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% fortune -ae paul murphy

Comment about SCO/Novell

I've been getting a lot of gleeful email this weekend from groklaw adherents rejoicing in their victory over SCO - as ennunicated by the court in last Friday's pro-Novell copyright decision. Here's the operative bit from groklaw's coverage:

That's Aaaaall, Folks! The court also ruled that "SCO is obligated to recognize Novell's waiver of SCO's claims against IBM and Sequent". That's the ball game. There are a couple of loose ends, but the big picture is, SCO lost. Oh, and it owes Novell a lot of money from the Microsoft and Sun licenses.

There are two things that bother me about this - aside from the judgement itself, of course, since I would have cheerfully bet real money that this would never happen.

First, the copyright issue really has nothing to do with the fundemental claim - that IBM failed to meet its contractual obligations. In other words if this does end the matter it will because of money and community reaction, not because of the rights or wrongs of the issue.

Second, I think that people whose interest is in showing that Linux did not benefit from original or derived work done under IBM's AT&T licensing should be horrified by this judgement - because if it forms the basis for SCO's final defeat, it will do so by replacing the "we didn't do it" defence with one based on the claim that Novel, a company IBM invested $50 million in at the time of the SuSe deal, gave IBM retroactive permission to do it.

Paul Murphy wrote and published The Unix Guide to Defenestration. Murphy is a 25-year veteran of the I.T. consulting industry, specializing in Unix and Unix-related management issues.