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National Retail Federation Says SCO's Claims Appear Meritless and SCO Confirms Layoffs
Wednesday, May 05 2004 @ 12:25 PM EDT

The National Retail Federation, which says it is the largest retail association in the world , has put out a press release saying that from what it has seen, SCO's legal claims appear to be without merit and that Novell "is the last company that can demonstrate legal ownership of Unix System V." AutoZone is, of course, a retailer.


"SCO Group Lawsuit Appears Unfounded, Says NRF

"Within the last year, The SCO Group has claimed Intellectual Property rights to parts of the Linux operating system. Within the last few months, The SCO Group has threatened legal action against several major retailers for using Linux. The SCO Group claims that they hold the copyright to Unix and believes that retailers who use Linux violate SCOís copyright.

"The following is a statement from NRF CIO Dave Hogan regarding the lawsuits:

"Based on the information we have seen, the National Retail Federation believes the claims by The SCO Group are without merit. Novell Corporation is the last company that can demonstrate legal ownership of Unix System V.

"Novell Corporation filed a court challenge to The SCO Group's claim of Intellectual Property rights, demonstrating serious questions regarding whether The SCO Group ever gained legal ownership to Unix System V. Furthermore, The SCO Group has not specified which parts of Unix System V have been copied into Linux.

"In my opinion, it is almost as if The SCO Groupís business model is to generate a revenue stream through litigation.

"NRF expects that retailers who use Linux will survive the current litigation.

"The NRF CIO Council will continue to pay close attention to this issue.

"The National Retail Federation is the world's largest retail trade association, with membership that comprises all retail formats and channels of distribution including department, specialty, discount, catalog, Internet and independent stores as well as the industry's key trading partners of retail goods and services. NRF represents an industry with more than 1.4 million U.S. retail establishments, more than 23 million employees - about one in five American workers - and 2003 sales of $3.8 trillion. As the industry umbrella group, NRF also represents more than 100 state, national and international retail associations."


According to Stephen Shankland, the NRF decided to act when AutoZone got sued:

"The NRF decided to issue a statement after SCO moved from 'saber-rattling' to the legal offensive against AutoZone, Hogan said in an interview. In addition, about 20 to 25 of the NRF's CIO council received threatening letters from SCO, he said.

"SCO--whose Unix products have been popular among retailers--argues that companies must pay for a SCO intellectual property license or risk legal action. But SCO's legal battles are opposed by many top technology companies and by open-source advocates."

SCO just laid off some employees, and they don't guarantee there won't be more:

"Spokesman Blake Stowell declined to say how many were cut but said the layoff affected less than 10 percent of the company's staff, which totaled 275 employees before the cut. Jobs were eliminated across the company, including sales, marketing and engineering, he said.

"The cuts took place at the end of the company's second fiscal quarter and were part of its goal 'of trying to be profitable within our core business'--selling the UnixWare and OpenServer Unix products, Stowell said."

According to eWeek, who broke the story, they didn't do it because of BayStar:

"Stowell said the Lindon, Utah, company made the layoffs so it 'could be profitable within our core Unix business in the next quarter.' The cuts were companywide and were not confined, as rumor has had it, to just the engineering staff. In addition, the company made no changes to its management."

BayStar wanted McBride to go and SCO to drop UNIX and concentrate on litigation against IBM. This story indicates that so far, there is no resolution between BayStar and SCO. That's if the story they are telling about the layoffs is true. It may be but my sources are telling me a different story.

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