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11.29.08

SCO Death Watch

Posted in Courtroom, GNU/Linux, Novell, SCO, UNIX at 7:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“…Microsoft wished to promote SCO and its pending lawsuit against IBM and the Linux operating system. But Microsoft did not want to be seen as attacking IBM or Linux.”

Larry Goldfarb, Baystar, key investor in SCO

THERE IS already a selection of early coverages, but for future reference we decided to accumulate a fairly complete set of coverages of SCO’s last stand (potentially). As we show at the very bottom, SCO has not given up yet, but its chances of elevation are slim.

SCO Loses

Caitlyn Martin took over for one column after Ladislav had stepped down to improve and maintain DistroWatch for a while. Hers is the first reference from last Monday:

Novell wins and SCO loses, Linux netbooks hit store shelves

SCO can still appeal the decision. That means that the decision is final for Judge Kimball’s court but it does not necessarily mean the case is over and done with. If there is a next round, it will be in appellate court. According to Groklaw, SCO’s lawyer told a September bankruptcy hearing that an appeal could take anywhere from a year and a half to five years.

A heap of coverages followed the seminal reports from the end of the week beforehand.

[1] SCO v. Novell is Final – For Now

Way back in July, the word rang out that SCO — the arch-villains bent on squeezing every dime they can out of Linux — had been vanquished by the valiant legal team at Novell to the tune of $2.5+ million. Now comes word that the victory is final — or at least, as final as can be expected.

[2] The little SCO that cried wolf

Oh well, too late now. The bankrupt remains of SCO owes Novell $2.55 million for illegally selling Unix intellectual property rights to Sun. SCO could fight on and waste more money. Why anyone would give SCO more money to throw away on its frivolous lawsuits is beyond me, but I guess someone will always believe it when someone cries wolf no matter how many times they do it.

[3] Final Judgement: SCO Owes Novell $2.5 Mln

In what (we hope!) will be the final word on SCO’s dolorous infringement case over Unix, SCO must pay Novell more than $2.54 million…plus interest.

[4] SCO owes Novell $2.54 million for all that trolling

This garbage has been going on since 2003 and finally SCO is getting its final day in court although it’s not getting quite what it bargained for. SCO is currently going bankrupt and can’t pay the amount, but a trust has been set up containing $625,000 which Novell will receive once the company is dismantled.

[5] Kiss SCO Goodbye, Again

To me, the biggest sign that SCO never had much of a case to begin with is how the world simply chose to move on while all this ground its way through the courts. No one I’ve spoken to who uses Linux in a business capacity has cited the SCO case as a reason to be worried about Linux’s future. It simply wasn’t a realistic prospect for them, and now that I look back on it, it never should have been. It was all hot air, and there wasn’t even enough of it to fill a balloon.

[6] SCO ordered to pay Novell $2.5m in Unix royalties (again)

Nearly a decade earlier, Novell sold its Unix trademarks and other assets to SCO, and SCO was quite sure that the deal included the Unix copyrights as well – so sure that it started waving them at the Linux industry, entering licensing agreements with the likes of Sun and suing everyone from IBM to DaimlerChrysler.

[7] Final Judgment: SCO Owes Novell Millions (Plus Interest) (comments on Ars Technica article)

“Federal district judge Dale A. Kimball has handed down the final judgment in the SCO case. The decision dismisses SCO’s latest claims, grants declaratory relief to Novell, and sustains the court’s previous judgment that SCO owes Novell over $2.54 million (plus interest) for unjust enrichment.”

[8] SCO loses big time

It’s finally over. After more than five years of legal wranglings, courtroom antics and FUD, The SCO Group has received a final judgement. In short, SCO owes Novell over $2.54 million (plus interest) for unjust enrichment. Novell is the rightful owner of the UNIX SVRX copyrights. Pretty much everyone in the Linux community expected this, but we’re all glad it has come to an end.

