11 January 2006 Software maker the SCO Group has finally taken direct action against a Linux vendor, nearly three years after it initiated complaints that the open source operating system infringed its copyright.
SCO has filed papers with a US District Court Judge in Utah alleging that Novell – a Linux distributor – “infringed, and continues to infringe SCO’s copyrights by copying … and/or distributing Linux products containing unauthorised contributions of SCO’s copyrighted intellectual property.”
The controversial software maker is already embroiled in a long running dispute with IBM, which it accuses of submitting code SCO ‘owns’ to the Linux kernel.
SCO has also targeted end users, including car parts retailer AutoZone and automotive giant DaimlerChrysler, in its battle against Linux.
But while SCO has fought slander cases against Novell, it had, until now, not chosen to press its copyright claims.
A spokesperson for SCO has offered one explanation: the new charge follows allegations made by Novell in July 2005 in a suit against SCO. “Novell’s counterclaims significantly expand the scope of the litigation, such that it is sensible for SCO to add the new claims,” he said.
The software company also seeks to add an unfair competition claim and two charges of breach of contract to the revised complaint.