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Trial Set To Determine What SCO Owes Novell

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the i'm-going-to-guess-a-lot dept.

Novell 126

BobB-nw writes with word that this April will be the trial date for SCO's financial reckoning. Novell will discover via the courts how much (if anything) SCO is going to be compelled to pay in compensation for the lengthy trial over Unix code rights. The NetworkWorld piece also offers an overview of the case. "In September, The Wall Street Journal described the ruling against SCO as 'a boon to the open source software movement.' But experts say Unix is filled with technology that carries copyrights tied to many different companies and that it would be a nightmare to open source the Unix code collectively. Instead, Novell would have to pick and choose pieces to open-source, a process that could begin once the trial has ended."

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126 comments

And???.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22079950)

SCO is going to pay Novell How?..

Re:And???.. (3, Insightful)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22080072)

Well, the courts have this neat way of getting blood from stones... Just ask anyone who has been through a divorce...

SOX? Go after execs personally? (3, Interesting)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 6 years ago | (#22080950)

I thought that was the idea of Sarbanes-Oxely, execs are not supposed to able to commit crimes and hide behind the company. Exec can be help personally liable.

Besides, scox paying novell is not the point. The point is to legally prove that Linux does not use proprietary UNIX technology, and to thereby stop the msft FUD.

The trial is significant because this trial has to be completed before the real trial can be held.

Re:SOX? Go after execs personally? (2, Interesting)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22081092)

I thought that was the idea of Sarbanes-Oxely
From my SOX experience it was just to create undue bureaucracy in IT department's of publicly traded companies and some other accounting nonsense to make sure the bean counters are actually counting beans that really exist and not saying the kidney beans are jelly beans. SOX wasn't to hold anyone reasonable in a corp when things went bad, it was a knee-jerk law in response to Enron. Like the PATRIOT ACT was to 9/11

I agree with Lewis Black on this one. You don't want another Enron, here's your law: If you can't explain, in one sentence, what it is that your company... DOES... it's illegal!

Not trolling, just having flashbacks! SOX makes me rock back and forth in a corner in the fetal position...

Re:SOX? Go after execs personally? (4, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#22082240)

Besides, scox paying novell is not the point. The point is to legally prove that Linux does not use proprietary UNIX technology, and to thereby stop the msft FUD.

Exactly! That's why I was rather confused by this quote from the summary.

"In September, The Wall Street Journal described the ruling against SCO as 'a boon to the open source software movement.' But experts say Unix is filled with technology that carries copyrights tied to many different companies and that it would be a nightmare to open source the Unix code collectively."

Uh, who cares? We don't want their shitty Unix source! We want it to be known far and wide that Linux doesn't contain any of that shitty code! That's the "boon" to open source -- preventing proprietary vendors from being able to say "OooooOOOooh possible IP violaaaaations oooOOOOooh unkown liability ooowaaaah!" in an eerie voice to scare people off from open source! And this, a relatively high profile attempt to turn the vague scary threat of copyright violation into legal fact that fell flat on its face, should help do that.

Hey Darl! (2, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#22081396)

Don't forget to pay your $6,990,000 Novell court fees, you cock smoking teabagger.

Re:And???.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22081872)

Microsoft gives money to SCO ($699) to fight linux.
Microsoft funds Novell ($399) to make Mono.
If SCO fails money will still go to Novel and Novel will look good.
If SCO succeeds, money will go from Novel to SCO to sue more distros.

In either way Microsoft wins.

Re:And???.. (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 6 years ago | (#22083746)

(sarcastic mode...)

Ends up being that Novell owns SCO retroactively and that the board of SCO and it's directors has been doing everything in a way that allows Novell to sue them for everything down to their pants and their genetic code (that probably is worthless anyway except as proof of relation to slugs or something...)

(end sarcastic mode...)

what's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22079958)

unix has already been recreated from scratch as open source anyway.

Not according to scox or msft (3, Insightful)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 6 years ago | (#22081024)

Msft is sponsoring scox, and acacia to claim that proprietary technology was illegally put into linux. Of course, these are just more msft FUD PR stunt. But, sponsering companies like acacia and scox to abuse the US legal system, and file bogus lawsuits has a chilling effect on those who might want to use, or contribute to, linux. Msft is, very successfully IMO, putting a legal cloud over linux.

