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The SCO Group, Inc. (TSG, informally SCO; ) is a software company formerly called Caldera Systems and Caldera International. After acquiring the Santa Cruz Operation's Server Software and Services divisions, as well as UnixWare and OpenServer technologies, the company changed its focus to UNIX. Later on, Caldera changed its name to SCO and then to The SCO Group to reflect that change in focus.

The company was part of the Canopy Group, but became independent in March 2005, after the settlement of a lawsuit between the Noorda family and a chairman of the group, Ralph Yarro, also former CEO of the Canopy Group. As part of the settlement, Canopy transferred all of its shares to Yarro.

In September 2007, SCO filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.


The Santa Cruz Operation (SCO)

Santa Cruz Operation (SCO) was a software company based in Santa Cruz, Californiamarker which was best known for selling three UNIX variants for Intelmarker x86 processors: Xenix, SCO UNIX (later known as SCO OpenServer), and UnixWare. Eric Raymond, in his book The Art of Unix Programming, calls SCO the "first UNIX company". Prior to this UNIX vendors were either computer hardware manufacturers or telephone companies.

In 1993, SCO acquired two smaller companies and developed the product line that was named Tarantella. In 2001, SCO sold its rights to UNIX and the related divisions to Caldera Systems. After that the corporation retained only its Tarantella product line, and changed its name to Tarantella, Inc.

Caldera subsequently changed its name to SCO then to The SCO Group (NASDAQ: SCOX; now delisted: SCOXQ.PK), which has created some confusion between the two companies. The company described here is the follow-on company now referred to as The SCO Group. Although generally referred to simply as "SCO" up to 2001, the parent company is sometimes referred to as "old SCO" or "Santa Cruz" to distinguish it from "The SCO Group" to whom the U.S. trademark "SCO" was transferred.

SCO Forum

Beginning in 1987 SCO held an annual Summer conference for the international UNIX systems community. Originally called "The SCO XENIX 386 Developer Conference", this unique educational conference was held on the redwood-forested campus of the University of California at Santa Cruzmarker, overlooking the Monterey Baymarker.

Held annually since 1987 the conference is now called "SCO Forum". After the acquisition of the Server and Services divisions of SCO by Caldera Systems in 2001 the conference was moved to Las Vegasmarker where the 2008 SCO Forum will be held.

Featured speakers over the years have included Douglas Adams, Scott Adams, Dave Barry, Clifford Stoll, John Perry Barlow, Linus Torvalds, and Scott McNealy. Musical entertainment at SCO Forum has included concerts by Jefferson Starship, Tower of Power, Roger McGuinn, Jan & Dean, The Kingsmen, The Surfaris, and Deth Specula.

Recent SCO Forum presentations have focused on presenting SCO's side of the SCO vs IBM legal battle. Speakers have included Darl McBride and Rob Enderle. SCO has also refocused the conference on technical presentations.

Caldera Systems

Caldera Systems, based in Utahmarker, was founded in 1994 by Bryan Sparks[32664] and Ransom Love [32665], receiving start-up funding from Ray Noorda. Its main product was Caldera Network Desktop, a Linux distribution mainly targeted at business customers and containing some proprietary additions. Caldera later purchased The Linux Support Team Software GmbH and its LST Linux distribution. LST was made the basis of their following product Caldera OpenLinux.

Caldera inherited a lawsuit against Microsoft when it purchased DR-DOS from Novell in 1996. This lawsuit related to Caldera's claims of monopolization, illegal tying, exclusive dealing, and tortious interference by Microsoft. An example was when trying to install Windows 3.1 onto DR-DOS 6.0 due to the AARD code. Microsoft reached an undisclosed settlement in 2000 with Caldera (which, according to Microsoft, included a substantial payment to Caldera) .

Later in 2000, Caldera acquired several UNIX properties from the Santa Cruz Operation, including OpenServer and UnixWare, proprietary operating systems for PCs that would be expected to compete directly with Linux.

In 2002, Caldera joined with SuSE Linux, Turbolinux and Conectiva to form United Linux in an attempt to standardize Linux distributions. Later that year, CEO Ransom Love left the company and was replaced by Darl McBride, and the company changed its name to The SCO Group.

