08.31.11

GNU/Linux is Secure From Copyright Slander, But Not From Patent Extortion

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, SCO, SLES/SLED, UNIX at 10:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Novell (Attachmate) owns UNIX copyrights, but it is also the source of Microsoft’s “Linux tax” (through SUSE) — a tax which it markets as patent assurance

THERE IS news this week about SCO’s defeat which Sean Michael Kerner, Pamela Jones and others who are familiar with the case have covered. Well, as noted in Slashdot, Attachmate has reaffirmed its grip over UNIX, which basically means that nothing has changed and the virtual assets remain where they are arguably safer. The coverage from Utah’s press (sometimes pro-SCO) says that SCO lost the copyright case in this age where emphasis is being put on patents in the fight against GNU/Linux and Android.

A federal appeals court has upheld a jury verdict and a lower court ruling in a trial that found Novell Inc. — not The SCO Group — owned the copyrights to the Unix computer software operating system before 1995.

The U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the jury’s verdict from last year in a lawsuit filed by SCO in 2004 as part of its broader efforts to sue IBM over alleged use of Unix code as a model for parts of the rival Linux operating system.

The court upheld the verdict against SCO, saying “ample evidence in the record supported the jury’s verdict and Novell’s position.” It also upheld rulings in Novell’s favor by U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart, who presided over the trial.

This is all very nice. However, to lose sight of the fact that Novell is now being used by Attachmate (via SUSE) to pay Microsoft for GNU/Linux regardless of copyrights would not be wise. The main problem has shifted along with Microsoft’s strategy.

The Register joined YouTube on the 9th of May (2011) and it reminds of us those ads disguised as “content” which it did back in the days for Novell and Microsoft A day or so ago it uploaded this video which characteristically spins a patent deal as collaboration. Viewer should beware and see if they can spot the spin. Novell is not the “good guy”. Like in many wars, both sides can be “bad guys”, ass Zinn (a former bombardier) once explained.

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A Single Comment

  1. mcinsand said,

    August 31, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Gravatar

    I see the outcome as a bit different and a bit sunnier. First, SCOX was ruled to not have received any UNIX copyrights when they bought business rights from Novell. Next, as I understood the resolution of BSD vs. AT&T, just what UNIX copyrights are valid is a very, very murky issue. AT&T was not a good steward of those rights, to the extent of likely invalidating many of them. If Novell’s new overlords from Redmond ever did try to make copyrights into an issue, they might get more than they bargained for.

    Regards,
    mc

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