SCO Hints at a Short List and Licenses Go on Sale in Australia

Monday, January 19 2004 @ 11:18 PM EST

Contributed by: PJ

More menacing hints from SCO. It seems they are making their list smaller and smaller, and it's down to about a dozen or so. Didn't they already say it was a definite? But they now say they "may" sue. Here are some on the short list, according to Darl:

"BP, Siemens and Fujitsu are among a large number of big companies whose use of the operating system has come under scrutiny, said Darl McBride, chief executive of SCO, the small US company that has mounted the challenge. He said the company had not yet decided whether to sue. But he added: 'That clearly is an option we are looking into very closely.'

"The prospect of legal action depends on the precise use each company makes of Linux, said Mr McBride. Commenting on the use of the software by BP, he said: 'There are clearly some concerns with those guys.' But he added that SCO is 'trying to work through these things without going to court'. . . .

The SCO chief would not confirm Google was on the list but he did little to dispel the prospect of legal action that could hamper the search engine company's listing plans. 'Google is using a lot of Linux; they've benefited from that,' said Mr McBride.

"Extending the legal challenge overseas would open a new front in the battle. Mr McBride said SCO 'started a dialogue' with a number of international companies last month over the use of Linux and planned to decide on action by the end of January.

"It is using an unusual breach-of-contract claim to try to draw the international companies into the fray."

"Unusual" is a very polite word for it.

From Australia, comes this report that SCO has put out a press release saying they have started selling licenses in Australia. Of course, it probably is more accurate to say they are offering to sell them, but this is SCOspeak:

"The SCO Group has started selling its intellectual property licence in Australia and New Zealand, according to a company media release.

"The licence costs $A999 per server processor and $A285 per desktop processor. . . .

"'By purchasing the license, customers are properly compensating SCO for the UNIX source code, derivative UNIX code and other UNIX-related intellectual property and copyrights owned by SCO as it is currently found in Linux,' the release says."

Well, that's a new list of offenses, isn't it? It is certainly hard to keep up. And if it isn't asking for too much specificity, and I recognize SCO is allergic to specificity, what exactly would "other UNIX-related intellectual property" be, after you've already listed source code and derivative code and copyrights and you don't have a relevant patent? Of course, making us all guess what their vague menacing words mean is ....oh, hey, wait a sec. Does the US stock market open again for trading in the morning, by any chance?