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Caldera IBM The Courts Linux

Not Quite Dead: SCO Linux Suit Against IBM Stirs In Utah 170

An anonymous reader points to a story in the Salt Lake Tribune which says that The nearly defunct Utah company SCO Group Inc. and IBM filed a joint report to the U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City saying that legal issues remain in the case, which was initiated in 2003 with SCO claiming damages of $5 billion against the technology giant, based in Armonk, N.Y. That likely means that U.S. District Judge David Nuffer, who now presides over the dispute, will start moving the lawsuit — largely dormant for about four years while a related suit against Novell Inc. was adjudicated — ahead. What kind of issues? In addition to its claims of IBM misappropriation of code, SCO alleges that IBM executives and lawyers directed the company's Linux programmers to destroy source code on their computers after SCO made its allegations. The company's other remaining claims are that IBM's actions amounted to unfair competition and interference with its contracts and business relations with other companies. IBM has remaining claims against SCO that allege the Utah company violated contracts, copied and distributed IBM code that had been placed in Linux and that SCO created a campaign of "fear, uncertainty and doubt" about IBM's products and services because of the dispute over Unix code.
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Not Quite Dead: SCO Linux Suit Against IBM Stirs In Utah

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  • Throwback? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bradgoodman ( 964302 ) on Wednesday March 18, 2015 @07:58AM (#49282405) Homepage
    Is this "Throwback Tuesday"? I had to re-read it a few times to make sure I wasn't reading a VERY old article...
    • Re:Throwback? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bradgoodman ( 964302 ) on Wednesday March 18, 2015 @07:58AM (#49282411) Homepage
      P.S. DIE ALREADY!!!!
    • by thaylin ( 555395 )

      Throwback Tuesday on a Wednesday, dont make those sorts of recommendations here, they may listen.

    • somebody take a wagon load of hickory stakes and a box of silver bullets to Utah and kill that vampire once and for all !

    • Re:Throwback? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by number6x ( 626555 ) on Wednesday March 18, 2015 @10:46AM (#49283709)

      Why does the summary fail to mention the many outstanding charges that IBM has against SCO, some already decided against SCO, with hundreds of millions of dollars in penalties on hold while SCO works through its bankruptcy?

      As soon as SCO pokes its head out of bankruptcy court the Nazgul will be there, waiting for the payment owed. Do those silly bumpkins in Utah think IBM is going to not notice? Darl and his telemarketing scheme buddies are scam artists with a long history of swindling people (check out IKON Office Supplies). SCO is a bunch of petty criminals with no moral integrity, very small pea brains and only the ability to annoy people until paid to go away. If Martha Stewart was sent to a tennis-club prison for her 'crimes', these people should be doing hard time. They should certainly be shunned by the people of Utah, for their long history of immoral criminal activity.

      • Remember too that Red Hat has a libel case against SCOX that was put on hold behind this. The likelihood of any payoff is slight, but it's on the list of liabilities to the BK trustee.
  • by some old guy ( 674482 ) on Wednesday March 18, 2015 @07:58AM (#49282407)

    Seriously, is there no limit to this barratry-fest? Surely the judge must tire of it eventually.

    • by a_n_d_e_r_s ( 136412 ) on Wednesday March 18, 2015 @08:02AM (#49282437) Homepage Journal

      They have had like 4-5 judges in this case already.

      The judges has done alot to try and get away from this case.

      • It will become a mark of incompetence. If you weren't resourceful enough to avoid being selected as an SCO case's judge, you don't deserve your position.

      • by ewilts ( 121990 )

        The article says that this will be judge #7.

        • by cdrudge ( 68377 )

          That's the technical truth, although it is qualified. Judge Dale Kimball was the primary judge that heard the consolidated cases. There were 4 other earlier cases against RedHat, AutoZone, and DaimlerChrysler that were initially heard by other judges but didn't go anywhere in SCO's favor. There was at leats one magistrate judge I thought that dealt with some procedural and "lesser" matters on Kimball's behalf. There is also a federal bankruptcy judge and then this new judge. There's even more if you include

    • by Austerity Empowers ( 669817 ) on Wednesday March 18, 2015 @08:09AM (#49282481)

      Judging can be hard work, it's not all bribery and good ol' boyism. Sometimes you have to sit through some real snoozefests.

