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SCO Plans... er... SCO Hopes for a Future
Friday, October 24 2008 @ 09:37 PM EDT

Well, this is perfect. SCO's plans for the future surfaced at TecForum 2008 in a presentation they've put on their website, so we can all have a laugh together. Here's the plan. It's all so vague, maybe it'd be more accurate to call it SCO's hopes. They -- yes, they, since Stephen Norris appears on page 39, under the header: Opportunity -- spin off the company's assets, leaving SCO Group the Litigator as an empty shell, or nearly empty, to pursue the litigation. With Darl at the helm, maybe, if I recall their most recent word on that subject. That way, if they lose all the lawsuits -- how could *that* ever happen? -- the titular winners of the litigation, IBM, for example, will be unable to get any assets at all from SCO.

Sounds fair to them. They get to sue you for everything you own if they win, but you get nada if you win. Tails SCO wins, heads you lose.

In case, like me, you'd prefer not to visit SCO's website, here's the page from the slideshow that reveals their sooper diabolical dream, p. 42:

Do you love it? What is not to love about this plan? It will stand forever, I'd argue, should the bankruptcy court approve it, as proof positive that you don't have to be honest as the day is long or the least bit fair to make out like a bandit in business.

Oh. Wall Street just proved that already? Well. Repetition for emphasis, class.

As you see, it says Unix assets and rights, employees, all partner and customer contracts and relationships, channel partners and customers, all "UNIX products", and Me Inc. and any mobile products, and "all infrastructure" goes flying away from the litigation entity to "New Company". Page 10 shows SCO's headquarters, and it calls it "SCO Operations", so that's evidently the new company. It doesn't say all Unix assets and rights or all employees will transfer, so they'll leave some unknown assets, rights, and employees. SCO Group, bereft of everything but that and a dream that will not die keeps the litigation going with little or no risk to SCO's erstwhile assets. Like a patent troll, but with no patents. There will be "New Investment" in both entities, at least they have arrows to both, but I notice no confirmation of any specific source. They must still be on their camels in the Middle East looking for some. It's an opportunity. With an emphasis on the oh oh. Do I hear wings flapping? The header says, "Proposed Opportunity".

I'd love to see what these guys would come up with for somebody's divorce settlement. Let's see. To be comparable it would have to go something like this: The husband gets the house, and the vacation home in the Hamptons, with the pool and the cars and all the joint bank accounts and the wife's jewelry and furs and all the credit cards. And he pays no child support or any money to the wife. She gets to raise the kids all by herself. And pay off the credit cards. And a bike. What? You don't think that's fair? What are you? Some kind of bleeding heart or something?

If you don't mind going to SCO's website, or wish to view the whole presentation, here it is:
http://www.sco.com/2008forum/presentations/2008_TecForum_keynote_FINAL.pdf

I don't know what makes me smile most from the presentation, the egregious use of a photo of Eric Schmidt of Google on page 32 (bet they didn't ask) or the promise that the future for SCO's OpenServer includes OpenOffice.org 2.0 as of November 11. Linux has had that for some time. Ubuntu has 2.4, last I looked, and they'll go to 3.0 in the next six months or less. You can download OpenOffice.org 3.0 beta2, in case you don't get why SCO makes me smile. Even the stable versions for production use are past 2.0. Even the Vietnamese version is 2.1. Mandriva uses 2.4.1 in the 2008 distribution. Red Hat has been at 2.3 for a year at least.

In short, SCO is updating its stuff with FOSS, but it's behind the folks that wrote the software, which is hilarious in that anyone can use the software. So why wouldn't they choose the latest? The endless mysteries of SCO Group.

Oh, one last detail. Guess who is listed as a sponsor? Intel.

Yup. Look on page 5. I puzzled over that for a while. I think I have it figured out. The Intel board probably figured the FOSS community didn't hate them enough yet for undermining OLPC.

This should do it, though. Touchdown. Way to go, guys. Way to go.

To be fair, it's SCO making the claim. For all we know, it's not even true. Remember the HP "sponsorship" years ago?

SCO singles out for special recognition SCO Unix consultants iXorg. They reciprocate by listing SCO as a partner. You remember them, I trust, from the flap in 2004? SCO also recognizes The Kingsway Group.

And SCO also mentions ATK. I'm not sure if they mean the motorcycle company (who can forget Darl on the motorcycle in 2002 selling the bottled water concept?) or Alliant Techsystems or the aerospace and defense company. Maybe SCO executives wish to book a flight To Teh Moon? Or they could book Darl on the SpaceShuttle, like Mark Shuttleworth as a tourist on the Soyuz spaceship. That'd be a blast. Think of the PR. Think of the possibilities.

