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SCO to Detail its Case against Linux to IBM by Monday

SCO to Detail its Case against Linux to IBM by Monday

At press time, the SCO Group expected that by Monday, January 12, it would turn over to IBM all the evidence it had of Linux' alleged infringement on SCO-owned Unix IP that IBM asked for in its motion to compel discovery last month, thereby meeting its court-imposed 30-day deadline, according to SCO spokesman Blake Stowell.

Provided IBM is satisfied with what SCO turns over, SCO expects to be back in court on Friday January 23 pursuing its own motion to compel IBM to turn over its AIX Unix source code to SCO. IBM previously turned over to SCO the Dynix UNIX source code that it acquired when it bought Sequent. SCO claims Linux got many of its high-end skills like SMP from the Sequent code.

SCO, which has a $3 billion breach-of-contract suit lodged against IBM, continues to maintain that having to spell out its case against Linux is an idle exercise because IBM knows darn well what Unix code it put in Linux. The motion to compel order also requires SCO to say what it thinks other vendors besides IBM poached from Unix and stuck in Linux.

Although the Linux camp would give practically anything to know the details of SCO's allegations, IBM is expected to threat the material as confidential, Stowell said.

The most detailed exposition of SCO's case given so far happened right before Christmas when the company sent "select" Fortune 1000 Linux users a letter citing 65 Unix header files in Linux that allegedly trifle with SCO IP.

In the letter SCO claimed its copyright notices were removed when Linux pinched the files and that, as a result, Linux violates the US Copyright Act and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that the music industry has been using to fight wholesale piracy of copyrighted songs.

The letter said the Fortune 1000s had one of three choices: either pay SCO one-time royalties of $699 per CPU for the privilege of running Linux or pull all the illegal header files out of Linux and cripple almost all the applications Linux can currently run or go to court.

The Linux establishment, including Linux creator and namesake Linus Torvalds, who has been subpoenaed in the SCO case, scoffed at SCO's list of header files claiming they were either original to Linux, or widgetry required by standards like Posix and C or similar because there's a limited number of ways to program.

Torvalds said he personally wrote a couple of the files himself, "ugly" and primitive though they may be, without copying from Unix and that he could prove it, apparently by the bugs.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at) or paperboy(at), and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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