December 5, 2003

A bad week for the SCO Group

Author: Joe Barr

There are bad weeks and there are bad weeks, but few weeks have been so disastrously bad for the SCO Group as this one has. Yesterday SCO CEO Darl McBride was gaily flinging yet another open letter at the open source community. Let's take a look at a few of the things that went awry after McBride released that letter.

1. Lawrence Lessig ripped the open letter to shreds in front of the entire world on his blog, saying (among other things) "This is nothing more than a failed company using a failed legal system to make money rather than producing great software. Don't tell me this is what the Framers had in mind when they drafted the Progress Clause of our Constitution."

2. Linus Torvalds was quoted as saying, "If Darl McBride was in charge, he'd probably make marriage unconstitutional too, since clearly it de-emphasizes the commercial nature of normal human interaction, and probably is a major impediment to the commercial growth of prostitution."

3. Finally, and most significantly, the federal judge hearing the case against IBM told SCO to put up or shut up, and to do it within 30 days. Or as the news first arrived at Groklaw in these words: "Judge granted both IBM motions to compel, gave SCO thirty days to comply 'with specificity' and suspended further discovery. Did not rule on the SCO motion (also to compel) until next hearing scheduled for Friday, Jan 23 and 10:00 am."

That last bit may be a life-limiting move. If SCO's suit against IBM collapses, and it will if the company can't convince the judge that it has a case, SCO will have lost the only thing it currently has going for it: the hope of a windfall legal settlement.

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