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.