SCO auctions its UNIX assets

SCO announced the decision to auction substantially all its assets related to UNIX, included some software products and the relavice services connected to UNIX System V.

The latest years have been a kind of soap opera for SCO: the company reorganization happened when Caldera Systems bought the Server Software and Services from Santa Cruz Operation led to the name change to SCO at first and SCO Group then with the new focus to UNIX, precisely Xenix, SCO Unix (then known as SCO OpenServer) and UnixWare. Soon later SCO started a very long and complex legal battle first against IBM claiming that Linux contained source code taken from UNIX System V and after losing that lawsuit against Novell claiming that SCO held exclusive copyright over System V. This year this lawsuit ended for good with SCO defeated despite the attempts for appeal.

Despite the millions dollars paid in time by Microsoft to buy licences for UNIX technologies in september 2007 the repercussions of the legal battle were already so bad that SCO was forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, an attempt to reorganize the company and avoid shutting down or at least to sell its assets.

Particularly in the USA someone can start a lawsuit or at least threaten to start one even where there are many doubts about their chances to win to try and reach an extrajudicial agreement that obviously is supposed to get them a profit: for that reason at the beginning of its legal battle SCO had sent a letter to 1500 big companies around the world claiming that the use of Linux might be an infringement of its copyright over Unix hoping to reach a commercial agreement with them but this move not only was a failure but it also caused a legal reaction from Red Hat, another chapter added to an already complex story.

The last judgement established that Novell owns Unix so SCO couldn’t sell any licences, which made SCO’s financial situation even more delicate.

Auctioning its Unix-related assets, SCO states that the sale will be free and clear of liens and encumbrances pursuant to Section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code so if you’re interested in some SCO’s Unix software you can try submitting your bid. 😉

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