SCO describes alleged IBM Unix misuse to court

It took more than two and a half years, but the SCO Group finally has disclosed a list of areas in which it believes IBM violated its Unix contract, allegedly by moving proprietary Unix technology into open-source Linux.

In a five-page document filed Friday, SCO attorneys say they have identified 217 areas in which the company believes IBM or Sequent, a Unix server company IBM acquired, violated contracts under which SCO and its predecessors licensed the Unix operating system. However, the curious won't be able to see for themselves the details of SCO's claims: The full list of alleged abuses were filed in a separate document under court seal.

The Lindon, Utah-based company did provide some information about what it believes IBM moved improperly to Linux.

"Some of these wrongful disclosures include areas such as an entire file management system; others are communications by IBM personnel working on Linux that resulted in enhancing Linux functionality by disclosing a method or concept from Unix technology," SCO said. "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."

District Judge Dale Kimball, overseeing the case in U.S. District Court in Utah, has expressed skepticism for SCO's claims. He said in a February ruling, "Viewed against the backdrop of SCO's plethora of public statements concerning IBM's and others' infringement of SCO's purported copyrights to the Unix software, it is astonishing that SCO has not offered any competent evidence to create a disputed fact regarding whether IBM has infringed SCO's alleged copyrights through IBM's Linux activities."

SCO, whose Unix business continues to struggle, said it will file a final report on the alleged abuses on Dec. 22.

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About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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