Ev1Servers CEO Speaks

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2004-03-03 Print this article Print

Robert Marsh, CEO and "head surfer" of Ev1Servers replied to these and other such comments online on March 2 in a message to the companys users.

First, Marsh clarified, "We license Linux through Red Hat. They provide our distribution and support/updates for the Enterprise distribution. Plus, they do an awesome job at delivering. Their support and dedication is second to none. Our agreement with SCO is in no way any kind of indictment on Red Hat."

Marsh continued, "We did not license a Linux distribution or any software covered by a referenced EULA from SCO. We did, however, license certain IP from SCO." But, at the same time, Marsh wrote, "We fully support the GPL and the open-source movement."

Dan Kusnetzky, IDC vice president for system software research, said Marshs message was "an interesting statement." More piquantly, Eric S. Raymond, president of the Open Source Initiative said, "If he were serious about supporting the GPL, he would have told the GPL-violating thieves at SCO to get stuffed."

Marsh wrote, "Others have claimed that were essentially funding SCOs various lawsuits. This is not true. SCO already has like $60 million on hand and our small fee [over a million dollars, SCO representative Blake Stowell told eWEEK.com] would not go very far defending an action such as this, much less prosecuting one." Marsh added, "We make no endorsement of SCO nor do we make any admission as to their claims."

Marsh defended EV1Servers purchase of the IP license: "HOWEVER, what we did do was make a prudent business decision based upon our circumstances and our customers needs and the need to bring certainty to their businesses."

"Whatever your position on the various suits, which SCO has said will increase. These suits have a very real and significant cost, even if proven unsuccessful. While our decision may not be popular, it does ensure that our customers (to the extent that they operate servers in our data centers) are protected from action by SCO with respect to those servers.

"In every step building the EV1 business, Ive had to make decisions that I believed in my heart were in the best interests of my clients and my shareholders," Marsh concluded. "My team and I have worked to bring the best possible service at the best possible price to our customers. In this case, the same decision making tools were employed and only after significant thought and analysis, an action taken.

"As a result of this action, our customers can be assured that as these cases work their way through the legal system, that they have no worry that SCO will take action against them for servers in our data centers."

Philip Albert, intellectual-property attorney and partner in the San Francisco office of the IP specialist law from Townsend and Townsend and Crew LLP, said he isnt sure anyone has that much to worry about it in the first place. Nevertheless, "taking all of that (the SCO Unix IP arguments) into account, it is for each company to balance the odds of SCO winning its case with the terms of the SCO license and might end up taking a license to buy peace even if a license is not legally needed."

Check out eWEEK.coms Linux & Open Source Center at http://linux.eweek.com for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.

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Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor at large for Ziff Davis Enterprise. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.

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