Intel, IBM Help Set Up Linux Legal Defense Fund

Intel, IBM Help Set Up Linux Legal Defense Fund

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(San Jose, California-AP) -- Intel and I-B-M are among the contributors to a legal fund that will help companies running Linux software defray the cost of defending themselves against lawsuits.

The fund, which has so far received three (M)million dollars in pledges and is seeking seven (M)million dollars more, was announced today by Open Source Development Labs. That is an industry group that aims to accelerate Linux's adoption by businesses.

The software's growth has been threatened by The S-C-O Group Incorporated of Utah, which claims some of its intellectual property has slipped into Linux. S-C-O holds the rights to key elements of the 30-year-old Unix operating system from which Linux was inspired.

Unlike Unix or Microsoft Corporation's Windows, Linux is developed by a worldwide community of programmers and distributed at little or no cost, making it especially attractive to penny-pinching corporations.

Linux supporters deny S-C-O's claims, but S-C-O has threatened to sue companies that use the software. So far, S-C-O has sued I-B-M for breach of contract and has sent out warning letters to companies that deploy Linux.

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

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