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SCO Loses 643

Posted by Zonk
from the finish-him dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The one summary judgement that puts a stick into SCO's spokes has just come down. The judge in the epic SCO case has ruled that SCO doesn't own the Unix copyrights. With that one decision, a whole bunch of other decisions will fall like dominoes. As PJ says, 'That's Aaaaall, Folks! ... All right, all you Doubting Thomases. I double dog dare you to complain about the US court system now. I told you if you would just be patient, I had confidence in the system's ability to sort this out in the end. But we must say thank you to Novell and especially to its legal team for the incredible work they have done. I know it's not technically over and there will be more to slog through, but they won what matters most, and it's been a plum pleasin' pleasure watching you work. The entire FOSS community thanks you for your skill and all the hard work and thanks go to Novell for being willing to see this through."
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SCO Loses

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  • And yet... (Score:5, Informative)

    by LinuxGeek (6139) * <djand,nc&gmail,com> on Friday August 10, 2007 @05:52PM (#20189339)
    SCOX is up 6 cents at the end of the trading day. I t boggles the mind how their stock has performed during all this bad news..
    • Re:And yet... (Score:5, Informative)

      by bmo (77928) on Friday August 10, 2007 @05:54PM (#20189373)
      That's because the ruling came out *after* trading hours.

      --
      BMO
      • HA! (Score:3, Funny)

        Ha ha HA HAH!
  • More (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Phroggy (441) <slashdot3 AT phroggy DOT com> on Friday August 10, 2007 @05:52PM (#20189345) Homepage

    I know it's not technically over and there will be more to slog through,
    When will it be technically over, and when will there be no more to slog through?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by vthokie69 (549779)
      When SCO files for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
    • Re:More (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Pendersempai (625351) on Friday August 10, 2007 @08:47PM (#20191199)
      In my experience working at big law firms as a summer associate for two summers now (I am a law student), big litigation only truly ends when the parties settle. Shy of that, it has a half life; the amount of activity asymptotically approaches zero but never quite seems to get there. There always seems to be another series of issues that spring out of every issue that is decided.

      Of course, nearly all parties will settle when it gets to that point. Eventually, fighting what's left is no longer worth the cost of the lawyers.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 10, 2007 @05:52PM (#20189347)
    A million Redmond developers cried out in pain!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by coupland (160334) *
      Huh? What's this got to do with Microsoft? And why on earth would a developer -- by definition a geek -- be upset that SCO's little sleaze-fest is nearing its end? I work for Microsoft and I was pumping my fist in the air when I read this. So chill out with the vitriol and the constant "ZOMGOMGOMG everything's a microsoft conspiracy!"
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jenkin sear (28765) *
        This [com.com] is a pretty good summary of microsoft's involvement in funding this underhanded attempt to shut down linux:

        Paying the license fees could indicate that Microsoft simply believes SCO's Unix ownership claims have merit. But doesn't arranging the BayStar investment reveal Microsoft's ulterior motive? After all, why would you want to help prop up a company that is demanding millions in royalty fees from you?
        That may not be far off the mark, according to a key BayStar executive.

        "Microsoft obviously has an i

  • by jez9999 (618189) on Friday August 10, 2007 @05:53PM (#20189359) Homepage Journal
    All right, all you Doubting Thomases. I double dog dare you to complain about the US court system now. I told you if you would just be patient, I had confidence in the system's ability to sort this out in the end.

    Uhm, the reason they lost is because they picked a fight with players who had billions of dollars, and a very well-established team of expensive lawyers, ready to fight.

    They were Germany picking a fight with Russia.

    Most people who get sued unfairly don't have that luxury.
    • by bmo (77928) on Friday August 10, 2007 @05:57PM (#20189423)
      "Uhm, the reason they lost is because they picked a fight with players who had billions of dollars"

      No. They lost because they were _wrong_.

      They had funding from Microsoft and Sun to go through with this (the "licenses" SCO sold them in 2003).

      What we're all waiting for now is when Yarro, Anderer and McBride go to jail.

