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IBM claims anti-Linux conspiracy

An IBM executive told delegates at an Australian conference that a 'set of forces' was attempting to derail Linux - including, but not limited to, Microsoft and SCO

IBM eServer iSeries general manager sales Al Zollar yesterday told delegates attending the company’s Asia Pacific Strategic Planning Conference in Queensland that a “set of forces” was attempting to stymie adoption of the open-source operating system.

“They're mostly located in Redmond although they have recruited a few allies,” said Zollar.

He then indicated that SCO -- which is currently making intellectual property claims over code contained in some versions of Linux and manoeuvring to extract licence fees from commercial applications of the operating system -- was part of the alliance.

The licence claims were the latest of a series of events since SCO and IBM became embroiled in a high-profile legal dispute over the code. SCO claims that it has intellectual property rights over portions of code that IBM, among other companies, misappropriated and added to Linux source. It alleges that the code was lifted directly from a version of Unix System V, over which it has claimed copyright.

IBM did not take the opportunity to elaborate on Zollar’s statement about the alleged relationship between the two companies.

Some industry observers and open-source proponents claim that SCO’s legal dispute is a deliberate move to create uncertainty over the intellectual property rights of collaboratively developed software applications.

IBM has made clear its belief in the importance of Linux to its customer offerings and server strategy.

IBM yesterday said that it had witnessed 600 percent growth in the deployment of Linux in its iSeries mid-range server platform throughout the Asia Pacific region. However, the company added that the operating system was not yet being used for core applications.

Zollar said Linux progress in the enterprise space was unstoppable and he described SCO’s claims as “silly”.