Open source advocates continue to attack SCO

The controversy surrounding The SCO Group’s Intellectual Property Licence continues to heat up, with open source industry cluster, Open Source Group Victoria (OSV), making a second complaint to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

The initial complaint, made in July 2003, asked the ACCC to investigate SCO’s “unsubstantiated claims and extortive legal threats for money”. SCO maintains that some UNIX code that has been incorporated into Linux is its own intellectual property. The vendor claims that selling a licence is a means of obtaining compensation from users of the Linux operating system.

The license would apply to all commercial users of Linux based on a 2.4 or later kernel. It is being offered at $999 per server processor and $285 per desktop.

The new complaint was sent to ACCC chairman, Graeme Samuel, early last week.

In it, OSV says it is concerned that SCO may be “making a false or misleading representation ... that people who have already acquired a licence for Linux from SCO are required to acquire an additional licence”.

It goes on to allege that SCO “made a false or misleading representation ... in that ... when [it] granted licences over Linux in the past it wrongly stated the scope of rights granted under the licence.”

OSV member, Con Zymaris, said that SCO’s claims were “bogus”.

“They were shipping the full Linux kernel with the full general public licence [GPL] in December last year,” he said.

OSV states in its complaint that the GPL requires the disclosure of the source code of the Linux operating system.

“SCO can’t renege on that agreement by claiming a new licence,” Zymaris said.

“The OSV categorically believes that what SCO is trying to do is wrong, regardless of who is right or wrong between IBM and SCO,” he said. “SCO was either lying a month ago, or lying now, we don’t have to see the outcome of a court case to know that.”

SCO's regional general manager, Kieran O'Shaughnessy said, that he had no real comment to make about the OSV complaint.

"We are confident of the assertions we are making," he said, "and we would be happy to share information with the ACCC if that should be required."

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