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April 14, 2005

SCO gives green light to open source Solaris

SCO Group said this week that it will not raise any legal challenges to plans by Sun Microsystems to open source its Solaris Unix operating system, having reviewed Sun's plans and licensing.

By CBR Staff Writer

The Lindon, Utah-based Unix vendor is currently embroiled in a legal dispute with IBM Corp over IBM’s donation of Linux code to the open source Linux operating system, as SCO claims the move broke a licensing agreement with SCO by doing so.

Sun plans to release OpenSolaris under its own open source Common Development and Distribution License this summer, and SCO’s chief executive, Darl McBride, said SCO has no problem with that. We believe we have a pretty good idea of what Sun is trying to do, he said.

After reviewing what their plans are, and reviewing what our agreements with them are, we feel comfortable with the direction they are going, he added. Sun took out a fresh Unix System V license from Sun in February 2003, joining Microsoft Corp as one of only a handful of SCOsource licensees.

McBride suggested that had IBM also got its wallet out and purchased a new license through the SCOsource intellectual property licensing business, it could have avoided the legal battle entirely.

Sun’s been a great licensee for a long time, he said. If all our licensees toed the line the way Sun has with their agreements I don’t think we’d be having some of the issues we have in the courts today.

Sun appointed the five initial members of the advisory board for OpenSolaris earlier this month, and has committed to having the full OpenSolaris code base ready and launched by the end of the second quarter once it has defined the community governance structure and by-laws.

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