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- Join Date
- Jan 2004
Anybody seen the article on SCO today 4/22/04?
The SCO Group received a large dose of cash and a vote of confidence for its anti-Linux campaign last October when BayStar Capital arranged a $50 million investment in the company.
BayStar, a private investment firm in Larkspur, Calif., put $20 million of its own money into SCO, which is based outside of Salt Lake City, and convinced the Royal Bank of Canada to chip in another $30 million. The fact that BayStar made its investment after a referral from Microsoft, a Linux antagonist, only added to the impression of coordinated support for SCO and its strategy.
But BayStar broke ranks last Thursday when it told SCO it wanted its money back, raising questions about the company's future and its ability to wage a lengthy legal attack on Linux. If SCO's legal campaign fades, the advance of Linux as a popular alternative to Microsoft as an operating system for computers used in business could accelerate as the threat of litigation recedes.
In an interview Wednesday, Lawrence R. Goldfarb, managing partner of BayStar, explained why his hedge fund originally invested in SCO and detailed for the first time what he regarded as the wayward corporate behavior on SCO's part that led to the recent split.
Mr. Goldfarb described a company that had become too engaged in publicity and debate with the passionate advocates of the free Linux operating system. SCO's management, he said, was traveling too much and spending too much when it should have been concentrating its efforts and resources on its legal strategy.
"The real issue for us was spending and focus," he explained.
The public statements from Darl McBride, SCO's chief executive, were too frequent and too grand for BayStar's liking.
Linux is an operating system that is distributed free. It is improved and debugged by a worldwide network of programmers, who share the basic source code, in a model of software development known as open source. Linux has become a mainstream operating system for running server computers in data centers, competing with Microsoft's Windows and commercial Unix offerings, like Sun Microsystem's Solaris.
SCO holds rights to Unix, and it asserts that Linux, a variant of Unix, violates its property rights. Others, including I.B.M., contend that SCO's legal rights are less far-reaching and that Linux is not in violation.
In an open letter SCO put on its Web site last December, Mr. McBride took on the advocates of free software like Linux in terms that suggested the stakes in SCO's legal dispute are high indeed.
"There is no middle ground," Mr. McBride wrote. "The future of the global economy hangs in the balance."
BayStar, it seems, would have preferred that managers pragmatically focused on running the business, mostly out of the limelight. The BayStar view was that courts would decide the validity of SCO's intellectual property claims eventually, and that having the company's executives embroiled in a running debate about the role of intellectual property rights was counterproductive.
SCO was becoming a significant distraction for BayStar, a private hedge fund unaccustomed to publicity. BayStar was involved in 64 deals last year in technology, life sciences and media companies, with the average investment being $18 million. And SCO was only one.
Microsoft initially recommended that BayStar take a look at SCO. But there is nothing unusual about that, Mr. Goldfarb said. BayStar often talks to the investment and venture arms of major technology companies like Microsoft, Intel and Cisco. "It was evident that Microsoft had an agenda," Mr. Goldfarb said.
BayStar, he said, then did a lengthy assessment of SCO's intellectual property claims and whether, if the dispute ever came to a jury trial, the lawyer SCO has hired, David Boies, one of the nation's top litigators, could win.
SCO's claims in suits against I.B.M., DaimlerChrysler and others that Linux is essentially an unauthorized version of Unix, which it holds the rights to.
"The issues for us were, first, is the intellectual property claim valid, and if it went to a trial would David Boies win or not?" Mr. Goldfarb explained. "Right, wrong or indifferent, it was our position that we would prevail."
Since its founding in 1998, BayStar has never before sent a letter to a company seeking its money back, as it has with SCO. In the letter last Thursday, BayStar asserted that SCO's behavior violated provisions of the investment agreement and that BayStar's convertible preferred stock be redeemed. In a statement on Friday, SCO said that it did not believe it had breached the provisions of its agreement with BayStar.
"We're unsure what their issues are," Marc Modersitzki, a SCO spokesman, said yesterday. He added that the BayStar letter was "a notification, not a legal action," and that SCO hoped the two sides could settle the matter.
For his part, Mr. Goldfarb said that with reforms in management practices to address BayStar's complaints, it might keep its funds in SCO.
SCO's stock price, which fell 38 cents yesterday to $6.80 a share, has dropped 30 percent since last Thursday, the day BayStar sent its redemption letter. And SCO's stock is down sharply from its high of more than $22 a share reached last October, shortly after the BayStar investment was announced.
- Join Date
- Apr 2003
- London, UK
someone mentioned something about this in work, just makes me laugh
SCO - Sure's Commic OnlineRegards Scienitca (registered user #335819 - http://counter.li.org )
A master is nothing more than a student who knows something of which he can teach to other students.
- Join Date
- Mar 2004
I dont understand this? Even if they prove (if) linux is theres, they cant realy stop it, because its every where, and so they can't go to everyone who has it and tell them to pay up. I think I got it straight, so if they get there rights back from linux, or something, i got to pay for my preciouse RedHat?
- Join Date
- Feb 2004
:P IDEA :P
How about we all put some funds together and purchase rights to the worlds oxygen. Noone has bought that yet. If they continue this fiasco, we sue SCO and anyone else we deem fit for 'Unauthorized breathing of oxygen'. They come to Linus and all the distros asking for money for using 'their product', just ask them for money for 'breathing our product'.If you love something, emerge it
- Join Date
- Jul 2003
- Stockholm, Sweden