This story is boring (1)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 6 years ago | (#22079962)

But not as much as that guitarist simulation game...

Re:This story is boring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22081534)

You're just jealous you can't even finish "Hit me with your best shot" on Easy.

Re:This story is boring (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084124)

You're just jealous you can't even finish "Hit me with your best shot" on Easy.

NO... I have been PRACTICING.

(Unfortunately, only to the extent that I can finish 'Knights of Cydonia' on Hard about three-quarters of the time...)

Make the law firm pay Novell. (5, Insightful)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22079988)

No, really. The Boies law firm representing SCO is being compensated by effectively taking part ownership in SCO. Having done that, should they not be liable for SCO's debts?

My contention for a while has been that, in taking compensation from SCO in terms of stock and shares, Boies has abdicated it's duty as an officer of the court. In a contingency compensation arrangement, the law firm gets paid when they win the case. But in this situation, they only get paid if SCO stock stays high, so their litigation goals are different than just winning.

I think they should be made to experience the full consequences of their agreement.

Re:Make the law firm pay Novell. (3, Informative)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 6 years ago | (#22080106)

In a 'corporation', though, the company is an entity unto itself. The stock holders are not liable for legal damages assessed, right? The personal assets of the employees, chiefs and boards would also safe, unless they were gained through illegal means.

Re:Make the law firm pay Novell. (2)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22080154)

True, but the law firm is a *partnership*, where the partners ARE liable - witness the Anderson/Enron debacle.

I'll admit that I'm not sure what the actual arrangement of Boies's ownership is, but would not that be grounds for discovery?

Re:Make the law firm pay Novell. (3, Informative)

qbwiz (87077) | more than 6 years ago | (#22080370)

The law firm is a partnership, but SCO is not: SCO is probably a limited liability corporation, which would limit any investors' liability.

Re:Make the law firm pay Novell. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22080768)

Also, there are such things as Limited Liability Partnerships in many jurisdictions. Even IF Novell's lawyers could pierce the corporate veil to the owners (assuming Boies had enough stock to be considered an owner) - which is a big if and extraordinarily unlikely - the Boies partners might be shielded from liability.

Most likely, Novell may become a creditor in bankruptcy. It wouldn't surprise me if part of the settlement ends up being a junior security interest in major assets and a first-in-line security interest in lien-free assets.

Re:Make the law firm pay Novell. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22080640)

No. Because first you have to establish that Boies is liable AT ALL. Shareholders (like Boies) aren't generally held accountable for the actions of corporations (like SCO), so the ownership structure of Boies doesn't come into play.

Re:Make the law firm pay Novell. (2, Insightful)

claytonjr (1142215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22080524)

It depends on what state the company is incorporated in. Some states have better laws that limit personally liability (read: Nevada).

Re:Make the law firm pay Novell. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22080638)

The stock holders are not liable for legal damages assessed, right?
Depends on the circumstances. With bankrupt companies, the trustee has a lot of leeway to recover funds that were paid inappropriately. I believe the phrase is "knew or should have known".

BS&F *knew or should have known* that their legal position was untenable. They also *knew or should have known* what the contracts said. The bottom line is that they got paid with money that they *knew or should have known* belonged to Novell.

Re:Make the law firm pay Novell. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22081104)

I doubt this. Boies couldn't have known without SCO knowing, and I doubt SCO knew because if they'd known they probably wouldn't have committed such a messy suicide.

Individuals should pay. (1, Flamebait)

Erris (531066) | more than 6 years ago | (#22080282)

The individuals responsible for this corporate plunder and judicial extortion should be forced to pay, but probably won't. Society should not let McBride, Boiles and friends to keep their ill earned wealth and they should pay multiples back to discourage others. It's reasonably clear that they all knew they were full of shit but did what M$ asked because it paid well.

