The SCO Group, a little while back, filed a motion asking for a delay in
the trial of its suit against IBM. According to SCO, IBM's foot-dragging
had slowed things to the point that SCO could not get its act together in
time. IBM has now responded; the full filing can be read in PDF format
. It is not particularly
surprising that IBM opposes this delay.
In fact, IBM has taken this filing as an opportunity to stiffen its
language against SCO in general:
Since this suit began in March, 2003, SCO has publicly touted its
evidence of IBM's alleged misconduct, but has resisted disclosing
the supposed evidence to IBM. In fact, SCO's Chief Executive Darl
McBride commented in an interview that SCO was 'fine to go to court
just on what we have before discovery.' ... In contrast to its
public assertions, SCO's conduct during discovery reflects a
remarkable pattern of delay and obfuscation.
It's not clear when the judge will rule on this motion.
A hearing will be held on June 9 on SCO's suit against
DaimlerChrysler, with a focus on Daimler's motion for a summary dismissal
of the case. As reported
in Groklaw, this case appears to have drawn a no-nonsense judge who
will try to see things through to a resolution in relatively short order.
The Free Software Foundation received a subpoena from SCO last year; they
have now posted
the subpoena on their site with some related discussion. It will
surprise few to see that the subpoena is impossibly broad; the FSF has no
intention of fulfilling it in its entirety. Being the FSF, they cannot
stop with just the subpoena, however:
In addition to answering and/or disputing the subpoena, we must
also educate the community about why it is that Linux was attacked
and GNU was not. For more than a decade, FSF has urged projects to
build a process whereby the legal assembly of the software is as
sound as the software development itself. Many Free Software
developers saw the copyright assignment process used for most GNU
components as a nuisance, but we arduously designed and redesigned
the process to remove the onerousness. Now the SCO fiasco has shown
the community the resilience and complete certainty that a good
legal assembly process can create.
The FSF is right to emphasize the importance of ensuring that stolen code
is not merged into free software projects; there is no doubt that more care
is called for in that regard. Claiming that the FSF's
copyright assignment policies headed off a legal attack from the SCO Group
seems a little strong, however. It seems just as likely that SCO was
repelled by the FSF's small bank balance. IBM, too, has strong rules
covering its code contributions; armies of lawyers are involved. Those
rules did not keep SCO from suing IBM, however.
Expect some fun around June 2, when SCO will announce its second
quarter results. One can only assume that said results will not be of
a kind that will revive the company's stock price, which fell below its
one-year low this last week. It will be interesting to see what the
company comes up with as a way of distracting attention from these matters.
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