SCO: The party never ends

Like the bad actor in a Victorian melodrama, SCO refuses to lie down, and keeps coming back for more.

"We intend to aggressively protect and enforce these rights. Legal liability that may arise from the Linux development process may also rest with the end user."

Many companies declined to use Linux as a result of these threats, which resulted in IBM and Red Hat countersuing SCO. SCO also sued two companies that used Linux internally, AutoZone and DaimlerChrysler.

IBM's other women

Many commentators assumed that SCO had taken the action in the hope that it would precipitate a buy out by IBM or by other parties with an interest in the success or failure of Linux. Although this seems quite unlikely. IBM was never likely to back down on its view that SCO's claims were without merit.

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Linus Torvalds may also have been onto something when he quipped that he found the case "mostly interesting in a Jerry Springer kind of way."

He added: "White trash battling it out in public, throwing chairs at each other. SCO crying about IBM's other women... Fairly entertaining."

Caldera had considered itself the most business-friendly of Linux distributions, but was often at odds with the user and developer communities. Unlike most other distributions, Caldera wasn't freely downloadable. At one point, when Caldera announced it would drop the GNU GPL (General Public License) for future products "because it was holding back its business", Richard Stallman was driven to say that "Caldera's not a free software company at all. They are just a parasite." Despite or because of this, Caldera saw itself as the Linux distribution for business.

So when IBM made the decision to put its weight behind Linux as a server operating system and chose Red Hat, SuSE and TurboLinux as its Linux partners, it dealt a blow to the immediate prospects of Caldera and SCO.

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