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SCO to rebut Novell's Unix claims

Executives of SCO Group on Friday plan to address questions about the company's Unix ownership, the foundation of its legal campaign against Linux and those who use that software.

SCO Group said Friday that it would address questions about its Unix ownership, the foundation of its legal campaign against Linux and companies that use the open-source software.

Darl McBride, SCO's chief executive, and Chris Sontag, head of the the company's SCOsource initiative to derive more money from its Unix intellectual property, plan to speak to what they term "baseless" Unix ownership assertions by software maker Novell. A press conference, which will also address other intellectual property issues, will be held at 10 a.m. PDT.

Since SCO first filed a lawsuit alleging that IBM misappropriated its Unix trade secrets, the issue has escalated into a pitched legal and public relations fray involving many companies.

Novell, one of the four companies to own rights to the Unix operating system, added to the din Wednesday. It is seeking to undermine SCO's legal argument, asserting that it retains the Unix patents and copyrights that SCO says it owns.

In addition, Novell also demanded that SCO reveal where Unix source code has been copied into Linux, attacking a broader claim in which SCO has accused Linux companies of illegally copying Unix code directly into the open-source operating system.

Novell threatened to take its own legal action against SCO to compensate for damage that it claims its customers, programmers and companies using Linux have suffered. SCO has sent warning letters to about 1,500 of the world's largest corporations, saying that they could be held liable for using Linux.