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SCO Demands Linux 2.7 Information 410

dr_d_19 writes "According to Groklaw, SCO is now demanding IBM to turn over 'all documents concerning IBM's contributions to the Linux 2.7 kernel, including development work'. Of course, there is no 2.7 kernel and no plans at all to create one."
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SCO Demands Linux 2.7 Information

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  • by Musteval ( 817324 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @02:25PM (#13980482)
    IBM just hasn't released it yet. Bastards.
  • Okay . . . (Score:5, Insightful)

    by failure-man ( 870605 ) <failureman&gmail,com> on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @02:26PM (#13980490)
    SCO does not, and has never had a firm grip on reality. This is news?
    • Re:Okay . . . (Score:5, Interesting)

      by qortra ( 591818 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @02:37PM (#13980611)
      This request might not be as non-sensical as you think.

      We all know that Linus prefers the bazaar style software development methodology, but there is no guarantee that IBM doesn't have cathedral style GPL'ed development going on. They might be preparing to drop new code in the next version of the Linux kernel (there will be another one eventually).

      There are plenty of kernel drivers, filesystems, and whatnot that can be developed (or at least started) without a completely clear understanding of the upcoming kernel architecture (provided at least a few essentials are the same, such as the monolithic design).

      Nevertheless, SCO is stupid; point taken.
      • More like... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by khasim ( 1285 ) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @03:04PM (#13980895)
        ... IBM now has to provide extensive documentation to convince the Court that they do not have a 2.7 kernel ... while SCO simply claims that IBM is hiding the 2.7 kernel and will "prove" it once IBM finally complies with SCO's request to turn over everything done by anyone, ever, on any project under any contract.

        WAIT! Before you hit that "FUNNY" mod!

        SCO HAS demanded access to information/code that a developer (who may have existed) may have written on a computer that may not have been uploaded to a server because it may have been in a "sandbox" and THAT code may be the code necessary for SCO to "prove" its case.

        Because maybe that maybe developer may have done something that may not have been allowed under a contract that may have covered what that maybe developer may have done on a machine that might have existed, in a sandbox that might have existed, that may not have any other record.
        • by Fallingcow ( 213461 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @03:33PM (#13981193) Homepage
          All your talk of sandboxes and proving that one DOESN'T have something is giving me flashbacks to 2002.

          Next SCO will be taking made-up pictures and satellite photos of filled-in dirt holes to the UN and saying that it's conclusive proof that IBM is evil and must be invaded.
        • Re:More like... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by The Angry Mick ( 632931 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @04:13PM (#13981621) Homepage
          SCO HAS demanded access to information/code that a developer (who may have existed) may have written on a computer that may not have been uploaded to a server because it may have been in a "sandbox" and THAT code may be the code necessary for SCO to "prove" its case.
          Because maybe that maybe developer may have done something that may not have been allowed under a contract that may have covered what that maybe developer may have done on a machine that might have existed, in a sandbox that might have existed, that may not have any other record.

          You know, at times, you almost have to feel some sympathy for the lawyers and judges trying to cypher this crap out. I mean, Jesus Christ, that nearly made my head explode.

      • by EmbeddedJanitor ( 597831 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @03:11PM (#13980965)
        Remember the whole exercise, from Darl's perspective, is to keep things alive for as long as possible to keep pumping money into legal fees etc. The best way to do this is to open up a new can of worms.
      • The complete lack of evidence that a 2.7 kernel exists and IBM has contributed to it is just further proof that IBM has hidden not just their own contributions but everyone else's as well. The obvious solution is then to demand more "fact discovery" and sanctions against IBM for so effectively hiding this evidence.
    • by Aumaden ( 598628 )
      More like the terrible accident you know you shouldn't pause to gape at, but just can't help it.
      "There's a 2.6 mile backup on the I-15 approaching the 241 interchange. Looks like all of Slashdot is pulling over for a look at the train wreck that was The SCO Group"
  • by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <barbara...hudson@@@barbara-hudson...com> on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @02:27PM (#13980502) Journal

    Everyone knows that linus is going "corporate", and playing the version game.

    Next linux versions according to the roadmap:

    1. Linux 3.0
    2. Linux 2k6
    3. Linux ZP

    Lets hope that biff, darl, and kevin don't read slashdot, or the jig is up!

