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

AutoZone will not have to face the suit alone. Stuart Cohen, CEO of Open Source Development Labs (OSDL), has indicated that OSDL, as per its announcement of a Linux legal defense fund, may defray part of their legal expenses.

Specifically, Cohen said, "The entire Linux ecosystem, including OSDL and its 35-plus member organizations, will stand firm against any legal actions against Linux end users made by the SCO Group. This is why OSDL announced our defense fund in January. SCOs decision to move forward with their end-user lawsuit is unfortunate, but due to the questionable merits of the case, we see no reason why this case will have an impact on the growth of Linux in the enterprise."

This latest SCO move, while delayed beyond what SCO had predicted for its first lawsuit against an end user, comes as no surprise. Philip Albert, intellectual property attorney and partner in the San Francisco office of IP law specialist Townsend and Townsend and Crew LLP, said, "This is a natural progression of the SCO-Linux dispute. SCO is not getting anywhere against IBM and SCO said they would sue an end-user company, so SCO really has no choice but to follow through. Not that SCO should expect much success. While not having seen the complaint, I can be sure this latest action is not likely to win SCO any lawsuits and for sure not likely to win them any friends."

Next page: The costs of suing an end user.

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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