Behind Red Hats Suit

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-08-18 Print this article Print

Turning to Red Hats pre-emptive suit, McBride said he was surprised when that happened. He had talked to Red Hat CEO Matthew Szulik just a few days before that action was filed. The two had talked for a long time over the phone, and Szulik had told McBride he was glad they had talked and were communicating. A few days later they filed suit. "I decided to take my family to Hawaii for a couple of weeks break after all the madness of the last few months. What could happen in early August, I thought. Someone must have tipped IBM and Red Hat off, because no sooner had I left on vacation than they filed suit," he quipped.
McBride and Sontag also reiterated that SCO had the right to, and would, go after companies using Linux and demand that they correct the problem. The way Linux was set up, all the liabilities rested with the user and not the vendor, they said.
"Users could thus move to another platform with compliant IP, stop using the 2.4 Linux kernel and beyond, pay SCO a license fee to bring them into compliance, or face legal action and possible statutory damages," he said. But Linux vendors like SuSE and Red Hat, as well as IBM, the Free Software Foundation, and the Open Source Development Lab, have all disputed SCOs claims and are telling Linux users that they see no reason for them to pay for a SCO license. But SCOs McBride said that there are two companies he has no intention of going after: Hewlett-Packard Co. and Sun Microsystems Inc. "We have no problems with Sun and HP with regards to infringement as both have honored the conditions of their Unix license contracts and operated within these," he said.

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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