The SCO Group

Shortly after changing its name, SCO began to claim that Linux "contained SCO's UNIX System V source code and that Linux was an unauthorized derivative of UNIX". SCO filed suit against IBM for an unprecedented US$1 billion and demanded that Linux end-users pay license fees. Microsoft bolstered SCO's financial situation in 2003 by purchasing a license to UNIX technology and by helping to arrange funding. A new division called SCOsource was created to license the company's intellectual property (IP). These claims provoked outrage among Linux users, who denied that Linux had copied SCO's intellectual property. Linux distributor Red Hat filed suit against SCO in Delawaremarker. Novell, from whom SCO claimed to have acquired its UNIX IP, announced that it had not sold the copyrights to SCO and that it retained them. In response, SCO sued Novell for slander of title in Utahmarker, home state of both SCO and Novell.

Subsequently, the SCO Group sued two former customers (AutoZonemarker and DaimlerChrysler). In SCO v. AutoZone, SCO claimed that AutoZone violated SCO copyrights by using Linux. In SCO v. DaimlerChrysler, SCO claimed that DaimlerChrysler breached its UNIX license contract by inappropriately using derivative works of UNIX and by refusing to respond to requests for certification of compliance by SCO. SCO's suit against DaimlerChrysler was dismissed in 2004.

After announcing its legal claims against various Linux users and vendors (see SCO-Linux controversies), the company suspended sales and development of its Linux related products. Attention was shifted to the UnixWare and OpenServer UNIX products previously acquired from the Santa Cruz Operation.

On August 10 2007, Judge Dale Kimball, hearing the SCO v. Novell case, ruled that "...the court concludes that Novell is the owner of the UNIX and UnixWare Copyrights". Novell was awarded summary judgments on a number of claims, and a number of SCO claims were denied. SCO was instructed to account for and pass to Novell an appropriate portion of income relating to SCOSource licences to Sun Microsystems and Microsoft. A number of matters are not disposed of by Judge Kimball's ruling, and the outcome of these are still pending.

On September 14, 2007, SCO Group filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.

On October 14, 2009, SCO Group announced that the Company has terminated Darl McBride.


  • SCO UnixWare, a modern UNIX operating system. UnixWare 2.x and below were direct descendants of Unix System V Release 4.2 and was originally developed by AT&T, Univel, Novell and later on The Santa Cruz Operation. UnixWare 7 was sold as a "best of breed" UNIX OS combining UnixWare 2 and OpenServer 5 and was based on System V Release 5. UnixWare 7.1.2 was branded OpenUNIX 8, but later releases returned to the UnixWare 7.1.x name and version numbering.
  • SCO OpenServer, another UNIX operating system, which was originally developed by The Santa Cruz Operation. SCO OpenServer 5 was a descendant of SCO UNIX, which is in turn a descendent of XENIX. OpenServer 6 is, in fact, an OpenServer compatibility environment running on a modern SVR5 based UNIX kernel.
  • Smallfoot, an operating system and GUI created specifically for point of sale applications.
  • SCOx Web Services Substrate, a web services-based framework for modernizing legacy applications.
  • WebFace, a development environment for rich-UI browser-based Internet applications.
  • SCOoffice Server, an e-mail and collaboration solution, based on a mixture of open-source and closed-source software.
  • Caldera WebSpyder, a web browser for DOS. Code from Arachne was purchased and used.
  • In late 2004, SCO announced the launch of the SCO Marketplace Initiative [32666], in which it offers pay-per-project development opportunities.
  • In early 2006, SCO publicly released Me, Inc, a mobile services platform.

SCO-Linux lawsuits and controversies

The SCO Group is currently involved in a dispute with various Linux vendors and users. In this campaign SCO "announced that Linux contained SCO's UNIX System V source code and that Linux was an unauthorized derivative of UNIX". Although many are skeptical about their claims, SCO initiated a series of lawsuits and claims that so far have not been upheld by the courts. Thus far the impact on both Linux and Unix has been minimal. While making numerous public assertions that Linux infringes upon their copyrights, the lawsuits themselves concern contractual issues which are tangential to the issue of whether or not Linux infringes any copyrights. Further complicating the issue is the legitimacy of SCO claims concerning the ownership of System V Release 4.0 Unix copyrights. The success or failure of the claims will also have a profound effect on the financial future of The SCO Group, itself. SCO has, to date, made little headway in this dispute. In particular, in February 2005, Judge Dale Kimball, the judge in the SCO v. IBM case has stated:

On August 10, 2007, Judge Kimball, hearing the SCO v. Novell case, ruled that "...the court concludes that Novell is the owner of the UNIX and UnixWare Copyrights". Novell was awarded summary judgments on a number of claims, and a number of SCO claims were denied. SCO was instructed to account for and pass to Novell an appropriate portion of income relating to SCOSource licences to Sun Microsystems and Microsoft. A number of matters are not disposed of by Judge Kimball's ruling, and the outcome of these are still pending.

