06.13.10

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Translation of Novell’s Statement Regarding the SCO Case (Updated)

Posted in Marketing, Novell, SCO, UNIX at 4:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Novell’s spin is dissected following the end of the copyright/UNIX case

The SCO case seems to be over [1, 2], but SCO’s trustee (Cahn) says that there might be additional attempts made by SCO:

So it seems that after seven years, this charade by SCO is finally over. What will it tell the bankruptcy court now? Earlier this year, former U.S. District Judge Edward Cahn, the company’s bankruptcy trustee, told the Salt Lake Tribune that the jury decision will not dissuade it from pursuing its lawsuit against IBM. Said Cahn: “The copyright claims are gone, but we have other claims based on contracts.”

That’s typical SCO, basing its entire existence on lawsuits. But let’s look at Novell’s official statement from Ian Bruce (PR Director) and interpret it:

“Yesterday, United States District Court Judge Ted Stewart issued a Final Judgment regarding the long standing dispute between SCO Group and Novell.”

Novell’s message: This entire case is about Novell and SCO. Forget about the other aspects of it.

“As part of the decision, the Court reaffirmed the earlier jury verdict that Novell maintained ownership of important UNIX copyrights

Subtle point: “important” as in valuable, i.e. worth a lot of money to Novell.

“which SCO had asserted to own in its attack on the Linux computer operating system.”

Semantics: Linux is a kernel. It’s a platform, not an operating system.

The Court also issued a lengthy Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law wherein it determined that SCO was not entitled to an order requiring Novell to transfer the UNIX copyrights because “Novell had purposely retained those copyrights.”

Pedant’s point: Novell kept UNIX because it is an asset. Novell did not do this to protect Linux, which is had not even sold at the time.

“In addition, the Court concluded that SCO was obligated to recognize Novell’s waiver of SCO’s claims against IBM and other companies, many of whom utilize Linux.”

Partial translation: a confrontation over UNIX may have ramifications that apply to other companies.

Commenting on the Judgment, Novell President and CEO Ron Hovsepian…

Note: Ron Hovsepian was working for IBM for many years, almost two decades in fact. He joined Novell in June 2003 (around the time the SCO case was launched).

“…stated “After almost a decade of litigation…”

Observation: Is he talking for Novell or for IBM? Novell got involved only later on. It wasn’t there for quite some time.

“…, we are very pleased to see this final judgment uphold all of Novell’s claims. I am very proud of this achievement and the work Novell has done to ensure Linux remains free and open.””

Spin alert: What Novell did here is insist on the ownership of UNIX, which is worth a lot of money. Novell spins this as “ensur[ing] Linux remains free and open,” which is a side effect for the most part.

Update: In Groklaw, Pamela Jones replies to Cahn’s quote by writing: “That’s the beauty of the ruling, though. Novell has the right to waive.”

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