"On 21 July 2003, SCO announced it received U.S. copyright
registrations for Unix System V source code. SCO claims that its IP
rights from UnixWare cover the latest kernel version of Linux,
v.2.4, which includes code important in symmetric multiprocessing
(SMP) scaling. SCO said it will offer UnixWare licenses to
enterprises that use Linux 2.4 and later and will not sue Linux
customers for past copyright violations if they buy a UnixWare
"SCO claims that Linux 2.4 could not have achieved its SMP
scaling capabilities without the illegal copying and
misappropriation of its IP. In compensation, SCO expects Linux
customers to negotiate a license agreement for the Unix binaries of
UnixWare 7.1.3. SCO didn't specify a price, but Gartner estimates
that a single unit license of UnixWare could cost from $500 to $700
per server, with discounts for volume deployments. The copyright
registration follows SCO's May 2003 letter warning 1,500 firms
using Linux that they could face legal action.
"If SCO's action succeeds against a few large enterprises, other
enterprises could start to negotiate license agreements, creating
hybrid open-source and proprietary software contracts..."
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