back to article Yep, the 'Who owns Linux?' case is back from the dead

It seemed like a classic April The First spoof. Indeed, some tech titles had it on their lists of best pranks of the day. But it's true: the software zombie court case to end all zombie software court cases has woken from its slumber. Nearly 19 years after it first lurched from the crypt, SCO v The World Of Linux is back, and it …

  1. Chris G

    The question of who?

    Any one of the billionaires who have a few million spare for a long shot as a bit of entertainment?

    If it paid off they could afford another Olympic sized pool to fill with filthy lucre to bathe in.

    1. Blackjack Silver badge

      Re: The question of who?

      Who else but lawsuit vultures patent trolls?

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: The question of who?

      Oracle hoping to get us useful precedent or two to quote in the Java case?

      1. rnturn

        Re: The question of who?

        A little late for that. Who does Oracle appeal to now that The Supremes have ruled in Google's favor.

        1. JimboSmith Silver badge

          Re: The question of who?

          A little late for that. Who does Oracle appeal to now that The Supremes have ruled in Google's favor.

          Diana Ross?

          Mine's the one with the polka dot mask in

          1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

            Re: The question of who?

            Stop in the name of Linux

            Before you break your bank

            1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

              Re: The question of who?

              Note to self: Don't read commentards' comments with a mouth full of tea.

              On the plus side, it does rinse the nasal passages

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Re: The question of how much?

      What I'd like to know is how much they paid the bankruptcy court for the IP? And why IBM or Microsoft didn't buy it themselves for what would be, to them, chump change?

      1. Youngone Silver badge

        Re: The question of how much?

        According to Wikipedia: "On April 9, 2010 McBride purchased the SCO Mobility intellectual property from The SCO Group for $100,000" whatever that means.

        McBride has however declared bankruptcy.

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge

          Re: The question of how much?

          SCOs intellectual property, being "re-gifted" like an ugly tie

          If they value it high enough, it might even help out with the next bankruptcy settlement...

    4. bazza Silver badge

      Re: The question of who?

      I reckon it's The Register. They want a holiday and have come up with a scheme to regurgitate a ton of copy, search replace SCO...

  2. nematoad Silver badge


    Ah, I wonder if PJ will get her Red Dress out again.

    This is getting ridiclous.

    More FUD, more money wasted and the only people getting anything out of this are the lawyers.

    Groklaw, we need you now!

    1. Chronos

      Re: What?

      I doubt it. Just load up the old site in the Wayback machine and sync it to the start of the case. As idiocy is defined as trying to do the same thing the same way and expecting a different outcome, I fully expect the transcripts to be very, very close.

      Yet it could provide some entertainment for those who missed the last round of fuckwittery. errno.h, anyone? Because of course you'd reinvent the wheel and completely fsck up error parsing on a POSIX-compliant operating system running cross-platform code, wouldn't you?

      1. UCAP Silver badge

        My favorite screw-up

        The kernel memory allocator - kmalloc(). SCO presented it as the grand example of copying from Unix; they did not realise that (a) the code they were presenting came from BSD Unix, and hence could be freely used in Linux if they wanted, and (b) it had been replaced in by a more efficient implementation some time before.

        1. Chronos
          Thumb Up

          Re: My favorite screw-up

          The best entertainment someone else's money could buy at the time. That was a howler, especially given that 4.4BSD-Lite had already been through its own SCO moment, albeit rather more seriously given the Deathstar's power, and was specifically tailored to nullify this sort of challenge. Thanks for reminding me. I needed a chuckle today.

        2. fishman

          Re: My favorite screw-up

          And SCO had stripped out the atributions to that BSD code - in violation of the terms of use.

      2. mevets

        Re: What?

        Is quantum mechanics idiocy? I always thought its defining property was doing the same thing the same way and getting a different outcomes.

        1. Chronos

          Re: What?

          Context, sir. Quantum mechanics, by its very nature or lack thereof, suspends the usual norms including those of when to apply the clue-bat.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: What?

            As this quote is normally attributed to Einstein my guess would be that it was intended as a disparagement of quantum mechanics.

            1. mevets

              Re: What?

              Attributed to is the key point. It is an old motivation speaker trick to lull your audience into complacency. Every time I hear it, I head straight for the door.

              1. stuartnz
                Thumb Up

                Re: What?

                In the spirit of this zombie lawsuit, Abe Lincoln should be suing Einstein for stealing his quote.

