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
    John Wilson, 18 Jul 2008 @ 9:19am

    They aren't getting off all that easy..

    The $100 million has never materialized nor was the deal done that would have supplied it.

    The closer reality is that SCO's cash flow is, for all practical purposes zero. As for whatever cash on hand they have they're spending it like a drunken sailor.

    The $2.5 million judgement would empty their bank account and then some.

    Darl keeps dreaming of appealing the judgement but his company is bankrupt and it keeps looking like they won't ever get out of Chapter 11.

    Each reorg scheme they come up with seems to be based on nothing more than moonbeams and dust. He also seems fixated on the idea that putting this mess in front of a jury would save his sorry butt.

    And just wait, IBM is lining up waiting for the ruling on its case which may just provide a few more nails for SCO's coffin.

    In light of all this can someone tell me just how it is that McBride still has a job?

    ttfn

    John

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