Computer Associates International Inc. is the latest company to admit publicly that it has signed up for The SCO Group Inc.s intellectual property (IP) license for Linux.
SCO, of Lindon, Utah, began selling its SCO Intellectual Property License for Linux last September. The run-time license lets buyers use any of the companys intellectual property that may be contained in Linux distributions and costs $699 for each of their computer processors running Linux.
Officials from both CA and SCO confirmed to eWEEK Thursday that CA has taken the license. News of CAs decision leaked to the Web Thursday when a legal document regarding SCOs suit against IBM was posted on www.groklaw.net.
Two additional IP licensees were also named in the document: Questar Corp., a natural gas company in Salt Lake City; and Leggett & Platt Inc., a Carthage, Mo.-based manufacturer.
In the letter, dated Feb. 4, 2004, SCO attorney Mark J. Heise, of Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, wrote to IBM attorney David R. Marriott, of Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP: "At this juncture, I am only aware of a license with Computer Associates, Questar and Leggett & Platt." SCO spokesman Blake Stowell confirmed the letters authenticity, but added that the total number of licensees is now between 10 and 50.
Sam Greenblatt, chief architect of the Linux technology group for CA, in Islandia. N.Y., told eWEEK that while CA "disagrees with SCOs tactics, which are intended to intimidate and threaten customers, CAs license for Linux technology is part of a larger settlement with the Canopy Group [Inc.]. It has nothing to do with SCOs strategy of intimidation."
Greenblatt declined to give any further details on the matter or the settlement with The Canopy Group, SCOs majority owners. But in April 2001, The Canopy Group filed suit against CA in the United States District Court for the District of Utah, Central Division. The suit was based on a series of written agreements involving the licensing of certain software products, and the complaint sought monetary damages based on claims for, among other things, breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.
On Aug. 12, 2003, CA said it had reached an agreement with The Canopy Group and Center 7 to settle all litigation between the parties. The settlement was approved by the Court on Aug. 12, 2003, and resulted in a cash payment of $40 million in the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2003. "As part of the agreement between the parties, no other terms of the settlement will be disclosed," CA officials said at the time, adding that they were, however, pleased to have resolved the matter amicably.
The total known number of SCO IP licensees is now four, including EV1Servers.Net, the first company to announce that it had signed a deal with SCO. SCO Chief Financial Officer Robert Bench said earlier this week on an earnings conference call that he expects the companys licensing initiatives to gain momentum in future quarters, though he admitted it was difficult to predict exactly how these revenues will pan out.