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Caldera Government The Courts The Almighty Buck Novell Operating Systems Software Unix News Linux

SCO v. Novell Goes to Trial Today In Utah 134

Posted by timothy
from the smell-of-napalm-in-the-morning dept.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "The day many have been waiting for has finally arrived, the day SCO gets torn apart in court by Novell. Each side gets 10 hours, and Novell managed to get them to agree to a stipulation (PDF) that should make things go a lot faster. With any luck, we will soon have an official ruling that SCO does not own much of anything and then we just have to wait for SCO to exhaust its appeals. This would've been over a long time ago, but SCO filed for bankruptcy on the eve of trial, stopping the clock. One can only wonder what trick they will try to pull this time."
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SCO v. Novell Goes to Trial Today In Utah

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  • by ozamosi (615254) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @07:44AM (#23236742) Homepage
    SCO dies, Microsoft's revenue is down, and even the weather is nice.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    OS X is Unix, but Linux is not Unix! That does not make any sense!
  • Why? After having seen one decision after another AGAINST SCO, how anything resembling investment money still flowing to SCO? Are these investors so over-powered with greed that they are failing to use common sense? Why? Why? Why? Somebody with no common sense needs to explain this to me.
    • but George H. W. Bush is on a speaking engagement today. Try back tomorrow.
    • by conureman (748753)
      "Somebody with no common sense needs to explain this to me."
      That would be me, but I can't help you either.
      Fees will be generated.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Jason Levine (196982)
      Maybe it's like those folks who fall for the Nigerian schemes. Once you're in you can either admit that you've been scammed and have lost thousands of dollars or you can ignore all of the blaring warning signs, press on, and construct an elaborate fantasy world to live in where friendly Nigerian e-mailers will be shipping you your pile of cash any day now. The investors, instead of cutting their losses and moving on, are just hoping against hope that some magical evidence fairy will visit SCO overnight, l
      • by Ngarrang (1023425)
        Okay, so it is like Scientology. Got it.
        • Except without the DC-8s and volcanos. I'm pretty sure Xenu is still involved with it somehow though.
      • by falsified (638041)
        Maybe. But I still think something fishy is going on here. Investors (good and bad ones) lose money on what turn out to be bad investments all the time - they don't sulk like the amateurs who fall for spam schemes. And really, at the initial onset I could see it making sense to buy some SCO stock. Most major corporations pay money to make lawsuits like this just go away. Even if there's only a 10% shot at it, the rise on stock afterwards may be worth it. Now it's just weird. I hate bashing Microsoft just fo
        • by gmack (197796)
          Because quite often hedge fund managers don't care whether each individual investment will make money. If I loan money to SCO I can tell my investors the funds is now grown by the inflated value on paper that SCO agreed to and the bigger numbers brings more investors and hopefully by the time SCO tanks I'll have made the money back elsewhere.

          Short sighted? Yep. Evil conspiracy? Not so much.
          • by falsified (638041)
            That's true, but why keep coming back? Surely nobody out there has realistic expectations of gain here.
            • by gmack (197796)
              Because there is a finite number of people who need money and are capable of paying it back. As that pool is used up they increasingly need to look for more risky ventures to inflate the value of their portfolio.

              It's the same thing with bank loans. Right now I can't walk into the bank without them trying to sell me on some way they can loan me money. But for the most part people with good credit ratings have borrowed as much as they intend to. The result is that the banks loaned money to people with mor
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Ahem, what [yahoo.com] money [yahoo.com]? All the trades this year seem to be $50,000 and they're going both directions.

      Maybe it is something as simple as assets being sold off, generating income for the defunct company? I don't know anything about trading in bankrupt companies, but this was the first idea that I thought of. The other possibility that crossed my mind is shady stock market tricks being played.
      • Ahem, what [yahoo.com] money [yahoo.com]? All the trades this year seem to be $50,000 and they're going both directions.

        Maybe it is something as simple as assets being sold off, generating income for the defunct company? I don't know anything about trading in bankrupt companies, but this was the first idea that I thought of. The other possibility that crossed my mind is shady stock market tricks being played.

        Maybe it's a slightly more sophisticated pump-and-dump?

        If I buy at .10 and sell at .13 (which someone did a few days ago) I make 30% in three hours.... Not a bad return, and someone has been doing that every since the first of the year....

