A federal judge has ruled that SCO does, in fact, owe Novell two and a half million dollars after all. Thanks to SCO, it has now been determined that Novell still owns Unix, no matter what SCO thinks. Novell sued SCO after SCO claimed that IBM used Unix code in Linux. That claim was debunked by, of all people, SCO itself after an internal audit failed to prove Darl McBride’s claims. There were a lot of claims, lawsuits and other gongs on by SCO, Novell, IBM and others and the story is just one big pile of poo now-no, make that a giant steaming pile of poo. Ars-Technica has a nice summary here.
If anything, the SCO case proves that there is a huge problem in the world of intellectual property, licensing and patents here in America. That Darl McBride actually thought he could turn his struggling company around and make money from the court system shows that he was more than misguided. There are precedents for this tactic, so I guess he figured ‘what the hell’ and tried. It’s a wonder his company lasted as long as it did. Oh, wait…there’s a reason. During the initial trial where they were suing IBM, they threatened other companies who were using Linux. Some of them caved and ‘licensed’ the code in question. I would call it extortion. Then, in what could only be called a desperation move on the part of Microsoft, of all companies, Microsoft ‘invested’ in SCO via a third party. This influx of cash allowed SCO to live for another few years and continue the legal abuse instead of, oh, I don’t know, INNOVATING and DEVELOPING a real product, perhaps? I guess it was only a software maker in spirit.
All I can say is good riddance to this company. I am truly sorry that people-good people-will lose or already lost their jobs, but this company has lost it’s reputation, good name and any chance it may have had to turn itself around. That it chose to sue for profit rather than actually producing a product shows that it has no long term plan for survival and needs to just go away.