SCO loses to Novell in final court verdict

It’s over (for SCO, at least). Ars Technica reports that a federal district judge has handed down the final verdict in SCO’s lengthy legal battle against Novell; SCO must now pay Novell the princely sum of $2.54 million plus interest.

If you were paying attention these past few years, you might’ve noticed SCO aggressively claiming ownership of UNIX copyrights and accusing Linux vendors of infringing upon them. SCO threatened other companies with lawsuits and got licensing deals out of some (including Sun), but that didn’t sit well with Novell, which claimed that it owned the copyrights in question. Here’s how the honorable judge sees it:

Judge Kimball determined that SCO was subject to a contract with Novell, which it violated by lifting SVRX confidentiality provisions in a licensing agreement with Sun. This move exceeded the authority granted to SCO under the terms of a 1994 asset purchase agreement that enabled SCO to sell limited SVRX licenses to third parties on behalf of Novell. Judge Kimball also determined that SCO breached its fiduciary duty by neglecting to remit the requisite portion of the licensing revenue to Novell.

Because SCO remains in the middle of bankruptcy proceedings and isn’t exactly rolling in cash right now, Ars says a “constructive trust has been established with $625,000 of SCO’s remaining resources.”

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