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Update: SCO lawsuits target DaimlerChrysler, AutoZone

They're the first such lawsuits by SCO, which has threatened legal action against Linux users

By Todd R. Weiss
March 3, 2004 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - As it has threatened since late last year, The SCO Group Inc. has filed its first lawsuits against enterprise Linux users, targeting automaker DaimlerChrysler AG and auto parts retailer AutoZone Inc.
In an announcement made late this morning, Lindon, Utah-based SCO said it would file suit later today against DaimlerChrysler in Oakland County Circuit Court in Michigan.
That lawsuit alleges that DaimlerChrysler violated its software licensing agreement with SCO by refusing to provide a requested "certification of compliance" as part of a software audit. The suit asks the court to permanently bar the automaker from further violations of the software agreement and seeks an injunction requiring it to "remedy the effects of its past violations" of the agreement.
The suit seeks undetermined damages. SCO officials were slated to discuss the legal action during a conference call at which they also planned to talk about the company's latest earnings report.
Earlier today, in a separate announcement, SCO said its suit against AutoZone alleges that the retailer violated SCO's Unix copyrights through its use of Linux. That suit charges that AutoZone is "running versions of the Linux operating system that contain code, structure, sequence and/or organization from SCO's proprietary Unix System V code in violation of SCO's copyrights."
With this lawsuit, SCO is kicking off what it said late last year will be an offensive against companies using Linux in their businesses. SCO sued IBM last March in a suit that now seeks at least $5 billion in damages, alleging IBM illegally contributed some of SCO's System V Unix code to the Linux open-source project. IBM has countersued.
AutoZone is an IBM customer, using IBM's content management and DB2 database applications, and a former Red Hat Linux customer, having used Red Hat Linux for its in-store intranet system.
Red Hat Inc. spokeswoman Leigh Cantrell Day acknowledged today that AutoZone had been a Red Hat customer until "several months ago."
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Nevada, seeks undisclosed damages and a court injunction to prevent AutoZone from continuing to use or copy any part of SCO's copyrighted materials.
Ray Pohlman, a spokesman for Memphis-based AutoZone, said the company has not yet seen the lawsuit so he could not comment. "It is our understanding, however, that SCO has sent letters to hundreds of companies, making similar allegations," he said. Pohlman would not discuss how AutoZone uses Linux inside its business.
Mary Gauthier, a spokeswoman for DaimlerChrysler, declined to comment because the company has not yet received the lawsuit. But information on IBM's Web site indicates that DaimlerChrysler has been using Linux



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