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Businesses The Courts

SCO Wants To Destroy Business Records 113

Posted by samzenpus
from the just-when-you-thought-it-was-safe dept.
An anonymous reader writes "SCO, now calling itself TSG, has just filed a motion (Pdf) with the bankruptcy court in Delaware asking it to authorize 'the abandonment, disposal, and/or destruction of certain surplus, obsolete, non-core or burdensome, property, including, without limitation, shelving, convention materials, telecommunications and computer equipment, accounting and sales documents, and business records.'"
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SCO Wants To Destroy Business Records

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  • by nospam007 (722110) * on Monday February 04, 2013 @09:08AM (#42784581)

    The rent to store all those court documents must be astronomic.

    • Re:Small wonder. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 04, 2013 @09:46AM (#42784739)

      Maybe, but why should we let Microsoft dispose of the evidence that easily?

      • Re:Small wonder. (Score:5, Informative)

        by amiga3D (567632) on Monday February 04, 2013 @09:59AM (#42784839)

        I just wish someone would go ahead and pound a stake in SCO's heart and be done with them. If I never hear about those bastards again it'll be too soon.

        • The stake is already in place. This is just the thrashing around before the body finally turns to dust and blows away.

          • by gstoddart (321705)

            Sadly, as long as there's intellectual property which can be transferred to another company ... unless we see a definitive court ruling that amounts to something like "Consult Arvell v Pressdam" and a judge telling them they have to stop, this will keep coming back.

            I think we're on the 2nd or 3rd legal entity since what was actually SCO.

    • perhaps they could, like, you know, let everybody else in the world take a whack at their crap...I'm sure they could get enough volunteers, especially if Darl stood at the head of the line as a test dummy.

  • They're bankrupt (Score:5, Interesting)

    by symbolset (646467) * on Monday February 04, 2013 @09:09AM (#42784593) Homepage Journal

    They ought to let us bid on them. I bid five hundred dollars.

    I should think together we could get that number up to a substantial sum to help them be rid of these burdensome records they can no longer afford to store. Who here would chip in a bit to free SCO of this burden? I bet we could rally a sum worthy of the court taking notice, to salvage these valuable historical records from the shredder.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      I'm interested, but I'm not interested in doing the hard parts. I'll chip in some money, though.

    • by McGruber (1417641)

      They ought to let us bid on them. I bid five hundred dollars.

      I will match your five hundred dollars, so we now have a bid of $1000.

    • by Miros (734652) on Monday February 04, 2013 @09:51AM (#42784777)
      They probably couldn't do that even if they wanted to. Some of the documents likely contain business records that can't just be 'sold to the highest bidder' (imagine how bad such a scheme would be for the consumer!) The costs associated with sorting the stuff they could sell from the stuff they couldn't would likely exceed whatever you're all willing to pay for them. Then you know, plus shipping...
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Their customers have probably clicked YES in some agreement box that let them do whatever they wish with the customer data.
        As have we all clicked...

        • Businesses can't give away their rights like this. They can only do it by having someone with signing authority [duly vested by the board] show up in person and sign the legal agreement [reviewed by the corporations lawyers], which is counter-signed by the other party. Otherwise, it only binds the individual signing it.

      • by symbolset (646467) *
        PJ says it's not gonna happen. A shame.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Over at Groklaw, PJ said that they would buy them from SCO - we could have a bidding war on our hands here.

      • Why a bidding war? GP is bidding for the same purpose as Groklaw, so, Groklaw should do a Kickstarter project or something...

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      They ought to let us bid on them. I bid five hundred dollars.

      I should think together we could get that number up to a substantial sum to help them be rid of these burdensome records they can no longer afford to store. Who here would chip in a bit to free SCO of this burden? I bet we could rally a sum worthy of the court taking notice, to salvage these valuable historical records from the shredder.

