And so the biggest legal saga to face Linux over the last few years was that of SCO trying to sue people for copyright infringement, saying that it owned the rights to UNIX. This has dragged Novell, IBM and more into the courts to fight for the right to party. Well today that party was in full swing as the judge in the case, Dale Kimball, has ruled in Novell’s favour saying that it is Novell, and not SCO, who own the UNIX and Unixware rights.
Kudos to Novell! It’s hard to see that there is much, if anything, left in the SCO locker that they can accuse IBM of infringing. In fact, it looks like they’ll be busy trying to organise a whip-a-round to pay up to Novell who will now be due a big cheque from SCO for the UNIX rights that Microsoft and Sun had previously paid SCO for. Yes, that sentence is a bit long and confusing. Perhaps it would be better to allocate IP addresses to each note in the UNIX rights cash pile and use traceroute to track its hops from one accounting subnet to another!
Interesting it was Microsoft who were reported to have set the SCO ball rolling back in 2003 by paying them for the first UNIX licence . Here’s one of the article’s from back then when the news first broke and the world looked a bleaker place. Once details of a Microsoft-SCO association had been reported it prompted one analyst, Gordon Haff of Illuminata, to say “Microsoft should certainly be worried about even a little bit of SCO’s stench rubbing off.” Well the only stench today will be from rear end of the trousers of the SCO management as they nervously wonder where to go next from here.
Given that Microsoft stumped up the initial cash to set SCO off like a bull in a China shop, it is possibly fitting that such money will now likely pass on to Novell to fund Linux development. Mind you, it’s hard to keep track of the amount of Microsoft cash that the Novell management are rolling around in these days. Maybe the Redmond team should just give up on Windows and focus on their Linux development entirely. Let’s be honest, it’s much more fun!
Groklaw has been covering this tale from the start of the case and and PJ is in bouyant mood as she covers the details whilst downing some chocolates (Note: Link that used to be here no longer works http://http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20070810165237718#comments). Thanks for a great site PJ, to keep the great unwashed up to date on the legal rumblings over the last few years, and please continue to do so as this fish gets reeled in.