Judge orders SCO to show Linux infringement

IBM won a tactical victory Friday in a legal battle with SCO Group when a judge ordered SCO to show within 30 days the Linux software to which it believes it has rights and to point out where it believes IBM is infringing.

But SCO also said it will open a new copyright infringement claim in its legal attack. In a hearing in Salt Lake City, Federal Judge Dale A. Kimball required SCO to produce two key batches of information IBM had sought in the case. In one batch, called Interrogatory No. 12, IBM sought "all source code and other material in Linux...to which plaintiff (SCO) has rights; and the nature of plaintiff's rights." In the second, Interrogatory No. 13, Big Blue sought a detailed description of how SCO believes IBM has infringed SCO's rights and whether SCO ever distributed the source code described in Interrogatory No. 12. The information IBM sought is at the heart of the case, a bold lawsuit SCO began in March that alleges IBM moved technology from Unix to Linux against the terms of its contract with SCO, violating trade secrets in the process.

SCO is seeking $3 billion from Big Blue, and is also trying to compel Linux-using corporations to license SCO's Unix. The judge's decision is one of the first moves in a case that will affect not just IBM but also other computing giants including Oracle, Hewlett-Packard, SAP and Dell that have embraced Linux. IBM in August countersued with four patent violation claims and a defense that charges SCO with violating the terms of the General Public License (GPL) that governs Linux. In the spring, when SCO first said Unix code had been copied into Linux, Chief Executive Darl McBride told CNET News.com, "We will be happy to show the evidence we have at the appropriate time in a court setting," but thus far the company hasn't done so.

News source: C|Net News.com

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