SCO Sues AutoZone, Readies Suit Against DaimlerChrysler

The SCO Group Inc., pushing ahead with its threats to sue Linux users, on Wednesday said it has sued auto parts chain AutoZone Inc., and is close to doing the

March 4, 2004

2 Min Read
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The SCO Group Inc., pushing ahead with its threats to sue Linux users, on Wednesday said it has sued auto parts chain AutoZone Inc., and is close to doing the same against auto giant DaimlerChrysler Corp.

SCO, which claims ownership of code contained in the open source operating system, filed on Tuesday a copyright infringement suit against Memphis, Tenn.-based, AutoZone in a federal court in Nevada.

The suit alleges the defendant violated SCO's copyrights by running versions of the Linux operating system that contain "code, structure, sequence and/or organization from SCO's proprietary Unix System V code," a SCO statement said.

Linux is a cousin of the Unix operating system, and SCO claims its Unix copyrighted code was inserted in Linux by IBM. SCO has filed a $5 billion suit against the high-tech giant, which denies the allegations.

SCO is asking the U.S. District Court for an injunction preventing AutoZone from continuing with the violation, and is seeking damages "in an amount to proven at trial."In the DaimlerChrysler case, SCO said it planned to file a lawsuit on Wednesday, alleging that the carmaker has violated its Unix software agreement with SCO. It was not immediately clear how the violation involved Linux.

The suit, which is expected to be filed in Oakland County Circuit Court in Michigan, will ask the court to prevent Chrysler from further violations of the software agreement, order the company to fix the effects of past violations, and to award damages in an amount determined at trial.

DamilerChrysler was not immediately available for comment, and a AutoZone spokesman, responding to an e-mail, declined comment, saying: "We have not seen the lawsuit."

Last year, SCO sent letters to 1,500 companies, warning them that their use of Linux violated the company's copyright on a significant portion of code within the operating system. The Lindon, Utah-based software maker has hired high-powered law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP to handle the case.

SCO has refused to say how many companies have agreed to buy its Linux license, but Darl McBride, president and chief executive, said in a teleconference Wednesday that it was "less than 50."SCO's claims have led to a legal tangle, which started last year with SCO's suit against IBM, claiming the latter company violated its Unix license by inserting some of SCO' copyrighted code into Linux.

SCO's Linux claims are also the basis for its suit against Provo, Utah-based Novell Inc., which sold the Unix System 5 code to SCO in 1995, when SCO went by the name of Caldera. Novell has claimed SCO doesn't have the right to demand licensing fees.

Red Hat Inc., the top Linux seller, also has challenged SCO's claims in its own suit against the software maker.

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