                1. mevets

                  Re: What?


            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What?

              The almost certainly misattributed quote is "Insanity is doing the same things and expecting different results" which would seem to be almost the negation of "Practice makes perfect." Interestingly, I don't think I've ever heard it [mis]quoted by anyone I regard as particularly good at anything, but that may be a coincidence ...

              The original quote may have been "One definition of insanity may be repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results" and we just lost a bit along the way. A bit like people saying "this system runs like a dog" - they've left out the [three-legged] bit but we all understand it to mean really slow, even though the fact of the matter is that almost anybody who works in IT would have trouble outrunning a moderately fit spaniel. In fact, I'm not that confident I'd beat a three-legged one, tbh ...

        2. Joe W Silver badge

          Re: What?

          Nope. Once the outcome is clear (the state has collapsed) you won't get a diffferent result. But the QM lectures I attended were the better part of two decades ago...

        3. FIA Silver badge

          Re: What?

          Is quantum mechanics idiocy? I always thought its defining property was doing the same thing the same way and getting a different outcomes.

          How do you know you're doing the same thing?

          1. mevets

            Re: What?

            yeah, I don't. Sad sack managers and hucksters trying to sell me the shoes on me feet keep telling me I am.

          2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

            Re: What?

            You are Werner Heisenberg AICMFP.

    2. Jamesit

      Re: What?

      It's back.

      "The site remained online through August 2020. As of November 2020, the site is unavailable.[44] As of January 2021, the site is once again available. "

      1. John G Imrie

        Re: What?

        No comments though, and you can't log in either

    3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: What?

      only people getting anything out of this are the lawyers.

      Opportunity for the lawyers to teach their protégés the old ropes and perpetuate this sort of thing. Some, if not most of the young lawyers on the case would not have been born when the first case was filed

      1. Ken 16 Silver badge

        Re: What?

        The verb is 'spawned'

  3. UCAP Silver badge

    Follow the money

    Last time round Microsoft was caught red-handed pass wodges of used fivers to SCO via intermediate cut-out organisations who turned out not to be so cut-out as Balmer thought. I cannot see the Microsoft of now repeating that mistake** given that they have adopted Linux with open claws (and been accepted by the Linux community, albeit with the odd hesitation), so the real question is - who is funding this trip into a legal Wonderland? If we can answer that we might get a clue what this is really about.

    ** Did I really say that?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Follow the money

      My guess is it will be a nation-state. There are plenty of nations that would benefit from throwing a spanner in the works of western IT companies (and to be fair, the western governments are doing what they can to keep IT innovation from challenger states limited). This is easier than finding 0-day vulnerabilities and infiltrating companies' networks to slow their innovation - just make them spend their budget on lawyers - and it's all defensible in the UN if it comes down to that. ("We bought a stake in a patent-holding company and are defending our interests, just as many western investors do").

      1. ortunk

        Re: Follow the money

        trilateral commission?

        Tin Foil Hat Anyone?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC - Re: Follow the money

        Please calm down your imagination.

      3. iron Silver badge

        Re: Follow the money

        Why would such governments harm the OS they are relying on to reduce their dependence on US-owned Microsoft? No, more likely this is a western investor who has no understanding of IT but has been bamboozled by the potential rewards.

        Has anyone seen or heard from Trump recently? Maybe he bought the remains of SCO?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Follow the money

          "Has anyone seen or heard from Trump recently? Maybe he bought the remains of SCO?"

          Mr. Trump typically operates on the supply side of bankrupt companies.

      4. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: Follow the money

        There are plenty of nations that would benefit from throwing a spanner in the works of western IT companies

        Who wins if Linux is seen as problematic? Microsoft, the second biggest western IT company. and second biggest company in the world. What's the only alternative for countries who might benefit from throwing a spanner in the works of western IT companies? Linux.

        Your post makes zero sense.

        1. NullNix

          Re: Follow the money

          Microsoft is also one of the biggest Linux-using companies in the world, and its largest single cash cow these days, Azure, runs more Linux instances than Windows.

          Microsoft attacking Linux would be shooting itself in the financial foot. This is a thing MS has never been accused of, therefore they aren't doing it. (The same thing applies to Oracle, which maintains its own Linux distro and values the ability to hack at the OS as needed. I should know, I work on it. Obvious disclaimers regarding not speaking for Oracle, having no actual idea what our lawyers are up to etc apply. I'd be extremely surprised if they were up to *this*, but of course I could be wrong.)

