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jeremy 06-17-2013 02:23 PM

Itís back: District court judge revives SCO v IBM

Decade-old lawsuit exhumed in response to SCO motion for reconsideration.

Sad that Game of Thrones has wrapped up its third season? Looking for some drama to fill the time? We've got just the thing for you. One of the Internet's longest-running and most-hated lawsuits is back: SCO v. IBM has been reopened by Utah district court judge David Nuffer.

The case stretches back ten years to March 2003, when the SCO Group filed a massive $1 billion suit against IBM for allegedly contributing sections of commercial UNIX code from UNIX System V, which the SCO Group (allegedly) owned, to the Linux kernel's codebase. SCO Group claimed that the alleged presence of its proprietary code in the open source kernel devalued its proprietary code and that by making the source code available, IBM had violated its license agreement with SCO Group.

From there, the case spawned other cases and quickly ballooned to a truly ridiculous size and scope. The SCO Group demanded royalties from major companies using Linux and filed suit against several (including DaimlerChrysler and AutoZone. Novell stepped in, asserting that it actually held the copyright to the code SCO Group claimed was infringing, which then spun off into its own major lawsuit. Groklaw has an excellent and intricate timeline of the entire mess.

Throughout the case, SCO Group maintained three central claims: first, that it owned System V code that had been illegally used in the Linux kernel; second, that anyone who used Linux owed them money; and third, because the infringing code was proprietary, SCO refused to actually identify any of the code except under a highly restrictive NDA.
More at Ars...


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