        • Yeah but the volumes are tiiiiiiny and you just as easily risk buying at .10 and selling at .08, losing 20% in 3 hours. You can play the penny stock game, but I wouldn't bet more than a few thousand at a time. You'd probably have similar returns playing red or black streaks at the roulette tables in Vegas.
    • by qortra (591818) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @08:09AM (#23236944)

      how anything resembling investment money still flowing
      If it doesn't look like investment money, then perhaps it isn't. There are a lot of non-investment related reasons that one might want to give money to SCO. Pro-lawyer, pro-Microsoft, pro-time-wasting, and pro-evil groups are probably all interested in seeing SCO continue its lawsuits. I'm not necessarily saying that this is the case here, but it couldn't hurt to check out Stephen Norris Capital Partners: maybe they are infusing SCO with money on behalf of some [evil] third party.
    • by johannesg (664142) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @08:18AM (#23237010)
      Your confusion is easily explained by stepping back and inspecting your premise. That premise is that people pour money into SCO with the expectation of profit through sales and licensing. In that context there is no sense in pouring more money into them.

      Assuming that those investors are not total nitwits, we must therefore look for another premise. I propose this one: "people pour money into SCO with the expectation of profit through delay of Linux take up". You see, that makes sense: SCO casts a shadow of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt over all things Linux (and by extension, over all things Open Source). That shadow is highly beneficial to some parties, since Linux represents a serious threat to their business model.

      • by ittybad (896498)
        As a former investment advisor, there are many reasons why someone would invest in a failing company or a company that is near-death. The chief reason is to have a loss; it favorably affects your tax situation and can offset gains.
        • I've NEVER understood that. Why throw money down the toilet just to reduce the amount of taxes you pay on your income? If I have $100 that I invest for a loss, and loose it all, isn't that worse that paying $90 in taxes on the $100 and keeping $10?
          • by KZigurs (638781)
            Hah! Sometimes it works out that losing 100 means you save 130 in taxes, net profit - 30.
            sometimes you want to avoid a spotlight by overperforming.
            sometimes there are specific targets that need to be achieved (think EOFY spending to prevent budget cuts)
            sometimes there are brackets you need to stay within to qualify for something (i.e. in UK a lot of people are preferring to keep their salaries under max-tax bracket since tax credits they qualify for in that way more than pays back)
            sometimes by losing in one
    • by mlwmohawk (801821)
      After having seen one decision after another AGAINST SCO, how anything resembling investment money still flowing to SCO

      What a lot of people don't understand is the amount of wealth the wealthy now have. Seriously, it is sickening how rich the rich have become.

      $10 million, $100 million, is nothing to some of the people with a vested interest in eliminating Linux.

      There is no ROI from SCO's software, but the on-going court battle drains money from Novell, BM, and still creates fear.

      While no one seriously think
    • No one has invested in them in years. They have floated several "rescue" schemes since they filed fo Ch. 11 bankruptcy last year but all have fallen through at the last minute.
    • investments for income tax purposes BUT they're not allowed to just set fire to some money (that's illegal.)

      So they "invest" it in sure-fire money losers.

      Derle is like Bush in that respect. He can take any investor onto a road mined with IEDs.
  • by Oxy the moron (770724) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @07:47AM (#23236782)

    I doubt I have ever seen the random /. quote ever be more appropriate:
    "If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error."

    Yeah, that about sums it up.

    • by ashmon (592459)
      Heh. My random quote came up thusly:

      Would you people stop playing these stupid games?!?!?!!!!
  • by the saltydog (450856) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @08:00AM (#23236862) Homepage
    That's what *I'm* waiting for.

    They called me a criminal for using Linux.

    I'm calling them criminals for running an extortion/stock pump and dump/fraud scheme.

    They were wrong. I'm not. When will the SEC finally put these all hat, no cattle rustlers behind bars?

    Oh, and by the way, if you had the UNIX copyrights, why did you insist on asking Novell for them - repeatedly?

    Bunch of lying scumbag bastard pricks - every single supporter of this fiaSCO. (Yes, that includes you, too, Rudy de Haas. Fucking asshat.)
    • by ajs (35943)
      Just remember one key phrase: litigation risk. This is the risk that you run, given that all the facts are on your side, that you'll lose in court for no predictable reason. Most lawyers like to ballpark this number around 10-20%.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        ...and despite the fact that this is going on in a federal court, the fact that it's happening in Utah means that the side that wins will be the one that has the greatest potential for circulating the largest amount of dollars within the state's economy as a result of the trial's outcome. And today, that party would be Novell.
    • Yes, that includes you, too, Rudy de Haas

      For those who may not know, Rudy De Haas is the real name of "Paul Murphy", who has written quite a few heavily-anti-Linux biased articles [zdnet.com] regarding this whole fiaSCO. Since he has written some pro-Linux articles as well (but never about the SCO cases), one has to seriously wonder whether or not Mr. de Haas is a paid schill.

