For its part, SCO immediately seized on HPs announcement as validation of its claims, saying in a statement, "HPs actions this morning reaffirm the fact that enterprise end users running Linux are exposed to legal risks. Rather than deny the existence of substantial structural problems with Linux as many Open Source leaders have done, HP is acknowledging that issues exist and is attempting to be responsive to its customers request for relief. HPs actions are driving the Linux industry towards a licensing program. In other words, Linux is not free," it said. The move by HP to indemnify its customers puts enormous pressure on IBM, which has so far declined to do so, to do the same. SCO went on to say "Now that HP has stepped up for its customers, SCO once again encourages Red Hat, IBM and other major Linux vendors to do the same. We think their customers will demand it.""That IBM and Dell refuse to offer indemnity suggests theyre using the community to harvest revenue, while leaving risk with those who contribute to open source (who may not get paid), or those who use it (and dont get any protection). Its a real issueand Sun will protect its customers, and vouch for its products. That Dell and IBM wont vouch for Linux strikes me as hypocriticalespecially for IBM, the industrys most pernicious patent litigatorthey derive huge revenues from suing companies based on the claim theyre using IBMs technology. "IBM doesnt talk a lot about that. And now theyre saying they wont offer any level of formal protection for Linux customers. That they dont need it. On the one hand theyre suing companies based on claims of stolen IP, and on the other, theyre delivering products and refusing to give customers the security that IBM stands behind the intellectual property. Maybe its me, but I dont understand," he added.
Jonathan Schwartz, the executive vice president of software for Sun, also railed against Dell Inc. and IBM for refusing to indemnify their customers. "Sun provides indemnity for all its products, and we believe that that confidence and security matter to enterprises building their business on our products," he told eWEEK.