Novells Claims

By David Coursey  |  Posted 2004-06-10 Print this article Print

IBM, meanwhile, seems to be all cozy with Novell and its argument that Novell, not SCO, is the real owner of Unix. This looks like one of those "my enemys enemy is my friend" situations, except that IBM and Novell were sorta close before the pleadings started to fly. I hope theyre happy together.
This whole mess would be little more than an entertaining final chapter of the breakup of AT&T, except that should SCO win, its likely to demand tribute from the Linux community at a level that could make Linux, at least as we know it, go away.
And such a win would make customers unlikely to ever buy anything ever again that doesnt have a completely clean title. Maybe theres money to be made in the future by ensuring companies—such as through title insurance—that the software they buy isnt infringing on someone elses intellectual property. Meanwhile, Id feel better about this if SCO were only willing to—well, I am now imagining Clara Peller from the old hamburger commercial demanding to know, "Wheres the beef?" In SCOs case, if there is any beef, the company isnt willing to produce it. If there is infringing code in Linux, SCO needs to show it to us. The collective opinion of people I know who are following the case is that SCO doesnt have one. As someone who owns and creates intellectual property, I am all for protecting it. I was, for example, very much in favor of putting the Napster founders in jail. At the same time, I hate people who abuse the system. And the ownership of Unix is so murky—thank AT&T for this—that it opens the door to abusive slime such as SCO to try to hold up an entire industry for ransom. I dont think it will succeed, but I really wish it would just dematerialize for the benefit of all humankind. Check out eWEEK.coms Linux & Open Source Center at for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.

Be sure to add our Linux news feed to your RSS newsreader or My Yahoo page

One of technology's most recognized bylines, David Coursey is Special Correspondent for, where he writes a daily Blog ( and twice-weekly column. He is also Editor/Publisher of the Technology Insights newsletter and President of DCC, Inc., a professional services and consulting firm.

Former Executive Editor of ZDNet AnchorDesk, Coursey has also been Executive Producer of a number of industry conferences, including DEMO, Showcase, and Digital Living Room. Coursey's columns have been quoted by both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and he has appeared on ABC News Nightline, CNN, CBS News, and other broadcasts as an expert on computing and the Internet. He has also written for InfoWorld, USA Today, PC World, Computerworld, and a number of other publications. His Web site is

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel