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07.18.08

Press Coverage of SCO: Latest Summary

Posted in Courtroom, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, SCO, SUN, UNIX at 3:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

For those in need of a simple synopsis

The SCO/Novell case sure has gotten a little crazy and yesterday we wrote about the very latest. It was shallow and preliminary, but now that the press has had time to digest, there is some more conclusive overage.

SCO’s cheerleaders and wannabes appear to have disappeared into the darkness. The SCO boosters are either spinning the court’s decision (so does SCO) or hide under a rock. Here is how Groklaw puts it:

Remember when SCO began its media blitz? Stories everywhere. The world thought it was exciting to imagine Linux on the ropes. Now, when SCO is told it behaved improperly and must pay millions, only a few even note it. No one cares about SCO in failure, except for some who feel disgust, like Matt Asay.

What a strange ride it’s been. You’d think the folks that wrote all those stories about SCO eating Linux’s lunch would at least place a notice on their Corrections Page: “Um. About that lunch stuff, we were totally duped by SCO. They haven’t won anything. The best they can do is not lose as big as they could have.”

[...]

But someone sent me Maureen O’Gara’s latest, a very hilarious snip. She of course is warning that Linux end users are at risk, because SCO can now sue them for infringing UnixWare. Heh heh. Folks, they could have sued for post-APA UnixWare five years ago. In fact, that is part of what SCOsource was allegedly about. Remember? That’s the story. So it’s nothing new that SCO can sue over UnixWare. And yet, they never did. If you look at the IBM case, not one line of infringed code from UnixWare was listed by SCO. Would that be for a reason? Like there isn’t any? You think?

Other SCO allies like Rob Enderle and Paul Murphy show no signs of life, either.

And after all has been (almost) said and done I’m left wondering: Where are the Rob Enderles and Paul Murphies of this world that were willing to bet their souls on SCO winning the case? Was it Rob that said that he had seen “very compelling evidence” of copyright infringement under an NDA?
I wonder SCO losing won’t show up on their “missed predictions” section of their resume… oh, and Steve Ballmer… you better sell that bottle of champaigne you were saving for the time SCO won the case… it must be worth a little more money after all the time that passed by.

Coverage from the local press has arrived by now:

1. SCO ordered to pay $2.55M to Novell

The SCO Group, which had angered many in the open-source community when it launched a campaign in 2003 to obtain license fees from Linux users of Unix software code, is ordered today to pay to Novell $2.55 million in royalty payments on Unix licenses collected from Sun Microsystems.

2. SCO to pay Novell $2.5M owed for Unix royalties

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that The SCO Group must pay more than $2.5 million in royalties to Novell Inc. for licensing the Unix computer operating system software to Sun Microsystems.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball in Salt Lake City came in the long-running dispute between Novell of Provo and SCO.

Outside of Utah, plenty of coverage soon appeared too. Here is just some of it:

Ars Technica: Ruling: SCO owes Novell $2.54 million from SCO-Sun SVRX deal

Today’s ruling comes after a three-day bench trial in late April and early May to determine how much money SCO was supposed to pay Novell. In theory, that would be 95 percent of the royalties for SVRX, the original UNIX intellectual property. The challenge for the court was to distinguish how much of the SCOSource licensing revenue was for SVRX and how much was for SCO’s own UnixWare intellectual property.

Judge Kimball evaluated Microsoft’s agreement with SCO and found that it primarily covered UnixWare. The only SVRX rights granted to Microsoft under the terms of the agreement were for intellectual property that was part of UnixWare. This means that SCO doesn’t have to give Novell any of the money it collected from Microsof

CNET Blogs: Justice is served: SCO ordered to pay Novell millions

It’s true that we haven’t been forced to put up with SCO for a year or two, but I will admit to still feeling annoyed by the festering cesspool of greed that leaked from SCO’s boardroom into the software industry for several years. These guys deserve to pay.

