Open source group fires off at SCO

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Industry cluster Open Source Victoria (OSV) has filed a compliant with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) against the SCO Group, in response to the vendor’s ongoing requests for licence fees from Linux users.

Industry cluster Open Source Victoria (OSV) has filed a complaint with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) against the SCO Group, in response to the vendor's ongoing requests for licence fees from Linux users.

On 20 January SCO announced the availability of a licence which permits the use of SCO intellectual property -- in binary form only -- as contained in Linux distributions, under its SCOSource initiative.

In a statement issued on Thursday, OSV said: "SCO's press release, and representations made on SCO's website, raise a number of issues of concern for OSV, because SCO appears to be saying some of SCO's existing licences are not effective."

OSV said that the terms of the licence are directed to consumers who, in addition to using SCO versions themselves, are also contemplating supplying them to others. "It is not uncommon practice for acquirers of a Linux kernel to then supply that kernel to others as part of a service offering.

"If SCO's initial licence grants were not effective, both the initial takers and anyone to whom they have on supplied the kernel could be affected," a statement said.

"Any such uncontested reversal of the previously stipulated licence has the potential to be very damaging both to consumers and to businesses who acquired the kernel from SCO for the purpose of on supply," it stated.

OSV suggested that if SCO had previously offered to licence specific versions (2.2 and 2.4 of the Linux kernel) on the terms of the GPL then; it should be required to be held to those licence terms in respect of existing licences and those licences should be declared to be valid and effective.

OSV claimed that where a consumer acquired a copy of the relevant Linux kernels from SCO prior to the commencement of SCO's SCOSource initiative, then that consumer should be entitled to the grant of a licence by SCO on terms which are of the same effect as the GPL.

It also argued that any marketing conducted in relation to the initiative should state that existing licences of OpenLinux and SCOLinux products are not required to acquire any additional licences and that such existing licences are valid and enforceable to their terms; and SCO should correct its existing advertisements and advertise those corrections, OSV said.

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