Feeds

Novell turns the screws on SCO

SCO's System V claims melting faster than a warm Itanic

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Novell has launched another foray at the heart of The SCO Group's case against IBM, the 1995 contract in which SCO says Novell gave it the rights to UNIX™ and derivative works.

Without the contract, SCO is simply another UNIX™ licensee and has no grounds to pursue its case against IBM, and by extension, Linux users everywhere. SCO is already retreating from its claims to ownership of AT&T's System V, some rights to which subsequently fell into Novell's hands, but which SCO insists fall under the 1995 agreement. This, SCO says, gives it the rights to control derivative works. But as a sub-sub-licensee, says Novell, SCO is hardly in a position to bully anyone. Who's right?

In a letter last week, published today, Novell reminds SCO that AT&T retains crucial ownership rights. SCO says that section 2.01 of the 1995 contract with SCO, gives it the "right to use includes the right to modify such SOFTWARE PRODUCT and to prepare derivative works based on such SOFTWARE PRODUCT, provided the resulting materials are treated hereunder as part of the original SOFTWARE PRODUCT."

"In fact, SCO's interpretation of section 2.01 is plainly contrary to the position taken by AT&T, as author of and party to the SVRX licenses," says Novell. It points to an addition to the section by AT&T made in 1985, to mollify potential licensees of its "official" Death Star UNIX™ which was threatened by the freely-distributable Berkeley flavor, then growing in popularity beyond its academic niche.

AT&T added a sentence explaining that the company "claims no ownership interest in any portion of such a modification or derivative work that is not part of a SOFTWARE PRODUCT." In other words, it couldn't stake a claim on licensees' code. At around this time, an Oregon start-up called Sequent had the bright idea of licensing UNIX™ on the then hopelessly unfashionable Intel microprocessor architecture to create large multi-processor systems. Which it did with great success, and was eventually acquired by IBM in 1999. Novell cited two copies of AT&T's newsletter $echo from 1985 which reassured licensees that it wouldn't try and claw back their enhancements.

"For these reasons, and the reasons stated in our October 7, 2003 letter to you about IBM-developed code, SCO's position on Sequent Code is unsupportable," says Novell. It's given SCO until noon today to give up any claims that Sequent's code is really confidential SCO code.

That leaves a large part of SCO's case against IBM holed below the waterline. The parallel, and far murkier case of "Project Monterey" - the deliberate co-mingling of SCO's UnixWare, IBM's AIX and Sequent's Dynix which the parties all agreed to co-mingle back in 1998 - is another matter.

But with its claims to System V disappearing rapidly, that might yet be the best SCO can hope for. It's not over yet. ®

Related Stories

SCO abandons trade secret attack on IBM
US markets warm to Linux makers over SCO
Open Source thieves stealing my American code - SCO boss
SCO sues Novell - retaliation expected
SCO surrenders claims to System V?
The SCO IP license: now it's Europe's turn
SCO sort of thinks there are Linux IP violations, but isn't quite sure
SCO targets Novell, steps into new legal trouble
SCO pesters Fortune 1000 for money (again)
IBM draws first blood in SCO Linux battle
Don't say nothing to the SCO cops, Gartner advises Linux users
We reveal major UNIX™ IP violations
SCO admits: Linux jihad is destroying our business
SCO says GPL unenforceable, unconstitutional and void
Against SCO’s GPL jihad: one size doesn't fit all
The GPL will win, claims law prof.
SCO blinks - bill us when you can
SCO: irrevocable doesn't mean forever
SCO set to take SGI's Unix licence away
HP hides its secret SCO shame
SCO still offers 'infringing' Linux source code
IBM sues SCO for selling Linux
SCO ready to clean out Linux users for $1399 per CPU
SCO and Linux: this one will run and run
SCO not playing by Aussie Rules
SCO says it's time for Linux users to pay up
SCO pulls AIX licence, calls for permanent ban
SCO's Second Amendment rebuffs Novell Unix claim
Novell torpedoes SCO's Unix IP claim
Come and get your Linux: SCO opens door to suing self?
MS blesses SCO, licenses Unix
SCO invokes RIAA in Linux jihad
SCO sues IBM for $1 billion for 'devaluing Unix'

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7
New chip scales to 1024 cores, 8192 threads 64 TB RAM, at speeds over 3.6GHz
Docker kicks KVM's butt in IBM tests
Big Blue finds containers are speedy, but may not have much room to improve
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Gartner's Special Report: Should you believe the hype?
Enough hot air to carry a balloon to the Moon
Flash could be CHEAPER than SAS DISK? Come off it, NetApp
Stats analysis reckons we'll hit that point in just three years
Dell The Man shrieks: 'We've got a Bitcoin order, we've got a Bitcoin order'
$50k of PowerEdge servers? That'll be 85 coins in digi-dosh
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.