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First off today, SCO’s legal campaign against Linux is, for all practical purposes, over. The judge in the SCO’s case against Novell has ruled that the case be closed. SCO famously claimed that Linux was an unlawful derivative of its Unix operating system, even suing IBM for allegedly placing the code into Linux, but Novell stepped in claiming that they never sold the copyrights to SCO and SCO had no standing in the lawsuit. A jury ruled in April that Novell was correct and SCO’s last-ditch attempt to have the verdict thrown out was denied, effectively bringing an end to the case. SCO is currently in bankruptcy and will likely be liquidated now that its legal alternatives are exhausted.
Next up today, for anyone still actually reading this column, the U.S. band Foo Fighters are suing the real estate firm ReMax in Australia claiming that the company used one of their guitar riffs without permission for a commercial. What makes this case extraordinary is that the lawsuit appears to have stemmed from an off-hand comment on a forum dedicated to the band which noted the similarity, followed by a comment saying that “If FF did know, I highly doubt they would care, and if they did, it would be thrown out of court.” The first part of that statement appears to have been untrue, and the courts in Australia will decide the second. The band is seeking unspecified damages and the case is to be heard in August.
Finally today, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, through its agent Rightshaven, has filed suit against three more Webmasters for unlawfully using the newspaper’s content. This brings the total sued to 37 though other defendants are responding saying that they were not notified of the infringement, were often unaware and that the potential damages is only in the hundreds of dollars as the content from the newspaper is not registered with the Copyright Office. The defendants are calling this an abuse of the legal system and are seeking to have the cases dismissed.
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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