ODSL to support Linux creator in legal wrangle

ODSL to support Linux creator in legal wrangle

By Stuart Finlayson

The Open Source Development Lab (OSDL) is to cover the legal costs of the Linux operating system founder Linus Torvalds, who has been subpoenaed in connection with the SCO Group's US$3 billion lawsuit against IBM.

The OSDL, which is a consortium that was set up to accelerate the adoption of Linux as well as improve the open source system, is Torvalds' employer. It too was served with a subpoena by attorneys for the SCO Group.The subpoenas request that OSDL and Torvalds produce documents for use in that dispute.

In a statement issued by the consortium on Friday, the ODSL said it has "agreed to fund legal representation for Torvalds and any other employees of the Lab who may become involved in the litigation."

SCO Group launched its lawsuit against IBM back in March, alleging that Big Blue transferred source code from SCO's proprietary Unix to Linux, breaching the terms of its contract with SCO.

IBM denied the allegations, hitting back with a countersuit which claimed that SCO made a number of patent violations of its own with regard to the use of IBM proprietary software. Leading Linux distributor Red Hat also launched an action against SCO, claiming that accusations of copyright infringement levelled by SCO against the open source operating system were "unfair and deceptive."

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