      --
      BMO
      • by EvanED (569694) <evaned&gmail,com> on Friday August 10, 2007 @06:04PM (#20189541)
        No. They lost because they were _wrong_.

        While this is true, I think it's also fair to say that a big reason that IBM got to show that SCO was wrong was because IBM has truckloads of money.

        If SCO had sued me instead, SCO wouldn't have lost because they were wrong, because I wouldn't have had the money to show that they were wrong. I would have had to find a lawyer willing to work pro bono.
        • by Nick Barnes (11927) on Friday August 10, 2007 @06:43PM (#20190049)
          This was SCO v Novell, not SCO v IBM. The IBM case is going to be a doozy now, with SCO's side in tatters.
        • by badasscat (563442) <basscadet75NO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Friday August 10, 2007 @07:27PM (#20190533)
          While this is true, I think it's also fair to say that a big reason that IBM got to show that SCO was wrong was because IBM has truckloads of money.

          Except they didn't lose to IBM. They lost to Novell. The IBM case is still in court, although it will now be a lot easier for IBM to win. It's unclear how SCO can even keep that case going, as the entire premise of it is now blown away. When you don't own the copyright to something, it's pretty pointless to sue somebody for copyright infringement. (Or any of their other claims.)

          I actually hope the IBM case does get settled one way or another, because it's a real test of the GPL. The Novell case was a simple question of who "owned" Unix. It looks like the IBM case might fade away now, though, which means still no major test of the GPL in US court.

          But the point is they didn't lose because they didn't have financial parity. This was basically MS and Sun vs. Novell, by proxy. If anything, SCO had the financial advantage.
          • by conlaw (983784) on Friday August 10, 2007 @07:47PM (#20190711)
            But the SCO v. IBM case has also been decided here. From the court's conclusion:

            Therefore, Novell is entitled to a declaration of rights under its Fourth Claim for Relief that it was and is entitled, at its sole discretion, to direct SCO to waive its claims against IBM and Sequent, and SCO is obligated to recognize Novell's waiver of SCO's claims against IBM and Sequent.
        • MMMmmmhhhh! (Score:5, Funny)

          by crhylove (205956) <rhy@leperkhanz.com> on Friday August 10, 2007 @07:36PM (#20190619) Homepage Journal
          I'm gettin' a pro bono just thinkin' about it!!
    • by LinuxGeek (6139) * <djand,nc&gmail,com> on Friday August 10, 2007 @05:57PM (#20189429)
      The reason SCO lost is that SCO was wrong. SCO has a pretty good legal team too and that is why they were able to stay in the game this long, even though they had a very weak case with no real evidence presented. Well, that and some very tolerant judges.
  • by Denial93 (773403) on Friday August 10, 2007 @05:53PM (#20189361)
    ...furniture stores report chair shortages all over Washington State.
  • by pla (258480) on Friday August 10, 2007 @05:55PM (#20189393) Journal
    I told you if you would just be patient, I had confidence in the system's ability to sort this out in the end.

    How many BILLIONS of dollars in lawyers fees, thousands of hours of (taxpayer-funded) court costs, and millions of manpower hours has this farce wasted all to come up with the "right" outcome, that SCO has absolutely no basis for this fiaSCO?

    Sorry, I can't call this "sort[ed] out in the end" unless Glen gets to personally pull the trigger with Darl standing against the wall. And every stockholder in SCO, IBM, Novell, Redhat, and every open source developer, and several others, get to piss on the corpse.
    • by tmk (712144) on Friday August 10, 2007 @06:05PM (#20189545)
      You forgot the billions of hours slashdot posters used to create countless amout of SCO rants and flames.
    • by LWATCDR (28044) on Friday August 10, 2007 @06:08PM (#20189599) Homepage Journal
      "Sorry, I can't call this "sort[ed] out in the end" unless Glen gets to personally pull the trigger with Darl standing against the wall. And every stockholder in SCO, IBM, Novell, Redhat, and every open source developer, and several others, get to piss on the corpse."

