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.