IBM, Open-Source Community Decry SCO Suit

IBM says $1 billion lawsuit filed against it by the SCO Group on Thursday is "full of bare allegations with no supporting facts."

IBM on Friday responded to the $1 billion lawsuit filed against it by the SCO Group on Thursday, saying the suit is "full of bare allegations with no supporting facts."

IBM corporate spokesman Bill Hughes told eWEEK on Friday that company officials received a copy of the complaint "this morning and have not had a sufficient opportunity to study it. However, based on a quick read, the complaint is full of bare allegations with no supporting facts."

He also maintained that SCO never approached IBM to raise the complaint or to give advance notice of the lawsuit. "IBM has been openly supporting Linux and open standards for several years, and neither SCO nor any of its predecessors ever expressed these concerns to us," Hughes said.

His comments fly in the face of those made by SCO CEO and president Darl McBride, who told eWEEK on Thursday that SCO had been talking to IBM in this regard since early December and had reached an impasse. As such, legal action was the only way forward, he said on Thursday. McBride then reiterated this in a Friday media conference.

Hughes comments are consistent with those of an IBM Linux spokeswoman, who told eWEEK last week that Big Blue had not been contacted by SCO with regard to any potential violations of its intellectual property or other rights.

Open-source community activists and consultants who talked to eWEEK on Friday were also angry about what they see as SCOs spurious and baseless legal action. SCOs $1 billion lawsuit alleges that IBM made "concentrated efforts to improperly destroy the economic value of Unix, particularly Unix on Intel, to benefit IBMs new Linux services business."

Bruce Perens, an influential open-source consultant and activist who was also the former senior global strategist for Linux at Hewlett-Packard Corp., told eWEEK in an interview on Friday that SCO is playing both sides: pointing out that its action was not against Linux or the open-source community, yet at the same time suing one of the largest players in the Linux and open-source communities.

"The Linux and open-source community are not deceived by this. We are very angry and will now never recommend any products created by SCO or Caldera going forward. We may well also have our own infringement actions to bring against SCO," he warned on Friday, but declined to be more specific.