3 Count: Zombies Everywhere

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1: It’s Baaaack … Appeals Court Resurrects SCO Lawsuit

First off today, we have a zombie infestation. The SCO/Novell case has been brought back from the dead and with it may come SCO’s case against IBM and other parties using Linux.

Years ago, SCO famously claimed that Linux violated SCO’s copyright by including code owned by the company as part of its Unix offering. SCO sued IBM for $1 Billion claiming that the company had put SCO-owned code into the kernel. However, Novell managed to stop those efforts short by winning a summary judgment saying that, even though SCO purchased Unix from them for $149 million, the copyrights did not come with it.

However, now an appeals court judge has overturned that summary judgment. Though no judgment was made on the merits of the claim, it was sent back to the lower court to be decided by a jury trial. There are concerns among many in the Linux community that this lifeline to their lawsuit against Novell could revive the one against IBM and possibly the legal threats against Linux users.

Still, time may be running out for SCO, which has already filed bankruptcy and may be in dire financial straights if its stock prices do not improve.

2: Music Publishers Group Files Copyright Suit

Next up, the National Music Publishers Association has filed a lawsuit against two lyrics sites LiveUniverse Inc., and its owner Brad Greenspan, who was a founder of Myspace, and Motive Force LLC, along with its owner Sean Colombo.

LiveUniverse owns LyricsDownload and Motive Force owns LyricWiki, both of which are sites that allow visitors to locate and read Lyrics online.

Last week we reported that copyright holders had stifled LyricWiki, requiring the site to remove it’s API, which in turn hampered some mobile applications that were using the service. This appears to be the next step in the war against online lyric sites.

3: UK file-sharers to be ‘cut off’

Finally today, efforts by UK rightsholders to deny Web access to repeat file infringers is moving closer to a reality. Though the original “Digital Britain” report called for a 2012 deadline for determining if technological measures were needed, officials are now saying that it is too long to wait and are beefing up their efforts to pass requirements for ISPs to disable accounts on infringers.

This is, of course, a very controversial approach and one that has caused a great deal of protest in France, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, countries where similar laws have either been proposed or passed.


That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.

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