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

    by seanellis ( 302682 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @02:47PM (#13980716) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • More like... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by khasim ( 1285 ) <> 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 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 []) and since SCO doesn't have anything they need to manufacture a delay somehow. I would be very surprised if they get it though.

  • by slashname3 ( 739398 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @03:21PM (#13981081)
    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 this because they saw it during a time travel trip then everyone will know the end is near. :)

    Of course if it is a typo it does not look good for SCO's lawyers. The reason most legal documents are mostly incomprehensible is because lawyers are suppose to use very precise unambigous language which leaves little or no room for interpetation. At least that is what they keep telling us. The actual end result is that no one can really understand any of it. But the lawyers take an oath to pretend they understand it so they can keep skimming money off the rest of us. Reality is they keep using copies of the same boiler plate document that someone said sounded good hundreds of years ago which has lost all meaning in todays world.

    This case just proves the point that the court system has little to do with reality, justice, or the facts. It is two groups of lawyers trying to snow the jury and or judge with irrelavent information that has no baring on the facts of the case or the truth. They just argue hoping to convince the jury and/or judge to vote for their side. And guess what? The lawyers don't really care who wins, both sides lawyers will get paid regardless of who wins. In some cases the lawyer that wins does get a big cut of the money recovered but none of them go away with nothing. What is even funnier is if the lawyer does not think they will make enough money, either by losing the case or just not enough money on the table to start with, they just won't take the case.

    I keep thinking I should have gone to school and become a lawyer. But then I realize I would not be able to pass the bar exam. I have ethics. :)
  • Re:So embarassing (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Em Adespoton ( 792954 ) <> on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @03:27PM (#13981139) Homepage Journal
    In reference to the GP: weren't the ideals of the founding fathers of the US based on those of the intelligencia of pre-revolutionary France, as well as those of Germany?

    ...the US will find a way to return to the days when it was a country run by the people, for the people, where ultimately it was the citizens who were held up above all else, instead of the corporations and corrupt politicians.

    Ever heard of The War of 1812 []? This was started by corporations and corrupt politicians less than 40 years after the country was founded. The corporations involved were mostly international fur companies, who had offices in the US, the Canadas, and the UK. The politicians were those with little power who wanted a larger influence in government -- so they painted the Indians and Canadians as evil foreigners who were out to invade and terrorize US soil, while invading Indian and Canadian territories as a pre-emptive strike, and also to "liberate" these places from the "freedom-hating" British.

    I think it's more accurate to say that what goes around comes around. I'm sure there were lawsuits similar to the one SCO is involved in way back in 1776.

    (Not to say this is an American thing -- such lawsuits and power grabs exist in the earliest records of "civilization").

  • Re:Okay . . . (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rawwa.venoise ( 881755 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @03:28PM (#13981147)
    SCO is not stupid. It's just Microsoft hand behind all that money, trying to stop IBM of pushing
    linux further and conquere the server market. When there was only AIX, SCO, IRIX and BSD
    NT kernel started to gain a respect position in the server market, a position this guys on
    redmond are loosing with the Linux rulling in server, specially last Z series of IBM and the future line of PowerPC based servers. Who do you trust for businnes? Even IBM is whiling to allow
    Sun Solaris as the base system of their server line. Now people just jump of x86 hardware and
    do nice with Power ... No wonder they wnat to stop IBM. IF you got a x86 you can easily swap
    the OS and put a 2000 server, guess what, people on PowerPC do not run 2000 server.
    I'm alredy seeing the picture: you just need to change the OS no hardware need:
    Customer with PowerPC: Can i run Windows on it? No then sorry i not interested in changing.

    IBM should seriously considerer the chance of crushing these bastards ...
  • Re:SCO's retort (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @03:45PM (#13981303)
    They also have an album called Gluttons for Punishment.
  • 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.

  • Re:Typos (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Omnifarious ( 11933 ) * <> on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @04:14PM (#13981642) Homepage Journal

    If you read some of the other comments and the whole article and stuff it links to, you'll see that SCO specifically said '2.7' in oral arguments as well. This is not a typo.

    Additionally, the judge has fairly specifically limited discovery to things where SCO can show some infringement has occured. So, asking for stuff on 2.7 (which doesn't exist) is showing that they're completely ignoring her rules about discovery.

    The only way I can see for this to not cause SCO to look like complete idiots is if IBM really does have some internal development going on on something they call '2.7'.

  • Re:Of course not ... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <barbara.hudson@[ ... m ['bar' in gap]> on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @09:16PM (#13984441) Journal

    Lets try again ...

    A lot of errors are based on faulty assumptions.

    For example, people assume that something can only take 2 valid values, so they set a variable based on that.

    However, a boolean that is not initialized should reflect that it is neither true nor false, but in an indeterminate state (and no, the default initialization should not count - you're then depending on default behaviour that may very well mask a mistake in your logic).

    In other words, while it may hold either TRUE or FALSE, it may not accurately reflect what you think it does.

When you are working hard, get up and retch every so often.