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Novell in new bid to boot slander case out of court

Two months after a judge refused to dismiss SCO's legal action against Novell for slander, the Linux supplier has again asked for...

Two months after a judge refused to dismiss SCO's legal action against Novell for slander, the Linux supplier has again asked for the case to be dismissed.

Novell said that SCO could not prove its slander case because there was a legitimate dispute over who owned the Unix copyright. "SCO cannot show that Novell acted with malice," the company argues.

Both Novell and SCO claim to own the copyright to the Unix System V source code, and SCO argues that Novell is engaged in a bad-faith bid to block SCO's ability to enforce its copyrights.

Novell sold its Unix business, which was eventually acquired by SCO, in the mid-1990s, but argues that the deal did not include Unix copyrights.

In June, a court ruled that a 1996 contract amendment made it unclear whether SCO or Novell now owned the Unix copyright. Novell has cited the ruling as proof there is a legitimate copyright dispute.

SCO spokesman Blake Stowell promised the company would respond to the latest move by Novell. Novell could not be reached for comment on this story.

Robert McMillan writes for IDG News Service

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