SCO makes no IP licence sales in ANZ

The SCO Group has not sold a single intellectual property licence in Australia or New Zealand since they became available last month.

Despite a strong warning from The SCO Group that Linux users who do not buy a licence can expect a tap on the shoulder with the Unix developer reserving the right to seek redress through the courts, Australian organisations have chosen not to act.

A hit list of companies to be targetted by SCO is still being prepared although the group's general manager Kieran O'Shaughnessy said direct approaches to organisations have already begun.

Country Energy systems operations manager David Peters doesn’t believe that SCO will be getting in touch with his employer.

“I can’t imagine that SCO would be contacting organisations of our size at the moment,” Peter said.

Whether Country Energy will purchase the licence, Peters believes, is a decision to be made by an organisation's legal department, not an IT department.

“We certainly wouldn’t buy the licence unless we were legally advised to do so,” Peters said.

"We would also have to consider a whole range of issues, like whether the cost will be significant to the company."

Meanwhile, O’Shaughnessy has confirmed introductory discussions with a number of organisations are under way adding that the licence is necessary for companies wanting to leverage their Linux investments and continue business without interruption.

“So far we’ve had a mix of responses, but generally organisations have been very interested to hear directly from SCO about the licences," O’Shaugnessy said.

The hit list, he said, is a work in progress "so we will be adding names to it for ever and a day".

The SCO IP Licence is currently available at the introductory pricing of $999 per server processor, $285 per desktop processor and the company is also offering the licence to embedded device manufacturers that use Linux to run their devices.

Legal barrage continues

The SCO Group aimed more legal fire at IBM last week, filing a motion to amend its Linux complaint against the company ahead of a new hearing.

SCO said in court papers the motion "adds claims that have arisen since the filing of the case".

SCO hopes to add two copyright infringement claims to its complaint, a person familiar with the proceedings told Computerworld. Each claim could increase the amount of damages sought by $US1 billion, expanding the total damages at stake in the case to $US5 billion, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The amendment will be the second since SCO filed its initial suit against IBM in March of last year, claiming that Big Blue misappropriated trade secrets related to its Unix licence in order to benefit its Linux business.

SCO first amended its complaint against IBM in June, increasing the damages amount at the time from $1 billion to $3 billion.

The case is set for trial on April 11, 2005.

- Scarlet Pruitt and Joris Evers

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