The Ghost of SCO Dogs IBM Again

Like Carrie, whose hand emerged from the grave to grab Sue by the ankle in Sue’s nightmare, SCO has reemerged from its grave to revive its lawsuit against IBM, 10 years after the case was first filed.

A court has granted SCO’s motion for reconsideration and reopening the case, Groklaw reported.

The case had several twists and turns: The SCO Group sued former customers Autozone and DaimlerChrysler; Novell denied it had sold the Unix copyrights to SCO, triggering a lawsuit from SCO for slander; and both IBM and RedHat filed suits against SCO.

SCO had sought US$1 billion in damages from IBM.

“The reopening of the case is simply an administrative step to move along the process of getting rulings on some remaining issues. The move is uncontested,” said Alison Preece, spokesperson for Boies Schiller & Flexner, counsel for The SCO Group.

“The party is the old SCO, currently in Chapter 7, under the direction of the bankruptcy trustee,” she told LinuxInsider.

“What was never resolved was the extent of the actual IP SCO received from Novell,” Bill Weinberg, senior director at Olliance Consulting, a division of Black Duck Software, told LinuxInsider. “It will be interesting to see how they will be able to clarify separation of the assets.”

IBM “is likely wanting to appear fair,” commented Raymond Van Dyke, principal at Van Dyke Law. “Assuming there is no new evidence to confer code ownership on SCO, IBM probably hopes to put a stake into the matter.”

IBM did not respond to our request to comment for this story.

What SCO Now Wants

The latest motion was filed earlier this month by Boies Schiller & Flexner. Judge David Nuffer asked both parties to essentially assume he was not familiar with the case and provide him with sufficient detail in their briefs to reach a decision.

SCO must file a brief statement identifying the claims that it agrees have been shut out by the judgment in SCO v. Novell, where the court ruled that Novell did not transfer the copyrights for Unix to SCO back in 1995, according to Groklaw.

IBM can file a new motion for summary judgment on the remaining claims and counterclaims. Once this motion is decided, the court will set up a process and schedule for both parties to identify summary judgment motions filed previously that they still want Judge Nuffer to rule on.

Outstanding motions that were not officially decided before SCO filed for bankruptcy are a SCO motion for reconsideration pending, an objection to an earlier ruling, and a motion to supplement its list of materials it claims were misused by other companies. SCO also filed a motion for reconsideration of the court’s ruling denying its claim that IBM was guilty of spoliation of evidence.

Who’s SCO Now?

SCO, which had filed for bankruptcy in September 2007, filed a memorandum of understanding between it and Stephen Norris Capital Partners in 2008 under which SNCP would pay it up to $100 million subject to Bankruptcy Court confirmation, but that proposal eventually fell through. In June 2009, SCO announced an agreement with Gulf Capital Partners for funding to pay off its debts and continue its lawsuits through the sale of its Unix division. It’s not clear what happened to that deal.

In 2011, UnXis purchased SCO’s software product business, and SCO filed amendments to its certificates of incorporation and was renamed “TSG Group.”

TSG Group remains in the shadows, but UnXis, which has renamed itself “Xinuos,” claims on its website that it was created by SNCP and MerchantBridge Group in April 2011 to acquire all the operating assets and intellectual property rights of The SCO Group.

However, Xinuos “acquired certain IP rights and operating assets formerly owned by The SCO Group, pursuant to an order of the federal bankruptcy court in Delaware on April 11, 2011,” Sean Snyder, Xinuos’ president and COO, told LinuxInsider.

Xinuos “has no knowledge about [SCO’s motion] nor does it have any interest whatsoever in such proceedings,” he said.

What’s Coming Up

IBM is likely to file a summary judgment motion on whatever SCO proffers as evidence of Unix code ownership, Van Dyke told LinuxInsider.

However, it’s “very doubtful that [SCO has] any relevant new evidence or any evidence worthy enough to resurrect the case,” Van Dyke said. “This is a blast from the past and SCO’s case cannot last.”

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More Open Source Jobs Remain Vacant With Scarcity of Skilled Linux Talent

open-source talent is in high demand by employers

If you have the Linux skills to bolster a solid IT foundation, you will be in high demand for a job working in the open source software industry.

