back to article Zombie SCO rises from the grave again

The Santa Cruz Organisation (SCO) just doesn't know when it's dead: the bankruptcy trustee of the company that thinks it owns Linux is having another try at milking IBM for money. Back in February it looked like this long-running case, which hinges on whether IBM lifted some SCO code and popped it into its own operating …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The company's still capable of paying its lawyers, however, which suggests the backing of someone who feels there's a payday out there one day

    Or maybe IBM's high paid lawyers are themselves hiring bargain basement lawyers to keep filing motions and keep the gravy train rolling. I can't find any other explanation why someone would keep throwing good money after bad.

    Anonymous just in case any IBM lawyers for one minute think I'm serious!


    Who profits from Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt about Linux?

    Well I think we ALL know the answer to that one. Ironical really, since IBM itself used FUD as a business tool in the past.

    1. Bob Vistakin

      Re: Who profits from Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt about Linux?

      Follow the money from those who can't compete on quality, so extort instead to answer that one.

    2. CAPS LOCK

      Five downvotes... harder Microsoft Online Reputation Managers...

  3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    SCO is not paying is Lawyers

    The stupid lawyers agreed to a fixed price deal for the whole thing with no end clause.

    This was clearly documented on (and other places).

    The SCO (give the federal TLA orgs a good name) rump can keep this going forever and a day unless a judge gets some bals and comes down hard and slaps a huge fine on the lawyers (which might be what they want so that they can breach the contract with SCO/whatever they are called this week).

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      By all means, give them what they want.

      Then find the schmuck behind all this. Tie him to a chair to make him tell why. Then hang him, shoot him, burn his house down around him. Then evacuate the neighbourhood and nuke the remains.

      It's the only way to be sure.

      1. M.Heisenberg

        You have to shoot them in the head, otherwise they just keep getting up.

        1. Mpeler

          they just keep getting up

          Only a flesh wound...

          (there wasn't an icon for the black knight)

      2. John G Imrie

        Re: By all means, give them what they want.

        I was unaware that there was anyone left who held SCO in such high esteem. You seem to be holding back on what I'd do to them.

      3. ma1010

        Wish I could give you more upvotes

        Don't forget to cut their heads off and bury the head separately from the body. With garlic in the mouth. Best to also cover the body in garlic, too. And put some crucifixes in there, as well. THEN nuke it all.

        This is like some bad horror movie where the monster just WON'T DIE, no matter what they do to it.

        World + Dog to SCO: Please, please, do EVERYONE ELSE a favor and just DIE ALREADY. Okay?

        1. Vector

          Re: Wish I could give you more upvotes

          "This is like some bad horror movie where the monster just WON'T DIE"

          It's not like a horror movie. Monsters in horror movies are scary. This is more like "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes."

          Maybe someone should walk into SCO's offices with a copy of Puberty Love.

    2. yet_another_wumpus

      Re: SCO is not paying is Lawyers

      That's the rub. Best guess is that the owners of the lawsuit (SCO rump or whatever) will force Boies and Partners to cough up some money to settle (or at least drop the lawsuit). Presumably it is essentially a game of chicken between SCO rump and Boies, with the possibility of the Judge giving up on the whole thing and throwing everyone out (although I'm seeing issue in expecting Boies doing the work they contracted for. I really doubt you can sanction them for their *own* costs, which is what they deserve).

      IBM has already won, and has everything it could ask for. The whole point is if SCO Rump can hustle anything out of Boies.

  4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    A commentard here pointed out last time round that the terms of that judgement appeared to be clearing a way for an appeal so this should be no surprise.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IIRC Judge Nuffer is _the_ authority on US copyright law.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Also, he DOES HAVE Nominative Determinism for this case.

  6. Nigel 11

    Why can't IBM finish them?

    Hasn't IBM won any damages? If they have, then why can't they send in the bailiffs to sieze absolutely everything that the bankrupt SCO owns in lieu of payment -- most especially its claimed intellectual property rights? Since IBM won't be pursuing legal action against itself, that would be the absolute end of this farce.

    I'm guessing that USA law is broken in ways that we cannot even begin to imagine.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Why can't IBM finish them?

      SCO has NO assets apart from the promise of this case reaping billions and billions in damages.

      It has long past the time for IBM to get the assets of this moribund company.

      IMHO, it is time to go after the Officers of the company but even that might be too late.

      Perhaps the might still be wanting IBM to say, here take this {few million} and go away and don't ever come back but IBM is being a stubborn beast as they know that have done no wrong here.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Why can't IBM finish them?

        "It has long past the time for IBM to get the assets of this moribund company."

        It would be amusing if IBM did acquire SCO - and then opensourced all the email and logic used for the SCO litigation, More amusing even, than the Halloween memos.

      2. Dr Dan Holdsworth

        Re: Why can't IBM finish them?

