Shares in the SCO Group surged nearly 30 percent on Thursday as the company continued to defend what it sees as the unauthorized and illegal use by customers, Linux users, vendors and the open source community of its Unix code.
SCOs shares leapt $1.92, or 29 percent, to $8.52 on Thursday as more than 1.12-million shares traded on the Nasdaq Exchange. A SCO spokesman could not be reached for comment on Thursday and had not returned eWeeks calls by the time this article was published.
A number of parties this week received a non disclosure agreement, or NDA, that SCO is insisting people sign before they are given access to examples of certain code which SCO feels clearly supports its view that parts of its Unix code have been given away to, and incorporated in, the current 2.4 Linux kernel and subsequent Linux distributions.
SCO has been strongly criticized for sending letters to 1,500 CEOs from the worlds leading companies warning them that Linux is an unauthorized derivative of Unix and that they could be legally liable without citing or providing any evidence of its claims.
As first reported by eWeek, SCO senior vice president Chris Sontag said in mid-May that SCO would be willing to show interested parties the code violations as long as they agreed to an NDA.
He also said that the amount of code shown would be restricted given the pending litigation with IBM.
SCO CEO Darl McBride last Friday reconfirmed that the company would be allowing independent parties, some analysts, press and other interested parties access to the code under NDA this month.
Some of those parties started receiving the NDAs this month and they say they are completely unacceptable. So far, the criticism revolves around the fact that SCO will determine exactly what code it shows; any dispute over potential disagreements about whether information under the NDA was disclosed would have to be resolved in Utah courts; and, lastly, any information that SCO shares with those agreeing to the NDA can not be discussed, even if it is public information or the person is aware of it before SCO shows it to them.
Senior members of the open source community are warning potential NDA signers to be very careful before doing so as such a move could endanger current open source projects, including Linux and BSD.
The Linux Journal has printed the entire text of the NDA it received from SCO this week.
A Linux consultant and potential reviewer of SCOs code, and who requested anonymity, told eWeek on Thursday that he would not sign such an NDA as that would probably result in the firm calling him to testify on its behalf when the IBM matter goes to court.
“The restrictions and limitations imposed by the NDA are ridiculous. Im not sure who would be willing to sign it. Certainly nobody I know,” he said.