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SCO's Darl McBride remains defiant

Like the Black Knight
Mon Sep 10 2007, 14:08
IN AN INTERVIEW at Wired, Darl McBride, the CEO and President of SCO Group, remained defiant in the face of SCO's recent crushing setbacks in its lawsuit against Novell over the copyrights to UNIX SVRX.

The article briefly reviews the history behind SCO's lawsuits against IBM, Novell and others, however it gets a few things wrong. It was the original Santa Cruz Operation (Old SCO) that bought the rights to sell UNIX from Novell in 1995.

Caldera, then a Linux company, later bought Old SCO's UNIX business, and it was after Darl McBride replaced Ransom Love at Caldera that it renamed itself SCO Group (New SCO) and sued IBM, Novell and Old SCO's former UNIX customers Autozone and Daimler Chrysler, and tried to collect licencing fees from 1,500 corporate Linux users.

The article also says that SCO appealed the Novell rulings last week, but that isn't true. SCO asked leave of the trial court to appeal its partial summary judgement rulings, but Novell opposed that and Judge Kimball denied any early appeals by SCO. There will be time enough for the inevitable appeals later, he ruled. SCO wouldn't be able to get any appeals decided before the IBM case goes to trial anyway, so one is tempted to wonder why it even bothered to ask.

Predictably, McBride defends his decisions to go after Linux licence fees and turn to high stakes litigation against IBM and Novell. He continues to conflate New SCO with Old SCO, which is by now a tiresome verbal sleight of hand, and he repeats the rationale that Santa Cruz Operation must have gotten all those UNIX copyrights from Novell, simply because it paid Novell $149 million. In other words, for all that money, SCO must have gotten a nice pony. Oh yawn.

In fact, as the contract and agreements show, and as the Federal Court in Utah has recently ruled, Old SCO merely bought the right to sell UNIX on Novell's behalf, taking a 5 per cent commission and paying Novell 95 per cent of each sale's revenue, and it didn't acquire any UNIX copyrights.

The reason Darl McBride is out blowing smoke about SCO's prospects again likely has something to do with its recent stock price. SCO's stock lost 75 per cent of its value after last month's Federal Court rulings in the Novell case, and it's presently trading at around 70 cents per share. If SCO can't get its stock price back above a dollar per share, it might get delisted by the NASDAQ stock exchange shortly.

McBride also spins his bewilderment that SCO won't get to present its case before a jury, whingeing that SCO has a good story and witnesses, even. In fact, the court decided that Novell owns the UNIX copyrights based upon the clear, unambiguous meanings of the contract and agreements, as a matter of law. The court later ruled just last week that, because Novell is seeking only equitable remedies, and not any redress at law, a jury won't be needed at trial.

McBride also makes the most of what little remains of its Novell lawsuit, those parts that don't involve how much of about $25 million in SCO revenues are attributable to UNIX SVRX and therefore due to be paid to Novell soon, that is. He said:

"It wasn't until we stepped back a little bit and took a deep breath and said, 'OK, let's plow through this opinion,' and started looking, that we realized: Hey, wait a second, we have non-compete [issues] still on the table; we have Project Monterey still on the table against IBM; we still have copyrights against Linux users for post-1995 work."

Yeah, yeah, Darl. Keep looking for that pony. µ



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