        No, SCO still apparently owns some intellectual property that it claims is worth something. As the previous comments said, IBM would be within its rights to demand that this be handed over in lieu of money, at which point SCO is completely dead.

    2. Paul Shirley

      Re: Why can't IBM finish them?

      ... SCO declared bankruptcy, that protects them from most attempts at debt recovery. Neither the bk judge or trustee seem interested in letting them be squashed.

      Also: the only remaining asset is the lawsuit, it's more important to IBM to win that than simply close it down

    3. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Why can't IBM finish them?

      I think IBM want to send a message.

      Not just "we will fight you".

      We will fight you. And run you into the ground. And cost every penny that you have, and more. And force you out of the industry. And destroy the remnants. And invalidate your patents. And prove your copyrights mean nothing. And make you disgrace yourself in court trying to chase it. And then bleed the money from your lawyers (fixed price deal in this case!). Until they're taken down too. And take you so far out that you won't even see your customers ever again. And then go after your directors. And so on.

      It's not just a case of "we want our money", IBM can't care about that now. They care about not having a repeat. If someone buys up the remnants of SCO and they ever claim against IBM again, you will have to fight against lawful precedents that they've deliberately established to prove what you hold is worthless. It's not just a case of "we'll just settle for a few thousand". They'll spend ten times that making sure that you're holding no power over them whatsoever.

      Plus, it's training for their lawyers, and a warning to their competitors, and basis for chasing individuals (not just the company) later if they feel like it.

      If SCO hadn't been greedy and gone straight-to-press on their IBM-bashing, they could probably have got a quick, easy settlement and still be in business. But they didn't and now they're dust with a reputation for being dust and only heard of for trying to throw mud at IBM and coming a cropper. I think that's a win in IBM's favour and if you have a few billion lying around, the costs of handing that off to your legal department and the occasional expensive fancy lawyer are just a pittance.

    4. Shaha Alam

      Re: Why can't IBM finish them?

      because someone on the IBM side is financially benefiting from this farce.

      search your feelings. you know this to be true.

      *jedi hand wave*

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        There's a reason IBM's legal team is sometimes referred to as the Nazgul

        The Apple and Samsung legal teams are trifling amateurs by comparison, IBM's lawyers play for keeps!

  7. AndrewDu

    Don't SCO know that there are cases of IBM lawyers who've worked their whole careers on one case?

    Do they really think they're going to get anywhere?

    Hard to believe.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward




    fill in)

  9. TeeCee Gold badge

    Jam yesterday, jam tomorrow........

    .... its only asset is the claims it has against IBM. The company's still capable of paying its lawyers....

    Probably not. My guess would be that the remains of SCO is totally in hock to its lawyers, who won't get paid unless they win. As soon as they admit defeat, they'll have to take a monumental writedown and quite possibly go bust[1] themselves. As long as they keep the case on life support they can allocate the costs of doing so to this fictional, future bonanza, like a donkey following a carrot on a stick.

    Of course the donkey's probably rather more smart than SCO's lawyers, but the analogy still holds.....

    [1] Or at least get reduced to driving landfill GM or Ford cars like the proles.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Jam yesterday, jam tomorrow........

      Yes, yes, yes, but someone has to come up with the cash flow.

      Promises to have/make "someone" pay in the future don't fill the plate NOW (as governments all over the world are going to find out soon btw.)

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Jam yesterday, jam tomorrow........

      The Lawyer daft enough to agree to represent The SCO Group all the way to the supreme court in return for some shares in TSG is called David Boies. I have heard is does have a brain, even though he could not win a legal argument against a gardener. He must have caught on quite quickly because he shuffled the case off to some minions very early on. The minions have done really well considering they had no evidence to work with.

      TSG is run by a bankruptcy trustee. The only way I know that Boies Schiller Flexner can escape before appealing to SCOTUS is to convince the trustee to let them off. Clearly it is cheaper to continue to fart about in Judge Nuffer's court. They should get some legal advice about splitting BSF into the profitable parts and the bit stuck with the TSG/IBM litigation, then bankrupt the useless bit. Perhaps, for reasons of judicial efficiency, they could get Judge Gross to assign the same trustee.

      1. Doctor Evil

        Re: Jam yesterday, jam tomorrow........

        ... except that it wasn't a shares deal.

        BSF received HUGE sums by wire transfer to carry on this "litigation" essentially in perpetuo. IIRC, it was about US$31 million in total.

        Not so daft.

        1. hillden

          entity association..

          North Korea is the attack dog of China

          just as:

          Sco is the attack dog of ???

    3. Richard Plinston

      Re: Jam yesterday, jam tomorrow........

      > My guess would be that the remains of SCO is totally in hock to its lawyers, who won't get paid unless they win. As soon as they admit defeat, they'll have to take a monumental writedown and quite possibly go bust[1] themselves.

