The open source community has collectively sighed with relief, with a federal district court judge in Utah finding that Novell, rather than the SCO Group, is the owner of copyrights related to the Unix operating system.
Ralph Yarro, the head of the the SCO Group, had maintained that his company bought the rights to Unix from Novell in 1995, and that the open-source Linux operating system was a derivative product that breeched his company’s Unix copyrights.
Now that Novell has been found to be the rightful owner of the Unix copyrights, the lingering doubt about the legitimacy of Linux has been removed.
“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,” said Joe LaSala, Novell’s senior vice president and general counsel told the New York Times.
The open source community has also jumped on the finding as a vindication for Linux, with James Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, telling the New York Times that this finding means that this is a “safe solution and people can choose it with that in mind”.
This finding may help improve the adoption of Linux in corporate environments as some IT managers were concerned about the ramifications for Linux should the SCO Group be found to be the legitimate owner of the Unix copyrights.