×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

SCO Accuses IBM of Destruction of Evidence

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the sky-is-falling dept.

266

Udo Schmitz writes "According to an article at Forbes, SCO claims that IBM destroyed evidence by ordering programmers to delete copies of code that could have helped SCO prove its case. SCO's attorney Brent Hatch says that 'one IBM Linux developer has admitted to destroying source code and tests' and that they didn't mention this in public, because it only became relevant now, and that 'the claim was part of a motion SCO filed in March 2006, which has remained sealed'." From the article: "IBM declined to comment, citing a policy of not discussing ongoing litigation. In her sharply worded ruling, Wells criticized SCO's conduct in the case and seemed to indicate she was annoyed with the company. 'I don't know if that's true or not, but that's a question I'm asking myself,' Hatch says. Hatch concedes the Wells ruling represented a setback for SCO. But he says SCO still has a strong case. "

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

266 comments

Hmmm (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15757265)

Did they hack my machine to get it removed from there as well?

Re:Hmmm (3, Interesting)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757553)

No, this is just more of SCO purposefully not understanding how software development works.

  1. developer gets assigned to project
  2. developer checks out code from CVS
  3. developer mods code
  4. developer checks changes back to CVS
  5. repeat #2 until ...
  6. developer assigned to different project
  7. remove file from previous project from dev. box, so you can start fresh (since they're still on CVS if you need them)

To do otherwise would be the exception, not the norm.

Anyone else... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15757271)

..starting to get a "flat Earth" vibe off these guys? I mean, Gawd, give it up, already.

Re:Anyone else... (2, Interesting)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757442)

Hatch, SCO's attorney, says SCO learned about the destruction of code when it took depositions from IBM programmers.

So, they don't have the code. But they claim they have depositions from IBM people that show the code existed. TFA says nothing about SCO bringing the depositions to court, but I assume that would be the next step, which would be interesting - if it actually took place. We'll have to wait and see, I guess. Most likely we'll start hearing "we lost the depositions" or something like that.

Re:Anyone else... (1)

Vengeance (46019) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757578)

Prob'ly some developer at IBM deleted said depositions, which would have made this slam-dunk of a case airtight.

Whoa! Check it out! I never thought winged monkeys would really come flying out of my ass.

Why is this still going on?!? (5, Insightful)

Schezar (249629) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757273)

I worked at IBM for a number of years as a sysadmin and developer. I can say with certainty that IBM isn't at all concerned with this case and never has been. In fact, the majority of IBM's employees aren't even aware that the suit exists, let alone that it's ongoing.

SCO periodically makes enough noise to get some new press, but beyond that the case is effectively dead. They really have no chance of actually winning, and the whole endeavor seems to be an elaborate pump and dump scam for their stock.

Re:Why is this still going on?!? (2, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757581)

As a former IBM employee, you should know better than to talk about internal politics and what not like that. Heck, I work at IBM as a vendor and even I'm closely scrutinized for what I say [not that I really have anything substantive to say publically in any case].

That aside, most employees of most companies are not really fully aware of the legal ramblings they're involved in. Out of site out of mind...

Tom

Re:Why is this still going on?!? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757697)

As a former IBM employee, you should know better than to talk about internal politics and what not like that.

As a former IBM employee, I personally don't give a fuck who cares what I say about internal politics and what not like that. I occasonally share anecdotes about my time with Tivoli (shortly after IBM purchased them) and as long as I'm not being malicious, who gives a shit? I'm not under any current NDA, and I don't intend to work directly for big blue any time in the future. I had enough of it when I was there last time.

Re:Why is this still going on?!? (2, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757742)

You're not under an NDA means you're not privy to any NEW information. It doesn't mean you can all of a sudden disclose everything you learned previously. If you gave out the secret sauce for Tivoli you can rest assured IBM would be all over you for that.

Just saying it's not wise to speak on their behalf. Saying things like

"It was my personal impression that people didn't care"

is generally better than

"It was IBMs position that nobody cared"

You have to disclaim that you're not speaking on behalf of the company, even if you're an ex-employee. [Hint: I learned this lesson a couple of weeks into working for my current employer. Even if what you say sounds innocent they will still jump all over it.]

Tom

Re:Why is this still going on?!? (2, Interesting)

Schezar (249629) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757715)

I am no longer an IBM employee, and am bound to no contracts with them. I am bound by NDA only against discussing information marked as confidential of which I became aware during my tenure. Anything I may find out now, or anything that was not confidential, or even anything that I have surmised based on non-confidential information, is fair game.

My statement is based upon observations I've made of employees' attitudes, information I've discovered since I quit, and logical evaluations of the situation at hand.

You'd be surprised how little many employees there know about how IBM fits into the outside world or what's going on tech-wise beyond their own development. Out of sight/out of mind is one thing, but I was shocked by the sheer level of indifference they had.

