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‘Novell – not Microsoft – Owns the Copyrights on Unix’, Stated Novell Exec

In a move to quell growing concerns that it has sold Linux out to Microsoft as part of its Attachmate deal — On Wednesday, Novell’s John Dragoon issued a short statement saying that Novell — not Microsoft — owns the copyrights on Unix.

“Novell will continue to own Novell’s Unix copyrights following completion of the merger as a subsidiary of Attachmate.”

Dragoon’s statement came two days after Novell said that it’s being sold to Attachmate for $2.2bn. Under the deal, the barely-known Attachmate is selling 882 Novell patents to an even lesser known Microsoft-backed consortium called CPTN Holdings LLC for $450m in cash.

Novell’s SEC filing on the deal didn’t specify which patents are going to Microsoft, and Microsoft hasn’t coughed up details either.

Ownership of Unix was a critical issue in SCO’s prosecution of IBM and others. SCO contended that it — and not Novell — owned Unix and that its IP had been used without its permission in Linux.


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