SCO vs Novell – Darl McBride’s Ludicrous Testimony

Information on some of the issues in the SCO related lawsuits were identified in our website a couple of months back. On April 30th trial became underway to determine the scope of what SCO owed Novell in unpaid royalties regarding its unauthorized licensing of Novell’s copyrights. The proceedings went rather predictably with SCO latching on to certain technicalities on the timing of payments. Specifically, SCO argued that even though SUN and Microsoft should get their unauthorized license payments back, Novell should not be holding money in the interim.

The hearings were aplenty in rather ludicrous testimonies by SCO executives. SCO’s SVP, Chris Sontag testified and stated the following:

Question: "Is there any UnixWare code in Linux?"
Response: "There very well could be, ... I've never done that analysis, never seen that analysis."

Later, when SCO CEO Darl McBride took the stand, the following ensued:

"We have evidence System V is in Linux,...When you go to the bookstore and look in the UNIX section, there's books on 'How to Program UNIX' but when you go to the Linux section and look for 'How to Program Linux' you're not gonna find it, because it doesn't exist.”

Needless to say, this is a case of top SCO executives contradicting each other in court. The witness exclusion rule in place meant the executives were unaware of the other’s testimony and oblivious of the contradiction they presented. The analogy by Darl McBride is ill advised and one has to wonder whether it is really incompetence that provoked such a suggestion – for any Hari, Tom, or Wo in the tech field, it is fairly obvious that though there is not a surplus, because of the narrow scope and fairly legacy nature of those topics, both Linux and Unix related books are in abundance at bookstores – not to mention the literature on the web. The bizarre nature of that testimony continued with the following nugget:

“Linux is a copy of UNIX, there is no difference...”

It is evident that SCO executives are promoting themselves as unbelievably ill informed. It could also be that the executives are purposely feigning ignorance to avoid personal litigation issues. The above statements coupled with Darl McBride’s testimony on how he steered the company in this direction following a brain-storming session immediately after he joined the company lends more credence to the idea that SCO’s management were ignorant…

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