The SCO Group, which yesterday announced plans to sue two Linux users in the US, says it has started discussions with New Zealand companies about its claims of copyright over Linux source code.
Kieran O’Shaughnessy, SCO’s general manager for Australia and New Zealand, says the company started talks with “a couple” of local firms last month. He declined to discuss which companies had been contacted or the industries they represent.
O’Shaughnessy isn’t certain when the talks might be resolved. “We’re a good bit behind the US in terms of process,” he says. “I haven’t got a feel for a timeframe.”
Asked whether the first contact had come from SCO or the Linux users, O’Shaughnessy says both. Discussions are at an “educational” stage, he says. “There’s no animosity. The people we’re talking to are interested to find out what the situation is.”
SCO claims ownership of “derivative works” of Unix, which it says includes software that IBM and other companies contributed to the Linux open source operating system.
The claims have been widely derided by Linux advocates, but SCO has kept up the pressure. In August last year the company announced its Linux “licence”, giving Linux users “the right to use SCO IP”.
Licences started at $US699 for a single-CPU server. Two local Linux users, Massey University and Weta Digital — which would be up for $US100,000 and over $US1 million respectively — said they didn’t intend to buy licences. Neither organisation was available at deadline to say whether it had held discussions with SCO.
SCO, meanwhile, turned up the heat in its IP dispute with Linux companies in the US by announcing plans to sue automaker DaimlerChrysler and car parts retailer AutoZone.
The SCO Group claims DaimlerChrysler violated its licence agreement with SCO and wants costs, damages “to be determined at trial”, and an order that the company honour its agreement. AutoZone, known as a Red Hat user, is accused simply of violating SCO copyrights by running Linux.
SCO is also occupied in court proceedings with IBM, which it accuses of copyright infringement.
Earlier last week SCO said the first companies it would sue are its own customers, companies which already have a pre-existing SCO licence — such as DaimlerChrysler.