Welcome!

Open Source Cloud Authors: Elizabeth White, Ed Featherston, Liz McMillan, Roger Strukhoff, Pat Romanski

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Novell, it said, has no interest in UnixWare; its ownership is limited to the old, outdated SVRx widgetry; and SCO has every right to license SVRx IP as a roll-up, incidental to UnixWare.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
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze 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. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management solutions, helping companies worldwide activate their data to drive more value and business insight and to transform moder...
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the protocols that communicate data and the emerging data analy...
Digital innovation is the next big wave of business transformation based on digital technologies of which IoT and Big Data are key components, For example: Business boundary innovation is a challenge to excavate third-party business value using IoT and BigData, like Nest Business structure innovation may propose re-building business structure from scratch, as Uber does in the taxicab industry The social model innovation is also a big challenge to the new social architecture with the design fr...
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
Complete Internet of Things (IoT) embedded device security is not just about the device but involves the entire product’s identity, data and control integrity, and services traversing the cloud. A device can no longer be looked at as an island; it is a part of a system. In fact, given the cross-domain interactions enabled by IoT it could be a part of many systems. Also, depending on where the device is deployed, for example, in the office building versus a factory floor or oil field, security ha...
Is your aging software platform suffering from technical debt while the market changes and demands new solutions at a faster clip? It’s a bold move, but you might consider walking away from your core platform and starting fresh. ReadyTalk did exactly that. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and over a decade of audio conferencing product development to start an innovati...
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at EMC, will introduce a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organizati...
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. 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...
IoT is fundamentally transforming the auto industry, turning the vehicle into a hub for connected services, including safety, infotainment and usage-based insurance. Auto manufacturers – and businesses across all verticals – have built an entire ecosystem around the Connected Car, creating new customer touch points and revenue streams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Macario Namie, Head of IoT Strategy at Cisco Jasper, will share real-world examples of how IoT transforms the car from a static p...
If you had a chance to enter on the ground level of the largest e-commerce market in the world – would you? China is the world’s most populated country with the second largest economy and the world’s fastest growing market. It is estimated that by 2018 the Chinese market will be reaching over $30 billion in gaming revenue alone. Admittedly for a foreign company, doing business in China can be challenging. Often changing laws, administrative regulations and the often inscrutable Chinese Interne...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
"My role is working with customers, helping them go through this digital transformation. I spend a lot of time talking to banks, big industries, manufacturers working through how they are integrating and transforming their IT platforms and moving them forward," explained William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Video experiences should be unique and exciting! But that doesn’t mean you need to patch all the pieces yourself. Users demand rich and engaging experiences and new ways to connect with you. But creating robust video applications at scale can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zohar Babin, Vice President of Platform, Ecosystem and Community at Kaltura, will discuss how VPaaS enables you to move fast, creating scalable video experiences that reach your...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
SYS-CON Events announced today that China Unicom 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. China United Network Communications Group Co. Ltd ("China Unicom") was officially established in 2009 on the basis of the merger of former China Netcom and former China Unicom. China Unicom mainly operates a full range of telecommunications services including mobile broadband (GSM, WCDMA, LTE F...
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
“We're a global managed hosting provider. Our core customer set is a U.S.-based customer that is looking to go global,” explained Adam Rogers, Managing Director at ANEXIA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
The vision of a connected smart home is becoming reality with the application of integrated wireless technologies in devices and appliances. The use of standardized and TCP/IP networked wireless technologies in line-powered and battery operated sensors and controls has led to the adoption of radios in the 2.4GHz band, including Wi-Fi, BT/BLE and 802.15.4 applied ZigBee and Thread. This is driving the need for robust wireless coexistence for multiple radios to ensure throughput performance and th...