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Source Claims SCO Will Sue Google

Industry wags are saying that God invented SCO to give people a company to hate more than Microsoft

A source claiming to be in the know says that the SCO Group is going to sue Google for not paying its Linux taxes.

Last week SCO threatened to make an example of a big-time Linux user that hadn't paid SCO the license fees it's demanding and take it to court for copyright infringement.

SCO has not disclosed the identity of its mark and SCO CEO Darl McBride claimed Tuesday that a decision on what company to target wasn't final yet. He said SCO and its lawyers were working with "a short list" of "seven or eight" names.

McBride declined to say whether Google's name was on it, but another knowledgeable source said it was.

SCO said last week that it would sue within 90 days. The Linux community thinks SCO's bluffing and won't make its self-imposed February 17 deadline. McBride said he'd like to play that number in Vegas.

The idea behind the suit is obviously to make all major Linux users tractable and make them reach for their checkbooks.

If it turns out to be Google, it's a provocative choice.

It's a household name.

It's said to have a Linux server farm of some 10,000 of servers, worth, oh, $7 million to SCO as long as SCO's current cut-rate license fees maintain.

It's reportedly putting together a positively glorious IPO that could supposedly be worth $15 billion-$25 billion, a feat unmatched in the last two decades despite Tulipmania.

And Microsoft, which has been accused of conniving with SCO in its march against Linux, is slated to enter the search market and compete against Google. The widgetry, which is supposed to retrieve all kinds of file types, both structured and unstructured, and all kinds of storage systems, beginning with the user's own drive, will be integrated into its operating systems like the anticipated Longhorn.

Meanwhile, industry wags are saying that God invented SCO to give people a company to hate more than Microsoft.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at) or paperboy(at), and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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Most Recent Comments
jesdon 02/02/09 07:24:00 PM EST

I would say that SCO is barking up the wrong tree if they want to make an example out of Google. Hey here is a thought SCO, don't target one of the fastest growing companies in the world, you are likely to get spanked and made to look a fool!


David William Eckert 12/16/04 08:53:32 AM EST

This act is unmoral, they no direct right to charge a fee of any kind to Google for not paying for a license that firstly doesn't belong to the Linux kernel. How Google can and the Open Source community can put up with this selfish act is something I do not understand.

Ray 03/07/04 12:19:21 PM EST

Enough talk of google going public just do it so i cna buy my shares in the best company on the planet. forget about Bill Gates buying google maybe google will be buying microsoft in the future.

Tim Gwyther 02/26/04 10:15:14 AM EST

I also think this will always happen with a good product. Google is a top search engine, a good product.

another requiredname 02/18/04 09:31:28 AM EST

Microsoft will be known for destroying the patent and copywrite systems. Intelectual Property rights (IP for short) cannot be enforced if the rights are trivial. Much of IP rights are public domain, the use of the alphabet for example. Eventually all things should revert to the public domain.

IP cannot be protected indefinitely, but by flooding the system with trivial IP claims, it breaks the system. By hyper-inflating profit margins on products, people will decay to ignore inflated IP claims.

So bring down IP protection Microsoft! Linux is open source IP! And how much open source is in Redmond products anyway?

Roadfrisbee 02/17/04 09:45:31 PM EST

And in a related story, Daryl McBride & Chris Sontag announced their new anti-wedlock initiative. The marital state is a derivitive of the pre-marital sex their parents indulged in and violates their intellectual property. All married couples must pay them $995 for a Litigous Bastard license for infringing on their intellectual property. What a slow motion train wreck. These idiots had several too many before dreaming this alcohol fueled dream of an IBM buy-out. I for one will be glad to see the smoking crater that was once SCO.

broadcst 11/30/03 11:09:50 AM EST

Well i think this is just what will always happen if someone will make good product, idea whatsoever. Someone will try to rise their profit, pice for shares etc. It is periodical. And of course silly.

I. Little 11/28/03 12:21:00 AM EST

I think SCO is blowing smoke out their butt. How can they ask, or expect anyone to pay them a dime before the case has been settled. I have read a lot of the article regarding this case, as I am an avid Linux user, and don't understand SCO thinks all of it's oars are in the water.

T. Traub 11/27/03 01:20:40 AM EST

SCO's mission is very simple. Pump up their stock price so that insiders can sell at a profit, which they are, and damage Linux and its supporters so that Microsoft will benefit, which they are. Suing Google would be a moronic move since they would undoubtedly defend themselves vigorously and, perhaps, counter-sue, but hurting Google is part of Microsoft's grand strategy to replace them as the premier search site.

Microsoft is behind this, make no mistake. They are funding this whole sordid business via proxies, and everything SCO does benefits MS in some way. I guess MS learned a lesson from the Netscape debacle; stay just this side of the law and let someone else do your dirty work for you.

