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SCO Plans to Bill 1,000 US Linux Users by October

SCO Plans to Bill 1,000 US Linux Users by October

Before the end of this month, according to a CNET Report, about 1,000 Linux users in the US will find an invoice from the SCO Group in their mail - threatening court action if the users fail to pay. SCO will concentrate on US corporate Linux users in its first round of billing, but eventually companies in the UK and Europe will be invoiced as well.

Blake Stowell, director of public relations at SCO, estimates that roughly 2.5 million servers are running Linux based on the 2.4 kernel, and all of the owners of these servers could face billing from SCO.

"Companies that refuse to pay the invoice may need to have this resolved through the courts, which we're very willing to do. But our hope is that we never have to take that step," said Stowell.

"SCO has to protect its copyrights and, if we have to use the courts to enforce those, we certainly will."

The CNET report observes that "sending invoices, while a more-aggressive move, still stops short of the kind of legal action the company has threatened before" and reminds that in July, SCO Chief Executive Darl McBride described the licensing program as "a solution that...gets you square with the use of Linux, without having to go to the courtroom."

Stowell's position is that the invoices mark an intermediate stage in SCO's efforts to get a company to pay up, before taking it to court, but in the meantime the company has plenty to occupy it: the German Linux advocacy group LinuxTag has brought a suit against it barring an SCO letter sent to 1,500 large companies, warning them that using Linux could pose legal problems.

CNET explains: "SCO removed some sections of its Web site to comply with the judge's order. However, LinuxTag then told the court SCO was violating the order by showing its business partners a link to the letter, and the court agreed and fined SCO 10,000 euros ($10,800)--a ruling that SCO has appealed."

More Stories By Linux News Desk

SYS-CON's Linux News Desk gathers stories, analysis, and information from around the Linux world and synthesizes them into an easy to digest format for IT/IS managers and other business decision-makers.

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