SCO Group

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This article is about the owners of the SCO name beginning 2002. For the defunct original SCO company, see Santa Cruz Operation.

SCO, The SCO Group, The TSG Group, Caldera Systems, and Caldera International are the various names of an American software company that became known for acquiring the Santa Cruz Operation's Server Software and Services divisions, and UnixWare and OpenServer technologies, and then pursuing a series of legal battles known as the SCO-Linux controversies.

The company was part of the Canopy Group, but became independent in March 2005, after the settlement of a lawsuit between the Noorda family and a chairman of the group, Ralph Yarro, also former CEO of the Canopy Group. As part of the settlement, Canopy transferred all of its shares to Yarro.[1][2] Later on, Caldera International changed its name to "SCO" and then to "The SCO Group" to reflect that change in focus.

In September 2007, SCO filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.[3] In April 2011, UnXis, Inc. (currently Xinuos) bought The SCO Group, Inc. operating assets and intellectual property rights after having been approved by the bankruptcy court in Delaware. The SCO Group, Inc. then renamed itself TSG Group, Inc.[4][5] In August 2012, TSG Group, Inc. filed to convert from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to Chapter 7 stating "There is no reasonable chance of rehabilitation".[6] On June 14, 2013, Judge David Nuffer ruled on SCO v. IBM motions, granting SCO's motion for reconsideration and reopening the case.[7][8]

History[edit]

The Santa Cruz Operation (SCO)[edit]

Santa Cruz Operation (SCO) was a software company based in Santa Cruz, California which was best known for selling three UNIX variants for Intel x86 processors: Xenix, SCO UNIX (later known as SCO OpenServer), and UnixWare. In his book The Art of Unix Programming, Eric Raymond calls SCO the "first UNIX company".[9] Prior to this UNIX vendors were either computer hardware manufacturers or telephone companies.

In 1993, SCO acquired two smaller companies and developed the product line that was named Tarantella. In 2001, SCO sold its rights to UNIX and the related divisions to Caldera Systems.[10] After selling its UNIX interests, SCO retained only its Tarantella product line, and therefore changed its name to Tarantella, Inc.

Caldera Systems, Caldera Holdings, Caldera International[edit]

Caldera, Inc. based in Utah, was founded in 1994 by Bryan Sparks[11] and Ransom Love,[12] receiving start-up funding from Ray Noorda's Canopy Group. Its main product was Caldera Network Desktop, a Linux distribution mainly targeted at business customers and containing some proprietary additions. Caldera, Inc. later purchased The Linux Support Team Software GmbH and its LST Linux distribution. LST was made the basis of their following product Caldera OpenLinux.

Caldera, Inc. inherited a lawsuit against Microsoft when it purchased DR-DOS from Novell in 1996. This lawsuit related to Caldera's claims of monopolization, illegal tying, exclusive dealing, and tortious interference by Microsoft.

In August 1998, the original Caldera, Inc. company split into two daughter companies named Caldera Systems, Inc. and Caldera Thin Clients, Inc. Caldera Systems took over the Linux business, while Caldera Thin Clients took over the DOS and embedded business.[13] The shell company Caldera, Inc., remained responsible for the lawsuit only.

Microsoft reached a settlement in January 2000 with Caldera, Inc., after which Caldera, Inc. stopped its operation. The payments involved in this settlement were later revealed inadvertently during the Novell v. Microsoft antitrust lawsuit as documented on Groklaw.[14]

Caldera Systems reincorporated in Delaware on March 2, 2000[15] and completed an IPO of its common stock. By way of a temporary Caldera Holdings, Inc., the company reorganized in August 2000.

On 2 August 2000,[citation needed] Santa Cruz Operation announced that it would sell its Server Software and Services Divisions, as well as OpenServer and UnixWare, to Caldera Systems, Inc., proprietary operating systems for PCs that would be expected to compete directly with Linux. In March 2001, Caldera Systems became Caldera International, Inc. (CII), and the SCO purchase was completed in May 2001.[citation needed]

In 2002, Caldera International joined with SuSE Linux (now SUSE), Turbolinux and Conectiva to form United Linux in an attempt to standardize Linux distributions.[16]

Later that year, CEO Ransom Love left the company and was replaced by Darl McBride, and the company changed its name to The SCO Group in August 2002.

