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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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  • by symbolset (646467) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @04:20PM (#31676692) Journal

    But at least that part is over. There's still a little cleaning up to do but this one could be over and done with finally this summer. If you like Groklaw, head over and give PJ a pat on the back for her long perseverence.

    Congrats to Novell's legal team.

    /SCO die,die,die!

  • It's about time to hear a verdict on this one?
    • Re:Horray! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by coastwalker (307620) <[moc.liamtoh] [ta] [reklawtsaoca]> on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @05:06PM (#31677590) Homepage

      All that we can be sure of is that several million dollars of Microsoft money will be going to a few private individuals for the fantastic work they have done in destroying the reputation of the open source concept.Ask any drone in a large company, Open Source is bad news because there are law suits against it. I expect that they can get pretty well paid jobs with Scientology next.

      • Re:Horray! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by NickFortune (613926) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @05:32PM (#31677952) Homepage Journal

        All that we can be sure of is that several million dollars of Microsoft money will be going to a few private individuals for the fantastic work they have done in destroying the reputation of the open source concept

        Waste of money if they do. All this has achieved is to clearly establish that SCO has no claims against Linux users. Well, that's not entirely true; it's also given rise to Groklaw and generally raised awareness of legal matters in the Free Software community. But maybe you're right. Maybe this is the best they could hope to achieve...

        Ask any drone in a large company, Open Source is bad news because there are law suits against it.

        Which is why those misty-eyed dreamers at the London Stock Exchange recently dumped Windows for Linux. But what do they know about the realities of modern business?

        • Re:Horray! (Score:4, Insightful)

          by fwarren (579763) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @06:27PM (#31678696) Homepage

          Which is why those misty-eyed dreamers at the London Stock Exchange recently dumped Windows for Linux. But what do they know about the realities of modern business?

          They know not to trust their data to a system built with Microsoft Technology. Even if the "stellar minds from Microsoft" come and help fine tune it.

  • Novell Wins (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Prien715 (251944) <agnosticpope.gmail@com> on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @04:23PM (#31676742) Journal

    Novell wins...fatality!

    Hopefully they'll finally die. But surely they'll be back in a George Romero movie.

  • More Than McBride (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Frosty Piss (770223) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @04:23PM (#31676758)
    Remember, It's not *just* Darl McBride, it's also the people that allowed him to do this. That includes the rest of the board and the stockholder of SCO. McBride might be the public figure-head, but he didn't do it on his own.
  • Doubt it (Score:5, Informative)

    by Arimus (198136) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @04:23PM (#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.

    • Re:Doubt it (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Abalamahalamatandra (639919) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @04:32PM (#31676926)

      "finds a way to remove Darl's vocal cords"?

      There are several ways to do that which are quite well known. It's a testament to our community that no-one has implemented any.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by jd (1658)

        You're assuming said vocal chords are in the physical plane of existence. I see no evidence to support this theory. Darl is clearly a Greater Demon from the ninth plane of hell.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by NickFortune (613926)

          Darl is clearly a Greater Demon from the ninth plane of hell.

          Oh come ON! That's giving him way too much credit.

          After all this, he'll be lucky to find employment as a bad smell pixie in the Dimension of Dirty Laundry.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by jd (1658)

            He's ruined the credibility of a geek lawyer firm, he's possibly bankrupted the financiers of both sides, he's crippled the firms that ponied up the Linux license fee, he's turned many IT managers insane and/or paranoid delusional, and he's ruined the credibility of some sectors of the IT press.

            Doesn't matter that he lost the case, the collateral damage is stupendous. If you assume he had demonic intent, rather than merely evil intent, this is the perfect outcome.

            Winning might actually have been less demoni

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by NickFortune (613926)

              I still think you're giving him way too much credit. Microsoft found a greedy, overambitious nitwit, dumped a ton of cash on him, and hooked him up with (at the time) the best lawyers money could buy.

              There's nothing admirable about McBride, but let's not go giving him super powers

  • Novel (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @04:24PM (#31676770)

    Hurray! Just in time for Novell to be bought out by Microsoft.

    • Are there specific claims? Like can Novell/SCO/DogNextDoor be persuaded to reveal exactly what is in any way questionable about these Unix copyrights "in" Linux? It would be nice to have a list: so they can all be written out.
      • by John Hasler (414242) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @04:49PM (#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.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by jimwelch (309748)

          THIS IS NOT TRUE! Linux uses Unix copyrights! - Daryl
          In other news: Hell has declared a snow emergency. Souls will only be picked-up on snow routes.

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

          by dmforcier (68423) <dmforcier AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @08:59PM (#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 weinrich (414267) * on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @04:24PM (#31676778)

    ...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?

    • Organ sale? (Score:4, Funny)

      by Overzeetop (214511) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @04:29PM (#31676866) Journal

      I mean, their livers are probably shot, but I have to believe that there are other organs worth harvesting from the board of directors and the legal firm representing them.

      • by rubycodez (864176) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @04:33PM (#31676958)

        yes, the brains should be quite valuable, never having been used

        • Re:Organ sale? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by whisper_jeff (680366) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @04:59PM (#31677478)
          I realize you were making a joke (and a funny one at that) but, let's be serious - the people behind thing (Darl first and foremost among them) made TONS of money off of this. To imply that he (and his ilk) are stupid is missing the point. Just because he ran his business into the ground doesn't mean that he's run his own finances into the ground. Who cares about the success or failure of a company when you're sipping champagne on your yacht?
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by maugle (1369813)
            You will, when the former employees and stockholders of the company you ran into the ground forcibly board your yacht and perform an impromptu keel-hauling.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by falconwolf (725481)

            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 durdur (252098) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @04:32PM (#31676918)

      IBM almost certainly doesn't care about the cost, which isn't even a day's worth of revenue for them. They have filed counter-claims against SCO, and in theory could win damages, but since SCO has few assets and many creditors, they won't get paid. In a fairer world, SCO would have had to answer for its baseless campaign against Linux users much earlier. But they didn't - they got to put the victims of this campaign on the defensive, first.

