SCO Group On the Licensing Warpath?

Sources say SCO Group preparing to sue at least one large U.S. IT company for unlicensed use of its Unix technologies.

The SCO Group is believed to be preparing to launch legal action within the next few days against at least one large IT company in the U.S. for unlicensed usage of SCO Unix technologies.

SCO CEO Darl McBride on Wednesday declined to confirm or deny reports eWEEK has received that SCO is preparing to launch such legal action. But he did confirm that the Lindon, Utah-based firm is expecting to make at least $10 million in revenue in the current financial quarter from its SCOsource licensing initiative.

SCO, formerly Caldera International Inc., recently created the SCOsource division to create new licensing programs and products for its intellectual property.

That move followed news last month that the firm was planning to make some users pay for some Unix software they were running, unlicensed, on Linux.

The first deliverable from SCOsource was the licensing of its Unix shared libraries under a new product license called SCO System V for Linux. That product lets Linux customers run Unix applications, originally written for SCO OpenServer and SCO UnixWare, under Linux in an Intel environment.

"There has never been a mechanism in place to license the libraries to individuals and companies until now. In fact, the SCO OpenServer and UnixWare licenses expressly said that the libraries could not be used outside of those two operating systems," McBride said at the time.

At that time he also confirmed to eWEEK that the company had hired high-profile attorney David Boies and his legal firm to investigate whether Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and versions of BSD infringed on the Unix intellectual property it owned. As SCO was concerned about a number of other issues relating to its IP, it had approached Boies to deal with the matter.

"We wanted to find a guy who was used to dealing with complicated legal issues," SCO CEO Darl McBride said.

In an interview with eWEEK on Wednesday, McBride said the company had received a lot of positive response to its SCOsource initiative, including calls from companies who were concerned they could be infringing on its intellectual property.