The IT community has poured scorn on SCO's claim that it owns so much of the code in Linux that removing it would make the system collapse.
Speaking at the company's SCOForum in Las Vegas last week, chief executive Darl McBride said: "Taking out that code would be like trying to take out the middle 30 floors of a 60-storey building."
But Mike Davis, senior researcher at Butler Group, disagreed. "This is totally fatuous. Linux is not analogous to a building. The code only crumbles when it's being run, not while it's being written or compiled," he said.
Mike Lawrence, managing director of reseller Bentpenny, which supplies both Linux and Windows, said: "[Code copying] can be very, very difficult to prove.
"I really do not believe SCO owns what it says it owns. One cannot help feeling this is a major spoiling attempt on Linux. But taking on IBM's lawyers is a big mistake. It will cost SCO millions. It could take years of pouring money into it."
Lawrence added that he did not think this will affect his company's customers in the short term. "I don't think this will affect our users. When it hits News at Ten or The Sunday Times it may do," he said.
Unilever, a major Linux user, said it had no intention of buying a licence, even though SCO has appointed Gregory Blepp as head of licensing in Europe, with a remit to push UnixWare licences to Linux users.
Martin Armitage, senior vice-president of the global information organisation at Unilever, said: "As far as I am concerned it is an issue between SCO and IBM, and I expect IBM's resources to win the day. SCO has very little grounds for going after Linux users. We are in a good position."
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