SCO Says They May Sue End Users in the Near Future

Thursday, February 19 2004 @ 01:22 PM EST

Contributed by: PJ

Despite having missed the declared February 18 deadline, SCO says it may sue an end user in the near future, Blake Stowell saying to "stay tuned", according to Peter Galli's 2-page report in eWeek:

"'We are not stating yet when that may take place or with whom it may take place, but you may see something from us in the near future on this,' he said. . . .

"Speculation about the possible Linux user to be sued took another turn this week following a filing by open source and Linux vendor Red Hat Inc. to supplement the record in its case against SCO. That filing was first reported on the Groklaw Web site.

"In August, Red Hat filed suit in a federal court in Delaware seeking pre-emptive relief against SCO and its claims that the Linux code base has illegally copyrighted Unix code to which SCO now owns the rights. SCO has sought to have that cased dismissed, saying its legal actions are against IBM and not Red Hat or its customers.

"But the latest Red Hat motion disputes that and includes copies of letters that SCO had sent to financial services firm Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc. in New York, and Lehman's responses. Lehman is a Red Hat Enterprise Linux customer."

A "source close to Red Hat" is quoted as saying that the mention of Lehman does not imply that they necessarily would be singled out as the eventual target. Stowell's response was this:

"SCO's Stowell also expressed surprise at the mention of Lehman Brothers as a potential target for its legal action. 'This is the very first time I have heard its name brought up by anyone or run by me or anyone at SCO.'"

If you read the second letter sent to Lehman from SCO, it clearly says that if they don't buy a license, their name will be given to their outside counsel for possible legal action. But Stowell says he has never heard of the name Lehman being brought up by him or anyone at SCO as a possible target? Here are the exact words, so you can judge for yourself, from the letter sent on January 16:

"If you fail to respond to our efforts to pursue a licensing arrangement, WE WILL TURN YOUR NAME OVER TO OUR OUTSIDE COUNSEL FOR CONSIDERATION OF LEGAL ACTION."

No doubt Lehman Brothers will be glad to know if they were only joshing. Here is what Darl McBride said about the date on February 2 during his appearance at Harvard:

"And so the entire risk on this is on your shoulders. So we have basically said within the next few weeks, by February 18th we are going to be in the courtroom with an end user to go through the copyright-related problems that we are having from an infringement standpoint."

UPDATE: ComputerWire has picked up the story as well.