After filing suit, UNIX IP owner suspends Linux sales, warns Linux users

16 May 2003 Lindon, UT Lightwave -- The SCO Group, the owner of the UNIX operating system, says that the company will suspend all future sales of the Linux operating system. The announcement follows a court filing in March, in which SCO alleged that the Linux operating system contains illegal inclusions of UNIX intellectual property. SCO also warned that legal liability for the use of Linux may extend to commercial users.

May 16th, 2003

16 May 2003 Lindon, UT Lightwave -- The SCO Group, the owner of the UNIX operating system, says that "until the attendant risks with Linux are better understood and properly resolved," the company will suspend all of its future sales of the Linux operating system. The announcement follows a court filing in March, in which SCO alleged that the Linux operating system contains illegal inclusions of UNIX intellectual property. SCO also warned that legal liability for the use of Linux may extend to commercial users.

"SCO is taking this important step because there are intellectual property issues with Linux," said Chris Sontag, senior vice president and general manager of SCOsource, The SCO Group. "When SCO's own UNIX software code is being illegally copied into Linux, we believe we have an obligation to educate commercial users of the potential liability that could rest with them for using such software to run their business. We feel so strongly about this issue that we are suspending sales and distribution of SCO Linux until these issues are resolved."

SCO will continue to support existing SCO Linux and Caldera OpenLinux customers and hold them harmless from any SCO intellectual property issues regarding SCO Linux and Caldera OpenLinux products.

Going forward, SCO will have a stronger focus on UNIX and the company's growth strategy around Web services, SCOx. The company introduced SCOx in April as the company's Web services framework and plans to introduce new Web services applications from third party developers in August at SCO Forum, the company's annual conference.

"SCO remains committed to servicing our customers and as such, we intend to continue our growth strategy around SCOx -- the Web services framework for small-to-medium businesses and branch offices," said Darl McBride, president and CEO, The SCO Group.

In addition, SCO also posted an analyst report from Gartner to their Web site at www.sco.com/scosource entitled, "SCO Lawsuit Sends a Warning to Linux IS Shops." The executive summary of the report asks whether Linux is safe from encumbrances.

More in Business