      Dude have some perspective please. Darl didn't rape or murder anyone. Heck he might have actually believed that Linux was ripping off SCO's IP. I am glad they lost maybe even overjoyed. Wishing that level of physical harm over what is just a business deal is just wrong.
      • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Friday August 10, 2007 @06:22PM (#20189789) Journal
        Heck [Darl] might have actually believed that Linux was ripping off SCO's IP.

        I figure he probably did believe that.

        And by the time the discovery rammed home to him that his yes-men should have said no and he didn't have a leg to stand on, it was too late for him to back out. To say "oops" and throw in the towel would have collapsed what was left of SCO - and brought the investors down on him for "breach of fiduciary duty".

        This way he can say "I tried!".
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by TFoo (678732)
        > Heck he might have actually believed that Linux was ripping off SCO's IP. No, really he didn't. Don't fall into that trap: having an open mind does NOT mean you never hold people accountable. Not everybody in the world is good, and in this case it is clear that Darl (and others) were trying to game the system for their own benefit. That said, shooting Darl is clearly not right. But he definitely needs to pay a significant personal penalty for this.
      • by MikePlacid (512819) on Friday August 10, 2007 @10:04PM (#20191663)
        Judge sums it up as follows:

        On January 4, 2003, McBride received an email from Michael Anderer, a consultant for SCO retained to examine its intellectual property. Supp. Brakebill Decl. Ex. 12. Anderer stated that the APA "transferred substantially less" of Novell's intellectual property than Novell owned. Anderer noted that Santa Cruz's "asset purchase" from Novell "excludes all patents, copyrights, and just about everything else." Id. Anderer cautioned that "[w]e really need to be clear on what we can license. It may be a lot less than we think."

        On February 4, 2003, McBride contacted Christopher Stone, Vice Chairman of Novell, and stated that he wanted Novell to "amend" the APA to give SCO "the copyrights to UNIX." Supp. Brakebill Decl. Ex. 17; id. Ex. 18 ("Stone Dep." at 108-09). Then, on February 25, 2003, McBride twice called a Novell employee in business development, David Wright, and said, "SCO needs the copyrights." Wright passed on McBride's request to Novell's in-house legal department. Supp. Brakebill Decl. Ex. 13. McBride's request was memorialized in an email written that day by a Novell in-house attorney, Greg Jones. Id.

        Also early in 2003, McBride and Chris Sontag of SCO contacted Greg Jones regarding the UNIX copyrights. Id. Ex. 8 ("Decl. Greg Jones") at 13, 14; Decl. Christopher S. Sontag 6. McBride stated that "the asset purchase agreement excluded copyrights from being transferred" and that it was a "clerical error." Jones Dep. at 182. On February 20, 2003, Chris Sontag also sent a draft letter to Novell that sought to clarify the parties' rights under the APA. Decl. Christopher S. Sontag Ex.

        Again in March 2003, McBride called Stone to ask him if Novell would "give him some changes so he could have the copyrights." Christopher Stone Dep. at 248-49. Ralph Yarro, Chairman of SCO, requested an in-person meeting with Stone. In that meeting, on May 14, 2003, Yarro told Stone that he wanted Novell to amend the APA to give SCO the copyrights. Supp. Brakebill Decl. Ex. 17 at 4; Stone Dep. at 137-8. Stone refused. Id. On May 19, 2003, McBride called Stone and Joe LaSala, Novell's General Counsel, and again requested that Novell convey the copyrights to SCO. McBride said, "we only need you to amend the contract so that we can have the copyrights." Stone Dep. 249-250. Stone made notes in June 2003 memorializing both conversations. Supp. Brakebill Decl. Ex. 17. E. SCOsource Initiative

        In approximately this same time frame, in January 2003, SCO launched its SCOsource initiative, which was an effort to obtain license fees from Linux users based on claims to Unix System V intellectual property. McBride commented that "SCO owns much of the core UNIX intellectual property, and has full rights to license this technology and enforce the associated patents and copyrights."

