SCO Sues To Block Novell-SuSE Deal, Threatens BSD, Likens Linux Users To Drug Users

SCO is planning to take legal action against Novell Inc. over its purchase of SuSE Linux AG. According to an article at eWeek, SCO is citing an alleged non-compete agreement between Novell and the Santa Cruz Operation, an ancestor of the current SCO Group.

In addition, SCO is broadening its attack on anything remotely Unix-related, this time threatening to take on BSD distributors, such as FreeBSD, NetBSD and OpenBSD. Appleis OS X is based on BSD, and this means it is conceivable that this could include an attack on Apple at some point. From eWeek:

In addition, Lindon, Utah-based SCO announced that it will broaden its code copyright fight beyond IBM. In a press release, SCO stated that it is now including "copyrighted code included in the 1994 settlement between Unix Systems Laboratories, Inc. and Berkeley Software Design, Inc. in the expanded scope protection of and defense against unauthorized use and exploitation of SCOis intellectual property. SCO acquired this code and associated copyrights in 1995 from Novell."

This means that SCO is opening the gates to possibly take action against the open-source organizations behind such BSD-based operating systems as FreeBSD, NetBSD and OpenBSD. In addition, since Apple Computer Mac OS X is based on BSD Unix, Apple too could be targeted.

Novell denies SCOis claims. According to Kevan Barney, Novellis Linux senior manager of public relations, "There is no non-compete provision in those contracts, and the pending acquisition of SUSE Linux does not violate any agreement between Novell and SCO." In any case, he said, "Novell has received no formal communication from SCO and ... Novell will respond in due course should SCO choose to formally pursue this issue."

You can read the full story at eWeekis Web site.

In related news, CRN has published an interesting interview with SCO CEO Darl McBride. In that interview, Mr. McBride lays out more of his companyis plans for using litigation to increase SCOis revenues in more detail than he has previously. Included in that interview was an exchange where Mr. McBride likened Linux users to drug users. From CRN:

CRN: Can suing customers, as youive said you will, be good for any vendor?

McBride: First itis not our customers. I would say weire suing end users. There are only two industries who use the term iusers,i computers and drugs. Not sure if thereis a connection there. But the point is, weire not suing our customers. We are going after end users of Linux and I think thereis a slight but significant difference there.

You can read the rest of the interview at CRNis Web site. We recommend it as a very interesting read for those following this story.