Who will be the next Open Source Public Enemy #1?

During the end-of-the-year break, a traditional time for bad news since fewer people than usual are paying attention, The SCO Group was delisted by NASDAQ. It was the latest bump down for SCO, best-known in recent years for claiming it owned Linux, which lost a major court decision in August and filed for bankruptcy in September. As SCO slides closer to nonexistence — its website hasn’t been updated since we noted this back in November — it’s worth remembering that the company, under CEO Darl McBride, was once not merely relevant but feared. You may remember this cover story from FORTUNE back in May 2004:


The story itself was more sober than the cover shot, but there was a time, not so long ago, when reasonable people were worried about the viability of open source software in business. SCO’s many lawsuits, both real and threatened, forced the open source community to reconsider, at the most basic level, how we license open source. SCO didn’t gain much from the suit, at least not in the long term (its OTC stock trades between a nickel and a dime per share this week), but its actions did force the open source industry to get more serious (some might argue more professional) about delineating who has the rights to what.

With SCO apparently on the way out and even Microsoft warming up to open source, who will be the new bogeyman to unite the open source movement?

We’ll look for your nominations in the comments.

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