Hiring is rebounding in the wake of the pandemic, as organizations look to continue their digital transformation activities. This is evidenced by 50 percent of employers The Linux Foundation surveyed who stated they are increasing hires this year.

However, employers must be ready to face two significant challenges.

First, with 92 percent of managers reporting difficulty finding enough talent, they also struggle to hold onto existing talent in the face of fierce competition.

Second, the rapid adoption of open-source software is widening the skills gap in the market. This is especially true for cloud native application development and operations skills, topping the list of 46 percent of hiring managers.

Open Source Jobs Report

The Linux Foundation this week released its ninth annual “2021 Open Source Jobs Report,” examining the demand for open-source talent and trends among open-source professionals.

To produce the report, The Linux Foundation teamed with edX, a massive open online course (MOOC) provider started by Harvard and MIT — and a trusted platform for learning Linux.

LF officials planned to highlight the full report later this month at the yearly Open Source Summit. But it leaked early.

“Open-source talent is in high demand, encouraging the most experienced pros to look for new opportunities while hiring managers battle it out for the most desirable candidates,” Jim Zemlin, Linux Foundation’s executive director, told LinuxInsider.

What’s Inside the Report

Besides leads on some great jobs this year, the report details growth in cloud adoption and demand for talent in that and other areas. It also shows a big spike in use of DevOps, increased demand for certifications, worsening diversity issues in the open-source community, and more.

“This year’s report makes it clear that Covid-19 has only exacerbated skills gaps and hiring needs that were bubbling to the surface pre-pandemic, especially in the high technology sector,” said Johannes Heinlein, chief commercial officer and senior vice president of strategic partnerships at edX.

It is promising to see that employers are meeting these needs by increasing training and learning opportunities, he said about edX’s focus on Linux and open-source education.

“We need to empower organizations to invest in this type of training in order to meet the tech talent demands of today and tomorrow,” he added.

The jobs report examines trends in open-source careers, which skills are most in-demand, the motivation for open-source professionals, and how employers attract and retain qualified talent.

This year’s report features analysis of data from more than 200 hiring managers at corporations, SMBs, government organizations, and staffing agencies across the globe. It also includes responses from more than 750 open-source professionals worldwide.

Job Report Highlights

Key findings from the “2021 Open Source Jobs Report” show that qualified open-source talent is still in short supply. The LF and edX report reveals half of all participating companies accelerated hiring as talent shortages persist.

The open-source talent shortage is no better this year. An overwhelming number of hiring managers (92 percent) report difficulty finding sufficient talent with open-source skills.

Last year’s report found that the same percentage of hiring managers could not fill available job roles. Two years ago, only 48 percent of hiring managers reported that hiring problem.

Cloud and container technology skills are most in demand by hiring managers. That category surpassed Linux for the first time in the history of this report, with 46 percent of hiring managers seeking cloud talent.

Discrimination is a growing concern in the community. The number of open-source professionals reporting they have been discriminated against or made to feel unwelcome in the community increased to 18 percent this year. That is a 125 percent increase over the past three years.

Best Job Leads

For job seekers looking for the best career paths, it is evident that cloud native computing, DevOps, Linux, and data security hold the most promising opportunities, according to Zemlin.

DevOps has become the standard method for developing software. Nearly all open-source professionals (88 percent) report using DevOps practices in their work. This represents a 50 percent increase from three years ago.

Demand for certified talent spikes this year. Managers are prioritizing hires of certified talent (88 percent), with a similar percentage of managers willing to pay for employees to obtain certifications.

Training is increasingly helping close skills gaps, the report found. Large numbers of professionals are demanding more training opportunities from their employers, demonstrated by 92 percent of managers reporting an increase in requests.

Employers also report that they prioritize training investments to close skills gaps, with 58 percent using this tactic. By comparison, 29 percent bring in external consultants to close their skill gaps.

The full “2021 Open Source Jobs Report” is free to download here.

Jack M. Germain has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2003. His main areas of focus are enterprise IT, Linux and open-source technologies. He is an esteemed reviewer of Linux distros and other open-source software. In addition, Jack extensively covers business technology and privacy issues, as well as developments in e-commerce and consumer electronics. Email Jack.

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