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Caldera The Courts Unix Linux Your Rights Online

SCO Asks Judge To Give Them the Unix Copyright 286

Raul654 writes "In March, the jury in the Novell/SCO case found that Novell owns the copyright to Unix. Now, SCO's lawyers have asked judge Ted Stewart to order Novell to turn over the Unix copyright to them. 'SCO contends the jury did not answer the specific issue before Stewart that involves a legal principle called "specific performance," under which a party can ask a court to order another party to fulfill an aspect of an agreement.'" Over at Groklaw, PJ is deep into a community project to annotate SCO's filing. It's for the benefit of future historians, but it makes amusing reading now.
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SCO Asks Judge To Give Them the Unix Copyright

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  • sco still alive? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nonewmsgs ( 1249950 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @09:38AM (#32013486)
    isn't sco dead yet?
  • nah, SCO is dead.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by miataninja ( 980534 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @09:42AM (#32013552)
    but the lawyers are still alive (and feeding on the corpse)
  • hmm (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nomadic ( 141991 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .dlrowcidamon.> on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @09:46AM (#32013612) Homepage
    It's for the benefit of future historians

    Good grief, let's not overstate the importance of this case.
  • Make. It. Stop. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff ( 680366 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @09:57AM (#32013776)
    Seriously, at what point does the legal system decide it's fed up with their bullshit and put a stop to it. Everyone deserves their day in court but I think SCO has gotten more than their due...
  • by JiffyPop ( 318506 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @09:57AM (#32013790)

    There has been no examples exposed by SCO or anyone else that would indicated that Linux has anything to fear from the holder of UNIX copyrights, whoever that may be. If there were any code that infringes on a copyright then that functionality can be re-coded from the specifications, eliminating any infringement.

  • Re:Make. It. Stop. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RichMan ( 8097 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @10:03AM (#32013878)

    When SCO decides to stop spending money on lawyers. The problem is SCO managed to sucker the lawyers in at the beginning into an up front fee and the lawyers are committed to see it through "all appeals". So while SCO is now bankrupt and running on a loan in bankruptcy over its non-existant IP the lawyers are still "happily paid" and running this thing.

    So the lawyers are committed. I sort of hope this is the lawyers doing an exit strategy of over committing on a stupid claim that will get denied so they can then make a short appeal which will also get denied then exit. Then they can point at this filing and say "see we did our best".

  • Re:Make. It. Stop. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wandazulu ( 265281 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @10:09AM (#32013974)

    It's even better for the lawyers: They can point to this case for any prospective clients and show how totally committed they are to any case they take on.

  • Re:Make. It. Stop. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hrieke ( 126185 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @10:32AM (#32014404) Homepage

    But... They wouldn't have done their best.
    You'd never want your lawyer to short your appeals- that would be grounds for another appeal (they didn't do everything possible) and be a career suicide for your lawyer (who'd want to hire someone who didn't do everything possible for you; bar sanctions; plus a law suite when you sue for failing to do everything possible all come to my mind).

    You want this case battle tested to the very, very, very bitter end. Each of these scars give armor and defense to Linux and GNU.
    Anything less would not do.

  • by Xtifr ( 1323 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @10:43AM (#32014616) Homepage

    it'd mean that SCO's case against IBM would have _some_ (and i say _some_) merit.

    Getting the copyrights now shouldn't help them. All the code in Linux has been already distributed by the current Unix copyright holders under the terms of the GPL. Even if SCO gets the copyrights, they can't revoke the perfectly valid license that has already been granted to any Unix code that might happen to be in Linux.

    Oh, and it was SCO (Caldera) that put Ancient Unix in the public domain. Ironically, they probably did so illegally, since Novell owned the copyrights, not that Novell is likely to complain at this late date.

  • Re:Make. It. Stop. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jimicus ( 737525 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @10:53AM (#32014848)

    I wonder how many large companies are still buying into that FUD.

  • Re:Define "No" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <> on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @12:12PM (#32016374) Homepage Journal

    The jury was asked, "Did the amended Asset Purchase Agreement transfer the Unix and UnixWare copyrights from Novell to SCO?" It answered, "No,"

    Well, clearly they mean that a different APA (to be revealed at a later date, pending further funding from Microsoft) will prove their ownership. The first APA - the one we actually know about - doesn't, but SCO feels that the jury was dumb to find that way without consulting a magic 8 ball first.

