SCO Sues AutoZone Over Linux Use

UPDATED: SCO makes good on its promise to sue a Linux-using company by bringing litigation against Memphis, TN-based automotive parts giant AutoZone.

The SCO Group Inc. announced on March 3 that it filed suit against AutoZone Inc. for allegedly violating SCOs Unix copyrights through its use of Linux.

AutoZone is a Memphis, Tenn.-based auto parts chain that trades on NASDAQ and is a member of the Fortune 500. SCOs lawsuit announcement came immediately before the AutoZones second fiscal quarter teleconference. The company reported sales of $1.159 billion for its second fiscal quarter.

Specifically, SCO alleges that "AutoZone violated SCOs UNIX copyrights by running versions of the Linux operating system that contain code, structure, sequence and/or organization from SCOs proprietary UNIX System V code in violation of SCOs copyrights.

In a statement, SCO President and CEO Darl McBride promised more lawsuits on the horizon. "In coming quarters, we will continue to expand our SCOsource initiatives, with an ongoing campaign to defend and protect SCOs intellectual property assets, which will include continued end-user lawsuits and negotiations regarding intellectual property licenses," he said.

In a earnings conference call later that morning, SCO on Wednesday also took aim at Stuttgart, Germany-based DaimlerChrysler, one of the worlds largest automotive companies and which has U.S. offices in Auburn Hills, Mich., filing suit against it in Michigans Oakland County Circuit Court for alleged violations of the automotive companys Unix software agreement with SCO. A DaimlerChrysler spokesman had no immediate comment on the lawsuit when contacted by eWeek.

When asked during this mornings conference call why DaimlerChrysler had been targeted, SCO CEO Darl McBride said, the automaker was "one of a number of companies that didnt respond when we asked our Unix licensees to certify their compliance."

As for why Daimler was chosen out of these companies, McBride said at the conference call, "there are a variety of factors I wont get into," but he did say that Daimler and AutoZone were "not just two users; theyre at the head of two different classes that are violating our agreements." Meanwhile, Novell Inc. maintains that SCO does not have copyright to Unixs code. SCO then sued Novell over this issue. This matter has yet to be decided in a court of law.

The AutoZone lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Nevada, requests injunctive relief against AutoZones further use or copying of any part of SCOs copyrighted materials and requests damages as a result of AutoZones infringement in an amount to be proven at trial.

Next page: OSDL to stand with AutoZone.