Trend Ahead for SCOs

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2004-03-01 Print this article Print

Linux License?"> SCO said other companies have signed up for a SCO IP license. However, analysts disputed the claim. Dan Kusnetzky, vice president for system software research at Framingham, Mass.-based IDC, said a trend was difficult to see from todays announcement. "SCO had been hinting that wed see a big, well-known name and this wasnt it," he said. Furthermore, "I dont think a single licensee or even a small handful of licenses indicate a trend. For every one that might sign an SCO license there are hundreds waiting to see what happens with the SCO Unix and Linux litigations.

Kusnetzky also wondered what other companies and individuals who have contributed to the Linux kernel will make of this move. "The Linux kernel contains a lot of things that contains IP from a lot of people, what are they going to do now? Will they be pleased that the SCO group is now charging a fee for their work? Can we expect litigation from all over the planet aimed at SCO because theyre not being paid or consulted for SCOs use of their IP work?" he said.
Bill Claybrook, vice president of Linux strategy at the Harvard Research Group Inc. also didnt see trend growing. "This was probably a once-in-a-lifetime thing based on SCO making them a heck of a good deal so SCO could have something to talk about. I dont think were going to see a run on buying SCO licenses. If it was a big, important company instead of a relatively unknown Web hosting company, SCO might have something to talk about."

Meanwhile, SCOs Univention agreement follows an injunction delivered in May from a German court that prevented SCO from claiming that Linux contains illegally-obtained SCO intellectual property, a k a Unix source code.

Under the agreement, SCO GmbH agreed to stop alleging that Linux contains SCOs unlawfully acquired intellectual property; to stop claiming that Linux users might be liable for breaches of SCOs intellectual property; and to cease claims that Linux is an unauthorized Unix derivative. SCO GmbH also said it would not threaten to sue non-SCO Linux customers. Check out eWEEK.coms Linux & Open Source Center at for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis. Be sure to add our Linux feed to your RSS newsreader:

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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