Feeds

Novell aims SCO tussle at the Supremes

High court UNIX

High performance access to file storage

Novell wants the US Supreme Court to review its seemingly-never-ending legal tete-a-tete with SCO over the famous UNIX and UNIXware copyrights.

As noticed by Groklaw, Novell has filed a motion with a federal appeals court asking for a 90-day stay in the SCO case so it can file a writ of certiorari petition with the Supremes. This would ask the Supremes to review the lower court's decision that SCO can take its copyright crusade to trial.

In August, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed an earlier decision that the copyrights belonged to Novell, breathing new life into SCO's efforts to enforce the UNIX copyrights against the likes of IBM.

Last week, the SCO Group - a bankrupt company that does little more than fight court cases - booted its longtime boss, Darl McBride. But the shell-of-a-company vowed to continue its court battles with both Novell and Big Blue.

In 1995, Novell sold its Unix trademarks and other assets to an earlier incarnation of 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.

Novell then claimed that it had not sold the copyrights and that its ownership of the copyrights invalidates SCO's $1 billion lawsuit against IBM. So, in January 2004, SCO filed a suit accusing Novell of talking nonsense.

According to court rulings, the contract between Novell and SCO is ambiguous on the copyright issue. But SCO rolled out various witnesses who said Novell's clear intent was to include the copyrights in the pact. Of course, Novell argues that federal law requires that the copyright transfer be included in the written contract.

"This case presents a fundamental question of copyright law on which the [lower courts] are in disagreement: whether the written-transfer requirement of [federal law] requires a writing that identifies with reasonable certainty the specific subject matter and the essential terms of the copyright transfer," Novell says in its latest filing.

"Because resolution of that threshold legal question could entirely foreclose the copyright and related tort claims, thus significantly reducing the issues for trial in this case (as well as in two other cases), a stay of the mandate pending a petition for certiorari is warranted."

Following its bankruptcy filing, SCO says that within the next month, it will find a way to stabilize its cash flow. So we'll have to keep writing. And you'll have to keep reading. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.