A jury in Utah has ruled that Novell owns the copyrights to Unix, not SCO.
The response from Groklaw, which made its bones covering the SCO cases, was immediate. "Thank you, Novell, for never giving up, and never giving in. Those of us who love to use Linux will forever be thankful to you."
I spent the afternoon trying to pull more out of Novell as well, and finally got this from a spokesman.
"The jury has confirmed Novell’s ownership of the Unix copyrights, which SCO had asserted to own in its attack on Linux. An adverse decision would have had profound implications for the Linux community.
"We own the copyrights and we will continue to protect the open source community, including Linux."
SCO trustee Edward Cahn immediately sent out a release saying the company would "fight on" against IBM, "based on contracts," but it's hard to see how far the company can go without resources.
I know some snarky comments will immediately come by saying, "what? Novell protects the open source community? What about its agreement with Microsoft yadda-yadda-yadda?"
I think the more important point in all this is that Linux is out of court, and that whatever the merits of Microsoft's patent claims on Linux technology it's not dragging Linux back into court.
Any cloud overhanging use of Linux should now be clearly gone. Novell owns the copyrights. Its agreement with Microsoft is binding regarding patent claims should anyone choose to sign it. Those who don't are not cowering in fear, either.
The long legal nightmare of open source may be well and truly over.
Feel free to disagree.