AutoZone requests stay in SCO lawsuit

Linux user asks for other suits to be resolved first

One of the two Linux users sued by The SCO Group Inc. last month has asked that its case be stayed until three other lawsuits involving SCO are resolved. The company, auto parts retailer AutoZone Inc., further claims that SCO has failed to identify which, if any, of SCO's copyrights it has violated.

Questions regarding whether Linux infringes on SCO copyrights, and whether SCO even owns the Unix copyrights, are being determined in lawsuits involving IBM Corp., Red Hat Inc., and Novell Inc., AutoZone said in documents filed last Friday with the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. "Those cases will address, and may resolve, the seminal elements of SCO's copyright infringement claims against AutoZone," the filings said.

SCO claims that Linux violates its Unix copyright. It sued Memphis, Tennessee-based AutoZone in March, alleging that the company had violated SCO's Unix copyrights through its use of Linux. It has also sued IBM and Novell in connection with these claims and is being sued by Red Hat, which is seeking a declaratory judgment from the court on whether SCO's claims are true.

AutoZone, like DaimlerChrysler AG, which also was sued by SCO in March, has done business with SCO in the past. The auto retailer once ran SCO Unix on point-of-sale systems in approximately 500 U.S. stores.

Earlier this month, a lawsuit between SCO and Red Hat was stayed by U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson, who wrote that with many of the same copyright issues already being argued in the IBM case, "It is a waste of judicial resources to have two district courts resolving the same issue."

AutoZone's filings echoed Judge Robinson's opinion. "It would be 'a waste of judicial resources' for this Court to consider SCO's claims while the IBM and Red Hat cases are pending," the document said.

Should the Nevada judge decide not to stay AutoZone's case, the filings ask the court to make SCO provide more details on its claims. "SCO has failed to provide even a modicum of information that would allow AutoZone to determine which of the myriad 'Copyright Materials' identified in (SCO's) complaint have been infringed and how they might have been infringed," the filings said.

Neither AutoZone nor SCO returned calls seeking comment on the filing.

Copyright © 2004 IDG Communications, Inc.

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