Re:Individuals should pay. (1)

Pingo (41908) | more than 6 years ago | (#22082274)

I agree and would get satisfaction if these guys gets imprisoned and learn first hand about prison shower rooms where big homosexual inmates breaks them in and get used as the cunts they are. //Pingo

Re:Individuals should pay. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22082486)

Ah, yes. "M$". You were just telling us about that a few days ago [slashdot.org].

Re:Make the law firm pay Novell. (1)

ACMENEWSLLC (940904) | more than 6 years ago | (#22080412)

Wow, that's one quick way to kill a company - put the lawyers in charge of the business. Amazing.

Re:Make the law firm pay Novell. (3, Informative)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 6 years ago | (#22081094)

point of interest Boies has redone that agreement to drop the stock part out. The Big Money in this is targetting various payments that TSCOG has done to various folks (including Darl and the rest of the CxO group)

Judge Gross does have the power to require a ROLLBACK of some of this money.

Oh and Novell would not be A Creditor since the funds have been ruled to be "converted" (humans would say STOLEN)
so Taxes and Novell get paid first then the creditors list rolls down.

Re:Make the law firm pay Novell. (2, Interesting)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 6 years ago | (#22082358)

Having done that, should they not be liable for SCO's debts?
Not unless the law firm made a separate personal guarantee (i.e. contract) to stand behind those debts and why would they have given that to SCOs creditors? There are no more responsible for the debts of the corporation than any of the other owners. That is the whole point of corporation, to prevent direct exposure to liability of the owners whether they be other corporations, private individuals, or shareholders (public traded company). Novel can suck whatever assets remain out of the dried husk of SCO until it crumbles into dust, but once the assets of the corporation are completely exhausted, the corporate headquarters sold, and the office furniture has been auctioned off the company files the dissolution paperwork (or their law firm does it) and the company ceases to exist as entity.

I think they should be made to experience the full consequences of their agreement.
People have been trying to pierce the veil of the corporation for generations now, but the courts have consistently upheld the separation of liability from the owners of the corporation and established many precedents. The modern world as we know it is based upon these abstractions and they will not be unwound short of crumpling the whole thing up and starting over which could be, well to put it nicely, messy like strawberry jam.

Re:Make the law firm pay Novell. (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084520)

As has been pointed out, Novell isn't a creditor: they didn't loan SCO any money, but instead SCO kept Novell's money and used it to pay lawyers and salaries. Another has pointed out that bankruptcy judges have a lot of latitude. It could be argued convincingly, I believe, that McBride et al. and Boies knew or should have known that they weren't supposed to do that, and so they could be ordered to "return" the money to SCO so SCO can fulfill it's obligation to Novell.

Don't get me wrong - I agree that it will probably never happen. But whatever opinion I had of Boies after the Microsoft case has been totally wiped away by this case and Gore v. Bush.

The key to the front door (1)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 6 years ago | (#22079992)

...and the deed to everything in the building.

Re:The key to the front door (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 6 years ago | (#22081398)

...and the deed to everything in the building.

You mean the chair, with the stained cushions, left in the front reception area? I thought that that was being donated to Microsoft's Flight Simulator group (aerodynamics of physically accelerated lounge furniture).

Just shut down (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22079994)

April is a long time from today. I would simply terminate SCO and end it. Hard to go to court when you do not exist.

That would not end it (2, Informative)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 6 years ago | (#22081280)

It is not as simple as that. The trials would go on, even if scox files chapter 7, and even if scox is no longer in business.

I thought we figured this out (2, Insightful)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22080016)

When SCO was pulled from the market, Novell gets their old furniture cuz there's nothing else to really take...
I guess source code is just as good.

Re:I thought we figured this out (2, Interesting)

mikael (484) | more than 6 years ago | (#22080290)

Back in the mid-80's, there was a guy in my home town who started his own high-street company selling home computer products. Unfortunately, he didn't understand the concept of market saturation, so whatever sold well one month, he would buy twice as much the next month. After the sales figures came in, the company was immediately liquidated. Everything was still there - half stacked shelves with the stuff still in delivery boxes. Even the managers notepad had half written accounting notes with a large negative number at the very end underscored in red ink. Everything in the store was given a liquidation sale price - from the street front sign to the executive chair/desk and pen in the managers office.