Re:Why is this still going on?!? (-1, Offtopic)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757903)

Sarcasm aside I was trying to give you friendly advice. Believe it or not but companies like IBM hire firms to scour the net for their brand. They report potential violations and what not. You may not want to work with IBM in the future, but your company [assuming you're not self-employed] may want to. Or, god forbid, you may actually want to take IBM up on an offer in the future as a contractor, etc, etc....

The best thing to do is just not speak as if you know the intentions and motives of the company and/or its employees. You can talk about your work and your company but you have to follow various rules [both legal and H.R. related].

But, if you really want to keep speaking as an agent of IBM. Someday you may cross the line and get some nice legalese in the mail.

Tom

Re:Why is this still going on?!? (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757618)

"I worked at IBM for a number of years as a sysadmin and developer. I can say with certainty that IBM isn't at all concerned with this case and never has been. In fact, the majority of IBM's employees aren't even aware that the suit exists, let alone that it's ongoing."

Does IBM share it's legal strategies with it's sysadmins?

Re:Why is this still going on?!? (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757788)

Does IBM share it's legal strategies with it's sysadmins?

Sure, after all the Evil Overlord list says: "I will hire one hopelessly stupid and incompetent lieutenant, but make sure that he is full of misinformation when I send him to capture the hero."

Now, while SCO certainly leaves a lot to be desired for their moral character, they do take on far greater odds than your average dragonslayer armed with a toothpick -1, so I guess they're close enough. Or would this particular lieutenant be here to misinform Slashdot ?-)

SCO (2)

MrDanielW (979610) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757276)

We destroyed the evidence and now you cry

Re:SCO (4, Insightful)

TommydCat (791543) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757703)

Since IBM purposefully destroyed evidence, SCO wants a ruling in their favor that it's ok to purposefully manufacture evidence. That would balance things out, right?

Oh. Good. Grief. (5, Funny)

Rinzai (694786) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757281)

Well, I guess we all knew it was just a matter of time before SCO intro'd the "dog ate my homework" excuse.

Next, I suppose, aliens from Planet Zontar in Zeta Reticuli will have stolen those very same computers from which the Unix and Dynix code was deleted.

Re:Oh. Good. Grief. (1)

SCO_Shill (805054) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757374)

Next, I suppose, aliens from Planet Zontar in Zeta Reticuli will have stolen those very same computers from which the Unix and Dynix code was deleted.

Well, if you ask Esker Melchior [encycloped...matica.com], I'm sure he'll agree that it wasn't aliens from Zontar, but really the Ixorians!

Re:Oh. Good. Grief. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15757489)

Next, I suppose, aliens from Planet Zontar in Zeta Reticuli will have stolen those very same computers from which the Unix and Dynix code was deleted.

Yeah, I hate those guys.

Re:Oh. Good. Grief. (2, Insightful)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757680)

The good news is, SCO has the burdeon of proof. They have to prove, other then "he said she said" that actual code that would have helped SCO win was destroyed.

As lawyers say. (5, Insightful)

gowen (141411) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757285)

"If the facts are on your side, bang on the facts.
  If the law is on your side, bang on the law.
  If neither the facts nor the law is on your side, bang on the table."

Does destroyed code matter? (5, Insightful)

Dolda2000 (759023) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757289)

One would think, that if the code is destroyed, it won't be in Linux, and therefore no copyrights infringed, no?

Re: Does destroyed code matter? (1)

Nikker (749551) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757760)

Doesn't anyone find it funny that they are saying IBM deleted it's code?

Don't they have a copy?

SCO, give it up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15757292)

You've lost. Face it. Liquidate the company and retire to your golf resorts.

A ploy... but what for? (2, Interesting)

Grench (833454) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757297)

So presumably the burden of proof in this case is laid upon SCO? How will they prove that IBM deleted source code?

It's certainly just another ploy to buy them more time in court, but to what end is this a means? It's got to be costing them an enormous amount of money, and we still haven't even had a complete list of all the alleged IP infringements SCO have accused IBM of in the first place.

Except... (5, Interesting)

laptop006 (37721) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757305)

Unless this work was done *perfectly* it would be really obvious to anyone going through the source tree history (which SCO has), and even then is easy to verify by compiling release trees and doing a binary diff against them (well, decompiling both then diffing might be better).

SCO are flat out lying, whether just to the public, or to their lawyers as well. The only reason I think IBM are continuing with this is to get each and every claim SCO has specifically and individually struck down so when the house of cards finally does crumble they have no way to try it again.

Re:Except... (5, Insightful)

MrDanielW (979610) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757328)

IBM time traveled and destroyed the mountain of code they blathed on and on about. How else can you explain it?

Re:Except... (4, Informative)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757412)

SCO are flat out lying, whether just to the public, or to their lawyers as well. The only reason I think IBM are continuing with this is to get each and every claim SCO has specifically and individually struck down so when the house of cards finally does crumble they have no way to try it again.

