SCO Can't Go After Statutory Damages or Atty's Fees
For Newly Registered Materials, Says Copyright Office
I just spoke with an "information specialist" as they are termed, at the US Copyright Office. The office has them available to explain things, (202) 707-5959, M-F, 8:30 AM to 5 PM, EDT.
We walked through the copyrights, the old one and the new SCO Group one, and Skip told me that whatever is "New Matter" or "revisions" is copyrighted only as of the date of the filing. Whatever was filed in 1992 is covered since back then, but whatever they just filed is not. So the question is: what was registered back in the 90's (I see nothing later than that for Unix System Laboratories, Inc.) and what was just registered?
This means, he explained, that SCO couldn't go after statutory damages and lawyer's fees for any infringement that happened prior to the date of the new filing in June regarding any infringement of the "New Matter" or "revisions". They could still go after actual damages, but my, oh my, is that ever harder to prove. No wonder they aren't in a hurry to sue anyone. And here I thought they were turning over a new leaf. . . . not.
He explained some other details too, such as the fact that TXu means unpublished but registered, and that the "et al" in the new copyright record means that there were other revisions and filings after 1992. He also suggested Circular 61 as being the best explanation about registering a copyright, and you can get the pdf here. What would be important would be when the SMP, RCU, JFS, etc. functions were registered in UNIX System V, if they were. If anyone were in the Washington area, they could just pop over to the Copyright Office and go through the paper records and find out exactly who registered what and when, tracing the entire ownership history. They have experts there to help out. Anyone volunteer? If so, here are directions:
"The Copyright Office is open to the public Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., eastern time, except federal holidays. The Copyright Office is located in the Library of Congress, James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Avenue, S.E., Washington, D.C., near the Capitol South Metro stop. The Public Information Office is in LM-401, and information specialists are available to answer questions, provide circulars, and accept applications for registration. Visitors must follow certain security procedures upon entry and exit. Access for disabled individuals is at the front door on Independence Avenue, S.E. All patrons using copyright records in public service areas are required to have Reader Identification Cards issued by the Library."