Linux copyright row escalates

The biggest distributor of the Linux computer system has waded into a row over claims that its creators have broken copyright by suing the company making the accusations. Red Hat, which sells a widely-used version of the open-source operating system, has started a fighting fund with a $1m donation intended to cover the costs of anyone choosing to hit back at SCO, the company which claims it owns part of Linux.

SCO has been threatening to sue Linux users large and small, saying that code it owns – bought from computer software house Novell – has been illegally recycled into Linux by some of the thousands of programmers who built the free-to-copy system. Now, though, Red Hat is countersuing, accusing SCO of “unfair and deceptive actions”.

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