SCO Away and Never Come Back

There is no reasonable chance of “rehabilitation.”

That’s what SCO Group’s bankruptcy trustee claimed on Aug. 6 in a filing seeking to change the company’s status from Chapter 11 (reorganization) to Chapter 7 (liquidation).

On that date, the trustee asked the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware,

Edward N. Cahn, Esq. (the “Chapter 11 Trustee”), in his capacity as chapter 11 trustee for the above-captioned debtors (collectively, the “Debtors”), hereby moves (this “Motion”) this Court, pursuant to section 1112(b) of chapter 11 of title 11 of the United States Code, 11 U.S.C. §§ 101 et seq. (the “Bankruptcy Code”) and Rules 1017(f)(1) and 9014 of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure (the “Bankruptcy Rules”), for entry of an order, substantially in the form attached hereto as Exhibit A, converting these cases from chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code to chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code.

Blah blah blah in six pages of legalese. To summarize the filing: SCO Group doesn’t have any assets other than its claims, tied up in a Utah court; IBM competed unfairly against SCO, and SCO doesn’t have the resources to continue its legal battles; SCO wants to liquidate.

About darned time.

Ever since SCO Group’s began its attempted reign of terror – suing Novell, suing IBM, suing Red Hat, suing AutoZone, suing DaimlerChrysler, beginning in 2002 – the company’s actions have been a pox on the IT industry. At first, the SCO’s lawsuits cast a chill over the open source community. While the suits were ostensibly about alleged copying of Unix code into Linux, SCO’s attempts to sell indemnification licenses to Linux users were obnoxious… but may have persuaded some enterprises to simply stay away from Linux until the whole thing was settled.

SCO Group’s demise has been slow and by a thousand paper cuts. Legal decision after decision chipped away at SCO Group, with the biggest a 2007 ruling that the company didn’t even own the copyrights to Unix. Indeed, the judge said that rather than Novell infringing on SCO’s intellectual property, SCO had infringed on Novell’s IP and was liable for huge damages. Whoops.

The entire SCO affair has been a comedy of sorts – see this humor piece from my colleague I.B. Phoolen, “SCO Slaps Itself with Lawsuit.” When it was written in 2005, it was pretty credible.

For a brief summary of the situation as it looked in 2007, see my piece, “Novell – not SCO – appears to own Unix.” For a 2010 update, see another essay, “The jury has spoken, but SCO is still here.”

It looks like SCO won’t be here for much longer. Hurray. 

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