    • by eno2001 ( 527078 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @03:00PM (#13980852) Homepage Journal
      You couldn't be MORE wrong than ever now could you? Linux Tovalds is not a business man. He's a communist. He believes in sharing his operating system so that he can infect machines with the biggest communist virus ever written by man. And why? I have it on good authority that he plans to utilize the Linux kernel in every computer to pull off a mass DDoS attack with millions of machines in unison against the American nations of the world. If you love American and your country you will join with Microsoft and SCO now in opposing the threat of this international terrorist by buying a copy of Windows XP for every electronic device in your house connected by a wire to the internet. Yes this even means to anything plugged into the mains because it's indirectly a channel to the internet since the grounding in all electonirc equipment is connected to everything else.

      We have a plan to keep this from happening and it involves extensive litigation against Linux Torvalds and his corporation IBM. The big blue has been infected and is to be financially quarantined until further notice. Only buy stocks from true red blooded American nations like Seattle where Microsoft is and Utah where SCO is and invest in your country. All Americna nations of the world unite against this threat!!! We will not let the communists win! We will not let the spirit of sharing without earning prevail!! We must fight back against the oppressors linke teh Linux Tovalds and teh BSD!!!!!! Join me!!!
    • by bsd4me ( 759597 )

      Linus did come up with some whacky versions numbers at various points in the kernel history. In mid 1992 there was 0.95c+

  • by docbrown42 ( 535974 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @02:27PM (#13980505) Homepage
    ...either that, or a empty box.
  • by grub ( 11606 ) <slashdot@grub.net> on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @02:27PM (#13980506) Homepage Journal

    "Your Honour, we propose that there may be a Linux 2.7 kernel in... you know... that other dimension where Spock has a beard."
  • What do you want to bet that once the 2.7 kernel does come out that SCO points at the IBM contributions and claims perjury? Actually, that's probably the strategy they're going with here in the first place.
  • by conJunk ( 779958 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @02:28PM (#13980513)
    Sure, it's funny. SCO is caught looking like fools. Ha ha. But maybe not such a big deal.

    Document requests in discovery are governed by Rule 34 [cornell.edu]. One of the provisions of this rule is that the respondant has 30 days to answer the document request.

    IBM will say "sorry, we don't have any of the documents you've requested because they don't exist"

    Sure SCO looks bad, but i don't think this is a case of everybody "laughing so hard we won't be able to hear you if you mumble" as TFA suggests.

    • by Svartalf ( 2997 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @02:51PM (#13980767) Homepage
      Considering that they said "2.7" in the oral presentations in the court, yes, this is silly beyond words, and I suspect that the Nazgul will respond accordingly...

      I suspected that this sort of BS was WHY SCO filed everything under seal- it'd be shown for the lame tripe that they've been shown to be holding in their hand up to this point. I think they may well have been handed all the rope they need and then some; I think there's some PSJ's in SCO's relative near future and a raftload of agony for the Principals on SCO's side in this whole debacle.

      Well, at least one can HOPE that this will end finally soon enough.
  • by Philodoxx ( 867034 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @02:29PM (#13980520)
    The way I see it, IBM has two very easy answers to SCO's request.

    1) Hand them a blank piece of paper.

    2) Attach a bell and a whistle to a CD containing the source for the latest 2.6 kernel.
  • ...they should get copies of the patents for that perpetual motion machine.
  • So embarassing (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by skrysakj ( 32108 )
    I used to be disgusted by the continued fight between SCO and others, but now I am overwhelmed with a feeling of embarassment of what this looks like to non-Americans and how they see us. Yes, start the posts about how bad we are already viewed, which I already know about. Reminding me of that only makes my ulcer gets worse. This used to be aggravating, frustrating, even maddening, but now it feels more like a kick in the stomach. I cannot believe these guys!
    • Most opinions about the nature of Americans were born long before this lawsuit ever started. I won't bother reiterating any of the reasons, but there is a legacy easily spanning half a centry for people who seek to dislike the Americans to draw upon, all without the help of a few more scum suckers.

      I'm forced at this point to head off the rhetoric by pointing out that the US has done great things as well, but those aren't what's being discussed. :P
    • by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <barbara...hudson@@@barbara-hudson...com> on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @02:39PM (#13980650) Journal

      Kind of off-topic, but your signature is also a bit embarassing:

      Educational Sig: Referrer is spelled with two r's, not one. HTTP_REFERER has a typo.

      Last I looked, Referrer is spelled with 4 "r"s, not one OR 2.

