SCO threatens UK Linux users and defends licence plan

SCO Group has defended its new licensing structure for Linux users and threatened to prosecute unlicensed UK firms.

SCO Group has defended its new licensing structure for Linux users and threatened to prosecute unlicensed UK firms.

Chris Sontag, senior vice president and general manager of SCOsource, the company’s intellectual property licensing division, claimed the pricing model is “very reasonable” and represents “a fraction” of the damage caused to Unix by the alleged misappropriation of its System V Unix code into Linux.

Even though the legal cases could drag on for years, end users need to pay for licences now or face the consequences, Sontag claimed.

“SCO has the right to defend its copyright all the way down to the end user,” said Sontag. “If necessary we will start picking end users to enforce our rights.”

Sontag warned that SCO had no qualms about enforcing its claimed rights anywhere in the world - including the UK.

However, industry experts remain unconvinced by SCO’s claims and advised users not to part with their money.

Butler Group analyst Tim Jennings said SCO was "clutching at straws”. “You just can’t go around alienating the user community like that,” he said.

Jennings did not expect any UK users to buy the licences and strongly advised against doing so. “Don’t give SCO any credibility by going down that road,” he said.

Users who buy one of SCO’s licences before 15 October will pay $699 (£432) for a single CPU system, rising to $1,399 (£834) thereafter. SCO is also set to release pricing models for multiple CPU systems, single CPU add-ons, desktop systems and embedded systems. Volume discounts are available.

Users that do not buy a licence now could end up paying a “substantially higher” price in the future though more expensive licences or prosecution “or both”, Sontag warned.

Details of SCO’s licensing model are available on its website www.sco.com/scosource

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