Perhaps we will see the SCO obelisk auctioned off in Ebay or donated to the Computer History Museum.

The owe them one (1) nigger. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22080018)

Someone has to mow the grass, right?

I'll let my lawyer, Johnny, speak for me... (3, Funny)

monkeyboythom (796957) | more than 6 years ago | (#22080070)

I want my two dollars!

Re:I'll let my lawyer, Johnny, speak for me... (1)

mrmagos (783752) | more than 6 years ago | (#22080806)

Sorry Johnny, I don't have a dime.

Re:I'll let my lawyer, Johnny, speak for me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22081688)

Didn't ask for no dime.....I want my two dollars.

Re:I'll let my lawyer, Johnny, speak for me... (1)

mrmagos (783752) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084278)

My little brother got his arm stuck in the microwave. So my mom had to take him to the hospital. My grandma dropped acid this morning, and she freaked out. She hijacked a bus-load of penguins. So it's sort of a family crisis. Bye! *slams door*

Re:I'll let my lawyer, Johnny, speak for me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22081070)

plus tip...

Re:I'll let my lawyer, Johnny, speak for me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22084434)

Yay for "Better off Dead" quote!

I hated SCO first (3, Funny)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22080096)

One thing that annoys me in these posts is all these Johnny Come Lately people who have just started to hate SCO as a result of their actions against Linux. I've been actively hating SCO ever since I had to use their piece of crap OS in 1993 on a 286 PC. All the bugger had to do was keep the modem connection open so we could send email but would it stay up? Would it buggery. It was falling over all the time and in the end we had to go 3 months without email to the outside world, a contributory factor in the company going bust.

So you think you have come to loathe SCO over these last few years? Let me tell you that real hatred takes 15 years to mature :)

Re:I hated SCO first (2, Informative)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22080150)

One thing that annoys me in these posts is all these Johnny Come Lately people who have just started to hate SCO as a result of their actions against Linux. I've been actively hating SCO ever since I had to use their piece of crap OS in 1993 on a 286 PC.

Then as you surely know, they aren't really the same SCO as that one.

Re:I hated SCO first (4, Informative)

ashridah (72567) | more than 6 years ago | (#22080272)

That would mean you probably hate Tarantella [wikipedia.org]. Hate to tell you, but they still exist.

Shake your fist in impotent rage!

Re:I hated SCO first (2, Interesting)

mu51c10rd (187182) | more than 6 years ago | (#22080758)

I admit I was a Caldera employee back when they purchased SCO and left Tarantella alone. The first thing that happened was most of the Utah-based employees were replaced by employees from CA. The company that was once Caldera was gutted after the acquisition and replaced by SCO. I left shortly thereafter and my department was laid off 6 months after I left, and was replaced by SCO's equivalent. It is unfortunate to see my former employer slammed all over the news, but the reality is that those who worked hard on Caldera's Linux distribution were removed after the buyout. The SCO Group has nothing to do with the old Caldera, other than retaining the geographic location.

Re:I hated SCO first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22080830)

I'll be in the angry dome!

Re:I hated SCO first (1)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22082120)

Nope I don't I mean this [wikipedia.org] one. It was SCO Unix was the truly abortive piece of crap that failed to do its job properly.

Its 100% these guys that I've loathed and detested all that time. I think they spun off Tarentella (not a bad product) in order to distract me.

Re:I hated SCO first (1)

irenaeous (898337) | more than 6 years ago | (#22082466)

I also worked on OpenServer for a while. It is and was crap -- old and outdated. Did you know that Taco Bell used to use OpenServer systems in their restaurants, but that they recently completed a conversion to Linux?

Re:I hated SCO first (1)

ArtDent (83554) | more than 6 years ago | (#22082796)

What do you mean? Your "this one", SCO OpenServer, *is* SCO UNIX. They simply changed the name of the product in 1995.

They didn't spin off Tarantella. They sold off their UNIX business (OpenServer and Unixware), changed their name to Tarantella, and focused on that product. They were later bought by Sun. Caldera, a Linux company, company bought the UNIX business, changed its name to The SCO Group, and commenced their destructive litigation strategy.

