IBM has told vnunet.com that SCO cannot carry out its threat to revoke its Unix licence on 13 June.
Last week SCO vice president Chris Sontag said that SCO would enforce its threat to complete its revocation of IBM's licence, and that Big Blue would be liable for every single AIX deployment.
But Adam Jollans (pictured), IBM's manager of worldwide Linux marketing strategy, dismissed Sontag's warning.
"The contract IBM has for Unix is perpetual and irrevocable," he said.
Jollans admitted he was constrained in what he could say ahead of any possible court case, but said that IBM believed SCO's claims were unsubstantiated.
"The SCO case has in no way changed our commitment to customers," he added.
SCO may have to win a court battle to revoke IBM's licence.
"If SCO revokes the AIX licence it will have to seek a court order to enforce that, which IBM would fight," said Gary Barnett, principal consultant at analyst Ovum.
Putting aside SCO's threats, Jollans expressed confidence that the Linux market would not fragment in the way that Unix had done, thanks to the General Public Licence (GPL).
"When you add something to Linux and resell it, you have to contribute it back to the open source community. So [for instance] SuSE uses Red Hat code and vice versa," he said.
SCO's past support for Linux included providing code for both SCO Linux and UnitedLinux which are covered by the GPL open source licence, highlighting a potential difficulty for SCO in any court case.
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