Parsing the New Lawsuits

Monday, March 08 2004 @ 02:41 AM EST

Contributed by: PJ

I'm deep in some Project Monterey research, which I should finish later today, barring breaking news, but in the meanwhile, you don't want to miss Mark Radcliff and Eben Moglen explaining the two new lawsuits, AutoZone and DaimlerChrysler. Radcliff points out some difficulties SCO faces, thanks to Novell, and Eben tries to actually explain the cases in some detail, and it is a very thick soup indeed:

"If the legal issues were similar, it would be within the discretion of the federal district courts to ship the common issues to multidistrict litigation for resolution, Moglen said. . . .

"While all this litigation, if pursued all the way to resolution in the various courts, could drag on for years, Moglen pointed out that for that to happen 'SCO would have to have an infinite amount of time to remain in being. I have to also point out that the parties being sued here by SCO are its present and former customers.' . . .

"If AutoZone or DaimlerChrysler does not settle quickly, then SCO's theory of action has a real problem because you 'cannot sell licenses when you are in litigation against firm A to prove that you own what you are trying to license; and you are in litigation against firm B for needing a license and nobody has settled with you and people are saying that if you don't own what you are selling then I don't need to buy it.'

"'And if your infringement action if I don't buy your license isn't any good, then I shouldn't buy, and so I'm going to sit and wait. What judge is going to say I was intentionally infringing when it wasn't clear if the licensor owned what he was trying to license and was in litigation against somebody else who was defending that litigation and saying there was no infringement,' Moglen said.

"'You now have a little company suing four immense companies in different places on very different claims and supposing that it can take all of this on at once. My advice to potential and/or existing Linux customers who might be worried about being sued by SCO is that the lesson here is that your greatest danger of that is to be a SCO customer,' he said."

What is significant, to me, is that SCO seems to have deliberately brought cases that *can't* be lumped together for efficiency's sake. Perhaps they have no reason to desire a quick resolution.

French Groklaw

I thought you also might like to know that Groklaw has a French edition now, and a Spanish one is being prepared. Here's French Groklaw, traduit de l'anglais par Denis-Carl Robidouxin, in case you'd prefer to read the articles in French. Merci beaucoup, Denis-Carl!