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Judge Rejects SCO's Motion For a New Trial 168

Posted by timothy
from the civil-procedure's-too-good-for-'em dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A judge has rejected SCO's motion for a new trial in the company's dispute over UNIX intellectual property ownership. The ruling validates a verdict that was issued in April by a jury who determined that Novell, and not SCO, is the rightful owner of the UNIX SVRX copyrights. This means SCO cannot continue to pursue its litigation against IBM and other Linux users. 'There was substantial evidence that Novell made an intentional decision to retain ownership of the copyrights,' the judge wrote in his decision. 'The Court finds that the verdict is not clearly, decidedly, or overwhelmingly against the weight of the evidence. Therefore, SCO is not entitled to a new trial.'"
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Judge Rejects SCO's Motion For a New Trial

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  • Groklaw link (Score:4, Insightful)

    by symbolset (646467) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @05:29PM (#32528560) Journal
    Come on guys. Groklaw [groklaw.net] has been covering this thing since the very beginning. The least you could do is link to the article [groklaw.net] there. Give a little respect to Pam Jones for following this long slog like a trouper.
    • Re:Groklaw link (Score:5, Insightful)

      by homey of my owney (975234) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @05:34PM (#32528656)
      Don't worry. There will almost certainly be another opportunity. This thing just won't die.
      • by mishehu (712452)
        If only somebody could put a fork in them... I think they (SCO) are done. we don't want them to get burnt now...
        • Unfortunately with a company infected such as SCO we're looking at zombie cases for eternity - resurrected cases that just seek to sap the intellectual capabilities of anyone involved.

          We need someone armed with a lawnmower, cricket bat, or the likes to put this one to rest.

        • by jd (1658) <imipak @ y a h o o .com> on Thursday June 10, 2010 @07:35PM (#32530060) Homepage Journal

          One copy of SCO UnixWare is bad enough. You want to create a fork of it as well?!?!?!?!?

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by shadowknot (853491) *

            One copy of SCO UnixWare is bad enough

            So true, I'll always remember when I changed the time on a SCO box at an old job and was told by an old hack there not to issue a simple "date MMDDhhmm" command but to use the crappy curses-based admin console to do it. It said I needed to "relink" the kernel (after changing the time for the love of Pete) then crapped out a kernel panic and disconnected me from the already dodgy modem. I think it took the field engineer about a day to reinstall all because it didn't adjust properly for daylight savings th

            • by jd (1658)

              I used SCO UnixWare at the Space and Naval Warfare group in the US. It took me all of a couple of days to persuade the powers that were that replacing it with Red Hat Linux would boost the NAS storage speeds beyond their wildest dreams (it did) and would accelerate development no end (you can run on a SCO box even if you don't develop on it).

      • by chill (34294)

        If there was ever a zombie that needed braaaaaaains, it would be SCO.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by gdshaw (1015745)

        Don't worry. There will almost certainly be another opportunity. This thing just won't die.

        I'm not saying that SCO won't try to appeal, but this judgment together with the result of the jury trial leaves them very little to work with. SCO asked that the question of copyright transfer be decided by jury, which it was. They agreed to specific performance being decided by the judge. They were granted so much lassitude before and during the trial that if anyone has the right to complain it is Novell.

        The threshold for overturning a jury verdict is high. Now that Judge Stewart has reached essential

        • by GooberToo (74388)

          They may be able to drag out the process for a few more months, perhaps even years,

          And people argue the US legal system isn't broken. If that's not proof, I don't know what is. There is a huge difference between ensuring a fair trail and the "travesty of justice", which this case exemplifies of the US legal system.

          • I think a lot of it is that the US legal system is designed to handle legitimate cases. There's just not much precedent for someone destroying their company to pursue legal action that served solely (IMO) as means to facilitate an extortion ring ($699 license fees on copyrights SCO doesn't own) and a stock scam (go Team FUD!). Throw in the technical complexities, and it's definitely an outlier that I'm not sure is good proof of anything.
            • by GooberToo (74388)

              Actually, if you do some checking, this is par for the course. There is nothing out of the ordinary about this case aside from the fact the litigants have much deeper pockets than normal, and accordingly are perhaps more press worthy.