    • Didn't SCO already file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy? If I'm not mistake, unlike Chapter 11, it pretty much means "I give up" as a company, right? How do you file Chapter 7 and still exist as a company in order to press on with lawsuits?

      I'd love for someone to explain this one to me, because that sounds like a hell of a deal: erase all your debts, continue with the lawsuit (no doubt on contingency), and if you just win big: jackpot! You won't even have to pay back your original debtors!

  • Pining? (Score:5, Funny)

    by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Wednesday March 18, 2015 @08:01AM (#49282427)

    I didn't realize that there were fjords in Utah.

  • by Noryungi ( 70322 ) on Wednesday March 18, 2015 @08:01AM (#49282429) Homepage Journal

    It's the only way to be sure.

    OK, that was easy, but, seriously? SCO is still... acting up? Moving? I thought that thing (and the other... er... thing) and the one before that were settled?

    Like, drive a wooden stake through its heart? Bury the head and body separately? What is wrong with the world when fsck SCO is still at large?

    Come on, IBM, do everyone a favor: crush them like a bug. Please. I don't know, open a Kickstarter or something, I'll send you money and you a send me a Big Blue T-Shirt with little penguins on it. Please, make it stop. Please, I beg you. Pleeeeeeaaaaaaseeeee, I can't take it anymore! It's not the suspense, it's just the sheer idiocy of it all.

  • by sxpert ( 139117 ) on Wednesday March 18, 2015 @08:02AM (#49282439)

    Can't IBM just buy whatever remains of SCO for scrap and shoot it down for good ?

    • by Sique ( 173459 ) on Wednesday March 18, 2015 @08:09AM (#49282485) Homepage
      Why should they reward SCO with any money?
    • by The Grim Reefer ( 1162755 ) on Wednesday March 18, 2015 @08:10AM (#49282487)
      I doubt it would be a good move for IBM. IANAL, but they may have to fend off counter suits against SCO if they take ownership.
    • by rkhalloran ( 136467 ) on Wednesday March 18, 2015 @08:27AM (#49282595) Homepage
      This was obviously what SCOXQ.BK wanted to begin with, a nice payout to STFU and go away. Problem is, given IBMs deep pockets, it would encourage all the other trolls to come out of the woodwork looking for a similar deal. IBM is making them the latest Horrible Warning about frivolous lawsuits against them. The other issue, that I honestly think the SCOundrels didn't take into account, was that charging IBM with stealing code, when their consulting arm works with any number of Fortune 100 companies, was a charge they couldn't let stand. Buying them off gives that charge credibility, where reducing them to a greasestain on the Utah sands proves the baseless nature of the case (the millions-for-defense-not-one-cent-in-tribute argument). SCO's lawyers took a flat fee for handling the case through all appeals; at this point they're running up time they can't bill for. IBM can post a couple of interns on the case and wait until what little cash SCOX has left is burned out, then graciously propose a settlement involving the public flogging of all current and former SCOX execs and a full-page ad in the SLC Tribune calling SCOX out as a malicious copyright troll. [ Disclaimer: 12 years at ATT; seeing these vermin trying to troll based on the legacy UNIX source code has pissed me off to no end, and wrapping them in bacon and trolling them through a school of great whites would be less than they deserve. ]
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by walterbyrd ( 182728 )

        Microsoft also a huge part of this. Those $50M "loans" had to be backed by somebody.

        Just a MS smear campaign against Linux.

        And Microsoft gets to pretend they had nothing to do with it.

    • There are probably only a handful of employees left, trying hard to get that big payout. With few employees left at the company, fewer people to split the winnings with (not that they would have anyway). No way are they going to settle for scraps when they've held out this long!