      Why not start a kickstarter campaign to buy up SCO or whatever they call themselves this week? Then the people who pitch in are share holders or something. Priivy to the sorrid secrets of the company. Someone could be appointed CEO run the company in a crowdsourced manner. Turn it into what it once was. A UNIX (now better Linux) company. Just a thought. Good idea or bad it could work. Crowdsourced company vs the share holder system we have that kicks out employees to help shre holders make profits OR a crow

    • I'll chip in $100.

    • by JeanCroix (99825)
      So, no one's concerned they'd funnel any such money straight to their lawyers to start more litigation..? This is a corpse that needs no reviving.
    • Sorry, guys . . . no one will be able to outbid The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation . . .

      If Bill Gates wants redemption, by doing good works, instead of fighting disease in Africa . . . he should have stopped the disease that was SCO FUD.

  • by symes (835608)

    I scan everything in and store it that way. Costs are a lot lower - and I would imagine that paying an organisation to scan existing paper work might seem costly, but a whole load less that long-term storage.

    • by bloodhawk (813939)
      depending on the age of the documents, it is more likely to be far more cost effective to simply shred
  • Let it go (Score:2, Insightful)

    by js3 (319268)

    it's over. let it go

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Hell no, there may be evidence of collusion in those documents and thus crimes that have not yet been punished.

  • by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Monday February 04, 2013 @09:18AM (#42784627) Homepage
    There is a fire at the SCO offices ....
  • Commas (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    'the abandonment, disposal, and/or destruction of certain surplus, obsolete, non-core or burdensome, property, including, without limitation, shelving, convention materials, telecommunications and computer equipment, accounting and sales documents, and business records.'

    Only a lawyer could make a sentence so hard to parse with the use of commas!

    • Re:Commas (Score:4, Funny)

      by oodaloop (1229816) on Monday February 04, 2013 @09:45AM (#42784731)
      It's OK. Commas, are on, the list of, things, to be destroyed.
    • by mekkab (133181)
      I'm considering hiring him or her to do some coding for me, not withstanding their current employment and career choice, should a need for new employment become an economic reality, or necessity.
    • Re:Commas (Score:5, Funny)

      by chad_r (79875) on Monday February 04, 2013 @10:01AM (#42784859)
      They missed one comma:

      the abandonment, disposal, and/or destruction of ... business, records.

    • Only a lawyer could make a sentence so hard to parse with the use of commas!

      Not true, William Shatner, could, do,, it. And he could make it even more difficult if he's portraying his character Denny Crane.

    • Re:Commas (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sarten-X (1102295) on Monday February 04, 2013 @11:58AM (#42785821) Homepage

      Sarten-X's guide to reading legal text:

      First, ignore everything. Seriously, ignore anything anybody's ever told you about the legal document, because it doesn't mean anything. The exact written words don't mean anything, nor does anything verbal spoken about the document. What matters is what a judge would think about the document and the actions people take because of it. The written words are just to clarify what the writers want a judge to think about. This is why having a lawyer read documents is so important: The lawyer understands the legal history behind the words used, and can better predict what a judge will decide.

      Next, start reading. Legal texts are usually long and complex, to clarify every mundane discrepancy that might lead to a disagreement, so skip over all of that. Also skip over any section headings, because they're usually ignored by judges (and remember, it's the judges that matter), being meant only to help find useful parts of the document for particular situations. Instead, pretend you're back in primary school first learning to read. Split each sentence into its basic parts: A subject and an action. That will tell you the main meaning of the sentence. Then look for what's not included - any exceptions or omissions that might be covered in other sections of the document.

      Condense any synonyms. Exact word choice can make a huge difference on a judge's decisions, so lawyers will use multiple words with the same overall meaning to give their clients options. For example, simply getting rid of paperwork at the end of its useful life might involve shredding or incinerating it, which is "destruction". If some pages get lost or forgotten during shredding, they might be considered "abandoned". If someone picks up the forgotten pages and drops them in the trash can, that's "disposal". A well-written contract would specify which of those actions are allowed and which, if any, are not. While this verbosity makes the document much clearer if a judge needs to read it, the unfortunate side effect is that the document seems repetitive on cursory review.

