August 14, 2003

OSDL releases Q&A about SCO's legal actions

BEAVERTON, OR, August 14, 2003 - The Open Source Development Lab (OSDL), a
global consortium of leading technology companies dedicated to accelerating
the adoption of Linux, today released a Q&A paper written by noted
technology law and intellectual property expert Lawrence Rosen. The paper
asks and answers key questions about SCO Group's current lawsuit against IBM
and about its threatened litigation against users of Linux. The Q&A paper is
designed to help Linux users with information to better understand the legal
issues in this case, and to help them evaluate their own position with
respect to SCO's demand for license fees from companies that continue to use

In his paper, Rosen identifies some of the legal issues raised by the SCO
Group's claims as they relate to Linux development and usage. He does not
offer legal advice, but rather frames some of the key questions that
companies should ask their own counsel about their use of Linux. He points
out that SCO has a long way to go before it can assert broad intellectual
property claims against an operating system that was written by thousands of
open source programmers worldwide.

As we have noted before, we see no evidence that end users are slowing down
their Linux implementation plans because of SCO's actions said Stuart
Cohen, OSDL CEO. Mr. Rosen's paper is designed to help users assess whether
or not they need to purchase a license to use Linux. We want all those in
the Linux industry to know OSDL's position on this issue: Absent clear, open
and publicly available evidence that using Linux violates rights that SCO
has not already freely conferred by distributing Linux under the GPL license
over the course of several years, there is real doubt as to whether end
users should purchase a license from SCO.

Key issues covered in Rosen's paper include:

  • Extent to which the Linux operating system is involved in SCO vs. IBM

  • Extent to which any single entity has copyright control over Linux
  • Assessment of impact SCO vs. IBM may have on users of Linux

The real legal issue in this case is between two companies, not between a
software provider and end users, nor between a company and an operating
system, Rosen says. Users should be completely informed of their rights
and obligations, if any, before they take steps to purchase a software
license they may never need.

To read the entire paper, please visit the OSDL Web site at: l

Lawrence Rosen is founding partner of Rosenlaw & Einschlag, a technology law
firm, with offices in Los Altos Hills and Ukiah, California
( He also servers as general counsel and secretary of
Open Source Initiative (, which reviews and approves open
source licenses and educates the public about open source issues.

About the Open Source Development Lab

OSDL - home to Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux - is dedicated to
accelerating the growth and adoption of Linux in the enterprise. Founded in
2000 and supported by a global consortium of IT industry leaders, OSDL is a
non-profit organization that provides state-of the-art computing and test
facilities in the United States and Japan available to developers around the
world. OSDL sponsors include Alcatel, Cisco, Computer Associates, Dell,
Ericsson, Force Computers, Fujitsu, HP, Hitachi, IBM, Intel, Linuxcare,
Miracle Linux Corporation, Mitsubishi Electric, MontaVista Software, NEC
Corporation, Nokia, Red Hat, SuSE, TimeSys, Toshiba, Transmeta Corporation
and VA Software. Visit OSDL on the Web at

OSDL is a trademark of Open Source Development Labs, Inc. Linux is a
trademark of Linus Torvalds. Third party marks and brands are the property
of their respective holders.

For more information contact:

Contact Information:

Nelson Pratt
Director of Marketing
Phone: 503.626.2455 ext. 47
Mobile: 503.702-3120

Craig Oda
Page One PR

650.473.0600 x102



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