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.

Filed Under: linux, unix
Companies: ibm, novell, sco


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  1. icon
    _Arthur (profile), 30 Mar 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.

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