Also, the longer this mess goes on, the more money it bleeds from SCO. Even the stock market is finally reluctantly starting to realize, years after Slashdotters, that SCO doesn't really have any ground to stand on. SCOX is currently valued at $2.51 a share, having lost about $1.50 or so in the past month. One source says that SCO is down to $18 million in cash. I think IBM is just trying to get them to run out of money by the time this is settled in IBM's favor so they won't be in a position to launch endless appeals of the verdict.

Re:Except... (5, Insightful)

jackbird (721605) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757572)

There will be no settlement, and all avenues of appeal are being asphyxiated through a rigorous campaign of I-dotting and T-crossing.

SCO will stand for Smoking Crater Organization (formerly and once again Caldera), and perhaps SEC Comin' Over as well.

IBM has more or less bet the company on the viability of Linux, and their reputation for following contracts and respecting copyrights must remain ironclad for them to be credible as an organization enterprises can entrust with their most vital data.

SCO has no case, and there are many signs that the lawsuit is a suicide attack to buy time for the release of Vista, but IBM is making absolutely sure there will be no stain on Linux going forward, no matter how implausible.

Re:Except... (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757717)

For once, I really wish I had mod points. That pun has to be the best ever on slashdot.

Darl's book "How to make big money fast" (4, Funny)

kimvette (919543) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757338)

1. Buy lots of SCO stock
2. Falsely accuse IBM of giving Linux SCO code - code that SCO themselves released under the GPL in the form of Caldera Linux (later SCO OpenLinux)
3. Dump some of your stock
4. Receive practically every scrap of Linux and AIX documentation, source code, marketing literature, test reports, design docs, etc. that IBM ever produced
5. Dump some SCO stock
6. Realizing that you've been called on your bluff, accuse IBM of destroying alleged "evidence"
7. Dump more SCO stock

(months later, after IBM and Novell are eating SCO's remains)

8. Have fun being Bubba's bitch in federal prison

Re:Darl's book "How to make big money fast" (1)

paladinwannabe2 (889776) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757464)

No, no- step 8 is "Retire with $10 million in the bank." What, you think CEOs are legally accountable for their company's actions? That's the worst part about this trial- Darl McBride will walk away from it rich, and SCO- the company he should have been working for- will be pounded into bankruptcy.

Re:Darl's book "How to make big money fast" (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757566)

No, I'm sure that both IBM and Novell will be able to prove just cause to pierce the corporate veil, based on libel, securities fraud (the SEC will be all over Darl for that BTW), criminal negligence, and breach of contract.

And, if you think that CxOs are immune, may I direct you to enron? Ken Lay found himself in a mound of crap - lucky for him, his ticker gave out.

Re:Darl's book "How to make big money fast" (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757747)

Ken Lay found himself in a mound of crap - lucky for him, his ticker gave out.

And if you believe that, I've got a benevolent government to sell you.

Act now, and I'll throw in a benevolent god.

As the CEO of a company... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15757616)

... I'm well aware that I'm responsible for the company's actions. Under criminal and civil law. I work hard to make decisions in good faith (at times to the detriment of my personal finances) for that very reason. Maybe some officers take their role lightly or don't take the law seriously, but some of us do. The only thing protecting executives is D&O insurance, which still only covers you if you were being ethical.

SCO again and again. (2)

truckaxle (883149) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757339)

Ya know I wish there were some SCO shrills around to explain this.

SCO claims that IBM toke their code from SCO Unix, even if it was thru some long forgotten version of Dynix or AIX, into contributed into Linux.

But they have SCO Unix source and they have Linux source so simple show the connection and be done with it.

Re:SCO again and again. (1)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757504)

Oh, this one is easy. You've got their claims right, and this is just the next in a never-ending series of excuses SCO has been putting up on why they can't show the connection. (And why that is IBM's fault, and not theirs.)

Basically, SCO is trying to blame the fact that they have no case on IBM. If they could get it to stick, IBM would be guilty of obstructing justice at least. If they can't, at least it takes the courts a few months to churn through their latest excuse, and that's a few months longer that they survive.

Sooner or later the judge is going to find some way to stop the excuses, and the case will be over. But SCO can't stop now; it's all they've got.

What happened? Did the stock drop? (3, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757358)

Did the SCO shares lose value again or why the sudden outcry?

Could be me, but I find it hilarious that SCO accuses another company of smoke-and-mirror tactics.

Re:What happened? Did the stock drop? (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757460)

"Could be me, but I find it hilarious that SCO accuses another company of smoke-and-mirror tactics."

In psychological terms, it's called projection.

--
BMO

Yes, the stock dropped - a lot (1)

vinn01 (178295) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757466)


SCOX was trading at $4 for a long time. Good news, bad news, no news it was still $4.

Then, SCO had most of it claims tossed out of court in a blistering ruling by Judge Wells. The judge called "BS" on most of their case.

Now the stock is down to around $2.50

Re:What happened? Did the stock drop? (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757519)

Yes, the stock dropped. Around July 1, somebody dumped almost a million shares of SCOX all at once [yahoo.com], and the price dropped from around $4 to into the $2-$3 range and has been there since. $2.51 right now. For the last two years, the stock has been hovering around $4, so this is a big change.

