Caldera

From LXF Wiki

Caldera caused a stir in the computing world when they called for and created a supportable commercial Linux distribution - OpenLinux, this resulted in software such as Wordperfect 6 and StarOffice making their first appearance in the Linux community.

They later joined with the Santa Clara Organization (SCO), who sold proprietary Unix products like UnixWare. The combined company became the modern SCO, and sold both Unix and Linux product lines.

SCO also bought many rights to the UNIX system from the then owner Novell. SCO were under the impression they had also bought the copyright, but Novell disagreed.

They have since blotted their copybook in 2003.

In due course, Microsoft and Sun paid huge sums of money to SCO for Unix licenses.

Not long after this, one Darl McBride left Microsoft and joined SCO. And not long after that SCO began legal proceedings against IBM on the grounds that IBM had given some of their (SCO's) proprietary Unix source to the Linux/opensource community (claiming ownership of the Unix OS through the above-mentioned deal with Novell). Despite this claim, SCO strangely continued to make their Linux distribution available for free download from their website, even though they claimed that it violated their own IP. You see, by making it available under the terms of the GPL, they were making over that IP to the free software community - but at the same time claiming in court that IBM had done the giving without SCO's consent. Very strange.

Anyway, SCO and Novell were by this time hammering out the copyright ownership in court, under the beady eye of Pamela Jones, aka Groklaw. A recent ruling found in favour of Novell, which seriously undermined the case against IBM. SCO bought time by filing for bankruptcy under "Chapter 11" rules which provide a breathing space to restructure the business. This was also strange since, as Groklaw figured out, according to SCO they were still technically solvent. How come? Well, Novell reckon that those Unix license fees paid by Microsoft and Sun are money that belongs to Novell, and the court ruling has effectively confirmed this. These sums are so huge that paying them would indeed bankrupt today's SCO. But SCO still deny that they owe a penny to Novell, so in effect they are denying that they are bankrupt. Which didn't stop them from filing for Chapter 11. I said it was strange.

And it's all very sad because Caldera/SCO OpenLinux still has some cool features and a loyal following.