SCO to invoice Linux users

3 Sep 2003

Litigious software maker SCO has said that it plans to start invoicing Linux users, imposing Unix fees for Linux use, before the month is out.

The company said in recent weeks that it wants businesses using Linux to start paying €699 for a single processor Linux server.

Sending invoices, while a more aggressive move, still stop short of the kind of legal actions that the company threatened before. In July, SCO chief executive Darl McBride described the licensing program as “a solution that gets you square with the use of Linux without having to go to the courtroom”.

SCO will pursue commercial Linux users who have discussed their Linux work publicly, the company said.

SCO has been embroiled in legal battles with IBM and Linux distributor Red Hat over claims that Linux contains specific Unix code developed by SCO.

In a much publicised court case, SCO claims that IBM illegally inserted Unix code into its version of Linux. SCO sued IBM for US$1bn in March, increasing the claim to US$3bn charging that IBM had taken parts of the Unix code and introduced them into Linux, violating SCO’s intellectual property rights.

IBM launched a counterattack against SCO earlier this month with its own lawsuit. It was followed by Linux distributor Red Hat in a suit aimed at clearing itself from claims of copyright infringement.

By John Kennedy