SCO Expands Attack on Linux

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-07-21 Print this article Print

The SCO Group on Monday claimed that Linux users are violating its Unix copyrights and announced it will begin selling special UnixWare licenses to commercial Linux users.

The SCO Group, which is suing IBM for more than $1 billion in a contract dispute, on Monday expanded its attack on Linux and is now claiming for the first time that Linux users are violating its Unix copyrights, particularly as SCO has now registered and received U.S. copyright for its Unix System V source code. "Until now the case started off as a contract dispute with IBM and did not involve intellectual property or copyright. As of today its a different game, and Linux users now do have a copyright issue to deal with," SCO CEO and President Darl McBride told a media teleconference on Monday. While SCO has focused primarily on IBMs alleged Unix contract violations and misappropriation of Unix source code over the past few months, now the Lindon, Utah, companys claiming that "the alleged actions of IBM and others have caused customers to use a tainted product at SCOs expense.
"With more than 2.4 million Linux servers running our software, and thousands more running Linux every day, we expect SCO to be compensated for the benefits realized by tens of thousands of customers. Though we possess broad legal rights, we plan to use these carefully and judiciously," he said.
As reported by eWEEK today, SCO is now offering a solution to help those businesses that want to continue to run Linux. It will now offer SCO UnixWare licenses tailored to support run-time, binary use of Linux for all commercial users of Linux based on the 2.4 kernel and later. Any business running commercial Linux that buys a UnixWare license would be held harmless against any past copyright violations, and for any future use of Linux in a run-only, binary format, McBride said. Beginning this week, the company will begin contacting companies regarding their use of Linux and to offer them a UnixWare license. However, McBride declined to specify the pricing of this run-time, binary UnixWare license, saying that SCO was looking at all the factors around this. But it would be "fair and reasonable" to Linux users while compensating SCO for its "valuable intellectual property" contained in Linux.

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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