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SCO still wants info from IBM

Linux foe seeks more documents, names Big Blue programmers and says what it wants from Torvalds.

The SCO Group, which sued IBM over its treatment of the Unix and Linux operating systems, this week accused Big Blue of failing to release required documents.

SCO on Tuesday filed a "renewed" motion to compel IBM to release more memos from executives, source code underlying many IBM versions of Unix, and details about programmers involved with Unix and Linux. "IBM has failed to comply with its discovery obligations and the court's order," attorneys for the Lindon, Utah, company said in the filing.

In its motion, SCO said IBM has provided "only a limited number of well-filtered documents" from Chief Executive Sam Palmisano and nothing from Irving Wladawsky-Berger, the executive responsible for launching IBM's push.

"IBM should be ordered to comply with the court's March 3, 2004, order by providing the full files of Mr. Palmisano, Mr. Wladawsky-Berger, IBM's board, including board minutes, board packages and other relevant board materials, and all other documents relevant to SCO's requests that this court previously ordered IBM to produce," the filing said. IBM also should produce source code for all versions of its current and former Unix products, SCO said.

IBM attorneys are reviewing the filings but declined to comment, spokesman Mike Darcy said.

The lawsuit, which argues that IBM violated its Unix contract with SCO by moving proprietary Unix technology to open-source Linux, is one of several cases SCO launched to profit from the popularity of Linux by arguing it infringes SCO's Unix intellectual property. Novell--an earlier Unix owner, current Linux seller and another SCO lawsuit target--argues it still owns the Unix copyrights. SCO's claim to own Unix is key to its lawsuits.

SCO is seeking more than $5 billion in damages from IBM. The case is scheduled for a five-week trial beginning Nov. 1, 2005, in the U.S. District Court in Utah.

On Thursday, SCO raised the prospect of even more discovery--the information requests that precede a trial--including depositions of Linux leader Linus Torvalds and other Linux programmers.

Specifically, SCO said it will need more information if the court retains in the suit a March claim in which IBM seeks a declaration that its Linux activities haven't infringed SCO copyrights.

"SCO does not intend to depose thousands of contributors worldwide to determine who made material contributions to Linux," said a Thursday declaration by John Harrop, an attorney for SCO law firm Andrews Kurth, but SCO does want information from Torvalds.

SCO wants Torvalds' "knowledge about the contributors and contributions to Linux since its inception, and the maintenance of any records about the development history of Linux. Mr. Torvalds is expected to have detailed records of these contributors and their contributions, material that is not publicly available," Kurth said.

In addition, SCO wants to obtain information from "maintainers," the senior programmers responsible for various parts of Linux; from IBM partners; and from private groups that have contributed to Linux.

SCO also wants to depose IBM programmers who worked on IBM's current AIX version of Unix and the Dynix/ptx version formerly sold by Sequent, a company IBM acquired. Among those it wants to depose are AIX engineer Dave Kleinkamp and Dynix engineers Paul McKenney, Brent Kingsbury, Gerrit Huizenga and Jack Vogel.