SCO Group CEO Darl McBride said during a conference call Friday that the company, which holds the license to the original Unix operating system, would begin showing customers, hardware vendors, and independent software vendors the portions of the Linux kernel that it says contains "hundreds of lines" of code protected by its license agreements. SCO Group will also show the code to reporters and industry analysts under confidentiality agreements. "SCO owns the Unix operating system," he said. "It's our crown jewel."
On May 12, SCO Group sent a letter to 1,350 companies that use Linux, warning that they may be in violation of its Unix license. In March, SCO Group sued IBM for $1 billion, saying it breached its Unix contract with SCO by promoting the competing Linux system. SCO is threatening to revoke IBM's license to use the Unix System V code in IBM's AIX operating system in two weeks.
Earlier this week, Novell, where McBride and other SCO Group executives used to work, said SCO Group doesn't own the copyrights and patents to Unix and said SCO may be legally liable for "disrupting" the product and financing market for Linux. Novell sold its Unix source code license to the Santa Cruz Operation in 1995. In 2001, Caldera Systems bought Santa Cruz Operation and later changed its name to the SCO Group. McBride said he had turned the Novell matter over to SCO Group's lawyers.
"The month of June is show-and-tell time," McBride said. "Everybody has been clamoring for this code."