Unix battle: they thinks it’s all SCO-ver

SCO appears to have lost its long-running royalties battle, after a US judged ruled rival Novell owns the copyright to the Unix operating system.

Unix battle: they thinks it's all SCO-ver

In a case so complicated it required a 102 page ruling to untangle all the arguments,

SCO originally sued Novell for “slander of title” when the latter maintained it still held the copyright to Unix and UnixWare, despite SCO arguing that it had acquired the property in a technology deal back in 1995.

The implications of the decision are wide-reaching. In the near term it’s likely to prove the death knell of SCO’s 2003 suit against IBM which claimed Big Blue had stolen code from Unix and used it in Linux.

If the suit had been upheld it could have placed Linux in murky legal waters, potentially altering the future direction of the open-source operating system.

However with Judge Dale Kimball finally coming down on the side of Novell, the company could now force SCO to drop its suit against IBM, solidifying the legal position of Linux.

“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,” said Joe LaSala, Novell’s general counsel in a statement.

The judge also ruled that SCO would have to reimburse Novell for Unix licence fees collected in 2003 from Microsoft and Sun Microsystems.

SCO has issued a statement saying that it will pursue its other claims against Novell and is considering an appeal against the summary verdict.

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