SCO no longer matters

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

Nov. 28, 2006

You may have noticed that I don't cover news about the never-ending SCO vs. IBM [,1874,1252499,00.asp ], Linux, Novell, et al much anymore. There's a reason for that: SCO doesn't matter anymore.

Oh, it's not like there's no news coming out of the courtrooms anymore. There is.

For example, there was a recent story about SCO accusing IBM of destroying evidence [ ] by "[directing] 'dozens' of its Linux developers within its LTC [Linux Technology Center] and at least 10 of its Linux developers outside... to delete the AIX and/or Dynix source code from their computers."

Earlier in November, Groklaw published Ransom Love's declaration in the case. Love, founder and former CEO of Caldera, the company that became the modern SCO, said, in brief, that SCO has nothing [ ] to its Linux IP (intellectual property) claims.

Groklaw editor Pamela Jones wrote, "Not only does he testify that all of the allegedly infringing material was in Caldera Linux, that Caldera knew it was in there, that it wanted it in there in some cases, and that the company knowingly distributed the files in its Linux products and from its websites, including the LiS Streams module, he explains very clearly to the court that even after Caldera acquired Santa Cruz's UNIX assets, Caldera remained, while he was CEO, 'always first and foremost a Linux company dedicated to the promotion and development of Linux.'"

This is all fine, good stuff, and it certainly deserved reporting. But, it's also old news. I reported on the SCO claim about IBM destroying evidence [ ] back when it happened.

And, as for Ransom Love saying there was nothing to SCO's IP claims... well, he pretty much told me that three years ago in an eWEEK interview [,1895,1492264,00.asp ]. Of course, it's different having that spelled out in court in painful detail, but anyone who has been paying attention has known for years that SCO didn't have any IP claims [ ] that were worth a damn.

Of course, I, and others like Pamela Jones, have been saying that since day one.

Today, over three years, later and several hundred millions down the lawyer rat-hole, we have what exactly? There's nothing but a rehashing of old facts and disproven accusations, and a failed attempt by SCO's financial backers [ ] -- Sun, in its pre-pro-open-source days, and Microsoft -- to slow Linux down.

Following SCO's cases now is like watching a snake with a broken back slowly die. If you want to follow the cases' last gory moments in painful detail, Groklaw is there both for you and me. Groklaw, meanwhile, has become the number one legal open-source news site, and not just the go-to site for SCO courtroom news.

As for me, though, except for the biggest of developments, like Novell's novel attempt to knockout SCO [ ] by going for its Microsoft-based funding, and the day I get to write, "The End" to SCO's litigation tales, I won't be reporting much on SCO.

You see, the thrashing isn't done yet, but SCO is.

Copyright 2006