Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 15th Aug 2007 21:37 UTC
Novell and Ximian In the wake of last week's ruling that Novell, and not SCO, controls the copyrights covering UNIX, Novell is reassuring Unix users that it has no plans to follow in SCO's footsteps. Given that the company is no longer in the business of selling UNIX, it has no reason to pursue any copyright claims.
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This announcement says little
by nevali on Thu 16th Aug 2007 12:22 UTC
nevali
Member since:
2006-10-12

Novell are saying two things here:

1. We won't sue Linux users and distributors. By definition (because we distribute SuSE) it can't be infringing our copyrights, but even if it was, we wouldn't sue anyway because we're not frigtards.

2. (And this is far more important) we're not going to sue the UNIX licensees that SCO dealt with.

Do you think Novell would sue somebody who ripped off the UNIX code without a license? Quite possibly, but that's not really important. The thing here is that they're saying “OpenSolaris will stay open”.

Personally, I'd like to see UnixWare released under a MIT license (insofar as it can be), as it could be considered to be a historical reference codebase (it came straight from USL, after all), and it'd be an interesting comparison point between it and OpenSolaris.

I have to wonder, though, if you go to Novell today and say “I want to buy an SVRX license” whether you get any code, or whether you just get the piece of paper that says you're allowed to derive and distribute the code. Presumably they must have some stock SVRX sources somewhere that makes up the basis for the licensing—though Unix in the 90s was so muddled it wouldn't be surprising if they didn't.

Reply Score: 2

binarycrusader Member since:
2005-07-06

The thing here is that they're saying “OpenSolaris will stay open”.

No, they're not saying that. Sun bought their rights to UNIX from AT&T as a co-inventor long before Novell ever had the rights to begin with. The only thing Sun licensed from SCO was the rights to some code that SCO had that were not part of the original UNIX codebase.

See this thread:
http://www.opensolaris.org/jive/thread.jspa?threadID=37176&tstart=0

Reply Parent Score: 2

glarepate Member since:
2006-01-04

Those Guys Are Not Lawyers.

Enthusiastic support is not a legal precedent nor a historical recapitulation. However even a false premise may be followed by a true conclusion and I am equally certain that Open Solaris is in no danger from any legal claims any more than IBM or Novell were in danger from Caldera's wild-eyed and baseless claims. It still cost them lots of time and effort to defend against them though. I suspect that their defensive actions will extend to protect Sun should any others contemplate similar actions.

Reply Parent Score: 1