SCO: Unix is Ours
Jun 06, 2003, 21:30 (46 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols)
Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame
SCO announced this morning that a paralegal had uncovered a
document, Amendment No. 2 to the Asset Purchase Agreement dated
October 16, 1996 that SCO claims clarifies that the Asset Purchase
Agreement between Novell and SCO dated September 19, 1995 did
indeed give them "all rights to the UNIX and UnixWare technology,
including the copyrights, were transferred to SCO."
Darl McBride, SCO CEO, summed it up as, "SCO is the only
rightful owner of System V and all copyrights."
Novell agrees that, while unable to find a copy of the document
themselves, the amendment looks legitimate and "appears to support
SCO's claim that ownership of certain copyrights for UNIX did
transfer to SCO in 1996." Novell continues on though that, "the
amendment does not address ownership of patents, however, which
clearly remain with Novell."
On the other hand, McBride during the June 6th teleconference
implied that he doesn't know if the copyrights were ever registered
with the Copyright Office. Chris Sontag, senior VP of SCOsource
said that that didn't matter and that the copyrights would be
registered if necessary in the future.
As for Novell, far from beating retreat, "Novell reiterates its
request to SCO to address the fundamental issue Novell raised in
its May 28 letter: SCO's still unsubstantiated claims against the
One non-technical analyst, Laura Dido of the Yankee Group, who
SCO's non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to see the source code has
said that the Unix and Linux source code samples selected and
supplied by SCO do look identical. She
recommends that companies with IBM AIX contracts talk with IBM
about what they should do next. Many analysts and technology
journalists have refused to sign the NDA since it would impede them
in reporting on SCO's claims.
One important question, which source code alone can't answer,
remains unanswered, though. Even if Unix code was illegally placed
in Linux, who put it there?
Looking ahead, McBride said that if IBM does not settle with SCO
by June 13 over its claims that Unix code was improperly introduced
into AIX and Linux, SCO will revoke IBM's AIX license on the 16th.
He did not say what, if any, action SCO would take against
companies continuing to use AIX.
At the same time, McBride hinted broadly that SCO would welcome
an out of court settlement or a buy out saying, "We're having
discussions with large players and we'd welcome any proposal to
resolve the issue."