  • by KiloByte (825081) on Friday August 10, 2007 @05:55PM (#20189397)
    Can we finally get the criminal case against Darl McBride and the rest of the execs rolling?
    Otherwise, they'll just move on to another company, to do mostly the same.
    • by Penguinisto (415985) on Friday August 10, 2007 @07:44PM (#20190693) Journal

      Can we finally get the criminal case against Darl McBride and the rest of the execs rolling?
      Otherwise, they'll just move on to another company, to do mostly the same.

      ...with a resume' that basically reads: "I wasted a metric ton of shareholder money, industry goodwill, and still my company fell down and went 'splat' "?

      Shit, Darl & co. would be lucky to get jobs as janitors in the Tech Industry, let alone anything of any consequence or responsibility. They're pretty much as attractive as a 600lb woman suffering from Tourettes' Syndrome and downing Mezcal by the case.

      (well, Maybe Microsoft's hiring or something, but...)

      /P

  • WW1 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Starteck81 (917280) on Friday August 10, 2007 @05:56PM (#20189413)
    From the article summary is sounds like the software equivalent of winning world war one.
  • by realmolo (574068) on Friday August 10, 2007 @05:57PM (#20189425)
    Turns out that SCO owns the copyright on the "Duke Nukem Forever" code.

    The case is expected to be settled just before the universe dies a heat-death.
  • by WindBourne (631190) on Friday August 10, 2007 @05:59PM (#20189459) Journal
    Since this was backed by MS and SUN (who has since sold the stocks that they got for their 20 million investment; the 1 million dollar investment was for the USB work; and now, SUN disavows this), it was never really intended to be won. I think that it was meant to slow down linux and to see what paths were possible for MS. Now MS has a path and they are on it.
  • $699 (Score:5, Funny)

    by GillBates0 (664202) on Friday August 10, 2007 @06:03PM (#20189511) Homepage Journal
    Who do I make this check for $699 out to now?
  • IBM counterclaims (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GreatDrok (684119) on Friday August 10, 2007 @06:05PM (#20189555) Journal
    Since SCO doesn't own UNIX there is still some fun to come as IBM tears them to pieces. What would be really interesting is if IBM could somehow drag MS into this mess but we all know that isn't likely.

    Still, a good day!
  • by Greyfox (87712) on Friday August 10, 2007 @06:08PM (#20189597) Homepage Journal
    Now the entire house of cards will come down like a stack of dominoes! Checkmate...
  • by Seismologist (617169) on Friday August 10, 2007 @06:15PM (#20189675)
    That I am totally surprised by this turn of events! I was completely convinced that SCO had the legitimate claim to the Linux IP. Wow, what do I do with my SCO server coupons now? Oh, wait maybe Novell can still honor them somehow...

  • by Kazoo the Clown (644526) on Friday August 10, 2007 @06:22PM (#20189781)
    Don't F*** with the PENGUIN!
  • by DickBreath (207180) on Friday August 10, 2007 @06:23PM (#20189811) Homepage
    SCO sued IBM in Mar 2003. It hoped to win $5 Billion and then charge Linux users $699 per cpu.

    What this decision in this SCO vs. Novell case does is show that SCO does not own Unix copyrights. Therefore, SCO does not have standing to sue.

    Standing?

    Example: Jane cannot sue Bill for sealing John's tires. Jane does not have standing. (although John has standing to sue Bill for stealing his tires.)

    Likewise, SCO does not have standing to sue IBM re: Linux. Novell may have standing. But in any event, Novell waived SCO's right for this suit against IBM.

    I'm sure IBM wants to win on the merits. Not just a technicality that SCO does not have standing to sue. But the standing issue is enough to dismiss the SCO vs. IBM (and the world) suit.

    On the other hand, IBM has counterclaims against SCO. Including Lanham Act claims. These have teeth. I hope to see SCO get their asses handed to them soon.

