Print 24 comment(s) - last by sigilscience.. on Nov 30 at 5:00 PM

Judgment likely to be a stake through UNIX vendor's heart

The SCO Group’s latest claims in its longstanding tussle with Novell were shot down last Thursday (PDF), with presiding federal district judge Dale A. Kimball affirming his original $2.5m judgment against SCO, plus an additional $958,709 in interest.

Many of SCO’s claims against Novell, which include accusations of copyright infringement, breach of contract, and unfair competition, were dismissed with prejudice and without the possibility of appeal.

Judge Kimball originally ordered SCO to pay $2.5m to Novell last July, for improperly claiming and collecting royalties on parts of the Unix operating system.  In his order last week, an additional $918,122 was tacked on last week as “prejudgment interest”, with an additional $489 per day from August 29 to November 20 of this year.

SCO’s filed its original suit in 2004, where it accused Novell of asserting ownership over Unix SVRx code that it previously acquired. A court found those claims to be untrue and sided with Novell however, noting that the original transaction – dubbed an “Asset Purchase Agreement” – amounted to nothing more than a partial transfer of ownership and did not include Unix copyrights.

Using its mistaken claims of ownership, SCO introduced the SCOSource licensing program and filed lawsuits against companies like IBM, DaimlerChrysler, and AutoZone, among others, for employing unlicensed SCO intellectual property in their Linux deployments.

Kimball’s November 20 ruling orders both SCO and Novell to release SCO’s infringement claims against SVRx licensees, and strikes down SCO’s 2003 amendments to a SVRx deal originally between Novell and Sun Microsystems.

It is unknown as to whether or not Novell will be able to collect its winnings, however, as SCO seemed to bet its future on predicted royalties earnings and its claims against Novell. To that end, the company’s future is uncertain: it is nearly out of cash and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September 2007, and at the time even its management doubted the company’s ability to survive.

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I don't think we've heard the last of it...
By AntiM on 11/25/2008 9:12:26 AM , Rating: 1
It was Microsoft that prodded SCO into asserting it's rights (at least they thought they had copyrights) to parts of the Linux code.

After it was discovered Novell actually held the rights to the disputed code, Microsoft quickly made a deal with Novell.

Now they're just waiting, ready to pounce the very moment Linux becomes a viable threat to Windows, Office and other MS products.

By Yames on 11/25/2008 11:04:30 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed, I have never trusted this deal. It seems like a way for MS to get it foot in the back door to attempt a take down on Linux. I know the community will not go down quietly ;)

RE: I don't think we've heard the last of it...
By kmmatney on 11/25/2008 12:53:04 PM , Rating: 2
As someone who has tried to use Linux several times (I give it another try about once a year) I can say that Linux will probably never be a threat to Windows and Office. If anything, it's falling farther behind. There are certainly cool things you can do with Linux - I once had a hard drive conk out on my laptop on a business trip, but was able to get work done using a Ubuntu live disk. However I don't see Linux gaining much ground - Microsoft needs to worry about OSX more than Linux.

By Yames on 11/25/2008 2:51:20 PM , Rating: 2
Not exactly. MAC is expensive. It has taken some time for Firefox to make significant gains on the browser market. Linux will become more popular, and it is getting better not worse at becoming simple to use. All that is needed are better ways to run familiar applications. Firefox is there, and wine/crossover works for a majority of others.

By Yames on 11/25/2008 2:57:09 PM , Rating: 2
Also, don't forget the server market. Today MS is hurt more by Linux in the Server market then the PC user market.

By wvh on 11/26/2008 3:54:14 PM , Rating: 2
You think from an American middle-class perspective. Think third world and developing countries with low budgets and ancient hardware. Think college students who want to study operating systems. Think hobbyists. Think small devices, etc.

Linux makes sense.

By Staples on 11/25/2008 1:28:11 PM , Rating: 2
I used to think that Linux would one day become a threat to Windows but I don't believe that anymore. The only case may be with dirt cheap OEM PCs but that is about all.

RE: I don't think we've heard the last of it...
By Smilin on 11/25/2008 1:51:32 PM , Rating: 3

MS is just covering it's intellectual property butt like everyone else. When you get 100+ million lines of code into the picture there is a good chance two people had the same idea about something. MS went the route of mutually assured profit instead of mutually assured destruction.

SCO went the other way.

Their whole lawsuit was like the Iraq+WMD thing.

I kept waiting on SCO to just show us the copied code. They made all that noise but in the end they never shode the code because there wasn't any. They should have done like MS and gone cooperative.

Buh-bye SCO.

RE: I don't think we've heard the last of it...
By Parhel on 11/25/2008 5:01:07 PM , Rating: 3
Buh-bye SCO.

