Hold Your Nose and Then Read Forbes on SCO's Brilliance

By Pamela Jones

June 18, 2003

Forbes' Daniel Lyons [ http://www.forbes.com/2003/06/18/cz_dl_0618linux.html ] just put up an article, "What SCO Wants, SCO Gets", in which he sneeringly warns "the crunchies in the Linux community" to pay more attention to SCO's lawsuit. The article explains how the same players, Canopy principally, have successfully sued other large corporations in the past. It also lays out their financials, so you can see clearly what they stand to gain from this caper, and particularly who stands to gain the most:

"SCO is basically owned and run by The Canopy Group, a Utah firm with investments in dozens of companies. Canopy's chief executive, Ralph J. Yarro III , is chairman of SCO's board of directors and engineered the suit against Microsoft in 1996. ...The IBM lawsuit could bring a windfall to Canopy, which owns 46% of SCO. Another beneficiary could be John Wall, chief executive of Vista.com , a Redmond, Wash., company that last August struck a licensing arrangement with SCO. Wall got 800,000 shares of SCO stock in the deal and still holds 600,000, making him SCO's biggest individual shareholder after Canopy. Those shares, which were worth about $1 each when Wall made the deal, now trade above $10."

He obviously admires SCO.

However, I hope and trust that IBM's attorneys read Forbes. Or my blog. I think this article can end up Exhibit A buttressing their claim (in the opening words of their Amended Answer) that SCO is only doing this to make a killing by destroying Linux:

"In answer to the allegations of the complaint of Caldera Systems, Inc. d/b/a The SCO Group ("Caldera"), defendant International Business Machines Corporation ("IBM") by and through its attorneys, states that, contrary to Caldera's allegations, by its lawsuit, Caldera seeks to hold up the open source community (and development of Linux in particular) by improperly seeking to assert proprietary rights over important, widely used technology and impeding the use of that technology by the open source community."

One of IBM's affirmative defenses is "unclean hands" [ http://dictionary.law.com/definition2.asp?selected=2182&bold=%7C%7C%7C%7C ]. It's kind of like saying, "These plaintiffs don't deserve relief, because because they are bad themselves." Read the linked definition for more precision.

Obviously, Mr. Lyons didn't think about ending up an exhibit in a court of law, and on the wrong side, from his perspective. At a minimum, he has provided IBM with a very handy map, showing them a big X where they ought to start digging. He who laughs last, Mr. Lyons.

The Laughing Penguin by kind permission of Tiki [ http://www.oneworld.net/penguin%2520 ].

1:36:36 PM

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