      Finally, consider consideration. Most contracts require that each side give up something, and without that mutual concession nothing would happen. For example, I give up my legal right to the exclusivity of publishing this comment, and Slashdot's corporate overlords agree to publish it, among various other services. When reading a legal document, keep an eye out for what obligations you're agreeing to, and what the other parties are agreeing to.

      That's it. That's all there is to reading legal documents. As opposed to a literary work, legal documents are written for accuracy and precision rather than ease of reading. As opposed to a computer program, they aren't so much instructions as they are suggestions to the judge. Most justice systems are based around the notion that the law describes what's right or wrong, and judges determine whether particular laws apply to particular situations.

      TL;DR: If you need a TL;DR version, hire a lawyer.

  • by tubs (143128) on Monday February 04, 2013 @10:00AM (#42784845)

    Remind me, what did SCO do?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      A long time ago in a galaxy far far away... they did very little.

    • Re:What did they do? (Score:4, Informative)

      by cdrudge (68377) on Monday February 04, 2013 @10:29AM (#42785067) Homepage

      It depends, which SCO are you referring to? The early version(s) that, at one time, had decent Unix OS offerings with OpenServer and Unixware? Or the scorched-earth-that-ultimately-blew-up-in-their-face litigious idiots that took on probably the absolutely worst company to get the Linux litigation ball rolling.

    • Re:What did they do? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by spike1 (675478) on Monday February 04, 2013 @10:31AM (#42785079)

      You have either a terrible memory or you weren't around at the start of this...
      back in about 2003, a Linux distribution by the name of Caldera bought the Unix part of SCO (the other part went on to continue trading under a different name)
      Then. in a moment of utter insanity, they decided to sue IBM under allegations that IBM had included their UNIX "property" in the linux kernel...

      Millions of man hours of searching later. people came up with about 5 lines of code that were so generic it was impossible to copyright them,..

      So, the IBM trial went on and on and dragged other companies into the mess...
      Microsoft "invested" in SCO, presumably to keep the trial going.
      Novell disputed what SCO actually claimed to own...

      Last year (or was it 2011) the novell case finally concluded that SCO didn't own any of the copyrights they were suing IBM over in the first place.
      IBM have yet to countersue, but there's so little of SCO left now it's probably no longer worth it.

      • Re:What did they do? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 04, 2013 @11:14AM (#42785463)

        I worked at Caldera when they bought SCO. I also left a few months after the acquisition. Prior to the SCO purchase, Calera was a fun Linux distribution company. We were doing really great things such as building the first GUI install, incorporating Webmin for a GUI admin utility, and having DRDOS to run all your DOS programs within Linux. They were great times. Then, the acquisition happened. Departments at Caldera began to be dismantled, and senior management replaced. I left, and took note as Ransom Love (who was a great person to work for with a great vision) sold his stake and left. Darl McBride didn't exist at the time, no idea where he came from. However, all the Caldera employees that worked hard to make the distribution what it was at the time left long before the litigation.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          I remember that. Thanks for all the Tetris during the install. That was innovative.

          • by unixisc (2429386)

            Yeah, I once did that install, and the Tetris made it worth it. What made it an aborted attempt, however, was that Caldera wouldn't recognize my Network card. Not to single them out - at the time, no distro would - not Mandrake, not TurboLinux (which wasn't yet an all Japanese distro), not StormLinux, not CorelLinux, nor any of the other distros that I tried (I didn't try Red Hat or Suse).

            It wasn't until years later, when I bit the bullet again and tried installing Ubuntu that the network worked (this

      • You are describing Caldera. But Santa Cruz Operations - SCO - was different. It was a Unix company that sold a commercial SVR3.2 version of Unix for x86 based servers. Essentially, they were the leading Unix on that platform, with some challenge from some other Unix vendors, such as Interactive Unix (later acquired by Sun), Consensys Unix - in fact, for a short while, even Dell had a Unix version called Dell Unix (which was really short lived). Oh, and when Sun came out w/ Solaris, they ported it to th

    • They wrote the original Linux. And MS DOS. And Windows NT. And iOS and OSX. And the first Angry Birds. Some great programmers over there.
    • by zm (257549)
      IIRC they were a litigation business.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        IIRC they were a litigation business.

