Judge Rules That Novell, Not SCO, Owns Unix Copyrights

from the whoops dept

For years, ever since SCO first sued IBM for infringement found in Linux, SCO has had trouble proving any of its claims. SCO was still quite cocky about the idea that once the case (and the various associated cases) got to court, it would show that SCO had a smoking gun all along. However, even judges involved in the case are skeptical and point out the lack of evidence to support SCO's position. One offshoot case, you may recall, was that soon after the original SCO-IBM case was filed, Novell came out and announced that it still owned the copyrights on Unix, and SCO was incorrect in claiming the rights had been transferred. In fact, Novell pointed out that behind the scenes SCO had been quietly begging Novell to transfer the copyright to them. However, SCO continued its brash legal fight against reality and sued Novell. Late Friday the ruling came down, and once again, SCO was on the losing side. The judge found that Novell still owns the copyrights to Unix, meaning that the meat of SCO's case against IBM may have just disappeared. In retrospect, it's fairly amazing the lengths that SCO and its supporters have gone in trying to tar everyone who questioned their position. Don't expect an apology, though.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2007 @ 3:31am

    Finally, eat THAT SCO!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Andrew, Aug 13th, 2007 @ 4:40am

    It only makes sense as a FUD strategy

    Totallly agree with you - how crazy is it that SCO pursued this course of action when it knew it didn't even own the copyrights? Well, to me it makes sense if only if they were put up to the job by someone with a vested interest in keeping Linux out of the data center, and off the desktop. No idea who that could be, but it would have to be someone like that.

     

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  3.  
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    thecaptain, Aug 13th, 2007 @ 5:10am

    I don't expect an apology

    I expect them to appeal to a superior court and keep this thing going.

    Its basically been the strategy these many years.

    Ugh. Is there anyway we can get jail time for the people responsible for this waste of time and money that has tarred so many?

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2007 @ 5:12am

    Damn would people quit repeating such nonsense.

    The judge ruled that Novel did not transfer the copyrights to Unix to Santa Cruze Operations and as such Santa Cruze Operations did not transfer the copyrights to Caldaria who did not transfer them to The SCO Group.

    If one recalls the BSDi case the judge ruled that AT&T did not own the copyrights and that the owners were the Universities and businesses who wrote the code with the biggest code writer being University of California. Thus for AT&T to continue AT&T had to license that portion of the code from the University of California. Other license agreements with the likes of Silicon Graphics, HP, and IBM were also interred into. These universities and companies still own their code and the judge did NOT rule otherwise.

     

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  5.  
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    Kevin, Aug 13th, 2007 @ 6:45am

    Hmmm...

    Well, to me it makes sense if only if they were put up to the job by someone with a vested interest in keeping Linux out of the data center, and off the desktop. No idea who that could be, but it would have to be someone like that.

    Maybe it was someone who helped line up investors for SCO, in the form of Baystar Capital and RBC. I wonder who would do something like that...

    Seriously though, if it comes out that they filed these frivolous lawsuits based on IP that they supposedly owned that in reality they not only didn't own, but also knew that they didn't own, then I think that some hefty damages should be awarded to the people that they sued. Certainly legal fees at least, and I'm pretty sure that what IBM has spent on lawyers is probably more than SCO is even worth at this point.

     

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  6.  
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    SCO incorporated, Aug 13th, 2007 @ 7:49am

    I'm sorry.

     

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  7.  
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    Nismoto, Aug 13th, 2007 @ 8:20am

    Re:

    Would people quit repeating what nonsense?

    The judge DID rule that Novell still owned the copyrights to Unix and UnixWare and that said copyrights were not transferred to SCOG when Novell sold Unix licensing and developmental rights to SCOG.

    And what does that mean? It means that many of the SCOG claims are now null and void, but not all.

    Where is the nonsense in that?

     

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  8.  
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    JeffR, Aug 13th, 2007 @ 8:26am

    It's worse than that for SCOX.. not only did the judge rule that Novell retained the copyrights, but he also ruled that Novell has the contractual right to direct SCOX to waive any and all claims against IBM related to the SYSV agreements they had signed with Novell, USL or AT&T...

    Which leaves SCOX holding a big bag of counterclaims.. and not a lot else.

     

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  9.  
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    R3d Jack, Aug 13th, 2007 @ 8:28am

    Who's going to repay me?

    I pay for the court system (well, a tiny part). Who's going to reimburse me for all of MY money SCOG has wasted pursuing these frivolous claims? Somebody please counter sue, win, and put these guys out of my misery.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2007 @ 8:42am

    Would people quit repeating what nonsense?

    Judge Rules That Novell, Not SCO, Owns Unix Copyrights

    The judge DID rule that Novell still owned the copyrights to Unix and UnixWare and that said copyrights were not transferred to SCOG when Novell sold Unix licensing and developmental rights to SCOG.

    ------

    The judge DID NOT rule that the programs that IBM, SI, HP, Univ. of CA et wrote now bwlong to Novel.

    Unix was written by a large number individuals in a large number of companies and universities with AT&T acting as cordinator. The BSDi cases settled the iss of AT&T owning Unix. It did NOT. Thus AT&T could not sell Unix to Novel.

    All the judge ruled is that the content DOES NOT belong to SCO.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2007 @ 11:42pm

    From the few Novell v SCO hearings I have been to, especially lately it seemed that the issue was quite complicated since there was more than one agreement governing the 'transfer' of rights from Novel to Santa Cruz. Of the two 'main' agreements the first had some kind of boilerplate language implying that the anticipated final agreement must needs be convoluted with itself. This was the basis of one of SCO's counsel's tacks in the case. Novell's was 'No, the later agreement supersedes the first'. I guess judge Kimball agreed with Novell's position, but with a 102 page ruling and considering the complexity of the claims involved, that may be something of a simplification. Nevertheless, I trust judge Kimball and that he has treated the matter thoroughly and with all due jurisprudence.

     

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