      Big money, no whammies, STOP!
      • Always encouraging to see management failing to understand the sunk-cost fallacy.
      • by jrumney ( 197329 )
        There are no employees left. The legal cases were sold off to one of the execs who wanted to keep going and a bunch of lawyers as part of the bankruptcy. The rest of the company shut down.
    • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

      It is so sad that SCO which was a really good company is going to be remembered for this. Novell on the other hand while also a sad shadow of it's former self at least will be remembered in a good light.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Langalf ( 557561 )
        Seriously, the SCO we know and hate was NEVER a good company. Santa Cruz Operations was an OK provider of Unix, but SCO Group was little more than a poor caretaker of the legacy.
      • by Damouze ( 766305 ) on Wednesday March 18, 2015 @10:01AM (#49283287)

        The SCO that is currently trolling IBM is not the SCO that you remember as "such a good company". There are two SCO's:

        * The Santa Cruz Operation (1979-2001). This is the SCO that you remember. They brought us Xenix (bought from M$), SCO Unix and Unixware. This SCO sold their rights to UNIX to Caldera Systems (then primarily known for Caldera/Open Linux and OpenDOS (bought from Novell, which had in turn bought it from Digital Research earlier). In those years they were mostly famous for filing an antitrust campaign against Microsoft). After selling their UNIX servers and services division to Caldera they renamed themselves as Tarantella Inc., after the product line they retained. Tarantella was subsequently bought by Sun Microsystems in 2005, which in turn was bought by Oracle in 2010.
        * The SCO Group (2005-), formerly known as Caldera Systems / Caldera International. As Caldera they bought above SCO's UNIX servers and services division and subsequently renamed themselves to "The SCO Group". Like an evil David they tried to topple Goliath IBM by (falsely) claiming in court that programmers from IBM illegally copied code from SCO's OpenServer sources (supposedly their intellectual property was so secret that their allegations of verbatim copying code by IBM was "proven" by presentational slides which had the SCO code shown in Greek alphabet). Around the same time they started selling subscription based Linux licenses to large IT companies (which were led to believe that The SCO Group owned the rights to Linux). This ridiculous scheme went on for several years, until a judge decided, once and for all, that enough was enough and told them to bugger off, as in the meantime, it had become clear in a separate lawsuit that Novell was in fact the owner of the UNIX copyrights, not the SCO Group.

      • Meh. The SCO you remember was old SCO, that actually did something besides sue.

        Even then, they weren't THAT great. They helped make Xenix with MS help, then that became SCO OpenServer. (Yeah, MS got some cash from UNIX sales, and now gets cash on every Android sale). I actually worked with it. It wasn't that good of a distro, and got killed in the marketplace when Linux got rolling. Eventually they bought out the UNIX copyright/trademark for SVR4. They did eventually release SVR4.2, and SVR5, but nei

    • Why would they? They already have plenty of lawyers.
    • > Can't IBM just buy whatever remains of SCO

      That's what the remaining few owners are hoping for. It would be like paying blackmail,and encourage other ambulance chasing intellectual property lawyers.

  • by satch89450 ( 186046 ) on Wednesday March 18, 2015 @08:08AM (#49282473) Homepage
    That would be the only GOOD thing that would come out of this action by SCO and IBM. :)
  • Almost DNF (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jythie ( 914043 ) on Wednesday March 18, 2015 @08:11AM (#49282497)
    If this goes on much longer, this lawsuit will have a longer lifespan than Duke Nukem's development hell.

    SCO, taking the idea of vaporware to a whole new level.
  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Wednesday March 18, 2015 @08:20AM (#49282559) Homepage
    who is the sadistic ambulance chasing short fat attorney with the gin blossoms and seersucker suit thats convinced poor SCO to give this another go? Dear god man let the dead have their peace!
  • by bernywork ( 57298 ) <bstapleton AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday March 18, 2015 @08:21AM (#49282567) Journal

    I hope they kept everything, SCO was going to start destroying stuff in 2013.

    http://www.groklaw.net/article... [groklaw.net]

