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SCO challenges IBM witnesses

The Linux adversary again demands evidence from Big Blue and cites allegedly contradictory testimony.

David Becker Staff Writer, CNET News.com
David Becker
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David Becker
3 min read
Linux adversary The SCO Group has repeated its demands for IBM to show it software code and other potential evidence, and has attacked the credibility of key IBM witnesses.

In a motion filed Monday with U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City, SCO asked the court to delay any ruling on IBM's request for summary judgment until Big Blue fully complies with all requests for "discovery," the process by which litigating parties turn over potential evidence. The court is scheduled to hear one of IBM's claims for partial summary judgment on Wednesday.

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The motion also challenged key IBM witnesses, saying their testimony contradicts claims made under oath in a previous case.

An IBM representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A SCO representative declined to comment beyond the text of the motion.

SCO rattled the technology world last year, when it sued IBM, claiming that the computing giant illegally incorporated into its Linux software some source code from the Unix operating system, which SCO claims to control.

The case has since ballooned into a far-ranging attack on Linux, attracting legal attention from Linux companies Novell and Red Hat, and drawing the ire of Linux supporters worldwide.

SCO has since expanded its legal campaign to include several prominent corporate Linux users, including automaker DaimlerChrysler and retailer AutoZone.

SCO has suffered several setbacks lately in its multipronged legal attacks, with a judge discarding most of the DaimlerChrysler case and legal expenses cutting into the company's profits.

As part of the case against IBM, SCO has requested reams of memos

"IBM has precluded SCO from obtaining discovery on numerous issues, including those bearing directly on IBM's dispositive motions," according to the motion. "The longer IBM holds back the foregoing rudimentary, predicate information, the greater IBM will compromise SCO's ability to use it effectively as a basis for further discovery and the development of its case."

The motion goes on to attack the testimony of two former AT&T employees cited by IBM to buttress its copyright claims, saying their testimony regarding AT&T's intentions when it sold its rights to Unix directly contradict their testimony in an earlier case involving AT&T and Berkeley Software Design (BSD). In that case, the AT&T people claimed that company's rights extended to "derivative works," similar to claims SCO has made regarding its Unix rights.

"At an absolute minimum, the prior testimony...not only contradicts IBM's position that AT&T did not protect, and was not interested in protecting, anything other than literal Unix source code," according to the motion, "but also demonstrates that AT&T sought through its license agreement to protect any product that a license made after having been given access to Unix."

The motion also claims that one of the witnesses was recently convicted of felony insurance fraud.

The motion asks the court to compel IBM to produce the requested documents and delay any hearing on summary judgment until such discovery requests have been satisfied.