At the height of the lawsuit hype, it hit $20, but that was back in 3Q 2003. Back in the glory days of the dot-com boom, it reached $100.

Re:What happened? Did the stock drop? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757695)

Back in the dot-com hype days, all stocks of soap bubble companies hit fantastic marks, why should it be different for this one?

New company idea! (3, Funny)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757361)

I have a fantastic idea for a new company. I will sue Microsoft for allegedly having Linux code in Windows. Obviously this is going to cost a lot of money so please help by investing in my company. I don't actually have any evidence, but who cares I will just claim they destroyed it! This can't fail! Please donate investments to my Paypal account and if I win you will get a share of the settlement.

Re:New company idea! (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757452)

Wait, seriously though, what would stop you from doing that? What would stop you from accusing Microsoft of stealing the code from some part of Linux for some feature, without adhering to the GPL? Wouldn't they at some point have to reveal the code they do use? And then wouldn't it somehow get out? Why can't these tactics be used against proprietary vendors?

Re:New company idea! (1)

Peter Simpson (112887) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757540)

Yeah, but don't go reverse-engineering or decompiling Windows to prove your case, because that's forbidden by the Windows EULA, to which you agreed the last time you walked past a Windows PC.

Re:New company idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15757568)

Unfortunately, that ploy won't work. Since you've posted it on Slashdot, Microsoft can use it as evidence *even if* your real name is not Mark Byers, but Darl McScam.

Why? Microsoft can simply claim that you are Mark Byers but you destroyed any evidence to the contrary.

Wrong /. Icon! (4, Funny)

c0l0 (826165) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757375)

Is it just me missing the Monty-Pythonesque foot? :-(

Just the headline made me laugh out loud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15757888)

n/t

SCO's Strategy (2, Interesting)

paladinwannabe2 (889776) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757383)

This is the strategy of SCO:
Hi, I'm Darl! I get paid $300,000 dollars each year the lawsuit continues- without doing any work other than a couple press conferences!
Basically, the people who run SCO get paid more the longer the litigation continues. It doesn't matter to them whether they win or lose- the longer the lawsuit continues the more

Classic projection (0)

vinn01 (178295) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757384)


http://www.thefreedictionary.com/dict.asp?Word=pro jection [thefreedictionary.com]

  The attribution of one's own attitudes, feelings, or desires to someone as a naive or unconscious defense against anxiety or guilt.

Example:
I accuse you of doing something that I'm doing in hopes of getting you so flustered defending yourself, that you're not going to notice what I'm doing.

Re:Classic projection (2, Informative)

smbarbour (893880) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757562)

For future reference:

In general, when providing a definition and example, you must use the word you have defined... in the example.

It's actually all a cunning plan... (5, Funny)

miataninja (980534) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757387)

Wouldn't surprise me if it eventually turns out that the lawfirm handling SCO's lawsuit are actually undercover Linux-zealots with a cunning plan who managed to convince SCO that they could actually win the case, then proceeded to produce a MASSIVE amount of billable man-hours which they from the start knew would eventually lead to SCO filing for bankruptcy. When the lawsuit is over, all proceeds from the lawfirm will be donated to promote Linux. Hmm, I'd actually like that!

Re:It's actually all a cunning plan... (1)

belmolis (702863) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757461)

This is the most plausible explanation yet for SCO's abortion of case.

Re:It's actually all a cunning plan... (1)

miataninja (980534) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757726)

Well, I studied law for 5 years before drifting along into IT, I guess it paid off... =P

Re:It's actually all a cunning plan... (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757702)

David Boies must make a living at throwing cases then. Look at his spectacular record: RIAA v. Napster. Or Gore v. Bush. Or People v. Microsoft (it's not really a win when they throw it all out on appeal).

He's now defending Andrew Fastow. Maybe Fastow can have a heart attack too to save him from Boies's representation.

Re:It's actually all a cunning plan... (4, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757767)

When the lawsuit is over, all proceeds from the lawfirm will be . . .

spent on a turnip.

KFG

No Self-Respect (1)

ClaraBow (212734) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757413)

SCO has lost all self-respect and are acting like sore losers. My five-year older daughter behaves better than this. When will SCO's head fall at the feet of IBM, so we won't have to hear any more crying --it's getting old!

The obvious statement (4, Insightful)

rewt66 (738525) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757422)

"Nothing to see here. Move along."

I mean... one developer deleted some files? Oh, the horror! But, um... I'm a developer, and I've been known to do that from time to time, not to destroy evidence, but just to clean up my drive.

We should also note that Forbes doesn't exactly have a great track record with respect to objectivity and accuracy on this case.

