SCO loses appeal in dispute with Novell over copyright claims to code used in Linux operating system

As reported by Groklaw, SCO has lost an appeal, at the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a dispute with Novell “over copyright ownership of early versions of the UNIX operating system and the scope of Novell’s rights in licenses issued to its former customers prior to its partial sale of UNIX to SCO.” According to Groklaw, this is likely to be the end of the litigation with Novell over SCO’s claims to ownership of code used in Linux. (The IBM case is still outstanding, it seems).

My favorite quote from the decision:

“Over SCO’s objection, the district court allowed Novell to show the jury a slide containing a quote from a BusinessWeek article referring to SCO as “The Most Hated Company in Tech.” (R. Vol. VIII at 2815; R. Vol. XIV at 5091). The slide was part of the examination of Novell’s damages expert who criticized the failure of SCO’s damages expert to consider the toll SCO’s own actions had taken on its potential market. In particular, SCO’s expert did not account for the effect of SCO’s “business plan . . . founded on litigation . . . .” (R. Vol. VIII at 2815.) The article was used to highlight SCO’s tactic of demanding from Linux users a form of royalty payment under threats of infringement suits and demonstrate how the tactic incurred alienation of SCO in the “open source” market and was a possible cause of the damage to SCO during the period it alleged to have been slandered.

. . .
The language of which SCO complains is one line of text briefly before the jury during a three-week trial. In addition, there was repeated testimony and argument over the course of the trial pointing out the unpopularity of the SCO Source program. The admission of this single piece of evidence did not undermine the jury’s decision.