Darl Is Out, Farewell Master Gamer

Darl McBride, to the glee of many, is out of a job. I think this signals the real end of all The SCO Group litigation, because I think Mr. McBride was hired specifically to litigate rather than run a software company. SCO (Caldera back then) had a good management team in place led by Ransom Love, and they were given the boot to make room for Darl and his henchpersons.

Their cunning master plan failed, despite masterful gaming of the system and support from deep-pockets third parties who were happy to write checks, stay behind the scenes, and let Mr. McBride take the hits.

I think Darl more than earned his pay. He sued his own customers, Daimler-Chrysler and Autozone in 2003. These suits went nowhere and Daimler-Chrysler was dismissed in 2004. Also in 2003 he went after Novell and IBM, and both suits are still dragging on. Red Hat sued SCO in 2003, and the case has been stayed until SCO v. IBM is resolved. Keeping three major actions going with no basis whatsoever is quite an achievement, and he was also the primary public target (cannon fodder, if you will) for everyone who knew the whole thing was bunk.

The motives for these lawsuits are still unclear. If the expectation was that these giant companies would roll over and pay protection money, or buy SCO at a handsome premium, someone miscalculated badly. Another theory is that Microsoft is behind all this with the goal of spreading fear and uncertainty about Linux and derailing its adoption, with no real hope of winning any lawsuits. Perhaps it is a confluence of villainy, each with their own goals.

It has been a marvelous education thanks to Groklaw. Without Groklaw we would not have enjoyed such deep, educated coverage, and would have been at the mercy of shallow, inaccurate reporting. Surprisingly, a lot of lousy news coverage continued even after Groklaw became famous– I guess even spoon-feeding isn’t enough in some cases.

In addition to the noisy and ever-quotable Darl, we also got to meet Dan Lyons, Laura DiDio, Maureen O’Gara, Rob Enderle, the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution, and various other shills, trolls, and mouthpieces. I hope it was worth it for them; me, I can’t imagine a high enough price.

Good-bye Darl McBride, it was fun while it lasted. Well, no, actually it wasn’t fun at all. I wish you well, and hope you find an honest job this time.

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