"And don't ignore that invoice we sent you"SCO Group has extended its Linux licensing programme to countries other than the US, calling it superior to indemnification moves by HP and Novell and once again warning user organisations that it will chase them for their use of the operating system.
"It could even be sooner than that," Chris Sontag, senior VP and general manager of SCOsource, told silicon.com. "And we may or may not come after a US-based company first."
The extension of the SCO Intellectual Property License for Linux - which covers what SCO claims is Unix code within Linux - hints at a non-US lawsuit, though Google, with its thousands of Linux-based servers, has been mentioned as a possible initial, high-profile target.
Hundreds of large users have so far received invoices for what SCO says is their use of its intellectual property (IP) within the open-source OS. Most have done nothing in response.
"I screwed mine up and threw it in the bin," one CIO told silicon.com last autumn.
SCOsource's Sontag said: "That's a mistake. They are making an assumption that this is [just] a problem [we have] with IBM... We have users who didn't realise the development process in Linux is so flawed. They jumped in."
Linux developer groups, distributors and large vendors - most notably IBM and Intel - have taken exception to SCO's accusations and actions. SCO is trying to convince users to buy its Linux licence - at $699 per year per server processor and $199 per desktop processor - characterising it as good value versus HP and Novell's indemnification at about $700 per year, which Sontag called "pseudo licensing".
SCO has also given licensees of its Unix source code - there are around 3,000 of them - until this weekend to declare that they, or anyone that has worked for them, haven't lifted any of its Unix code into Linux or elsewhere. In an advisory this month, law firm Bird and Bird said: "It would be a very considerable undertaking for a corporate licensee to respond in full to the SCO requirement to provide evidence for all of the confidentiality protections for all of its employees and contractors over the term of the Unix licence."
SCOsource's Sontag said: "It is problematic for recipients but an obligation they signed up to."