Linux Founder To Get Free Legal Counsel In SCO Suit - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


Linux Founder To Get Free Legal Counsel In SCO Suit

Open Source Development Labs, which employs Linus Torvalds, says it will pay its law firm, AterWynne LLP, to represent the creator of the open-source operating system.

Linux creator Linus Torvalds, who was subpoenaed in the SCO Group's $3 billion lawsuit against IBM, will get free legal counsel from his employer. The Open Source Development Labs, which was also subpoenaed Wednesday in the case, said Friday that it would pay its law firm, AterWynne LLP, to represent Torvalds.

"We as an organization are taking responsibility for the funding of legal representation for anybody involved with our company as part of this litigation," OSDL spokesman Nelson Pratt said. "Our legal counsel is reviewing the subpoena that was sent to [Torvalds], as well as OSDL as an organization."

Asked whether the subpoenas have had any effect on OSDL operations, Pratt said, "The answer is, no." OSDL said in a statement that the subpoenas requested that the consortium and Torvalds produce documents for use in the litigation. Pratt declined to comment further.

OSDL is a consortium established to improve Linux, an open-source operating system that's growing in popularity among companies for running business applications. Members include Alcatel, Cisco Systems, Computer Associates, Dell, Ericsson, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi, IBM, Intel, Mitsubishi Electric, Nokia, Sun Microsystems, and Toshiba.

SCO filed its suit in March, claiming that IBM violated its Unix contract with SCO by improperly donating Unix code to the Linux kernel. Torvalds is the chief developer of the Linux kernel. IBM has denied the allegations and filed a counter suit.

In its suit, SCO has also attacked the general public license governing Linux, saying in court papers that the GPL "violates the U.S. Constitution, together with copyright, antitrust, and export control laws."

Besides OSDL and Torvalds, SCO has requested legal information from John Horsley, chief executive of Torvalds' former employer and OSDL member Transmeta Corp.; and Richard Stallman, creator of the GPL and founder of the Free Software Foundation.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
Download this report to compare how cloud usage and spending patterns have changed in 2020, and how respondents think they'll evolve over the next two years.
Top 10 Data and Analytics Trends for 2021
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  11/13/2020
Where Cloud Spending Might Grow in 2021 and Post-Pandemic
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  11/19/2020
The Ever-Expanding List of C-Level Technology Positions
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  11/10/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
Why Chatbots Are So Popular Right Now
In this IT Trend Report, you will learn more about why chatbots are gaining traction within businesses, particularly while a pandemic is impacting the world.
White Papers
Twitter Feed
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.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll