Wednesday, 21 October 2009

SCO’s end is surely approaching

(By Philip Carnelley, 21 Oct 09 16:00) It was revealed this week that SCO Group’s combative CEO, Darl McBride, has been'terminated' and the CEO role 'eliminated.' Although this is not the end of the company, this further nail in SCO Group’s coffin will come as some slight relief to software developers using Unix – and particularly to IBM and Novell, both being sued by SCO.

For those who don’t know the whole tortuous story, but want to, we recommend
Wikipedia. In a nutshell, about a decade ago a company called Caldera, a Linux distributor, acquired various rights to Unix properties and changed its name to SCO Group. It then decided (back in 2003) that others were infringing IP it now owned. You can’t accuse it of timidity: it then went on to try to sue IBM for $1bn, and demanded that all Linux users should start paying license fees. It even tried to sue former customer DaimlerChrysler. SCO has not won anything yet, and a court has declared that Novell retained the rights to the disputed IP. But SCO has continued to battle on against Novell and IBM, despite going into Chapter 11 in 2007 – where it remains. Litigation is now almost its sole business.

This cloud over Linux and payments has been around for so long now most people have just got used to it, or forgotten about it. But for end-users and software developers alike an end to the story will be welcome. Ownership and licensing of Linux code and variants is complicated enough as it is.

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