back to article New trial means Unix ownership still up for debate

A US federal appeals court overturned a judge’s ruling that granted Novell the copyright of the Unix computer OS yesterday. A panel of three judges of the 10th US circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a judge in the August 2007 case wrongfully handed the copyright to Novell. As a result the panel has ordered a “remand for trial …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. davcefai


    Not quite. The appeals court decided that the issue should not have been decided by summary judgement. This was expected. Read the Groklaw article more carefully.

  2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge


    Nuf said.

  3. Justin White


    In other news, recent polls determined that 98.7% of people were shocked to find that SCO didn't go out of business 10 years ago.

    This is such a tired debate. Ugh.

  4. Ross 7

    It worked!

    My time machine works! Muhahahah....

    Oh, wait... What do you mean it's still 2009?

  5. TeeCee Gold badge

    Ok, so SCO's dead.

    Just one question. Why the f*** won't it *stay* dead? It's like the zombie bastard offspring of Lazarus and Dracula.

    An Althea and Donna comeback would be more f***ing welcome than this.

    "Novell could not immediately be reached for comment at time of writing.". I'm not suprised. I'll bet they're having real trouble coming up with a response that doesn't have to be printed on asbestos.

  6. Thommy M.
    Paris Hilton

    To late

    SCO could as well drop it all as UNIX is already out in the free by Sun...

    Paris ´cause she's also in the free market...

  7. Brian Miller

    Not dead YET???

    How much income does SCO have? I would have thought that with nobody buying their products and all of the litigation capital, er, investment capital gone, they would have finally dropped dead. How big is SCO now? McBride, a crank attorney (his brother, isn't it?), and an accountant?

  8. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Protecting what we own? Ha!

    (QUOTE)"For us it's a case of survival, of protecting what we own", SCO boss Darl McBride told the Associated Press.(/QUOTE)

    Ha! I'm amused.. they destroyed the value of what they actually own (sales of SCO UNIX, Xenix, Unixware) by suing their own customers, insuring that they drop SCO as fast as possible. Otherwise, if they mean the lawsuits, they sued over code they DON'T own, other code that is in the public domain, and code that was not improperly placed into Linux, but put in by their own predecessors (Caldera mainly.) I mean, at this point, it IS a case of survival -- it's do or die. But they brought this on themselves -- they WERE a rather small company with a small but fairly loyal customer base... now they are not.

  9. K
    Thumb Down

    Ding ding, ROUND 5 .... THOUSAND

    SCO is down for the count.... 5, 4, 3, 2 .... OMG SCO are back on there feet, will this exhilarating fight every end.

  10. kain preacher


    Can't we just give SCO a shot of penicillin . Oh wait what do you mean it's penicillin resistant gonorrheal? Crap Unix should of used a condom .

    Dead Vulture


    Unix is Telco, it came from date when machirery of telephone co could be penetrated by cobol.(LATE '50S') so Unix sprang UP, WITH TOUCH TONE, Nobody knows how BIG Unix is, public release was ~1985 with 480 instructions, compared to 180 for Basic, hackers learning device.

    Unix will always be more powerful for public, yet its OPEN CODE. NO ONE owns it, any one claiming to is commiting theift by fraud. LARCENY.

    In this case Grand Larceny. Just taking case is indication of court willing to jeaprodize entire internet & telcom industry. sAME WITH PUBLISHER OF "NEWS" DATA ON SUBJECT OF LIMITED unix RIGHTS.


  12. Bruce 9


    "We think SCO has presented sufficient evidence to create a triable fact as to whether at least some UNIX copyrights were required for it to exercise its rights under the agreement."

  13. Peter Simpson 1
    Paris Hilton

    The real shock

    Is that some places haven't yet got the message, and are *still* using SCO systems.

    Here's a tip -- if you're not actively looking for an alternative to an SCO operating system, *fire your IT guy*!

    Paris, because if you're still using SCO, she'd do a better job managing your transition planning!

  14. Peter Christy

    Say, what?

    Rather a shame that your banner headline paints a very distorted picture of what has actually happened!

    SCO have most emphatically NOT been handed the Unix copyrights - all that's happened is that the appeal court has ruled that it should have been decided by a Jury, not a Judge, and sent it back for that to happen.

    The Appeal Court also ruled that SCO *DID* owe Novell the money it claims it didn't. So now they have to pay Novell AND fund lawyers for a jury trial. And since Darl and Co have been removed from running the show - its now in the hands of a trustee - it will be interesting to see if the aforementioned trustee thinks this is a good use of company funds.

