SCO Group, which last week took its 'Intellectual Property License for Linux' worldwide, is hoping to convince sceptical resellers to implement the scheme without receiving royalties.
The company expects instead that the threat of legal action for alleged Unix copyright violation will bring new business to the resellers and open up further sales opportunities.
"It is in the best interest of the [SCO] resellers to assure customers that the software they run their businesses on is clear from intellectual property infringement," Blake Stowell, SCO's director of public relations, told vnunet.com.
"[SCO is] providing resellers with a sales opportunity to attract new customers who want to overcome the intellectual property issues in Linux through the help of a local reseller."
Stowell said that the licences would only be available initially through SCO resellers participating in its top tier programme - about 20 per cent of the total.
But Peter Dawes-Huish, sales director at Linux consultancy and former SCO-Caldera Linux partner LinuxIT, ridiculed the licensing move.
"SCO will perform all sorts of stunts to bloat the value of its shares to make it an attractive acquisition target. This is one of them," he said.
Dawes-Huish claimed that his company, a partner to IBM, Hewlett Packard, Dell and NEC supporting Linux users of all sizes in many industries, would know if there was real concern.
"I do not think our users give it a passing thought," he told vnunet.com.
"Everyone believes it is right and proper to await the outcome of the court case in the US. In the meantime they expect support and assistance [from LinuxIT]."
Stowell explained that resellers would be educated "with respect to SCO-identified copyright violations as protected by the governing laws".
"Once educated, the choice is only one of fiscal responsibility," he added. "Our resellers are strong in numbers and believe in the rights and privileges of copyrighted material."
Training will take a minimum of one day. The SCO licence costs $699 as a one-time payment per server, or $149 annually.
SCO last week threatened imminent legal action against major companies which fail to sign up to the licence, including at least one business in the UK.
In response, HP, Novell and Red Hat have all created indemnity schemes to support users in the event of legal action. The Open Source Development Lab has created a $10m legal fighting fund.
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