02.16.08

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Stephen Norris: Why SCO? And Why Now?

Posted in Courtroom, DRM, GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, SCO at 9:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Further to our previous short coverage [1, 2] of the SCO-Stephen Norris affairs, consider the following new article.

But aside from that, I analyze it like this: Who benefits from this move? Aside from the privacy elements, whereby the SCO ship sinks in a private pond with no worry about piercing the corporate veil, since there is money in this plan to pay Novell and others, there is the avoidance of any antitrust worries Microsoft might conceivably face from airing of linen. But I think it’s more about holding on to business. The military is switching to Linux. That’s a huge loss to Microsoft, of course, but it’s also a huge loss to companies that supply services and proprietary software applications to the military. Some folks might not like that the switch to Linux is happening. It will be worse for them if other government agencies and entities decide to follow the DOD’s lead.

What to do? What to do? Maybe at least slow down the process by putting Linux under a legal cloud of uncertainty, at a minimum, at least for several more years, and/or under a financial burden, at best, should they prevail?

[...]

If Microsoft is behind the deal, though, I do think it raises legitimate antitrust concerns. Whether anyone will care, since it’s all cloaked in IP claims, is another story. If I were Novell or IBM or any creditor, I’d very much want some proof that Stephen Norris Capital Partners really has $100 Milllion. I’d want the court to make them escrow it.

“Why would Stephen Norris invest (it later turned out to be a takeover)? Is it the infamy of Darl McBride that he wishes to inherit?”It may be too early to find compelling connections between Stephen Norris’s investment and Microsoft. There is no court evidence as strong as was obtained to establish the connection between Microsoft and BayStar, which invested heavily in SCO.

Going by another train of thought and practicing simple logic, we must ask ourselves, why? And why now? When investigating the BBC’s (and Microsoft’s) motives with the Windows XP-only iPlayer we found ourselves asking similar questions. Who would benefit? Who is whose employer and what about employment history, affiliations, and obligations? The more we explored, the move evidence we found. There are too many questions the BBC is unable to answer.

Going back on topic, there is little or no reason for Stephen Norris to chuck so much money at a company which is worth so little, has too little to show in court, and owns money to quite a few parties which it had attacked. Why would Stephen Norris invest (it later turned out to be a takeover)? Is it the infamy of Darl McBride that he wishes to inherit? Even the Microsoft-affiliated Motley Fool asks some similar questions.

Assuming that the legal system hasn’t gone entirely bonkers yet, the investment also sets Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) up to follow its lawsuit against SCO to its logical conclusion, after the IBM suit fizzles out. If I were Red Hat, I’d send Stephen Norris a thank-you note. Seriously, guys — what were you thinking?

I will probably publish an article about this on Monday, but we lack concrete evidence that can even insinuate that Stephen Norris spoke to Microsoft (indirectly or indirectly). This seems like a BayStar 2.0 no matter how you look at it. We have counted at least 3 generations of legal attacks (by proxy) on Linux. Might this be another ingredient of this attack vector?

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