Linux distributor Red Hat announced today that it's suing UNIX copyright holder SCO Group, alleging that SCO made "unfair and deceptive" statements about Linux and Red Hat in the SCO suit against IBM. According to Red Hat, SCO sent 1500 letters to Linux system makers, developers, and users in May telling them that they might be liable to SCO for using Linux, which SCO says illegally includes source code from UNIX. Red Hat says the purpose of its suit is to demonstrate that the company's technologies don't infringe SCO's intellectual property and to hold SCO accountable for its unfair and deceptive actions.
"We filed this complaint to stop SCO from making unsubstantiated and untrue public statements attacking Red Hat Linux and the integrity of the Open Source software development process," said Red Hat General Counsel Mark Webbink. "Red Hat is confident that its current and future customers will continue to realize the significant value that our Red Hat Linux platform provides without interruption."
In addition, Red Hat announced the establishment of the Open Source Now Fund, which will cover legal expenses associated with infringement claims that SCO files against Linux companies. Red Hat has pledged $1 million for the fund.
In related news, networking giant Novell announced yesterday that it will purchase Boston-based Ximian, which makes the Linux-based Ximian Desktop, the Evolution email client (a Microsoft Outlook clone), and the Mono technologies, which seek to bring Microsoft .NET to Linux. Novell says it will create a business unit called Novell Ximian Services, which will help the company further drive adoption of Linux in corporations. Novell pledged to continue funding development of Ximian's open-source projects.