IBM Intends To "Call SCO's Bluff"

This week IBM will attempt to back SCO into a legal corner by filing another motion for partial summary judgment in its legal battle over Linux and Unix copyright issues.

IBM on Monday asked the U.S. District Court in Utah to rule that it should win immediately on its eighth counterclaim, which regards copyright infringement. In that counterclaim, IBM asserts that because The SCO Group Inc. has sold Linux—which included more than 783,000 lines of code of IBM's copyrighted material—the court should immediately grant IBM summary judgment and a permanent injunction.

Kelly Talcott, an IP (intellectual property) attorney and partner at Kirkpatrick & Lockhart LLP's New York office says, "This motion is a clever ploy by IBM, meant to call SCO's bluff. The focus is on SCO's distribution of its own Linux products. Because it contributed its code to Linux subject to the terms of the GPL [GNU General Public License], IBM says it is the GPL that governs how IBM's contributions can be used."

Talbott explains, "According to IBM, SCO has effectively renounced the GPL. If this is so, says IBM, then SCO has infringed IBM's copyrights by distributing versions of Linux that contain IBM-contributed code."

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