[Talk] MEDIA RELEAE: Open Source Victoria updates complaint against The SCO Group with the ACCC

Con Zymaris conz at cyber.com.au
Thu Feb 19 14:32:29 EST 2004


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Open Source Victoria updates complaint against The SCO Group with
the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Melbourne -- 19 February 2004

The Open Source Victoria (OSV) industry cluster has recently filed an
updated complaint with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
(ACCC) against The SCO Group in response to that company's ongoing
requests for licence fees for Linux from users.

By a press release dated 20 January 2004 the SCO Group Inc (SCO)
(www.sco.com or www.thescogroup.com) announced the availability of a
licence which permits the use of SCOs intellectual property, in binary
form only, as contained in Linux distributions (the SCOSource Initiative).
SCOs press release, and representations made on SCO's website, raise a
number of issues of concern for Open Source Victoria (OSV), because SCO
appears to be saying some of SCO's existing licences are not effective.

"OSV understands that SCO is currently involved in a dispute over
whether or not it has any copyright entitlements in respect of parts of
the code in Linux," stated OSV member Brendan Scott. "We consider
that, as this complaint does not involve any representation as to SCO's
copyright holdings, then even assuming SCO is awarded all these rights
and wins its arguments against IBM, Novell and others, they do not have
any substantive effect on this complaint."

"SCO has already licensed different versions of the Linux kernel to
consumers and resellers and now appears to be saying those licenses are
not effective according to their plain terms," continued Scott.

OSV notes that the terms of the licence are specifically directed to
consumers who, in addition to using the SCO Versions themselves, are also
contemplating supplying them to others.  It is not an uncommon practice
for acquirers of a Linux kernel to then on supply that kernel to others as
part of a service offering.  If SCO's initial licence grants were not
effective, both the initial takers, and anyone to whom they have on
supplied the kernel could be affected.  Any such uncontested reversal of
the previously stipulated licence has the potential to be very damaging
both to consumers and to businesses who acquired the kernel from SCO for
the purpose of on supply.

In the view of OSV, if SCO has previously offered to licence
specific versions (2.2 and 2.4) of the Linux kernel on the terms of the
GPL then:

(a) SCO should be required to be held to those licence terms in respect
    of existing licensees. Those licences should be declared to be
    valid and effective;

(b) where a consumer acquired a copy of the relevant Linux kernels from
    SCO prior to the commencement of SCOs SCOSource intitiative, then
    that consumer should be entitled to the grant of a licence by SCO
    on terms which are of the same effect as the GPL;

(c) any marketing conducted by SCO in relation to its SCOSource
    initiative should explicitly state that existing licensees of
    OpenLinux and SCOLinux products are not required to acquire any
    additional licences and that such existing licences are valid and
    enforceable according to their terms;

(d) SCO should correct its existing advertisements and advertise those

The full source of the updated OSV complaint can be seen here:

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About Open Source Victoria

Open Source Victoria is an Industry Cluster consisting of over 100
Victorian firms and developers which provide services and technology
related to Free and Open Source Software (FOSS.) Open Source Victoria
offers marketing, advocacy and information referral services, and aims to
raise the profile of FOSS in Victoria and work with other similar
organisations across Australia.


Contact: Con Zymaris
Phone: 03 9621 2377
Fax: 03 9621 2477
Email: conz at cyber.com.au

Con Zymaris <conz at cyber.com.au> Level 4, 10 Queen St, Melbourne, Australia 
Cybersource: Australia's Leading Linux and Open Source Solutions Company 
Web: http://www.cyber.com.au/  Phone: 03 9621 2377   Fax: 03 9621 2477

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