So, we don't hate the old SCO that made SCO UNIX. We hate the new SCO that bought it.

Note that this history is largely covered in the first sentence of the article you linked to. ;-)

Re:I hated SCO first (1)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084212)

You seem to be thinking I hate the company... oh no its much more personal than that. I hate the product and anyone who buys or manages that product is tainted by that evil.

Its SCO Unix I hate, its a specific hate and it follows the product like the curse of the Mummy.

Tarantella (formerly SCO) is owned by Sun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22082552)

Tarantella (formerly SCO) is owned by Sun, as the Wikipedia article points out.

Re:I hated SCO first (1)

Scarblac (122480) | more than 6 years ago | (#22080318)

That's a different company. The SCO that this is about used to be a Linux business named Caldera; then they bought software and trademark rights from SCO, and later on changed their own name to SCO and starting suing.

That said, it is the same Unix...

Re:I hated SCO first (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#22080620)

One thing that annoys me in these posts is all these Johnny Come Lately people who have just started to hate SCO as a result of their actions against Linux.

Dude, get with the times. The Slashbots have all forgotten SCO and moved on to feverishly hating Novell instead!

It was falling over all the time and in the end we had to go 3 months without email to the outside world, a contributory factor in the company going bust.

I'm thinking that a company making decisions like that didn't stand much of a chance, SCO or no.

Re:I hated SCO first (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22080730)

It's not so much "hate" as it is pity.

These are guys that have been around the block a few times. They
have seen Microsoft screw their business partners. They have seen
Microsoft attack their 3rd party vendors. They have been directly
on the receiving end of Microsoft treachery.

Just how many houses have to fall on these guys before they get
the hint.

Re:I hated SCO first (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22082338)

Buisness with competitors is always interesting... Espectially with large ones because some devisions you are partners with and others you are competing with. The same with Apple and Microsoft or Apple and Adobe. They compete and yet they partner with each other. Even a small firm wich is partnered with a large company like Cisco, the small company better keep quite on who their customers are because Cisco will take that information and undercut its partner.

Re:I hated SCO first (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22080826)

That crap is why Linux and the open-source BSDs exist. Tarantella is still around, as others have pointed out. This "SCO" is actually Caldera, the old Linux vendor.

WTF would you let one OS bankrupt your business? Surely a MicroVax, a desktop Sun box or a couple of AOL accounts would have let you send email. Or hell, you could have had a 56k leased line and hooked the SCO box up via Ethernet, which I'm pretty sure it didn't have problems with in 1993 as long as you used a good card.

Re:I hated SCO first (1)

FesterDaFelcher (651853) | more than 6 years ago | (#22080852)

in the end we had to go 3 months without email to the outside world
Sounds like SCO was the least of your worries. Even in 1993, you could have found a fairly cheap interim solution for a business critical application like email. But go ahead and blame SCO. :)

Re:I hated SCO first (1)

ChrisA90278 (905188) | more than 6 years ago | (#22082344)

In 1993 you had many other quality options. Why SCO on a 286? I know. Because it was cheap. That's the root cause of your company going bust - trying to get by on the cheap. If it was business critical why was there no backup plan in place? Why keep if when it failed? It was obsolite even in '93. Why didn't yuu call the people at Sun and buy a SPARC system running SunOS. Why not change the MX records on your DNS serve to point your email to a different server?

Quick question (2, Interesting)

MC Negro (780194) | more than 6 years ago | (#22080146)

Okay, could someone (more knowledgeable than I) explain how this whole trademark vs. IP thing works? From what I understand, it sounds like Novell owns the underlying IP of Unix, but I also thought The Open Group was in charge of the "UNIX" trademark/certification. So speaking purely hypothetically, say Novell were to get back into the Unix market, would they have to have certification by the Open Group to call it "UNIX"?

I guess my question is bit more far-reaching - what is the relationship between the IP holder v. the trademark holder in these circumstances, and are there any other examples where someone owns the IP of something, but doesn't necessarily own the trademark?

Re:Quick question (3, Informative)

RichMan (8097) | more than 6 years ago | (#22080254)

There are many types of IP.

