Distributors Unfazed by SCOs Warnings

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-05-19 Print this article Print

Despite the latest actions in the SCO Group intellectual property crusade against its Unix and Linux rivals, vendors and enterprise customers are not ready to panic.

Despite the latest actions in the SCO Group intellectual property crusade against its Unix and Linux rivals, vendors and enterprise customers are not ready to panic. SCO last week announced that Linux operating system distributions contain unauthorized use of Unix code that SCO claims is its intellectual property. The company also issued warnings of potential legal liability to Linux users.

The Lindon, Utah, company also suspended its participation in the UnitedLinux consortium and stopped distributing its Linux product. (SCO last year was a founding member of the four-company consortium, which shares a common Linux base.)

SCO also sent letters to CEOs at 1,500 Fortune 500 and Global 2000 companies, warning them of the Unix intellectual property issues and violations associated with Linux.

Chris Sontag, a senior vice president at SCO, said the company has identified "significant source code copying issues within Linux, some of which we believe comes from IBM but many others of which come from third parties. All of these are very troubling to us," Sontag said.

SCO found specific Unix System 5 source code within the Linux kernel, as well as within other, peripheral areas of Linux distributions, Sontag said.

These latest allegations follow the $1 billion lawsuit SCO filed against IBM in March, alleging that IBM tried to "improperly destroy the economic value of Unix, particularly Unix on Intel [Corp.], to benefit IBMs new Linux services business."

An IBM spokeswoman declined to comment on the latest SCO allegations, citing the pending litigation against the company.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at www.eweek.com.


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