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First off today, SCO’s legal campaign against Linux may finally be coming to an end. The company lost a critical court case that found the copyright in UNIX code had stayed with Novell, who sold them the rights to sell the product previously. SCO had claimed that Linux was an unlawful derivative work of its UNIX code and sued IBM as well as major Linux users for infringement. This verdict, which follows an Appeals Court verdict forcing a jury trial on the subject, which in turn followed a judgement in favor of Novell, seems to put an end to those cases and, given the current state of SCO, likely the company as well.
Next up today, an organization called the US Copyright Group has filed over 20,000 lawsuits against alleged file sharers in the United States. The group represents an assortment of independent film makers and has unofficial support from the MPAA and the Independent Film & Television Alliance. The group has filed the 20,000 “John Doe” lawsuits to learn the names of the alleged file sharers and then, according to their statements, demand modest-sized settlments from them to avoid an expensive litigation. Though such campaigns have been done in Europe, where they were met with controversy, this is the first such effort in the U.S.
Finally today, in a similar vein, scammers are using fake copyright lawsuit emails to spread malware. The email, which contains a threatened lawsuit over copyright infringement appears to come from various law firms but actually links to a contaminated Word file that attempts to install malicious software. They may be spammers and malware-spreaders, but they do have good timing.
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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