internetnews.com: What To Do If SCO Comes Knocking

“Analysts contacted by internetnews.com recommended three
general strategies: be sure to consult with legal counsel, keep
abreast of existing indemnification programs, and–if your legal
adviser deems it appropriate–don’t pay license fees.

“The latter is the tack suggested by George Weiss, Gartner’s
analyst for Linux and operating systems. ‘Gartner has recommended
that users not pay any license fees,’ to SCO, he told
internetnews.com, noting that the recommendation is ‘not trying to
pass judgment’ on the validity of SCO’s suits…

“Rather, Weiss thinks that immediate payment isn’t wise because
the burden of proving that fees are required should be on the SCO
camp and not on the user.

“But what to do if, as a Linux user, your shop gets a letter
from SCO raising issues about use of Linux and its own copyright
claim? According to Weiss, the ‘user only has to respond in some
way [to indicate] that they acknowledge being at the end of the

“Indeed, Weiss said the response might go on to note ‘that they
are at this point unclear and uncertain about what the claims are,
that no judgment has been rendered in a court, and that SCO needs
to clearly state [its] case and show proof.’

“Weiss noted that SCO hasn’t yet won any cases in court that
clearly give it the right to extract fees from Linux users. So, in
that sense, he added, asking for clear proof and evidence of any
license claim makes sense. ‘Otherwise, any company that gets a
letter in the mail stating they’ve violated intellectual property
(IP) could be paying license fees to quacks…'”


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