Distributors Unfazed by SCOs Warnings

Despite the latest actions in the SCO Group intellectual property crusade against its Unix and Linux rivals, vendors and enterprise customers are not ready to panic.

Despite the latest actions in the SCO Group intellectual property crusade against its Unix and Linux rivals, vendors and enterprise customers are not ready to panic.

SCO last week announced that Linux operating system distributions contain unauthorized use of Unix code that SCO claims is its intellectual property. The company also issued warnings of potential legal liability to Linux users.

The Lindon, Utah, company also suspended its participation in the UnitedLinux consortium and stopped distributing its Linux product. (SCO last year was a founding member of the four-company consortium, which shares a common Linux base.)

SCO also sent letters to CEOs at 1,500 Fortune 500 and Global 2000 companies, warning them of the Unix intellectual property issues and violations associated with Linux.

Chris Sontag, a senior vice president at SCO, said the company has identified "significant source code copying issues within Linux, some of which we believe comes from IBM but many others of which come from third parties. All of these are very troubling to us," Sontag said.

SCO found specific Unix System 5 source code within the Linux kernel, as well as within other, peripheral areas of Linux distributions, Sontag said.

These latest allegations follow the $1 billion lawsuit SCO filed against IBM in March, alleging that IBM tried to "improperly destroy the economic value of Unix, particularly Unix on Intel [Corp.], to benefit IBMs new Linux services business."

An IBM spokeswoman declined to comment on the latest SCO allegations, citing the pending litigation against the company.