Judge Rules: SCO Does Not Own Unix

The SCO Group, notorious for its legal campagin against Linux users and developers, was dealt a devastating blow last week. A federal judge ruled that Novell, not SCO, owns the copyrights to Unix, effectively cutting the foundations of SCO's five billion dollar legal suit against IBM. SCO's case was based on a 1995 asset purchase agreement for Unix between Novell and Santa Cruz Operations, a predecessor to SCO; the group claimed that the 1995 transaction concerned the entire Unix intellectual property, whereas Novell argued the contrary. As proof of its claims, Novell produced the original transaction agreement and bill of sale, which indicated that the purchase did not include the copyright. The agreement furthermore gives Novell the right to waive any claims for misuse of Unix by IBM, and requires SCO to forward all royalties that it received for the software to Novell.

This agreement could very well mark the end of SCO, as the software maker in 2003 inked a $10 million licensing agreement with Sun Microsystems, and a $16.8 million agreement with Microsoft. According to the contract, it should have paid 95 per cent of those funds to Novell, but failed to do so. In light of SCO's most recent financial filings, the $25.46 million claim Novell has on SCO's earnings could give SCO a negative total worth.

Novell hailed the ruling, with spokesperson Kevan Barney saying: "The court's ruling has cut out the core of SCO's case and, as a result, eliminates SCO's threat to the Linux community based upon allegations of copyright infringement of Unix. We are extremely pleased with the outcome." Groklaw, a website closely following the case, had this to say: "The big picture is, SCO lost." SCO could not be reached for comment.

View: Full Story on vnunet.com

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Exposed: What MS Doesn't Want You to Receive

Next Story

ATI Driver Flaw Leaves Vista Kernel Open To Attacks

37 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Anyone out there want to start buying up SCO stock? They need some help after the slide over the past couple. You might just be able to buy it all up and get the pleasure of firing Darl's white shiny.

Well, at one point, SCO was claiming intellectual rights to the UNIX code, and then saying that Linux copied major portions of the code from them. I do not think that this ever panned out as legit..... or even as a serious claim....

I don't understand this. It looks as if some people are getting Linux and Unix confused. Isn't Linux in the clear?

Buuut... you could say, Novell own Unix, so Novell can become the new SCO eliminating all distro but Redhat.

Although the district judge ruled in Novell's favor on important issues, the case has not yet been fully vetted by the legal system and we will continue to explore our options with respect to how we move forward from here."

Maybe they can try a convenient eye hook in a ceiling beam, a piece of rope and a conveniently kickable milk crate. It would save a lot of lawyer's fees and would leave enough of SCO's assets for the creditors to divide in the upcoming bankruptcy party.

It looks like they will continue to fight with the supposed copyright technology to unix that they developed after 1995. x)

...and in other news, Steve Ballmer was seen hurling a chair through a plate-glass window just seconds before his head exploded in a pink mist, after every blood vessel in his head simultaneously burst...

Wait a minute... If Novell gets a bunch of money from this whole thing, including parties that gained rights from SCO, does that mean Novell will have more money that MS? Just a thought... :P

Damn, you beat me to that one :laugh:

Darl McBride is a complete slimeball and deserves everything he and his company are now going to get

It depends on the company. SCO was in desperate for money, so their only way to get it was suing because their unix software was not selling. Novell in the other hand is very sucessful with their version of linux enterprises software and many other products that they have.

h3xis said,
poor sco. nobody likes them.

Once there was a Santa Cruz Operation which was respected. Then there was a Caldera which being a crater decided it needed some window dressing and bought the rights to rename itself SCO. It blew the operation badly by trying to claim its license to sell System V or whatever it inherited gave it the rights to sue everyone else on the planet for copying what it didn't own. It will soon be a Caldera again, that hole left when all Darl's magma has finished erupting and the cone collapses.

why are you all getting happy, there's always an appeal. I really don't have any favorites in this case as I don't care either way, but everything is appealed and a high amount of stuff is overturned on appeal so don't start celebrating until after the appeal process.

Novell producing the original "receipt" seems to be the ultimate PWNED in this case, but until the appeal process is over I wouldn't assume anything just yet.

You've got to remember that attorneys don't work for nothing. So unless SCO's attorneys have already been well paid in advance, I can't see them pursuing an appeal that they almost certainly know will be a loser.

No, SCO is now circling the bowl; it should let go and head on down the sewer pipe with whatever dignity a turd can muster.

macrosslover said,
why are you all getting happy, there's always an appeal.

What kind of appeal? SCO does NOT own the copyright to Unix so therefore their suit is null and void. You can't appeal on something that's not there.


If I were IBM, I'd counter sue SCO for legal fees.

As the comment above said so perfectly.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

macrosslover said,
why are you all getting happy, there's always an appeal.

Yep, which is the equivalent of SINK OUR SHIP with SCO having the equivalent of only one of the little two point tenders being left over in a game of Battleship, while IBM/Novell has only had in the whole game, one strike on their sub. Darl baby had better be calling in a true Force Majeure to win anything in appeal. He just might get the whole sub by the time they've completed knocking him out.

HAA HAAA!! SCO doesn't own any of Unix and Sun is left holding the most expensive bag in the world by their selling out and supposedly buying the rights to Unix source from SCO. Darly the con dope can probably be looking forward to some sort of recuperation lawsuit now, Novell already owns his company. Microsoft can just view it as a failed side feint as they already have been schmoozing with Novell over whatever that was about.

Ha

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

So I'm right in thinking that the company is now worthless or

could give SCO a negative total worth.

worse?

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

Chicane-UK said,
...but it was worth it.

I'd have to respectfully disagree. Look at the money, time and effort that was wasted by this frivolous suit. Besides the law firms, about the only company that comes out ahead in this whole mess is Microsoft... who helped ensure that SCO could mount the fight by providing major financial help. They played "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" card very well.... and then turning on SCO by forming a collaborative relationship with Novell.

lbmouse said,

I'd have to respectfully disagree. Look at the money, time and effort that was wasted by this frivolous suit. Besides the law firms, about the only company that comes out ahead in this whole mess is Microsoft... who helped ensure that SCO could mount the fight by providing major financial help. They played "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" card very well.

Frivolous maybe, but it obviously had to be done. So yes it WAS worth it.