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Caldera Novell The Courts Unix Linux

Novell Wins vs. SCO 380

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the now-wait-a-minute dept.
Aim Here writes "According to Novell's website, and the Salt Lake Tribune, the jury in the SCO v. Novell trial has returned a verdict: Novell owns the Unix copyrights. This also means that SCO's case against IBM must surely collapse too, and likely the now bankrupt SCO group itself. It's taken 7 years, but the US court system has eventually done the right thing ..." No doubt this is the last we will ever hear of any of this.
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Novell Wins vs. SCO

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  • Doubt it (Score:5, Informative)

    by Arimus (198136) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @03:23PM (#31676760)

    No doubt this is the last we will ever hear of any of this.

    Unless someone finds a way to remove Darl's vocal cords we'll have not heard the last of this by any stretch of the imagination...

    We're doomed to hear SCO's moanings until DNF is released.

  • Not completely over (Score:4, Informative)

    by awkScooby (741257) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @03:29PM (#31676860)
    The jury part of the trial is over, but there are still some issues that are to be decided by the judge. The big one is SCO's claim of "specific performance." Their argument is that if the copyrights didn't transfer (which the jury just said they didnt), that APA2 is a promise to transfer them, so Novell should be forced to transfer them now. If the judge rules against SCO, it's over, barring an appeal that SCO can't afford.
  • by Fallen Kell (165468) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @03:34PM (#31676988)
    There are several important ruling that need to occur. There is still at issue a decision of "Specific Performance", where SCO has made an argument that if the Jury says the APA + admendments did not constitute an official transfer of copyrights, that Novell should be required to create such a document to transfer the copyrights since they are "needed".

    Unfortunately for SCO's theory on this, old SCO didn't need the copyrights for their business, which is what was sold to new SCO, and Darl himself testified that the business can be run without the copyrights (statements he made after the FIRST time Novell was told they owned the copyrights by the previous Judge in this case). The wording is also to the effect of "copyrights needed at the time of this APA", which is BEFORE the SCOSource business was conceived to sue Linux users. And then you also have to deal with the fact that "Specific Performance" is only enforced when the party requesting "Specific Performance" has itself performed to the letter of the contract, which there is already case law and verdict on file that SCO has not done so, by not remitting the portion of the license buy-out from Sun and the SCOSource license to Microsoft which were both found to be SYSV Unix licenses, not solely UnixWare licenses (as SCO would change their story afterwards when realizing they were contractually required to remit 95% of the funding SYSV licenses to Novell and not keep it for themselves, and after they have filed to the SCC that they were Unix licenses not UnixWare... one of the stumbling blocks they hit when trying to claim otherwise later).
  • by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @03:35PM (#31677024)

    Reasonable people understand that PJ works for IBM. Reasonable people understand that there is no "PJ", that IBM spun up a screen name and went to town.

    Reasonable people understand that evidence is necessary to back up their spurious claims.

  • by Bearhouse (1034238) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @03:39PM (#31677098)

    ' The former federal judge overseeing The SCO Group's bankruptcy said a jury decision today that Novell Inc., and not SCO, owns the copyrights to the Unix computer operating system does not end the company's litigation against others.

    Former U.S. District Judge Edward Cahn, the trustee for SCO's bankruptcy filed in Delaware, said the company is "deeply disappointed" in the jury's verdict in the dispute over which company owned the copyrights to Unix, which is widely used in business computing.

    But Cahn said SCO intends to continue its lawsuit against IBM, in which the computer giant is accused of using Unix code to make the Linux operating system a viable competitor, causing a decline in SCO's revenues.

    "The copyright claims are gone, but we have other claims based on contracts," Cahn said. '

    So, a victory, but not quite the end. Still, my money's on IBM...

  • by awkScooby (741257) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @03:43PM (#31677174)
    http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_14786202 [sltrib.com]

    "Cahn said SCO intends to continue its lawsuit against IBM"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @03:47PM (#31677234)

    Keep in mind that USL vs BSDI settlement (secret and first published on GROKLAW), did not give the IP or copyrights for all of Unix to USL (USL was owned by Novell at the time of the settlement). The settlement when made public showed us that indeed much of Unix was not proprietary at all. So, it is no wonder that Novell didn't transfer to Santa Cruz Operations, as they didn't have all the marbles to transfer, so they didn't want everyone to know this, so they didn't transfer any (otherwise, then they would have to let the world know about the USL vs BSDI settlement (and everyone then would stop paying any money to Novell or any UNIX tax collector)... when BSD was free !