  • Digging up Johnny Cochran might do it.
    • Digging up Johnny Cochran might do it.
      What, zombie lawyers? There's a scary thought for you.
      "Pursuant to Article iii, subsection 9a, we hereby order a complete seizure of all cranial assets to be delivered forthwith"

  • Fuck SCO for being SCO. Fuck Novell for their bullshit Microsoft patent deals.

    • by jimmypw (895344)
      you tell them big man! Seriously though SCO can fuck off we all know unix is owned by the starbucks corporation.
      • That'd be great actually; they could give away promotional Unix licenses with the purchase of a large cup of coffee.
        • by Digi-John (692918)
          Good God man, the prices for Unix licenses would be EXTORTIONATE! I have to pay for a large Starbucks coffee before I can get a Unix license? Jesus, I'll be broke soon.
  • The SCO story was much more fun back when we still didn't know how it would end up.
    • by iainl (136759)
      Yeah, sorry about that. I should have used the spoiler tags.

      I won't mention the whole Microsoft/Yahoo thing, then.
    • And no, "corporate shell gets disassembled by cheated creditors while the criminals in charge of it get away" is not a happy ending. That's an improvement over the ridiculous threats they were making to scare off Linux interest and lure in Microsoft "investment" money, but a real happy ending for the SCO scammers would involve more pitchforks and fire.
  • "Ladies and Gentleman of the supposed court, I know my clients lawsuit has been rendered ashes by you fine people; but you see here this is Chewbacca..."
    • "Ladies and Gentleman of the supposed court, I know my clients lawsuit has been rendered ashes by you fine people; but you see here this is Chewbacca..."
      "Damn, Johnny Cochran is dead. Now what will we do?"
      -- Darl McBride
  • This gives SCO executives a day to get the computers and office furniture out of the building before the bank shows up to reposess everything! On top of which, even while they abscond with possibly hundreds of dollars worth of inventory, they get to claim a multi-million dollar tax loss on their income taxes this year.

    Yes, they're bastards. Anybody still convinced that the executroids at SCO actually lost anything - and don't say "their self-respect", because obviously . . .

  • Stipulations happen in every trial. Nothing out of the ordinary there. And if you read it, all it concerns is procedural aspects of the trial.
  • Back when I first heard that SCO was taking on IBM claiming IP and patent infringement and what-have-you, I knew for certain they'd just cut their own throat (assuming the didn't change tack at some point - and they haven't).

    I would have loved to short their stock then, but alas I was in grad school and didn't have the cash available. Too bad. Based on a rough guess of when that was, and todays quote of $0.18 per share for SCOX, I'd have made about ten bucks a share.

  • by qazwart (261667) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @09:16AM (#23237662) Homepage
    Interesting is in this trial SCO is the defendant and Novell is the claimant. I thought it was SCO who is suing everyone.

    It looks like via the stipulation and the way the trial is organized that SCO expects to lose. It appears that Novell simply wants to assert its claim to UnixWare and SCO is ready to close up shop. That's why the stipulation and the short trial and the fact that SCO isn't going to call up witnesses.
    • by CmdrGravy (645153)
      Thats because SCO have no claims left and are only there to answer Novells counterclaims.
    • All of SCO's claims were eliminated pre-trial via findings of fact and stuff. Therefore, all this trial consists of is Novell's counter-claims.
    • Interesting is in this trial SCO is the defendant and Novell is the claimant. I thought it was SCO who is suing everyone.
      Afaict it is quite normal to countersue when you get sued. Especially when the organisation suing you is a company that likes to lie about you in public.

    • It's not so much that SCO had a choice here.

      You're right, SCO was suing everyone. But In SCO v Novell, ALL of SCOs claims were dismissed by summary judgement. All that's left for trial are Novells counterclaims. Thus, SCO = defendant.

      Wiser heads than mine claim to be puzzled by the lack of witnesses on SCO's side (to say "it was really all about UNIXWARE"), so I hesitate to speculate on SCO's plans.
  • by IronClad (114176) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @09:27AM (#23237766) Homepage
    The summary is a little misleading. The judge *already* ruled that SCO Group does not own much of anything, including the UNIX SYSV copyrights, in a summary judgment motion last year.

