IBM, Open-Source Community Decry SCO Suit

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-03-07 Print this article Print

IBM says $1 billion lawsuit filed against it by the SCO Group on Thursday is "full of bare allegations with no supporting facts."

IBM on Friday responded to the $1 billion lawsuit filed against it by the SCO Group on Thursday, saying the suit is "full of bare allegations with no supporting facts." IBM corporate spokesman Bill Hughes told eWEEK on Friday that company officials received a copy of the complaint "this morning and have not had a sufficient opportunity to study it. However, based on a quick read, the complaint is full of bare allegations with no supporting facts." He also maintained that SCO never approached IBM to raise the complaint or to give advance notice of the lawsuit. "IBM has been openly supporting Linux and open standards for several years, and neither SCO nor any of its predecessors ever expressed these concerns to us," Hughes said.
His comments fly in the face of those made by SCO CEO and president Darl McBride, who told eWEEK on Thursday that SCO had been talking to IBM in this regard since early December and had reached an impasse. As such, legal action was the only way forward, he said on Thursday. McBride then reiterated this in a Friday media conference.
Hughes comments are consistent with those of an IBM Linux spokeswoman, who told eWEEK last week that Big Blue had not been contacted by SCO with regard to any potential violations of its intellectual property or other rights. Open-source community activists and consultants who talked to eWEEK on Friday were also angry about what they see as SCOs spurious and baseless legal action. SCOs $1 billion lawsuit alleges that IBM made "concentrated efforts to improperly destroy the economic value of Unix, particularly Unix on Intel, to benefit IBMs new Linux services business." Bruce Perens, an influential open-source consultant and activist who was also the former senior global strategist for Linux at Hewlett-Packard Corp., told eWEEK in an interview on Friday that SCO is playing both sides: pointing out that its action was not against Linux or the open-source community, yet at the same time suing one of the largest players in the Linux and open-source communities. "The Linux and open-source community are not deceived by this. We are very angry and will now never recommend any products created by SCO or Caldera going forward. We may well also have our own infringement actions to bring against SCO," he warned on Friday, but declined to be more specific.

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


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