BEAVERTON, OR: The Open Source Development Lab has launched a campaign to educate the media and analysts about how the controversial operating system is developed.
The OSDL is a global consortium of companies that support the development and adoption of Linux. It includes Cisco Systems, Dell, IBM, Intel, and Sun Microsystems. "We want users to understand what Linux is about, and how it came about," said Lonn Johnston, founder of Page One PR, the firm recruited by OSDL to help lead the effort.
Linux has been at the heart of a heated controversy, well covered by the trade, tech, and business media. The battle hinges on accusations that companies that support and distribute Linux, a free and open-source operating system, violate copyrights and intellectual-property rights, as Linux uses part of the Unix code. SCO Group, which sued IBM over its support of Linux, says it owns the Unix code. SCO Group has also sent out 1,500 letters to companies using Linux, saying that their use of Linux could possibly expose them to similar lawsuits.
The educational campaign is not a direct response to SCO Group's efforts, said Nelson Pratt, OSDL's director of marketing. "Forget about the lawsuits and copyright issues for a moment," he said. "What this [campaign] is about, is what OSDL has seen, and many of the industry analysts have seen, which is an insufficient job of explaining just how open-source software gets developed. We want to communicate how it goes from thousands of developers to being released."