Wesley Parish 11/27/03 12:24:21 AM EST

In_The_Know, I find you a bit Up_The_Nose. You say:

"Unfortunately, once IBM infringed on the non-disclosure stipulation included in their contract by injecting Unix code, owned by SCO, into the Linux community, the ill-nature of GPL came into play..."

That contract also declares that once the non-disclosure provisions have been circumvented or abrogated by some other party, they no longer apply to IBM. Enter Sun Microsystems and their famous Free licensing of the Solaris (eg, SVR4 derivative) source code tree to anyone who wanted it, back in the late nineties.

Also worth knowing is that IBM was contractually obligated never to release such AT&T source code themselves. But the contract goes on to state that whatever IBM develops on its own, belongs to IBM, and doesn't constitute a "derived work". So how SCO gets to claim IBM's own JFS and RCU and so on and so forth, as SCO's own, that's an interesting question, and I for one hope Darl McBride gets to discuss it with similar criminal minds in the future, while bending over in a crowded pentitentiary shower to pick soap up off the floor.

And as for SCO suing Google - roll on the day. I'm sure that Google will not fail to meet the threat, and will perhaps feed it through a suitable filter.

John 11/26/03 10:35:01 PM EST

God had nothing to do with the creation of SCO. It's a creation of the Devil.

Donald Trump 11/26/03 08:12:27 PM EST

Darl McBride is a very dishonest person. If there's any justice in the world he will spend many years in a cage. Society deserves to be protected from people like McBride.

In_The_Know 11/26/03 07:35:48 PM EST

If any of you saps had a clue then you would all shut your faces. SCO's case against IBM is really about a contract dispute and if you study IBM's legal positioning, you would realize that they are scrambling to employ every back-handed legal manever they can because they recognize that they are screwed when this goes to court.

Unfortunately, once IBM infringed on the non-disclosure stipulation included in their contract by injecting Unix code, owned by SCO, into the Linux community, the ill-nature of GPL came into play. All distributions since then, have in effect, been illegal.


ml 11/26/03 06:03:19 PM EST

I'm in agreement with you all about the frivolity of SCO's lawsuits, but one thing keeps popping up in the stories every now and then. The relationship between SCO and Caldera seems to be left in the background. If the company was producing Linux how can they say their IP was stolen. Developers contrary to the opions shown by SCO's lawsuits do speak to one another and share ideas for solutions to problems. The only company I can see benefiting from this other than the profit takers from inflated stock prices is Microsoft.

Elder Sontag 11/26/03 05:57:09 PM EST

Elder McBride and I at this time would like to share with you the tenents of the Mormon faith and The Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints, the only true church.

Did you know that Jesus visited the North American continent?
According to the Book of Mormon, a more complete account of the Gospel, he did.

He came to preach the Gospel to the Jews who came to this continent by sea. The Native American's are descendants of these Jewish settlers and are a part of the Lost Tribes of Israel. You may be a part of one of the Lost Tribes too.

Please contact us for a free copy of the Book of Mormon.

ba nonymous 11/26/03 05:37:55 PM EST

Dear Google:
We, many of your users, hope to hear *criminal* complaints against SCO for fraud, extortion and racketeering. Your public leadership is important to your brand. SCO is clearly a .con company.

Linonut 11/26/03 05:16:41 PM EST

Similarity is not enough in the SCO case. In the case of popular music, the chronology is clear. It is not in the case of source code. Besides, the GPL is extremely likely to render SCO's accusations moot. Especially since the chronology is pretty clear on Caldera putting a lot of this code into the Linux kernel.

SCO has also supoenaed Torvalds and Stallman. Why Stallman? What does SCO gain from that except publicity? GNU is very rigorous about clean-room implementations of code.

Let's face it, SCO is simply recycling its strategy in order to keep pumping its stock and to keep pumping up the FUD, in the hopes that the FUD will generate cash from timorous accountants.

Job 11/26/03 04:45:58 PM EST

Yeah, agree, but think the bad thing of this whole is they will indeed personally win; the pumpted up stock, their pumpted up name, their pumpted up business value and go-ahead, their name's on the chart. I'm afraid, nobody can do anything about that. I hate this but this some scum call "business". Wish could make them poor.

tuxzilla 11/26/03 04:45:25 PM EST

Go ahead and sue but do not awake the sleeping giant, or sleeping penguin. Anyway you know what SCO I hope you read this and so me for using linux. If and only if some code came from IBM it is IBM's fault and punitive damages could come against IBM, but SCO won't prove anything. So sue me for running Linux oh yeah you can't so you release Caldera with this code thus violating your arguments and your new *cough linux product is not GPL. SO suck off SCO. Please, please sue me sco. THe penguins will bite SCO

Dave 11/26/03 04:42:30 PM EST

I truly hope that the larger companies using linux out there sue SCO first instead of waiting for SCO.

