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SCO Group Lawsuit Thrown Out

SCO Group Lawsuit Thrown Out

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A Michigan judge has thrown out most parts of a lawsuit that sought to force auto giant DaimlerChrysler AG to comply with copyright laws and agreements with a Utah-based software firm.

All but one part of the lawsuit was dropped Wednesday, confirmed SCO Group spokesman Blake Stowell. The Lindon-based company is possibly most famous for filing lawsuits over alleged abuses of proprietary claims for software code used in the Linux operating system.

Judge Rae Lee Chabot of Oakland County Circuit Court granted summary judgment Wednesday for DaimlerChrysler except for the claim that the automaker delayed responding to SCO's request for compliance, a court spokesman told Computerworld magazine for its online edition.

A message left by The Associated Press after business hours at Chabot's office at the Oakland County, Mich., courthouse was not immediately returned Wednesday.

DaimlerChrysler has since complied with terms of the software agreement, so Stowell said the ruling was not a surprise.

"We certainly wish they had certified before," Stowell said. "But we're glad they've now certified and they are abiding by the terms of the agreement."

However, he said the company is considering whether to appeal.

A message left Wednesday by The AP with DaimlerChrysler Corp. was not immediately returned.

SCO filed the lawsuit in Michigan last March against DaimlerChrysler, alleging the automaker refused to comply with terms of its software agreement with SCO.

It asked that the automaker certify compliance and sought damages, including legal fees.

DaimlerChrysler years ago obtained a Unix license. Part of that license said at the owner's discretion, the company could at least once a year perform an audit to make sure the users were abiding by the terms of the agreement, which includes not giving away any part of the code.

SCO sent letters to 3,000 license holders, including DaimlerChrysler, asking them to certify they were still complying with terms of the license.

SCO did not allege DaimlerChrysler abused the license, but the automaker was one of less than 1,500 licensees who did not respond to that letter, Stowell said.

Stowell said Wednesday's ruling should not affect other lawsuits filed by the company.

A copyright infringement lawsuit was also filed in March against auto-parts company AutoZone Inc. SCO alleges the chain runs versions of the commercially purchased or freely distributed Linux operating system that contain code belonging to SCO.

SCO also has sued IBM Corp. for dumping allegedly confidential Unix code into Linux.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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