SCO Latest Offer
By Bill Claybrook
July 22, 2003
Yesterday SCO announced that it would offer UnixWare licenses to all commercial users of Linux based on kernel version 2.4.x and later. The company will not go after any commercial Linux customers that purchase a UnixWare license against any past copyright violations, and for any future use of Linux in a run-only, binary format. SCO claims that it is doing this so that Linux customers will not have their IT infrastructures disrupted, presumably by SCO.
This seems to amount to a form of blackmail [ http://www.aberdeen.com/ab_abstracts/2003/06/06030020.htm ] by SCO. I would not expect any commercial customers to purchase a UnixWare license. They should stand behind the Linux distributors and hardware vendors that provided them with Linux platforms and let them settle the problems with SCO. SCO cannot persuade the suppliers to pay up so now they are going after the end users. I don’t fault SCO for trying to protect its IP, but they already have a lawsuit in progress that will likely settle many of these issues. SCO is apparently afraid that it will not win the lawsuit with IBM, so they are trying to get as much money in their bank account as possible before then. If they lose the suit with IBM, then it is unlikely that they will win cases against anyone else unless they have new and different charges to bring forward.