Welcome!

Open Source Cloud Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Christopher Keene, Jim Malone, AppNeta Blog

Related Topics: Weblogic, Linux Containers

Weblogic: Article

SCO - Linux' Worst Nightmare Is Back

Armed with the court's decision it's merely a matter of time before SCO starts seeking payments

Linux users might have to start reaching for their checkbooks again because SCO, Linux’ worst nightmare, is back.

The Utah court that decided a year ago that Novell, not SCO, owned Unix (SVRx) – although SCO was under the impression it had bought the operating system from Novell in 1995 – has now decided that SCO owns all right and title, free and clear, to UnixWare, which is merely a later model of Unix SVR4.

Novell, it said, has no interest in UnixWare; its ownership is limited to the old, outdated SVRx widgetry; and SCO has every right to license SVRx IP as a roll-up, incidental to UnixWare.

The court also said Novell couldn’t run interference for Linux and stop SCO from seeking royalty payments for alleged UnixWare and OpenServer infringement by Linux users under its infamous SCOsource licensing program.

Armed with that decision, it’s merely a matter of time before SCO starts seeking those payments.

It could start immediately or it could wait until it appeals the August 2007 summary judgment that said Novell owns the Unix copyrights – a legally flawed decision that is widely assumed will never withstand an appeals court’s scrutiny.

The only folks that are currently safe from SCO’s demands are Microsoft and OpenSolaris users and the 22 individuals and companies like CA and Kellogg that bought SCOsource licenses.

When this fracas started, Novell was seeking to put SCO out of business by claiming that SCO owed it something like $38 million that SCO didn’t have from the 2003 IP licenses it signed with Microsoft and Sun Microsystems and from the other royalties it collected from the truncated SCOsource program.

SCO was facing the prospect of Novell persuading the Utah court to slap a constructive trust on SCO and let Novell seize all its assets. That’s why SCO sought the protection of the bankruptcy court in Delaware even though it wasn’t bankrupt.

Now that specter has been removed and SCO’s written-off fortunes resuscitated.

In a 43-page decision handed down late Wednesday the Utah court found that SCO only owed Novell $2.5 million.

That’s a sum SCO could write Novell a check for now – if it wasn’t going to appeal Wednesday’s decision too.

It’s also a sum small enough to persuade SCO’s new Arab friends to go ahead and write that check for $100 million that they’ve been promising to invest in the company, money that will be used to press both SCO’s appeal and its suit against IBM and Linux.

If SCO wins its prospective appeal and makes progress in the IBM suit – (IBM may finally have met a budget that exceeds even its unlimited resources) – well, heaven help the Linux user.

Sun can also thank its lucky stars the court ruled the way it did because Novell had every intention of pressing any advantage it got in Utah to take out OpenSolaris, since it competes with Novell’s SUSE Linux and Linux in general.

As it stands, the court decided that SCO had the right to execute the UnixWare licenses with Sun, Microsoft and the SCOsource licensees, a fact Novell contested.

It decided that “Novell is not entitled to any of the revenue SCO received under the 2003 Microsoft Agreement,” which brought SCO $16,680,000, or to any of $1,156,110 it derived from the SCOsource program.

It did however find that SCO exceeded its rights in negotiating its $9,143,451 deal with Sun in 2003.

Seems Sun wanted to open source Solaris and went to SCO, then the recognized owner of Unix, to get the confidentiality provisions governing its 1994 Unix buy-out agreement in Novell lifted so it could open source Solaris.

The court found that under the 1995 Asset Purchase Agreement between Novell and the Santa Cruz Operation, SCO’s predecessor company, SCO should have brought Novell in on that part of the deal and it didn’t.

It said “SCO renegotiated a contract and expanded Sun’s rights to [SVRx] technology still owned by Novell. And, SCO improperly received the money for granting such right even though those rights remained with Novell.”

SCO in that part of the deal was guilty of breach of fiduciary duty, conversion and unjust enrichment.

The court however refused to void the contract saying it “could not return the parties to the same position they were in prior to the 2003 Agreement. Sun has already received the benefits of the agreement and developed and marketed a product based on those benefits. There was also evidence at trial that OpenSolaris directly competed with Novell’s interest. The court, therefore, cannot merely void the contract.”

But it could recompense Novell for the rights given to Sun to the tune of $2,547,817, a figure the judge derived after subtracting $1.5 million from the total value of the $9.1 million contract and declaring that $1.5 million strictly a release related to SCO IP and then arbitrarily carving off a third of the $7,643,451 left that was related to a UnixWare license, associated UnixWare and OpenServer drivers and the confidentiality release and awarding it to Novell.

He told Novell to come back in 15 days with a brief describing “what, if any, pre-judgment interest” Novell figured it was owed.

SCO released a statement expressing a certain amount of pleasure in the decision but said, “We continue to disagree with the premise of this trial and believe that Novell is not owed anything, but that they have interfered with SCO’s Unix rights.”

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)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

@ThingsExpo Stories
Akana has announced the availability of version 8 of its API Management solution. The Akana Platform provides an end-to-end API Management solution for designing, implementing, securing, managing, monitoring, and publishing APIs. It is available as a SaaS platform, on-premises, and as a hybrid deployment. Version 8 introduces a lot of new functionality, all aimed at offering customers the richest API Management capabilities in a way that is easier than ever for API and app developers to use.
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
Is the ongoing quest for agility in the data center forcing you to evaluate how to be a part of infrastructure automation efforts? As organizations evolve toward bimodal IT operations, they are embracing new service delivery models and leveraging virtualization to increase infrastructure agility. Therefore, the network must evolve in parallel to become equally agile. Read this essential piece of Gartner research for recommendations on achieving greater agility.
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
Personalization has long been the holy grail of marketing. Simply stated, communicate the most relevant offer to the right person and you will increase sales. To achieve this, you must understand the individual. Consequently, digital marketers developed many ways to gather and leverage customer information to deliver targeted experiences. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lou Casal, Founder and Principal Consultant at Practicala, discussed how the Internet of Things (IoT) has accelerated our abil...
With so much going on in this space you could be forgiven for thinking you were always working with yesterday’s technologies. So much change, so quickly. What do you do if you have to build a solution from the ground up that is expected to live in the field for at least 5-10 years? This is the challenge we faced when we looked to refresh our existing 10-year-old custom hardware stack to measure the fullness of trash cans and compactors.
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions wi...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
Pulzze Systems was happy to participate in such a premier event and thankful to be receiving the winning investment and global network support from G-Startup Worldwide. It is an exciting time for Pulzze to showcase the effectiveness of innovative technologies and enable them to make the world smarter and better. The reputable contest is held to identify promising startups around the globe that are assured to change the world through their innovative products and disruptive technologies. There w...
SYS-CON Events announced today Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, will deep dive into best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
In today's uber-connected, consumer-centric, cloud-enabled, insights-driven, multi-device, global world, the focus of solutions has shifted from the product that is sold to the person who is buying the product or service. Enterprises have rebranded their business around the consumers of their products. The buyer is the person and the focus is not on the offering. The person is connected through multiple devices, wearables, at home, on the road, and in multiple locations, sometimes simultaneously...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....