Just don't, please, run your nuclear power plants on SCO stuff, will 'ya?


  


SCO Plans... er... SCO Hopes for a Future | 231 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
SCO Plans... er... SCO Hopes for a Future
Authored by: fredex on Friday, October 24 2008 @ 09:43 PM EDT
Gosh, it seems so transparent! I don't suppose the BK judge would prevent this,
either, since he seems to have bought all their stories on all the other things
they've requested. And can you just hear (already) Novell's acerbic remarks in
their filings opposing such a deal? :)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections here n/t
Authored by: ByteJuggler on Friday, October 24 2008 @ 09:44 PM EDT
Put them in the title please.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off topic here
Authored by: ByteJuggler on Friday, October 24 2008 @ 09:45 PM EDT
Any and all irrelevant or semi-relevant musings...

[ Reply to This | # ]

Newspicks comments here.
Authored by: ByteJuggler on Friday, October 24 2008 @ 09:47 PM EDT
Comments/Discussions about newspick items, line up below please!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Impression from a non-lawyer
Authored by: tyche on Friday, October 24 2008 @ 09:49 PM EDT
I was under the impression that a bankruptcy court frowned on a company or
individual ditching all the assets in an attempt to protect them from the
creditors. Have I been wrong all this time:

1. Are companies allowed to secret things away despite outstanding debts,
judgments from a court of law, and "unusual" pay-outs to senior
management?

2. Would even TSCOG have the gall to submit a plan such as this to a bankruptcy
court (with out having all that gall divided into three parts)?

3. Can a bankruptcy court judgment be subject to appeal?

Any answers to these questions would be appreciated, as I am totally confused by
this behavior.

Craig
Tyche

---
"The Truth shall Make Ye Fret"
"TRUTH", Terry Pratchett

[ Reply to This | # ]

Touchdown for Intel?
Authored by: ChrisP on Friday, October 24 2008 @ 10:07 PM EDT
More like a safety I would have thought. One of many but they haven't totally
lost the game yet. :-)

---
SCO^WM$^WIBM^W, oh bother, no-one paid me to say this.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Intel sponsorship
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 24 2008 @ 10:15 PM EDT
I couldn't believe Intel would be a sponsor so I checked page 5 of the
presentation. It shows the dropped "e" logo that Intel dumped for the
oval swirl logo at the beginning of 2006. If Intel actually was a sponsor, it
would not have the old logo. Just my observation, but I seriously doubt anyone
at Intel actually approved this, and I have doubts Intel is actually a sponsor.
Maybe Intel legal would like to see this. Remember their fight against
testifying when SCO served them with that poorly formed subpoena?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Haiku here
Authored by: Crocodile_Dundee on Friday, October 24 2008 @ 10:16 PM EDT
We have the assets
You can have all the bad debts
What could be more fair?

---
---
That's not a law suit. *THIS* is a law suit!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Specificity
Authored by: bezz on Friday, October 24 2008 @ 11:09 PM EDT
A PowerPoint slide at a dog and pony show is not a reorganization plan and this story is nothing new. SCO proposed to sell all of its assets to York and was laughed at in court when Mr. Spector claimed selling assets without clear title was the same as selling bad debt.

Some assets, as yet to be determined, belong to Novell. SCO has to sort that out before this purported plan can be confirmed. What, precisely, does SCO want to move into another company? Do Novell's (let alone IBM's and Red Hat's) extend to this new company? Who is paying for it and on what terms? Is it an asset purchase or another line of credit that prejudices the creditors?

It looks like more talk and no walk.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Specificity - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, October 27 2008 @ 09:19 PM EDT
Darl on SpaceShip
Authored by: lordshipmayhem on Friday, October 24 2008 @ 11:15 PM EDT
Can we make that a one-way trip, just kind of leave him up there?

Just a thought...

[ Reply to This | # ]

SCO Plans... er... SCO Hopes for a Future
Authored by: dio gratia on Friday, October 24 2008 @ 11:19 PM EDT
Page 9 of the presentation, this monumental non sequitur about SCO.com being one of the oldest domains on the Internet. Caldera bought part of SCO in 2002, the remaining part of SCO became Tarantula. At the time, Caldera International announced Caldera to Change Name to The SCO Group (warning - sco.com web site) that August, trotting out new trademarks.

