Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/05/22/sco_pulps_calderams_trial_archives/

SCO pulps Caldera-MS trial archives

History is toilet tissue...

By John Lettice

Posted in Software, 22nd May 2003 09:20 GMT

The Caldera antitrust lawsuit included some of the most damning evidence of Microsoft misconduct; breakware, black propaganda, all was there, the potential embarrassment being such that there was good reason for Microsoft to settle, then try to pretend it never happened. Now, however, maybe it didn't ever happen - because the evidence is being pulped.

AP reports that the 937 boxes of court-ordered documents, which have been in store since the lawsuit, are currently being destroyed at the behest of SCO, their owner and - surely coincidentally - Microsoft's new friend. Some 40 boxes have been temporarily hijacked by Sun, which is busily scanning them for use in its own antitrust suit, but after it's done so they'll be off for pulping too.

AP reports that the likely future role of this historical archive is toilet paper. It'll be gone in a few weeks, and given that people don't sue over the deliberate detabilisation and undermining of DR-DOS very often, it's unlikely that there will ever be reason to rebuild it. Indeed, as the years go by the originals of subpoenaed smoking pistols themselves will slowly disappear, to the point where those claiming they ever existed can be safely tagged as crazed, deluded loons.

Which is odd in this day and age, isn't it? Granted it costs ($1,500 a month, in this case) to store 937 boxes of paper, but the ongoing cost of storing documentation once it's been digitised would be negligible, and one does feel that companies - or at least the courts - should have a certain responsibility to history.

One does however doubt that the companies accept this. During the antitrust trial Caldera provided copious and entertaining online documentation which at least meant you could bone up on the salient points of the evidence. The Register however noted that access became rather more obscure on the settlement, and subsequent shuffling of the corporate components has made it even more difficult, possibly impossible. Was it once here, http://www.drdos.com/fullstory/ at this now broken link? Updated: yes it was, and it's now back, having been temporarily mislaid during site moves. As a backup, there's always archive.org, and ther's also maxframe.com. Thanks to all the archivists who contacted us. ®