From the ‘What? They’re Still at It?!’ files:
I really had thought that we’d heard the last of SCO, which is is why I was surprised today.
SCO was defeated again this week, this time it was an appeal (likely the final appeal) in the Novell vs. SCO case over who owns the Unix copyrights. This was the appeal of the verdict issued over year ago that confirmed Novell’s ownership.
The wheels of justice in the U.S. sure do seem to move in slow motion at times.
While this case has been on the appeals docket for such a long time, we haven’t heard much from what’s left of SCO. The company has now been splintered with UniXs Group running what used to be the product division and SCO itself just a shell for legal actions.
Without ownership of the Unix copyrights, SCO really is dead (but they don’t seem to accept that fact and never have). Without those copyrights they can’t proceed against IBM or anyone else.
All that said, the appeal verdict confirm Novell’s ownership which is another issue altogether.
Novell doesn’t exist in the form it did last year after having been acquired by Attachmate for $2.2 billion. Many of Novell’s patents have been sold off to a consortium that includes Microsoft, though Novell has publicly stated that Unix copyrights were not part of the sale.
Still those copyrights are out there, though at this point they likely represent zero risk to Linux.
Somehow I don’t think we’ve heard the last of SCO quite yet, even though I don’t have a clue how they can still continue their legal challenges. Then again, many thought that SCO was dead years ago, but this is one zombie of a company that just keeps on coming, even when it really has nothing left to sustain itself.
As the Linux community celebrates the 20th anniversary of Linux this month, it’s good to remember the whole SCO episode. It was a challenge that Linux overcame and defeated (even if SCO continues to deny they’ve lost).