The SCO Group[edit]

SCO Group, Inc.
Type Public
Industry Operating system software
Founded Lindon, Utah (Caldera, 1994)
Headquarters Lindon, Utah, USA
Key people Ralph Yarro III, Chairman
Darl McBride, CEO (2002–2009)
Ken Nielsen, CFO
Ryan E. Tibbitts, General Counsel
Jeff Hunsaker, President of SCO Operations Inc
Ransom Love, Founder (Caldera)
Doug Michels, Founder (SCO)
Larry Michels, Founder (SCO)
Products UnixWare, OpenServer, Me Inc. Mobility Products, SCO Mobile Server, HipCheck
Revenue Decrease $15.6 million USD (2008)
Net income Decrease ($8.7 million) USD (2008)
Employees 63 (2009)
Website www.sco.com

Caldera International's name-change to The SCO Group created some confusion between The SCO Group (formerly known as Caldera International) and Tarantella (formerly known as SCO). The company described here is The SCO Group (formerly Caldera International). Although generally referred to simply as "SCO" up to 2001, the parent company is sometimes referred to as "old SCO" or "Santa Cruz" to distinguish it from "The SCO Group" to whom the U.S. trademark "SCO" was transferred.[17]

Legal battles[edit]

In or around 2003, SCO began to claim that Linux "contained SCO's UNIX System V source code and that Linux was an unauthorized derivative of UNIX".[18] SCO filed suit against IBM for an unprecedented US$1 billion and demanded that Linux end-users pay license fees. Microsoft bolstered SCO's financial situation in 2003 by purchasing a license to UNIX technology and by helping to arrange funding.[19] A new division called SCOsource was created to license the company's intellectual property (IP). These claims provoked outrage among Linux users, who denied that Linux had copied SCO's intellectual property. Linux distributor Red Hat filed suit against SCO in Delaware. Novell, from whom SCO claimed to have acquired its UNIX IP, announced that it had not sold the copyrights to SCO and that it retained them. In response, SCO sued Novell for slander of title in Utah, home state of both SCO and Novell.

Subsequently, the SCO Group sued two former customers (AutoZone and DaimlerChrysler). In SCO v. AutoZone, SCO claimed that AutoZone violated SCO copyrights by using Linux. In SCO v. DaimlerChrysler, SCO claimed that DaimlerChrysler breached its UNIX license contract by inappropriately using derivative works of UNIX and by refusing to respond to requests for certification of compliance by SCO. SCO's suit against DaimlerChrysler was dismissed in 2004.

Decline[edit]

After announcing its legal claims against various Linux users and vendors (see SCO-Linux controversies), the company suspended sales and development of its Linux related products. Attention was shifted to the UnixWare and OpenServer UNIX products previously acquired from the Santa Cruz Operation.

On February 17, 2005, the SCO Group issued a press release that stated their stock may soon be delisted from the NASDAQ stock exchange for failing to issue an annual 10-K report in a timely manner as required by U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regulations.[20] In late April 2005, after complying with the filing requirements, the NASDAQ switched trading of the SCO Group from "SCOXE" (which denotes a listing which may be delisted soon) back to their original "SCOX" stock symbol.

