March 3, 2004

Judge orders SCO, IBM to produce disputed code

Author: NewsForge Staff

A court ruling by Judge Brooke C. Wells in the SCO Group vs. IBM intellectual property lawsuit amounting to "show me the code" was released Wednesday -- in the form of a nine-page pdf document. For a change, the SCO Group had no comment, because Judge Wells told it not to issue any.

In her ruling, the judge wrote that SCO hasn't produced enough proof to back up its allegations that IBM moved proprietary Unix software to new Linux systems. SCO Group filed its $5 billion lawsuit against Big Blue nearly one year ago, on March 6, 2003.

"In keeping with Magistrate Judge Wells' wishes, The SCO Group will not be making comments on this ruling at this time," SCO said in an email to the media announcing the ruling.

The judge's ruling included these key statements:

  • As previously ordered, SCO is to provide and identify all specific lines of code IBM is alleged to have contribute to Linux from either AIX or Dynix. This is to include all lines of code that SCO can identify at this time.
  • SCO is to provide and identify all specific lines of code from Unix System V from which IBM's contributions from AIX or Dynix are alleged to be derived.
  • SCO is to provide and identify with specificity all lines of code in Linux that it claims rights to.
  • SCO is to provide and identify with specificity the lines of code that SCO that SCO distribute to other parties. This is to include where applicable the conditions of release, to whom the code was released, and the date and under what circusmstances such code was released.

IBM is to "provide the releases of AIX and Dynix, consisting of 'about 232 products,'" and SCO is then required to "provide additional memoranda to the court indicating if and how these files support its position and how they are relevant."

"SCO should use its best efforts to obtain relevant discovery from the Linux contributions that are known to the public, including those contributions publicly known to be made by IBM. IBM, however, is hereby ordered to provide to SCO any and all non-public contributions it has made to Linux," the court said.

SCO has not complied with the court's first order issued on Dec. 12, 2003, to "provide and identify specific lines of code that IBM has alleged to have contributed to Linux or Dynix." SCO had been ordered to provide these lines of code within 30 days (by Jan. 12, 2004) but did not do so. In a separate hearing on the matter held Feb. 6, SCO was able to convince the court that it is proceeding in good faith, and the court lifted its 30-day discovery stay.

As a result of this newest court order, SCO now has another 45 days, or until April 17, to produce the disputed lines of code and explain them clearly to the court.


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