      • by tcgroat (666085) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @12:48AM (#31682966)
        For IBM this isn't about winning a settlement. It's about making a public stand: you won't get Big Blue to back down by filing a flimsy lawsuit, and IBM will indemnify and defend their users against such claims even at great expense to themselves. Both IBM's customers and their would-be antagonists will remember this case for a long time to come.
    • by Angst Badger (8636) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @04:58PM (#31677466)

      That's a valid question with respect to Novell, but asking how IBM can afford seven years of court costs is a bit like asking whether Sauron can stay up all night.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by falconwolf (725481)

      ...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 th

  • What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @04:28PM (#31676846)

    "It's taken 7 years, but the US court system has eventually done the right thing..."

    This. Is a contradiction. Justice delayed is justice denied. Always.

  • Not completely over (Score:4, Informative)

    by awkScooby (741257) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @04:29PM (#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.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mapsjanhere (1130359)
      All appeals are paid for, SCO can sue until the SCOTUS tells them to get lost. Even if the bankruptcy court now moves them to chapter 7, some mystery buyer can still pay $1 for the rights to the lawsuit, and pursue it as successor in interest. The fat lady is hoarse from all the singing she's done in this case.
  • It will be very difficult for SCO to spin this one in a positive direction. Darl McBride isn't at SCO any more, which is a shame. It would have been good to see him go down with the ship.

    Roll on the IBM case.

  • The coverage of record on this story, from the beginning, through the dark days and the brighter days, and on until the very end, has been Groklaw [groklaw.net]. I highly recommend taking a look there for more commentary.
  • Who's next? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft got good mileage out of SCO in their attack on Linux. Wonder who will do their bidding next?

  • by Fallen Kell (165468) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @04:34PM (#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 Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @05:02PM (#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.

  • FTFS (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @04:34PM (#31677000) Homepage

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

    What are you doing? Trying out lines for cheesy movie dialog?

    [Novell stands over the fallen body of SCO]

    Novell: No doubt this is the last we will ever hear of any of this. Come on everybody, let's go home

    [As Novell turns and walks off, the hand of SCO twitches slightly and we hear a sinister laugh.]

    [Cut to credits]

  • by KDN (3283) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @04:35PM (#31677010)
    How many times have we pronounced the SCO lawsuits dead? I think its more times than Freddy Krugger has been brought back to life. I think Freddy said it best to Jason: "Why won't you die?"
  • by Bearhouse (1034238) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @04:39PM (#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 Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @04:39PM (#31677108) Journal
    of any of this?

    No! You must kill it! Kill It With FIRE!!!

  • by awkScooby (741257) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @04:43PM (#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 @04:47PM (#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.

  • by Yvan256 (722131) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @04:47PM (#31677256) Homepage Journal

    You forgot Slashdot dupes!

  • by lightspawn (155347) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @04:49PM (#31677292) Homepage

    http://www.linux.org/news/2004/03/12/0006.html [linux.org]

    I've only been waiting six years to post this.

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

    by mrflash818 (226638) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @05:28PM (#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]

  • ...that even a lay-person jury could see that SCO's case was worthless. I'm a lawyer, and I'm here to state the obvious: juries take longer than 8 hours to decide many petty theft cases. Trustee Cahn, who is effectively running SCO, needs to wake up and smell SCO's dead feet. SCO is dead, dead, dead I say!
  • by SEE (7681) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @06:10PM (#31678500) Homepage

    1) The 1994 Sun-Novell license agreement prohibited Sun from disclosing SRVX code for a period of 20 years. It's not 2014 yet.
    2) The jury just said Novell retained copyright to Unix, so SCO had no title to SVRX, and so no power to license SVRX except as provided in the Novell-SCO APA.
    3) Under the APA, SCO "shall not, and shall not have the authority to, amend, modify, or waive any right under or assign any SVRX License without the prior written consent" of Novell.

    As a result, SCO neither had the contractual right (under the APA) nor right of title in SVRX necessary to license the release of any SVRX code by Sun prior to 2014. If there is any SVRX in OpenSolaris, then, Oracle is in violation of its SVRX license agreement with Novell, and its right to distribute Solaris (assuming Solaris contains any SVRX) is, as a result, questionable.

    Now, yes, the 2003 SCO-Sun agreement requires that SCO indemnify Sun against any claims arising under the agreement . . . but SCO is too bankrupt for that indemnity to have much value.

  • by Nekomusume (956306) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @08:00PM (#31679930)

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

    You fool! You've doomed us all!

  • Finally! (Score:4, Funny)

    by failedlogic (627314) on Tuesday March 30, 2010 @08:14PM (#31680116)

    I have finally found my inner-peace.

    I held back on paying SCO for licensing since I've been using a Linux desktop for a while on my personal desktop. I couldn't stand it anymore - sleepless nights, the shakes, sweating, and I took up smoking and booze. I was about to rip out the credit card today after work and pay them. Good thing I read Slashdot first!

  • by sdnoob (917382) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @05:24AM (#31684754)

    that this case actually reached a verdict before the contested copyrights expired!

What this country needs is a good five dollar plasma weapon.

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