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Total Annihilation

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OSS

The SCO Group now appears to be facing annihilation in its lawsuits against IBM, Novell, Red Hat and Linux users AutoZone and DaimlerChrysler.

That's since last Friday, when Novell finally had to file its response to a lawsuit SCO originally filed waaaay back in January 2004. (Groklaw has copies of both SCO's amended suit against Novell and Novell's countersuit, along with a timeline of what's held things up, for those who want so see the legalese.)

If "annihilation" seems like too strong a word, understand this: If Novell gets the preliminary injunction it's asking for, SCO will no longer have any money. None. SCO would be out of business -- something IBM, Red Hat, AutoZone and DaimlerChrysler could never have made happen.

How could that be? It's because of how SCO ended up with Novell's Unix business. In 1995, Novell sold certain Unix assets to a Unix vendor called The Santa Cruz Operation. Santa Cruz Operation wanted to buy everything Unix-related that Novell had, but didn't have the cash. So under the deal the two companies cut, Santa Cruz would collect royalties from Unix licensees and forward them to Novell, which would send back a 5% of the money to Santa Cruz as an administration fee.

In 2000, Santa Cruz Operation sold its Unix business to the company that would become known as SCO Group. That didn't change the deal with Novell: 95% of Unix royalties still had to end up in Novell's hands.

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