Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 30th Mar 2010 22:32 UTC, submitted by aaronb
Legal It's time for bed over here, but before I turn in with a nice cup of tea and a Gilmore Girls episode, we've got some good news for you: SCO has been dealt yet another major blow in its baseless lawsuit against Novell. A jury has ruled that Novell owns the UNIX copyrights - not SCO.
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RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai
by lemur2 on Wed 31st Mar 2010 10:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by kaiwai"
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"This does raise an issue for all those organisations who have paid SCO for IP in the past; Microsoft and Sun are two organisations that I know of who have paid SCO for IP that they believed SCO owns. Could we see Microsoft and Sun (now Oracle) sue SCO for deliberately misleading as so far as selling something that was never owned by them in the first place.

Microsoft and Oracle would have to wait in line behind Novell, IBM and Red Hat.

Novell: SCO fraudulently kept Novell's money (when it sold Unix licenses to Microsoft and Sun).

IBM: SCO distributed IBM's copyright software (in Linux) without a license (because with its SCOSource initiative, SCO repudiated the GPL).

These counter-claims are almost slam-dunk given the terms of the GPL, given that SCO did distribute a Linux distribution, and given that SCO have no patents and no copyrights covering the code in question.

Red Hat: has a seven-year-old Lanham Act claim against SCO:

Red Hat's case against SCO is a complaint that SCO fraudulently disparaged the good name of Red Hat's product (Linux).

This case, too, is a slam-dunk, given that there is no Unix code in Linux.

SCO are in deep, deep doo-doo.


The key decision, of course, was whether The SCO Group actually owned the copyrights to Unix--a claim they tried to use to their advantage by claiming that anyone who worked on or even used Linux would need to cough up some dough.

First they sued IBM for violating trade agreements, then later copyright violation. Then the Utah-based company, former producers of Caldera Linux and SCO Unix, decided to go into the litigation business, setting up a licensing division called SCOsource to "[introduce] the SCO Intellectual Property License Program to make binary run time licenses for SCO's intellectual property available to end users. The license gives end users the right to use SCO intellectual property contained in Linux, in binary format only. End users who purchase this license will be covered for their use of SCO's intellectual property in binary format in Linux distributions on the licensed system. The license applies to all commercial users of Linux."

In other words, if you use Linux, pay us.

Surprisingly (well, not really), some companies actually purchased licenses from SCOsource. Remember them? Sun Microsystems and Microsoft were two of the more prominent licensees. Glad that worked out so well for them.

When the rest of the planet laughed at SCOsource, they started suing other companies, notably AutoZone and DaimlerChrysler. Red Hat jumped in with a preemptive strike of its own, but all the lawsuits came to a screeching halt when Novell raised its metaphorical hand and said something to SCO along the lines of:

"Er, guys? We never sold you the Unix copyrights."

Today's unanimous jury decision invalidated SCO's claim to the Unix copyrights, so pretty much every one of these other cases will get tossed out, except for the countersuits SCO's targets launched.

Edited 2010-03-31 10:45 UTC

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