LinuxWorld: Analysis: SCO's Case Against IBM Stands on Shaky Ground
Mar 19, 2003, 01:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Mark Cappel)
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"SCO's complaint consists of 136 averments--i.e., statements of
fact--that form the basis of SCO's four main claims (called causes
of action in the legal trade) against IBM. Every statement in a
complaint is supposed to be truthful, and I think this is where SCO
starts to run into trouble. If I were an advisor to IBM's legal
team, I'd suggest looking closely at three suppositions that
support almost all of SCO's arguments. Knocking any of the
following would, I believe, all but destroy SCO's case.
"Averment 96: 'IBM's AIX contributions' (to Linux)
consisted of the improper extraction, use, and dissemination of
SCO'S UNIX source code and libraries, and unauthorized misuse of
UNIX methods, concepts, and know-how.
"AT&T started development of Unix in 1969. AT&T and IBM
signed an agreement in 1985 that gave IBM access to the source code
for Unix. IBM agreed to keep the source code confidential. In 1992,
AT&T sold Unix to Novell, which later sold Unix to SCO.
"SCO assumes IBM released SCO's proprietary information to the
Linux community. This should be easy for SCO to prove. All SCO need
do is use the Unix program 'diff' on its code and the code IBM
released. If the code is the same, SCO has its smoking gun.
However, Unix has such a rich and diverse heritage that such
evidence may not show anything..."