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SCO v. Novell Goes To the Jury 67

Posted by timothy
from the perhaps-it's-the-oj-jury dept.
Excelcia writes "Closing arguments in the six and a bit year old slander of title case between SCO and Novell occurred today and the case is finally in the hands of the jury. It's been an interesting case, with SCO alternately claiming that the copyrights to UNIX did get transferred to them, and that the copyrights should have been transferred to them. 'Judge Ted Stewart said, after the jury left to begin to deliberate, that in all his years on the bench, he's never seen such fine lawyering as in this case.' We're not going to find out the results until at least Tuesday, however, as one juror is taking a long weekend. Great lawyering notwithstanding, we can all hope next week that the Energizer bunny of all spurious lawsuits will finally go away."
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SCO v. Novell Goes To the Jury

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  • Finally (Score:2, Insightful)

    It's about bloody time
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2010 @08:41PM (#31634778)

    Die! Die! Die! Why won't you just fuckin die?!?!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Die! Die! Die! Why won't you just fuckin die?!?!

      Stick a fork in it, it's done. Wait... that's what usually happens when a UNIX variant dies... Someone forks it.

    • by Zak3056 (69287)

      Die! Die! Die! Why won't you just fuckin die?!?!

      Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea, Mr. McBride, and ideas are bulletproof.

      • by gtall (79522)

        McBride was given his walking papers from SCO awhile back by the bankruptcy guy running SCO now. Doesn't seemed to have affected their behavior. And McBride is still wandering around witless with his own company and some startup money looking to catch some of SCO's Imaginary Property.

        • by Curtman (556920) *
          Who's turn is next at beating the corpse of SCO though? There was a whole bunch of companies lined up waiting for this trial to end so they could sue SCO.. IBM, Red Hat, Autozone..
          • by gtall (79522)

            They aren't. Law suits are expensive and winning against a bankrupt company does score beeeellions of $. There is one other court case which might give the corpse a proper Viking burial, IBM. Autozone is a dead duck of a court case, SCOX started it. Red Hat might have counter-sued but the judge, Sue Robinson, seems to be one of the most witless. Anyhow, the case stayed until the IBM case is over. IBM doesn't care about SCOX, just that they go away. They don't need a victory for that to happen, just SCOX dea

  • super fine lawyering and the jury will return a verdict by Tuesday? Hmmmm... me thinks the case was already decided long ago. For whom? We shall see.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      and the jury will return a verdict by Tuesday?

      No. One of the jurors had a vacation or something planned for this weekend and won't be back until Monday.

      Because of that, the judge agreed that the jury didn't have to reconvene until Tuesday.

      So there will be no verdict until Tuesday at the earliest.

      • by gtall (79522)

        Yep, apparently the juror was "disraught" because she couldn't go on a vacation to Las Vegas with the family. I think with quality jurors like this, it doesn't look good for Novell. SCO presented no evidence the copyrights to SVRX 4.2MP transferred to old SCO. In fact, there is an amendment to the contract stating they did not transfer and that was because old SCO didn't have the money. But new SCO thinks they should have transferred regardless, hence this baseless lawsuit and the moronic court system that

    • by al0ha (1262684)
      Yep - over. The jury decided long ago. Yay for Linux, well as long as Novell is never purchased by Larry anyway!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Linux and the BSDs have pretty much made UNIX obsolete. Why spend so much money fighting over something so fucking worthless and anachronistic?
    • by fenix849 (1009013)

      Probably try to trade the copyrights with other companies dealing in unix for patents etc and go after everyone that's pushing the modern x86 variants.

      Only it won't work because nobody in the unix community will touch this litigious piece of trash with a 20 ft barge pole.

    • by cpghost (719344) on Friday March 26, 2010 @11:06PM (#31636172) Homepage

      Linux and the BSDs have pretty much made UNIX obsolete.

      I don't know about Linux, but BSD definitely contained Unix code from USL, and vice-versa. They settled out of court [wikipedia.org]. Should ever SCO decided to go after BSD, it would open a big can of worms [freebsd.org]. More details can be found in The Unix Heritage Society [tuhs.org] and Bitsavers [bitsavers.org] Archives.

      • by timmarhy (659436) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @02:33AM (#31637362)
        anyone going after BSD would need to go after one of the finest law schools in america, with almost unlimited grad and post grad students available to do research work and law professors as well as other practising lawyers working at virtually nil cost to the university.

        sounds frightening doesn't it? hence the reason SCO didn't even think about attacking BSD, and instead went after linux users like IBM, because IBM was soft in comparision even though i believe there is a quote from IBM somewhere that states they will "turn the skies over utha black with lawyers" before they let SCO win.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by houghi (78078)

          I think they did not go after BSD as Microsoft uses (has used) BSD. They do not care about the rest. And rightfully so. You should go after somebody if you think you are in the right not based on the quality of the lawyers. Because that would mean your legal system is completely fucked up.

          If that would be the case, say a big music consortium could go after individuals and just take whatever they want. That would never ..., oh, wait, never mind.

          • by jonadab (583620)
            > Because that would mean your legal
            > system is completely fucked up.

            Like, for instance, every human legal system ever?
        • The battle over BSD was fought along time ago when BSD removed a small remaining amount of ATT code to become complete independent of Unix. BSD, at least core BSD, should be pretty safe from lawsuits. And that's the reason companies like MS won't press their lawsuits against Linux, because they know it would be pretty easy for users to move to FreeBSD and that the mere threat of lawsuits is enough to discourage mass acceptance.

      • by Alex Belits (437) * on Saturday March 27, 2010 @02:58AM (#31637434) Homepage

        1. Since settlement was not disclosed at the time, BSD development continued with 4.4-Lite, that was specifically created to exclude everything that was disputed with USL.

