Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

Proving that there is sometimes justice in the world...

Two related stories from a couple of days ago, both demonstrating that sometimes the bad guys do get their comeuppance:

First, the court judged that SCO owes Novell $2.54 million. If ever I needed a personal definition of schadenfreude, this would provide it. SCO was a good company once upon a time (like, 25 years ago), but for over a decade now it has served only one purpose: claiming that it owns the rights to Unix, and trying to sue everyone involved in the Linux business for vast amounts of money. Their claim was that Linux infringes on Unix code, and that since they bought the rights to Unix from Novell, everybody who has ever done anything significant with Linux owes them big bucks.

Well, this has slowly turned into a rueful comedy of errors. First, it gradually became clear that no, Linux does not, in any meaningful sense, infringe on Unix' intellectual property. Worse, in the course of *those* lawsuits, it turned out that they never quite succeeding in buying Unix from Novell -- they thought they had, but they didn't read the fine print on the contract that they'd signed. In fact, not only does Novell still own Unix, SCO owes *them* money for everything they've ever done with it.

So while this judgement isn't all that large in the grand scheme of things, it's a fine bit of ironic justice -- hoist very much by their own petard. And it should be the final nail in the coffin of The Lawsuits That Wouldn't Die.

Second, the courts awarded an eye-popping $873 million judgement to Facebook against a major spammer. Of course, nobody (including Facebook) actually expects them to receive even a small fraction of that money. But it ought to put at least one egregious spammer out of business, and helps eat into the business case for spam. It's a small step, but a good one...
Tags: business, technology

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