      R - e - f - e - R - R - e - R

      (capitalized/capitalised* so you can't miss them)

      *spelling varies depending on continent :-)

    • Re:So embarassing (Score:3, Interesting)

      by seanellis ( 302682 )
      Strange. I'm as skeptical about the US as the next guy (and I live just across from France, dont'cha know?), but I never even considered SCO's corporate asininity as an "American thing" until you mentioned it.

      After a little reflection, I still don't view it that way. IBM, after all, are the good guys here and they're American too.

      IMO, it's a "stupid company thing". And believe me, there are quite a few of those outside the US, too.
  • by MECC ( 8478 ) *
    MacOS X 12.0 Alien Autoposy documents Burial place of Jimmy Hoffa ...
  • Still damaging (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vlijmen Fileer ( 120268 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @02:30PM (#13980530)
    To most of us, SCO has been purely laughable for a long time already.
    But as long as it can stay in the news, it will keep damaging Linux's reputation; other pepole keep hearing the general news of "Linux being under attack".
    The big question, and what we should hope for is: when will SCO's whining /ever/ stop?
    • When they arrest the SCO brass and bring them up on fraud charges and/or they retire with their ill-gotten millions to one of those fancy retirement communes in Arizona.
  • by Sj0 ( 472011 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @02:31PM (#13980549) Journal
    Last time I checked(admittedly, it's been a long time), odd numbered kernels are the kernels where major changes are made. Couldn't it be said that SCO is really asking for future plans on major additions to the kernel in asking for planned additions to 2.7, rather than simply asking for data about a piece of code which does not yet exist?
    • But that would be logical and make sense
    • Well you could, of course if anyone has been paying attention to the linux kernel, such major changes are being implented directly into the 2.6 kernel.

      That's why there is no 2.7 such changes are being pushed into 2.6
    • Couldn't it be said that SCO is really asking for future plans on major additions to the kernel in asking for planned additions to 2.7, rather than simply asking for data about a piece of code which does not yet exist?

      It could, but when you're dealing with lawyer-speak and all of that "letter of the law" mumbo-jumbo, asking for thw 2.7 kernel means asking for the 2.7 kernel. Otherwise they would have asked for "the latest development kernel".

    • by e6003 ( 552415 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @03:21PM (#13981078) Homepage
      Perhaps so. But (a) as others have pointed out, in legal practice one has to phrase one's requests very exactingly, not least because the other side will give you literally what you ask for and nothing more and (b) more to the point, as IBM has pointed out several times to the Court, SCO's FUD when they started this lawsuit 30 motnhs ago (yes, thirty months...) included public puffing that they had mountains of evidence. Indeed Darl is quoted at one point as saying they had all the evidence they needed and would be fine to go to trial with what they had (early to mid 2003) without needing to do discovery. Yet now they demand IBM turns over all the material they have and will ever possibly have in the future on Linux, "non-public Linux contributions" plus AIX and Dynix. I'll bet a goodly number of quatloos that this point is hammered home in IBM's reply to this.

      Of course, don't forget the deadline for closure of fact discovery is rapidly looming (27th Jan 2006 according to Groklaw's timeline of the IBM case [groklaw.net]) and since SCO doesn't have anything they need to manufacture a delay somehow. I would be very surprised if they get it though.

  • Typos (Score:3, Insightful)

    by happyemoticon ( 543015 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @02:31PM (#13980550) Homepage

    While I usually go easy on people for making typographical errors like this, and dislike nit-picking over such things by an online community of hecklers, it's pretty funny.

    FYI, to those who haven't scanned the pdf, they also request:

    "All documents concerning IBM's contributions to" ten specific Linux projects, including "development work," and "all documents concerning contributions to Linux" through several additional specific Linux projects.

    So it doesn't seem to indicate that the memo is null and void, or that the lawyers don't know anything about technology, just that the lawyers are being very hasty and don't check their facts. Of course, SCO has not demonstrated much regard for "facts" at all in this case.

  • Its my turn to threaten legal action against the company of SCO if they don't immediatly hand over any remaning quantities of what they're smoking and the phone number of the guy they got it from.
  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @02:32PM (#13980555) Homepage Journal
    I have posted before wondering why IBM would allow such a stupid suit by SCO to continue for years. But maybe this unmitigated autodiscredit is the payoff. IBM's lawyers have worked hard for years on tough stuff. Maybe this gig is just a payoff, an IBM lawyer's wet dream.
    • Re:Waited For It (Score:3, Informative)

      IBM has asked for Summary Judgement, the courts have not allowed it (yet..maybe when Discovery is over in early 2006). SCO is really being allowed massive amounts of rope by the Courts. That is the reason things are taking so long. Which might be good if there is an appeal. Based on what I have read on Groklaw from legal experts, the length of time this case is taking is really not that long compared to others of a similar nature.

