SCO Novell Jury Decision Pending - InformationWeek

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Software // Operating Systems

SCO Novell Jury Decision Pending

A Utah federal jury is deliberating over the copyright ownership case between the SCO Group and Novell.

The fate of the long-running battle between the SCO Group and Novell over the copyright ownership of Unix is in the hands of a Utah federal jury, which has been deliberating over the issues in the case.

A verdict in favor of Novell could seal the fate of the SCO Group, which sued Novell in 2004. Since then, the case has had several twists and turns. Today there is little left of SCO beyond its hope that a victory in the case will produce a large monetary judgment. A loss could threaten its existence.

Novell's status has changed in recent weeks after hedge fund Elliott Associates launched a hostile $2 billion bid to acquire Novell.

Another very interested observer in the long-drawn out litigation is IBM, which has also been sued by SCO over using SCO's copyrighted code. Novell and IBM have denied SCO's charges.

The 12-person jury is slated to meet again Tuesday. It listened for three weeks to both sides in the issue, which examined arcane details of open source software, Unix, and complex copyright regulations.

SCO, whose origins are traced to the Santa Cruz Operation in 1995, shocked the open source community when it claimed ownership rights to open source Linux software and its relationship to Unix. The case wended its way through the courts until the trial began earlier this month.

Former SCO Group Darl McBride, who pushed the SCO litigation, eventually lost his position. He was reported to be attending the trial proceedings this month.

SCO has claimed that it lost $215 million because of Novell's actions.

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