All in all, I think I'll refrain from assuming IBM's guilt just yet...

relevant excerpt (4, Informative)

avdp (22065) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757425)

Here is the relevant excerpt from SCO's legal filing:

even after the Court ordered the source code to be produced, IBM failed to produce all versions of its AIX code, claiming that they cannot be located. Even more egregious was IBM's spoliation of evidence. Weeks after SCO filed its lawsuit, IBM directed "dozens" of its Linux developers within its LTC and at least ten of its Linux developers outside the LOC to delete the AIX and/or Dynix source code from their computers. (SCO Opp. Memo. (3/7/06) at 3.) One IBM Linux developer has admitted to destroying Dynix source code and tests, as well as pre-March 2003 drafts of source code he had written for Linux while referring to Dynix code on his computer. (Id. at 3-4.)

SCO has access to every version of AIX and Dynix released in recent and not so recent history and they can't identify any infringement in them. So now they're saying that the same code that were copied or cached on the developers' workstation must have had the smoking gun in it. That's a really really desperate argument. Clearly they're just trying hard to raise arguments - any arguments - that may lead to this devastating ruling to be reversed. I suppose I can't blame them lawyers for not leaving a stone unturned.

Re:relevant excerpt (4, Insightful)

icensnow (932196) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757559)

Maybe we need to read what IBM might have done a little more carefully than SCO's lawyers have. The claim in that quote isn't that IBM got rid of big chunks of its codebase, but rather that it told its Linux programmers not to have or refer to the Unix source codes. I.e., if you're working on Linux, please don't look at the AIX version of what you're coding, and get it off your hard drive so you aren't tempted to look. That could have been a reasonable response to the original suit -- make sure that old Unix code doesn't leak into Linux accidentally (like the way George Harrison got the tune for My Sweet Lord). Also, even if all versions of AIX are under subpoena, it doesn't seem illegal to tell some of your employees to delete their personal reference copies, but that's a lawyer question.

COPY, right? (2, Insightful)

potpie (706881) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757428)

Toward the end of its objection, SCO claims IBM deleted copies of two versions of Unix, called Dynix and AIX, which could have helped SCO prove its case.

Shouldn't the copyright holder keep, I dunno, copies?

SCOX share price (4, Interesting)

onkelonkel (560274) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757433)

I note, with some amusement, that SCO shares, which have been hovering at the $4.50 mark for about 2 years, suddenly dropped to $2.50 about 10 days ago. Trading volumes are absolutely miniscule. I think we are seeing the end coming.

I wouldn't worry, SCO (1)

Snarfangel (203258) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757438)

You'll just create new evidence.

Re:I wouldn't worry, SCO (1)

TommydCat (791543) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757675)

A point a collegue made of mine:
<Cyan> shouldn't SCO have access to the same "evidence" .. hence their claim to begin with?
So true - SCO has been on a fishing trip from the start.

this country seems to award civil liberties to corporations. The police can't randomly search your house -- does this mean that private citizens can?

I think Joe Bob has my waffle iron under his bed - I don't have any documentable evidence, but I want him to box up and ship the contents of his master bedroom for my inspection. And if by happenstance I find any of my Playboys I'll claim the right to sue him for that as well!

Wouldn't there have to be some sliver of evidence in SCO's possession to get the courts to go along on the expedition?

SCO Source Code Omission (4, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757447)

First of all, I almost went blind and had trouble reading the article after seeing Steve Forbes' face pop up on my screen to tell me about how great he is.

FTA: Hatch, SCO's attorney, says SCO learned about the destruction of code when it took depositions from IBM programmers. This is the first time SCO has made the allegation in public, though Hatch says the claim was part of a motion SCO filed in March 2006, which has remained sealed.
Hatch says the allegation has become relevant now, because it helps explain why SCO could not meet demands to cite source code.

IBM declined to comment, citing a policy of not discussing ongoing litigation.


So, who here feels sorry for the SCO lawyers?

*Crickets*

(no subject) (1)

zx-15 (926808) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757469)

Last paragraph of the article:
"You can't read big things into all these little wars," Hatch says. "It's like saying the North didn't win the Civil War just because a couple of battles were bad for us."
As Brian Hatch, an attorney working for SCO.

What a moron.

Its like shooting fish in a barrel... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15757473)

FTA:
However, an attorney for SCO says the code deletion is one reason why the Lindon, Utah, software maker has been unable to comply with a demand that it produce examples of allegedly stolen code.
SCO in 2003: We have found millions of lines of stolen code.
SCO in 2006: We cant find any stolen code because IBM deleted it!

Surely now that this is filed, IBM can kill off the rest of SCOs claims (the ones that survived the great claim purge of 2006) as they contradict this one.

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15757478)

Are they going to use the Boondocks "Rummi Gambit"? It's similar to the "Chewbacca Defense" from SouthPark. It goes something like this:

SCO: "Judge we can't find any evidence because IBM detroyed it."
IBM: "How could we destroy evidence when they haven't requested it or know what said evidence might be. Judge their case is totally without merit. They lack the evidence to proceed. We motion to dismiss."
SCO: "The absence of evidence, is not the evidence of absence."
IBM Lawyer: . "Judge IBM has provided all evidence they have requested. How can we provide items that are not known even to SCO. They are on a fishing expedition. We request that SCO make their evidence requests known. We shouldn't be made to provide items that are not identified and unknown. It appears that what SCO wants is unknown to even themselves."
SCO: "There are known knowns, and there are known unknowns, but there are unknown unknowns. Things that we don't know that we don't know."
IBM Lawyer: "Motion to dismiss your honor."
Judge: "Motion granted. Case dismissed."

