell eventually bought all rights to UNIX
    • Linux was created
    • Novell sold some UNIX rights to SCO when they were partners
    • Novell and SCO jointly make Linux products
    • SCO betrays their partner and violates their own contracts to sue them claiming that Linux contains UNIX code that SCO claims to own. They also sue IBM for the same thing. Ignoring the fact that they had contracts that said they could not sue each other for this AND ignoring the fact that none of them made Linux AND ignoring the fact that SCO made Linux just like everyone else and in doing so any code that they owned entered the GPL and could not be sued over.
    • SCO gets a pretty much non-stop stream of funding via third party investors from the big non-open software vendors (Microsoft specifically was well known to be "secretly" funding SCO to keep the lawsuit going as Ballmer needed Linux to look like a legal nightmare to keep Windows viable in the early 2000s when it was clear that Linux was steamrolling the industry.)
    • Court rules that Novell didn't sell UNIX to SCO but only some branding rights. SCO's lawsuit was entirely fake. SCO went bankrupt and could not pay Novell what it owed them as they had nothing left to their name. Novell was the sole owner of UNIX.
    • SCO continues lawsuit against IBM claiming theft of SCO properties in other Linux products.
    • Lawsuit drags on for a decade as SCO tries anything they can find.
    • Eventually the court rules that SCO has no claims whatsoever and the whole thing is pointless.
    • SCO gives up and has not a penny to their names. They have had, for many years, no products or means of income other than the "hope" of winning the IBM lawsuit.

  • Service Provider

    @marcinozga said:

    Wasn't SCO founded by Microsoft? And wasn't it Microsoft pushing for these lawsuits to halt or cripple Linux development?

    Not founded by, funded by. SCO goes way back to the Caldera era. They were both a Linux and a UNIX vendor. They changed their name to hide their Linux past to make the lawsuit sound slightly more legitimate since one Linux vendor suing another for something they worked on jointly wouldn't fly past anyone, but amazingly changing names truly does confuse the average person.

    SCO was always a tiny vendor but they did have real (just not good) products 15 - 20 years ago (Unixware and Caldera Linux for example) but once they went the lawsuit route, they gave up all of that and focused on being an IP predator trying to use the courts, instead of engineering, to make their money. They had no money for the lawyers, but companies like Microsoft kept the money flowing as the lawsuits were in their favour, win or lose, as it created an amazing amount of FUD.


  • Service Provider

    The first Linux that I ever used was actually Caldera Linux, it wasn't bad for what it was at the time in the 1990s. I quickly moved to Suse Linux, though, which was far better. I used both when I was a manager at IBM.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @marcinozga said:

    Wasn't SCO founded by Microsoft? And wasn't it Microsoft pushing for these lawsuits to halt or cripple Linux development?

    Not founded by, funded by.

    Right, typo on my end.


  • Service Provider

    In the end, not only were the lawsuits fake (and obviously so) but the lawsuits uncovered that Novell owned far more than anyone thought and that it was SCO stealing from everyone else, not them being stolen from. SCO, due to bankruptcy never had to deal with facing the charges of stealing UNIX, violating the GPL, breach of contract and other things that they did to try to make the lawsuit happen.




  • Service Provider

    SCO also sued Daimler. They lost that one being totally dismissed by 2004. That gives an idea of how long this is going on. Some of the early suits were already over twelve years ago!


  • Service Provider

    Also worth noting, Darl McBride the SCO CEO who instigated the lawsuits, was an IBM Fellow and a Novell employee before joining SCO to attempt to sue both of them and has a history of suing his employers including IKON. Pretty much his entire career was built off of working at a company, getting leverage and trying to sue them.



  • Wow... thanks for the write up very interesting.


  • Service Provider

    This was the big one:

    May 2003
    The SCO Group says they sent letters to 1,500 of the world's largest corporations, including the Fortune 500 companies, alleging that the use of Linux may infringe a copyright they hold on the original UNIX source code. They say that the Linux kernel, the core of the operating system contains copyrighted SCO source code. In this letter they also announce the suspension of their own Linux-related activities.

    Consider that when I was at IBM, we licensed Linux from SCO. I did this personally. That means that SCO claims to have been thieves who stole Linux, sold it and then was suing companies that they had sold it to!

    It would be as if you went into Best Buy, bought a television, got home and got served by the court for buying a stolen television and it was Best Buy making the claim, even thought they were the ones that sold it!



  • In 1999 and 2000 I worked at a shop that had tons of SCO Unix - is that something different? The term Linux wasn't used on any documentation that I recall.


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said:

    In 1999 and 2000 I worked at a shop that had tons of SCO Unix - is that something different? The term Linux wasn't used on any documentation that I recall.

    Correct, SCO UNIX was a competing product within SCO with SCO's Caldera Linux. At the time, SCO and Caldera were separate companies. SCO disappeared, Caldera bought their remaining assets, changed their name to SCO and sold both.

    SCO actually made two competing UNIX products until the end. Not including Linux.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @Dashrender said:

    In 1999 and 2000 I worked at a shop that had tons of SCO Unix - is that something different? The term Linux wasn't used on any documentation that I recall.

    Correct, SCO UNIX was a competing product within SCO with SCO's Caldera Linux. At the time, SCO and Caldera were separate companies. SCO disappeared, Caldera bought their remaining assets, changed their name to SCO and sold both.

    SCO actually made two competing UNIX products until the end. Not including Linux.

    SCO, SCO made two competing UNIX products, or Caldera SCO made two?

    How do you keep those companies separate in your mind?

    Sounds like the original SCO company was good, or at least OK. It wasn't until Caldera took over that things went down hill.


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said:

    SCO, SCO made two competing UNIX products, or Caldera SCO made two?

    AND

    They never existed at the same time. SCO went out of business, Caldera bought SCO and renamed themselves SCO. The two products were originally from the old SCO and were carried through to the new SCO. So while old SCO and new SCO "Group" were two different companies, they both had the same lineup of UNIX products.

    Caldera made a Linux product starting in 1994 and had no UNIX products itself (not including Linux) until it bought SCO. For only a brief moment did they have three. Caldera Linux was abandoned almost immediately after they decided to become a litigator instead of a developer. The SCO UNIX products were not technically abandoned but, for all intents and purposes, were the moment they decided to go to court instead of making products.

    Essentially, while good in their day, the two SCO UNIX OSes were left to rot in the very late 1990s and have had no viable purpose since that time. They were contemporaries with Xenix and Netware.


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said:

    How do you keep those companies separate in your mind?

    I just merge the two and ignore the fact that there was one then another :)


  • Service Provider

    @Dashrender said:

    Sounds like the original SCO company was good, or at least OK. It wasn't until Caldera took over that things went down hill.

    Correct. Original SCO was a great company with great products. Many call it the first UNIX vendor.

    Caldera was great too under Ransom Love who founded it. It was not until Darl took over that it became the infamous evil company that it will always be remembered as.



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