Trademark - to brand a product in a particular category
Copyright - particular text experssion
Patent - invention

Novell used to own the UNIX trademark. They passed it to the OpenGroup when the sold the UNIX business to Santa Cruz Operating Systems. OpenGroup certifies systems as meeting the UNIX standard.

SCO has 2 versions of UNIX, I believe one is UNIX95(tm) compliant, the other UNIX98(tm) compliant.
IBM AIX UNIX is UNIX2003(tm) compliant.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_UNIX_Specification [wikipedia.org]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intellectual_Property [wikipedia.org]

Re:Quick question (4, Insightful)

Simon Brooke (45012) | more than 6 years ago | (#22081890)

There are many types of IP.

Errr... that's another way of saying 'there is no such thing as intellectual property'. Lawyers and other weasels who speak of 'intellectual property' are playing a classic quickness of the hand deceiveth the eye trick. Precisely, they're doing two things:

  • They're deliberately conflating the limited and short term contingent protections which Western states have found it pragmatic to offer creators or new ideas and products with the unlimited and long term protections which Western states have traditionally offered to property in land;
  • They're making a hegemonistic claim about the status of new ideas and expressions.

Whether property in land ought to be given the sorts of protections which Western society gives it is another question entirely. But that's beside the point. New ideas and expressions are not property, do not have the status of property, and do not have nearly the same degree of protection that property has. And it's in everyone's interest - that includes the 'content creators' - that it remains that way. Where would Walt Disney be now if all the classic fairy tales had been someone else's 'intellectual property'?

Re:Quick question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22080512)

What RichMan said.

There is no "Intellectual Property" law per se. When someone talks about IP, they are referring to one or more of Trademark, Copyright or Patent (or Trade Secret) laws.

Re:Quick question (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 6 years ago | (#22082724)

Remember IP is a whole section of law that is split into copyrights, patents, and trademarks. Trademark only deals with the Brand Name, i.e. Coca-Cola. Patents deal with the idea of something and copyright is the expression of an idea. The X/Open Group owns the trademark as it was given to them by Novell back in 1993. The group was also tasked with certification of Unix. Novell retained the patents and copyrights as was confirmed by the judge.

If Novell were to get back into the Unix business they would have go through the certification process like any other company to be certified Unix. However many Unix flavors like BSD do not go through the process of certification. There are different certifications because there have been different revisions of Unix certification through the years. The newest is UNIX03 which includes the latest versions of AIX, HP/UX, Solaris and Leopard (on Intel).

SCO was only UNIX95 certified on its newest version of UnixWare which goes to show how antiquated SCO Unix was.

Admit it ... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22080156)

You might just as well admit now: Nobody will be satisfied before the day comes when Darl is in jail and his wife is doing two dollar blow jobs in the parking outside WalMart to pay the bills ...

Re:Admit it ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22080208)

Well, we are halfway there.
Just need Darl to go to jail and it will be done.

Re:Admit it ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22080700)

As someone who lives close to the nearest Walmart to SCO, I could do without that in the parking lot...nor do I know anyone who would use that service...

Re:Admit it ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22080838)

Don't worry, she would have had to relocate ...

I'm ashamed to post this, but... (1)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22084000)

...when Darl is in jail and his wife is doing two dollar blow jobs in the parking outside WalMart

Will she take SCO licenses instead?

"Honest - they're worth about 600 bucks a piece. Ask your husband."

heh. (1)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 6 years ago | (#22080160)

heh. well i had nothing better to do today then to listen to a fat lady singing.

now all we need is the right tune, "ride of the Valkyrie" or "madam butterfly" don't seem appropriate, and my other suggestions are just undignified and unsuitable for the high class audience provided by /.

I'm sure Tom Lehrer could of penned a suitable tune or two.

They already named their price. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22080162)


$699

Unix is copyright-encumbered? (1)

Eadwacer (722852) | more than 6 years ago | (#22080236)

They must be talking about the Novell variant, because isn't BSD Unix FOSS?

