No doubt if you have been following things at all closely in the SCO business, you will know about the spanners that Novell have been slinging into the SCO legal machine.
What has not been clear though is the potiential size of the spanners. They are big. Very big. Good.
It transpires that Novell are basically saying that SCO have no ownership rights over Unix, but they do have a right to sell it and make money from it.
This seems to suggest that SCO have no right to sue IBM, no right to unilaterally remove IBM’s AIX license and no right to withdraw SGI’s license either. Oh and no rights to sue Linux end users.
SCO finally managed to mention at their 4th quarter earnings conference (January) that their may be a tiny fly in the ointment regarding Novell. McBride actually said “over the last couple of weeks that Novell snuck into the Copyright Office and tried to file some copyrights. . .”.
This is absolutely hilarious when you consider that Novell have been taking action since mid 2003, as we shall see.
On June 9th, Novell wrote to IBM and SCO and said that according to their interpreation of the 1995 Asset purchase agreement, SCO had no rights to unilaterally terminate IBM’s [AIX] Unix license. They duly waived SCO’s termination of IBM’s license.
Is it not interesting that SCO have been a bit quiet about this? Hang on though, I’ve have not done with this yet. On October 10th, Novell duly waived the termination of SGI’s licence too.
Oh, but there is one more absolute corker yet. Remember that there is of course a potential problem here: It is possible that SCO will prove that they and not Novell actually ‘own’ Unix, depending on interpretations of sale agreement annexes. Don’t worry though, Novell has this covered.
Part of the Sale agreement of Unix was the ‘Technology License Agreement’. This agreement describes rights that Novell has over Unix.
I’ll repeat this bit word for word from GrokLaw’s transcripts from Novell: The technology transfer agreement gives ‘Novell the right not only to use the “licensed technology” itself, but also to “authorize its customers to use, reproduce and modify” it and to sublicense and distribute it “in source and binary form”.
Oh Wow! so now it seems you simply need to be a customer of Novell and you have complete rights to use any part of Unix.
Of course it goes without saying that now Novell have gone public with this SCO are just bound to start ranting again, but I for one have started looking out those Netware 3 and 4 licenses to show I’m a customer.
GrokLaw sum this up well: As Novell told SCO in its first letter to them, Novell is “an ardent supporter of Linux” and it shows. I, for one, will not forget it.
I have to say I think it’s about time that the FBI or whoever it is in the States starts raiding the offices of SCO and removing Guns, Belts, Knives, Rope, Shoelaces, and other things that could be used for self harm.
Article By TurboTas
Prime material Source: GrokLaw.