SCO vs. Linux: case against Novell closed
The SCO versus Novell lawsuit has ended. What began in January 2004 with an action for slander against Novell by the SCO Group has now arrived at a final judgment, which states that when Novell sold Unix and its source code to SCO, it did not sell the copyright. Novell is consequently entitled to a share of SCO's income from licensing Unix. SCO voluntarily dismissed a whole series of its claims that it won't be able to renew in the event of appeal proceedings. It is not yet known whether the two parties accept the verdict or will appeal.
This final judgment augments two previous court decisions against SCO. The judge responsible, Dale Kimball, decided in August 2007 that Novell had not sold the copyright in Unix to SCO. Following that fundamental decision, in July 2008 the court set the amount of damages payable by SCO to Novell at $2.5M. The final verdict increases this sum by $918,122, plus $489 for each day counting from 29 August 2008. The court thus accepted Novell's argument that it is continuing to sustain damage up to the present day due to SCO having sold copyrights to Sun Microsystems.
If, following this verdict, SCO lodges an appeal, it will not be able to renew its claims for breach of contract, copyright infringement and unfair competition, which it had added to the original action for slander, to form a fundamental dispute over the rights to Unix. The final judgement does not affect litigation between SCO and IBM on the subject of Unix source code that may have been copied into Linux, or Red Hat's complaint of restraint of trade by SCO. It does however affect the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in which SCO is seeking to reorganise its affairs. Novell is SCO's major creditor here.
- SCO v Linux: Novell demands payment of withheld income
- SCO vs Linux : Now SCO must pay Novell $2.5 million