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Practical Technology: SCO Linux/Unix Licensing Nonsense

Jan 18, 2003, 04:00 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols)

"Recently, a story claimed that SCO would charge users $96 per CPU for a so-called one-time System 5 for Linux software license to protect their systems from SCO-enforced patent issues if they ante up as soon as demand is made. The fee would go up to $149 per CPU if SCO had to wait through a so-called 99-day 'amnesty period' for its money. Users of SCO Linux would get a free System 5 license.

"The tabloid style story, based on unnamed sources, even said that David Boies, of DOJ vs. Microsoft fame, had been hired by SCO to represent the company. Clearly the writer had never bothered to check with his firm, as Tina Gasperson, ace reporter for NewsForge, did in her coverage of the story, 'David Boies' secretary was adamant in her assertion that neither Boies nor any other attorney at Boies, Schiller, and Flexner was currently performing duties as 'IP advisor' for SCO.'

"Underneath the fear, uncertainty, and doubt spread by the story there was a kernel of truth. Darl McBride, SCO's CEO, did create an internal group in October 'to formalize the licensing of our intellectual property,' according to SCO documents, because, 'SCO is concerned about violations of our software license copyrights. SCO pays royalties on software, and we're asking companies/customers to do the same...'"

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