PARK RIDGE, Ill. Executives at the SCO Group (Lindon, Utah), the maverick software company that's taking on IBM Corp. and the open source community, lashed out Friday (May 30) at their adversaries, particularly Novell, Inc.
During a press conference, SCO Group chief executive officer Darl McBride restated SCO's claim that it owns the Unix operating system, and implied that Novell (Provo, Utah) had a hidden agenda for insisting that it doesn't. McBride's statements came on the heels of an open letter issued by Novell on Wednesday, asserting that the intellectual property rights to Unix had never been transferred to SCO.
"We strongly disagree with Novell's position and view it as a desperate measure to curry favor with the Linux community," McBride said. He added that SCO has turned the "Novell matter" over to the company's attorneys.
SCO has made headlines in recent weeks by sending 1,500 letters to Fortune 1000 companies and other firms, contending that Linux infringes on the intellectual property of Linux, which it purchased in 1995. SCO has advised those companies to seek legal counsel if they use Linux.
Today's press conference, however, addressed the responses, particularly those of Novell , to SCO's actions.
McBride charged that SCO had arranged a meeting with a Novell executive earlier in the week to explain the infringements, but that the Novell executive reportedly never showed up. Instead, Novell issued an open letter on Wednesday stating that SCO does not own the copyrights and patents for Unix, which it sold to SCO eight years ago.
"Apparently you share this view, since over the last few months you have repeatedly asked Novell to tranfer the copyrights to SCO, requests that Novell has rejected," the letter said.
McBride countered that Novell is wrong about the patent and copyright issues, but added that "none of SCO's enforcement actions have been based on copyrights or patents, anyway."
The company said that its enforcement actions have been based on the contract rights that flow from its 30,000 Unix system licensees, not from patents.
SCO executives also addressed charges that they have failed to reveal the infringements, saying that they will next week begin showing evidence to industry analysts who agree to sign non-disclosure agreements.
"We will be showing direct lines of code from our Unix and Unixware source in the Linux kernel," said Chris Sontag, a senior vice president for SCO. "We are very confident of the evidence we have."