Novell Pings, SCO Pongs

SCO Group on Friday reasserted its claim to Unix copyrights, providing as evidence an excerpt from a 1996 amendment to the original 1995 purchase agreement between Novell and the former Santa Cruz Operation Inc.

"What we are trying to make available today to the public is the information that we do have clear rights and ownership to the Unix System V copyrights," SCO Group CEO Darl McBride said during a conference call. "To the extent anyone was concerned about this, that issue is now fully put to bed."

A week earlier, Novell had questioned SCO Group's ownership of Unix copyrights and patents. But in a written statement dated June 6, Novell acknowledged that the 1996 amendment "appears to support SCO's claim that ownership of certain copyrights for Unix did transfer to SCO." However, it added that Novell, and not SCO Group, owns the Unix patents, and it chided SCO Group for what it called "unsubstantiated claims" against the Linux community.

McBride said SCO Group has been in discussions with unidentified "large players" in the industry over its assertion that its Unix code has been misappropriated into the Linux operating system. The company is pressing other vendors to sign licenses that compensate SCO Group for their use of its intellectual property. Last month, Microsoft signed such a license, though terms weren't disclosed.

SCO Group is suing IBM for $1 billion, claiming that Unix code licensed by IBM for its AIX operating system has found its way into Linux. SCO Group has threatened to revoke IBM's Unix license if the matter isn't resolved by June 13, but IBM has denied any wrongdoing. McBride has warned that if the June 13 deadline passes without resolution, SCO Group will take "appropriate steps" beginning Monday, June 16.

News source: InformationWeek - Novell Pings, SCO Pongs

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