SCO has second thoughts about Groklaw alternative

The SCO Group is reconsidering its plans to launch an alternative to the Groklaw.net Web site that had been scheduled to go live this week, a company spokeswoman said Monday.

Nearly one month after promising to launch the Web site, which was to provide information on SCO's various legal disputes, a number of undisclosed issues are causing the company to have second thoughts on the project, said Janielle Fernandes, a spokeswoman for the software vendor. "It's still up for debate whether the Web site will ever go up," she said.

Fernandes cited "legal and management concerns about the content of the Web site" as precipitating the review, but declined to comment on specifics.

After having its every legal move dissected on the Groklaw.net Web site for more than a year, SCO executives last month decided to launch a Web site of their own, devoted to providing information and legal filings about SCO's various legal disputes. The site had been scheduled to go live on Monday, Nov. 1, SCO said at the time.

"We will be launching a Web site in a few weeks to tell our side of the story," said Darl McBride, SCO's president and chief executive officer, while announcing the Web site at the Etre conference in Cannes last month.

In October, SCO officials said the site would use the domain name Prosco.net. That name has now been dropped in favor of SCOinfo.com, should the project go forward, Fernandes said. "The name was changed to support the purpose of the Web site," she said. "The purpose is to provide factual information regarding SCO's litigation, thus the name SCOinfo.com."

On Monday afternoon, SCOinfo.com displayed the identical one-page boilerplate as the Prosco.net Web site. Billing itself as "the right place for SCO intellectual property information," the page provided links to information on SCO's lawsuits with IBM and Novell and said, "SCO is anticipating that it will use this site as the future home for all information relating to SCO's pending lawsuits and related issues."

Whether and when SCOinfo.com will ever contain this information is still up for debate within the company, Fernandes said.

SCO is presently involved in a number of legal disputes related to contract claims as well as its assertion that Linux violates its intellectual property, including suits with IBM, Novell, Red Hat, Autozone, and DaimlerChrysler.

Started shortly after the 2003 launch of SCO's multibillion dollar lawsuit against IBM, Groklaw began as a Web log for Linux enthusiast Pamela Jones, a paralegal working for a law firm at the time. It has evolved into an open-source project itself, where legal filings are meticulously dissected by an army of volunteers.

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