Toasted SCO - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Software // Enterprise Applications
Commentary
11/16/2004
11:59 AM
50%
50%

Toasted SCO

SCO's tenure as the most hated tech company in the world may soon be over. As a matter of fact, its tenure as a company may soon be over, period, if a Novell legal filing posted on Groklaw last week turns out to be nearly as big as it seems.

SCO's tenure as the most hated tech company in the world may soon be over. As a matter of fact, its tenure as a company may soon be over, period, if a Novell legal filing posted on Groklaw last week turns out to be nearly as big as it seems.

Novell executives, you may recall, have long insisted that when the company sold its Unix code to what was then the Santa Cruz Organization, it retained the copyrights. The modern-day SCO, which is pursuing a $5 billion lawsuit against IBM for contributing SCO-copyrighted Unix code to Linux, didn't like this very much. No copyrights, most likely no lawsuit, either.

SCO's solution: sue Novell for falsely claiming to own the Unix copyrights, something legal types call "slander of title."

Novell's response: make SCO look like a bunch of bozos by shooting their legal case full of more holes than John Dillinger's hat.

Mission accomplished.

Last week, according to Groklaw (if you don't know what the site is about, go see for yourself--right now), Novell produced minutes from a 1995 board of directors meeting which clearly state that the company retained its Unix copyrights. Since SCO has to prove that Novell's ownership claims were a "knowing falsehood," this document is more than just a smoking gun--it's a smoking cannon.

Things were already looking bad for SCO, since Novell had also produced, among other documents, a May 2003 letter from SCO asking them to transfer the Unix copyrights they supposedly already owned. SCO's attorneys have soldiered on through this charade with all the fortitude $31 million can buy, but it must be getting tough for these guys to show up in court with straight faces.

SCO isn't the only company in the world to turn litigation into a business model, but it was the most visible. Most of the legal pundits I've seen weigh in on this case, however, are convinced the company's ambulance-chasing days are over. Unless SCO figures out fast how to earn an honest living--a remote possibility, given the enemies the company has made--it might be time to dig a fresh hole in the corporate graveyard.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
News
Top 10 Data and Analytics Trends for 2021
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  11/13/2020
Commentary
Where Cloud Spending Might Grow in 2021 and Post-Pandemic
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  11/19/2020
Slideshows
The Ever-Expanding List of C-Level Technology Positions
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  11/10/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Why Chatbots Are So Popular Right Now
In this IT Trend Report, you will learn more about why chatbots are gaining traction within businesses, particularly while a pandemic is impacting the world.
Slideshows
Flash Poll