Re:Unix is copyright-encumbered? (1)

rkhalloran (136467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22081064)

Caldera/SCO Group was reselling the legacy AT&T System V for x86, with some of their own enhancements. THAT code is still for the most part (c) Novell, who bought out AT&T's interest back in '92. There was also the input from Sun that produced Sys V.4, and drivers developed by numerous vendors, so opening the whole thing may be more trouble than it's worth at this point, given the dwindling interest.

SCOX(Q) DELENDA EST!!

Just how much does SCO have? (3, Interesting)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 6 years ago | (#22080358)

Their last financial report (July '07, they apparently didn't file one for October '07) said that they had $15.79 million in total assets. This isn't taking into account any other debts. That was down $4 million from the previous quarter. Let's suppose that that drop repeated itself the next two quarters (since we're almost out of the current quarter). That means that SCO would have just under $8 million in total assets. So even if Novell took everything SCO had into possession and all other debtors got nothing, Novell wouldn't come close to recouping the money they were owed from Microsoft's $16.6 million Unix license payment. (To say nothing of Sun's $9.3 million license payment or any other payments.)

Another way to look at how much SCO is worth is to look at their market cap. Back in July, SCOX closed at $1.48 per share. Over 21.25 million shares, that's $31.45 million. Today, they're at $0.09 per share for a market cap of $1,912,500. Novell could easily buy up the remaining pieces of SCOX if they wanted to. Any way you slice it, SCO is toast and won't be able to pay Novell back even a fraction of what they owe them.

Not one cent in tribute... (1)

rkhalloran (136467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22081186)

>> Novell could easily buy up the remaining pieces of SCOX if they wanted to.

Most of us that have been following this assume this was SCOX' intent all along; threaten a lawsuit and get a payoff from either IBM and/or Novell to quietly go away.

Then IBM called the bluff and asked for some actual EVIDENCE; at that point the dodge-the-bullet game began and has dragged on until now.

But back to point, what does SCOX have to buy? Novell ALREADY owns the UNIX codebase, SCOX has succeeded in destroying the VAR/OEM channel; Novell can sit back and watch the implosion, then start up a short-term consultancy to migrate the remaining stragglers to SUSE.

SCOX(Q) DELENDA EST!!

Re:Just how much does SCO have? (2, Informative)

KokorHekkus (986906) | more than 6 years ago | (#22081250)

I belive you are correct with the exception of using their market capitalisation as a benchmark since SCOX has a "stockholder rights plan" (a.k.a "poison pill") that basically allows the directors to set their price should anyone actually want to take over the whole company. From SCOX last years 10-K (under "Risk Factors):

We have adopted a stockholder rights plan. The power given to the Board of Directors by the stockholder rights plan may make it more difficult for a change of control of our company to occur or for our company to be acquired if the acquisition is opposed by our Board of Directors.
The board of directors are also allowed to play very fast and loose when it comes to issue new preferred stock:

Our Board of Directors currently has the right, with respect to the 5,000,000 shares of our preferred stock, to authorize the issuance of one or more additional series of our preferred stock with such voting, dividend and other rights as our directors determine. The Board of Directors can designate new series of preferred stock without the approval of the holders of our common stock. The rights of holders of our common stock may be adversely affected by the rights of any holders of additional shares of preferred stock that may be issued in the future, including without limitation, further dilution of the equity ownership percentage of our holders of common stock and their voting power if we issue preferred stock with voting rights. Additionally, the issuance of preferred stock could make it more difficult for a third party to acquire a majority of our outstanding voting stock.
(bold is my added emphasis)

The directors can pretty much dilute the value and rights of the common stock in any way they wish. So the value of the common stock does not mirror a take-over cost.

SCOX 10-K: http://yahoo.brand.edgar-online.com/fetchFilingFrameset.aspx?dcn=0000891020-07-000020&Type=HTML [edgar-online.com]

Re:Just how much does SCO have? (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 6 years ago | (#22081488)

Interesting information. Thanks.

One question though. Is it even possible for the directors to dilute the value of SCO's stock any more? ;-)

Re:Just how much does SCO have? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22082484)

That sounds like more of a "Board of Directors rights plan" than a "stockholder rights plan."