On April 23, 2007, SCO received a second delisting notice from NASDAQ. This was triggered by the active bid price of company stock, at closing, being less than $1 for 30 consecutive trading days. To regain compliance with continued listing requirements, the company must maintain a closing bid price greater than or equal to $1 for at least 10 trading days.[21] The stock regained compliance on June 12, 2007.[22]

Bankruptcy[edit]

Shortly after Judge Dale Kimball's ruling on August 10, 2007, SCO Group filed for reorganization on September 14, 2007, under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.[3]

SCO was delisted from NASDAQ on December 27, 2007, due to its bankruptcy filing.[23]

On February 14, 2008, SCO filed a memorandum of understanding between it and Stephen Norris Capital Partners (SNCP).[24] Under the proposed deal, subject to Bankruptcy Court confirmation, SNCP would pay SCO up to $100 million (including a $95 million loan at LIBOR + 17 percentage points). If the restructuring had been confirmed, SCO would have exited Chapter 11, gone private, and repaid all creditors (including Novell and IBM) in full. SNCP would then have received a controlling interest in SCO. A joint press release stated that SNCP's business plans for SCO include both "unveiling new product lines" and "see[ing] SCO's legal claims through to their full conclusion."[25] The proposal was abandoned two months later.[26]

On January 12, 2009, SCO filed a new reorganization plan with the bankruptcy court.[27]

On May 5, 2009, the U.S. Trustee's office, through its counsel Joseph J. McMahon, Jr., filed a motion in the SCO bankruptcy proceeding to convert the SCO's Chapter 11 to a liquidation under Chapter 7.[28]

On June 15, 2009, Darl McBride announced during the liquidation hearing that they had come to an agreement with Gulf Capital Partners for funding to pay off the debts and continue its litigation against IBM and others, through the sale of its UNIX division.[29][30]

On August 5, 2009, Judge Gross ordered the appointment of a Trustee according to Chapter 11 by the U.S. Trustee's office.[31] On August 25, 2009, Edward Norman Cahn, was named as Chapter 11 trustee for SCO's cases.[32]

On October 14, 2009, SCO Group announced that the company had terminated CEO Darl McBride's contract.[33]

Following the appointment of the Chapter 11 trustee, on October 14, 2009, the SCO Group announced that the company has eliminated the Chief Executive Officer and President positions, consequently terminating Darl McBride's position, and that the remaining members of the current management team, including Chief Operating Officer, Jeff Hunsaker, Chief Financial Officer, Ken Nielsen and General Counsel, Ryan Tibbitts, will continue to work closely with the Chapter 11 trustee and his advisors.[34]

On October 14, 2009, McBride was terminated as Chief Executive Officer and President of The SCO Group.[35] Jeff Hunsaker left SCO on November 13, 2009. SCO stated that they intended to hire him temporarily as a consultant.[36]

On September 16, 2010, the SCO Group announced that it was “pursuing a sale of substantially all of the assets of its UNIX(R) business, including certain UNIX system V software products and related services”,[37] and requested that interested parties show “ financial wherewithal to close on the transaction on or before October 5, 2010 at 5:00 p.m.”,[37] but as of December 2010, no announcement of any actual sale had been made.

Since May 2010, SCO Group has repeatedly cancelled its Bankruptcy hearings—as of December 2010, their next scheduled hearing is January 18, 2011.[38][39]

On January 26, 2011, the SCO Group announced that UnXis Inc. has been selected to purchase their software product business.[40] The terms of sale are to be submitted to the bankruptcy court, where SCO’s Chapter 11 case is also pending, for approval on March 2, 2011. The original date of the hearing has been postponed by two weeks.

On April 5, 2011, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission temporarily halted trading on SCO stock in response to SCO's failure to make required periodic filing for over two years.[41]

On April 11, 2011, UnXis completed the purchase.[42]

SCO filed amendments to their certificates of incorporation on April 15, 2011. The SCO Group, Inc. was renamed TSG Group, Inc., and SCO Operations, Inc. became TSG Operations, Inc.[5]

Products[edit]