  • by Richard_at_work ( 517087 ) <{richardprice} {at} {}> on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @12:13PM (#32016392)
    The fact that MS was found guilty under anti-trust law has nothing to do with this - there is no such thing as a 'convicted monopolist' as the lawsuit was a civil one, not a criminal one - the term is a marketing one created by the anti-MS crowd, nothing more.

    Your post is a perfect example of this FUD, as it doesn't address the fact that the article completely fails to mention that Sun was involved as well.
  • The case has shown how someone with money can play the US court system ... on several levels ... for multiple years with effectively NO case, draining the funds from corporations and taking up the time of large numbers of lawyers the entire time.

    If the defendants go out of business or die of old age before due process is complete, is justice really served?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @12:29PM (#32016702)

    This guy is modded flamebait for being far less offensive than the idiots above him

    I don't know, referring to one political movement as "cock smokers" doesn't seem any more or less offensive than referring to another political movement as "cock smokers." He was modded down for posting flamebait, just like the guys above him. It's not some grand conspiracy to push Obama's Socialist/Maoist/Nazi agenda through the moderation of comments on a technology news site. You expected a generic, off-topic political rant to be modded up on an article about Novell/SCO?

  • by StuartHankins ( 1020819 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @12:34PM (#32016790)
    I suggest further reading, for example [] . Sun's payments are irrelevant.

    If you truly don't understand the issues with a convicted monopolist (such as Microsoft) paying a 3rd party to attack their competition, then no amount of rational discourse will help you understand why that's wrong.
  • by pyrr ( 1170465 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @12:34PM (#32016800)

    I know there's a process that has to be followed, but it's obvious at this point, that the SCO lawyers are just trying to appropriate what money they can before it comes time for Novell to collect the judgement against SCO that they are owed under the license agreement. The more of the company's money that they squander on themselves, the less creditors will be able to collect after the liquidation.

    I wonder why the trustee is allowing this. It doesn't seem like this situation is much unlike a private citizen, being aware of an imminent, pending judgement against him (which will result in the loss of all his assets), wrecking the house that will be foreclosed upon, and going on a spending spree to empty his bank account, so the creditors are left with rather little.

    There should be consequences for this sort of behavior, even if it's a corporation. Sure, the lawyers will argue that they have to keep trying, even if it's a foolish longshot. I'd maintain that they should face having the courts recover any of SCO's money they have collected in compensation for chasing their longshots, and they should also be held *personally* fiscally responsible for the repayment of the other parties' legal fees if they fail to prevail. They're wasting everyone's time, money, and resources, yet risk nothing in pursuit of their frivolous longshot. But the way things are, nobody will be on the hook over this bad behavior. Novell will just come out a loser even though they've prevailed. The only winners will be the lawyers.

  • Not only... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jd ( 1658 ) <imipak AT yahoo DOT com> on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @02:36PM (#32018886) Homepage Journal it a formerly-functional volcano, it is usually one that has collapsed due to crumbling infrastructure.

  • by Xtifr ( 1323 ) on Wednesday April 28, 2010 @06:39PM (#32023156) Homepage

    Purely devil's advocate: if the copyrights rightfully belong to SCO

    But they don't. SCO is asking for them to be turned over now, but they still rightfully belong to Novell at the moment. QED.

    Your analogy fails because you don't currently own the copyrights to that hypothetical MS code. If it was your code--your copyright--and you had some agreement to turn it over to MS if they needed it, but in the meantime, you had GPL'd it, that would be a better analogy, and I don't see any reason why MS could argue that you shouldn't have GPL'd it while it was still yours. They can still use it, and if they get the copyrights, they won't need to comply with the GPL themselves, although everyone else still can. It's a win-win in any sane scenario (which of course, excludes any scenarios that SCO is involved with).

    What SCO really wants to do (force people to distribute "their" code, and pay for the privilege, whether they want to or not) is simply not supported by current copyright laws. But that's another matter. Google for "duty to mitigate" if you're not clear on the concept. You can't try to make the damage worse in order to try to collect more money, which is exactly what SCO has been trying to do.

    Also, the real kicker is that SCO themselves continued to distribute Linux long after they made public claims that it was infringing on Unix code (Novell's code), which means that even if they got the copyrights retroactively, it would still be GPL'd. By SCO.

The optimum committee has no members. -- Norman Augustine