What if a behemoth, multi-billion dollar company used something that belonged to you to make a fortune? You’d want a piece of it, right?
That’s the simple argument of the SCO Group, of Lindon, Utah. SCO claims that IBM has leaked some of its Unix code into Linux, the open-source software program. It filed suit against IBM in March for $1 billion, a number that has been increased to $3 billion on last count.
But that’s just the beginning. In May, SCO also sent letters to 1,500 large companies warning that Linux is tainted with its stolen code, and those that use it
they may be legally responsible. That’s when all hell broke loose. Never mind that major corporations like IBM and Novell are betting their business on Linux. SCO also awakened the ire of geeks everywhere, mobilizing a force of fervent open source advocates who are pillorying the software company on chat groups, launched a denial-of-service attack on its Web site, and picketed its headquarters. Of course, it doesn’t help that just two months ago, SCO, a former Linux supplier, was one of them. That’s where SCO’s simple argument starts to get a little sticky.”