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To read comments to this article, go here
It's Autozone
Wednesday, March 03 2004 @ 07:53 AM EST

It's AutoZone. They are asking for "injunctive relief against AutoZone's further use or copying of any part of SCO's copyrighted materials and also requests damages as a result of AutoZone's infringement in an amount to be proven at trial." SCO's unfailing instincts have caused them to pick yet another Red Hat customer, so maybe this case will get added to the evidence piling up on the Delaware judge's desk.

The case was filed in Nevada. That is where AutoZone is incorporated, although its principal executive office is in Memphis, Tennessee. The paid Pacer site for US District Court for Nevada is here but I checked and nothing is up there yet. It usually takes a day or two to make it into Pacer. Note the page says Internet Explorer is required, but it isn't.

Stowell says to expect a second lawsuit by the end of the day:

A SCO spokesperson said another suit would be filed by the end of the day against a current Unix licensee.

"It will be announced some time today and I can tell you it is against a Fortune 1000 Unix licensee," said SCO director of public relations Blake Stowell.

You might remember AutoZone from SCO's Supplemental Response to Interrogatory Number 8, in IBM's Exhibit 1, which you can find here. Press release here or here. AutoZone is having their financial teleconference today at 10 AM. ( UPDATE: I listened to Autozone's conference -- it wasn't easy, and after trying 3 different computers, the same number of operating systems, and 6 different browsers, I finally had to give up and listen by phone. They want IE, I guess. Or maybe it's a media player issue or some combo of both issues. Anyway, not one person asked about the lawsuit.)

Meanwhile, SCO is showing a loss. Here is the financial announcement, which is likely as rosy as they could make it, and it's still bleak. And here is Reuter's take, "SCO reports wider quarterly loss." Only $20,000 from SCOsource initiatives this quarter. This isn't getting rich fast.

Thanks to the Groklaw Gang for finding all this info within minutes.

****************************************************************

SCO Files Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against AutoZone

LAS VEGAS, Mar 3, 2004 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- The SCO Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: SCOX), the owner of the UNIX(R) operating system and a leading provider of UNIX-based solutions, today announced it has filed suit against AutoZone, Inc., for its alleged violations of SCO's UNIX copyrights through its use of Linux.

SCO's lawsuit alleges the following:

* AutoZone violated SCO's UNIX copyrights by 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.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Nevada, requests injunctive relief against AutoZone's further use or copying of any part of SCO's copyrighted materials and also requests damages as a result of AutoZone's infringement in an amount to be proven at trial.

The company will discuss this announcement as part of its regularly scheduled conference call related to first quarter earnings, scheduled for Wednesday, March 3 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern time. To participate on the call, individuals may dial 1-800-818-5264 or 1-913-981-4910 and use the confirmation code: 141144. Alternatively, a listen-only live web cast is available at http://ir.sco.com/medialist.cfm. Call participants are encouraged to dial in 15 minutes before the scheduled start time.

******************************************************

Here's what SCO said about AutoZone in its Interrogatory Number 8:

SUPPLEMENTAL RESPONSE TO INTERROGATORY NO. 8:

IBM interfered with SCO's software licensing agreement with Autozone for the SCO OpenServer software operating system, Contract # 1V736, effective January 24, 2001 (the Autozone OpenServer License Agreement). Under the Autozone OpenServer License Agreement, Autozone utilized the SCO software as the foundation from which to conduct all store operations including inventory tracking, point of sale transactions, back office server activities, event monitoring and to enable corporate updates to be transmitted to all retail locations.

In mid-2000, upon information and belief, IBM approached Autozone in an effort to induce Autozone to breach its agreement with SCO. In the second quarter of 2001, IBM was actively advising Autozone's internal software group about converting to Linux. In the second quarter of 2001, despite the Autozone OpenServer License Agreement with SCO, upon information and belief, IBM finally successfully induced Autozone to cease using the SCO software and to use Linux with IBM's version of UNIX. Autozone ultimately decided not to pay SCO the annual fee to continue to maintain the SCO products and, upon information and belief, with the encouragement of IBM, began the efforts required for conversion to Linux.

Upon information and belief, Autozone's new Linux based software implemented by IBM featured SCO's shared libraries which had been stripped out of SCO's UNIX based OpenServer by IBM and embedded inside Autozone's Linux implementation in order to continue to allow the continued operation of Autozone's legacy applications. The basis for SCO's belief is the precision and efficiency with which the migration to Linux occurred, which suggests the use of shared libraries to run legacy applications on Linux. Among other things, this was a breach of the Autozone OpenServer License Agreement for use of SCO software beyond the scope of the license.

Upon information and belief, Autozone is currently in breach of the Autozone OpenServer License Agreement in that Autozone is improperly using "shared libraries" (short cuts and methods which allow programs to interface with one another and the services of the operating system) contained in the OpenServer (UNIX based) operating system to enable "legacy applications" to function on Linux. Legacy applications are those versions of software applications that have a lengthy and proven track record of high level function and reliability. The legacy applications utilized by Autozone were designed specifically to operate with OpenServer (UNIX based) shared libraries, but do not function with Linux shared libraries.

IBM was aware of the Autozone OpenServer License Agreement. IBM knew that the SCO OpenServer shared libraries were proprietary to SCO. Therefore, IBM knew, or should have known, that by assisting Autozone to implement Linux to support legacy applications by improperly incorporating the SCO OpenServer shared libraries, it was interfering with SCO's agreement with Autozone and otherwise inducing Autozone to act wrongfully towards SCO. Upon information and belief, IBM's inducing and assisting Autozone to breach its license agreement with SCO was an act that constitutes interference with contract. Upon information and belief, IBM profited by the interference by earning significant professional services fees in performing the switch from SCO OpenServer to Linux.

SCO does not presently know the specific dates on which the interference occurred, how it occurred or which IBM or Autozone employees were involved because SCO was not present when IBM sold Linux-related services to Autozone, when IBM assisted Autozone in the design of the new Linux system deploying legacy applications that depended on SCO OpenServer shared libraries in order to function, or when IBM performed the professional services to assist Autozone to improperly deploy OpenServer shared libraries inside its IBM-provided Linux implementation. More specific information, such as which IBM and Autozone employees were involved, is in the possession of IBM and/or Autozone and will require additional discovery from at least IBM and Autozone.


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