Who Owns Unix?

Judges Say Trial Needed to Find Out

1 min read
Who Owns Unix?

In an unexpected ruling, the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appealsreversed the 2007 summary judgment decision by Judge Dale Kimball of the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah that found that Novell owned the Unix and Unixware copyrights, according to a news report in ComputerWorld.

An understandable to a non-lawyer explanation of the 2007 summary judgment can be found here.

The 10th District ruling has the background details of how this all came about over the past six years, for those who are interested. The ComputerWorld article gives a nice but shorter summary.

The result of the 10th District Court ruling is that there will now be a trial to determine whether the SCO Group or Novell owns Unix.

In an article in the Salt Lake Tribune, SCO Group CEO Darl McBride was likely to renew its lawsuit for $1 billion against IBM and Novell, as well as seek licensing fees from companies that run Linux.

For its part, Novell said:

" Novell is carefully studying the decision of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. We are eased that the decision affirmed the district court’s monetary award of approximately $3M from SCO to Novell. On other issues such as ownership of the UNIX copyrights, on which SCO’s claims against Novell, IBM, and Linux users depend, the Court remanded the case for trial. Precisely what will happen next in the lawsuit remains to be seen, especially in light of the pending SCO bankruptcy and the recent court decision to appoint a Chapter 11 Trustee to take over the business affairs of the company."

"Novell intends to vigorously defend the case and the interests of its Linux customers and the greater open source community. We remain confident in the ultimate outcome of the dispute."


The Conversation (0)

Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

Keep Reading ↓Show less