    • by jrumney ( 197329 ) on Wednesday March 18, 2015 @08:36AM (#49282663)
      They kept all the documents related to how IBM had put the same header files to some POSIX APIs in Linux as what SCO saw in Unix, right down to the function prototypes being in the same alphabetical order, but sneakily they had changed all the comments to hide their copying. The documents they destroyed were the ones related to the fact that Novel, not SCO owned the copyrights in question. There was no point to keeping those documents, as SCO have already lost that case and exhausted all avenues of appeal.
  • by paiute ( 550198 ) on Wednesday March 18, 2015 @08:22AM (#49282575)
    We asked a gentleman by us, if he knew what cause was on? He told us Jarndyce and Jarndyce. We asked him if he knew what was doing in it? He said, really no he did not, nobody ever did; but as well as he could make out, it was over. Over for the day? we asked him. No, he said; over for good.

    Over for good!

    When we heard this unaccountable answer, we looked at one another quite lost in amazement. Could it be possible that the Will had set things right at last, and that Richard and Ada were going to be rich? It seemed too good to be true. Alas, it was!

    Our suspense was short; for a break up soon took place in the crowd, and the people came streaming out looking flushed and hot, and bringing a quantity of bad air with them. Still they were all exceedingly amused, and were more like people coming out from a Farce or a Juggler than from a court of Justice. We stood aside, watching for any countenance we knew; and presently great bundles of paper began to be carried outâ"bundles in bags, bundles too large to be got into any bags, immense masses of papers of all shapes and no shapes, which the bearers staggered under, and threw down for the time being, anyhow, on the Hall pavement, while they went back to bring out more. Even these clerks were laughing. We glanced at the papers, and seeing Jarndyce and Jarndyce everywhere, asked an official-looking person who was standing in the midst of them, whether the cause was over. "Yes," he said; "it was all up with it at last!" and burst out laughing too. ...

    "Mr. Kenge," said Allan, appearing enlightened all in a moment. "Excuse me, our time presses. Do I understand that the whole estate is found to have been absorbed in costs?"

    "Hem! I believe so," returned Mr. Kenge. "Mr. Vholes, what do you say?"

    "I believe so," said Mr. Vholes.

    "And that thus the suit lapses and melts away?"

    "Probably," returned Mr. Kenge. "Mr. Vholes?"

    "Probably," said Mr. Vholes.
  • by dmgxmichael ( 1219692 ) on Wednesday March 18, 2015 @08:32AM (#49282619) Homepage

    ... but my kneejerk reaction is to find the remaining SCO layers, some strong hemp rope and a stout oak tree.

    Seriously though, nothing cries out for Tort reform like this nonsense.

  • Somebody shoot the zombie in the head!

    • kill -9!!! Kill -9!!!! Why isn't it working!?!?!? Where's the Parent!? KILL THE PARENT PROCESS!!! NOW!!!!
    • by HiThere ( 15173 )

      You don't just shoot them in the head, then you need to fill their mouth with salt and sew their lips together to keep them from spitting it out. Shooting them in the head is just to slow them down enough so that you can do that.

  • by TomTraynor ( 82129 ) on Wednesday March 18, 2015 @08:51AM (#49282759) Homepage

    Maybe a laminated stake through the hear (wood & silver soaked in garlic and holy water). Then stuffed in a coffin placed in a double hulled container, the container gap is filled with holy water and garlic juice. Put into a rocket and launched into an orbit near the sun. Even then I would be willing to bet it would get out and return.

  • When I came here to look at the article, the ad rotated right underneath was for "New Relic".... how appropos...
  • I'm no fan of IBM, but SCO will just burn through that $5 billion and do nothing good with it. Their time is over. If they had any chance at producing a good product, they would have a long time ago. Just let them die. Sorry.
  • A license from SCO?

    Come on dude, all that money you paid just went directly to the lawyers who now are using it to file another pathetic round of "legal actions". PLEASE just stop buying their stuff. If you need help porting your legacy application off of their platform let me know, I'm sure we can arrange to get it done for you. Not to mention that the hardware you are using has to be nearly 20 years old now... Time to let this garbage go..