          1. hopkinse

            Re: Follow the money

            "Microsoft attacking Linux would be shooting itself in the financial foot. This is a thing MS has never been accused of..."

            One word - Nokia :-)

          2. TVU Silver badge

            Re: Follow the money

            I agree with you that Nadella's Microsoft won't be involved or be behind this not least because they've thrown their lot in with coexistence.

            The question then becomes who is involved and why are they doing this? I suspect it's a punt and I hope that investigative journalists expose who they are.

            Personally, and in view of the very recent Oracle vs. Google case, I don't think that they will get anywhere if this matter comes before the US Supreme Court.

      5. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: Follow the money

        A nation state? One where "greed is good" perhaps, in that case?

  4. Lon24

    Some people did pay up

    My data centre operator at the time for one. I think it was $150,000.

    Not only was the poor owner out of pocket but had to suffer the ignominy of his client base telling him what a stupid and unnecessary thing to do. Credit to him he did come back and apologise to us for paying off that load of crooks.

  5. oiseau

    A real cancer

    @Rupert: Not quite

    Today, Ubuntu for Windows is a thing cancer out to get Linux.

    ... the palace has been stormed is under siege but the penguin flag still flies high.

    There you go.



    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A real cancer

      Well fixed.

      I don't see that Microsoft have done anything to deserve the slightest amount of trust and view WSL as just another part of their usual "embrace, extend, extinguish" strategy.

      1. FIA Silver badge

        Re: A real cancer

        Considering we all work/play in one of the most rapidly advancing fields on the planet the absolute pig headed refusal that some things can NEVER EVER change fascinates me.

        MS in the 90s wanted to control the nacient internet.

        MS now have a monopoly on the desktop that no-one cares about anymore (because phones or tablets.. or something?!?) so can just quite happily ride the Office/Windows gravy train. (And the XBox gravy train is coming on strong now too).

        The incentives for the behaviour you describe don't exist (for them*) anymore; also, it has proved time and time again beneficial for them to co-operate. They learnt.

        * They do for others though. But the search and deliveries they offer are so damn convenient. :D ... oh... and <something oblique about Facebook>

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @FIA - Re: A real cancer

          I wouldn't count on that.

          Microsoft is not in the habit of working hard for nothing in return, it's not in the Capitalist mentality. The fact that we don't see an evident reason doesn't necessarily mean they have changed. There are not many Linux users in the world but extracting a monthly payment from them would still be welcome. Imposing monthly subscriptions on everything that is not a phone or tablet is a goal that's worth pursuing, don't you think ? Microsoft is almost there.

          More is good... all is better! - Ferengi rule of acquisition #242

          1. nematoad Silver badge

            Re: @FIA - A real cancer

            "There are not many Linux users in the world..."

            Citation required.

            How do you know how many people and organisations are running Linux?

            Not having a receipt for a sale means that it is very difficult to asses how many instances of Linux are running. And don't forget this is the kernel that powers millions of IOT appliances, set-top boxes and those running in a VM, so I suppose that if MS wanted to make money out of a licence deal there would be plenty of targets to aim at and potentially a lot of money to be gathered in.

          2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: @FIA - A real cancer

            "There are not many Linux users in the world"

            I take it you're an iPhone user.

          3. bombastic bob Silver badge

            Re: @FIA - A real cancer

            Imposing monthly subscriptions on everything that is not a phone or tablet is a goal that's worth pursuing

            Not if you are in business to SATISFY your customers instead of EXPLOITING them...

            "Imposing" things that way foments *REBELLION*. How long before software authors that targeted windows lose their market share and stop further windows development? (MS once recognized the importants of Developers, Developers after all) Nobody outside of mega-corporations is going to RENT their software, not when there are SO many alternatives, and "Imposing" would rapidly shift the market to "non-Imposing" alternatives.

            And if Linux were to become "a rental" as well, there is STILL FreeBSD!!!

        2. oiseau

          Re: A real cancer

          ... incentives for the behaviour you describe don't exist ...

          Don't be daft.


        3. Someone Else Silver badge

          Re: A real cancer

          MS in the 90s wanted to control the nacient internet.

          ...after, of course, Bill Gates loudly proclaimed that teh Interwebz were nothing but a fad....

        4. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: A real cancer- Litigation financing.

          The incentives for the behaviour you describe don't exist (for them*) anymore; also, it has proved time and time again beneficial for them to co-operate. They learnt.

