SCO: the gift that keeps on giving

It's IT Blogwatch: in which a bankrupt SCO owes Novell $2.5 million, but vows to fight on. Not to mention the search for Spock...

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols' boredom is at an end (or is it?):

You know zombie movies ... scary at first, but then ... the zombies get to be pretty darn boring. SCO, the zombie that wanted to gack Linux, had gotten to be really, really boring ... [But] it looks like SCO's day has finally come to a close. On July 16th, Judge Dale Kimball of the U.S. District Court ruled in Novell's favor in SCO vs. Novell ... now the bankrupt company is left owing Novell $2.5-million ... Novell owns Unix. SCO doesn't. SCO is in bankruptcy ... For the spinoff, we have the possibility of Novell vs. Sun since, according to the judge; SCO never owned the IP rights to the Unix that it sold to Sun, which Sun then turned into part of OpenSolaris. Whoops. more

Ryan Paul adds detail:

Judge Kimball ruled that SCO was unjustly enriched by its 2003 licensing agreement with Sun and owes Novell $2,547,817 ... SCO launched its legal assault against Linux five years ago when it claimed that the open-source operating system was built with proprietary UNIX code. SCO quickly became embroiled in several high-profile lawsuits against IBM, Red Hat, Novell, DaimlerChrysler, and Autozone. SCO managed to fund much of its litigation by selling licenses for the UNIX code to Sun, Microsoft, and other companies. During the trial, evidence revealed that SCO's own internal audits had found no trace of proprietary UNIX code in Linux. Evidence also emerged which proved that Novell, and not SCO, was in fact the rightful owner of the UNIX code that SCO had claimed as its own. more

Pamela Jones celebrates:

At last! ... it's confirmed now that SCO did not behave properly, and it converted funds due to Novell ... That is ironic, in that this case started with SCO accusing Novell of slander of title, and asking for millions in damages. Instead it has to pay Novell millions ... They still have to face IBM, and Novell can now ask for attorneys fees and interest, so it's likely to get worse. more

Pamela Manson thinks celebrations may be premature:

In 2007, Kimball ruled Novell still owned pre-1995 copyrights to the Unix system ... A SCO company statement indicated the company will appeal Kimball's ruling from last year and said it continues to disagree with the premise of the May trial. At that proceeding, SCO contended the case should have gone to trial on its original claims that Novell was interfering with its ownership of Unix. more

Atul Mukherjee sorta agrees:

It's not an absolutely crushing victory, but I'll take it ... It's possible Kimball is indulging in a bit of game theory here. They can either take the current deal, fork over the $2.5M, and have Kimball's rulings stand as the final judgment in the case, or they can appeal and see what's behind door #2. It could be a better deal, but it could also be much, much worse ... In the end I think they'll still try to appeal, because they're a bunch of freakin' morons who won't listen to common sense, take their half-a-loaf (or pathetic-smidgen-of-a-loaf really) and go the hell away already. But it does up the odds that the appeals court will take one look at the case and decide SCO is exactly as I've just described them. more

l2718's speling is atrocios:

Judge Kimball's ... idea for calculating damages is strange. Sun paid SCO for 4 things: a "release", which he values at $1.5M since MS paid $1.5 for their release, as well as a license to UnixWare, some drivers, and Unix (SVRX), which he values at one third of the remaining payment each ... [But] the two companies are in different lines of business and especially their products have very different Unix component to them ... Sun have no products based on UnixWare, and probably already had their own drivers written for Solaris x86. Clearly what they really wanted was the ability to open-source their derivative of Unix, and that's what they paid for; SCO throwing in a few add-ons (probably to make this appear to be a UnixWare license so they wouldn't have to give the money to Novell) shouldn't change the allocation of funds. I'm surprised that Sun wasn't ask to testify in court about what they thought they paid for. more

And finally...

Buffer overflow:

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Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/adviser/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 21 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him on Twitter, pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use boring old email: blogwatch@richi.co.uk.

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