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UK users may face SCO action

The SCO Group could target UK-based Linux users after it filed its first lawsuits against enterprise users of the open source...

The SCO Group could target UK-based Linux users after it filed its first lawsuits against enterprise users of the open source operating system last week, lawyers have warned.

Car giant DaimlerChrysler and US-based vehicle parts retailer AutoZone were the first companies to be sued by SCO.

UK companies could also be in SCO's firing line, even though its rights over the operating system code are being disputed in foreign courts, said Clive Seddon, IT partner at law firm Masons.

"Any UK company that is unlucky enough to be sued could ask a court to wait for the outcome of the IBM and Novell cases, but that would be a matter for the court's discretion, and the fact that these other cases are overseas makes it less likely that a court in the UK would grant such a request," he said.

However, David Roberts, chairman of the Corporate IT Forum Tif, said, "The view of our members has been to ignore SCO. I have not met any user who sees it as a valid claim."

SCO's lawsuits, which seek undetermined damages, came in the same week that US hosting company EV1Servers.net signed intellectual property licensing agreements to guard against future Unix or Linux claims.

SCO has claimed that Computer Associates has taken out a Linux licence, although CA said SCO was not accurately describing the agreements between the two companies.

The lawsuit against DaimlerChrysler alleged that the car maker had violated its software licensing agreement with SCO by refusing to provide a requested "certification of compliance" as part of a software audit. DaimlerChrysler has been using Linux and a 108-node IBM server cluster for vehicle crash analysis and simulation since 2002.

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