          Reality is probably a lot simpler, and less conspiratorial. A lawyer* explained it to me as a 'fun' thing called litigation financing. So a law firm can package up a case to investors, and attract financing based on the prospect of winning big. So can happen with things like class action cases that have the potential of being awarded huge damages, and thus fees/contingency payments equally huge. Money from the win is then repaid to the investors, assuming there's a win. Also popular with patent cases for much the same reason.

          She thought (and I agreed) that this was a tad unethical given the lawyer is supposed to be acting on their client's best interests, not their investors. On the other hand, some class action cases can arguably be in the public interest, and class members can show harm. And if the case is vs a megacorp, very expensive to litigate. So like the article says, the IP got bought on the cheap out of bankruptcy, and it's probably taken this long to find investors gullible enough to have a punt at trying again.

          If they can win billions in damages and generous royalty rates, the SPV turns into a cash machine that could potentially generate huge revenues. If the money runs out before a ruling, they could try tapping investors for more cash, or fold the SPV and go back to chasing ambulances.

          *In which I got to do to the lawyer what lawyers are often accused of doing to their clients. But if it had gotten more serious and involved contracts, I figured she'd still have a better chance of winning in the long run.

          1. mark l 2 Silver badge

            Re: A real cancer- Litigation financing.

            Yeah i figure its some law firm who bought the rights to everything SCO and who have duped some rich 'investors' to back another court case on the promise of a big payout if they win.

            A few hundred K is not a lot to spend on buying up the SCO IP for a law firm and if they can then get some rich backers to stump up a few millions they law firm wins no matter which way the court case goes.

            1. Richard 12 Silver badge

              Re: A real cancer- Litigation financing.

              Springtime for Hitler, except there's no way for the lawyers to lose.

              What level of malpractice is required to get disbarred, anyway?

              1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                Re: A real cancer- Litigation financing.

                As I understand it (having read explanations from some lawyers), this sort of thing can become barratry – which can be grounds for disbarment and criminal charges – but is often permitted under US law. Thiel's subsidizing of Bollea v. Gawker is a famous example.

                My understanding is that a certain amount of financing from outside parties is permitted by the court system on the principle that a well-financed party in the wrong might be able to stave off justice by making it financially infeasible to sue, and this is a mechanism for plaintiffs to assemble the required resources.

        5. bombastic bob Silver badge

          Re: A real cancer

          the absolute pig headed refusal that some things can NEVER EVER change fascinates me.

          no, unfortunately, some of those things CAN change, and it's nearly always for the WORSE when they do...

          So it's more like some things should NEVER EVER change.

          If Micros~1 were serious about their 'Linux in Windows' subsystem they'd make an equivalent Wine-like subsystem to seamlessly run Windows GUI applications (both 32-bit and 64-bit) under Linux and FreeBSD, alongside X11 applications, on your Mate, Cinnamon, lxde, or other desktop. I'd pay money for that. Maybe the 'Mint' folks could help...

  6. Antron Argaiv Silver badge


    Douglas Comer and Purdue University may want a word with you...

  7. Binraider Silver badge

    Risk-and-reward. Minimal risk to SCO for undertaking this legal effort; reward: seizure of the software base of an awful lot of the world. Don't double-jeopardy laws prevent this case being re-opened?

    Any Judge with the remotest familiarity with this case should have consigned it to dead-on-arrival bin surely?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Did you read the article?

      1. Binraider Silver badge

        Yes, and my question about double jeopardy still stands. The case has already been tested in court at length; denied. Whatever happened to not being tried for the same thing, twice?

        1. Kubla Cant

          Whatever happened to not being tried for the same thing, twice?

          IANAL, but I think double jeopardy applies to crimes. This is a tort, if it's anything.

        2. lotus49

          Double jeopardy only applies to criminal law. In addition, this litigation was never resolved as SCO went bust before the case was played out so the principle of double jeopardy would not be relevant here in any case.

        3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Binraider:"The case has already been tested in court at length; denied."

          TFA:"SCO Group mostly lost"

          The key is in that word "mostly".

          1. Fred Goldstein

            They lost on everything that mattered. For one thing, they never owned Unix in the first place; that was a lie. They had purchased a master reseller license from Novell, not the ultimate ownership that they had claimed. And the stuff allegedly copied wasn't proprietary. Etc. The case was weaker than a wet sheet of toilet paper holding up a cinderblock.