Using the captured brand recognition of the SCO name as mentioned in the title of the press release, “The name change to SCO from Caldera builds on a strong market position which we will extend as we reinvent the SCO brand,” said Darl McBride, president and CEO. Mr. McBride seems to have mis-prognosticated, as The Company Formerly Known As Caldera International (TCFKACI) has managed to thoroughly dilute the marketing value of both the SCO name and UNIX. In part by their preferred 'winning strategy' of suing their predecessors in interest's customers.

Calling themselves SCO is sort of reminiscent of Obi Wan Kenobe waving two fingers in front of a pair of imperial storm troopers on Tatoine and proclaiming "These are not the droids you are looking for!" The effort at best a polite fiction.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Huh? - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, October 27 2008 @ 01:09 PM EDT
SCO Plans... er... SCO Hopes for a Future
Authored by: Bill The Cat on Saturday, October 25 2008 @ 12:14 AM EDT
This sounds so unfair and prejudicial that I'm sure the court will approve of
it.

---
Bill The Cat

[ Reply to This | # ]

If Unix rights are transfered, who can sue?
Authored by: FreeChief on Saturday, October 25 2008 @ 12:43 AM EDT
Wee hope to sue. The "new company" has the Unix rights.

Can I sue IBM too? I also have no Unix rights, same as new new SCO.

This is pathetic; it's getting embarrassing to laugh at them.

Is it wrong to read Groklaw out of spite?

 — Programmer in Chief

[ Reply to This | # ]

That's how divorce works, except reversed.
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, October 25 2008 @ 01:13 AM EDT
"The husband gets the house, and the vacation home in the Hamptons, with
the pool and the cars and all the joint bank accounts and the wife's jewelry and
furs and all the credit cards. And he pays no child support or any money to the
wife. She gets to raise the kids all by herself. And pay off the credit
cards."

If you exchange "husband" and "wife" ("he" and
"she") that's exactly how divorce settlements work today, except he
doesn't get the kids either.

[ Reply to This | # ]

I disagree. The plan might be reasonable
Authored by: barbacana on Saturday, October 25 2008 @ 02:18 AM EDT

Many people are making the incorrect assumption that the plan is simply to split the company into two, with one of the new parts taking all the assets and the other taking all the liabilities. Obviously that would completely unreasonable, and if there is any justice at all in the US legal system, the bankruptcy court wouldn't permit it.

But that's not what's on the slide. There's a bar along the bottom showing an infusion of capital into both new entities. Now, if the capital payment to "old SCO group" is adequate compensation for the full value of all its assets, why shouldn't those assets be transferred? The net worth of "old SCO group", and hence its ability to pay damages, would be unchanged.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Change of ownweship clause?
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, October 25 2008 @ 04:22 AM EDT
Surely this should kick in?

[ Reply to This | # ]

SCO Plans... er... SCO Hopes for a Future
Authored by: Ian Al on Saturday, October 25 2008 @ 04:29 AM EDT
Did I mention that I don't know anything about company stuff, either? Anyway, you've all got it wrong. The slide says nothing about a sale. Why would the reorganisation plan say anything about funds going to another entity that bought the Unix assets? They are proposing a reorganisation by demerger. That way, all of the Unix value goes with the SCO Operation demerged unit and no payment for the assets is left with the SCO Group. This is just another one of Yarro's 'Newco' juggling tricks.

It has the benefit that they don't even have to leave the sale money in SCO Group. Bezz and PJ are so wrong to say this is a hazy plan. Either of them could go down a schedule of SCOG assets and state with specificity which would go to Operations and which would go to Group. In fact, all that really needs to be done is to unbundle the accounts so that Group has its own. Operations already has the assets it would retain. It is just a matter of ensuring title is formally and correctly transferred. Oh, I might be able to help them, there. They might remember that copyright transfers must be in writing and with specificity. We already know from SCO v Microsoft that litigation rights and standing can be treated just like any other assets.

Why might the judge agree to this? SCO can argue that most of the creditor liabilities relate to the SCOsource litigation. It is right that those liabilities stay with the litigation Group. The judge might wonder if the agency licencing of Novell's SVrX would stay with Group. It is probably irrelevant because only a tiny part of SCO licencing is now SVrX (stop that, let me finish!). I think that the judge would turn the plan down just because the Unix business is declining so badly and there are no more sales expected based on licencing Unixware 7 and Open Server code. It's all binary licences and support from here on in. He may also decide that, because Novell are not wholly a creditor they must be paid the full amount of the traced converted funds. Then he has to decide if the untraced portion leaves Novell a major creditor and whether their rights as a creditor are being given fair weight.

