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To read comments to this article, go here
Santa Cruz Listed Novell as Owning the Copyrights in 1999
Wednesday, February 24 2010 @ 02:19 PM EST

Well, well. What have we here? I am looking at UnixWare 7.1.1, from 1999, methodically checking all the copyright files. And you know what I see over and over? This:
(C) Copyright 1996-1998 The Santa Cruz Operation, Inc. All rights reserved.
Copyright 1984-1995 Novell, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
How can this mean anything but that Novell retained its copyrights? And that Santa Cruz acknowledged it at the time?

You tell me. Why isn't this a smoking gun? It can't be inadvertent, I don't think, because Santa Cruz added their copyright notice for work from 1996 onward. So they had to look at the copyright files that they added themselves to.

We're talking 1999. Both the 1995 APA [PDF] and the 1996 Amendment 2 happened before 1999, so if Santa Cruz really believed it had gotten all the copyrights from Novell under that deal, unified or otherwise, it would have changed this notice and removed Novell and listed itself as the copyright owner, don't you think? I guess if I were Novell, I'd want to ask that question of various employees at trial. Who made the decision to do it this way? And who knew it was done this way before and after SCO launched into litigation? Anyone? Obviously, someone had to know.

And it isn't just in one file, in one place. For example, opening up UNIXWARE/INSTALL/BASE/COPYRIGHT you see this:

(C) Copyright 1996-1998 The Santa Cruz Operation, Inc. All rights reserved.
Copyright 1984-1995 Novell, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Portions Copyright (c) 1989 INTERACTIVE Systems Corporation.
Portions Copyright (c) 1990, 1991, 1992 INTEL Corporation.
Portions Copyright (c) 1993 Compaq Computer Corp.
All Rights Reserved.
Most files just have the first two lines. For example, UNIXWARE/INSTALL/NFS/COPYRIGHT has those two. So does UNIXWARE/INSTALL/COPYRIGHT. UNIXWARE/INSTALL/RPC has both Santa Cruz and Novell, but for SCO it has only the year 1996.

How could I not have thought to do this before?

Whenever I open a copyright file and see only Santa Cruz, it says 1996 as the earliest date. For example, if you open UNIXWARE/INSTALL/XCONTRIB/COPYRIGHT, it says "(C) Copyright 1996-1997 The Santa Cruz Operation, Inc. All rights reserved." It says the same in UNIXWARE/INSTALL/XDRIVERS/COPYRIGHT.

I notice if I open UNIXWARE/INSTALL/TCLRUN/COPYRIGHT I see:

(C) Portions Copyright 1997 The Santa Cruz Operation, Inc. All rights reserved.
(C) Copyright 1994-1997 Sun Microsystems, Inc.
(C) Copyright 1987-1994 The Regents of the University of California.
So that is the same pattern as with the Novell notice, that they still owned the copyrights, just as Sun and UCal did. Didn't Darl testify under oath that the tree is the branch and the branch is the tree, and that the only way to get UNIX is to get UnixWare? Why, yes. Yes, he did.

And yet, SCO is suing Novell for slander of title for expressing its opinion that it owned the copyrights. And Novell must defend itself, spending huge fees on lawyers to defend on such a claim as this. Why *wouldn't* Novell think it owned the copyrights? Santa Cruz itself told the world so in its own UnixWare release.

And by the way, if you don't own UnixWare, a reader reports that SCO still offers the UDK, dated 2004, which shows the same exact copyright notice, from its servers THIS VERY DAY. If I tell you where it is, they'll likely remove it, as is their wont. But if any lawyers want to know, email me. Guess what else he reports:

Remember our old friends errno.h and signal.h? Here is the copyright notice on each of those:

/*
* Copyright (c) 1982, 1986, 1988
* The Regents of the University of California
* All Rights Reserved.
* Portions of this document are derived from
* software developed by the University of
* California, Berkeley, and its contributors.
*/

That's right, no AT&T. No USL. No Novell. No Santa Cruz. No SCO Group.

We naturally would like to know if SCO is suing over code it doesn't even own. [ Update: Do note, however, the copyright notice on stdio.h that we reported back in 2004, which shows an internet posting in 1997 showing Novell as the copyright owner of the file in UnixWare 2.1.1 with a 1996 date, also post-APA, and no SCO notice at all on that file.] And my point is that both oldSCO (Santa Cruz) and newSCO, (SCO Group, formerly known as Caldera) distributed these copyright notices listing Novell as the copyright owner.

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