            1. mevets

              What does SCO own...

              From what I have heard, they have a pretty exclusive collection of ugly fat hairy naked guys in hot tubs from the early 90s. By the time the reg's 10 minutes of how-drunk-are-you is up, there will be a newsgroup for that.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Ahhh, so the case is only *mostly* dead!

            1. NullNix

              It's a Californian Blue. Lovely plumage, look. Formerly owned by a mafia don's Organization, so look out, it might squawk out rather unfortunate, not to mention embarrassing, secrets...

            2. bombastic bob Silver badge

              and it's reason for living? "To Blathe"

              which is exactly what they seem to be doing. Call their bluff and be done with it.

              (regardless of whether teh intarwebs believes that 'blathe' is an actual verb meaning 'bluff')

              1. alisonken1

                Obviously, there are multiple people that either forgot or don't know Miracle Max.

        4. aks

          Find yourself another court.

  8. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Does the verdict on Oracle vs Google

    have any relevance on this case?

    I just wish that SCO (or whoever they are called this week) would just disappear down the sewer from whence they came and never return.

    Eat this SCO and your scumbag lawyers [see icon]

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Does the verdict on Oracle vs Google

      SCO, as was, did not come from any sewer. SCO were a perfectly respectable company selling a good small-system Unix*. It was the basis of a lot of SME on-prem business systems in the '80s, '90s & early 00s.

      However their pricing reflected a near-monopoly situation. When Linix came along they didn't have sufficient commercial nous to recognise viable competitor when they saw it. They should have adjusted their price. Not to zero but to one which reflected their quality advantage over early Linux but recognising that they were competing with free-as-in-beer in terms of functionality.

      After the ensuing debacle resulting from Linux becoming a suitable platform for running the likes of Oracle & Informix they were bought out by a business that decided that litigation was their only salvation. That's when things got awry.

      *Originally they were a reseller of Xenix but then took over development of the next generation.

      1. duncangareth

        Re: Does the verdict on Oracle vs Google

        SCO went to shit when Doug Michels sold it to Caldera. Ask any of the decent technical people who lost their jobs in favour of a bunch of suits with a pack of tort lawyers in tow.

      2. SImon Hobson Bronze badge

        Re: Does the verdict on Oracle vs Google

        Yes, SCO was a highly respected unix back in those days before self-destruction. Where I worked at the time we ran our business on, or rather, with software that ran on, a SCO Unix system. Xenix was the first Unix system I've ever worked with, and what I learned on that, plus OpenServer later on has stood me in good stead for the last couple of decades.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shaking the Money Tree again

    Who knows maybe something drops from it.

    That seems to be SCO's legal strategy here. SCO or whatever they call themselves these days.

    I've never heard of Xinuos until this zombie lawsuit popped up again. Is it really a thing or just some BS invented solely for the purposes of this lawsuit?

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Shaking the Money Tree again

      The other thing that might fall out of a tree when you shake it is an angry drop bear...

    2. fajensen

      Re: Shaking the Money Tree again

      Sounds like it is a hedge-fund for lawyers.

      Take in wealthy clients money, sponge it all off in fees & services, come back round again, maybe to a new bunch of suckers, when their pockets are feeling tight again!

      The last round must have paid for some kids going to Harward, maybe this is funding their spawn?

  10. TimMaher Silver badge


    I would have thought that it would have raised it’s head in this fight.


  11. aerogems Silver badge

    To The Victor Goes The Spoils

    After IBM wins this time, they should demand whatever rights SCO Group had, or whatever this new entity owns, as partial payment for legal fees, since they'll likely never get any money. After almost 30 years of this nonsense, I'm betting any judge would be happy to give it to them just to prevent another round of this nonsense.

    1. Twanky

      Re: To The Victor Goes The Spoils

      ...I'm betting any judge would be happy to give it to them [IBM] just to prevent another round of this nonsense.

      But then IBM will own Linux - and that isn't going to end it at all.

  12. rickst29

    To bad that XINUOUS is not a publicly traded company.

    I looked for a stock quotation, in order to perform ANOTHER naked short against them.

    I am a desktop Linux user, and was already a desktop Linux user at that time. Back when SCOX publicized their "proof" that MALLOC had to have been stolen from their "proprietary secret sauce", I couldnt stop laughing until after I sold a naked short on their stock at about $13.00. (I should have sold even more, because that trade WAS a nearly a sure thing). My sale was unfortunately called in a lot earlier than I wanted to maintain the position (around $5.00). I was hoping to leave it uncovered until it went to the pink sheets. SCOX did eventually end up trading that way. I made nearly my annual Salary by making that market play against them and against some greedy investors who were willing to buy the stock for its fraudulent "market valuation".

