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SCO lodges 'infringing' code with court

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After two and a half years of waiting for the shoe to drop, the SCO Group has finally filed the evidence it alleges was misused by IBM, and incorporated into the Linux kernel, to a Utah court.

SCO lodged the five page document, which identifies 217 areas of concern, in compliance with an interim deadline on Friday; the company disclosed the fact to journalists late yesterday afternoon Mountain Time. However, the document remains under seal.

"We continue with discovery as we build on this submission and prepare for trial. A final disclosure will be made in December as directed by the court," SCO said in a statement.

"The numerosity and substantiality of the disclosures reflects the pervasive extent and sustained degree as to which IBM disclosed methods, concepts, and in many places, literal code, from Unix-derived technologies in order to enhance the ability of Linux to be used as a scalable and reliable operating system for business and as an alternative to proprietary Unix systems such as those licensed by SCO and others," SCO told CNET.

It's been a long strip tease. In August 2003, four months after SCO filed suit against IBM, the company showed lines of Linux source code it claimed were similar to, and derived from, Unix System V code to which SCO owned the IP rights. This turned out not to be the case, as the code had a common ancestor. It was source code for the Berkeley Packet Filter (BPF) which had been released under a BSD license, and SCO had copied that code into Unix System V. Meanwhile, the Linux BPF code was a clean room implementation.

SCO's IP claims have been strongly challenged by Novell, which signed certain System V assets over to SCO in 1996. Novell strongly disputes that SCO has a basis for litigation based on the 1996 agreement. ®

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