Day 3 of the Trial - Thompson & Chatlos


March 10 2010

I am definitely a Groklaw addict (and I happened to attend the trial). Just not a good note taker.

Duff Thompson testified for most of the day and sang the same old SCO song that while he was at Novell he was in charge of negotiating the deal with Santa Cruz.

He (and Novell) always intended to transfer the entire Unix business and no one at Novell ever told him to hold back the copyrights. To do so would make "no sense whatsoever." The cross-exam by Acker was great. Thompson has 110,000 shares of SCO stock and undescribed options. He headed up the litigation committee that made the decision to sue Novell and IBM. His partner (Dan Campbell) also sits on the board and was part of the deal to finance this litigation. (I suspect this was in reference to the deal that was approved by the bankruptcy court, but no specific reference to the bankruptcy was made). Thompson claimed to "know nothing about his partner's personal investments."

Thompson also told Frankenberg he would be leaving Novell in spring 1995 (before he was tasked with negotiating the SCO deal). Acker asked him if he had "checked out" after he decided to leave Novell and Thompson kind of laughed and said something to the effect that "that is not how I would characterize it."

The Judge admonished Thompson to answer the questions asked, even though Acker never asked for the admonishment. I had to smile! It was clear to me and I think the jury that Thompson was trying to be evasive. Especially when Acker showed him an email that questioned the whole SCO source business concept. He began to have doubts about ever having seen it, even though his name was referenced as one of the recipients.

There was also some great cross about the fact that SCO's SEC filings (that Thompson had approved as one of the Board members), expressly called out the substantial risk to the SCOsource scheme, because of the outcry from the Linux community -- not because Novell claimed ownership of the copyrights, but because no one believed any Unix copyrighted code existed within Linux. It seemed the jury was very much engaged during the cross examination. And it became apparent that Thompson was SCO and a key to the entire SCO source licensing plan.

Ed Chatlos then testified that he knew for certain the copyrights were included as part of the deal. And the reference to Novell retaining "all copyrights" was "clear in his mind" as referencing only the Netware related copyrights -- his explanation -- because the schedule included lots of Netware related references. Ted Normand did the direct examination and tried to soften any bias issue by asking Chatlos about his wife who works for SCO and has a couple hundred shares and several thousand options.

The cross examination was quite short and I don't think really made any significant hits on Chatlos.

Tomorrow will be deposition video of Messman and then SCO's expert Davis will testify. Sorry my recollection is not too detailed, but next time I will try to take some notes. I was just having too much fun watching.

11:59 PM EST

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