  • SCO UnixWare, an UNIX operating system. UnixWare 2.x and below were direct descendants of Unix System V Release 4.2 and was originally developed by AT&T, Univel, Novell and later on The Santa Cruz Operation. UnixWare 7 was sold as a UNIX OS combining UnixWare 2 and OpenServer 5 and was based on System V Release 5. UnixWare 7.1.2 was branded OpenUNIX 8, but later releases returned to the UnixWare 7.1.x name and version numbering.
  • SCO OpenServer, another UNIX operating system, which was originally developed by The Santa Cruz Operation. SCO OpenServer 5 was a descendant of SCO UNIX, which is in turn a descendent of XENIX. OpenServer 6 is, in fact, an OpenServer compatibility environment running on a modern SVR5 based UNIX kernel.
  • Smallfoot, an operating system and GUI created specifically for point of sale applications.
  • SCOx Web Services Substrate, a web services-based framework for modernizing legacy applications.
  • WebFace, a development environment for rich-UI browser-based Internet applications.
  • SCOoffice Server, an e-mail and collaboration solution, based on a mixture of open-source and closed-source software.
  • In late 2004, SCO announced the launch of the SCO Marketplace Initiative,[43] in which it offers pay-per-project development opportunities.
  • In early 2006, SCO publicly released Me, Inc, a mobile services platform.[44]

SCO-Linux lawsuits and controversies[edit]

The SCO Group was, in 2004, involved in a dispute with various Linux vendors and users. In this campaign SCO "announced that Linux contained SCO's UNIX System V source code and that Linux was an unauthorized derivative of UNIX".[18] Although many are skeptical about their claims, SCO initiated a series of lawsuits and claims that so far have not been upheld by the courts. Thus far the impact on both Linux and Unix has been minimal. While making numerous public assertions that Linux infringes upon their copyrights, the lawsuits themselves concern contractual issues which are tangential to the issue of whether or not Linux infringes any copyrights. Further complicating the issue is the legitimacy of SCO claims concerning the ownership of System V Release 4.0 (SVR4) Unix copyrights. The success or failure of the claims will also have a profound effect on the financial future of The SCO Group, itself. SCO has, to date, made little headway in this dispute. In particular, in February 2005, Judge Dale Kimball, the judge in the SCO v. IBM case has stated:[45]

Viewed against the backdrop of SCO's plethora of public statements concerning IBM's and others' infringement of SCO's purported copyrights to the Unix software, it is astonishing that SCO has not offered any competent evidence to create a disputed fact regarding whether IBM has infringed SCO's alleged copyrights through IBM's Linux activities.

On August 10, 2007, Judge Kimball, hearing the SCO v. Novell case, ruled that "...the court concludes that Novell is the owner of the UNIX and UnixWare Copyrights". Novell was awarded summary judgments on a number of claims, and a number of SCO claims were denied. SCO was instructed to account for and pass to Novell an appropriate portion of income relating to SCOSource licences to Sun Microsystems and Microsoft. A number of matters are not disposed of by Judge Kimball's ruling, and the outcome of these are still pending.[46]

On August 24, 2009, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its findings on SCO's appeal of the 2007 summary judgment. It reversed Judge Kimball's summary judgment rulings on ownership of UNIX and UnixWare copyrights, SCO’s claim seeking specific performance, the scope of Novell’s rights under Section 4.16 of the APA, and the application of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing to Novell’s rights under Section 4.16 of the APA. It upheld Kimball's ruling on royalties due Novell. The reversed judgments were remanded to trial in Utah Federal court.[47]

On March 30, 2010 a federal jury found unanimously that the copyrights to Unix and UnixWare did not transfer to SCO. Then on June 10, Judge Stewart granted all remaining claims of Novell, and denied all claims of SCO, closing the case.[48]

SCO appealed for a second time on September 9, 2010. However, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court ruling in all respects.[49]

List of recent SCO lawsuits[edit]

Timeline[edit]

2002[edit]

On June 28, 2002 Darl McBride became the CEO of SCO; soon thereafter the company pursued litigation against IBM and Linux. McBride accused Linux of containing "line-by-line" copies of SCO's proprietary source code.

