No escape from SCO licence fee, Linux users warned


No escape from SCO licence fee, Linux users warned

Karl Cushing, reporting from Las Vegas

SCO has warned Linux users that they will still need to buy one of its licences even if they manage to take out the code it claims was misappropriated from its Unix operating system.


In July, when SCO announced its controversial licensing programme for users of Linux software containing the 2.4 kernel or above, Linux distributors SuSE and Red Hat said the infringing code could be replaced in weeks, if not days, if SCO was to go public with it, negating the need for users to buy a licence. Then, at the recent Linux World event, another company unveiled a product it claimed would help Linux users "sniff out" the offending code on their servers.


However, Chris Sontag, senior vice president and general manager of the firm's SCOsource division, said even if users were able to replace the infringing code, SCO will pursue them for compensation claims through its licensing programme.


"For one thing [replacing the offending code] doesn't solve the past problems," he said.


SCO also believes that Linux distributors are also Red Hat and SuSE are also “significantly underestimating” the disputed code. It estimated that the amount of Unix code in Linux could be greater than 25%.


Sontag added that only SCO has the right to look at its Unix code and it has no intention of allowing others such as Red Hat to look at it.

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