          • If you want justice:
            1) SCO will no longer be able to argue to the Bankruptcy court that it still has a reasonable chance of success with their litigation, so they will be forced to focus their resources. They can no longer rely on plausibility of winning their IBM case, because they essentially have no case now. Not to mention, there's now a good whack of counterclaims that IBM will be drawing out of them, and they're basically entirely crippled now. The Judge gave them the option to waive their IBM suit, a

      • Braaaaaaaaains!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Indeed. I also think there needs to be a 'SCO' icon ... maybe something similar to Mr. Hankey with very dead eyes and draped in a sash covered in Linux kernel code?
      • by tepples (727027)
        That's what the "blue and red Mickey Mouse ear logo" icon is for. It was the logo of Caldera before it became SCO, and now SCO has become almost as litigious as Disney (except less competent).
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by ozmanjusri (601766)
        I also think there needs to be a 'SCO' icon .

        You could just use the Microsoft Borg icon.

    • Hear! Hear!

      Groklaw forever!

      Ars Has Too Many Bright Colors!

      Post No Bills!

    • Re:Groklaw link (Score:4, Insightful)

      by LWATCDR (28044) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @05:57PM (#32528922) Homepage Journal

      But does anyone on Slashdot don't know that Groklaw has been covering it from day one?
      I mean really? When you say SCO you might as well say Groklaw for most people on here.
      Of course it is also hard not to use some colorful language before or after those three letters as well.

      • Yabbut, Miss Jones once likened /. to pond scum & stated she felt unclean after browsing here for a few moments.
        Prolly why the link was to ars.
        • by Yaa 101 (664725)

          She is right in that assertion, but that's the charm of this place, and yes I also read Groklaw daily.

        • by LWATCDR (28044)

          Actually I hate to say it because frankly I do find many of the comments on Slashdot to be rude, inaccurate, profane, and immature when compared with the comments on Digg, CNN, and TCPalm it is like going to a formal dinner with Nobel prize winners, statesman, and versions and sundry PHDs and people that spend their time working with worthy charities!
          Good heavens have you ever read the crap on CNN.com!

    • Re:Groklaw link (Score:5, Informative)

      by yorugua (697900) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @07:25PM (#32529944)

      Or lets quote her:

      Stewart Rules: Novell Wins! CASE CLOSED! Thursday, June 10 2010 @ 04:14 PM EDT

      Here you go, munchkins. Judge Ted Stewart has ruled for Novell and against SCO. Novell's claim for declaratory judgment is granted; SCO's claims for specific performance and breach of the implied covenant of good fair and fair dealings are denied. Also SCO's motion for judgment as a matter of law or for a new trial: denied. Novell is entitled to waive, at its sole discretion, claims against IBM, Sequent and other SVRX licensees.

      CASE CLOSED!

      Maybe I should say cases closed. The door has slammed shut on the SCO litigation machine. The judge writes in the Memorandum Decision and Order about SCOsource, "Finally, while SCO's witnesses testified that the copyrights were 'required' for SCO to run its SCOsource licensing program, this was not something that SCO ever acquired from Novell." He totally got it. He noticed Darl McBride admitted that SCO didn't need the copyrights for anything but SCOsource. It couldn't be any better if I'd written it myself.

      Was the jury misled or confused? Not at all, the judge writes: "The jury could have rejected the testimony of SCO's witnesses for a number of reasons, including their lack of involvement in drafting the APA, the fact that there was little testimony on any actual discussions concerning the transfer of copyrights, or that many of the witnesses had a financial interest in the litigation."

      "The Clerk of the Court is directed to close this case forthwith," Stewart writes in the final judgment. I believe that means SCO v. IBM is essentially over now, unless IBM wishes to pursue its counterclaims.

      And now it is -- finally -- time, once again, for my red dress! And a huge thank you to Michael Jacobs and the team at Morrison & Foerster, who never gave up but, more importantly, showed that you can fight hard and win with ethics and dignity, and to Sterling Brennan of Workman|Nydegger, who was frankly absolutely wonderful at trial. And thank you to you, Groklaw volunteers, because we made a difference in this world.

    • And in other news, Hitler admits he probably lost the war.

    • Come on guys. Groklaw [groklaw.net] has been covering this thing since the very beginning. The least you could do is link to the article [groklaw.net] there. Give a little respect to Pam Jones for following this long slog like a trouper.

      Come on guys. Groklaw [groklaw.net] has been covering this thing since the very beginning. The least you could do is link to the article [groklaw.net] there. Give a little respect to Pam Jones for following this long slog like a trouper.

      Patience...just wait for the dupe.

  • Good. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bi$hop (878253) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @05:31PM (#32528600)
    I really hope this is the last I ever have to hear about SCO.
  • ... because there's nothing else to do now except wind it u[.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 10, 2010 @05:36PM (#32528688)

    I hate it when my favorite show doesn't get renewed for another season.

