01.13.09

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SCOwboys Left Shivering in Their Bots

Posted in Courtroom, Novell, SCO, UNIX at 12:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

No assets

Cowboy, gun-slinging man
Technology cowboyism: Fail

WORDS ARE CHEAP, but then again, so is SCO. It may soon be selling its assets, as we noted briefly over the weekend. Heaps of articles were written to cover this at the beginning of the week, so rather than reiterate, let us summarise using a sample of snippets:

Salt Lake Tribune: Technology company SCO Group proposes sale of assets

The embattled SCO Group Inc. is proposing to auction off its core products and use proceeds to continue its controversial lawsuits over the alleged violations of its copyrights in Linux open-source software.

The Lindon company has filed a new reorganization plan with the federal court in Delaware where it sought bankruptcy protection from creditors after an adverse ruling in the Linux litigation.

If approved by a bankruptcy judge, the plan could mean SCO’s server software and mobile products lines are owned by other parties while SCO itself remained largely to pursue the lawsuits under the leadership of CEO Darl McBride.

“One goal of this approach is to separate the legal defense of its intellectual property from its core product business,” McBride said in a letter to customers, partners and shareholders.

Jeff Hunsaker, president and COO of The SCO Group, said the litigation had been distracting to the company’s efforts to market its products.

ITWire: SCO: Garbage Time

Nevertheless, on March 6th 2003 The SCO Group filed a $1 billion lawsuit in the United States against IBM for allegedly “devaluing” its version of the UNIX operating system. The damages were later increased to $3b and subsequently further revised to $5b.

IDG Blogs: SCO: Garbage Time

It’s garbage time now for SCO. Those of you who follow basketball know exactly what I mean. This is when the winning team, Linux, and its chief champions in the SCO lawsuits. Novell and IBM, can send in the reserves from the end of the bench. SCO’s lawsuits are smashed to bits.

As the clock ever so slowly winds down, SCO is now dumping what was once its heart, its Unix OpenServer and UnixWare business, and its newer mobile software, to continue its forlorn lawsuits. SCO has filed a new reorganization plan with the federal bankruptcy court in Delaware on January 8th.

TechDirt: SCO Looking To Ditch Actual Business To Try To Keep Lawsuit Going

It’s amazing that after losing pretty much every aspect of this campaign from the very beginning, that folks at SCO still think it’s worth pursuing.

Slashdot: SCO Proposes Sale of Assets To Continue Litigation

The Lindon company has filed a new reorganization plan with the federal court in Delaware where it sought bankruptcy protection from creditors after an adverse ruling in the Linux litigation. If approved by a bankruptcy judge, the plan could mean SCO’s server software and mobile products lines are owned by other parties while SCO itself remained largely to pursue the lawsuits under the leadership of CEO Darl McBride.

IT Business Edge: SCO Just Won’t Give Up

Please. The company is “distracted” because its leadership is focused on the wrong thing. Like a Slashdot post on the news suggested, SCO should “know when to fold ‘em.” Let it go, and get on with business.

SD Times: SCO to hold auction as part of bankruptcy plan

If SCO’s assets are not sold, SCO will continue to sell OpenServer and its mobile products in what Hunsaker called a “bootstrap plan.” This would require SCO to reduce operating costs and increase pricing for certain products.

SCO was originally due to file its Chapter 11 reorganization plan at the end of 2008, but the company requested an extension, asking for a deadline of Jan. 16. Hunsaker attributed this to SCO needing a few extra days to work through the disclosure statements and reorganization plan.

Mercury News: SCO announces public auction of core products

The company has been embroiled in litigation for almost five years. It has sued IBM, AutoZone and Novell and been sued by Red Hat. In August, SCO lost its legal case against Novell and ended up facing a potentially $40 million summary judgment. SCO has appealed the ruling and sought bankruptcy protection. SCO has considerably cut down on the amount owed to Novell since filing bankruptcy, and claims it will win on appeal.

Tech Rockies: SCO Group Files Reorg Plan, Looks to Split Operations, Lawsuits

Lindon, Utah-based The SCO Group, the Unix software provider which has been battling the Linux operating system community and such companies as IBM and Novell over source code, said Monday that it has filed a formal Reorganization Plan and plans to conduct a public auction of the firm’s last remaining product operations to fund the company.

Ars Technica: SCO aims to reorganize, fight on with corporate garage sale

Seeking to stave off final defeat, SCO has brought a (fourth) new reorganization plan to bankruptcy court. The company has proposed an asset sale to raise funds for paying off the rest of its debts and implementing a new business plan.

As one commenter in Linux Today wrote, “I bid 25 cents (USD) for SCO’s “intellectual property” assets. I know it’s above market value, but I’d hate to look like I was trying to capitalize on a fire sale. I’ll even toss in a couple of extra strength garbage bags with deodorizer for packaging and delivery to the large, green Waste Management bin in my driveway.”

Going forward, some big questions revolve around software patents and Microsoft partners like Novell and Xandros. Novell serves as the village fool who lowers the gate (shakes hands on software patents) and opens up the door (invites Microsoft to F/OSS despite all that we know).

Sam Dean has just commented on a list of directionless companies which are 'led' by Novell. Here is his take:

Novell and Sun Microsystems are the two big open source players on the list, and I’ve made the point before that these companies’ market capitalizations are barely above the amount of cash they have which could definitely make them acquisition targets. They could be bought simply to shut parts of them down. However, I agree with ChannelInsider’s rebuttal that Microsoft has a pronounced vested interest in keeping Novell around, if for no other reason than to slow down Red Hat’s growth. That could be a big factor in any attempt to acquire Novell.

It’s widely agreed that Novell helps Microsoft more than it harms it. Microsoft fuels Novell not due to benevolence; companies, by definition, act on behalf of investors’ interests. That alone should make people suspicious and apprehensive.

“On the same day that CA blasted SCO, Open Source evangelist Eric Raymond revealed a leaked email from SCO’s strategic consultant Mike Anderer to their management. The email details how, surprise surprise, Microsoft has arranged virtually all of SCO’s financing, hiding behind intermediaries like Baystar Capital.”

Bruce Perens

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