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IBM Tells SCO Court It Can't Find AIX-on-Power Code

SCO's Lawyers, Another Young Thing From Boies, Schiller & Flexner Was Smooth Enough to Impress Even Groklaw's IBM-dazzled Observ

SCO and IBM met in federal court in Utah again Tuesday for another go-round over the discovery that IBM hasn't produced in SCO's $5 billion lawsuit against it.

At the hearing, one of SCO's lawyers, another young thing from Boies, Schiller & Flexner whose footwork was smooth enough to impress even Groklaw's IBM-dazzled observers, mentioned the little matter of SCO's days-old Third Amended Complaint, which, alas, is under seal reportedly because it's based on some e-mail that turned up during discovery that IBM now claims is privileged though there's supposedly no hint of attorney-client communication about it.

Anyway, the sealed Third Amended Complaint has to do with SCO's contention that - to compete against Sun - IBM put SCO-owned SVR4 code in System 3-based AIX for its proprietary Power chip architecture - and one of the supposedly compromising IBM e-mails - that SCO just happened to read out loud in court the other day - suggests that IBM was conscious that it had overstepped the bounds of its Project Monterey contract with SCO, which was intended to produce only a version of AIX for Intel's Itanium chip (CSN No 564).

Well, during the Third Amended Complaint discussion, SCO's lawyer held up a piece of paper - that was duplicated on a projection screen that only the magistrate judge, Brooke Wells, could see - that listed all of the AIX code that IBM has and hasn't turned over to SCO. And SCO's lawyer pointed out that the only piece of code that IBM hasn't come up with - which was highlighted in red - was the AIX-on-Power code - to which IBM's lawyer replied that IBM "can't find it."

Shades of the Compuware suit. They "can't find it."

Makes one wonders whether IBM looked in that closet in Australia where it said a few weeks ago it just happened to stumble over the source code - the source code it swore - literally swore in court for two years - didn't exist - the code that it was supposed to produce during the court-ordered discovery phase of the suit that Compuware brought against IBM for, well, for stealing its source code.

IBM only managed to find the code after discovery had closed and the trial was about to start, a situation that it got its ears boxed for by the District Court for Eastern Michigan, which called its behavior "gross negligence."

Magistrate Wells has yet to cross that bridge, however.

After listening to what everybody had to say - and all the reasons why IBM shouldn't have to produce all the rest of the stuff that SCO wants - particularly the IBM Configuration Management and Version Control System (CMVC) and Revision Control System (RCS) that SCO thinks is the key to its case - she reserved any final decision so she could go off and have a think about it - and probably confer with her staff and her colleague Judge Dale Kimball, who's hearing IBM's motion for a partial summary judgment - a decision, IBM pointed out, that might make her ruling moot.

However, she did give IBM and SCO 30 days to exchange so-called privilege logs listing all of the discovery that they're not providing each other because it's allegedly privileged.

She also told IBM to get affidavits from IBM management, including CEO Sam Palmisano, the CTO of IBM's Unix/Linux interests Irving Wladawsky-Berger and IBM's board of directors, attesting that nothing more exists in their files regarding IBM's Linux activities.

See, IBM - having produced one single PowerPoint presentation - contends that there are no other e-mails, memos, business plans or presentations about Linux anywhere in the joint, evidently proving that not only can elephants dance, but that they really do have good memories.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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