SCO Business

Top Stories: - There's no business like SCO business

Top Stories:

- There's no business like SCO business

- There's no business like SCO business

Having opened this FryUp and read the first line you hereby have agreed to pay me, the short order cook, no less than $A285 plus GST if you're using a desktop processor and $A999 plus GST if you're on a network. I don't take cheques but will accept bags of cash.

There. Sorted. Now I can sit back and set my lawyers on to each and every one of you and feel good about myself. That's a relief.

Really, it's all just silliness. The SCO Group claims to own intellectual property that's being used willy-nilly in various Linux distributions and as such is about to start suing anyone who is using it without a licence. Since the various Linux operating systems are generally termed "open source" they're usually cheap or free to download and use. You may have heard of them.

So a large number of people and companies around the world are potentially affected and should be paying SCO lots of money. Weta, for example, has a 2000-processor Linux cluster that it used to create those fabulous Oliphants in Return of the King. That's around $2.5 million it should be paying SCO according to SCO.

Oddly, there aren't that many customers rushing to pay SCO the money, certainly not in this part of the world. First they want to know what they're paying for - and since Linux operating systems are open source they point to the source code and say "show me the code and we'll either remove it or pay you". SCO has so far not managed to show anyone this code.

So basically SCO is saying you owe us money for a product we may not own but we'll sue you if you don't pay.

The Australians have not taken kindly to this and one Perth company has told SCO to put up or shut up; it is threatening to sue SCO for fraud. They don't take kindly to such things in Perth, evidently.

Also the Aussie equivalent of the Commerce Commission is looking into the matter. The ACCC has teeth and likes to take big bites out of such issues. That should be fun to watch.

SCO is really in a tricky position here - if it can't prove it owns the code it's lost out big time and has egg and legal bills all over its face. If, by some miracle, it can prove it has the rights to the code then I imagine an army of open source users will descend on the various flavours of Linux with their digital scouring pads and remove any trace of it, so SCO won't get any cash out of them that way.

Either way this has to go down in history as one of the dumbest marketing moves of all time. It makes the boys and girls at the RIAA look positively beneficent when they threaten to sue 12-year-olds for file sharing. Way to go.

SCO releases NZ pricing for Linux - Computerworld Online

Australian firm tells SCO to detail evidence - Sydney Morning Herald

Local interest in SCO 'licences' - The Australian

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