    The biggest issue remaining to be resolved by this trial is how much of the "license" monies given to SCO Group by Microsoft and SUN were for that which SCO Group had no right to license (SYSV), and how much was for SCO Group's product. Given the non-dizzying speed at which SCO's products have been improved and maintained, Novell argues that the vast majority of those millions was due to Novell.

    In the mean time it has been entertaining to read the SCO Group's arguments for why they should keep the money to which they have no right, or at least how they should not be required to turn the swag over to Novell. As if our opinion of them could have previously been lower.
    • Mod this up, this is exactly what happened (August 2007).
    • The biggest issue remaining to be resolved by this trial is how much of the "license" monies given to SCO Group by Microsoft and SUN were for that which SCO Group had no right to license (SYSV), and how much was for SCO Group's product.

      Actually, SCO has the right to license Unix on behalf of Novell; however, they have to give 100% of all revenue to Novell as per their agreement. Novell remits 5% to SCO for their trouble. SCO does not have the right to create new types of licenses (which it appeared to do

    • by njcoder (657816)

      he biggest issue remaining to be resolved by this trial is how much of the "license" monies given to SCO Group by Microsoft and SUN were for that which SCO Group had no right to license (SYSV), and how much was for SCO Group's product. Given the non-dizzying speed at which SCO's products have been improved and maintained, Novell argues that the vast majority of those millions was due to Novell.

      Novell made an agreement where SCO would be the licensing agent for SYSV Unix. For their services, SCO would get 5% of the licensing fees. Novell is claiming that SCO should have sent 100% of the fees to Novell and Novell would send back 5%. SCO did not send any of the money to Novell according to Novell's claim.

      What would be interesting to see if after all this, will SCO sue Novell over the initial licensing deal because Novell didn't give SCO the necessary authority to properly defend licensing claim

      • or their services, SCO would get 5% of the licensing fees. Novell is claiming that SCO should have sent 100% of the fees to Novell and Novell would send back 5%.

        And if you've ever read the APA, you'd see that this is exactly what is required by SCO - to remit 1000% of the payments to Novell, and then Novell would return 5% as a fee for SCO handling the account.

        Note also that SCO has refused to comply with the section of the APA requiring that SCO allow audits of their Unix accounts, to determine just exac

        • by njcoder (657816)

          And if you've ever read the APA, you'd see that this is exactly what is required by SCO - to remit 1000% of the payments to Novell, and then Novell would return 5% as a fee for SCO handling the account.
          Uhm... that's exactly what I said. (I'm assuming you meant 100% not 1000%.) The person I was replying to said "SCO Group had no right to license (SYSV)" which is obviously not the case.
  • Anyone got any ideas what's gonna happen when SCO are nothing but a bad smell? Are we gonna see other unices opened up? I'd like to have Irix on laptop... just 'cos I can (er... if I can, that is).
  • by John Hasler (414242) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @10:04AM (#23238238) Homepage
    > With any luck, we will soon have an official ruling that SCO does not own much of
    > anything...

    Kimball ruled that SCO does not own the SysV copyrights last year. This trial is about how much of Novell's money SCO pocketed when they sold SysV licenses to Sun and Microsoft without Novell's permission. The case will then go back to the bankruptcy court where Judge Gross will decide what to do about it. Note that this trial is about how much of Novell's money SCO took, not whether or not they did so. The latter has already been decided.

    If Kimball awards more than a small fraction of the $37M maximum (likely) it is hard to see how SCO can avoid Ch. 7 liquidation.
    • You are exactly right. I'd just like to add that the bankruptcy court lifted the automatic stay thus allowing the Novell case to go forward for the sole purpose of liquidating Novell's claim. All other issues regarding Novell's claim have been reserved by the bankruptcy court. In particular, the issue of whether SCO held the licensing revenue in trust for Novell is going to be solely determined by the bankruptcy court. If Novell loses the trust argument, they'll just be another general unsecured creditor an
  • Does SCO ask to convert to Chapter 7 next Monday or Not?

    My guess is that they will, because converting to Chapter 7 following the ruling against them shows "good faith" and keeps Darl and Co. out of jail.
  • "oh, gee, your Honor, but we can't possibly tell you how important this is, because the details are covered in national security directives. you'll just have to trust us."

    at which point the judge should pull out a gun and shoot 'em.
  • Is anyone live-blogging the trial?

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