Novell has launched an indemnification scheme designed to protect its SuSE Linux Enterprise Server customers against what it described as "certain intellectual property challenges to Linux".
The 'Linux Indemnification Programme' will offer users protection against copyright infringement claims made by third parties.
To qualify, customers must have SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 and, after 12 January, obtain upgrade protection and a qualifying technical support contract from Novell or a Novell or SuSE Linux channel partner.
The announcement of the indemnification programme was timed to coincide with the closing of Novell's acquisition of SuSE Linux.
Jack Messman, Novell's chairman and chief executive, said: "With our new indemnification programme we are reducing the barriers to the adoption of Linux in the enterprise."
SCO's controversial intellectual property claims over core elements of the Linux kernel have created a barrier for enterprise adoption of the open source operating system, claimed Novell.
"As enterprises consider making strategic investments in Linux they face the question of indemnification, a standard component of most traditional proprietary software offerings but generally unavailable for Linux," the company said.
Novell will soon announce a similar scheme for enterprise Linux users that are not currently with Novell SuSE Linux, so they can participate in the indemnification programme.
"We believe our new Linux indemnification programme, supported by our unique legal rights, will provide enterprise customers with one more reason to include Linux in their information technology plans," Messman added.
Additional details on the programme are available here.
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