    Its always the last dregs going down the plughole that make the most noise........

  15. Herby

    It is too bad....

    ...that "Cash for Clunkers" ended on Monday (yesterday as I write this). We could have paid $4800 (or so) and then put some of that "engine sieze" fluid in SCO's veins. It would have been appropriate.

    Only then would we SCO vanish into the haze.

    Now they have to clog up the courts with this silly act. The only saving grace is that this was NOT decided by the 9th circuit.

  16. Anonymous Coward


    Those SCO b'stards certainly aren't giving up without a fight. The Taliban of the *NIX world methinks.

    Send in the Marines.....

  17. Gil Grissum

    Not over yet?

    What is this nonsense? This was already decided. On what basis can the appeals court overturn and now start up new litigation on this matter? SCO has nothing on which to survive. Their bones are ready to be picked apart by creditors. Here we go again. The circus has come back to town....

  18. Dave Murray


    What Darl McBride really said was "Braiiiiiiins"!

  19. ooooorange
    Thumb Down

    both companies are a pile of shite

    Netware 6.5; pile of shit. Suse; bastardized linux distro. Sorry, what do Novell do these days that is of any use to anyone?

  20. Greg Fawcett

    Actual Position

    The judgement did two things:

    1. It said that there was a tiny possibility that SCO could win a jury trial for the copyrights, so the summary judgement that they were Novell's was overturned.

    2. It confirmed that SCO owes Novel more money than it has, for license payments they didn't make.

    So although the media is painting this as a "OMG SCO Rises From the Dead" story, it isn't. A third factor is that SCO is now in Chapter 11, with a trustee about to be appointed to take over running of the company. The litigious idiots who ran SCO into the ground are packing their belongings into boxes, and the trustee is likely to declare Chapter 7 after a few days of looking at the books.

    This isn't ideal - it would have been nice to have the copyright issue finally laid to rest rather than being buried with the rotten corpse. There is a chance that another litigious idiot will buy the law suit, but it is very unlikely that they would prevail. They would have to first win a thousand to one jury trial against Novel (including upsetting a central plank of US contract law in the process) to take ownership of the UNIX copyrights. Then they'd have to prove significant copying from their code to linux, and so far they haven't been able to show a single valid example in 6 years. Then they'd have to somehow get around the fact they they themselves released a linux distribution under the GPL, in effect liberating anything they could possible claim copyright on.

    So a more accurate assessment would actually be that SCO was back at square minus 3 - where they started, with no money left, serious doubt over whether they own the copyrights at all, and management being evicted.

  21. Richard Hebert

    Yes and no

    In fact when you read everything about the SCO case ( and there's volumes , best bet groklaw )

    you will find that this is very little and too late. The only one that can allow any more litigation is the Trustee ( which still remains to be appointed afaik ) On the whole debate of copyrights of unix , we , linux users , dont give a hoot. there is nothing in our code that was proven to infringe at any time .IT's been said time and time again .. show us the code that infringes and by tomorrow it's gone .. except that noone ever showed anyone just that . It's all bullcrap and whether Novell or SCO have the copyrights after the asset sale is totally irrelevant to us.

    SCO is out the picture . Relax , use Linux and be merry

  22. Victor 2

    @Thommy M

    "SCO could as well drop it all as UNIX is already out in the free by Sun..."

    I think you forgot the part where Sun paid SCO for the rights to do that... also, that's the part they say IBM didn't do when allegedly, they released UNIX code into linux.

  23. David 141

    Please, anything but a jury

    "It said that there was a tiny possibility that SCO could win a jury trial for the copyrights"

    In the USA? I'd say the odds of getting a jury of illiterate, inbred hicks would seem to be quite high, and from there it's anyones guess what the verdict would be.

  24. jake Silver badge

    @AC 16:48

    "public release was ~1985 with 480 instructions"

    Uh ... I started using UNIX[tm] at Berkeley in the early 1970s ...


    Hint: You shouldn't pre- and post- your degree qualifications. Makes you look like an idiot. But then you seem to think that all caps is a good idea ... Good thing for you that you're a virtual Anonymous Coward. I've just ::plinked::[1] you mentally. HAND.

    [1] IMO, the twit doesn't deserve a ::plonk::

  25. P Saunders
    Paris Hilton

    Protect what you own?

    But Mr McBride, your company does not OWN anything.

    Paris, 'cause she's the only thing I'd ever want to own.

  26. King Edward I

    I've said this before...

    ...and will keep saying it until this is over:

    I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like