from the please-be-dead dept
My favorite part may be a rather minor point in the larger fight, but part of the legal fight involved SCO claiming slander against Novell for telling the world that SCO didn't actually hold the copyrights for UNIX. SCO tried to claim that this hurt its business, and Novell reasonably countered that the thing that really hurt SCO's business was its own actions -- and, as part of that, showed the jury a BusinessWeek article about how SCO was "The Most Hated Company in Tech." SCO claimed this was hearsay, but the court didn't buy it, noting that it was one minor image seen by the jury over a much larger trial, but, more importantly, noted that "there was repeated testimony and argument over the course of the trial pointing out the unpopularity of the SCO Source program."
While there are lots of lessons to be learned from the nearly decade-long SCO legal fight to claim control over Linux and demand a toll from just about everyone, one key lesson is that going legal is no way to build a business that people like or respect. The crux of a strong market system is that it enables transactions where all parties are happy with the results, and all parties feel they came out better off. When your entire business model is to force people to pay, rather than providing real value for which they want to pay, you're positioning yourself for failure.