Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
copyright, linux, unix

Companies:
novell, sco



SCO... Not Dead Yet... Appeals Court Reverses Novell Ruling; Trial Likely

from the not-dead-yet dept

And you thought the insane nightmare was over. Two years ago it seemed like the long national nightmare that was SCO's claims of copyright infringement in Linux were over. A judge ruled that SCO did not actually own the copyrights it claimed it did, and that they still belonged to Novell. While SCO received a slap on the wrist ($2.5 million) for this, it basically wiped out the key part of SCO's lawsuit against IBM, and led SCO to file for bankruptcy. Some investors supposedly pumped some money into SCO to keep it breathing, but later details on that made the whole deal seem very, very sketchy. However, now SCO might have a very slight chance to turn things around.

A judge has overturned part of the lower court's original ruling on who owns the copyrights to Unix, and ordered a full jury trial take place to determine who actually owns the copyright. Oddly, the court did not overturn the part where SCO has to pay Novell $2.5 million -- which could push the company over the final edge. If, however, SCO can stay alive, and it does go to trial, the company could (and likely will) still lose that trial (and, we're still twiddling our thumbs and waiting for any evidence from SCO that IBM actually infringed on the UNIX copyrights... but that's another story and another lawsuit). SCO's Darl McBride (how he's still running the show is beyond me) is claiming this is a validation for SCO, but that's not even close to true. All the court is saying is that there wasn't enough for the summary judgment on the copyright ownership, and the issue should be taken up in a full jury trial. That's not a "validation" of SCO's position -- it's a small, and likely temporary, lifeline.

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