Different Cases

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2004-07-21 Print this article Print

Looking ahead, Stowell said he doesnt see SCO pursuing the case further. But, he added, "I think the company is considering its legal options since the judge allowed for some limited discovery based on their delay in certifying." At the same time, Stowell said, "Theres an important distinction between this case and our other cases. This is not a setback against SCOs Linux copyright cases. "Its important to understand that the four cases SCO has in litigation may appear similar but are actually very different, so the results of this case doesnt have any effect on the cases with AutoZone, Novell, Red Hat and IBM," Stowell said.
AutoZone recently won a brief stay in its copyright case with SCO. Click here to read more.
A DaimlerChrysler spokeswoman expressed satisfaction about the ruling. "We are pleased with the judges ruling, and we look forward to finally resolving the one open issue," DaimlerChrysler spokeswoman Mary Gauthier said in a statement. Still, while this cases resolution did not directly touch on SCOs Linux litigation, Allonn Levy, an attorney with Hopkins & Carley in San Jose, Calif., thinks it certainly isnt going to help SCO any. "Todays dismissal of most of SCOs suit against DaimlerChrysler is the latest in a series of very public debacles in SCOs massive litigation strategy," Levy said. "Commencing with its suit against industry behemoth IBM in March 2003, SCO has launched a series of aggressive litigation efforts apparently aimed at undermining the success of the Linux operating system—long viewed as a rival to SCOs Unix OS." "While the strategy reportedly had some initial success, mostly in the PR arena, as the cases have unfolded, SCO has been beset by serious setbacks in the legal arena," Levy said. "Todays ruling is perhaps the most serious setback SCO has suffered. The court in Michigan held a relatively short hearing before ruling from the bench that the majority of SCOs claims should be thrown out." "SCOs purpose in pursuing a very public, aggressive litigation strategy, would seem to be to undermine the publics confidence in the rival Linux operating system by suggesting that it contains infringing materials," he said. "Ironically though, if it continues to suffer such severe setbacks, it may instead succeed in permanently validating Linux by publicly demonstrating its legitimacy." Check out eWEEK.coms Linux & Open Source Center at http://linux.eweek.com for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.

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Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor at large for Ziff Davis Enterprise. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.

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