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Isn't it illegal for SCO to send invoices to Linux users?

Isn't it illegal for SCO to be mailing out invoices to Linux users? Shouldn't state Attorney Generals tell SCO that the end users have acted in good faith and to leave them alone? Should SCO should only go after the vendors who sell products that might infringe upon SCO's products? Or, do laws about this vary from state to state? What's stopping any Linux user from going to their attorney general right now about this?

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There is nothing per se illegal about SCO's distribution of invoices. It may be presumptuous but not necessarily illegal. It is consistent with SCO's view that it owns the copyrights to some of the code embedded in Linux and various related open source products and that distributors and users must formally license, and pay a licensing fee, to use the affected systems and applications.

While individuals and companies may believe that SCO's claims are without merit, it will likely take one or more judicial decisions concerning some of the pivotal issues before state Attorneys General will take notice of SCO's actions. Having said this, if users of SCO products have received notices that are inconsistent with the terms of any agreement that they have with SCO, these companies and individuals may have some recourse, perhaps based on a theory that SCO is engaged in unfair and deceptive business practices.

This was first published in September 2003

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