Avatar (Fabio Alessandro Locati|Fale)'s blog

SCO v. Novell

June 18, 2010

Back in the 80s, SCO was one of the first companies to sell a UNIX operating system. The history of SCO is a complex one, with many acquisitions, merges, and renames. But, long story short, they affirmed to be the rightful owner of many aspects of UNIX. SCO leveraged this supposed ownership and sued many companies such as AutoZone, DaimlerChrysler, IBM, and Novell to obtain royalties.

The importance of those litigations is given by the fact that if it is true that SCO is the owner of UNIX, this will imply that they are also the owner of Linux or at least some parts of it. The fact that such a litigious company like SCO would be the owner of Linux would be a nightmare with a substantial impact on open source companies and communities to the point that Linux’s future would be in danger.

Luckily, those litigations did not go as SCO predicted, and SCO had to file for bankruptcy and got delisted by NASDAQ in the process.

The SCO v. Novell case also arrived at a verdict in favor of Novell on all points. This verdict is probably not the end of the case since SCO could still appeal to the Court of Appeal, but it’s a more evident sign that SCO will likely lose even more of their claims on UNIX.