    • I know because I called, and asked to buy a license - twice.

      I suspect that selling a license to something you don't own is seriously illegal.

      • Seriously, I KNOW that "SCO Unix" was a licensed product. I actually used this platform at 3 past employers and we spent a lot of cash paying SCO for the right to install and use it in literally thousands of locations world wide.

        All this "We own UNIX and you owe us for running Linux" stuff was bunk, but they did have a licensed product which they DID legally own, it just so happened that the stuff they owned didn't include Linux.

    • I bought a boxed copy of Caldera OpenLinux back before they merged with SCO and started their "we own Linux" campaign. Even if I needed a Linux license from them, which nobody does, I already had it.
  • Does anyone else see a similarity SCO and the recent Arduino drama?

  • by rnturn ( 11092 )

    IBM ordered source code to be destroyed?

    Just what would that even accomplish? I get the source code to the Linux kernel with every set of CDs/DVDs that I've downloaded or purchased over the years. Is SCO seriously going to argue that that source code has been magically cleansed of the code that IBM allegedly ordered purged from IBM's developers' computers? That would only make any sense if IBM offered a Linux distribution -- tweaked, I assume SCO is thinking by the code they are alleged to have stolen from

  • Court: do you have evidence IBM stole your code?
    SCOX: nope
    Court: case closed.

    Instead, the case drags on 13 years while scox plays "hide the ball" with evidence.

    • by HiThere ( 15173 )

      The odd thing is, they WERE ordered to present the evidence. They even got an extention until the end of January (severl years ago) because their lawyers went on vacation over Christmas. They still didn't present any evidence (to speak of). And yet the case went on.

  • This is just a really, really obscure promo for The Walking Dead, right? Ha, ha, guys, you so funny, can't wait for Mad Men....

    Seriously? This is a real thing? Fuck the current Tort system...

  • by walterbyrd ( 182728 ) on Wednesday March 18, 2015 @12:09PM (#49284575)

    Microsoft was behind it all along.

    Who do you think arranged all these just-in-time multi-million dollar "loans."

    For Microsoft, $100M is nothing. Less than the cost of one commercial.

    A successful Linux smear campaign for $100M is a bargain.

  • Keep in mind that most of the remaining case is IBM suing SCO. most of the other part has gone away( but not all.).

  • Almost two years after the last time I logged in and this *STILL* isn't dead?!?
  • by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Wednesday March 18, 2015 @01:01PM (#49285251) Homepage Journal

    According to SCO's website [sco.com]:

    The UNIX ABIs were never authorized for unrestricted use or distribution under the GPL in Linux®. As the copyright holder, SCO has never granted such permission. Nevertheless, many of the ABIs contained in Linux®, and improperly distributed under the GPL, are direct copies of our UNIX copyrighted software code.

    Wasn't it proven that Novell owned any and all copyrights involved here? How long do you get to publicly libel someone (like everyone who uses Linux) before a judge can order you to cease and desist that idiocy?

    • ABI is the binary interface.....it's hard for me to believe that any of Linux is binary compatible with AT&T Unix. For one thing, the method of making a system call is completely different.....
      • by jrumney ( 197329 )
        Linux has been able to run executables from BSDs, SCO Unix and a few other x386 Unixes since quite early on. You also need all the dependencies from the target system, and constructing such a system would require a license for the Unix variant in question, but the binary compatibility is there in Linux. The question is whether it contains any SCO copyrighted code. The answer is a definitive no - what code is common appears to have come from BSD, or is trivial headers that could easily be common by chance,
        • So you're saying that Linux can load the executable format (I'm guessing a.out), and call the libraries, but the libraries would need to know how to make system calls into Linux instead of BSD/AT&T/etc?
  • Hundreds of years ago, both parties would choose their best man, and it wold be settled on the field of battle. No appeal. Just think about how much less corporate malfeasance there would be if CEOs and board members had to defend themselves with a broad sword.

  • The SCO Group (not SCO) execs have a planned stock sale in the works or they would not be making these disproven claims.

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