2004[edit]

Dr. Randall Davis (MIT) files his second declaration on behalf of IBM. In it, he describes his examination of SCO's claims of infringement, using both the "COMPARATOR" and "SIM" tools. He concluded that, "Despite an extensive review, I could find no source code in any of the IBM Code [including AIX, Dynix, Linux, or JFS] that incorporates any portion of the source code contained in the Unix System V Code or is in any other manner similar to such source code. Accordingly, the IBM Code cannot be said, in my opinion, to be a modification or a derivative work based on Unix System V Code." Groklaw – Dr. Randall Davis's 2nd Declaration – I Found No Identical or Similar Code

2005[edit]

On June 20, expert Brian W. Kernighan filed a declaration on behalf of IBM. He testified that he had performed an analysis of SCO's specific claims and that there was no similarity between the portions of Linux identified by SCO and the allegedly copyrighted works.[50]

On July 1, federal Judge Dale A. Kimball denied The SCO Group's motion to amend their claim against IBM yet another time (a third amended complaint) and include new claims regarding Monterey on the PowerPC architecture. In the same decision, the five-week jury trial date was set for February 2007.[51]

On July 14, Groklaw obtained an email[52] from Michael Davidson to SCO Group senior vice president Reginald Broughton sent on August 13, 2002. In it, Davidson describes The Santa Cruz Operation's own investigation into whether or not Linux contained proprietary UNIX source code. "At the end, we had found absolutely nothing, i.e., no evidence of any copyright infringement whatsoever," Davidson concluded. At which time SCO presented as evidence an e-mail from a Robert Swartz, a consultant hired by SCO to compare UNIX and Linux source files, that copyright infringement could exist.

2006[edit]

On November 29 and December 1, two critical decisions were released. In the first, Judge Dale A. Kimball affirmed Magistrate Judge Brooke Wells' June 28, 2006 Order[53] striking most of SCO's claimed evidence of code misuse as being too vague to be worth adjudicating. In the second, Wells ruled from the bench in accepting IBM's motion to limit SCO's claims to those supported by evidence submitted by December 22, 2005 and not rejected by the court.[54] SCO stock subsequently lost roughly 50% of its value in three days of exceptionally heavy trading.[55]

2007[edit]

On August 10, Judge Dale Kimball issued a ruling in SCO v. Novell which found that "Novell is the owner of the UNIX and UnixWare copyrights"[46] and SCO to be in breach of its SVRX licensing agreement with Novell.[56] The ruling also cast further doubt on SCO's claims that IBM and Linux infringe against any SCO source code, and upheld Novell's right to force SCO to waive its copyright claims against IBM and Sequent. In response, on Monday, August 13, SCO stock fell over 70%, to 44 cents a share.[57]

The trial in SCO v. Novell was due to start on Monday September 17, in order to determine how much money SCO owed Novell. On September 14, SCO Group filed a voluntary petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.[3] As a result of the petition for bankruptcy, all pending litigation was automatically stayed as per U.S.C. § 362. On September 27, NASDAQ issued SCO a notice of potential delisting, under their discretionary authority. SCO appealed this decision, but on September 19, it received another delisting warning for an insufficient bid price.[58][59] On October 23, SCO announced that they had reached an agreement with York Capital Management. Pending Bankruptcy Court approval, York was to purchase most of SCO's business for a total of approximately $36 million, including financing.[60] After Novell, IBM,[61] and the United States Trustee[62] objected to the deal, SCO withdrew the proposed sale on November 20, without prejudice.[63]

2009[edit]

On August 24, 2009, the Tenth Circuit issued its findings on the appeal of the 2007 summary judgment. It affirmed the judgment on royalties due, while reversing the summary judgments on ownership of UNIX and UnixWare copyrights, SCO’s claim seeking specific performance, the scope of Novell’s rights under Section 4.16 of the APA, and the application of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing to Novell’s rights under Section 4.16 of the APA. The reversed judgments were remanded to trial.[47]

2010[edit]

In March, the SCO Group's case against Novell for slander of title was heard by a jury in Utah, which ruled in favor of Novell. The jury determined that the Unix copyrights never transferred to SCO. A lawyer for SCO responded that the court still needed to rule on whether Novell had the right to waive SCO's claims against IBM in a related suit and whether Novell was obligated by the sales contract to transfer the copyright to SCO.[64]

