SCO website shut down in ongoing open source row

26 Aug 2003

The increasingly acrimonious row between the SCO Group and the open source software community over the company’s legal campaign against Linux has plummeted to new depths with a denial of service (DOS) attack shutting down the company’s website.

The DOS attack, which closed the company’s site over the weekend, is understood to have been launched by an individual angry at comments from SCO executives criticising the open source community’s role in the legal battles over Linux.

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.

Separate from the IBM lawsuit, SCO has said that Unix code was copied directly into Linux and the company is seeking payments of as much as US$1,399 per computer from Linux users, sending shockwaves through the IT industry worldwide.

By John Kennedy