They are also all committed to banding together to fight the company in these and any future lawsuits, and do not believe there will be any slowdown in corporate Linux adoption.
Eric Raymond, president of the Open Source Initiative, on Wednesday published a letter of support to Steve Odland, president and CEO of AutoZone, on his Web site, in which he said the Linux community and the wider open-source software movement "regret that you have become the latest victim in the campaign of barratry, fraud, and stock-kiting that SCO has been waging. We want you to know that you are not alone, and that you have in fact just made a great many friends.
"We urge you to fight this lawsuit with every effort you can muster. Its the right thing to do by AutoZones shareholders, and more generally as well. Thoughtful people everywhere are seeing in meritless IP lawsuits an increasing drag on innovation and economic health. AutoZone can both serve its own interests and do good by helping make such parasitic tactics generally unprofitable.
"Well be with you—and that we includes a lot of expertise on the technical, legal, and historical issues bound up in SCOs lawsuit. If there is any assistance that I personally or the Open Source Initiative can reasonably provide, please do not hesitate to ask," Raymond said.
Stuart Cohen, CEO of the Open Source Development Labs in Beaverton, Ore., told eWEEK he was surprised that SCO actually sued a Linux user at this time. "We didnt think they would sue a user until they had resolved the copyright issues with Novell [Inc.]. Quite frankly, when we announced our Legal Defense Fund, we thought that would stop them from going after a user. And when they announced their lawsuit with Novell, we really thought that would absolutely stop them until they got that resolved," he said.
Cohen doubts the actual filing of these user lawsuits will have any effect on the adoption of Linux going forward, particularly given the recent indemnification announcements from Hewlett-Packard Co., Novell Inc. and Red Hat Inc. and the establishment of the Legal Defense Fund.