SCO Suit Gives Pause
A deployment pause is not what the Linux community would like but is probably what it will get in the court system.Open source has given rise to open warfare. When, on March 7, The SCO Group filed a lawsuit against IBM regarding the present and future intellectual property rights to Unix andmore importantto Linux, you could almost hear the keyboard clicks as open-source advocates leveled their e-mail artillery at the SCO camp. The lawsuit has all the elements of good drama: a company asserting intellectual property rights, detractors claiming the suit is nothing more than a financial ploy, and industry megastars IBM and Microsoft adding marquee value. In the middle stand customers, potential corporate users of Linux who are now uncertain whether that choice, despite technical and economic appeal, might place their companys systems on shaky legal ground.
In a series of e-mail questions and responses regarding the lawsuit, the customers I contacted expressed two strong opinions on the suit. The first is that the increasingly contorted legal wrangling has not stopped them from considering and developing Linux and related open-source applications, but it has stopped them from deployment until the lawsuit smoke clears a bit. The second opinion is a weariness and wariness that vendors have resorted to the courts.