Your Daily Chutzpah (3, Funny)

DanTheLewis (742271) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757484)

Linux fans cheered the Wells ruling, viewing it as a sign that SCO's case is doomed. Hatch says they're celebrating too soon.

"You can't read big things into all these little wars," Hatch says. "It's like saying the North didn't win the Civil War just because a couple of battles were bad for us."


Of course, what Hatch is saying is like saying that SCO is fighting to keep the war-torn Linux world as one Union of the people, by the people, and for the people, by suing the pants off Linux developers, threatening to charge license fees to corporate users of Linux, accusing Linux developers of plagiarism and copyright violation and now obstruction of justice. They've got General Sherman in their back pocket just waiting to pillage his way through IBM's case. I think he works as a mathematician for MIT. Also, IBM owns slaves.

"Weeks after SCO filed its lawsuit, IBM directed 'dozens' of its Linux developers...to delete the AIX and/or Dynix source code from their computers," SCO's objection claims.

"One IBM Linux developer has admitted to destroying source code and tests, as well as pre-March 2003 drafts of source code he had written for Linux while referring to Dynix code on his computer," SCO says.


Come on, I thought the copyright infringement claims were going to show that parts of System V were copied into Linux. The argument that it's illegal for IBM to put their own code from Dynix into Linux has always been barely there. I guess if this destruction really happened, IBM will call SCO's bluff and say that they didn't know it was illegal to destroy their own code, because their legal department couldn't anticipate the need to preserve AIX and Dynix to prove SCO's wacky legal theory.

Re:Your Daily Chutzpah (1)

dafz1 (604262) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757823)

No, SCO is claiming that parts of System V AND Dynix/AIX were copied into Linux. Since Dynix and AIX are derivative works of Unix, which they own the rights to the source code, they own the rights to Dynix and AIX via the Project Monterrey contract.

First of all, SCO needs to prove that they IN FACT own the rights to the Unix source code(the Novell case), and then they need to prove the derivative works part of the contract with IBM. Finally, they need to prove that the only way the code ended up in Linux was by direct copying of Unix/Dynix/AIX. Since they can't point to where things have been copied, Judge Wells slapped them upside the head.

As for destroying evidence, claiming, "they didn't know better" is not a legal excuse. SCO, if correct, would have a leg to stand on if this can be proved that IBM deliberately destroyed evidence. However, as many have pointed out, cleaning up your desktops is something everyone does. Probably some manager got an email from some higher up that said, "Hey, we're getting sued for copying stuff into Linux, so have everybody delete all of their copies so it doesn't happen again." IBM would have access to these emails, IF THEY EXIST.

Re:Your Daily Chutzpah (1)

bwcbwc (601780) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757860)

Besides, if IBM developers erased code on their personal machines, what's the big deal? It's still in the version history, so no evidence was destroyed. It would take a CMVC admin to wipe the data from the version history. And it would be hard. Not only would she have to zap the offending version, but every subsequent version would have to be renumbered to hide the gap. There are probably other ramifications, like editing the embedded version code comments in the source file.

And (at least according to IBM), the CMVC version history for much of this was archived to tape, so developers wouldn't have had access to the code at the alleged time anyway. What SCO is alleging implies either 1) that the CMVC admin who extracted the archive from tape for the purposes of complying with the courts discovery order has confessed to editing the version history and purging data during that process or 2) that IBM lied when they said that the CMVC archive had been taken offline and put in storage. Given IBM's history at handling IP law from a patent perspective, I don't buy that. Their lawyers are smarter than to try to scam a court with such an obvious ploy.

Let me get this straight... (1)

DeusExMalex (776652) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757488)

the claim was part of a motion SCO filed in March 2006, which has remained sealed

SCO is bitching because information relevent to a charge that IBM doesn't know about was destroyed?

he says SCO still has a strong case

Then fucking make it and stop clogging up our justice system!

Fishy and ridiculous from the start... (2, Insightful)

DarkFalconOfTheWestF (979703) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757509)

If I understand this correctly, SCO is claiming their case is based on evidence they've never seen? Or do they mean they've actually seen it, but then it got destroyed so they can't present it as a part of the case? Oh wait.. wasn't this code neatly tucked on IBM developer workstations when all this began? So if SCO's case is based on it then they must've had access to it then! How is that possible? I'm too scared to even think about it.. Let alone mention it out loud when Darl might be around the corner ready to fire a subpoena at me!

Well bless my stars!! (1)

andydread (758754) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757520)

I find it amazing that SCO has the entire cmvc system that IBM uses to develop AIX and they have all the revisions of the dynix code and all of linux code and yet they are saying they have nothing . FTFA

"It's kind of hard for us to do that," says Brent Hatch, an attorney with Hatch, James & Dodge in Salt Lake City, "because we don't have it. It was destroyed before it could be given to us."

