On March 7, 2003 The SCO Group filed suit against IBM, claiming it improperly inserted proprietary Unix code in the Linux kernel. The suit has evolved into a full-blown controversy. SCO's lawyers are threatening to make the case a test of the validity of the Free Software Foundation's General Public License (GPL), under which the Linux kernel and the GNU programs that make up the Linux operating system are distributed. Were SCO to prevail, it might hinder development of Linux and make the general public's ability to obtain it difficult. It could also have an adverse effect on other Open Source projects which are developed and distributed in ways that are similar to the Linux model. Since SCO is threatening to charge exorbitant licensing fees for Linux, this would be a serious blow to developing nations particularly. Their fledgling IT industries rely on Linux to a great extent in their efforts to overcome a technological lag which contributes to the cycle of poverty. Though most experts in the Linux, Open Source and Free Software communities believe SCO's claims dubious, their evidence flimsy and their chances for success slim, the case has managed to divert the attention of the entire IT industry. It has many in these communities understandably worried.

As a service to our visitors, Linux Online has devoted a section of our news area to provide more information about the SCO's lawsuit against IBM and other events related to the SCO controversy.