Is SCO Grasping at Straws?

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2006-07-26 Print this article Print

News Analysis: SCO is claiming that IBM destroyed evidence showing that it passed Unix code into Linux. What does it mean for the case? (Linux-Watch)

The SCO Group is going down swinging. In its recent attempt to breathe life into its IBM lawsuit, the company alleged that IBM destroyed evidence. Specifically, SCO claimed to the U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City that, "Weeks after SCO filed its lawsuit, IBM directed dozens of its Linux developers within its Linux Technology Center and at least ten of its Linux developers outside the Linux Operations Center to delete the AIX and/or Dynix source code from their computers. One IBM Linux developer has admitted to destroying Dynix source code and tests, as well as pre-March 2003 drafts of source code he had written for Linux while referring to Dynix code on his computer."
However, contrary to some reports, SCO has not yet filed a motion for sanctions for spoliation—in other words, the Lindon, Utah-based company has not yet officially brought to the courts attention that IBM destroyed evidence.
Indeed, in a summation of the major reasons why the Court shouldnt dismiss many of its cases main points, SCO said it "intends to raise the issue of IBMs spoliation of evidence before this court at the appropriate time." What exactly was this AIX and/or Dynix code? When was it destroyed? When did SCO find out about this? These are all questions that SCO has yet to answer. Linux-Watch has tried to reach SCO for clarification on these points, but has not yet received a reply. So, should SCOs latest claims be taken seriously? Read the full story on Linux-Watch: Is SCO Grasping at Straws? Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor at large for Ziff Davis Enterprise. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.

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