      Yes, IBM could have bought them for a fraction of the cost of litigation, but
    • coupla thoughts (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Quadraginta ( 902985 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @03:02PM (#13980874)
      IANAL, but I've seen the inside of the Courtroom, alas.

      First of all, the Court generally allows very wide latitude in discovery, certainly including such wild speculative fishing trips as this one. The principle is that the parties should have maximal access to any information that could even conceivably help their case. Not just in the interests of justice, that is, so that the parties can make the best case they can, but also in the interests of finality. You don't want the loser appealing the judgment or otherwise coming back to Court again because they can argue some sliver or other of information wasn't available, and if it had been it might've made all the difference, blah blah blah. You want people to believe the Court gave the losing party every conceivable imaginable chance to make their case -- and they just couldn't.

      IBM knows this, too, of course, and that is why they cooperate in the discovery, and why they won't settle. They want the SCO lawyers to make the very best case that can possible be made, so that after SCO loses, this issue is dead, dead, dead and no one will even think about bringing another case like it ever again, and no Court will ever entertain it. IBM does not hire stupid lawyers.
  • No Plan? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by alfrin ( 858861 )
    Said who?
    Why are we assuming that, since we're in the 2.6 branch that they have no intention of moving into a 2.7.
    Isn't that called development?Second of all, why would IBM have information about it? And why does SCO care?
    • Re:No Plan? (Score:3, Informative)

      by kidgenius ( 704962 )
      Says Linus and the other lead developers. A while back they changed their minds about how kernel numbering and development was going to take place.
  • I'd be sorely tempted to order three or four pallets of blank paper and send that over with "Linux 2.7" scribbled on the boxes and just take whatever fines that earns you :).
  • by jd ( 1658 ) <imipak AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @02:34PM (#13980577) Homepage Journal
    SCO has also demanded the BBC turn over working blueprints of the TARDIS, that Arthur C Clarke provide a CVS snapshot of HAL 9000 and that Isaac Asimov reveal the equations used in psychohistory. SCO is also investigating secret codes in the Bible for possible hidden prophecies revealing System V code.

    I am now convinced that someone at SCO has flipped their lid and become a paranoid schizophrenic. Either that, or they are aiming at a career on the Comedy Channel once SCO sinks without trace.

  • by RandoX ( 828285 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @02:34PM (#13980580)
    More evidence of the giant corporation stonewalling justice.

  • by ivanmarsh ( 634711 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @02:35PM (#13980584)
    They have to write SCO System VI somehow.
  • Send them a repackaged 1.0 version. That will really rattle their wombats.
  • by sammy baby ( 14909 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @02:37PM (#13980601) Journal
    Quoting from SCO's motion, which is reprinted in TFA, emphasis mine:
    • All documents concerning IBM's contributions to" ten specific Linux projects, including "development work," and "all documents concerning contributions to Linux" through several additional specific Linux projects.
    • "All documents concerning IBM's contributions to the Linux 2.7 kernel," including "development work."
    • "All documents concerning IBM's contributions to any development tree for Linux," including the "development trees" themselves.

    The boldfaced line is the only one in the motion where the "2.7" appears.

    Now, do you really think that they intended to demand code contributed to a nonexistent project? Or that perhaps, just maybe, someone fat-fingered "2.6?"

    In other words, this is most likely just a silly typo. Nothing to see, move along.
    • by Svartalf ( 2997 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @03:03PM (#13980880) Homepage
      Not likely...

      The transcripts of the orals give them saying clearly "2.7" in the discussions of the filing.

      That means that the Lawyer in question either didn't do his work going into the hearing, relying on the content of the filing- or he genuinely believes there's a 2.7 version. Either way, that doesn't reflect well upon SCO's Counsel.
    • You are probably correct it was a typo. But SCO could not wait for their monkeys to type out another legal brief with the correction. It took them 5 years to get this one almost right. They were just hoping that no one would notice. (damn interns can't get one thing right...)

      Of course now that it has been filed IBM can provide a response that says nothing has been contributed to Linux 2.7 kernel since it does not exist yet.