This is taking too long (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#22080422)

I was enjoying this drama for the first couple of years... especially when it became very apparent that SCO was playing some sort of game at the request of Microsoft... and especially when it became obvious that SCO would lose. And it's true that technically, this is "another case" involving SCO, but this is really a part of the whole drama that is the downfall and failure of SCO. Mentally I imagined SCO people squirming around wondering what they must have been thinking when they brought all this upon themselves. I have wondered how they could make all those unfounded and ridiculous claims without being able to produce one shred of evidence while keeping a straight face! They seem to me like the same level of scary-crazy as $cientology. I have enjoyed watching and imagining SCO suffer for their attempts against Linux. But I have to say, this is all taking WAY too long. They should just kill SCO and be done with it. Off with their heads!

"It can all end, right now. Peace. Bliss. Just say it. Cry out mercy."

it's not compensation for the trial (3, Informative)

lophophore (4087) | more than 6 years ago | (#22080906)

The description here is incorrect.

SCO does not owe Novell any compensation for the trial or lawsuit.

They owe them something like 95% of the Unix license fees they collected from Sun and Microsoft, as well as some others.

not SCO's money in the first place (4, Interesting)

Nick Barnes (11927) | more than 6 years ago | (#22081022)

This isn't money which "SCO owes Novell". This is Novell's money which SCO has retained (in breach of contract). The distinction seems trivial but should be important. In theory, it should give Novell priority over all other creditors (including the lawyers, accountants, and landlords with whom SCO has been merrily spending money since entering Chapter 11). The word "disgorgement" looms large in the future of this case. A pair of loose analogies should make the distinction clear: if I rob a bank, and then use the stolen money to hire expensive lawyers in a futile attempt to escape justice, the bank is entitled to recover that money from the lawyers. But if instead I borrow money from a bank and then spend it all on expensive lawyers on my way out of business, the bank is out of luck. The current situation is more like the former analogy than the latter. In selling Sys V licenses to Microsoft and Sun, TSCOG was acting as Novell's agent: the money was Novell's all along.

here we are again - full circle? (1)

bball99 (232214) | more than 6 years ago | (#22082012)

quote: "Instead, Novell would have to pick and choose pieces to open-source, a process that could begin once the trial has ended."

- didn't we go through this once before, like 14 years ago? :-)

(i still have my O'Reilly set of BSD books and the accompanying 'litigation-free software' CD!)

Re: here we are again - full circle? (1)

dnessl (469763) | more than 6 years ago | (#22082924)

Novell need not waste time and money picking thru Unix code to open source it ... The real win for the open source movement would be to make sure that Unix IP could not be used against Linux ever again. Novell could simply and easily transfer the Unix IP to a trust that they setup whose irrevocable purpose would be to sit on the Unix code, never to claim copyright or patent infringements ever again.

Summary misleading (3, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 6 years ago | (#22082982)

But experts say Unix is filled with technology that carries copyrights tied to many different companies and that it would be a nightmare to open source the Unix code collectively. Instead, Novell would have to pick and choose pieces to open-source, a process that could begin once the trial has ended.

First of all, the journalist is confusing Unix as a family with the UNIX IP that Novell owns. As a family, Unix is confusing because it contains contributions from many companies and organizations like components like RCU (IBM), filesystems (JFS, XFS, ZFS, etc), libraries (BSD, GNU,etc) and the like. Novell, however, knows exactly what it owns in terms of copyrights.

The main issue that needs to worked out is what amount Novell owed from the Microsoft and Sun licenses. When Novell sold SCO the Unix business (and not the IP), SCO agreed to pay Novell 100% of any UNIX licenses which Novell would remit 5% back to SCO for their trouble. SCO argued that the licenses to Microsoft and Sun were not UNIX licenses at all. The judge didn't buy their argument for although SCO may have called it differently, certainly the licenses they sold contained UNIX IP and thus Novell was entitled to a share. The reason why the judge did not summarily order SCO to pay Novell the full amount was there is a question of how much of the technology was Novell's UNIX and how much was SCO's IP (i.e. UnixWare, OpenServer). That question is being addressed by the court now. I highly doubt that SCO sold much of their IP to the likes of Sun whose Unix offering is much more advanced or Microsoft who isn't even in the Unix business.

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