Linux Vendors Rally Around SCOs Targets

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2004-03-05 Print this article Print

Calling SCO's lawsuits against AutoZone and DaimlerChrysler a last ditch attempt to save itself, Linux vendors and open-source leaders vow to help the two Linux users fight the charges.

Linux vendors as well as leaders of the open-source community have dismissed The SCO Group Inc.s latest lawsuits against two Linux users as a last ditch attempt by the Lindon, Utah, company to save itself. They are also all committed to banding together to fight the company in these and any future lawsuits, and do not believe there will be any slowdown in corporate Linux adoption. Eric Raymond, president of the Open Source Initiative, on Wednesday published a letter of support to Steve Odland, president and CEO of AutoZone, on his Web site, in which he said the Linux community and the wider open-source software movement "regret that you have become the latest victim in the campaign of barratry, fraud, and stock-kiting that SCO has been waging. We want you to know that you are not alone, and that you have in fact just made a great many friends.
"We urge you to fight this lawsuit with every effort you can muster. Its the right thing to do by AutoZones shareholders, and more generally as well. Thoughtful people everywhere are seeing in meritless IP lawsuits an increasing drag on innovation and economic health. AutoZone can both serve its own interests and do good by helping make such parasitic tactics generally unprofitable.
"Well be with you—and that we includes a lot of expertise on the technical, legal, and historical issues bound up in SCOs lawsuit. If there is any assistance that I personally or the Open Source Initiative can reasonably provide, please do not hesitate to ask," Raymond said. Stuart Cohen, CEO of the Open Source Development Labs in Beaverton, Ore., told eWEEK he was surprised that SCO actually sued a Linux user at this time. "We didnt think they would sue a user until they had resolved the copyright issues with Novell [Inc.]. Quite frankly, when we announced our Legal Defense Fund, we thought that would stop them from going after a user. And when they announced their lawsuit with Novell, we really thought that would absolutely stop them until they got that resolved," he said. For more on the Novell lawsuit, read "SCO vs. Novell Unix Case Heats Up." Cohen doubts the actual filing of these user lawsuits will have any effect on the adoption of Linux going forward, particularly given the recent indemnification announcements from Hewlett-Packard Co., Novell Inc. and Red Hat Inc. and the establishment of the Legal Defense Fund. Next page: Countering fear, uncertainty and doubt.

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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