yeah sco bought a bunch of unix BUT NOT ALL OF IT from NOVL in the mid 90s. Because SCO does not own all of unix V (I think its unix V, anyway whatever the version of unix is you get the point)- SCO cannot lay claim to complete IP ownership. NOVL filed a counterclaim against UNIX/SCO about a month ago. ------- from the inquirer-
Novell fixes SCO's wagon
Might Darl McBride face prison time?
By Egan Orion: Friday 26 December 2003, 09:44
SO QUIETLY several months ago, Novell set SCO up the bomb. Novell did this by registering its copyright ownership covering UNIX(tm) System V Releases 2, 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, 3.2/386, 4.0, 4.1, 4.1ES, 4.1ES/386, 4.2, and 4.2MP. SCO had previously registered copyrights on some of these. To understand why these conflicting copyright claims are important, just reflect that on December 5 SCO promised to add copyright infringement to its claims against IBM. It recently published a list of over 65 C header files in Linux that it claims infringe its supposed UNIX(tm) copyrights. And earlier this week, SCO also threatened to sue companies using Linux for copyright infringement. Novell's quiet registration of its copyright ownerships threw a railroad spike into the spokes of SCO's red wagon.
Without the uncontested title to the UNIX(tm) System V copyrights, SCO would find it difficult to press claims of copyright infringement against IBM, or anyone else. All IBM or any recipients of threatening letters or even lawsuits from SCO will need to do is point out that SCO's claims to have copyrights to UNIX(tm) System V are contested. One cannot be sure what a judge might do, but it seems likely that a reasonable one would note the conflicting copyright claims of Novell and either defer or dismiss SCO's lawsuit. SCO's fever dreams of quick "license" money have evaporated.
But it gets even better.
Last week SCO's CEO Darl McBride threatened to send DMCA warning letters to 1,000 companies that SCO believes are using Linux. But SCO's managers are possibly more at risk than any Linux users under the DMCA, if Novell is eventually vindicated in a court of law with regard to the copyrights to UNIX(tm) System V. For, in such an event, SCO executives might be the ones facing civil lawsuits -- and possibly even criminal prosecutions -- under the provisions of the DMCA.
Here are few of the interesting sections of the DMCA, which is otherwise known as "Title 17, United States Code, Chapter 12":
"� 1202. Integrity of copyright management information (a) FALSE COPYRIGHT MANAGEMENT INFORMATION.--No person shall knowingly and with the intent to induce, enable, facilitate, or conceal infringement-- (1) provide copyright management information that is false,...."
I'm not a lawyer, and I don't know about you, but claiming ownership -- to the U.S. Copyright Office, no less -- of the copyrights to works that one's firm does not own could fall afoul of Section 1202 of the DMCA.
"� 1203. Civil remedies ... (c) (2) ACTUAL DAMAGES.--The court shall award to the complaining party the actual damages suffered by the party as a result of the violation, and any profits of the violator that are attributable to the violation and are not taken into account in computing the actual damages, if the complaining party elects such damages at any time before final judgment is entered. (3) STATUTORY DAMAGES.-- ... (B) At any time before final judgment is entered, a complaining party may elect to recover an award of statutory damages for each violation of section 1202 in the sum of not less than $2,500 or more than $25,000."
"� 1204. Criminal offenses and penalties (a) IN GENERAL.--Any person who violates section 1201 or 1202 willfully and for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain-- (1) shall be fined not more than $500,000 or imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both, for the first offense;...."