Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
copyright, lawsuits, linux

Companies:
novell, sco



SCO Gets Wrist Slapped Over Novell Unix Copyrights

from the this-ain't-over-yet dept

More than five years after SCO went on its quixotic quest to try to sue Linux out of existence, it's finally had to pay at least some of the price. As you probably know, soon after SCO sued IBM, Novell pointed out that it was pretty sure SCO was wrong in claiming to hold copyrights over Unix code. In fact, Novell was pretty sure that it still owned those copyrights. SCO then took Novell to court over the issue -- making that the main arena for SCO's claims. It took plenty of time, but the judge ruled that, indeed, Novell owned the copyrights, basically derailing SCO's entire basis for its lawsuits. At first it appeared as if SCO was just going to give up. It declared bankruptcy and many hoped it would just go away. Unfortunately, it received a lifeline in the form of a $100 million line of credit, allowing it to keep on suing.

As for the Novell case, a judge has finally come down with the final ruling on a fine, and it's basically a slap on the wrist to SCO. Rather than buying Novell's argument that 95% of SCO's licensing revenue actually belongs to Novell, the judge took a much more limited approach saying SCO only owes $2.5 million. It's not peanuts, but it's a lot less than many had hoped. It certainly will allow SCO to keep going (and potentially appeal this ruling) which is why many are labeling this as a mixed bag sort of ruling. Still, as has been pointed out, SCO is the one that kicked this off, suing IBM and then Novell... and the end result is that SCO is paying out $2.5 million. That's probably not what the company's execs expected when they started down this path.

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  1. identicon
    W Klink, 18 Jul 2008 @ 9:02am

    Remember, this particular suit started because SCO sued Novell because Novell dared claim that they still retained the copyrights that SCO was suing IBM over. The court already slapped SCO down entirely on that issue and turned the case around on SCO. This ruling re-affirms that earlier slap down that totally devastated their case against IBM and added that they owe $2 million dollars that SCO illegally took from money that belonged to Novell.

    So in a case that SCO initiated, they have been told that they don't own the copyrights for which they are suing IBM (their real hope for big bucks) and were ordered to hand over the money that Sun gave them. Yes, it's too bad that they get to keep the money MS gave them as well, but this is hardly a slap on the wrist.

    I, of course, won't be personally satisfied until Darl is in prison...

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