​SCO's legal war against IBM and Linux comes to an end

SCO lost its legal battle against IBM and Linux long ago, but now the final shovel of dirt has been thrown on its lawsuits' grave.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

Back in 2001, SCO, a Unix company, joimed forces with Caldera, a Linux company, to form what should have been a major Red Hat rival. Instead, two years later, SCO sued IBM in an all-out legal attack against Linux.

SCO Logo

That went well.

SCO's Linux lawsuit made no sense. Over time it became clear that Microsoft was using SCO as a sock puppet against Linux. Unfortunately for both, it soon became abundantly clear that SCO didn't have a real case against Linux and its allies.

SCO lost battle after battle. The fatal blow came in 2007 when SCO was proven to have never owned the copyrights to Unix in the first place.

But the legal world isn't like the ordinary business world. Simply having its case's foundation kicked out from underneath it didn't mean SCO wouldn't struggle on for years.

So, in 2011, the only thing of value left in SCO, its Unix operating systems, were sold to UnXis.

The company, now under the name, Xinuos, had no interest in SCO's fruitless lawsuits. Indeed, Kerri Wallach, Xinuos' Sales Manager, said, "We are not SCO. We are investors who bought the products. We did not buy the ability to pursue litigation against IBM, and we have absolutely no interest in that."

That still didn't kill off the lawsuits... until now.

The final obituary for SCO's lawsuits came in a one page agreement between IBM and SCO in the US District Court of Utah. In that document, SCO agreed to a final judgment for "the final resolution of SCO's claims" since "as a practical matter, for the Court to decide the several pending motions concerning IBM's counterclaims, given SCO's bankruptcy and its explanation that it has de minimis financial resources beyond the value of the claims on which the Court has granted summary judgment for IBM."

In ordinary language, SCO had no funds, no case, and neither company has any reason to continue any legal action. In short, stick a fork in it, it's done.

Ironically, since the days of SCO attacking Linux on Microsoft's behalf, Microsoft current CEO, Satya Nadella, has declared that "Microsoft loves Linux."

After all the storm and drama, SCO has quietly disappeared. In its wake, everyone, even Microsoft, has agreed that Linux and open source is both the present and future of operating systems and software development.

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