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SCO Expands Legal Campaign, Threatens Federal Government

SCO Expands Legal Campaign, Threatens Federal Government

by , 5:00 PM EST, March 23rd, 2004

Just when you thought that SCO's legal campaign couldn't get any more mind-boggling, it is being reported that the company has decided to threaten two Department of Energy facilities with legal action, according to an article at ZDNet UK. The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) have each received strongly-worded letters from the Lindon, Utah based SCO Group attempting to coerce the Department of Energy facilities to purchase a license from SCO, or face litigation.

Both facilities are extensive Linux users. Lawrence Livermore's 1,152-computer Multiprogrammatic Capability Cluster was rated number seven in a November 2003 list of the world's top 500 supercomputers. The facility has also announced a second 962-computer cluster, and will be the home of IBM's Blue Gene/L, expected to be the world's fastest supercomputer. NERSC is the home of the Parallel Distributed Systems Facility, a 412-computer cluster. From ZDNet UK:

SCO sent letters raising the prospect of legal action for using Linux to two Department of Energy facilities, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Centre (NERSC).

The letter to NERSC director Horst Simon used strong language in its effort to convince the research facility to buy a licence that will let it use Linux without fear of SCO legal action.

"I am requesting a meeting so that we may discuss the alternatives available to your firm. WE BELIEVE WE CAN PROPOSE SOLUTIONS THAT WILL BE AGREEABLE AND ECONOMICALLY FEASIBLE FOR YOU," Gregory Pettit, SCO's regional director of intellectual-property licensing, wrote in the 16 January letter, which he said was a follow-up to a 19 December notification.

"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," Pettit said.

You can read the full article at ZDNet UK's Web site.

The Mac Observer Spin:

At this point, there really isn't much more to say. It's quite clear that SCO either has no case, or has the worst legal counsel ever. Considering SCO's use of David Boies' law firm, it's most likely the former. If SCO had any case at all, it would have waited for the results from the IBM case, then used that win as a precedent to sue everyone that it has sued since. Instead, SCO is firing scattershot into the dark, trying to get as much press as possible, hoping to do as much damage as possible while it is still able.

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