IoT
Software // Enterprise Applications
News
9/26/2003
06:20 PM
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
IoT & Insurance: How Big Data May Affect Your Privacy & Premiums
May 06, 2016
Gwenn Bezard is co-founder and research director at Aite Group, where he leads the insurance pract ...Read More>>

IBM Launches Counter-Attack In Linux Cases

Hewlett-Packard has promised to indemnify its Linux customers in the event of legal action by SCO, but an IBM VP says an indemnification policy could prevent users from fully exploiting the operating system.

In a counterclaim to a patent-infringement lawsuit filed against it by the SCO Group, IBM says SCO violated its intellectual property rights by distributing a version of Linux that contains IBM-made enhancements. While that wouldn't ordinarily be a problem--Linux licensees are generally allowed to distribute modified versions of the open-source operating system--IBM says SCO violated the Linux distribution policy, or General Public License, by claiming proprietary rights over the technology. That now makes it illegal for SCO to distribute Linux, IBM says.

SCO has claimed a copyright over parts of Linux and has threatened to sue Linux users who don't obtain a license to run the operating system from SCO. In a move to assuage user fears, Hewlett-Packard has promised to indemnify its Linux customers in the event of legal action by SCO.

IBM, however, says indemnification could create practical problems for users. In a memo to his staff obtained by InformationWeek, Bob Samson, IBM VP for system sales, said an indemnification policy could prevent users from fully exploiting Linux. "IBM and most other industry leaders do not indemnify for open source code...Most indemnities are narrowly drawn and are often invalidated by customer activities, such as making modifications," Samson wrote. IBM says it would prefer to resolve the matter in the courts.

However, some analysts say IBM is merely attempting to discredit HP's indemnification policy because it's not in a position to offer users the same protection. "They are a party to the lawsuit, so they can't indemnify," says Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group.

IBM also charges in the countersuit that SCO's attempts to claim ownership over parts of Linux technology has damaged the open-source movement and artificially inflated SCO's stock price.

IBM is seeking unspecified damages. The case was filed in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
4 Trends Shaping Digital Transformation in Insurance
Insurers no longer have a choice about digital adoption if they want to remain relevant. A comprehensive enterprise-wide digital strategy is fundamental to doing business today.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of April 24, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week!
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.