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Novell Caldera Government The Almighty Buck The Courts News

Trial Set To Determine What SCO Owes Novell 126

Posted by Zonk
from the i'm-going-to-guess-a-lot dept.
BobB-nw writes with word that this April will be the trial date for SCO's financial reckoning. Novell will discover via the courts how much (if anything) SCO is going to be compelled to pay in compensation for the lengthy trial over Unix code rights. The NetworkWorld piece also offers an overview of the case. "In September, The Wall Street Journal described the ruling against SCO as 'a boon to the open source software movement.' But experts say Unix is filled with technology that carries copyrights tied to many different companies and that it would be a nightmare to open source the Unix code collectively. Instead, Novell would have to pick and choose pieces to open-source, a process that could begin once the trial has ended."
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Trial Set To Determine What SCO Owes Novell

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  • And???.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 17, 2008 @10:27AM (#22079950)
    SCO is going to pay Novell How?..
  • by R2.0 (532027) on Thursday January 17, 2008 @10:30AM (#22079988)
    No, really. The Boies law firm representing SCO is being compensated by effectively taking part ownership in SCO. Having done that, should they not be liable for SCO's debts?

    My contention for a while has been that, in taking compensation from SCO in terms of stock and shares, Boies has abdicated it's duty as an officer of the court. In a contingency compensation arrangement, the law firm gets paid when they win the case. But in this situation, they only get paid if SCO stock stays high, so their litigation goals are different than just winning.

    I think they should be made to experience the full consequences of their agreement.
  • by techpawn (969834) on Thursday January 17, 2008 @10:33AM (#22080016) Journal
    When SCO was pulled from the market, Novell gets their old furniture cuz there's nothing else to really take...
    I guess source code is just as good.
  • Re:And???.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by techpawn (969834) on Thursday January 17, 2008 @10:38AM (#22080072) Journal
    Well, the courts have this neat way of getting blood from stones... Just ask anyone who has been through a divorce...
  • by claytonjr (1142215) on Thursday January 17, 2008 @11:19AM (#22080524) Homepage
    It depends on what state the company is incorporated in. Some states have better laws that limit personally liability (read: Nevada).
  • by walterbyrd (182728) on Thursday January 17, 2008 @11:56AM (#22081024)
    Msft is sponsoring scox, and acacia to claim that proprietary technology was illegally put into linux. Of course, these are just more msft FUD PR stunt. But, sponsering companies like acacia and scox to abuse the US legal system, and file bogus lawsuits has a chilling effect on those who might want to use, or contribute to, linux. Msft is, very successfully IMO, putting a legal cloud over linux.
  • Re:Quick question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Simon Brooke (45012) <stillyet@googlemail.com> on Thursday January 17, 2008 @12:56PM (#22081890) Homepage Journal

    There are many types of IP.

    Errr... that's another way of saying 'there is no such thing as intellectual property'. Lawyers and other weasels who speak of 'intellectual property' are playing a classic quickness of the hand deceiveth the eye trick. Precisely, they're doing two things:

    • They're deliberately conflating the limited and short term contingent protections which Western states have found it pragmatic to offer creators or new ideas and products with the unlimited and long term protections which Western states have traditionally offered to property in land;
    • They're making a hegemonistic claim about the status of new ideas and expressions.

    Whether property in land ought to be given the sorts of protections which Western society gives it is another question entirely. But that's beside the point. New ideas and expressions are not property, do not have the status of property, and do not have nearly the same degree of protection that property has. And it's in everyone's interest - that includes the 'content creators' - that it remains that way. Where would Walt Disney be now if all the classic fairy tales had been someone else's 'intellectual property'?

  • by Chris Burke (6130) on Thursday January 17, 2008 @01:20PM (#22082240) Homepage
    Besides, scox paying novell is not the point. The point is to legally prove that Linux does not use proprietary UNIX technology, and to thereby stop the msft FUD.

    Exactly! That's why I was rather confused by this quote from the summary.

    "In September, The Wall Street Journal described the ruling against SCO as 'a boon to the open source software movement.' But experts say Unix is filled with technology that carries copyrights tied to many different companies and that it would be a nightmare to open source the Unix code collectively."

    Uh, who cares? We don't want their shitty Unix source! We want it to be known far and wide that Linux doesn't contain any of that shitty code! That's the "boon" to open source -- preventing proprietary vendors from being able to say "OooooOOOooh possible IP violaaaaations oooOOOOooh unkown liability ooowaaaah!" in an eerie voice to scare people off from open source! And this, a relatively high profile attempt to turn the vague scary threat of copyright violation into legal fact that fell flat on its face, should help do that.

  • Summary misleading (Score:4, Insightful)

    by UnknowingFool (672806) on Thursday January 17, 2008 @02:18PM (#22082982)

    But experts say Unix is filled with technology that carries copyrights tied to many different companies and that it would be a nightmare to open source the Unix code collectively. Instead, Novell would have to pick and choose pieces to open-source, a process that could begin once the trial has ended.

    First of all, the journalist is confusing Unix as a family with the UNIX IP that Novell owns. As a family, Unix is confusing because it contains contributions from many companies and organizations like components like RCU (IBM), filesystems (JFS, XFS, ZFS, etc), libraries (BSD, GNU,etc) and the like. Novell, however, knows exactly what it owns in terms of copyrights.

    The main issue that needs to worked out is what amount Novell owed from the Microsoft and Sun licenses. When Novell sold SCO the Unix business (and not the IP), SCO agreed to pay Novell 100% of any UNIX licenses which Novell would remit 5% back to SCO for their trouble. SCO argued that the licenses to Microsoft and Sun were not UNIX licenses at all. The judge didn't buy their argument for although SCO may have called it differently, certainly the licenses they sold contained UNIX IP and thus Novell was entitled to a share. The reason why the judge did not summarily order SCO to pay Novell the full amount was there is a question of how much of the technology was Novell's UNIX and how much was SCO's IP (i.e. UnixWare, OpenServer). That question is being addressed by the court now. I highly doubt that SCO sold much of their IP to the likes of Sun whose Unix offering is much more advanced or Microsoft who isn't even in the Unix business.

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