        2. This can of worms WAS opened during SCO saga, and resulted in the whole thing being disclosed to the publuc [groklaw.net]. Basically, USL secretly agreed to stop being a bunch of assholes.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by yuhong (1378501)
        Not to mention OpenSolaris, which because of the SVR4 code, Sun had to ask permission from SCO in 2003 before they could open source. After the ruling that Novell really owned the SVR4 code, Judge Dale Kimball wrote that [groklaw.net]: "In this case, Sun obtained the rights to opensource Solaris, and SCO received the revenue for granting such rights even though such rights remained with Novell. If the court were to declare that the contract was void and should be set aside, the court could not return the parties to the s
      • by houghi (78078)

        All those things have not stopped SCO in the past. They will sue their own mother for being born as long is there is a shimmer of hope they can make a cent out of it. Their reasoning is completely irrational, so do not be surprised if they go after BSD or Apple. There does not need to be a reason.

      • SCO won't go after BSD because Microsoft didn't give them funding to do so (unlike Linux)

        MS sees Linux as more of a threat to their core business, no matter what advancements have been made in BSD desktop usage it is perceived to be 'behind' Linux in terms of software/hardware support.

        Who know' s maybe they are waiting to go after Apple one day (who use a version of BSD)
    • by Sulphur (1548251)

      ...vicious precisely because the stakes are so small.
      Henry A. Kissinger

  • It's highly unlikely they let anyone on the jury that has heard of Linux, must less understand what it stands for. Heck, they definitely never heard of SCO and unlikely heard of Novell. Maybe it'll come down to which side had the most people that look like native people of Utah (Mormons, not indigenous natives).
  • Can you imagine having to sit through SIX YEARS of a case? The last time I was summoned for jury duty it took three days until I was dismissed from selection and I was already pissed at everyone involved for wasting my time.

  • Die. Die. Die.
  • What if SCO wins? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Will we see copyright infringements suddenly popping up on program names like cd, mkdir, netstat, or ping regardless of the differences in source code? Will sysv now be a copy-written software design that could be held to some stupid software patent? All this just because a telco wrote some names in code.
    Can we trust Novell, with their financially romantic relationship with Microsoft to remain active in the Open Source community or will they become the replacement for the litigious SCO which was backed int

  • by r00t (33219) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @12:18AM (#31636670) Journal

    The language of the courtroom is a mix of legal jargon and programmer jargon, glued together with the English of people who went to graduate school. To the jury it's a bunch of babble.

    Once you ignore all that, you're left with a sob story. The little guy is hurt. Obviously, money is required. People don't sue unless somebody else did something bad, and the trial only requires a likelyhood for a win, so there you go. SCO wins.

    There is a reason SCO demanded a jury.

    • by einhverfr (238914)

      I am not sure. This is basically a contract case. Basically the jury has to decide whether:

      1) SCO what did SCO buy in their asset purchase agreement? Was it the UNIX business? Did that include EXCLUSIVE ownership of the code?
      2) Was Novell attempting to screw SCO over unfairly despite the contract?

      This is not the copyright case. This is not a slander of title case even. It is a simple case of two companies engaging in a business deal and one of them later challenging the performance of the other und

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Dantoo (176555)

        You missed out an important step.

        SCO isn't SCO. Santa Cruz did the deal with Novell. Santa Cruz sold the Unix "business" to Caldera. When Santa Cruz changed their name to Tarantella, Caldera jumped in and changed its name to SCO (not Santa Cruz Operation, just SCO). Novell never signed anything over to SCO. SCO just pretends to be Santa Cruz when it benefits them.

  •   For the lawyers in this case.

      The IP case that just would not die...

      I'll bet that they find a way to keep extending it even longer.

    SB

  • Such a case... and you can retire.
  • Who should win? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Helldesk Hound (981604) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @04:11AM (#31637670) Homepage

    I think that the facts of the case clearly support Novell.

    I think that Novell should win for multiple reasons:

    1/ that the copyrights did not transfer to the S.C.O.

    2/ that NewSCO tried to get Novell to assign the copyrights, that Novell didn't want to do so and therefore NewSCO took Novell to court in an attempt to take the copyrights from Novell.

    3/ that NewSCO has been such a slimy corporation and has been so malicious to Novell that NewSCO doesn't deserve to get the copyrights.

    HOWEVER, I think that given the jury may consist of persons who may be lacking in education, and may potentially be scammers themselves (you can't tell what the predisposition of any jury person is due to not actually knowing who they are and what their background is) there is at least a chance that NewSCO's lawyers may have been able to pull the wool down far enough so that at least one person on the Jury might just have believed NewSCO's pathetic bleating.

    I agree - such a stupid case as this could only ever have been strung out this long in the USA. Every country that actually has a savvy and just legal system would have thrown out this case as having no chance of success and therefore not worth following through.

  • by Lord Byron II (671689) on Saturday March 27, 2010 @07:34AM (#31638428)

    Since this lawsuit started...
    I got an undergraduate degree in math.
    I got a master's degree in physics.
    I got a doctoral degree in physics.
    I got a dog and a cat.
    I meet a wonderful woman.
    I married her.

    • You were reading Slashdot all these years.

      All what you claim above becomes thusly highly implausible (wonderful woman? Married? Yeah sure, pull the other one).

    • That's great! But in poem composition I'd say you still have something to learn from LB I...
  • Although I truly want to see SCO pommelled into the ground, I have a niggling doubt that this may go in SCO's favour. Put it down to me having some distrust in the ability to juries, especially in complicated cases such as this. I hope I'm wrong.

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