    Once this fiaSCO is over, I don't know what I'll do. I now read Groklaw as much as I once used to read Slashdot. I hope it is over soon.
  • Woohoo! (Score:4, Funny)

    by microbee (682094) on Friday August 10, 2007 @06:35PM (#20189961)
    Time to pick up some really cheap SCO stock!
  • Utter destruction (Score:5, Informative)

    by Panoramix (31263) on Friday August 10, 2007 @06:36PM (#20189981) Homepage
    "To our utter destruction," remember that one? That was how far dear Ralphie Yarro was ready to go, to "take on" Linux. So nice to see his plan working out just right.
  • Goodness (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Silent sound (960334) on Friday August 10, 2007 @06:37PM (#20189987)
    I still remember the morning I looked on slashdot and saw the original announcement that SCO was filing copyright claims against Linux. It's amazing how long how this has been going on, and how much has changed since then (and not just what's changed in SCO's ever-shifting claims!-- that first morning I seem to remember most of the discussion was speculation on what exactly it was that SCO claimed was stolen from them. Years later and I still don't think we ever really found out). The start of this case was so long ago it was like an entirely different world. This case has been going on longer than the Iraq war. This started so long ago that at the time Slashdot was still known for hating Microsoft rather than salivating over the XBox.

    This in mind, while it's wonderful that the system showed SCO wrong in the end, I have trouble seeing this really as a loss for SCO. They managed to continue their claims for a good five years-- a significant fraction of the lifetime of Linux itself-- without ever showing a whit of substance to those claims. SCO will die now that their case is lost, but they might have died years sooner and possibly poorer if not for this lawsuit gambit keeping them on life support. Microsoft managed to fund this through weird proxies without one single bit of consequences for themselves, and unlike SCO they will live on.

    Linux has now weathered its first major court challenge, but the media coverage of Linux's successes in this case has never quite matched up in amount to the withering and credulous coverage of the baseless PR accusations of Darl McBride's heyday-- though we won in the end, the case may well be a net PR loss. Meanwhile, I don't think Linux is as viable as a movement as it was at the beginning of this case. This for all I know has nothing to do with the SCO case itself, but it seems like five years ago people still thought Linux on the desktop had a future, now I don't hear anyone talking about that anymore. Five years ago linux seemed to be going places, whereas now Linux's situation seems largely static, little progressed from where it was five years ago. Maybe I'm just a pessimist, but I don't really feel good right now thinking about how this entire debacle has gone.

    I guess my main response is kudos to PJ of Groklaw for her amazing and tireless journalism throughout this case. I'd be curious to ask PJ what her plans are as to what she's going to do next. In the short term maybe she should write a book about this entire thing.
  • Conversion (Score:5, Informative)

    by DickBreath (207180) on Friday August 10, 2007 @06:38PM (#20189997) Homepage
    Conversion is a legal word for Stealing.

    Judge Kimball writes...

    The court further concludes that because a portion of SCO's 2003 Sun and Microsoft Agreements indisputably licenses SVRX products listed under Item VI of Schedule 1.1(a) to the APA, even if only indidental to a license for UnixWare, SCO is obligated under the APA to account for and pass through to Novell the appropriate portion relating to the license of SVRX products. Because SCO failed to do so, it breached its fiduciary duty to Novell under the APA and is liable for conversion.


    So, when Microsoft and Sun gave SCO millions of dollars for a "unix license" back in 2003, according to SCO's APA agreement with Novell, SCO was supposed to pass 100% of that money to Novell, who would then pass back 5% of it as SCO's administrative fee. SCO kept it all. Just as Microsoft and Sun intended. After all, that money was intended to finance SCO's litigation. SCO now owes Novell more than SCO is worth.

    Aside: Sun did not need a Unix license from SCO. It already had a license from AT&T. Microsoft surely did not need a Unix license from SCO back in 2003. For what? Oh, yeah, to help finance a baseless lawsuit against a potential competitor (IBM and Linux).

    I love the smell of SCO bankruptcy on a Monday morning.

    The judge used the word "conversion". Does this mean that it may become a criminal matter?