He might prefer a Sale under §363 of the bankruptcy code whereby their is no question that the Unix assets could be sold free and clear of any liens, claims and encumbrances. The problem for Yarro and Darl is that they lose their shares in the Operations company. With the demerger, they would acquire shares in both the demerged companies. Only the incoming funding would dilute those shares.

---
Regards
Ian Al

Linux: Viri can't hear you in free space.

[ Reply to This | # ]

SCO Operations or ...
Authored by: grouch on Saturday, October 25 2008 @ 06:42 AM EDT
Are you sure about it being "SCO Operations" and not SCOOPerations? You know, like 'scoop and run' or maybe it refers to those little shovels people carry around while walking dogs.

I'm not deep diving in that to find out.

---
-- grouch

GNU/Linux obeys you.

[ Reply to This | # ]

SCO Plans... er... SCO Hopes for a Future
Authored by: JamesK on Saturday, October 25 2008 @ 07:18 AM EDT
"Opportunity -- spin off the company's assets, leaving SCO Group the
Litigator as an empty shell, or nearly empty, to pursue the litigation"

If someone tried that, to avoid tax obligations or to avoid divorce settlements,
that could be considered fraud. Why not here?

---
Tina Fey for V.P.!

[ Reply to This | # ]

SCO Plans... er... SCO Hopes for a Future
Authored by: JamesK on Saturday, October 25 2008 @ 07:28 AM EDT
"SCO's OpenServer includes OpenOffice.org 2.0 as of November 11. Linux has
had that for some time. Ubuntu has 2.4, last I looked, and they'll go to 3.0 in
the next six months or less. You can download OpenOffice.org 3.0 beta2, in case
you don't get why SCO makes me smile."

OOo 3.0 has been out for almost 2 weeks. Perhaps they can't afford it? ;-)

Also, IIRC, OOo is licensed under LGPL. I thought they had a thing against GPL
licences. Or do they get to ignore that too?


---
Tina Fey for V.P.!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Creditors?
Authored by: JamesK on Saturday, October 25 2008 @ 07:39 AM EDT
I thought one of the aims of bankruptcy was to protect the creditors. How does
it help them to be left holding an empty bag?


Gotta run now. Off to the Ontario Linux Fest.


---
Tina Fey for V.P.!

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Creditors? - Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, October 25 2008 @ 07:50 AM EDT
  • Creditors? - Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, October 25 2008 @ 10:56 AM EDT
  • Creditors? - Authored by: PJ on Saturday, October 25 2008 @ 02:04 PM EDT
"Kingsway Group" website: "Copyright 2002"
Authored by: ak on Saturday, October 25 2008 @ 09:31 AM EDT
From their website "Copyright © 2002 The Kingsway Group Inc."

[ Reply to This | # ]

Missing the last two steps
Authored by: gumnos on Saturday, October 25 2008 @ 10:05 AM EDT

They're missing the last two steps. I've added them for SCO

-gumnos



[ Reply to This | # ]

Been There, Done That - SCO Plans... er... SCO Hopes for a Future
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, October 25 2008 @ 10:13 AM EDT
Company I used to work for went insolvent. They were bought out, the profitable
parts. The negative parts didn't get bought.

If someone goes bankrupt and has two pieces of property, one of which is
polluted with toxic waste, which pieces do you think you can find buyers for?

The writing has been on the wall for years now. SCO has almost no chance
against IBM. Who would be idiot enough to buy that piece of toxic waste with
all the blow back with IBM'S counter claims.

But there is something that might not have been considered. If SCO divests
itself of all Unix Rights and Assets and all Unix products, they no longer have
a basis for their litigation.

PJ,

Your knowledgeable on legal matters, or know someone who can answer the
question. If you don't have the material on which the lawsuit is based, can you
still proceed with the lawsuit?

Don't know how IBM will respond, but shouldn't they be saying something? Or is
it all just smoke and mirrors, and they have nothing to say until SCO comes up
with their next submitted re-org plan? The bankruptcy stays litigation, but I
have to agree this is real garbage.

[ Reply to This | # ]

"Like a patent troll, but with no patents."
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, October 25 2008 @ 10:57 AM EDT
Only SCO could come with a business plan like that...

[ Reply to This | # ]

Use of Eric Schmidt on P32
Authored by: phands on Saturday, October 25 2008 @ 11:42 AM EDT
As I happen to be a Google employee, I'll be making some inquiries after the
weekend as to whether permission was needed, and if so, was it asked for. I
can't imagine they asked because we are a Linux based company, and SCOX aren't
exactly happy with Linux users :-)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Odd List Of Organizations To Recognize
Authored by: sk43 on Saturday, October 25 2008 @ 01:15 PM EDT
SCO singles out 4 companies and organizations for recognition:

ATK - This is ATK North America and is on SCO's creditor's list.
http://www.atkna.com/. There is a link to ATK Vege, which makes remanufactured
auto engines.

