SCO Trying to Hold Industry for Ransom

By David Coursey  |  Posted 2004-06-10 Print this article Print

If SCO were to win its IBM case by some miracle, it would likely demand tribute from the Linux community at a level that could make the platform go away, columnist David Coursey writes.

Thinking about SCOs chances of prevailing in its battle against Linux, I am reminded of a cartoon I once saw. It shows a scientist—probably a physicist—in front of a blackboard covered with figures and calculations. The final calculation ends with the notation, "A miracle occurs!" I may not remember the cartoon totally accurately, but the problem is the same: The only way for SCO to win, in any equation I can imagine, is for a miracle to occur. And the whole mess would be funny except that on the off chance that SCO wins, the result could devastate Linux and extract large sums from the companies using it.
I dont really care that much about Linux, but SCOs behavior removes it from the community of honorable industry players. Dragging customers into this battle was incredibly bad form.
Based on its most recent financials, SCO has enough money to soldier on for perhaps two years or more, by my calculation. But the unseen hand of Microsoft, or its allies and agents, could allow the company to continue its legal battle indefinitely. Now, I cant prove that Microsoft was behind BayStars attempt to gain control of SCO and turn it into solely a litigation machine. There is no smoking gun with Redmonds fingerprints, but Microsoft did send BayStar in SCOs direction in the first place. And I can imagine that BayStar boss Larry Goldfarb would be as happy as the company says it is if Microsoft were compensating BayStar in some form or fashion. Next Page: IBM seems cozy with Novells claims to Unix.

One of technology's most recognized bylines, David Coursey is Special Correspondent for, where he writes a daily Blog ( and twice-weekly column. He is also Editor/Publisher of the Technology Insights newsletter and President of DCC, Inc., a professional services and consulting firm.

Former Executive Editor of ZDNet AnchorDesk, Coursey has also been Executive Producer of a number of industry conferences, including DEMO, Showcase, and Digital Living Room. Coursey's columns have been quoted by both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and he has appeared on ABC News Nightline, CNN, CBS News, and other broadcasts as an expert on computing and the Internet. He has also written for InfoWorld, USA Today, PC World, Computerworld, and a number of other publications. His Web site is

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