Open source users warn SCO of legal action

By Online Staff
Sidney Morning Herald Online

September 22, 2003

Members of an ad hoc group from the open source and free software community have warned SCO Group chief executive officer Darl McBride that the company faces legal action from the community if it mailed invoices to Linux users by October 15 as it recently said it would.

The threat was made in an an open letter to McBride, responding to issues he raised last week in his "Open letter to the open source community [ ]."

The group, in its missive, refuted the criticism of Linux, the open source community, and the General Public License made by McBride in his open letter, and rejected the idea that Linux users needed to purchase a license from SCO.

"We purchased GNU/Linux software in good faith, and we chose it precisely because it is released under the GPL. We will not accept your attempt to charge us a second time for a product that we have already bought and paid for, most of us from vendors other than yourself," the letter said.

The letter called on SCO to immediately identify any infringing code, prove infringement if it could , and allow the code to be immediately removed.

The full letter is here [ ].

In March, SCO filed a billion-dollar lawsuit against IBM, for "misappropriation of trade secrets, tortious interference, unfair competition and breach of contract."

SCO also claimed that Linux was an unauthorised derivative of Unix and warned commercial Linux users that they could be legally liable for violation of intellectual copyright. SCO later expanded its claims against IBM to US$3 billion in June when it said it was withdrawing IBM's licence for its own Unix, AIX.

IBM has counter-sued SCO over the claims.

Copyright 2003