No, SCO is like Jason from Friday the 13th. Every time you think he's finally dead, he comes back.

RE: I don't think we've heard the last of it...
By aquraishi on 11/26/2008 7:54:02 AM , Rating: 2
...and each subsequent come-back has a flimsier plot than the last ;)

By Regs on 11/26/2008 8:38:08 AM , Rating: 2
However there was at least one shower scene and a blonde virgin involved.

By sigilscience on 11/30/2008 5:00:30 PM , Rating: 2
Talk about your conspiracy theories!

it is still the most profitable scam i've seen
By Visual on 11/25/2008 9:13:00 AM , Rating: 2
I had the impression that SCO successfully bullied a lot of companies to pay them royalties just to be on the safe side... so didn't they earn way more cash from their stunt than the fine they have to pay now?

RE: it is still the most profitable scam i've seen
By Belard on 11/25/2008 9:17:23 AM , Rating: 4
SCO - The company that shoots itself in the nuts with a shot-gun.... that bad of a shot.

By Mitch101 on 11/25/2008 10:11:08 AM , Rating: 2
Too bad the SCO attorneys don't have to shell out 20%-30% of the loss.

RE: it is still the most profitable scam i've seen
By bhieb on 11/25/2008 10:04:14 AM , Rating: 3
SCO’s filed its original suit in 2004, where it accused Novell of asserting ownership over Unix

Personally I love it. Nothing makes me happier than when someone tries to sue another, but not only gets shot down also has their ass handed to them. Even nailing them for interest, total greatness. Only thing that would be better is if the attorney firm that filed the BS lawsuit also when belly up.

By Oregonian2 on 11/25/2008 9:23:55 PM , Rating: 2
Only thing that would be better is if the attorney firm that filed the BS lawsuit also when belly up.

Nope, they're undoubtedly the big winners.

No luck with the cash grab
By japlha on 11/25/2008 12:03:17 PM , Rating: 2
SCO got scowned!
Protecting intellectual property rights is important. But they must have known they were treading on a grey area.

RE: No luck with the cash grab
By greylica on 11/25/2008 12:47:00 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, protecting free software from chains of individual properties is far very important than to make codes a prisioner of the cash system.
Our right to innovate is far very important than the old
(and corrupted) system.

Minus one code slaver.

a day to celebrate
By Gul Westfale on 11/25/2008 12:49:50 PM , Rating: 2
it is nice to see that sometimes these greedy corporations get what they deserve, and in SCO's case that was a long time in the making.

i will have myself a nice glass of courvoisier later, and perhaps the rest of you can do something as well; open a beer, buy some cake... think about it, first jack thompson was disbarred, and now this: it really is the season to be jolly. and last night the first snow fell here in montreal... coincidence? :)

RE: a day to celebrate
By aquraishi on 11/26/2008 8:05:52 AM , Rating: 2
Dude, excellent point. I'll go out and get a bottle of Shiraz later today. Some grapes, good cheese...

I was running a consultancy when these lawsuits first kicked off, encouraging businesses to migrate from Windows to Linux on the server-side. Who needs Windows server when you've got Linux with Samba + MySQL (or Oracle, DB2 if you ant commercial), JEE etc.? Although the lawsuit wasn't a deal killer it had certainly spooked my prospects at the time. I'm sure it hurt the industry as a whole, however. This is exactly what Microsoft wanted and got. And, no it's not a conspiracy theory. MS does not pay vendors like SCO voluntarily without good reason. Whatever you may think of MS, they have never been stupid. Ruthless, yes.

My hats off to IBM. They were the real defenders of this lawsuit and threw their own millions at it which they will never get back. They also make a lot of money with Linux - which IMO is a good thing. I've been using IBM pServers for years. You can run both Linux and AIX on them. Same with their zSeries (mainframes). Fantastic boxes!

And so ends a Microsoft campaign
By BZDTemp on 11/25/2008 1:13:29 PM , Rating: 3
I'm sure the cost&benefit analysis will show they got a lot for very little.

One thing in the article makes me wonder. The so called interest coming to close to cool million in such a short time. Either this must really be added cost plus interest or someone is used to running a bas ass loan shark business :-)

By Belard on 11/25/2008 9:14:02 AM , Rating: 2
SCO was hated by everyone when they played this game when it started.

They deserve everything thats coming to them.

This is their 30mins, jumping up and down and sueing everyone for something they never own and of course they hurt Linux quite a bit.

Note: Microsoft had a hand in this, paying $$$ to SCO.

SCO: Forget the RIP... you get the BIH. (Burn In Hell).

You may now attempt to boot up you vista box. uh, or not.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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