SCO has announced a rare customer win for its Intellectual Property License for Linux, covering code it claims has been copied into Linux from Unix System V.
The Lindon, Utah-based company has signed EV1Servers.net, the dedicated hosting division of Everyones Internet, to the scheme. The license was announced on the same day a new survey was released indicating there remains significant opposition to SCO’s licensing plan.
Houston, Texas-based EV1Servers.net has become one of the few named customers to license the code that SCO claims has been copied into Linux. Under the terms of the deal SCO has provided the hosting firm with a site license that allows the use of the code in binary form on all Linux servers at each of its hosting facilities. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The SCO agreement eliminates uncertainty from our clients’ hosting infrastructure, said Robert Marsh, CEO of Everyones Internet. Our current and future users now enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that their web sites and data are hosted on a SCO IP compliant platform.
In August 2003 SCO announced that an unnamed Fortune 500 company had acquired a license for the code, but other than Microsoft and Sun Microsystems the company has had few takers for its licensing schemes.
The license also means that SCO will not sue EV1Servers.net for copyright infringement. On November 18, 2003, SCO gave businesses running Linux 90 days to respond to its claims that they are responsible for copyright infringement arising from Unix code that SCO says has been copied into Linux.
That deadline has now passed and while there have been no formal moves by SCO with regards to litigation against Linux users, the company will be hoping that by signing up one of the biggest and fastest growing hosting providers to its licensing program it will encourage many others that it is serious.
Those hopes may be dashed, however, if a recent survey of Linux developers by Evans Data Corp is anything to go by. According to the company’s Spring 2004 Linux Development Survey, 90% of Linux developers do not believe that SCO’s claims against Linux have merit.
Just 2.9% of respondents thought that SCO’s claims absolutely had merit, with 5.3% responding probably, 17.9% responding probably not, and 54.7% responding absolutely not.
Given that the survey was carried out with developers working with the Linux operating system, you would probably expect them to take a dim view of SCO’s claims, however they are not responding out of blind faith with the open source operating system. Nearly 60% have evaluated the intellectual property risks of Linux.
Almost two-thirds of developers also stated that even if SCO were to win its case it would only have a minimal effect on their Linux development plans. That point of view was echoed recently by Roland Whitehead, global director of technology at fine art auction house Bonhams, which is in the process of moving its entire systems to Linux.
This article is based on material originally published by ComputerWire