SCO Sues IBM; Threatens Linux Users

March 6, 2003

The SCO Group, formerly known as Caldera, files a $1 Billion lawsuit against IBM for allegedly “devaluing” its version of UNIX. SCO claimed that IBM had contributed SCO’s proprietary code to the codebase of the open-source Linux, thereby making SCO’s UNIX less valuable. A couple of months later in May, SCO sent letters to many major corporations warning them of the possibility of liability if they used Linux. SCO eventually even threatened individual Linux users who did not license SCO UNIX.

Among some Linux fans, the lawsuit was a threat to the Open Source movement. However most saw the lawsuit as simply legal maneuvering by SCO to try to capitalize on Linux as it had changed the competitive landscape of the UNIX marketplace. Long story short, through a series of claims and counter-claims involving SCO, IBM, Red Hat, and Novell most of SCO’s claims were dismissed and SCO went bankrupt. However, the original lawsuit did not finally come to resolution until November of 2021!