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SCO Subpoenas Linus, Others; IBM Returns the Favor

SCO Subpoenas Linus, Others; IBM Returns the Favor

On the SCO-IBM front, the SCO Group, in pressing its $3 million case against IBM, has subpoenaed:

Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux and chief developer of the Linux kernel;

John Horsley, the general counsel of Transmeta, Torvalds' employer;

Richard Stallman, head of the Free Software Foundation, father of the GPL and industry gadfly;

Stuart Cohen, CEO of the Open Software Development Lab, where Torvalds works and where major vendors like IBM are stitching together enterprise-class versions of Linux;

A John Doe or Does at Novell, which once owned Unix, still claims enough residual rights in the thing to absolve IBM of any wrongdoing over SCO's head and now the shiny new owner of SUSE Linux;

And last but not least a John Doe at Digeo, which continues to officially employ Andrew Morton, the number two guy in Linux kernel development, although he's working on the kernel at OSDL, just like Torvalds. Torvalds has a similar arrangement with Transmeta.

SCO is gonna want to rummage through their e-mail and papers. For its part, IBM has subpoenaed three SCO investors, Baystar Capital, Deutsche Bank and Renaissance Ventures, as well as Yankee Group analyst Laura DiDio.

As some journalists were, DiDio was shown a slice of SCO's alleged proof that IBM poached its code and put it in Linux, said it looked like plagiarism to her and advised clients to proceed with caution and check the language of the indemnity clause in their contracts with IBM to see who exactly is liable. Needless to say IBM doesn't indemnify its Linux customers.

SCO calls the IBM subpoenas, especially the DiDio one, "harassment." It claims IBM is trying to bully its supporters into silence.

Presumably IBM is on a hunting expedition looking to get a better handle on whatever it is SCO has on them. SCO has yet to lay out its evidence, frustrating IBM and enraging the entire Linux community.

IBM is irked enough to have asked the court last week to order SCO to detail its allegations. SCO says it has turned over a million pages of documents to IBM. Evidently they don't resolve IBM's problem.

IBM might also be looking for evidence of unjust enrichment, given how SCO's stock price has soared. Besides being an investor, Deutsche Bank issued a "buy" recommendation on SCO last month after its analyst saw the purportedly plagiarized code and Renaissance published a report that said the SCO suit was "well founded."

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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Most Recent Comments
David 11/16/03 01:17:44 PM EST

Not surprising that rich folks are getting richer off the SCO stock deals based on information they are not making public. Insider trading is illegal, and IBM may find out that the investors who have seen the stock run up based on their claims, which haven't been made public, allowed them to benefit by the run using information that only they had and did not disclose to all investors.