Home > Legal > Judge Orders IBM to Reveal Unix CodeJudge Orders IBM to Reveal Unix Code David Adams 2005-01-20 Legal 16 CommentsA judge overseeing the legal fight between the SCO Group and IBM over Linux and Unix on Tuesday ordered Big Blue to show all versions of its two Unix products, AIX and DynixAbout The Author David AdamsFollow me on Twitter @david_adams 16 Comments 2005-01-20 3:41 pm Ding Ding…… Seconds Away, Round Three! 😉 2005-01-20 4:05 pm This is just a cop-out for the judge. She doesn’t really want to deal with this case… I think she’s just waiting for SCOX to bleed out 2005-01-20 5:01 pm The magistrate (who is presiding over pre-trial discovery, not the trial, where a judge will be in charge) noted that the contract between SCO and IBM may well give SCO more rights to the code than copyright law does. Thus IBM might be liable to SCO for putting code in Linux that doesn’t violate any copyright SCO may have. IOW, Linux would be OK, IBM would not.Another theory advanced by SCO that the magistrate did not dismiss out of hand is the possibility that internal IBM AIX and Dynix code changes may show a path between SCO code and Linux. IBM has been contending that if a bare comparison between Linux and SCO code shows no obvious copying, anything IBM did internally is irrelevant.The bizarre bit is a footnote paying tribute to New York Giants football player Mel Hein that (to mix sports metaphors) comes from way out in left field. It’s also ungrammatical (“He played 15 seasons going 60 minutes a game without nearly any rest”), which I’m definitely not accustomed to seeing in Federal court orders. 2005-01-20 5:15 pm Complete information in Groklaw:http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20050119190326525” Finally, it has arrived, Judge Brooke Wells’ Order on SCO’s Motion Re Discovery. It’s annoying because she enables more delay, but other than that it is a pretty normal discovery order. SCO doesn’t get access to CMVC, they do get more code and they get not all programmers’ notes but some. She postpones any decision on production of documents from top managment. Keep in mind, she isn’t the trier of fact. That is Judge Kimball. She is the Magistrate, so it’s not her job to decide who is right or wrong. Her job is simply to make sure everybody’s cards are on the table.Judges don’t get in trouble for ordering more discovery. That’s why in hot disputes, they usually do order more discovery. And so IBM will have to go to the expense and take the time to sort through everything and comply. They can go back and explain why they can’t do X or Y and ask her to revise her Order, and they could appeal, but why bother? I’m not saying they won’t do either, because part of her order is a bit hard to comply with. By what measure, for example, do you decide which of 7,200 individuals are the 3,000 who contributed the most to AIX? That is what IBM will have to figure out. Wells calls that a representative sample, but it’s actually almost half, so we must have had different math teachers.The worst, in my opinion, is that now the schedule for this farce to go to trial, if it ever does, is going to have to be redone. So more delay. “ 2005-01-20 5:19 pm I have fear that SCO, now with access to AIX code, simply cut & paste some lines on its SCO Unixware to “prove” that IBM stolen SCO code.How this judge and IBM know if SCO will not lie making false source code to gain ? 2005-01-20 5:42 pm They just keep draging the same bs out for months. 2005-01-20 6:05 pm Is that IBM has stolen a lot of code from Linux and put into AIX. I mean, IBM is not known for their high moral really, neither is SCO.On the other hand, why would they steal from Linux, it’s not like it has something AIX doesn’t…. 2005-01-20 6:47 pm This is the best news that scox’s primary benefactor could hope for.This ruling will insure endless delays. Which means the legal cloud over linux will remain for years to come. All the while “independant” tech analysts like Yankee Group will be cranking out articles about the overwhelming legal risks inherent in F/OSS.The scox-scam is the one of the best investments msft has ever made. $50MM for all that FUD is one hullva bargin. 2005-01-20 6:49 pm >Judges don’t get in trouble for ordering more discovery. That’s why in hot disputes, they usually do order more discovery.<If the decision was such a “no-brainer” then why did it take Wells three months to make such a simple decision? 2005-01-20 6:54 pm Can’t we just stake sco and they stay dead. Geewiz. 2005-01-20 6:57 pm >I have fear that SCO, now with access to AIX code, simply cut & paste some lines on its SCO Unixware to “prove” that IBM stolen SCO code.<No. This case will never go to trial. Scox has already pulled the lawsuit switcheroo in this case once, and is trying to do it again. In any case, scox will dismiss the case before it goes to trial. Scox always does this – look at the DCX trial.>what I expectIs that IBM has stolen a lot of code from Linux and put into AIX. I mean, IBM is not known for their high moral really, neither is SCO.<You have it backwards. Nobody is accusing IBM of putting Linux code in AIX. Scox is saying that IBM is putting AIX code in Linux. Scox is (now) claiming that scox owns UNIX, and thereby any extensions to UNIX are trade secrets. According to scox, putting AIX code in linux violates a contract because IBM exposed those trade secret. 2005-01-20 7:48 pm Maybe not. It could be that IBM does not want to show that they have GPL code in a closed source product.The case is really going to come down to what a derived work is. SCO thinks anything and everything. IBM think differently. 2005-01-20 8:01 pm Comparing IBM to SCO seems a little silly. I mean than one offers a range of products and services, the other has no business outside of litigation. Further than that they were not even responsible for creating IP that they claim is being infringed. Infact they are suing IBM the creator of the IP for infringing on their IP. It does not even make sense, but that is how absurd the whole idea of ‘derivative works’ is according to SCO. 2005-01-20 9:36 pm >Maybe not. It could be that IBM does not want to show that they have GPL code in a closed source product.<Where the hell do you get this bizare idea that IBM put GPL code in AIX? Even scox isn’t saying that, and the idea makes no sense at all. I have already explained that once.IBM had already given scox every copy of AIX going back five years – IBM did that about a year ago. What do you think Linux had over five years ago that would be so important to IBM that IBM would risk billions of dollars, and their reputation to steal? 2005-01-21 2:39 am Quote: “This is the best news that scox’s primary benefactor could hope for.This ruling will insure endless delays. Which means the legal cloud over linux will remain for years to come. All the while “independant” tech analysts like Yankee Group will be cranking out articles about the overwhelming legal risks inherent in F/OSS.The scox-scam is the one of the best investments msft has ever made. $50MM for all that FUD is one hullva bargin.”Absolutely spot on the money. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure this out, by so far the US court system, US government, Financialists and US Media are thicker than two short planks.SCOs next target will be Santa Claus – they have the IP on red suits and Santa is infringing and he owes them money big time. The tooth fairy is in trouble as well, SCO owns IP on her wings.The case should so simple it isn’t funny – this is part of my post on the Libranet user forums on this issue:“This is HOW it should have been handled.Judge: SCO – you’ve said you have evidence in press and media events.SCO: [nervously] Yes [stammers] your honourJudge: SCO – i’m not going to give a fishing expedition to you – you have 3 months to provide your ‘evidence’ failing to do so will result in dismissal of the case with prejudice, and charges of perjury and wasting the courts time. If you don’t have any evidence you shouldn’t have filed a case.SCO: but, but, but…Judge: Next case…. ”How phreaking hard is this to do?Dave 2005-01-21 7:58 am Even if they drag out this case and somehow survive, IBM will now have grounds to drag SCO into a ditch in another lawsuit which the tables will turn and SCO will have to prove it didn’t steal AIX code. Man, the only real winners are the lawyers….makes you wonder about this whole “civil” suit business they have going on.