    So - saying that Novell has all the IP marbles in the Unix world, and that Novell OWNS the Unix copyrights (all of them), is not exactly correct.

  • Pedantary (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @03:47PM (#31677258)

    Technically, it was two sentence fragments.

  • by John Hasler (414242) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @03:49PM (#31677294) Homepage

    All the Linux-related claims were dismissed long ago. This case has not been about Linux for years. Even if SCO had won this trial they could not have done anything to Linux.

  • by doug (926) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @03:53PM (#31677374)

    That is true for some of the lawyers, but David Boies's company took a one time fee up front and that is all that they get. They bet that SCO would win early (basically IBM caving in) and lost that bet.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @04:02PM (#31677516)

    > The wording is also to the effect of "copyrights needed at the time of this APA"

    No. The wording is not to that effect. It was:

    """Excluded Assets: All copyrights and trademarks, except for the copyrights and trademarks owned by Novell as of the date of the Agreement required for SCO to exercise its rights with respect to the acquisition of UNIX and UnixWare technologies."""

    This amendment 2 came between the time that SCO (the original) sent a letter to Microsoft requesting that SCO will cease to pay royalties to MS for code that is no longer in Xenix/OpenServer and taking them to the EU to have these royalties squashed.

    It is likely that this was the 'technology acquisition' that Amendment 2 was written for and, as it happened, they were not required after all. If SCO had been challenged over copyrights then they may have required some.

    The paragraph continues: """However, in no event shall Novell be liable to SCO for any claim brought by any third party pertaining to said copyrights and trademarks."""

    The third party being contemplated probably being Microsoft.

  • by God of Lemmings (455435) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @04:06PM (#31677588)

    Reasonable people understand that PJ works for IBM. Reasonable people understand that there is no "PJ", that IBM spun up a screen name and went to town.

    Yes, but intelligent people at least look stuff up before spouting unsubstantiated claims.

    http://www.linux-watch.com/news/NS7673520174.html [linux-watch.com]
    http://www.groklaw.net/pdf/IBM-621-E19.pdf [groklaw.net]

  • Re:More Than McBride (Score:5, Informative)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @04:07PM (#31677612) Journal
    lol yes, in fact, and not only that, I read the whole thing. A very useful comprehension trick I picked up somewhere (not here). Specifically I read this sentence:

    In addition to the Baystar involvement, Microsoft paid SCO $6M (USD) in May 2003 for a license to "Unix and Unix-related patents", despite the lack of Unix-related patents owned by SCO

    Now, go away you Microsoft apologist.

  • Groklaw's input (Score:3, Informative)

    by mrflash818 (226638) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @04:28PM (#31677896) Homepage Journal

    Groklaw's input:
    'It's over. The jury has found that the copyrights did not go to SCO under the APA or anything else. The verdict is in. Novell has the news up on their website already, but I heard it from Chris Brown also. Here's the brief Novell statement:

    "Today, the jury in the District Court of Utah trial between SCO Group and Novell issued a verdict.
    Novell is very pleased with the jury’s decision confirming Novell’s ownership of the Unix copyrights, which SCO had asserted to own in its attack on Linux. Novell remains committed to promoting Linux, including by defending Linux on the intellectual property front.

    This decision is good news for Novell, for Linux, and for the open source community." '

    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20100330152829622 [groklaw.net]

  • by falconwolf (725481) <falconsoaring_2000 AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @04:42PM (#31678078)

    ...is like declaring victory because you're the last person to hit the ground in the plane crash. How much has this cost Novell and IBM in real $$'s? With SCO bankrupt how can either expect to recoup any of the 7 years of court costs?

    Novell's win against SCO ends that lawsuit but it doesn't end the SCO v IBM suit. The "Salt Lake Tribune [sltrib.com]" article has this little tidbit:

    "Former U.S. District Judge Edward Cahn, the trustee for SCO's bankruptcy filed in Delaware, said the company is "deeply disappointed" in the jury's verdict in the dispute over which company owned the copyrights to Unix, which is widely used in business computing.

    "But Cahn said SCO intends to continue its lawsuit against IBM, in which the computer giant is accused of using Unix code to make the Linux operating system a viable competitor, causing a decline in SCO's revenues."

    Exactly what claim SCO can make I have no idea, but it took Novell more than 6 years to prevail over SCO and I have no illusion SCO will die a quick death.

    Falcon

  • Re:Organ sale? (Score:3, Informative)

    by falconwolf (725481) <falconsoaring_2000 AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @04:52PM (#31678212)

    Who cares about the success or failure of a company when you're sipping champagne on your yacht?

