Canadian Linux users are not planning to sit idle and wait for The SCO Group to enforce copyright fees for access to the open-source software. On the contrary, several users banded together Wednesday to officially launch the Canadian Linux Interests Coalition (CLIC), contesting that SCO’s legal threats regarding the Linux source code are unsubstantiated.

Comprised of Linux professionals and users from across Canada, CLIC said it will not remain silent while SCO “disparages Linux, the work of thousands of contributors worldwide.”

Recently, SCO filed a suit against IBM Corp., claiming that the Linux kernel contains programming code, which is rightfully owned by SCO, and the company is attempting to collect royalties on Linux installations. [Please see SCO drops Linux, warns Linux users.]

While many Linux professionals think SCO is out to lunch, Shad Young, spokesperson for CLIC in Ottawa, said much of what SCO is claiming is not valid, and the group maintains that charging royalties for Linux-use is comparable to extortion.

“We will fight this as long as we have to,” Young told ITWorldCanada. com. “Ultimately what we would like to see happen is for SCO to disclose the source code. The reason being is because once they do that, any potential IP conflicts that are in the code would be resolved very quickly. We do not need to steal code to get our product going. We are most concerned with getting Linux a clean bill of health for everyone involved.”

CLIC’s immediate plans involve giving Canadian Linux users and professionals as much “honest and valuable” information as possible, Young said. The coalition is in the process of building a Web portal, which would provide information on SCO, Linux in general as well as Canadian copyright laws.

“We are trying to engage some legal counsel to see what legal recourse, if any, we have against SCO,” he said, but added that direct legal action is not something CLIC is pursuing at the moment.

Compared to other countries, Canada is slow on the move to form a Linux consortium. Germany and Australia and parts of the U.S. have already made their cases against SCO heard. [Please see German Linux association may drop SCO as member.]

CLIC’s Young said the group is in talks with these foreign groups to band their efforts.

“This is a worlwide issue, just like Linux is a worldwide effort,” he said.

In the meantime, CLIC is encouraging all Canadian businesses to continue using Linux as normal.

For more information, visit Find SCO at