        Correction: They were the puppets for Microsoft and Sun to destroy Linux, the free kernel that was taking over UNIX and threatening Microsoft's future control of the small computing platforms. What nether saw was Apple coming up in the rear view mirror.

        • by bobstreo (1320787)

          IIRC they were a litigation business.

          Correction: They were the puppets for Microsoft and Sun to destroy Linux, the free kernel that was taking over UNIX and threatening Microsoft's future control of the small computing platforms. What nether saw was Apple coming up in the rear view mirror.

          And only one of them exists now.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I do wonder if their attorneys one day thought to themselves, " This company really isn't paying us much for the little they need us for. What if we convinced them that we could sue others and make lots of money. Even if they never win, we get paid boat loads of money until they have nothing left. All in?"

  • Seriously, Filing court documents so they can destroy documents. The lawyers are simply bleeding the corpse dry. Anyone with a claim is just being stolen from now. OK well continue to be stolen from.

    It makes me ill to think how much of a complete and total waste this whole battle was.

    There should be a new category of crime. Like War crime. Lets call it Corporate Crime. The instigators and the abusers should be brought to very public tribunal grilled and if found guilty convicted and sent for hard time

    • by tsotha (720379)

      It's funny you should say that. I had a friend who worked for Drexel six or seven years after the company was technically liquidated. There were a bunch of high priced law firms racking up billable hours deciding things like who gets the money from the sale of the photocopier on the third floor. It took years and years for them to finally suck the last dollar from the company - I want to say it was almost a decade.

      In an ironic twist, all the time she worked for the company they were collecting CA state

  • by a2wflc (705508) on Monday February 04, 2013 @10:46AM (#42785215)

    At least for most companies. Most nerds don't have a clue about the document management tools and processes that managers selected (especially 10+ years ago). And also don't understand the government regulations around documents.

    It took me almost 8 years of training before I accepted that "copy it to a DVD" isn't a records management process for a large company. Everyone in my company has mandatory yearly "records management" training and as you move up in management, you have training to learn more and more about the reasons. And when you have a bogus (or legit) law suit against you requesting "every mention of X-Corp in all company documents", it makes sense why it's important to destroy records AND record the destruction so the lawyers can respond with "Here's ALL records and here's proof that we don't have anything else".

    I know one company that keeps track of cost per document. The average per jpeg image is over $17,000 over it's lifetime. For some images, a lot of that is production or licensing. But most of it is managing the licenses. Even if a developer makes an image for a web site they keep a record of who/when/why/etc so the lawyers can respond when someone claims it was stolen. That all has to be stored, indexed, backed up, accessed, etc. A stack of DVDs in a warehouse somewhere does nothing but cost money. And takes a lot of time to find what you want if/when it's needed. Better to be able to say it doesn't exist for documents that you aren't required by law to keep or have a reasonable expectation that they will be involved in a law suit (in which case you maintain them in the records management system). As much as I dislike SCO, I'd guess they have a lot of records that shouldn't be involved in any lawsuit. If they destroy records that hide a crime, that's a different issue.

  • TSG is not, and never has been, SCO.

  • The simple answer here is to transfer your records (legally) onto a planet just before it is demolished by the Vogans. The angle we need to work though is that the rest of SCO is on the planet too.

    (Personally I always felt it wasn't the psychologists that wanted the Earth destroyed, but the Guide itself, remember the paltry entry for the Earth? Why waste precious electrons, if you're planning on destroying something?)
  • We need to get rid of old junk. You know, shelving, broken lighting fixtures, kitchen supplies, and a dead human body. No big deal.

  • Unlatch the Black Gate of Armonk. Release the Nazgul. The skies will be blackened again.

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