    Upon hearing this "news", the first I looked for was a XINUOUS stock quotation. But unfortunately, there ain't any such thing.

  13. vBuck

    Caldera RIP

    I can remember purchasing a copy of Caldera Linux and having a SCO Unix box on my shelf complete with the tape for installation around Y2K. I thought the eventual outcome was that Oracle owned enough of the patents/agreements that they were seen as the owner of Unix.. Caldera also went after Microsoft for DR-Dos.

  14. nijam Silver badge

    > ...any offending code could easily be removed and new, non-infringing code written instead...

    Any offending code has long since been removed and new, non-infringing code written instead. Not because of copyright or its like, but because it has been obsolete since the last millenium.

  15. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    Didn't they put a stake through its heart last time.....?

    Jeez this thing has risen from the dead more times than a hammer house of horror vampire....


    People are assuming that IBM wants the case to 'just go away'...

    ... however, although I'm just guessing, I think IBM might be quite happy to show that they'll never give in and that they'll drag the plaintiffs into bankruptcy...again....

  17. Unbelievable!

    Lawyers, a circle jerk.

    in order to become a judge, honourable member of society, you must first spend decades circulating in, and around, societal pirhanas. As a pirhana, your top desire is to be the fattest, longest living and most well spread of your species. You wont get that by being unpopular. So you fight other pirhanas at the cost of the food you devour (normies).

    It's the only modern profession i know that you can lose every judgement, and still get rich (excluding prostitution).

    As a judge, you can make decisions that set precedents that empower other pirhanas just that little bit more. and so the circle continues.

    1. Ace2 Silver badge

      Re: Lawyers, a circle jerk.

      The only reason you need a lawyer?

      Because the other guy’s got one.

      Nice business to be in.

      1. Spanners Silver badge

        Re: Lawyers, a circle jerk.

        ...Because the other guy’s got one....

        That sounds like a reason for a whole load of other antisocial behaviour including SUVs, honey traps, hit men and firearms.

    2. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

      Re: Lawyers, a circle jerk.

      And of course just about all politicians are lawyers, so this perpetuates the problem.

      The Bard had it right, it's long past time to "Kill all the lawyers!"

  18. Old Used Programmer

    How to mess with IBM

    As I recall, the received wisdom was that IBM would simply pay claims for less than $10K as not being worth fighting. Over that, and they'd call in the Nazgul to fight it. Just to keep down the spurious clams, every now and again, they *will* fight a less than $10K claim. So it's a case of...feeling lucky, punk?

  19. gerryg

    Back when it all started

    Several points really, back in the day, IIRC

    (1) The SCO doing the suing was a renamed organisation and unrelated to the Unix company

    (2) Microsoft funded the original lawsuit by $20m and Sun chipped in the same again. So that's Oracle then. If they're not involved I think we can further reduce the probability of credibility by several orders of magnitude.

    (3) Novell's death rattle was to point out they'd never sold the name Unix (something that is too easily forgotten)

    Linux was versioned somewhere in the 2.x it's now getting close to 5.12 so I wonder what's left that could possibly form the basis of a law suit.

  20. D. Evans

    How do you discover how much was paid for the SCO IP assets?

    I'm more than a little confused but the zombie rising, yet again. I thought it was an April Fool's Joke too.

    So Xinuso paid "x" for the IP assets. This must have been approved by a judge and available as an open record.

    Since Groklaw is no more, how would someone find out how much was paid for the assets? I'm curious how deep their financial hole was before they thought a solution was to dig deeper.

    This is more fun than Coronation Street after lobotomy!

  21. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    It's Christmas Time!

    For lawyers.

    Santa CruzClaus Operation

  22. packetguy

    Free Software billyclub

    This time we should just BASH these Xinuso copyright trolls into dust.

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: Free Software billyclub

      Where is the fun in that, let them retry again in another 25-30 years ;)

  23. This post has been deleted by its author

  24. Real Ale is Best


    Doesn't SCO still owe Novell (and possibly IBM) some damages awarded by the court?

    Or has that magically disappeared in the bankruptcy fairy dance?