Does this mean that their backs are against the wall now due to lack of evidence to move forward? .

Just totally amazing. What a freak show.

Getting stupid (5, Insightful)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757545)

If the code was copied into Linux, then it would be in one of the Linux releases. Since these are available from multiple sources, the fact that IBM deleted their copies wouldn't matter.

If it was code that never reached Linux, then what's wrong? Are they complaining that IBM didn't copy code into Linux?

If true, IBM discovered some coders copying from the Unix source, and says "don't do that", and removes the offending code before it ever got out. It apparently never made it to Linux, or SCO would be able to show it in the Linux listings. Sounds like they are complaining that IBM didn't allow the Unix source to be copied into Linux. It just sounds like the IBM code police were doing their job,

So, SCO's case now seems to be: They could have copied Unix code into Linux, but they didn't. Anyway, we want money.

SCO recap.... (5, Insightful)

Anonym0us Cow Herd (231084) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757551)

As I posted elsewhere earlier...

Now that I have finally managed to stop laughing, let me see if I understood this correctly.

SCO had such a strong case and so much evidence of "millions of lines of code", and "truckloads" of code from their "deep dive" proving that "the DNA of Linux is comming from UNIX", etc. that they were "ready for trial" in 2003 and they "don't need any discovery".

SCO needs all versions of AIX. Not only that, but they also need every unreleased internal iteration of code from CMVC, all programmer's notes, etc., at great expense.

SCO could not disclose specific code for M&C because they couldn't know what code was in the minds of IBM engineers when IBM disclosed the M&C.

IBM destroyed the evidence. So SCO cannot show what code, or M&C was copied. This, even though SCO has access to ALL of the code, and Linux code is publicly available.

No doubt, it must somehow be IBM's doing that SCO is unable to answer IBM's interrogatory asking for SCO to identify lines of Linux code that SCO claims to own rights in.

So in the end...
  • Linux code is out in the open
  • SCO cannot point to _anything_ specific in Linux
  • Some vague nebulous blob of M&C was disclosed


Of the vague nebulous blob of M&C...
  • It must be in Linux...somewhere (trust us on this)
  • It must be IBM that disclosed it (because they have deep pockets)
  • The disclosure (by whoever, however) must have been improper, somehow (otherwise how will we make a profit?)


Because of IBM's unfair, unethical and illegal actions, SCO is unable to...
  • describe exactly what the M&C is
  • point to where it is
  • identify where it came from
  • show that it has been disclosed
  • show how (or who) disclosed it
  • prove ownership of it


So in conclusion, ladies and gentlemen of this fine Utah jury, IBM is guilty. They did it. Trust us. Now do the right thing. Award Billions in damages to the plaintiff please.

Thank you.

They have a strong case? Sine when? (1)

SirDrinksAlot (226001) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757579)

They have a strong case? Sine when?

They have had no case since the beginning of this fiasco.

The Found UNIX code didn't work.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15757598)

I regularly delete code that doesn't work. So what is there problem?

-------------
Desperate people do desperate things.

No spoon (3, Funny)

Otter Escaping North (945051) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757607)

Child: "Don't try to make your case. That's impossible. Instead, try to realise the truth."

SCO: "What truth?"

Child: "There is no case."

SCO: "There is no case?"

Child: "Then you will see, that it is not your case that changes, but only your argument."

Head hurts... (1)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757630)

Someone please correct me where I'm wrong:

SCO accuses IBM of stealing code. SCO refuses to specify which code IBM stole. SCO says that IBM needs to declare which code it stole. SCO told to suck it up and declare what code was stolen. SCO does puppy-dog-eyes thing. For months. SCO says "some guy" at IBM knows about the code and it was deleted, but this was in sealed documents from before. GOTO 10.

Am I following this?

IBM doing the right thing... (2, Insightful)

trawg (308495) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757655)

...by declining to comment - at least if the intro to the Forbes article is anything like the truth:
"It's kind of hard for us to do that," says Brent Hatch, an attorney with Hatch, James & Dodge in Salt Lake City, "because we don't have it. It was destroyed before it could be given to us."

SCO sued IBM in March 2003, claiming IBM took code from Unix, for which SCO holds some copyrights, and put it into Linux, which is distributed at no cost.
So they took code, put it into a freely available open source operating system - and then destroyed it?

I can't believe this story is being reported accurately, because if it is, SCO are just the most incredibley stupid asshats that ever filed a lawsuit - and given the frivolous lawsuits that we hear about filed in the US in The Rest of the World (nah, it's not really a country, but it might help some people to think of it that way), that is saying a lot.

Forbes reporting this might just be the typical, not-tech-savvy bad reporting that I've come to know and love from mainstream press, but places like this should know better and Just Fucking Ignore It so SCO can continue sliding off the face of the Earth. I don't want to hear any more about this case until some judge finally tells them to shut up and fuck off.

