D-Day Arrives for SCO

The deadline arrives for SCO to file with the courts whatever evidence the company has found that there's Unix code in Linux.

After more than two and a half years, SCO must finally turn over to the U.S. District Court in Utah any proof it has that theres Unix code in Linux.

Back on June 16, 2003, Mark J. Heise, a Miami-based partner in The SCO Group Inc.s law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP and complex commercial litigation specialist, said, "Through contributing AIX source code to Linux and using Unix methods to accelerate and improve Linux as a free operating system, with the resulting destruction of Unix, IBM has clearly demonstrated its misuse of Unix source code and has violated the terms of its contract with SCO."

Since then, however, SCOs attempts to prove that there is Unix code in Linux have come to little.

Early attempts by SCO to show Unix code in Linux were quickly refuted as examples of code that had long been available under the BSD license.

Linux supporters have often asked for SCO to show them the Unix code in Linux so that it might be removed. SCO has refused to do so unless they sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement).

In addition, Novell Inc. has questioned whether SCO actually has any rights to Unixs intellectual property. Novell claims that when it sold Unix, it did not sell Unixs IP.

While this matter is still making its way through the court system, a recent decision by Judge Wells in the SCO vs. IBM case that not all Unix business rights were transferred in Novells Unix sales, doesnt appear to bode well for this crucial part of SCOs claims.

In November, SCO turned in 217 areas in which, the Lindon, Utah-based company declared that IBM, or its subsidiary Sequent, violated its Unix licensing contracts. SCO, however, did not publicly reveal any specific details.

/zimages/2/28571.gifClick here to read more about SCOs list of the 217 areas.

On Dec. 22, which is the "Final Deadline for Parties to Identify with Specificity All Allegedly Misused Material," SCO CEO Darl McBride said in a teleconference that the company would be "taking those 217 areas and expanding upon them. We will make them deeper and broader; polishing the October submissions."

The actual papers, though, had not been filed by mid-afternoon Dec. 22. McBride said SCOs lawyers would be "putting them in later today to the court and IBM."

In these papers, SCO is expected to identify in more detail the exact technology that was improperly disclosed by IBM or Sequent, who made those disclosures, how the disclosure was made, exactly where in the Unix or modified Unix code the disclosure came from, and the manner by which it had been contributed to Linux.

Taken as a whole, SCO will claim that this will show how IBM made a pervasive, sustained effort to disclose methods, concepts, and often, literal code, from Unix-derived technologies in order to enhance Linux.

While SCO is still looking forward to more discovery, McBride said "SCO believes that the materials have already been discovered shows evidence of IBM violating the Unix license agreement."

Looking ahead, McBride said, "We remain confident of our claims and legal team and look forward to a successful conclusion to our cases.

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