  25. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Desperate measures

    Dear Xinuos,

    May I humbly suggest you consider hiring the bigly respected lawyer from New York, Rudy Giuliani to lead your legal team. He has recent experience in fighting to get back "stolen" things, and knows how to fight no hope cases. He's also a slick PR operator, adapt at handling press conferences in eclectic venues to garner maximum publicity.

  26. mmonroe

    I wonder by Xinous has it's headquarters in the Virgin Islands?

  27. Anonymous Coward


    I have just copyrighted these symbols:

    { } . ; , [ ] " ' ` | # ( ) - + / * ^ & = ! @ \ ~

    and by citing the International Law of Confirmed Backwardational Application aka "The Jobs Codicil" I now have all rights to everything that uses these symbols, since, well probably the Big Bang or something.

    I am not a greedy person; I am willing to accept upvotes in lieu of licence fees in perpetuity, and as a gesture of good will, I leave the colon in the public domain.

    1. Chillihead666


      Good job you didn't copyright ©.

      The universe might have imploded.

  28. DrXym

    The claim was specious at the time and it's laughable now

    Linux didn't use SCO code in any substantive way. IIRC somebody might have found a helper function with some iffy provenance. Other than that it was simple a matter of Linux implementing the same APIs to provide a kernel interface and therefore sharing some superficial similarity such as the name of headers, definitions etc.

    So it was never anything more than a shakedown and when SCO repeatedly failed and ran out of money everyone rejoiced. Any attempt to resurrect the lawsuit will fail again. It's so likely to fail that I hope IBM and other potential victims of the shakedown look to the courts to shut this BS down early as frivolous and/or meritless.

  29. xeroks

    Suitable investment for a large company

    Anyone any idea how much SCO - in its bankrupt state - have cost to buy?

    If I ran a big, big linux using company, the idea of buying SCO might be reasonable, if only to minimise the legal costs associated with this kind of action. If I had less morals, I might use the purchase and start suing the opposition.

    Hell, I daresay that I could pay linux licencing fees to my own company as part of a "tax management" scheme, and decrease my tax liabilities.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Suitable investment for a large company

      I was wondering about a crowd funded effort - but the problem is if the funding is in place/the idea gathers momentum before they go under, or even after, given that funding is available, the asking price goes up and the buggers get to trouser a lot more.

      There is always someone like Bezos who can just jump in and nab the company at the opportune moment and then take a 12 bore to it.

  30. rmstock

    Why did Linus start with Linux in the first place ?

    In the spring of 1993 Linus held a presentation at our Dutch NLLGG group gathering. At the end I asked him , why are you doing this ? You want to prevent that the Intel platform becomes fully infected with the Windows virus ? No he said, its commercial closed source UNIX which can become a real problem. You mean for instance SCO Unix ? He nodded. Now might IBM pull it off to obtain all exclusive rights and "ownership" to Linux and related open source software like Gnu Software, as Richard Stallman rightly pointed out, with only a kernel you don't have a Operating System, we are basically back to square one in 1992. So something needs to be done to secure the position Linux currently has. Some say its the GPL that has kept Linux safe, but when times change, the unthinkable can happen.

  31. RLWatkins


    For the record, when Linux first released the Linus operating system he said it was a PC port of Minix, which is in fact what it looked like.

    Does anyone know whether IBM or SCO owned, or claimed to own, Minix? Sounds to me as if it was a clean-room implementation of a POSIX-compliant OS, which means neither has a horse in that race whatever they might claim in front of a judge.

  32. Dave Howe

    Well, except...

    Way back in 2013, it was found in court that SCO didn't own ANY of the linux rights' they were owned by Novell, SCO were their agent, and were only entitled to keep 5% of the revenue (as a commission).

    If I recall from the time, Novell asked that the funds be placed in escrow, to prevent SCO spending them all on their legal case against IBM; While SCO were arguing in court that it wasn't necessary as they had plenty of funds, they were also arguing in a DIFFERENT court that they should be placed in Chapter 11 as they didn't have enough funds to cover both the Novell payment and their own legal bills.

    The Groklaw site should still be online, and has blow-by-blow coverage of how badly SCO faired in court (along with some Oracle Vs Google stuff, too)

    HOWEVER - I do also recall that Novell were bought out by a venture capital firm and basically stripped down for the parts - so its entirely possible that Novell's IP for unix could now be held by a troll interested in reviving the SCO claims, this time with an actual valid IP in hand.

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