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SCO Ignores Novell Ultimatum

SCO Ignores Novell Ultimatum

Novell, which continues to claim that it can dictate to the SCO Group, wrote SCO a letter last Friday demanding that SCO waive any purported rights to require IBM to treat Sequent code as being subject to confidentiality requirements or to restrict Sequent's Unix license. Novell gave SCO until high noon Utah time Wednesday to do it.

SCO didn't.

Instead, SCO said. "It is SCO's strongly held legal position that Novell has no rights to step in and change or alter source code license agreements that SCO owns and holds with its Unix licensees. SCO has no intention of waiving any of its rights against Sequent or IBM. We will deal with Novell on all of these issues in court."

According to Novell, SCO claims IBM is obliged to keep derivative Sequent code out of Linux on the basis on section 2.01 of Sequent's original Unix agreement with AT&T, which reads:

"Such right to use includes the right to modify such software product and to prepare derivative works based on such software product, provided the resulting materials are treated hereunder as part of the original software product."

Novell tells SCO general counsel Ryan Tibbits that this means AT&T retained ownership in its code even if it was incorporated in a derivative work, not that it imposes confidentiality or use restrictions on the Sequent code.

Novell says AT&T clarified the meaning of Section 2.01 (which is in all Unix agreements) in the AT&T newsletter $echo in April 1985, the month the Sequent agreement was signed, and said that a sentence would be added to the codicil that said that AT&T "claims no ownership interest in any portion of such a modification or derivative work that is not part of the software product."

Absent an amenable answer from SCO, Novell will probably forgive Sequent itself considering it claims to have the right "to take any action on [SCO's] own behalf."

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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