The Register: SCO ordered to pay Novell $2.5m Unix royalties

“The court concludes that SCO was entitled to enter into the 2003 Microsoft Agreement and the other SCO source Licenses, but was not authorized to enter into the 2003 Sun Agreement based on its amendment of the provisions concerning Sun’s SVRX confidentiality requirements under the 1994 Agreement,” said Kimball.

Groklaw reader and Inquirer reporter Egan has published this short article.

SCO, of course, is trying to spin Judge Kimball’s ruling as a win. As though being ordered to pay Novell over $2.5 million, plus interest and attorneys’ fees, really counts as a win.

But then SCO, being SCO, plans to appeal. Yet the appeals court could decide to reverse Judge Kimball’s ruling that SCO doesn’t owe Novell for the licencing fees it received from Microsoft and its SCOsource licencees.

Todd Weiss has another Computer World report, which reached IDG’s LinuxWorld (association with the Microsoft-backed IDC comes to mind). It seems as though there’s some media collaboration which could lead to change in biases. Anyway, Weiss writes:

At the beginning of its massive legal fight against Linux in 2003, The SCO Group imagined a day when companies like IBM, Novell and others would pay it large amounts of cash for alleged infringements on SCO-owned Unix code.

Instead, even as those legal fights meander through US courts, the tables were turned and SCO Wednesday was ordered to pay US$2.55 million to Novell for collecting Unix licensing revenue from Sun Microsystems that it wasn’t entitled to collect.

Henry Kingman posted a good summary of old stories at the bottom of this page.

Meanwhile, readers insatiable for backstory are encouraged to plunder to their gullets’ content on the Related Stories below. Enjoy . . . !

These are mainly old articles from SJVN, who yesterday had this to say:

The SCO legal horror show probably isn’t completely over yet. Some idiot always wants to do a sequel, but this is the end of the main saga. Novell owns Unix. SCO doesn’t. SCO is in bankruptcy. This is the end of the story. Oh, and for the spinoff, we have the possibility of Novell vs. Sun since, according to the judge; SCO never owned the IP rights to the Unix that it sold to Sun, which Sun then turned into part of OpenSolaris.

His zombie analogy got the attention of his old employers at Ziff Davis (eWeek).

Both parties may be able to appeal the decision, suggesting that the long, overdrawn case could continue to hobble along even longer than it already has. To quote Steven Vaughan-Nichols, “Like the 11th chapter of a bad horror movie, the SCO zombie keeps stumbling forward moaning “Linux,” instead of “brains.”

It seems like good riddance to SCO. Groklaw opines that Microsoft is next. Expect MSFT to fall sharply in Friday’s trading. Microsoft has just disappointed the market. Will aggression ensue?

“We believe every Linux customer basically has an undisclosed balance-sheet liability.”

Steve Ballmer

USS Towers - sinking

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2 Comments

  1. David Gerard said,

    July 19, 2008 at 6:21 am

    Gravatar

    Microsoft did disappoint the market, and this is bigger news than it seems and I suggest it may be worthy of an article. Remember that throughout its history, Microsoft has moved heaven and earth to make just slightly above analyst predictions on its numbers. That they are unable to do so any more really is very interesting.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    July 19, 2008 at 6:47 am

    Gravatar

    David, I have a lot of related material accumulated. Maybe I’ll write a summary of this tomorrow.

    I agree with you on the point that Microsoft used all sorts of methods like buybacks, figure-crunching and deferrals to game the system (SEC). Many companies are able to do so, which is why few companies’ shared fall despite claimed rise in ‘profits’ (including Novell). If you don’t believe me, I’ll post the links here.

    I actually wrote about a year ago about Microsoft’s inability to keep pretending that the business balloons. Investor confidence has been poor for quite some time. More latterly, Microsoft’s many acquisitions (at the expense of shriveling savings) have been responsible for rise in revenue. I can’t imagine that $18 Windows XP for laptops has helped Microsoft’s bottom line. The same goes for strategic student discounts that counter FOSS.

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