Stephen Samuel 11/26/03 04:31:35 PM EST

When Darl said that he'd "like to play that number in Vegas", he didn't mention which side he'd be betting on. Given that he knows the truth, I'm not surprised that he'd like to bet on that question.

TC 11/26/03 04:24:06 PM EST

NOT POSSIBLE. You have a poorly informed source. SCO has said that only Fortune 1000 companies have been offered a license. Google is not a publicly traded company, therefore they are not a Fortune 1000 company, therefore they could not buy a license, therefore they can be sued.

The FlatLander 11/26/03 04:11:12 PM EST

SCO clearly hopes to convince some judge, somewhere, (anywhere would do), that it owns rights to software that other people wrote. Or, failing that, to convince [sheep-like] investors that it will be able to do so. All to keep the stock price up on their otherwise nearly worthless company.

Every few years someone sells Wall Street on the next "perpetual motion machine." McBride and company have simply hit on a new take on the old scheme.

I wish *I* could get on the list of folks they want to invoice... It would make me an interested party when the inevitable lawsuits hit after the scam unravels. Oh well.

Ralph A Castanza 11/26/03 03:26:34 PM EST

In the ideal world is there a way we can just set up a national 'Dispand SCO' voting site. This company is a black eye to not only the U.S. but business in general. That such a company should be allowed to continually churn out such negative vibs in the tech industry has nothing to do with whether Linux, Windows, MAC O/S, UNIX is better. It is more about a poster child of the .com, empty promises business of the 90's; only unfortunately they seem to stick around just to get in the way of progress. 'We the people' should just make up our minds to find jobs for the still useful members of SCO's staff, bulldoze their building down, and strike their name from existance much like unwanted Pharaohs of Egypt were in times past. What a waste of energy and burden on the still struggling Tech Industry. ---rac

kk 11/26/03 02:59:10 PM EST

Of coarse they will sue. It has worked flawlessly thus far, so why not. Wheather they have a case or not, they are in it to the end. Even if they lose, they will line their own pockets with the reward. It will be too bad if they get away completely free, if it turns out like we all think and have no case. There should be some kind of punishment for damages to the companies involved. If they lose the counter suits the company will go bankrupt, but the scum people responsible will not be effected (except a bit wealthier).

Job 11/26/03 01:57:10 PM EST

Don't agree with the first three comments, they will indeed sue a big linux user, it's all part of the game of that poor Dar'n'. But again they will not show (not to Google nor to anyone) any evidence. On beforehand the have sort of lost in court (long time ago the silver bullets have been shot already by Novell which retained the last rights to any changes to the licences and their enforcements when they sold unix rights to sco). It's not there were the problem lies, the problem lies with the American jury jurisdiction. They who win the pr campaign and the (republikan backup?), will win in court (because not any jury layman dares to take an impopular decision, whether that decision meets the lawbook or not, there's always a bargain and a way out). So sco started a bragging pr campaign. Sco forgets one thing; there are about two hundred countries with their own jurisdictions in the world and certainly not all will comply with the american. And some of these non-complient contries include (sometimes potential) superpowers like China, India, Russia, the EU, Japan, Brasil, do I need to say more? Maybe they win in court, but the code's out there and every country on earth has picked it up. The american jurisdiction is not everyone's and even america can't totally enforce WTO it's own rules.

djabsolut 11/26/03 01:40:31 PM EST

Suing Google is nothing more than a cynical ploy by SCO to pump up its stock price. Once Google does its IPO, its share prices will go through the roof (just like back in the dot-com bubble era days). People will buy it because they think the good days are back - there will be no logic involved. Enter SCO, files lawsuit against Google and just like magic, SCO's stock is "tied" to Google's stock and goes through the roof - people will simply buy it because of its association to Google, not because of any underlying sound financial reasoning. It doesn't matter that SCO's lawsuit will be eventually pointless - Boies, Bride & Co will have made zillions by then. And that's all matters to them, not any alleged intellectual property "violations".

Hansso 11/26/03 12:36:35 PM EST

Interesting article on Mcbride and his "stability":

Codeboy 11/26/03 11:24:10 AM EST

SCO also said they were going to send invoices to thousands of companies but they never did it.

I agree. Don't believe anything SCO says.

my required name 11/26/03 10:22:59 AM EST

SCO says a lot of stuff.

Like they were going to audit AIX users
Like they were going to countersue Red Hat
Like they weren't targetting Linux
Like they wanted to go to court
Like they had a "slam dunk case" against IBM

They say a lot of things. Few are credible. 3rd hand
rumor from SCO is even less so. This is more likely to be
a deliberate leak from SCO than an accidental one because
SCO depends on talk, not actions.

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