Judge rules for Novell in SCO court battle

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Judge rules for Novell in SCO court battle

Victory for open source in long-running court case.

The judge in the Novell versus SCO legal battle has ruled in favour of Novell, closing the case after a seven-year battle.

Barring any further appeals from SCO, this will finally end the dispute. In March this year the judge ruled that Novell owned the Unix copyrights, while this latest decision closes off all other areas of the case.

The ruling means that SCO failed to abide by licensing agreements relating to Novell owned Unix copyrights.

According to the Groklaw web site, which has followed the case since it begun, judge Ted Stewart closed the case saying: "Finally, while SCO's witnesses testified that the copyrights were 'required' for SCO to run its SCOsource licensing programme, this was not something that SCO ever acquired from Novell."

SCO became something of an enemy of the open source movement and was accused of slowing down development in the area.

A prolific sender of lawyers' letters in which it asserted ownership of Unix, SCO first called Novell and IBM to court in 2003.

As well as closing the case against Novell this means that SCO is likely to have to cease similar claims against IBM and other licensees.

According to Stewart, this will come at Novell's discretion. But he added that SCO is "obligated to recognise Novell's waiver of SCO's purported claims against IBM and Sequent".

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