SCO Novell Trial – The Verdict is…

I wish I knew! But as of this posting, Judge Kimball has not made his decision in the SCO versus Novell trial that occurred last week.

The ever vigilant Groklaw site has posted pdf/html transcripts of each day of the trial, which make for interesting reading if you’ve got the time. If you don’t I’ll save you the grief and make it easy. SCO, under the direction of CEO Darl McBride stuck to its guns claiming that Linux is a copy of Unix. Novell stuck with its argument that SCO never acquired all the rights to Unix.

So where does that leave things?

In my simple layperson, I’m-not-a-lawyer-and-don’t-pretend-to-be-one-either view it leaves things in pretty much the same spot they were before the trial started — with one major exception. Instead of Novell and SCO just making their respective cases, this time around the Judge will make a ruling based on the arguments and facts presented.

Regardless of the outcome, I expect the losing side (Novell or SCO) to appeal. An appellate judge (if the appeal is granted) will be the final arbiter here.

That said,  it will be very interesting to see what Judge Kimball actually rules. He’s already made a summary judgment against SCO that favored Novell’s view of who owns what in terms of Unix. The key issue at this point is how much (if anything) will he award to Novell or will he somehow change his view based on the testimony?

Frankly I’m still amazed that SCO has hung in this long.Though it is easy to paint SCO as the villain in this drama, it’s also possible to see this as a Tragedy (Greek or Shakespearean) in many ways. McBride (the tragic hero?)really does believe in his view and he is sticking with it to the (bitter?) end.

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