      You don't have to guess, Google can be your friend.

      TSCOG is not 'in hock' to the lawyers, they paid an upfront amount to persue this case. That contract is still in force and so the lawyers need to keep persuing or they will themselves be in breach and will be sued for the money that they failed to recover from IBM and the rest of the world.

  10. Schultz

    Aaah, the legal lottery...

    you have to play if you want to win!

  11. Hans 1

    Redmond NEVER gives up, another money pit for them, good!

  12. PhilipN Silver badge

    Filing an appeal without grounds being stated

    Does not cost much. A junior clerk could do it.

    Now the grounds of appeal - that comes later and needs more than half a brain cell.

    But this kind of protective manoeuvre is typical - file notice of appeal before the deadline expires. Then figure out what the hell you do next. At least the door is kept open.

  13. Anonymous South African Coward Bronze badge

    The Neverending Story, by Michael Ende, edited by SCO.

  14. thegroucho

    This isn't a Zombie, it is a bloodsucking Vampire!

    Why people give zombies bad name comparing them with SCO?

    If not for zombies there will be no TV series like 'The Walking Dead' and so so forth.

    Surely this must be a vampire!

    * Puts on the garlic necklace, stocks up on silver bullets, puts a few stakes on the belt and walks out in the darkness *

  15. Robert Halloran

    Let's see:

    Bandolier of rosewood stakes and a circus mallet, check.

    100 shotgun rounds of silver flake & garlic powder, check.

    Super Soaker filled with holy water, check.

    Sterling silver daggers, er, letter-openers, yes that's it, tucked into the boots, check.

    Five kilos of aged garlic in a zipper baggie, check.

    Homing beacon for orbital nuke (it *is* the only way to be sure, after all), check.

    to riff on the immortal Elmer Fudd, "Be vewy vewy quiet, I'm hunting SCOndwels, he he he he"....

  16. PNGuinn
    Thumb Up

    "layers involved will appreciate as they shuffle ..."

    Class. Pure class.

    1. e^iπ+1=0

      Re: "layers involved will appreciate as they shuffle ..."

      I'm not sure how many layers a zombie has anyway.

      Maybe when they've exhausted all of their layers they collapse in a twitching heap on the ground.

  17. Kimo

    Full text of the appeal...


  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Santa Cruz Organisation (SCO) ...

    Santa Cruz Operation, IIRC.

    1. Mike 16

      Re: Santa Cruz Organisation (SCO) ...

      Would that be The Operation, the Other Operation, or the Other Other Operation?

      1. John G Imrie

        Re: Santa Cruz Organisation (SCO) ...

        Spiny Norman wants a word with you.

  19. Anonymous C0ward

    'Ello, Polly!


    Polly Parrot, wake up!


    ... and the towering genius behing all this...


  21. Richard Plinston

    NOT the Santa Cruz Organisation (SCO)

    Apart from NOT being the "Santa Cruz Organisation (SCO)" it is also NOT the 'Santa Cruz Operation' which was the original 'SCO'. SCO sold their Unix business (not Unix itself) to Caldera who renamed themselves "The SCO Group".

    The litigation rights arising (allegedly) from TSCOG have been onsold to some other scumbags who are the ones raising this appeal.

    1. Anonymous C0ward

      Re: NOT the Santa Cruz Organisation (SCO)

      The same Caldera who used to have their own Linux distro? So haven't they already shot themselves in the foot with a bazooka?

  22. Daniel Snowden

    Isn't it a little early for April fools jokes... this is a joke... right?

  23. Brian Souder 1

    Why hasn't IBM or Someone just bought them outright?

    I am surprised IBM or someone have not just rolled in and do a hostile take over of SCO. Put it to bed already.

    1. cd

      Re: Why hasn't IBM or Someone just bought them outright?

      Suppose SCO outlives IBM?

  24. kain preacher

    Looks like the only way to put SCO down is to carve ancient ruines into the corps binding it in to a 4th dimensional prison.

  25. Morrie Wyatt

    Follow the Australian example.

    Considering the history and expense already involved in this case:

    Require TSCOG to deposit a security bond with the court before proceeding with the appeal process.

    Enough to cover court costs, and the total value of IBM's counterclaims (with triple damages of course) in the event that TSCOG lose on appeal.

    I'm sure that the Court can set the bond at a suitable value.

    And if TSCOG do win anything on appeal, the bond is to be distributed among TSCOG's outstanding bankruptcy creditors. (Along with a very serious slapping for not having used this money for paying outstanding creditors in the first place.)

    If you can't afford to lose, don't play.

    (Cheques, Credit Cards, Promissory Notes, TSCOG Stock Certificates, IOU's and lotto tickets not accepted. Strictly cash or equivalents.)

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