IBM run out of patience, SCO runs out of road..

Well well well, here’s an interesting turnup in the SCO vs IBM case that’s been dragging on and on for years.

SCO finally had to submit a list of what they were accusing IBM of, with specificity,and did so with a list of 294 alleged misdeeds that they filed under seal, so the rest of the world couldn’t see. Obviously they’d gotten fed up with the world pulling the rest of their previous allegations apart.

But now IBM have hit back, they’ve filed a motion in the court to strike 201 of those 294 allegations immediately because, surprise surprise, SCO give no evidence at all for them. Apparently they don’t cite any lines of code from Linux, AIX, Dynix or System V to support those particular 201 allegations. What makes it worse from SCOs point of view is that IBM wrote to them on the 5th December 2005 pointing this out and giving them the opportunity to fix it, but they ignored the warning. So IBM has done the only thing that they could in the circumstance and asked the court to strike these items, mentioning in passing that SCOs unresponsiveness to flag that it’s probably not worth ordering them to do anything as they’ve already been asked and had over 2 months to provide extra details.

The sorts of things SCO is up to are time wasting tricks like this (to pick a random example):

Item Nos. 271 and 294 of the Final Disclosures illustrate the problem. Item No. 271 claims that “AIX and Dynix/ptx patented technologies, based on UNIX System V, were improperly released for the benefit of, and use by, the Linux development community in developing Linux.” SCO does not identify a single version, file or line of Unix System V, AIX, Dynix or Linux technology that IBM is alleged to have misused. Instead, SCO merely attaches 34 patents. None of these 34 patents lists any versions, files or lines of code. There is, therefore, no way of telling what, if any, Unix System V, AIX, Dynix or Linux technology SCO contends was misused.

But this is probably only the first in a series of blows to SCO, as if the court does rule that SCO have not produced any particularised details for these allegations as the court had ordered (several times) and strike these allegations then IBM can start on those where they’ve got some idea about what SCO is prattling on about and then it’ll get interesting when we see what they then do to defend themselves.

There is already something about this foreshadowed in a footnote to the filing where IBM say:

In Item No. 204, SCO provides a comparison of System V source code and Dynix source code to support the unremarkable, and uncontested, proposition that the Dynix operating system contains certain code modified or derived from System V source code; neither party contests the fact that IBM (through Sequent) had a valid license to include System V source code in Dynix. In fact, as noted above, SCO makes no claim of misuse of the material identified in Item No. 204. (See supra note 1.)

Truly a Homer Simpson moment.. D’oh!