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SCO's Treatment of Linux "Akin to Water Torture" Says BusinessWeek
SCO's Treatment of Linux "Akin to Water Torture" Says BusinessWeek

(July 2, 2003) - "Will This Feud Choke the Life Out of Linux?" asks a BusinessWeek writer in the July 7 issue, in reference to the suit filed against IBM in March by SCO Group Inc.

Otis Port reports that, by raising national security concerns, software maker SCO's $1 billion lawsuit against IBM "hamstrings" the open-source movement. "Every few weeks," writes BW's Otis Port, "there's a new allegation or announcement from the tiny Lindon (Utah) software company, provoking fears that it will enforce its intellectual property rights against sellers of the Linux computer operating system."

The whole saga, the writer notes, "is turning into something akin to water torture." SCO President Darl C. McBride's claim is that the amount of copyrighted Unix software code used by IBM in clear infringement of SCO's rights is "gargantuan," and he also insists that IBM used Unix expertise gained in a venture with SCO to upgrade Linux.

The open-source community could write replacements for those portions, allowing Linux to resume the even tenor of its way. But precisely because so much code is involved, McBride claims that "It'd be a major challenge," and in any case it doesn't look as if he is going to give the Linux community time to get the job done, since he tells BW that SCO will from August be informing companies that use or distribute Linux, such as Red Hat Inc., that they need to buy a license.

SCO's tactics, the BusinessWeek contributor claims, "are taking too heavy a toll."

"Unless it wants to be remembered as the company that squelched competition in the corporate software market," he concludes, "it should identify the Unix code that it claims is in Linux so the issue can be resolved as quickly as possible."

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