In June, Judge Ted Stewart decided that SCO was obligated to recognize Novell's waiver of SCO’s purported claims against IBM and Sequent. The Court also judged in favor of Novell and against SCO on SCO’s claim for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, ordering the case to be closed.[65]

The company filed an appeal of SCO v. Novell, scheduled to be heard on January 20, 2011.[66][67]

2011[edit]

On August 30, 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed SCO's loss to Novell in the second jury/bench trial.[49] SCO's appellate brief had argued that there were evidentiary errors and other issues at trial. The affirmed verdict held that Novell did not transfer the UNIX copyrights to SCO in the amended asset purchase agreement, and that Novell has the right to waive certain alleged license violations.

Charts[edit]

Click on the images to see larger versions.

SCO Forum[edit]

Under Caldera, the SCO Forum conference tradition continued, but starting in 2002, the conference was moved to Las Vegas, where it was held yearly until the 2008 SCO Forum[68] was the last one held.

After the SCO vs IBM legal battle began, SCO Forum presentations focused on presenting SCO's side. Speakers included Darl McBride and Rob Enderle. SCO continued the focus in the conference on technical presentations.[69]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mims, Bob (2005-03-12). "Canopy deal: Former CEO stays on board of SCO Group". The Salt Lake Tribune. Archived from the original on 2005-03-12. 
  2. ^ "STATEMENT OF CHANGES IN BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP". EDGAR. The Securities and Exchange Commission. 2005-03-11. 
  3. ^ a b c The SCO Group Files Chapter 11 to Protect Assets as It Addresses Potential Financial and Legal Challenges. The SCO Group, Inc. press release, September 14, 2007[dead link]
  4. ^ "UnXis Completes Purchase of SCO UNIX Assets", press release, April 11, 2011
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  8. ^ "Order Reopening case and vacating prior order". "U.S. District Court, District of Utah, Central Division". 2013-16-14. 
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  12. ^ http://www.progeny.com/about/board.html#love Archived July 20, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Caldera Creates Two Wholly-Owned Subsidiaries
  14. ^ Groklaw – 2000 Caldera-Microsoft Settlement Surfaces in Novell v. Microsoft Antitrust Lawsuit
  15. ^ Certificate of Incorporation of Caldera Systems, Inc.. 2000-03-02 ([1]).
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  22. ^ "Form 8K: Item 8.01 Other Events.". Retrieved 2007-06-13. 
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  27. ^ The SCO Group Files Formal Reorganization Plan With Bankruptcy Court[dead link]
  28. ^ Groklaw – U.S. Trustee Moves to Convert SCO Bankruptcy to Chapter 7 – Updated
  29. ^ SCO Group strikes deal just before bankruptcy hearing
  30. ^ SCO vs. Linux: New investor rescues SCO from bankruptcy
  31. ^ http://www.groklaw.net/pdf/SCOGBK-891.pdf
  32. ^ (SCO) Search Dockets
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  34. ^ The SCO Group, Inc. – Current Report SECDatabase.com, Form Type: 8-K, Filing Date: October 19, 2009
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  44. ^ The SCO Group, Inc. | Products | MeInc
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  46. ^ a b MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER Civil Case No. 2:04CV139DAK
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  67. ^ Pamela, Jones. "List of stories referenced in the "SCO v. Novell Appeal Timeline"". Groklaw. Archived from the original on 2010-12-29. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  68. ^ "SCO Forum 2008 Announced by Hunsaker; Where's Darl?". groklaw.net. Retrieved 2008-05-20. 
  69. ^ Emigh, Jacqueline (2005-08-15). "SCO Forum: Dueling with Linux & Microsoft (SCO Against the World)". http://www.linuxplanet.com/ LinuxPlanet. Retrieved 2008-05-20. 

External links[edit]

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