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SCO's Proposed Buyer and Mail Issues
Tuesday, June 16 2009 @ 04:55 PM EDT

Here's Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols on ComputerWorld on SCO rising from the dead. We'll see. I'd describe it more like keeping the patient on life support, while hoping for a cure. The plan hasn't been approved yet, y'all. As for who is the actual buyer, it's reportedly Eric LeBlan. See updates to our last article.

I'll repeat the information we posted as an update to the last article:
On Mr. LeBlan, here are some links for you to get started:
A profile

LinkedIn profile

MerchantBridge website - click on the news page, and you'll see what this business is [I'm now told there is a lot of Flash going on.]

Corporate Watch [PDF] on UK companies in Iraq, including Merchant Bridge:

58. MerchantBridge


£22,072,550 from Iraqi investors

MerchantBridge was appointed 'lead advisor' to the Iraqi

Ministry of Industry and Minerals for the 'Lease of Industrial

Factories Programme,' (Jan 2004).

In September 2005

MerchantBridge launched the Mansour Bank, with $38.5m; 90% from Iraqi investors.

9. MerchantBridge

£22.07m (capitalisation)


'lead advisor' to Iraq Ministry of Industry and Minerals for factory lease programme (Jan 2004)

Launched Mansour Bank (Sep 2005), capitalised at $38.5m; 90% from Iraqi investors.

So is Unix heading to Iraq? Google is your friend. Nothing SCO does surprises me any more, though, not even yesterday's events. In fact, privately I predicted to several Groklaw folks that this is more or less the kind of thing I thought they'd try. SCO never gives up. The judge seemed surprised, calling it a Perry Mason moment. But that's because he doesn't know SCO like we do.

I just discovered around a hundred substantive emails that were somehow routed into my spam folder. I'm not sure why, but they were important emails going back to early May, and I have only discovered them now. But please know that if you didn't hear back from me, that is why, and I'll do my best to answer you all as I can. I'm sorry if you worried or were puzzled. I was puzzling too, because I thought some of you had gone walkabout, so I am really glad to hear from all of you.

: D


SCO's Proposed Buyer and Mail Issues | 223 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections here:
Authored by: SilverWave on Tuesday, June 16 2009 @ 05:02 PM EDT
If Any.

RMS: The 4 Freedoms
0 run the program for any purpose
1 study the source code and change it
2 make copies and distribute them
3 publish modified versions

[ Reply to This | # ]

Newspick Comments Here:
Authored by: SilverWave on Tuesday, June 16 2009 @ 05:03 PM EDT
Links Are Nice :)

RMS: The 4 Freedoms
0 run the program for any purpose
1 study the source code and change it
2 make copies and distribute them
3 publish modified versions

[ Reply to This | # ]

[OT] Off Topic Here:
Authored by: SilverWave on Tuesday, June 16 2009 @ 05:04 PM EDT

RMS: The 4 Freedoms
0 run the program for any purpose
1 study the source code and change it
2 make copies and distribute them
3 publish modified versions

[ Reply to This | # ]

Anybody Notice
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, June 16 2009 @ 05:10 PM EDT
How the amount of money people are offering SCO keeps going down?

SJN offered $5,000,000 last time

Now it's $2,400,000

[ Reply to This | # ]

The comments are nice...
Authored by: Nick_UK on Tuesday, June 16 2009 @ 07:08 PM EDT
...reading the blog, the comments are nice.

Oh well, each to their own I guess.


[ Reply to This | # ]

A horrid thought...
Authored by: Lazarus on Tuesday, June 16 2009 @ 07:34 PM EDT
Ok, keep in mind that I haven't had caffeine for six hours now, so this may not
make a lot of sense.

SCO says they want to sell to Iraqi investor.

They then turn around and call on Orin Hatch (through the son) to block the
sale, under the banner of national security (ignoring the existance of Red Flag
Linux and other such things).