      If SCO comes back and claims that there will be a 2.7 kernel and they know
  • Maybe IBM is planning a kernel fork. They could easily be developing their own 2.7 kernel.
  • Grokster had the 2.7 kernel code for download...
  • by supun ( 613105 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @02:48PM (#13980727)
    Linus has a notes about Linux 2.7 on a few bar napkin. Many are just pictures of a penguin pissing on a grave stone with SCO carved in it.
  • Okay, my brain hurts. Does anyone have a general overview of what's happening (beyond "Darl McBride is an ass-clown" and "SCO sucks")? Like, give it to me from square one?
  • by Random BedHead Ed ( 602081 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @02:54PM (#13980796) Homepage Journal
    Most of us have been keeping this a secret, but the 2.7 series source is on a HD-DVD disk hanging from a sky-hook in the basement of the Alamo.
  • by Jaywalk ( 94910 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @02:57PM (#13980820) Homepage
    To get the real humor, you need to read the transcript [groklaw.net] of the last hearing. In a nutshell, they were telling Judge Wells that she ordered IBM to produce tons of Linux discovery. Wells -- bluntly -- said she ordered no such thing. Moreover, she points out that SCO had never actually asked about Linux code in the first place.

    In this new motion, SCO is not only saying that she really did order IBM to produce Linux code, but adds a new version (which they also have not previously mentioned) to the list. They're telling Kimball that Wells misunderstood her own orders.

    With the cajones on these guys, it's a wonder they can walk.

  • The Big Issue (Score:4, Insightful)

    by augustz ( 18082 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @03:02PM (#13980868) Homepage
    The big big issue in this is the order in which discovery is occuring.

    In a normal court case, when you file the case you need to identify with specificity what your claim is.

    In this case, at a minimum, SCO should have detailed, with specificity, what code they beleive is copyright / contract violated and why during the discovery process by now.

    This 2.7 thing is a nitpick honestly. The fact that IBM probably has only a limited clue on the details of the copyright and contract claims is a much much bigger deal.

    These claims need to be detailed so they can be addressed. They need to identify WHAT Sco says it owns, WHICH contract provision were violated etc.

    Surprised there hasn't been more of an effort in this area, and am almost certain that whatever SCO comes with up will continue to be vague. Make that a predicition, IBM will file a motion for clarification after fact discovery ends. They should be getting this on the judges radar NOW however.

    Interesting case though.
  • by moojin ( 124799 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @03:27PM (#13981137)
    SCO announced that it has appointed a new CEO, Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf, to carry on with the lawsuits against IBM. You may remember Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf from his former position as the Iraqi Information Minister.

    http://www.welovetheiraqiinformationminister.com/ [welovethei...nister.com]
  • by wowbagger ( 69688 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @03:29PM (#13981150) Homepage Journal
    Shouldn't this whole thing be under the "From the Mysterious Future" department?
  • by Rufus88 ( 748752 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @03:40PM (#13981250)
    ...to the demand with a single page containing the words "THIS PAGE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK".
  • by buckhead_buddy ( 186384 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @04:13PM (#13981625)
    Many have read the SCO demand as ignorance on their part; it repeated mentions in the text doesn't seem like a simple typo. Some have suggested that SCO simply referred to the result of an anticipated development schedule based on past development habits. But SCO has much more information produced from IBM than the public has. My first thought is that IBM probably made these 2.7 kernel references in the many emails and documents that we (the public) don't see. Perhaps SCO is referring to a remark in an IBM email or programmer note saying to "put this into kernel 2.7" or some such. I find it much more believable that SCO is trying to use IBM's words against them.

    In this light, if IBM did make any casual remarks to 2.7 in its docs then it's IBM who looks like it's hiding development, code, or plans for a future development. Whether it existed or not, the 2.7 kernel was probably referred to as an abstract, future target. If it was mentioned in internal docs, then this call for the missing 2.7 information is just SCO putting IBM's lawyers noses to the grindstone and giving them a complicated distraction to have to explain away to the court.

    True, it will amount to nothing in terms of their accusations of stolen code. The 2.7 kernel doesn't exist. But in the final weeks of discovery, it may be a more valuable way to pull IBM's lawyers' focus off other aspects of the case.

    • Or it could be part of a ploy by IBM. They could have included references to the non-existent Linux 2.7 in privileged communications they sent to SCO "by mistake". There has already been a lot of bruhaha in this case about privilege logs and misuse of privileged information.

      It could well be that IBM had already prepped the judges and told them that if SCO brings up questions about Linux 2.7 then it indicates that they have been unlawfully using IBM's privileged information. If so, it's clobberin' time!

Machines that have broken down will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.