The Technocracy

Who will win the Battle for your Desktop?

SCO, the Fat Lady & Novell’s Slippery Grasp on the Unix Copyrights

SCO has one foot in the grave, but the sod hasn’t been thrown over it yet.

With its copyright and slander-of-title case lost to Novell, it says it still means to bring its suspended contract and unfair competition case against IBM if the judge who presided over the Novell case – and who may have been as surprised as the Novell lawyers at the verdict – decides that Novell has no business blocking it.

Back eons ago Novell stepped into the SCO v IBM lawsuit – or at least tried to – and told SCO it couldn’t sue IBM or lift IBM’s license to distribute AIX, IBM’s version of Unix.

Judge Stewart – he’s the guy who ran the copyright trial – now gets to decide whether Novell’s so-called waiver holds any water and how far it extends.

Briefs from both SCO and Novell are expected to land on his desk on April 19. He’ll have a think and then decide. There probably won’t be a hearing.

If it can cross that hurdle, SCO will still have to fight to get its Monterey charges against IBM recognized. Judge Kimball – the guy whose summary judgment awarded Novell the Unix copyrights in 2007 – barred them from the case when he wouldn’t admit SCO’s third amended complaint. SCO’s got an aging right-to-amend motion floating around out there somewhere.

Then it’s got to try to get its multibillion-dollar AIX/Dynix case, which was gutted by Magistrate Judge Brook Wells, patched back together again – it’s got a reconsideration motion pending too – otherwise it’ll have to go with the stump of a case.

Both sets of claims contend that IBM looted Unix for the sake of Linux and the AIX case includes a destruction of evidence charge that could prove highly entertaining and potentially profitable for SCO if it ever gets heard.

Anyway, Judge Kimball’s summary judgment was of course overturned by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals last year, which is how Judge Stewart gets to make the decisions that could potentially put SCO, now older and poorer, kinda back where it was before the Novell distraction.

If the waiver ruling goes in SCO’s favor, it’s unclear who exactly would get to decide the right-to-amend and reconsideration motions, Judge Stewart or Judge Tina Campbell, who drew the IBM case when Kimball’s summary judgment was overturned. It’s possible Judge Stewart could take the IBM case because of his Novell learning curve.

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April 11, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , ,

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