SCO Expands Attack on Linux

The SCO Group on Monday claimed that Linux users are violating its Unix copyrights and announced it will begin selling special UnixWare licenses to commercial Linux users.

The SCO Group, which is suing IBM for more than $1 billion in a contract dispute, on Monday expanded its attack on Linux and is now claiming for the first time that Linux users are violating its Unix copyrights, particularly as SCO has now registered and received U.S. copyright for its Unix System V source code.

"Until now the case started off as a contract dispute with IBM and did not involve intellectual property or copyright. As of today its a different game, and Linux users now do have a copyright issue to deal with," SCO CEO and President Darl McBride told a media teleconference on Monday.

While SCO has focused primarily on IBMs alleged Unix contract violations and misappropriation of Unix source code over the past few months, now the Lindon, Utah, companys claiming that "the alleged actions of IBM and others have caused customers to use a tainted product at SCOs expense.

"With more than 2.4 million Linux servers running our software, and thousands more running Linux every day, we expect SCO to be compensated for the benefits realized by tens of thousands of customers. Though we possess broad legal rights, we plan to use these carefully and judiciously," he said.

As reported by eWEEK today, SCO is now offering a solution to help those businesses that want to continue to run Linux. It will now offer SCO UnixWare licenses tailored to support run-time, binary use of Linux for all commercial users of Linux based on the 2.4 kernel and later.

Any business running commercial Linux that buys a UnixWare license would be held harmless against any past copyright violations, and for any future use of Linux in a run-only, binary format, McBride said. Beginning this week, the company will begin contacting companies regarding their use of Linux and to offer them a UnixWare license.

However, McBride declined to specify the pricing of this run-time, binary UnixWare license, saying that SCO was looking at all the factors around this. But it would be "fair and reasonable" to Linux users while compensating SCO for its "valuable intellectual property" contained in Linux.