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SCO rises from the dead (again)

New trial, please

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SCO has risen from the grave. Again.

On June 10, US judge Ted Stewart ruled that Novell does indeed own the UNIX copyrights the The SCO Group so vehemently laid claim to, ending a six-year legal battle between the two. But, yes, SCO has now appealed Stewart's judgment, according to those dogged SCO-watchers at Groklaw.

Though Stewart upheld a jury decision in favor of Novell and rejected SCO's application to have the case reheard, SCO has now asked the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit to hear the case and overturn Stewart's ruling. And if that doesn't happen, SCO wants, yes, a new trial.

SCO is convinced it has the funds to carry on. But a bankruptcy hearing is set for later this month, when the company must prove that it's not dead. And of course, the IBM case is still pending.

In 1995, Novell sold the Unix source code and some additional UNIX assets to a previous incarnation of SCO, and SCO contends that a 1996 amendment transferred copyrights as well. In 2003, it started waving those copyrights at the LInux world, and it eventually entered a licensing agreement with Sun while suing everyone from IBM to DaimlerChrysler.

In 2004, Novell announced it had not sold the copyrights, arguing that the IBM suit was nonsense, and SCO filed suit against Novell too. A judge ruled in favor of Novell, but an appeals court called for a jury trial to decide on the copyright question. The jury sided with Novell too, and Judge Stewart agreed with them.

SCO has no real source of revenue. But this doesn't seem to matter. ®

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