By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-03-06 Print this article Print

"There has never been a mechanism in place to license the libraries to individuals and companies until now. In fact, the SCO OpenServer and UnixWare licenses expressly said that the libraries could not be used outside of those two operating systems," McBride said at the time. At that time he also confirmed to eWeek that the company had hired high-profile attorney David Boies and his legal firm to investigate whether Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and versions of BSD infringed on the Unix intellectual property it owned. As SCO was concerned about a number of other issues relating to its IP, it had approached Boies to deal with the matter
While McBride said SCO expects much of the $10 million in licensing revenue to be raised amicably, it was willing to litigate in order to enforce its IP and other rights.
The company had received a lot of positive response to its SCOsource initiative, including calls from companies who were concerned they could be infringing on its intellectual property. "We have very positive programs for working through these issues as they arise. "Some 95 percent of the companies we are in discussions with are co-operating well, but there are a handful of cases where the discussions are not as amicable," he said, declining to be more specific about which companies were being uncooperative. While SCO expected to get at least $10 million in revenue from SCOsource-related activities in the current quarter, "we cannot predict at this point what happens to that revenue stream in coming quarters. Its very early on in the process," he said. But it appears that more legal action could well be on the cards going forward as McBride told eWeek that the unlicensed use of its Unix shared libraries was just the "tip of the iceberg as there is so much IP were dealing with here, ranging from copyright, trade secrets, patents, source code and licensing issues. "Because this range of IP-related issues is so broad-based and there is such a wide-range of players involved, were just making sure we move forward very sure-footedly. We dont want to start running before we can walk. Were trying to take things in the right order," he said. eWeek has also learned that a market research company is conducting a survey among open source and Linux shops to gauge how they would feel and react if SCO pursues legal action against those companies it believes are violating its intellectual property and technology rights. The president of an exclusively Linux/Open Source shop told eWeek last week that he had recently participated in a 20 minute phone survey that began with a statement to the effect that a company named SCO was pursuing legal remedy to protect its intellectual property. The researcher had begun with a statement to the effect that a company named SCO was pursuing legal remedy to protect its intellectual property. "I had my suspicions, but as soon as they asked my familiarity with, respect for and opinion of, Red Hat and IBM, I knew what was going on. They also asked me about Sony and Ford - I believe several automotive components run on Linux," he said. The next set of questions, the researcher said, had to do with his understanding of intellectual property laws. They were followed by questions regarding several aspects of intellectual property rights – from music to software and copyrighted printed materials. The questions then moved on to how his opinion of a company would be affected if certain statements were used. "And all of them had to do with the way to spin public perception of a company that is suing a lot of other popular companies for using a product that helps them make money, but for which they refuse to pay the company that produced the original product," he said. "They spun it about 15 different ways, using different verbiage and angles," he said. "They even went as far as asking me if Id think more highly of the litigious company if they donated a portion of the funds generated from lawsuits to some charity." McBride said his company had nothing to do with the market research. "We did a channel survey recently to see where our solution partners were, what platforms they were running on, and what applications they were running. I dont remember any questions like these even being part of that survey. This latest survey wasnt commissioned by us, I can tell you that," he said.
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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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