At the same time that the U.S. Copyright Office was awarding SCO the copyright to System IV Unix late last month, the company magnanimously decreed that any commercial Linux customer purchasing a new UnixWare license would not be liable for past copyright violations.
SCO will apparently be targeting Fortune 1000 and Global 500 companies with these new licenses. Any company currently running version 2.4 or above of the Linux kernel can escape future legal action by licensing UnixWare 7.1.3. In the eyes of SCO, this UnixWare license will allow companies to legally operate a run-time, binary version of Linux.
Soon after SCO's announcement hit the streets, the company's stock price jumped, and Gartner analysts were cautioning businesses to delay implementation of Linux in the enterprise.
SCO had previously stated, rather vehemently, that its lawsuit against IBM was based on a contract violation, not a copyright violation. But as is often the case when a company is fraught with financial troubles and a history of failed initiatives, SCO had to do something when its lawsuit failed to produce the intended results--an acquisition by, or settlement from, IBM.
SCO's latest move is nothing more than a revenue-generating tactic that must certainly have its Microsoft backers giggling with glee, given Microsoft's recent admission that Linux is, after all, its largest threat in the enterprise market.