[TUHS] Source code abundance?

Warner Losh imp at bsdimp.com
Mon Mar 6 05:25:07 AEST 2017

On Sun, Mar 5, 2017 at 12:15 PM, Joerg Schilling <schily at schily.net> wrote:
> Clem Cole <clemc at ccc.com> wrote:
>> Not be argumentative, but I do not think SCO matters at this point as I'm
>> under the impression that per IBM/SCO case the US courts have ruled - i.e.
>> https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB118678589019694632
>> Court Ruling Gives Novell Copyright in Unix System
>> By
>> Updated Aug. 11, 2007 12:01 a.m. ET
>> A federal court in Utah ruled that Novell Inc., not SCO Group Inc., is the
>> rightful owner of the copyright in the Unix operating system.
> Novells claims are not very credible....
> I mentioned that the USL laboratories from AT&T (including the people who work
> there) have been handed over from AT&T to Novell and later to SCO.
> It is most unlikely that these people did not terminate their contract in case
> the ownership of the code has not been transfered to the respective new owner
> of the company.

The plain language of the contract that was on groklaw makes it clear
that SCO got the rights to sell Unix, but since they didn't offer
Novel enough money, the copyrights were specifically not included. SCO
could sell and sublicense, but then had to pay Novel royalties back as
the copyright holder instead of a larger up-front payment. The judge,
correctly in my view, ruled that this was the proper interpretation of
the contract. The testimony of the people that negotiated was needed
to clear up the issue raised by SCO about the interpretation of the
rather specific language in the contract and addenda. This body of
evidence was developed rather extensively through both testimony, as
well as evidence of payments by SCO to Novel that supported the view
that SCO could sell licenses, but had to pay royalties back to Novel.
They did this for several years before stopping and embarking on their
ill-fated legal battle.

So a judge disagrees with you, as a matter of law and fact, that
Novel's claims are not credible. They are the ones that won the day,
and won the day rather handily.

All the details can be found at
which includes a large number of exhibits from people that were
actually there, who had first-hand knowledge, etc. On the whole it
seems quite credible. I know who I believe, given the choice.


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