Most Read Technology Reporter For More Than Two Decades

Maureen O'Gara

Subscribe to Maureen O'Gara: eMailAlertsEmail Alerts
Get Maureen O'Gara: homepageHomepage mobileMobile rssRSS facebookFacebook twitterTwitter linkedinLinkedIn


IBM and SCO Continue to Butt Heads over Linux

IBM and SCO Continue to Butt Heads over Linux

At the end of last week IBM went on the counter-offensive against SCO Group when Bob Samson, vice president of IBM's systems sales, told IBM’s sales force that for SCO to demand license payments for Unix makes no sense given that SCO itself has very recently been shipping an open-source product, a version of Linux that the Lindon, Utah-based company was selling until as recently as May.

This goes a great deal further than the somewhat mild IBM statement, reported earlier at LinuxWorld, that it would “stand by” its customers and defend its name and actions vigorously in any legal action.

Ever since SCO filed its $1 billion lawsuit against Big Blue, the Linux community has been up in arms. After its attempt last week to start making all Linux users pay for a Unix license or face possible legal action, things got massively worse.

Already back in June, the general manager of IBM's Linux unit, Jim Stallings, was asserting that IBM's license was "irrevocable" but now Samson is going a step further, saying that he can see now way SCO can possibly hope to make its case stick, given that it has itself been a party to distributing Linux under the GNU General Public License (GPL). The GPL grants a free copyright license and requires that users be granted the right to freely redistribute the code free of claims.

SCO, in other words, has never deliberately released the code as open source. But IBM isn’t going to be dissuaded from its vehement defense, characterizing SCO’s position as ”another desperate, unfair and unsupported attack on Linux in an attempt to wring money from customers without providing any factual basis as to why they should pay."

More Stories By Linux News Desk

SYS-CON's Linux News Desk gathers stories, analysis, and information from around the Linux world and synthesizes them into an easy to digest format for IT/IS managers and other business decision-makers.

Comments (7) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

Most Recent Comments
Geoff 08/14/03 12:57:40 PM EDT

Gotta love those flaky bandwagon investors... Must be people that know nothing about computers... or the market for that matter. SCO's financials are in ruins already. What the heck would anybody want with a forecast like that anyway?? I mean come on Price Earnings at 154.14 and EPS that's historically extremely negative. 5 year growth rate of 0%??? Not even a dividend to boot? What the heck is SCO thinking? That they can revitalize their company on a little tiny lawsuit? I think anybody who is stupid enough to fear SCO shouldn't be allowed to use Linux or any derivative thereof. I can guarantee that this won't be another OS/2 as well, because the conditions of that failure were completely different from this Linux case.

Hello?? McBride?? (Cheesy takeoff on Back to the Future with Biff and Marty McFly).

Pete Rose 08/03/03 04:47:09 PM EDT

Seems to me like SCO is in violation of GPL for claiming proprietary rights on open source code, and further, threatening to sue businesses using Linux. From what I have read elsewhere it is already having somewhat of a chilling effect on businesses considering switching to Linux.

R N 07/31/03 11:32:51 AM EDT

Daryl McBride seems to like going the legal route to get rich. Search the internet on "Darl McBride" and IKON. While there he sued his own company (IKON) because they failed to provide a performance-based pay plan.

Fredrick K 07/30/03 03:30:41 PM EDT

SCO's suit hinges on one thing, trying to get software whose copyrights are owned by IBM to be viewed as "derivative works" of System V Unix.

The likelyhood of that, is pretty much zero, in my view.

In fact, this case will probably never get even with sniffing distance of a jury. Hearing and discovery phase, maybe, but during that, SCO will be whining like a whipped puppy, begging IBM to settle.

At which point, IBM will probably do for pennies on the dollar (by that time SCO's stock scam, I mean, strategy, will have run its course, their stock being practically worthless).

It is my bet that SCO's lawyers have some provision for a substantial percentage of any settlement. But ultimately, I think the joke will be on SCO and their lawyers, as any settlement will probably be significantly smaller then they are hoping it will be.



Yong PH 07/29/03 07:15:30 PM EDT

People power should show the support now. We all must buy or send in support for all LINUX product.

SCO claim is to limit the advancement of technology by the experienced and talented human. We should blow them out.

Ken Farmer 07/29/03 04:51:12 AM EDT

SCO is a bottom feeder, trying to be the loud bully on the block threatening people. I really hope they get what is coming to them, nothing. Better yet I hope they lose and have to pay IBM's legal fees and have to pay IBM a large settlement. If they want to come after me I will see them in court, let the fight begin.

Jay C. Theriot 07/28/03 04:28:39 PM EDT

OpenSource is by the people, for the people. You can't stop the people.

Long live the people!
Jay C. Theriot