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Today is the SCO vs. Novell trial

This is the trial that was delayed because of SCO's bankruptcy filing 
last September. Essentially, this trial should determine who owns the 
rights to Unix. While Judge Kimball ruled in favor of Novell in a 
summary judgment, it is certain to come up in the next couple of days. 
Both Novell and SCO have agree to 10 hours, but that does not include 
breaks, conferences, and other things.  This trial is really about what 
SCO owes Novell on System V licenses, especially based on the licenses 
that SCO sold to Microsoft and Sun.  Novell claims that these licenses 
were issued by SCO in violation of the APA, and SCO claims that these 
were not System V licenses. 

The reason this is important is that SCO actually claims ownership of 
Linux since they claim parts of Linux (in SCO vs. IBM) belong to them 
under the provisions of the AT&T contract signed by IBM. This trial 
will probably establish Novell higher in the creditor status in the 
bankruptcy court. While SCO has publicly stated that it intends to 
appeal Judge Kimball's rulings, it currently does not have the 
resources to do so, and the 2 bids to acquire SCO's assets have been 
rejected by the bankruptcy court.  While I don't think that any of the 
creditors will get much out of this, I don't think that SCO will 
survive to carry on an appeal and if another suitor, like York, does 
show up, would it be in a position to do so. Note that SCO still 
receives royalties on Unix, so there is some legitimate revenue stream 
that someone might want to buy, as well as some products and a customer 

Assuming there is no appeal to Judge Kimball's ruling that Novell owns 
Unix, it then becomes what will Novell actually do. They have already 
waived the rights in the SCO vs. IBM case thus lifting the cloud over 
Linux. Novell is certainly not going to pull the same type of thing 
that SCO (nee Caldera) did as they have invested much in their Linux 
business. Anything else is pure speculation. 

Jerry Feldman <[hidden email]> 
Boston Linux and Unix 
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