So much fuss!

Now SCO is after Novell.

SCO is claiming that they purchased all rights to UNIX when the predecessor of their particular flavor of UNIX made a deal with Novell in 1995. Novell is arguing that this isn't the case; they retain some rights, and indeed, they hold 11 copyright registrations for System V UNIX, granted by the U.S. Copyright Office.

I've been watching all this "SCO vs. The Whole-Big-Ole-Meanie-World" litigation with interest. It seems to me that Darl McBride is desperately trying to hang onto some semblance of market share in the face of the rising popularity of LINUX flavors Red Hat, SUSE, and FreeBSD. This stop-at-nothing scramble really only hurts SCO UNIX in the long run, as the general technical population will come to associate the company and its product with embarrassing displays of petulance.

Here's a mere suggestion from someone who's played around with SUSE, and loves it: Instead of suing everyone who has anything to do with UNIX or LINUX, how about revamping SCO so that its interface is more intuitive, and easier to use? Offer approachable technical support options as well, and then customers may actually want to buy it.

Just sayin's all.

UPDATE: At TechRepublic, Jim Zimmermann offers a sweet overview of SCO's nasty little game, overviewing the merits of the claims of intellectual property infringement.*

Also, an open letter from Novells's CEO, Jack L. Messman, to SCO's Darl McBride is published here.

I will be watching these events with interest, because I think SCO's defense of its position will be creative, to say the least.

In closing, I really don't think that the LINUX community will be measurably impacted by this battle. People who deploy LINUX are a notoriously maverick lot, after all. Devotees of LINUX are nigh as ardent as proponents of Macintosh. We will not see a marked slowdown in LINUX platform deployments. If anything, IT teams will merely leave themselves a fallback in the form of other robust distributions like BSD.

Besides, as many people have noted, if SCO just provides examples of the alleged offending code, it can be changed in a matter of days, which just underscores the efficiency and expertise of the LINUX community.

*(Note: You may be asked to register with TechRepublic in order to view the content. It's free, and you can opt-out of anything you don't want to receive, if you choose to do so.)

posted by Linda on January 21, 2004 05:36 PM

SCO is doomed. They have nothing to offer any more. The one good thing they had, the Tarantella product, was spun off into a separate company.

I find it very hard to see the SCO lawsuits as anything other than a stock price scam.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at January 22, 2004 12:15 AM

I think you're right, Pixy. I don't see how SCO can pull it out. Regardless of the quality (or lack thereof), of their product, their image has been irreparably damaged in the industry by these predatory, and arguably unfounded, allegations.

Posted by: Linda at January 22, 2004 12:26 AM