List of recent SCO lawsuits



On June 28, 2002 Darl McBride became the CEO of SCO; soon thereafter the company pursued litigation against IBM and Linux. McBride accused Linux of containing "line-by-line" copies of SCO's proprietary source code.


Dr. Randall Davis (MIT) files his second declaration on behalf of IBM.In it, he describes his examination of SCO's claims of infringement, using both the "comparitor" and "SIM" tools.He concluded that, "Despite an extensive review, I could find no source code in any of the IBM Code [including AIX, Dynix, Linux, or JFS] that incorporates any portion of the source code contained in the Unix System V Code or is in any other manner similar to such source code. Accordingly, the IBM Code cannot be said, in my opinion, to be a modification or a derivative work based on Unix System V Code."[32667]


On February 17 the SCO Group issued a press release that stated their stock may soon be delisted from the NASDAQ stock exchange for failing to issue an annual 10-K report in a timely manner as required by U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regulations. In late April 2005, after complying with the filing requirements, the NASDAQ switched trading of the SCO Group from "SCOXE" (which denotes a listing which may be delisted soon) back to their original "SCOX" stock symbol.

On June 20, expert Brian W. Kernighan filed a declaration on behalf of IBM. He testified that he had performed an analysis of SCO's specific claims and that there was no similarity between the portions of Linux identified by SCO and the allegedly copyrighted works. [32668]

On July 1, federal Judge Dale A. Kimball denied The SCO Group's motion to amend their claim against IBM yet another time (a third amended complaint) and include new claims regarding Monterey on the PowerPC architecture. In the same decision, the five-week jury trial date was set for February 2007.

On July 14, Groklaw obtained an email from Michael Davidson to SCO Group senior vice president Reginald Broughton sent on August 13, 2002. In it, Davidson describes The Santa Cruz Operation's own investigation into whether or not Linux contained proprietary UNIX source code. "At the end, we had found absolutely nothing, i.e., no evidence of any copyright infringement whatsoever," Davidson concluded. At which time SCO presented as evidence an e-mail from a Robert Swartz, a consultant hired by SCO to compare UNIX and Linux source files, that copyright infringement could exist.


On November 29 and December 1, two critical decisions were released. In the first, Judge Dale A. Kimball affirmed Magistrate Judge Brooke Wells' June 28, 2006 Order striking most of SCO's claimed evidence of code misuse as being too vague to be worth adjudicating. In the second, Wells ruled from the bench in accepting IBM's motion to limit SCO's claims to those supported by evidence submitted by December 22, 2005 and not rejected by the court. SCO stock subsequently lost roughly 50% of its value in three days of exceptionally heavy trading.


On April 23, SCO received a second delisting notice from NASDAQ. This was triggered by the active bid price of company stock, at closing, being less than $1 for 30 consecutive trading days. To regain compliance with continued listing requirements, the company must maintain a closing bid price greater than or equal to $1 for at least 10 trading days. The stock regained compliance on June 12, 2007.

On August 10, Judge Dale Kimball issued a ruling in SCO v. Novell which found that "Novell is the owner of the UNIX and UnixWare copyrights" and SCO to be in breach of its SVRX licensing agreement with Novell. The ruling also cast further doubt on SCO's claims that IBM and Linux infringe against any SCO source code, and upheld Novell's right to force SCO to waive its copyright claims against IBM and Sequent. In response, on Monday, August 13, SCO stock fell over 70%, to 44 cents a share.

The trial in SCO v. Novell was due to start on Monday September 17, in order to determine how much money SCO owed Novell. On September 14, SCO Group filed a voluntary petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. As a result of the petition for bankruptcy, all pending litigation was automatically stayed as per U.S.C. § 362. On September 27, NASDAQ issued SCO a notice of potential delisting, under their discretionary authority. SCO appealed this decision, but on September 19, it received another delisting warning for an insufficient bid price. On October 23, SCO announced that they had reached an agreement with York Capital Management. Pending Bankruptcy Court approval, York was to purchase most of SCO's business for a total of approximately $36 million, including financing. After Novell, IBM, and the United States Trustee objected to the deal, SCO withdrew the proposed sale on November 20, without prejudice. SCO was delisted from NASDAQ on December 27, due to its bankruptcy filing.