SCO protests (weakly) that this sale's failure would be the end of their

Hatch instead gives them massive bailout money to cover the loss from the sale.

Did that make sense to anyone but me?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf
Authored by: wholeflaffer on Tuesday, June 16 2009 @ 07:50 PM EDT
Hmmm...SCO moving to Iraq. Maybe they'll fire Darl and make Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf the new CEO.

[ Reply to This | # ]

SCO's Proposed Buyer and Mail Issues
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, June 16 2009 @ 09:42 PM EDT
Your spam filter seems to have a habit of going majorly bonkers whenever I
donate to Groklaw via Paypal. Is my money so repulsive that your spam filter
gets ill when it sees it? :-)

On a related but more serious note, I'm sure PJ would appreciate whatever help
people can give to help cover the ongoing expesnes of this site, document fees,
etc. I hope others will consider donating what they can to help keep it going.

[ Reply to This | # ]

SCO's Proposed Buyer and Mail Issues
Authored by: moz1959 on Wednesday, June 17 2009 @ 01:55 AM EDT
Having been a SCO unix user in the dim dark past, (in the pre-caldera sense) I remember the license agreements that came with the packages, and I therefore have to wonder about the legal ramifications of Iraqui investment in SCO.

The "Wassenaar Arangement" on "Export for Conventional Arms, and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies" prohibits export to non-member countries, and Iraq are not among the signatories to the arangement.

Having encryption technologies, SCO's products are among the items listed under the "dual-use" category. Having Iraqui investment in the company would therefore have to be viewed with concern by the various security agencies wouldn't it?

Could IBM, Novell and the US Trustee raise an objection to the proposed financing on these "National Security" grounds?



[ Reply to This | # ]

Perry Mason? Nah! It's ... Monty Phyton ...
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, June 17 2009 @ 05:41 AM EDT
... as nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

[ Reply to This | # ]

SCO's Proposed Buyer and Mail Issues
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, June 17 2009 @ 10:30 AM EDT
Here's Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols on Computerworld.

I can't believe some of the trolls that hit Steven's site. PJ and Steven
partners, both in the employ of IBM or Redhat.

My goodness. I've worn my tin hat a time or two here when speculating on what
was driving this suit, but stuff coming the other way?

Sign me speechless.

[ Reply to This | # ]

On Timing And Cynicism
Authored by: sproggit on Wednesday, June 17 2009 @ 02:12 PM EDT
When you think about it, this latest twist in the tale was almost - almost -

We know that SCO's period of exclusivity is over. The three most significant
participants [other than SCO themselves], namely IBM, Novell and the Trustee,
are all gearing up to either force SCO into Chapter 7 or to file alternate
reorganization plans that would effectively force SCO onto a back foot,
especially if those three collaborated and offered a single joint plan, perhaps
one that brought in some other major creditors, too.

Though we have seen this BK Judge falling over backwards to be accommodating [
and sometimes a trifle flippant, dare I add ] it's quite clear that their chance
of playing out for another plan had run it's course.

They had no choice but to come up with a buyer. Put simply, nothing else was
going to dissuade the Court from flipping this into Chapter 7. The most cynical
thing for them to do would be to magic a buyer out of Darl's ... hat.

So, once again we see the whole shebang go round for another try. But what could
the underlying reasons be? I can think of several, but the strategy is not clear
enough to indicate which, if any, is most likely.

1. SCO want to really, *really* burn through all their cash until there is
nothing left but a smoking hole in the ground. It's an act of 'poison the
wells', of a coward in retreat, knowing they are defeated, and spitefully
wanting to ensure that the victors (IBM, Novell) get absolutely nothing.

2. SCO Management (principally McBride) really do hold out hope that if they
delay long enough, then their appeal will be heard and that, however slim, they
are holding out for the chance to re-try their case. Well, as the opposition
motions argued, the obstacles in the way of this are most likely too numerous
and too powerful to overcome.