People's Bank - There are many banks by this name. This particular one is in
Sri Lanka. http://www.peoplesbank.lk/

The Kingsway Group - A Canadian reseller. Their website has not been updated
since 2002. http://www.tkg.ca/ They are a member of iXorg. They are also on
SCO's creditor list.

iXorg - At least this one we can understand. They helped clean up a part of
SCO's website.

[ Reply to This | # ]

" .... and a bike"
Authored by: crs17 on Saturday, October 25 2008 @ 01:36 PM EDT
As a cyclist I don't want you to underestimate the value of a bicycle. The
divorce equivalent of SCO's dreams would not leave something as useful and
enjoyable as a bicycle with the other spouse.

[ Reply to This | # ]

iXorg, Kingsway, Others
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, October 25 2008 @ 03:21 PM EDT

I believe that iXorg are not themselves a consultant. I understand that they run a business directory for consultants. You would pay several hundred dollars a year for a directory listing. Potential customers would find a consultant by looking them up in the directory. One of their major markets is probably providing listings for the remaining SCO Unix consultants.

Kingsway appears to be a small consultancy in Toronto who specialises in SCO Unix systems. They probably provide services for customers such as restaurants and retailers who have old SCO POS (point of sale) systems. As someone else has pointed out, they don't seem to spend much time updating their web site. If you look at the list of companies they represent, they list Caldera separately from SCO. No doubt they have been SCO dealers for a long time. They are also RedHat and Microsoft reps as well, so they haven't got all their eggs in the SCO basket.

People's Bank and ATK are listed for "outstanding contributions" as well. This may just have been a case of placing an order for some new licenses to support their existing software. With the way things must be these days, any orders coming in the door at all must be big news for SCO.

As for whether anyone runs a nuclear power plant on SCO Unix, it is used in quite a few older power plants (I don't know about nuclear in particular though). Back in the days when SCO mattered (pre-Caldera days), a number of control systems were based on SCO Unix. Siemens Teleperm XP is a good example of this. I think these product lines were all discontinued years ago, but few of the existing customers are going to replace the control systems in their power plants because of that. Most of the people using these control systems have no idea who SCO is. They just know they bought their control system package from Siemens (or ABB or whoever) and that is who they would look to for support. If they upgraded their control systems, it would probably be to a proprietary system to run the control logic with Windows PCs providing the user interfaces (e.g. Siemens PCS7 plus WinCC).

[ Reply to This | # ]

How will a company without Unix assets continue the legal action?
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, October 25 2008 @ 05:18 PM EDT
The basis of SCO's court cases has been various theories involving third parties

infringing purported rights that SCO asserts derived from its purported
ownership of assorted Unix assets. Surely, if it transfers those rights to
another
company, that's the end? If you hold, or can maker a compelling case that you

hold, the Unix assets, you can construct wild theories and bring them to court.

But if you don't, you're arguing about past behaviour at best.

[ Reply to This | # ]

the SCO defense
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, October 26 2008 @ 08:27 AM EDT
So they have laid out a new defense for companies involved in a loosing legal
battle. File Chapter 11 just as the judge is about read out his ruling. Then
reorganize so that all the assets are transfered to a new entity leaving nothing
behind for the settlement. Now to deal with the paper trail, if there are no
assets left with the paper doll, who will pay the lawyers? Now for the asset
transfer, tell the judge that we must jettison all the assets which attracted
the law suit leaving us squeaky clean and ready to return to profitability.
Who needs assets or rights to sue.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • the SCO defense - Authored by: PJ on Sunday, October 26 2008 @ 11:27 AM EDT
    • the SCO defense - Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, October 26 2008 @ 12:19 PM EDT
  • the SCO defense - Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, October 26 2008 @ 12:40 PM EDT
    • the SCO defense - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, October 27 2008 @ 09:37 PM EDT
What would their "standing" be?
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, October 26 2008 @ 12:30 PM EDT
Just a question: How would one untangle SCO's Unix copyrights and the Unix
licensing business from the lawsuits? Consider the matter of
"standing" for SCO's claims in the various lawsuits, in particular the
Red Hat one.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Riddle me this Batman...
Authored by: HockeyPuck on Tuesday, October 28 2008 @ 08:20 AM EDT
If the old SCO group spins off everything, but litigation. How can they continue
litigation if they no longer own what they are suing for?

[ Reply to This | # ]

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