SCO Update

Last week SCO faced the day they had tried to avoid when a ruling was finally handed down in the SCO vs Novell case. While they did not lose as much money as they feared the ruling means that they do not own the rights they are claiming too in their case against IBM. I am sure that there will be a round or two of appeals before this all dies a death and there is still the possibility of new life in this sorry tale.

This would not be my preffered way for the SCO saga to end as it does not categorically state that Linux is clear, it rules that SCO does not own the rights to make the claim itself. The possible moves SCO could make from here include trying to swing some of the claims towards Unixware which it owns more completely however this is remote. SCO convinced the court that UnixWare should be considered the latest version of Unix, which protected them from a much larger judgement and having to pay continual royalties to Novell. The evidence would suggest that this argument may not hold up to more detailed scrutiny.

The more probably outcome will come from SCO’s bankruptcy case. The real chance is that SCO will end up being broken up and sold. If this happens the risk is that the rights that SCO do own and the litigation against IBM which is currently on hold will be brought back to life. If that happens we will need to rely on IBM to finalise the litigation rather than settling. Settling would create a negative precedent for Linux rather than close the issue forever.

SCO seems about to become a footnote in IT history, leaving with a whimper rather than a bang. I can’t say it hasn’t been entertaining.