3. SCO's major shareholders are all insiders: Ralph Yarro, Darl McBride and the
assorted remnants of the Directors. They used the 'performance bonuses' they
paid themselves on the back of the SCOsource scam to buy up the shares at
dime-a-dozen prices, knowing that provided a small cabal of insiders got 50.1%
or more of the voting stock, they could do what they wanted. They have reached a
point of near-dementia and are playing out a nothing-to-lose gambit.

Side thought, but it might be interesting to get hold of the articles of
incorporation of the company [ or whatever the US name for such documents would
be ] to understand the rules governing things like this. It might give us a clue
as to how many shares would need to be held by insiders.

4. (Tin foil hats at the ready, please). SCO are continuing to execute on a
strategic plan agreed with one or more external third party, a party who stands
to gain if a cloud continues over GNU/Linux and who rather enjoys twisting a
thorn in IBM's side. No idea who that could be, of course. ;o)

If this is credible then there would likely be one or more future events where
the current main players were in some way compensated for their loyal hard work.
Like say future employment with such a sponsor, or having said sponsor 'buy out'
any remaining business run/owned by the current directors as a perfectly legal
and rational means to compensate them for all this work. We _may_ see some
evidence of anything like this in the future.

One potential trail of evidence would stem from the fact that it is critical for
the Unix assets of the company to be passed to anyone other than IBM/Novell.
Basically, any FOSS-friendly party to purchase that property would be inclined
to establish strong covenants to not sue Linux users. That would upset the
anti-Linux crowd to the point that they may (read: would) be likely to spend
money to prevent that from happening. The big hurdle they face with such a ploy
would be to pull that off without falling foul of the Sherman Act, or maybe even

What else could we discern from current events?

I, for one, would love to see disclosure of any dialogue between SCO and IBM on
potential settlements.

It might also be interesting to try and interview David Boies - he of course
would not comment on current litigation - to see if he has changed his views
with respect to the legitimacy of SCO's claims. We might be able to tell, from
that, a bit more about the thinking behind the current legal strategies. If we
can call them that.

We're in to Occam's Razor territory here, no doubt about it. The only thing is,
I can't figure out which explanation is the 'most likely'? Maybe it's the one in
which this whole thing was written by a scriptwriter for (Dilbert / The Simpsons
/ South Park / enter your suggestion here...).

[ Reply to This | # ]

Deadman switch filing possible??
Authored by: LaurenceTux on Wednesday, June 17 2009 @ 09:34 PM EDT
is it possible for Novell/IBM/The Trustee to somehow file a plan/(or intent to
file a plan) so that if this deal goes Poof
then the Not from TSCOG plan(s) get filed.

or to put it another way what is stopping the July hearing from covering the
same thing (just with new names).

Please Please tell me that we are getting to "The Final Countdown".
Random "fact" Highlanders can fight on Holy Ground
the "good" and not nasty ones just don't (see an El Reg story for

[ Reply to This | # ]

So is Unix heading to Iraq?
Authored by: billposer on Wednesday, June 17 2009 @ 10:47 PM EDT

It has already been there, with SCO! During the first Iraq war it was reported that SCO (the first one) tech support received a call via satellite phone. They diagnosed the problem and downloaded a patch. The call came from within a tank.

[ Reply to This | # ]

News Pick - Save a job with open source
Authored by: dio gratia on Thursday, June 18 2009 @ 12:45 AM EDT
In a turn of supreme irony it dawned on me that in a trade off between job cuts
and switching to free open source software, the Peter being robbed to pay Paul
was by and large a monopoly. Must be tough when 92 percent of the fruit is low
hanging and it's all one company. Sharing the pain seems directly related to
market share, don't it?

[ Reply to This | # ]

SCO's Proposed Buyer and Mail Issues
Authored by: txwikinger on Thursday, June 18 2009 @ 11:17 AM EDT
Well they are running an M$ IIS webserver.... Not sure they have any
idea what Unix even is. ;)

[ Reply to This | # ]

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