    Still reading the 102 page decision by Judge Kimball.
    • Re:Conversion (Score:5, Interesting)

      by toxic666 (529648) on Friday August 10, 2007 @08:10PM (#20190953)
      Yeah, that comment caught my eye, too. There are two remedies for conversion: damages or return of property. Novell asked for damages and a constructive trust. The judge ruled that Novell must prove how much of the deals involved SVRX (subject to the 95% going to Novell) and how much involved UnixWare (not subject). That is the matter of fact that needs to be decided by a jury; that SCO Group owes Novell money is not a fact in dispute, only how much is owed. Thus he could not grant a constructive trust.

      But does this open the door to allowing Novell discovery of MS and Sun records should they demand return of the property? I'm still reading the ruling, too, but the judge seemed disgusted that a case with almost no factual basis was brought before the court and took SO much of its time. That SCO Group was unable to bring disputable facts allowed him to gut the case as a matter of law.
      • The reason this case took so long was that Kimball allowed scox to game the system. Kimball could have put a stop to it years ago, but decided not to. Instead Kimball decided to burden ibm with about $100 million worth of obviously bogus discovery, and delay the cases for years.

        Direct quotes from Judge Kimball - February 2005:

        "Viewed against the backdrop of SCO's plethora of public statements concerning IBM's and others' infringement of SCO's purported copyrights to the Unix software, it is astonishing that
        • by toxic666 (529648) on Saturday August 11, 2007 @01:25AM (#20192869)
          Two words: avoid appeal.

          Kimball knew he was up against BSF, masters at gaming the system. Those statements were in his denial of IBM's initial PSJ motions, which he declined only because discovery was not finished. That discovery was not finished was due to BSF's masterful motion practice.

          One ruling in February 2005 does not a case make. While it seems apparent he had a decision in mind at that time, he followed procedure to assure his ruling would be safe from appeal.

          Don't blame the judge, blame the lawyers (BSF).
  • by onkelonkel (560274) on Friday August 10, 2007 @07:01PM (#20190245)
    I have this mental picture of a bleak rocky plain. Darl McBride lies sprawled on his back, dead eyes frozen in unspeakable horror. In his chest is a smoking hole. Looming over him, coiled in black mist, the terrible shadowy black robed figure of a Nazgul. In one skeletal hand the Nazgul holds Darl's still-beating heart and in the other a black Valextra briefcase.
  • Easy one! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jc42 (318812) on Friday August 10, 2007 @07:38PM (#20190633) Homepage Journal
    All right, all you Doubting Thomases. I double dog dare you to complain about the US court system now.

    Easy: How many years has this taken? What ever happened to our Constitutional guarantee of a speedy trial?

    If it just comes down to who owns the copyrights, why the hell wasn't that discovered during the preliminaries? Why did this case ever come to trial? Why wasn't it dismissed out of hand right at the start?

    In fact, one can argue that, as has happened before, Microsoft/SCO won in a very real sense: They demonstrated that they can take you to court on bogus claims, never present any evidence against you, and make you pay millions of dollars over several years. The main reason they "lost" was that they took on a group that included IBM, who has very deep pockets. If it had been most of us fighting them alone, we would have been bankrupt long ago, and thus unable to continue the court battle.

    This was a successful demonstration of how people with money can use the court system to drag their opponents down and impose huge expenses on them. Many managers in many companies understand this, and have learned the intended lesson: If you want to avoid such court proceedings that drag on for years, you should just buy the stuff sold by the big guys. Stay away from the stuff sold by the little guys, and you'll be safe from the flocks of lawyers.

    It's a lesson that needs reinforcing every few years.
    • Re:Easy one! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 10, 2007 @08:18PM (#20191017)
      It WAS thrown out "right at the start". These trials are exceedingly complex. There is a process to follow. They involve contracts regarding software worth (at one time) hundreds of millions of dollars, containing hundreds of millions of lines of code, and involving dozens of claims and counter-claims.

      How long do you think it "should" take to resolve such cases? An hour? The judge just sits down and makes something up?

      The purposes of law and justice could not be served any more quickly. You have to go through the process. That is why we are a nation of laws, and not men. That's what "rule of law" means.

