SCO blasts AU open source body's "don't pay" call

SCO blasts AU open source body's "don't pay" call

Summary: The SCO Group has moved to refute an Australian open source industry group's position paper arguing companies using Linux should not respond to demands from the software company for licence payments.SCO's Australian and New Zealand boss, Kieran O'Shaughnessy, told ZDNet Australia   that "nothing the umbrella group [Open Source Industry Australia] has been reported as saying changes SCO's belief in and commitment to pursuing our [intellectual property] claims and initiatives.

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TOPICS: Open Source, Linux
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The SCO Group has moved to refute an Australian open source industry group's position paper arguing companies using Linux should not respond to demands from the software company for licence payments.

SCO's Australian and New Zealand boss, Kieran O'Shaughnessy, told ZDNet Australia   that "nothing the umbrella group [Open Source Industry Australia] has been reported as saying changes SCO's belief in and commitment to pursuing our [intellectual property] claims and initiatives.

"We have a bona-fide belief in the veracity of our claims".

O'Shaughnessy's remarks came after a spokesperson for SCO in the US, Blake Stowell, told CBS Marketwatch that until the intellectual property issue was dealt with by the courts, it was up to customers whether or not to take OSIA's advice.

SCO shook up the tech world last year when it filed a lawsuit against IBM charging that Big Blue had included in its Linux software some source code from Unix, which SCO claims to control. SCO subsequently broadened its legal assault. One of its moves was to start selling licences to commercial users of Linux it claims would legitimise their use of the open source software and minimise any exposure to future legal action over alleged breaches of SCO's intellectual property.

Stowell reportedly told CBS that customers may be leaving themselves legally unprotected by not purchasing a licence.

However, the legal status of SCO's claims remains unclear, with IBM recently asking the US court presiding over the SCO litigation to issue a prompt ruling that Big Blue had not infringed on SCO's copyrights.

O'Shaughnessy also noted the OSIA paper, posted on the fledgling body's Web site earlier this week after what a key participant in the organisation said was two months' worth of drafting, did not presume to carry any legal authority.

"I would make note that this group appear to have made these assertions and statements about SCO's claims, but have also included an all-encompassing disclaimer of legal responsibility for their assertions," he said.

"They make these statements but are not prepared to stand behind them from a legal perspective.

"It's free advice that's worth the price".

O'Shaughnessy also said SCO would "never say never" about examining its legal options over comments made by individuals and groups it believed were incorrect and prejudicial to its interests. However, he stressed his remarks were a statement of commercial reality and not intended as a specific warning to OSIA.

He added that SCO was "quite within its rights to seek redress" from those who made inaccurate or malicious comments that endangered the company's business.

O'Shaughnessy also revealed he had been promoted from the position of regional general manager, Australia and New Zealand, to the post of regional director, Australia and New Zealand.

The promotion, which entailed no changes to his duties and responsibilities, represented "recognition by the company that I'm on the right track in the territory," he said.

Topics: Open Source, Linux

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13 comments
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  • Astonishing. These SCOundrels have absolutely NO fear of making endless threats of lawsuit after lawsuit DESPITE the fact that to date, well over a year after filing their first suit against IBM, SCO has not produced an iota of evidence to back up their claims. On top of this, they have made contradicting claims in each of their lawsuits with regards to each of their other lawsuits. This elaborate shell game that SCO is playing with the American court system and public opinion the world over is going to come crashing down around them, and unfortunately all those who may have been suckered into investing in them. I just hope the SEC investigates this outrageous and illegal behavior with as much zeal as they went after Martha Stewart.
    anonymous
  • O'Shaughnessy also noted..."I would make note that this group appear to have made these assertions and statements about SCO's claims, but have also included an all-encompassing disclaimer of legal responsibility for their assertions," he said.
    "They make these statements but are not prepared to stand behind them from a legal perspective.

    So very convincing. But I am having trouble finding where SCO will refund your license fee in full if their claims fail in court.
    It would seem that this talk of "standing behind" what you offer is one sided, as always, with SCO.
    anonymous
  • Woof woof.

    I'm quaking in my boots...

    SCO, until a court shows you actually have the rights you claim, anyone who pays your extor^H^H^H^H^H license fees needs their heads examined.
    anonymous
  • Hasn't anyone come across the fax directory or domain name registration invoicing scams of the past. The SCO invoicing / demanding payment is no different. Under law of contract there has been NO offer and NO acceptance so any invoice would be groundless. Until the courts decide otherwise, SCO does NOT have a basis for making their claims.
    anonymous
  • Explain why you put out something purporting to represent informed legal opinion and then deny that it is.

    OSIA increasingly look like clowns.
    anonymous
  • Kieran, find yourself a real job and spare yourself some embarrassment. Your company is yet to provide a single line of infringing code in Linux. SCO's supposed code isn't SCO's at all - there is no transfer of copyright in the APA.

    Once you start looking for a new position, eveyone will be asking the same question: "Ah, so you're the guys that claimed publicly that Linux is infringing on Unix without any proof. Why exactly should we give you this position?"
    anonymous
  • > Explain why you put out something purporting to represent informed legal opinion and then deny that it is.

    Because they are not lawyers, so the MUST have a disclaimer.
    anonymous
  • He added that SCO was "quite within its rights to seek redress" from those who made inaccurate or malicious comments that endangered the company's business [of making inaccurate or malacious comments to endager other company's businesses.
    anonymous
  • They don't have much choice really, and this shouldn't be considered news.

    If they suddenly admit now that they were wrong, they open up the flood gates to being sued off the planet. If someone asks their oppinion, they can't go and agree with a paper that claims that they're completely wrong.
    anonymous
  • "I would make note that this group appear to have made these assertions and statements about SCO's claims, but have also included an all-encompassing disclaimer of legal responsibility for their assertions," he said.

    I believe that this is standard practice "everyone puts in an out" Nothing unusual here!

    It's no different to software licences saying that the vendor is not liable for loss or damage and you use the software at you own risk.

    Just more FUD from SCO!
    anonymous
  • Lawyers and Iotas:

    Even if the group was a bunch of lawyers, they'd still be hard pressed WRT putting a disclaimer on their article. Most Lawyers' societies take about as grim a view of lawyers giving out free advice as they do of non lawyers giving out something that looks like legal advice.

    Besides-- absent something really blatent -- like that killing babies is generally illegal, there can always be special circumstances that can make any given (and otherwise good) legal opinion moot.

    One (retired) lawyer on GrokLaw had a footer that ended with something like:
    If you want a real opinion, buy one from somebody with a license to sell it.

    And to return the observation in kind: I note that O'Shaughnessy also couched his declaration in all sorts of conditionals, even though he actually said a lot less.

    I see SCO's repeated vague warnings about 'being open to litigation' as roughly equivalent to warnings about being open to being hit by a metorite if you go outside without buying a kevlar umbrella.
    anonymous
  • If SCO had no evidence at all there would have been a summary judgment already. I think many people are going to be surprised that SCO has some success in the courts.
    anonymous
  • I am a proponent of Windows & MS Server products, but that essentially does not insulate (or make me laugh about this) in regard to SCO's claims. I believe it to be counter productive to the industry, causes people to worry over whether or not they have legal software, and generally treats the entire industry to a rollercoaster ride (Up, down, up, down...)
    My opionion is that SCO is full of crap, and to try and take ownership for something like like this is ridiculous. I have read the transcripts and I am in agreement with IBM. Stuff you SCO!
    ratty2