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SCO takes Linux-loving auto industry to court

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The SCO Group looks set to stop the use of Linux in the car industry with plans to file lawsuits today against DaimlerChrysler and AutoZone.

Earlier this week, SCO warned that it would add to lawsuits against IBM, Red Hat and Novell by going after Linux users. Later today SCO will make good on these promises by filing a suit against DaimlerChrysler in the Oakland County Circuit Court in Michigan. SCO alleges that the car maker violated a Unix software agreement.

SCO earlier today filed a lawsuit in the US District Court in Nevada seeking an injunction against AutoZone to block the use of SCO's IP (intellectual property). In addition, SCO is looking for AutoZone to cough up some cash should the court find that the auto parts maker used unclean versions of Linux.

At present, the details on the DaimlerChrysler are a bit thin, but SCO is to expand on its actions during an earnings conference call this afternoon. The automaker, however, does buy a lot of Linux servers from IBM. So, if SCO wanted to get a point across...

For the period ended January 31, SCO reported $11m in revenue versus $13.5m in the same quarter last year. SCO managed only $20,000 in revenue from its IP licensing program. SCO also posted a net loss of $2.3m last quarter. So today's lawsuits will provide a handy way of downgrading the news value of its poor results. Look we are doing it too, reporting the losses only in the fifth paragraph of this article.

Running on AutoZone

AutoZone provided a natural target for SCO given its strong relationship with Red Hat. The company has popped in a constant stream of Red Hat press releases. In addition, AutoZone happens to be a Unix customer of IBM.

An AutoZone technician has criticized SCO in the past, saying the company did its own work to port applications onto Linux without the help of SCO's shared libraries. SCO has also suggested in the past that AutoZone would not have moved to Linux without being pushed in that direction by IBM. There is a pretty stunning account of AutoZone worker's claims here.

SCO is clearly preparing for the future with all of its lawsuits as near-term revenue shrinks. The company's vast legal staff is also taking an apparent toll on the bottom line.

This week, SCO named an IP "customer" publicly for the first time. Hosting provider EV1Servers.net disclosed its purchase of a SCO license, joining a "handful" of more covert SCO customers. ®

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