On February 14, 2008, SCO filed a memorandum of understanding between it and Stephen Norris Capital Partners (SNCP). Under the proposed deal, subject to Bankruptcy Court confirmation, SNCP would pay SCO up to $100 million (including a $95 million loan at LIBOR + 17 percentage points). If the restructuring had been confirmed, SCO would have exited Chapter 11, gone private, and repaid all creditors (including Novell and IBM) in full. SNCP would then have received a controlling interest in SCO. A joint press release stated that SNCP's business plans for SCO include both "unveiling new product lines" and "see[ing] SCO's legal claims through to their full conclusion." The proposal was abandoned two months later.


On January 12, 2009, SCO filed a new reorganization plan with the bankruptcy court.

On May 5, 2009, the U.S. Trustee's office, through its counsel Joseph J. McMahon, Jr., filed a motion in the SCO bankruptcy proceeding to convert the SCO's Chapter 11 to a liquidation under Chapter 7.

On June 15, 2009, Darl McBride announced during the liquidation hearing that they had come to an agreement with Gulf Capital Partners for funding to pay off the debts and continue its litigation against IBM and others, through the sale of its UNIX division.

On August 5, 2009, Judge Gross ordered the appointment of a Trustee according to Chapter 11by the U.S. Trustee's office.

On August 24, 2009, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals issued its findings on the appeal of the 2007 summary judgment. It affirmed the judgment on royalties due, while reversing the summary judgments on ownership of UNIX and UnixWare copyrights, SCO’s claim seeking specific performance, the scope of Novell’s rights under Section 4.16 of the APA, and the application of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing to Novell’s rights under Section 4.16 of the APA. The reversed judgments were remanded to trial.

On August 25, 2009, Edward Norman Cahn, was named as Chapter 11 trustee for SCO's cases.Following this, on October 14, 2009, the SCO Group announced that the company has eliminated the Chief Executive Officer and President positions, consequently terminating Darl McBride, and that the remaining members of the current management team, including Chief Operating Officer, Jeff Hunsaker, Chief Financial Officer, Ken Nielsen and General Counsel, Ryan Tibbitts, will continue to work closely with the Chapter 11 trustee and his advisors.

On October 14, 2009, McBride was terminated as Chief Executive Officer and President of The SCO Group. Jeff Hunsaker left SCO on November 13, 2009. SCO stated that they intended to hire him temporarily as a consultant.


Click on the images to see larger versions.Image:Media-Image-SCO-revenue-per-share-2002-2006.jpg|The SCO Group Revenue per Share (2002–2006)Image:SCO-2001-2006-headcount-by-department.jpg|The SCO Group headcount by department (2001–2006)Image:SCO-2001-2005-revenue-by-region.jpg|The SCO Group revenue by region (2001–2005)Image:SCO-2002-2005-product-and-services-revenue.jpg|The SCO Group revenue products vs services (2002–2005)Image:SCO-2002-2005-revenue-by-category.jpg|The SCO Group revenue by product classification (2002–2005)


  1. The SCO Group Files Chapter 11 to Protect Assets as It Addresses Potential Financial and Legal Challenges. The SCO Group, Inc. press release, September 14, 2007
  2. Speaking at the 1997 SCO Forum, Douglas Adams said "The difference between us and a computer is that, the computer is blindingly stupid, but it is capable of being stupid many, many million times a second."
  3. The SCO Group, Inc. | Products | MeInc
  4. The SCO Group, Inc. vs. International Business Machines, Inc. case number 2:03cv0294 United States District Court for the District of Utah doc #398 [1]
  6. SCO never owned UNIX copyrights, owes Novell 95 percent of UNIX royalties. Ars Technica, 2007-08-13.
  7. Investors bailing on SCO stock, SCOX plummets. Ars Technica, 2007-08-14.
  8. The SCO Group Receives Nasdaq Notice Letter. The SCO Group, Inc. press release, September 19, 2007
  9. The SCO Group Files Formal Reorganization Plan With Bankruptcy Court
  11. SCO Group strikes deal just before bankruptcy hearing
  12. SCO vs. Linux: New investor rescues SCO from bankruptcy

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