No New SCO Lawsuit Monday

by Don Marti

The SCO Group, which has made controversial copyright and trade secret threats against Linux users, is likely to announce a loss for its fourth quarter in a conference call Monday, but won't announce the anticipated lawsuit against a Linux-using firm at the same time. "We won't be announcing lawsuits Monday," said SCO spokesperson Blake Stowell in a phone interview Friday.

Stowell said that The SCO Group is, however, likely to make a different announcement "Monday before the market opens". SCO attorney David Boies said that the company would sue a Linux user over copyright issues "within the next 90 days" on November 18th.

Attorney Daniel Ravicher, executive director of the new Public Patent Foundation, said that there are several reasons why SCO would be trying to get into a copyright infringement case with a new defendant at the same time it is trying to get out of a copyright infringement case with Red Hat. "For Red Hat, this is a bet the company case," Ravicher said. "If they sue someone else, they have room to negotiate."

Red Hat could not settle with SCO and stay in business, while end user firms could, he added. "You don't want to get into a fight with someone who has their back to the wall and knows there is no escape." SCO may also want the case "on their home court in Utah instead of out in Delaware where Red Hat filed," he added. It's still mysterious where any copyright claims would come from. "They have no copyright claims against IBM. It would be interesting to see how they justify copyright claims against anyone else," Ravicher said.

Don Marti is Editor in Chief of Linux Journal.

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