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A comment about SCO/Novell

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I’ve been getting a lot of gleeful email this weekend from groklaw adherents rejoicing in their victory over SCO - as ennunicated by the court in last Friday’s pro-Novell copyright decision.

There are two things that bother me about this - aside from the judgement itself, of course, since I would have cheerfully bet real money that this would never happen.

First, the copyright issue really has nothing to do with the fundemental claim.

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Did SCO ever truly believe it had the Unix copyrights?

Anyone who has been following SCO’s legal claims against Linux may remember the name Mike Anderer. He’s the SCO consultant that emailed SCO's vice president and general manager of SCOsource, Chris Sontag, revealing a connection between Microsoft and the $50m invested in SCO by BayStar Capital in October 2003.

According to the Judge’s memorandum, there is some doubt as to whether SCO ever truly believed it was the owner of those copyrights, with another email from Anderer, this time to SCO’s CEO, Darl McBride, once again giving the game away.

“On January 4, 2003, [SCO CEO Darl] McBride received an email from Michael Anderer, a consultant for SCO retained to examine its intellectual property. Anderer stated that the [agreement between Novell and Santa Cruz] ‘transferred substantially less’ of Novell’s intellectual property than Novell owned. Anderer noted that Santa Cruz’s ‘asset purchase’ from Novell ‘excludes all patents, copyrights, and just about everything else’. Anderer cautioned that ‘[w]e really need to be clear on what we can license. It may be a lot less than we think’,” the Judge stated in his decision.

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