In the latest chapter of the long running dispute over the ownership of core Unix copyrights, Novell has filed a countersuit against SCO Group.
Novell has accused SCO of ‘slander of title’ for claiming ownership of the Unix operating system copyrights in - the same charge SCO levelled against Novell in its own suit filed in 2004.
According to legal web site Groklaw, Novell has told the court that SCO contacted it and asked Novell to collaborate on a "Linux licensing program". Novell said it refused to participate, calling the proposal a "scheme".
It was in that context that SCO asked Novell to give it the Unix copyrights. The company allegedly repeatedly made such requests, asking Novell to amend the Novell-Santa Cruz agreement to give SCO the copyrights. Novell said it repeatedly refused to comply with these requests.
Novell is also drawing Microsoft and Sun Microsystems into the dispute. Novell says it began an audit of SCO's activities in July of 2003, which it was entitled to do under the contract, but SCO refused to turn over requested information regarding Sun Microsystems' and Microsoft's licences or any others under the SCOsource program.
Novell says that SCO had no authority to enter into new SVRX licences with Sun, Microsoft, or any other companies and they noted that the IP Licence for Linux that SCO was offering appeared to be SVRX licences, because they purported to grant rights related to UNIX System V or UnixWare.
SCO has outstanding court cases with IBM and car parts retailer Autozone which will be compromised if it is shown that Novell owns the Unix copyright.
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