      It would have been nice to have it over with sooner. It would also be nice to simple execute all pedophiles on sight. However, either of these "niceties" would result in vast injustice.
      • Re:Easy one! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by jc42 (318812) on Friday August 10, 2007 @10:07PM (#20191671) Homepage Journal
        Actually, I'd agree with pretty much everything you wrote. And I'd say that it supports my point: A big corporation (or a little one with backing from a big one) can take anyone to court and bankrupt them with legal expenses, even if there was no merit to their claims.

        If Novell hadn't had some big-guy backing, they would be the ones now bankrupt rather than SCO. This fact isn't lost on a lot of managers. It is a good part of what has supported IBM's and Microsoft's dominance in the computer market. "Nobody ever got fired for buying ..." We can also add "Nobody ever got sued for buying ..." Business folks everywhere understand this, and it's a lot of why even the ones who understand that IBM and MS stuff is mostly crap will still buy it, because it's the safest thing for their careers.

        Even though SCO (and their supporter Microsoft) have just had a major legal setback, they have already "won" this one in the sense that matters economically. They've shown that they can haul you and me into court on bogus charges, and make us spend millions of dollars defending ourselves. Whether they actually win the court case isn't important; what's important is that they can drag it out for years without even presenting evidence, and run up the legal bills to more than most small companies' net worth. The legal system strongly supports this situation. You and I have no defense other than to sell ourselves to a company that's big enough to defend us in court.

        (That's unless you happen to be a multi-billionaire yourself, in which case forget I said anything. ;-)
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by illumin8 (148082)

      Easy: How many years has this taken? What ever happened to our Constitutional guarantee of a speedy trial?
      This got +5 insightful? Your constitutional right to a speedy trial is only guaranteed in criminal cases. This was clearly a civil case, and the constitution provides no guarantees of a speedy trial.
  • by keraneuology (760918) on Friday August 10, 2007 @07:38PM (#20190637) Journal
    SCOX - The SCO Group, Inc. (Public, NASDAQ:SCOX) +0.06 (4.00%) Aug 10 - Close After Hours: 1.55 -0.01 (-0.48%) Why didn't the stock plunge towards zero after this ruling?
  • by SplatMan_DK (1035528) on Friday August 10, 2007 @08:12PM (#20190965) Homepage Journal
    Could somebody please update the Wiki article? English is not my first language, so I don't think I should touch it ;-)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCO_v._IBM [wikipedia.org] :-)

    - Jesper
  • PJ (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darth Cider (320236) on Friday August 10, 2007 @09:17PM (#20191341)
    The SCO case would have been under everyone's radar if not for the amazing work of PJ and contributors to groklaw, who no doubt also encouraged the defense team. The outcome was obvious from the beginning, though. SCO knew that, and that's what's worrisome. The end result of this pitiful case is that a lot of anti-FOSS attorneys have learned how to assess "the cost of doing business," a la Microsoft and its antitrust skirmishes, so the victory is not what it seems. The really serious minds like PJ and the fab folks at groklaw know that already, too, so this victory counts more as a call to action--an example of how action works--than a legal victory.

    The SCO case launched in 2003. In Moore's-law-years, that's three generations of CPUs. It's a Google IPO, an Apple shift to Intel, assorted consolidations of telcos and other big-board-game inscrutability. What's happened with Open Source? Firefox numbers increasing. Software patents getting a re-examination. (Cory Doctorow announcing a switch to Ubuntu? Uhsowhat.) But what's really changed?
    br? I hope that the programmers who write code know that they are doing all the work. They're the heroes. With the attention going to big-name brouhahas and guys with easy money, it's gotta be said that the lonesome hacker is the real world-changer.
  • Summary is retarded (Score:3, Interesting)

    by X.25 (255792) on Friday August 10, 2007 @10:34PM (#20191881)
    Yeah, system "worked" in the end. After someone was able to throw zillions of dolars, and thousands of manhours into fighting SCO.

    95% of people who get sued don't have same abilities, so system doesn't work for them.

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.

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