[9] Final judgment: SCO owes Novell millions (plus interest)

SCO managed to use its false claims to extract licensing revenue out of companies that were apparently uninterested in contesting its claims. Novell took SCO’s claims to court and eventually triumphed, which pushed SCO off of the precipice and into bankruptcy.

[10] SCO vs. Linux: case against Novell closed

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.

[11] SCO loses Linux legal fight

The long-running saga of SCO versus everyone who ever so much as looked sideways at Linux – but especially Novell and IBM – has drawn to a close with the news that Federal District Judge Dale A. Kimball has dismissed all the company’s claims.

[12] Is the era of open source legal stupidity over?

Some SCO partisans still don’t believe it, and lawyers like to get paid, but at some point in the economic cycle such arguments become an unaffordable luxury and we may well be at that point.

The legal status of open source and Linux now seems clear. The contracts are legal, the software is legit.

[13] Game Over for SCO: Company Ordered to Pay Novell More than $3.4M

Using its mistaken claims of ownership, SCO introduced the SCOSource licensing program and filed lawsuits against companies like IBM, DaimlerChrysler, and AutoZone, among others, for employing unlicensed SCO intellectual property in their Linux deployments.

Kimball’s November 20 ruling orders both SCO and Novell to release SCO’s infringement claims against SVRx licensees, and strikes down SCO’s 2003 amendments to a SVRx deal originally between Novell and Sun Microsystems.

[14] SCO owes Novell: final ruling

This final ruling quashes SCO’s attempts to waive some of the claims in case of any appeal and reiterates his order this July to pay Novell the damages in restitution for Unix royalties SCO collected from Sun Microsystems without Novell’s permission.

The original ruling sent SCO’s fortunes into freefall, as it was first delisted from the Nasdaq, then involved in a failed £100-million (£66.03-million) capital investment injection while trying to sell of the Unix business, and finally file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy late last year.

[15] Global News Update: Monday, November 24, 2008

Another chapter in the lengthy legal saga between SCO and Novell is closed, with the release of a final judgment by a Utah court on Thursday. The judgment largely reiterates earlier orders dismissing copyright-infringement, slander and breach-of-contract claims brought by SCO, but it also prevents SCO from being able to dismiss certain claims and then revive those same claims in potential future appeals. SCO has lost a number of rulings in the ongoing battle with Novell, including a major loss last year when a judge decided that SCO owes Novell for licensing revenues SCO received from Sun Microsystems and Microsoft.

[16] Judgment favors Novell in ongoing SCO case (IDG spread-about; also in [1, 2, 3, 4])

Another chapter in the lengthy legal saga between SCO and Novell is closed, with the release of a final judgment by a Utah court on Thursday.

[17] Novell Wins! Linux Wins! (SCO doesn’t)

Everywhere I read, commentators say the same thing. SCO is dead and buried – they have no chance of raising enough money to take this any further.

[18] Judge issues final judgment in case involving SCO, Novell

The Novell-SCO dispute was an offshoot of another SCO lawsuit, against International Business Machines Corp., filed in 2003. SCO accused IBM of improperly placing proprietary Unix code into Linux, an open-source operating system that competes with Unix.

[19] SCO hit with final ruling

The original ruling sent SCO’s fortunes into freefall. It was first delisted from the Nasdaq, then involved in a failed £100-million capital investment injection while trying to sell of the Unix business. It finally filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy late last year.

[20] Court finds against SCO in Novel Unix case (also in Yahoo!)

A court in Utah has ruled that SCO will have to pay over $2.5m (£1.62m) in damages to Novell, and has reasserted Novell’s ownership of Unix.

[...]

The judge did, however, leave the way open for SCO to appeal against certain aspects of the case.

The company has reportedly said that it will continue to fight but, as it is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and has yet to file a refinancing plan that must be registered by 31 December, funding such action may be problematic.

[21] Bankrupt SCO loses appeal over Novell Unix damages

A court has upheld judgements in the SCO/Novell Unix case, which said Novell owned Unix, not SCO.

SCO, which also claims it owns Linux, is now in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. SCO has already filed an appeal to this “final judgement”.

