The local announcement of SCO’s Intellectual Property License has angered the local Linux community.
Both Linux resellers and open source advocates have retaliated by threatening legal action of their own.
Director of Linux reseller CyberKnights, Leon Brooks, has challenged SCO to provide his company with documented evidence of its claims or face legal action.
“If CyberKnights has not received clear, precise and substantial identification of the specific code which SCO A/NZ claims fees from us for by February 1, 2004, we will begin our defence by referring the matter to the appropriate legal authorities, and vigorously pursue a positive resolution from there,” he said in a letter to O’Shaughnessy.
“If SCO A/NZ can’t specifically identify any significant portions of The SCO Group’s intellectual property in a timely manner in any of the Linux distributions which CyberKnights deploy, we must assume that SCO A/NZ is making fraudulent claims and must, in defence of CyberKnights’ good name, vigorously pursue public acknowledgement of fault and material redress from SCO A/NZ,” he said.
Brooks went on to list every distribution of Linux that CyberKnights sold and challenged SCO to find stolen code within the products. He also detailed the reasons why the reseller would not sell competing products by Microsoft, Sun Microsystems or SCO.
Brooks described Microsoft’s server products as “unstable, insecure and expensive”, claimed SCO’s products were “pitifully feature-starved and too expensive”, and said the company could not in good conscience use Sun’s software, as it has been licensed from a company which he considered “unreasonably greedy”.
Convenor of Open Source Victoria and director of Linux reseller Cybersource, Con Zymaris, said OSV would be taking the matter to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
He said that after 10 months, SCO had provided zero evidence to its claim.
He also said that Novell had released contracts to the public which specified that Novell, and not SCO, owned any putative Unix properties, regardless of whether these had found their way into Linux or not.
Considering this lack of proof, OSV had determined that SCO was in contravention of Section 53 of the Trade Practices Act.
“Our group’s position is that if SCO has not proven ownership to the UNIX IP, nor proven that any of this IP is now in Linux, then to make the representations that they are making [specifically that any Linux users need to acquire a licence from SCO] would be a false representation concerning the need for a good or service, and would also probably be a false representation about the effect of a condition — for example, the effect that they are implying is that it renders legal otherwise illegal activity,” he said.