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The Guardian: Time for Rearguard Action

Jul 25, 2003, 04:00 (10 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Glyn Mody)

"And yet, just when everything seemed to be going so well, GNU/Linux is facing its potentially most damaging attack, and from an unlikely quarter: a company that has done much to help make GNU/Linux a viable business solution.

"Caldera was set up in 1994 to produce a business-oriented version of GNU/Linux, at that time very much a hacker's system. One important move was to acquire the rights to the Unix operating system from the company SCO in August 2000. GNU/Linux was largely modelled on Unix, and so this seemed to ensure there would be no legal problems in terms of intellectual property issues--always a danger while Unix was owned by a company competing with the open source operating system.

"Despite its many contributions to the GNU/Linux world, Caldera never enjoyed the same kind of success there as Red Hat, for example. As a result, new management decided to take a different tack. Renaming the company as SCO in August 2002 signalled a new focus on the Unix side of the business. This culminated on March 7 in the filing of a lawsuit against IBM alleging 'misappropriation of trade secrets, tortious interference, unfair competition and breach of contract,' and requesting damages 'no less than $1bn...'"

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