[22] Ding, dong SCO is dead

The largely unsung hero in all this? Novell. Novell has stuck with the litigation for five years. Thank you, Novell. I may disagree with the company on other issues, but on SCO and other patent trolls we can agree.

Marcel covered this in his show.

Ogg Theora

Direct link

Novell’s PR Director, Ian Bruce, issued a statement on behalf of Novell.

SCO ruling is more good news

[...]

The judgment restates earlier orders dismissing copyright infringement, slander and breach-of-contract claims brought by SCO, but in addition provides for the dismissal of certain of SCO’s claims without the opportunity for SCO to revive those claims after any appeal.

SCO Appeals

Tom Harvey, who some consider biased in SCO’s favour, was probably the first to cover this:

SCO cleared for appeal in computer code case

The Utah-based SCO Group has been cleared to appeal a court ruling that might lead to a revival of its dispute with IBM over copyright claims to the freely distributed Linux operating system.

Utah Federal Judge Dale A. Kimball has signed a final judgment in a case involving Novell, in which he had awarded Novell $2.5 million for some of the revenues The SCO Group obtained in licensing the Unix computer operating system.

This article was also put in ECT, which some consider to be anti-Linux (particularly following an acquisition of LinuxInsider some years ago).

Additionally, it was covered in:

[23] SCO files for appeal of loss to Novell (also in ITNews)

SCO FILED NOTICE on Tuesday that it will appeal Judge Kimball’s final judgment in its unsuccessful lawsuit against Novell, wherein it tried to claim ownership of the copyrights to UNIX SVRx.

Refusing to admit its resounding defeat in US District Court, SCO hopes to persuade the 10th Circuit US Court of Appeals that it deserved a jury trial in SCO v. Novell. In order to do that, it will have to convince the appellate court that Judge Kimball improperly ruled that: Novell’s counterclaims sought merely equitable relief rather than damages, and that the plain language of SCO’s UNIX SVRx asset purchase agreement with Novell was clear and unambiguous, and therefore that no substantive facts were in dispute between the parties.

[24] SCO Files Notice of Appeal in Novell Litigation – Updated

I was trying to think of a single person involved in any way in this litigation, even peripherally, who hasn’t ended up with his or her reputation slimed by SCO or their supporters. How glad I will be when there is nothing left of SCO but an old blues song!

[25] SCO vs. Novell Continues

Cade Metz reported Monday that the federal judge overseeing the case entered a final judgment that, among other things, reiterated a previous order that SCO owes the Linux distributor more than $2.5 million. But the thing is, SCO doesn’t have the money. The investors that once offered to bail SCO out of bankruptcy backed out of the deal. Metz says the judge may have finally “shoved SCO into the grave.”

There is also a nice cartoon about this whole thing.

Next Steps and Miscellanea

[26] The Appeals Paperwork Begins

The clerk that handles sending on notices of appeals for the US District Court for the District of Utah has sent SCO a letter, letting it know that the notice of appeal has been filed with the US Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit and providing SCO with instructions, including to download the rules and forms from here. Just read the letter, and you’ll immediately understand what appeals are like.

[27] Top 10 worst chief executives

Shaun Nichols: McBride has no shortage of chutzpah, I’ll grant him that much. Taking on IBM’s legal team for the rights to Linux is a bit like trying to storm Fort Knox with two trained monkeys and a slingshot.

The SCO case did accomplish one good thing, however. It united once disparate groups of Linux advocates in a common cause, and watching the company slowly get the life choked out of it in the courts was poetic justice in the eyes of many.

[28] Minutes from the Bankruptcy Hearing, an Order on 1st Omnibus Objections, and Other Filings – Updated

The SCO bankruptcy plods right along. I predicted that the SCO bankruptcy hearing on SCO’s First Omnibus Objections to Claims would be short, sweet, and simple, and the minutes of the hearing [PDF] indicate that is exactly how it went.

This hopefully proves helpful.

Oriskany ship sinks

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