    The stockholders, when a corporate executive mishandles a corporation driving it into the ground stockholders can sue. Executives have a fiduciary [wikipedia.org] duty to the corporation.

    Falcon

  • by walterbyrd (182728) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @05:28PM (#31678716)

    Follow The Money Mike Anderer March 2004
    An e-mail from consultant Mike Anderer to SCO's Chris Sontag revealing Microsoft's channeling of US$ 86 million to SCO.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Halloween_documents_leak [wikipedia.org]

    On Monday, court documents from the ongoing court case between IBM and SCO claimed Microsoft had encouraged financial firm BayStar to invest in SCO. The claim was made by BayStar founder Larry Goldfarb, who said Microsoft's vice president of corporate development and strategy, Richard Emerson, had offered to underwrite BayStar's own investment in SCO.

    http://www.zdnet.com.au/more-microsoft-sco-links-emerge-339271604.htm [zdnet.com.au]

    Has Microsoft's money been a significant resource for the financially ailing SCO?
    Without a doubt. In early 2003, Microsoft started paying SCO what eventually grew to $16.6 million for a Unix license, according to regulatory filings. Only longtime Unix fan Sun Microsystems previously paid close to that, with a $9.3 million license deal.

    Microsoft provided a second, though indirect, boost in August or September of 2003, when it referred SCO to BayStar Capital, a fund that arranged a $50 million investment.

    http://news.zdnet.com/2100-3513_22-139743.html [zdnet.com]

    There is a lot more evidence, but I will leave further research up to you.

  • by GasparGMSwordsman (753396) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @05:43PM (#31678938)

    Can you prove "PJ" exists? No? Than shut the fuck up.

    Yes actually. Aside from all of the legal and factual evidence, the many people who have met her and publicly stated so, *I* also have had the pleasure of being introduced to her.

    I would suggest that maybe you should accept your own advice. Though I dare say I would say it with a bit more civility. (Something about, "better to stay silent than speak and remove all doubt," comes to mind...)

  • by Waffle Iron (339739) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @05:44PM (#31678942)

    What about when Novell starts abusing their position?

    They can't, for the same reason that SCO couldn't even if they had owned any copyrights: Both companies have released Linux distributions under the GPL. They have thus conveyed to end users any licenses to any UNIX code in Linux (which, BTW, there isn't any, but that's another story).

    SCO tried to do some handwaving about being unaware of releasing the code under the GPL. Novell couldn't possibly do that.

  • It's worse than that (Score:2, Informative)

    by SpammersAreScum (697628) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @05:52PM (#31679036)

    Even if the judge doesn't force a transfer, Cahn has said they'll still continue the IBM suit on contract grounds. SCO's arrangement with its lawyers can keep this going (as well as an appeal) even if they're broke. This definitely has a ways to go, alas...

  • Re:Not true! (Score:5, Informative)

    by dmforcier (68423) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .reicrofmd.> on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @07:59PM (#31680720)
    The Linux claims are skinny in the Novell case, but they are still alive. Part of Novell's case was that even if SCO owned the copyrights they're still forbidden to sue over them since SCO is contractually prevented from doing so by membership in the UnitedLinux consortium.

    Judge Kimball split that bit off from the rest of the case since by the contract the matter is subject to arbitration. The arbitration was stayed by the Bankruptcy Court (it had been scheduled to run in parallel with the jury trial in Utah), but can now go forward.

    In fact, the stuff of most interest to Linux users is still to come! The bulk of Novell was about copyrights and SCO-as-fiduciary. Without evidence of infringement, these are directly of interest to Linux users. But the GPL is about to get a hearing. That is of considerable interest!

  • by Waffle Iron (339739) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @08:21PM (#31680974)

    Irrelevant. Novell does own the copyrights on UNIX, so Novell has the right to license those copyrights as it chooses. Any alleged UNIX code in Linux (owned by Novell) was licensed to the world by Novell's own choice under the GPL when it shipped out SUSE disks. It doesn't matter who added the code; Novell is fully aware of what's on the disk.

  • Re:Novel (Score:3, Informative)

    by belmolis (702863) <billposer AT alum DOT mit DOT edu> on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @09:21PM (#31681694) Homepage

    No, the "brand" is the Unix trademark, which is owned by The Open Group [unix.org], not by Novel or SCO. What Novel owns are the copyrights to the original Unix code.

  • by Deputy Doodah (745441) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @10:34PM (#31682424)
    ...and they're still trying to sell "SCO Source". http://www.sco.com/scosource/license_program.html [sco.com]
    Anyone feel up to cutting them a check?

The bogosity meter just pegged.

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