  • by theNAM666 (179776) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @05:38PM (#32528708)

    San Jose, CALIFORNIA. In response to a judge's dismissal of it's demands for a new trial today, SCO filed 10,000 new lawsuits against various entities including IBM, Oracle, and G-d. "One of these must stick," said SCO's Chief Extortion Officer. "It's not about principle. It's about being money-grubbing assholes."

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      It would have been more believable if you'd mentioned that SCO had hired *IAA's legal team to sue the first 10,000 Linux users in its efforts to stop the piracy of the Unix source code it doesn't rightfully own.
      • by theNAM666 (179776)

        It would have been more believable if you'd mentioned that SCO had hired *IAA's legal team to sue the first 10,000 Linux users in its efforts to stop the piracy of the Unix source code it doesn't rightfully own.

        That was LAST WEEK, right?

  • by jkinney3 (535278) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @05:46PM (#32528788)
    The head of Daryl McBride is seen in court appealing the latest decision against SCO which declared Daryl McBride not eligible for compensation for inclusion into Futurama episodes on the grounds that he is "just wasting space now that other more important heads need shelf space for. Like Tiger Woods 9th wife" said Leyla. Bender, while trying to get McBride to bite his shiny metal ass, broke the head jar and dropped the head of McBride accidentally into a metal stamping machine. The head of Pam Jones laughed her jar fluid into a total froth while Fry looked on confused.
  • Go Courts! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Above (100351) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @05:52PM (#32528842)

    That got cleared up so quickly and easily, I'm impressed!

  • THe Sco Group is now a smoking crater rundown of the different cases

    NOVELL V TSCOG: Goes to Novell (this is the basis for the rest of the Litigation Lotto)
    TSCOG V IBM : the case that started it all
    WAIVED BY ORDER OF NOVELL (IBM does get the counter claims)
    SUSE V TSCOG (arbitration): Rendered Moot (lack of grounds)
    The Sco Group bankruptcy Chapter 11: to be converted to Chapter 7 (a chunk of the money is now owed to NOVELL)

    (the various smaller bit cases are now also Mooted)

    • All it requires is for someone with stacks of time and money to take a look at the SCO corporate profile [sco.com] and sue them on the basis that just about everything written on that page is a lie.

      I mean, does anyone really think that SCO is a "leading provider of software technology", or that their "highly innovative and reliable solutions help millions of customers grow their businesses everyday". As we have just seen, "SCO owns all rights and ownership of the core UNIX operating system source code" is about as un

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Sique (173459)

        "highly innovative and reliable solutions help millions of customers grow their businesses everyday"

        With SCO Unix in several cashier machine models and in phone systems from Siemens Enterprice Communication, you could actually say, that at least millions of people use SCOs product to conduct their business every day.

        So beside the "innovative", everything else in this sentence might actually be somewhat trueish.

      • by Java Pimp (98454)

        What we need is for Novell to open-source all that wonderful Unix code before someone buys them up [slashdot.org].

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @06:02PM (#32528996) Homepage

    1. Remember that cutting off the legal arms does no good.
    2. Remember that zombie companies can continue to be threatening even if they have no leg to stand on.
    3. Exposing and severing the connection between the brain and the rest of the corporate body may help, but the remaining parts can still remain dangerous, and typically twitch for some time.
    4. Corporate zombies are often controlled by evil overlords. Real victory occurs only after the evil overlord is slain.
    5. Remember that anything that was once good and lovable about the company that has been zombified is long gone and completely unrecoverable.
    6. Zombie companies are frequently covered in parasites (lawyers).

  • Not over yet (Score:5, Informative)

    by UnknowingFool (672806) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @06:06PM (#32529036)
    The article seem to suggest that the SCO v IBM is over. That's not quite correct. SCO's claims against IBM most likely will be voided. IBM however has counterclaims. At this point, IBM can't get much money but knowing IBM, they want to make an example of SCO so that no other company will do this to them again.
  • Will someone please squash this bug please. It's still kicking and squirming about.
  • Counterclaims... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HockeyPuck (141947) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @06:37PM (#32529406)

    I can't wait for IBM to sue for all the time and money spent [groklaw.net] just to gather the source code:

    Complying with the Court's Order involved more than 4,700 hours of work from more than 400 IBM employees. This does not include the time spent by IBM's counsel and consultants on this project, which was likewise considerable. IBM produced a total of more than 80 GB of source code and other electronic data to SCO, and more than 900,000 pages of paper (which were scanned and produced in electronic form on CDs).

