Feeds

IBM says SCO contract claims are an 'illusion'

Dismiss please

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

IBM last week stepped up its attack against SCO by filing a motion to dismiss SCO's contract claims with the US District Court in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The 100 page document aims right at SCO's claims around the control of "derivative works" produced off of the Unix System V code base. SCO has long asserted that IBM did not have the right to make additions to Unix and then chuck them into Linux source code. In its filing, IBM says this line of thinking is absurd given its old Unix contracts with AT&T and given SCO's decision to ship its own version of Linux.

"Although SCO for months perpetuated the illusion that is had evidence that IBM took confidential source code from Unix System V and 'dumped' it into Linux, it has become clear that SCO has no such evidence," IBM says in the court filing. "Instead, SCO's claims that IBM breached its agreements with AT&T depend entirely on the allegation that IBM improperly contributed certain of IBM's original source code, contained in its own AIX and Dynix operating systems . . . to Linux."

IBM goes on to argue that old agreements with AT&T and expert witnesses make it clear that IBM was allowed to do what it liked with "derivative works." It would have been bad business for IBM to agree to broad terms banning it from controlling "derivative works," it says.

"Second, even if the AT&T agreements could be read to preclude the disclosure of homegrown code - and they cannot be - any breach based upon such a reading has been waived by Novell on behalf of SCO, and by SCO itself," IBM says in the filing, referring to the time in which Novell owned the rights to Unix before SCO.

IBM also claims that SCO "has waived any right to claim IBM acted improperly by contributing its code to Linux" by making a version of Linux based on the 2.4 kernel available to its customers. It's no secret that SCO had Linux up for download well after it filed suit against IBM. Big Blue, in fact, argues that SCO still had the code up as recently as two weeks ago.

SCO has been having a bad run of late in its battle against Linux. The company's CEO has been less aggressive about pursuing legal action against Linux customers after losing most of its case against DaimlerChrysler. SCO has also temporarily backed off its SCOsource licensing campaign, saying this isn't a huge near-term priority. Add to all this the massive legal costs being faced by the company, and it's not the prettiest of pictures.

As usual, Groklaw has a solid discussion of the most recent filing (and a copy of the document) going on. ®

Related stories

IBM promises no patent assault on Linux
Neutered SCO no longer on the offensive
IBM gives code to Apache open sourcerers
New date for SCO v IBM hearing
Rampant capitalism upsets delicate Reg reader

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Sway: Microsoft's new Office app doesn't have an Undo function
Content aggregation, meet the workplace ... oh
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
NetWare sales revive in China thanks to that man Snowden
If it ain't Microsoft, it's in fashion behind the Great Firewall
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.