05.08.11

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Novell by Any Other Name

Posted in Courtroom, Microsoft, Novell, SCO at 11:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Stone textures

Summary: TSG is SCO’s new name and Novell falls under the wing of AttachMSFT

HERE at Techrights we have been keeping track of SCO since the very beginning of the site. There is a lot of overlap between Novell and SCO, not just because of their legal battle. But a lesser known or insufficiently explored aspect of the comparison is their relationship to Microsoft. Both companies used to contribute to Linux before turning rogue and their reputations declined very rapidly as a result. It did not really require sites like Groklaw (which ends next week) to make it happen, but such sites did produce evidence and analysis that fueled other sites. In this age of the Internet and the World Wide Web, one site always builds upon the work of others, usually within hours or days. So by showing refutations of the allegations from SCO the company’s critics soon made it a laughing stock and no amount of PR or AstroTurfing could counter that.

There are parallels in Novell’s case. Novell worked hard on marketing the goods and promoting the perception that it was a good “open source” citizen whilst at the same time fulfilling its commitments to Microsoft. Part of Novell’s PR was attacking me personally. I disrupted their reality distortion field. Even now there is this new event that we mentioned last month for the confusing role it serves. It is called the 2011 Future of Open Source Forum and it is influenced by friends of Microsoft and Novell, which will participate despite the fact that Novell is not an open source company, it only pretends to be one, probably for karma.

Groklaw continues to cover Novell’s legal cases, but it probably remains for others to do as the site will cease posting new material. Who is going to gather PDFs from the cases and present them in HTML form? What about public discussion about the court proceedings? If nobody else does it, maybe Techrights Legal will (we need volunteers, so please contact us if you can lend a hand). Now that another round in the Novell vs. Microsoft case is expected, it is clear that nothing is truly over or resolved. What will these cases be renamed? The TSG vs. AttachMSFT case? Yes, SCO is nymshifting again:

Formerly known as. Like they’re a rock star. The et al references SCO Operations, Inc., now to be known as TSG Operations, Inc., which doesn’t make a lot of sense, if you think deeply, but then, this is SCO. I assume that this is because SCO sold the trade name to unXis, and unXis will be selling the software products. I say I assume, because SCO’s filing [PDF] with the court was an APA with many things left blank, including, as far as a quick check indicates, who gets the name SCO. Then again, does anyone want it? Here’s a question. What about the headers on the documents in SCO v. IBM or SCO v. Novell? I mean, exactly who is who going forward? Is anyone going forward? That’s the real question.

The odd thing is, Novell is now Attachmate’s property, so that is changed, and SCO sold its software assets to unXis, but it retained the prior litigation, so that changed, and the lenders appear to be no longer in harmony with SCO or each other, so that’s a change, and so who exactly is SCO nowadays? If SCO is TSG, who is SCO? Nobody? Or is unXis going to call itself unXiSCO like the domain name?

Maybe nobody wants to be called SCO. Maybe it’s like a mobster entering the witness protection program.

Blackwater did the same.

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