    • by hAckz0r (989977)
      If IBM even charged SCOg for even the standard Mainframe rental fee for the past 7+ years SCOg would be defunct. On top of that they should also charge for the interest on the money not paid for that forced 'rental', just to twist the legal blade a little for good measure. IBM of course could never hope collect on that debt, or any other, but it would stand as an example to the next extortionist plan wielding threat monger to think twice. I can't wait to hear official news of the IBM counter charges suit go
  • Guinnes? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Thraxy (1782662) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @06:40PM (#32529444)
    Does this count as the record for "longest continuous fail"? Or was that the Bush administration?
    • Def. the Bush Admin. Bush tried hard to torpedo the Constitution.

      SCO was damn expensive, but the outcome was only delayed, not in doubt.

    • by jimicus (737525)

      If SCO pull something out of their collective backsides to try and continue this (which I wouldn't be surprised to see - it's really quite incredible what Darl McBride has stuffed up his arse), I rather suspect this will wind up going on longer than the Bush administration.

  • "Shut the fuck up already."

  • They do exist!

  • Don't make a deal with Novell unless you read the fine print carefully.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      Get real, that's tantamount to saying Novell screwed SCO over with the APA - which is utter crap.

      SCO knew exactly what they were getting at the time, which WAS NOT the copyrights, because they didn't have the money to buy them. Why would they agree to pay 5% back to Novell if they were buying the copyrights outright?

      • So what exactly did Novell sell SCO and how much did SCO pay for it?

        • by Sique (173459)

          Novell sold SCO the right to conduct a UNIX business by selling UNIX licenses, provided Novell got 95% of the licence price.

        • by weicco (645927)

          It's all in the final verdict. Why don't you go and read it? I just read it and it was pretty clear to me and I'm not even a lawyer or business type.

          • It's so clear and simple that you can't summarize it in a sentence or two? Why did you even bother to reply?

            • by weicco (645927)

              Why do you insist others to produce possibly erronous summarization about what takes some five minutes to read yourself? But I'll be so kind to give you a snippet from the decision:

              Those "certain assets" are set forth in more detail in Schedule 1.1(a) and do not include the excluded assets set out in Schedule 1.1(b) Under the plain language of the original APA, the copyrights were excluded from the transaction.

              You can read APA from Groklaw [groklaw.net] or google for it. In the APA search for phrases schedule 1.1(a) and

              • I thank you for the references. I can see why SCO could have thought they bought all the rights. The full quote is "All copyrights and trademarks, except for the trademarks UNIX and UnixWare." So a casual reading of this quote might give the impression that the UNIX copyrights were part of the except clause. Note that it would have been clearer to say "All copyrights and all trademarks except UNIX and UnixWare" if that was the actual intent.

                • by weicco (645927)

                  No, it wasn't any unfortunate mistake on SCO's part. It was deliberate attempt to try to wrestle UNIX copyrights from Novell and/or possibly harass Novell (or more likely IBM) to buy them out. Some say it was a plot masterminded by Microsoft to hurt Linux but I haven't seen any clear evidence on that.

                  And why I think it was deliberate attempt to get UNIX rights?

                  SCO asked Novell to join them in a scam to squeeze money out of Linux users by frivolous lawsuits (which would have been blocked by the GPL). Novell

                  • Remember McBride wasn't around when the agreement was created, so his motivations have nothing to do with how the agreement was viewed by the parties signing it.

                    The asset section starts with "All rights and ownership of UNIX and UnixWare, including but not limited to ...". How can "all rights" exclude copyright?

                    Furthermore, if you look at the exclusions section, it's clear that it's primary purpose was to insure that rights to Novell's money-making properties (e.g. Netware) were not transferred.

                    It's quite p

      • by Sique (173459)

        They actually agreed to keep 5% and pay 95% to Novell.

        • They actually agreed to keep 5% and pay 95% to Novell.

          They actually agreed to give ALL of it to Novell, and then Novell would pay SCO 5%.

  • by Bruha (412869)

    Seriously there's a hole in the ground where the horse was and you keep hearing thuds every now and then.

  • by JonJ (907502)
    And now I'm awaiting what all the SCO pundits have to say. O'Gara, Lyons, Enderle, and Paul Murphy. Come on fuckers, we want to hear you explain your idiocy. Or are you going to flee with your tails between your legs?
  • So, we've been waiting a little over seven years to skewer those who we knew were on the wrong side of the SCO vs. IBM issue, both here and on the broader Internet.

    Now that it's decided, it's time to see who was right. Daniel Lyons [forbes.com], aka Fake Steve Jobs, seems like a good place to start. "Crunchy linux users" indeed.

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