SCO Group who claimed to own Unix and therefore, in their suit against IBM, Linux, has been found to never have owned Unix in any way shape or form in the first place.

Groklaw’s version of the story and Wall Street Journal says “Court Ruling Gives Novell Copyright in Unix System”.

Finally and briefly ComputerWorld reports:

Groklaw reports (and, as usual, has the actual decision) that SCO Group has just lost virtually everything left of its lawsuits against IBM and Novell over Linux.

According to the ruling issued today by U.S. District Court Judge Dale Kimball:

* Novell is the owner of the Unix copyrights. As a result, SCO’s suit gainst Novell for “slander of title” is dismissed.
* Novell also has the contractual right to waive any claims of misuse of Unix by IBM (which Novell has repeatedly done). As a result, much if not all of SCO’s suit against IBM will shortly be dismissed.
* SCO must pay Novell at least some of the license fees paid under its SCOSource program by Microsoft, Sun Microsystems and other licensees.

No reaction from IBM or SCO, but SCO will presumably appeal.

Novell’s official statement as of 6pm PDT:

From Joe LaSala, Novell senior vice president and general counsel:

“In the spring of 2003, Novell set out to ensure that SCO’s groundless claims would not interfere with the development of Linux. Today’s court ruling vindicates the position Novell has taken since the inception of the dispute with SCO, and it settles the issue of who owns the copyrights of UNIX in Novell’s favor. The court’s ruling has cut out the core of SCO’s case and, as a result, eliminates SCO’s threat to the Linux community based upon allegations of copyright infringement of UNIX. We are extremely pleased with the outcome.”