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SCO Bumps Up Demands, Now Wants $3 Billion From IBM In Suit

SCO Bumps Up Demands, Now Wants $3 Billion From IBM In Suit

by , 12:00 PM EDT, June 17th, 2003

In an amended complaint filed in Utah's District Court, SCO has demanded that IBM pay them $3 billion in damages and stop selling Unix, according to an article on C|Net. In addition to the original $1 billion SCO asked for in damages for breach of contract, the company is demanding another billion dollars for alleged breach of a Unix contract belonging to a company that IBM acquired in 1999, and yet another billion dollars for unfair competition.

Also interesting is that the suit now specifically blames Linux founder and developer Linus Torvalds for allowing proprietary Unix code to get into Linux itself, claiming that a "very significant amount" of Unix code can be found in Linux kernels 2.4.x and 2.5.x. Torvalds has called on SCO to identify the alleged proprietary code, according to the article. From C|Net:

In March, SCO Group surprised the world with a lawsuit seeking more than $1 billion against IBM in the case. An amended complaint, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Utah, added more claims against IBM, tripled damages to at least $3 billion, sought an injunction prohibiting IBM from selling Unix, and detailed some accusations of technology moved to Linux.

SCO seeks at least $1 billion in damages from IBM's alleged breach of its contract with SCO; another $1 billion for breach of the Unix contract signed by Sequent, which IBM acquired in 1999; and another $1 billion for unfair competition. SCO also seeks more for misappropriation of trade secrets and punitive damages.

[...]

The suit specifically blames Linux founder and leader Linus Torvalds for letting proprietary Unix code into Linux.

"As IBM executives know, a significant flaw of Linux is the inability and/or unwillingness of the Linux process manager, Linus Torvalds, to identify the intellectual property origins of contributed source code that comes in from those many different software developers. If source code is code copied from protected Unix code, there is no way for Linus Torvalds to identify that fact," the suit said. "As a result, a very significant amount of Unix protected code is currently found in Linux 2.4.x and Linux 2.5.x releases in violation of SCO's contractual rights and copyrights."

The full article can be found at C|Net's Web site, including comments from Mr. Torvalds in relation to the accusations from SCO.

The Mac Observer Spin:

In technical terms, this suit is what tech pundits call a farce. Seriously, though, its hard to fathom what SCO hopes to win, or what their strategy is. In addition, recent allegations that SCO actually copied Linux code into Unix have been making the rounds, making the whole thing that much harder to cypher.

The strategy of naming Linus Torvalds is also an interesting new twist, and we won't even hazard a guess on where this will go next.

What's truly sad about this, as we have discussed in the TMO forums, is that the one organization most likely to benefit from this suit against IBM et al is Microsoft, at least in the short term. This fits alongside Microsoft's campaign against Linux almost as if it was scripted. Any companies waffling on whether or not to go with a Unix, Linux, or Windows installation may well shy away from both Unix and Linux due to the uncertainty involved. That hurts both camps, including SCO itself.

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