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SCO Denies It's Suit-Happy

SCO Denies It's Suit-Happy

According to some exuberant press reports the SCO Group is behaving like Gilbert and Sullivan's Mikado and is running up "a little list" of recalcitrant Linux users and is getting ready to sue at least one of them because it won't pay SCO's Linux tax. SCO and its lawyer, however, say that's not true, but that the company's not afraid to sue if it comes to that. If users reject buying SCO licenses on the pretext of waiting for a legal ruling, then SCO will go ahead and seek an injunction. But nothing is imminent and the way things are progressing there may never be another piece of litigation in this affair, SCO CEO Darl McBride said in an interview. According to Mark Heise, one of SCO's attorneys, "At this juncture, the company is educating consumers and presenting information so that CIOs can make an informed decision on how they wish to proceed. The company's focus is to present a business solution. If that fails, then the company certainly has the right under copyright law to pursue end users in litigation. That path is a distant second to a business solution with end users." SCO spokesman Blake Stowell claimed he had yet to hear of a company that's refused to pay. McBride says companies are coming forward "unsolicited" and making inquiries. SCO entertained 25 Fortune 500s at SCO Forum, McBride said, and five of them are reportedly going to follow up with license discussions. McBride said SCO would be going after the "low-hanging fruit," an exercise that should occupy it for the rest of the year given the number of leads it has to process. No end-user lawsuits before then, he said. The company is running up a list of corporate Linux sites, McBride said, that SCO intends to contact about licenses. It's identified 15% of them so far, it thinks, and will have 40% in hand soon enough. IDC has awarded Linux 2.5 million servers. SCO is looking for them. If nothing else, it should be interesting to see how good IDC projections are.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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Most Recent Comments
Scott Dunbar 08/25/03 09:18:43 PM EDT

Just 5 days ago this was reported in the Computer Business Review online:

[SCO Group Inc is preparing to take a Linux user to court to speed up the legal process in its claim Unix code has been illegally copied into Linux, and also encourage Linux users to take out a license for its intellectual property.

Speaking at SCO's Forum event in Las Vegas, president and CEO Darl McBride said SCO preparing to speed-up the legal process and convince the skeptics. "We are prepared to have this heard on a quicker basis in a customer environment if that's what it takes to quicken it up," he said.

Talking to ComputerWire, McBride added SCO is identifying Linux users for possible litigation.

SCO has three groups working on identifying and approaching Linux users. The first is drawing up the list, the second will send out letters offering the chance to license the code SCO says has been copied into Linux, and the third will take legal action against those who refuse.]

Which is it? Are you or aren't you preparing to sue end-users, Darl? And this quote from your story is priceless:

[SCO spokesman Blake Stowell claimed he had yet to hear of a company that's refused to pay.]

Try this one on for size, Stowell:
And let's not forget the "Sue me SCO" petition that went around a few months ago.

Michael Cox 08/25/03 07:49:01 AM EDT

The only way any thinking person could arrive at the conclusion that SCO is NOT "suit-happy," is if their only point of reference is the RIAA.

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