Techdirt is on holiday this Thursday and Friday. We'll be back with our regular posts on the weekend!Hide

Novell Wins Yet Again; Says SCO Never Got Unix Copyrights

from the is-it-dead-yet? dept

Could the case that never ends finally end? As you may recall, years back SCO sued IBM, claiming that Linux infringed on Unix, whose rights SCO acquired earlier. Except... in 2003 Novell tossed a bit of a firecracker into the whole thing by noting that it still owned the copyrights on Unix. The case went back and forth for ages, with a lot of questionable activity (including questions concerning Microsoft's supposed funding of SCO's activities), including accusations that the whole thing was an attempt to pump-and-dump SCO stock. Back in 2008, we thought it was finally over when a judge ruled that Novell owned the copyrights, leading many to expect SCO to finally just die off. Instead, it declared bankruptcy, got a lifeline and continued the fight -- leading to an appeals court ruling that the question over copyright ownership needed to be determined by a jury rather than a judge. As we noted at the time, this was hardly (as SCO's Darl McBride insisted) a vindication for SCO -- it was just another chance for SCO to lose in court.

And lose, it did. As was widely expected, the jury has that Novell owns the copyrights on Unix and SCO basically has no case. Once again, this suggests that SCO has never had a case, and has just been wasting everyone's time (and a lot of people's money) for a long, long, long time.

But, of course, it's probably not over yet. SCO says it will continue the original lawsuit against IBM, saying that it won't be over copyright, but breach of contract claims. Of course, it's now been almost a decade and we still haven't seen what it is that IBM did wrong. SCO still hasn't shown anyone what code breached what contract. However, as Groklaw notes, even if SCO (with what money?) keeps fighting the lawsuit against IBM over contract terms, that's a much more limited lawsuit, as the terms are just between IBM and SCO -- and wouldn't impact the wider "Linux" ecosystem, since others did not sign any kind of contract with SCO. Still, at some point, you would hope that the folks still left at SCO involved in this case realize enough is enough and just let it die.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Pixelation, Mar 30th, 2010 @ 5:16pm


    "Still, at some point, you would hope that the folks still left at SCO involved in this case realize enough is enough and just let it die."

    When it comes right down to it, we're all like 5 year-olds. Some worse than others.
    SCO, again, says "WAAAAAH!"
    Too f-ing bad, have a good cry and get over it already.

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

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2010 @ 5:16pm

    There is just way too much innovation going on here. Stop being so innovative SCO! You're embarrassing all those non-innovators.

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

  3. icon
    Reason2Bitch (profile), Mar 30th, 2010 @ 5:45pm

    Makes me wonder if this is a real company!

    According to wikipedia it is a litigation company. What is their product? Just keep litigating random people?

    One of the Key person is Ransom Love. That explains a lot!

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

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2010 @ 6:01pm

    A few open items

    1) The suckers get their $699 back
    2) McBride and friends go to jail, without passing GO
    3) Microsoft gets their hand slapped
    4) Eveyone agree there was no copyright infringement
    5) ???

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

  5. icon
    _Arthur (profile), Mar 30th, 2010 @ 6:24pm

    SCO was a real company

    Reason2, SCO used to be a real company, called Caldera.
    They had one of the most successful IPO ever (as a Linux company), back in the dotcom era. Their main product was Caldera Linux.

    Their moneymaker (moneyloser, since SCO has never posted a profit) is SCO UnixWare and SCO Openserver, two legacy OSes that cannot compete either with Windows (any version) or Linux.

    They announced with great fanfare that they would become a player in the Mobile arena, but it took them 3 years to launch a product for the iPhone, FC MobileLife, $4.99 ranked #337 in Productivity apps.

    They have been in bankruptcy for the past 3 years. After 2.5 years the Delaware judge named a Trustee, who have worked hard to keep the Litigation alive, by racking up $600K of past-due payable (by not paying the bankruptcy lawyers).

    Currently they are seeking approval for an asset sale, their whole Mobile Division, including 12 servers and several software product, to their former CEO, for ... $35,000 (the sale cost more than that to set up).

    The have announced another upcoming asset sale, a JAVA virtual machine patent (probably invalid due to prior art and obviousness), for $100K...

    They have recently obtained a $2M loan from their main shareholder, which gives him superpriority over any other creditors, and first dibs on the IP that SCO happens to own.

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

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2010 @ 8:16pm

    Re: SCO was a real company

    and your point was ?

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

  7. icon
    _Arthur (profile), Mar 30th, 2010 @ 8:39pm

    Re: Re: SCO was a real company

    No point. SCO, after 3 years of bankruptcy, and losing money all the while, is in sad, sad shape.

    The Delaware judge had the opportunity to put it out of its misery, but instead he named a Trusted, who put the company even more in the red, and now vows to keep the litigation going.

    It is hard to get a headcount of SCO-DIP; maybe 20 peoples.
    The hotel costs and other costs for the 3-weeks trial must run up to $200K, a tidy sum for a company that is dead flat broke.

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

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2010 @ 10:15pm


    Sorry, I spelled litigation wrong.

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

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Hide this ad »
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Chat
Techdirt Reading List
Hide this ad »
Recent Stories
Hide this ad »


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.