Burden of Proof? (1)

rainman_bc (735332) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757658)

So if X files suit against Y, is it up to Y to bring evidence that prove X's case against Y? I should certainly hope not. I thought the burden of proof fell on X, not Y.

Just another delay tactic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15757739)

It appears to me that SCO is, for whatever reason, attempting to delay the resolution of this case as long as possible. Discovery has finished, and I suspect this is basically an attempt to re-open discovery. If you make an accusation that evidence was destroyed, you have to *prove* it. How do you go about trying to prove it? More *evidence*!

Basically they want to get a new round of discovery aimed at demonstrating that IBM destroyed evidence. They probably won't be able to prove it, ultimately, but this allegation certainly appears that it would have the effect of halting the case while this claim is investigated.

But, as others have stated, it's ultimately all pretty irrelevant in my opinion. If IBM improperly contributed code, or methods and concepts, to Linux, you should be able to find the code, or code that implements the method and concept, in the Linux source trees. I find it mind boggling to suggest that IBM could improperly contribute something to Linux without there being anything in the Linux source code that you could point to as evidence. It is my understanding that, not only is there a complete history of the Linux source, but also a complete history of who contributed what. So, if there is an implementation of a SCO method or concept in Linux, go find out who contributed it. Either it was IBM or it wasn't.

Now, I suppose SCO could put out the allegation that IBM 'proxied' the contributions through other developers - IBM developer explains the method or concept to the Linux developer, developer codes it, and then contributes it. The only problem is, SCO has to *prove* this happened to have a case. If the IBM communication was via LKML, I believe there are complete archives of LKML available. If it was through another channel, well, good luck SCO - if IBM *is* destroying evidence, SCO has to prove it.

They copied my code (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15757759)

They have an exact copy of my if statement

"if(i=0;i100;i++) {"

I DEMAND THAT THEY PAY ME 100 Million Dollars!!!!

wise advice (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757778)

IBM declined to comment, citing a policy of not discussing ongoing litigation

Maybe SCO could learn a thing or two, hmm? Given the endless stream of prejudicial statements, including disclosing things that were originally filed under seal, IBM at this point could ask for a gag order, but I guess they figure that as long as SCO keeps digging, IBM may as well let them keep their shovel.

The story so far... (2, Funny)

mark-t (151149) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757826)

SCO: You're a thief!

IBM: Huh? Are you on crack? What did I steal?

SCO: You know what you stole... our Unix code, that you put into Linux! Now turn it back over so I can prove you stole it!

IBM: Why do you think that?

SCO: We know you stole code from us because *WE* invented Unix, and Linux was written by a bunch of hackers and wannabe's... And yet somehow in less than a decade, doubtless with *YOUR* help, Linux managed to progress from a barely usable hacker kernel to something that is entirely practical in many areas include schools, businesses, embedded systems, and many others. This wouldn't have been possible if we hadn't invented Unix first, so you must have stolen code from us! So, give us back what you you stole... we can prove that it was ours!

IBM: Uhmmm... I don't know what you are talking about... Linux is open source, can't you show us from what's in the Linux source base?

SCO: While we could find code that was taken from us in Linux, finding it in the open source codebase wouldn't prove that you stole it.

IBM: Can you tell us where to look?

SCO: No... because if we did that, you'd destroy the evidence before this got to court. Just turn over what you stole.

IBM: If nobody here knows what code we allegedly stole how do we turn it over?

SCO: It's not our fault if your company doesn't keep records of where it gets stuff from. Just hand it over.

IBM: Like I said before, I don't know what you are talking about... can you show us if we give you everything we got?

SCO: (eyes light up like kid in a candy store) Yes! Yes! That will do fine! Give us everything you have!

IBM: Uh... okay. Here you go.

(much later...)

SCO: Hey! It's not here!

IBM: What's not there?

SCO: What you stole from us! You must be withholding something!

IBM: Uhmmm... nope. Do you want to search our place to see if we missed anything?

SCO: Yes, please. We'd like that very much.

IBM: Okay... come in (rolls eyes).

(later...)

SCO: Okay, what did you do with it?

IBM: Do with what?

SCO: The code you stole!

IBM: We didn't steal any code!

SCO: Yes you did!

IBM: Why do you still believe that when you've seen for yourself that we don't have it?

SCO: Because you must have destroyed it when we first asked to see everything!

IBM: Uhmmm... do you have any evidence to support that supposition?

SCO: Ah hah! You *ARE* admitting to destroying evidence!

IBM: For cryin' out loud man, get a grip! All we're saying is if you can't find any evidence for your claim, it really seems like a waste of effort to continue to pursue it. Although at this point I suppose it doesn't matter, because you know full well that we're going to sue your asses into the dust for this harrassment when the court finally rules that you are wrong.

Look - pigs fly!!! (2, Insightful)

madcow_bg (969477) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757856)

The latest twist: Buried in a new filing from SCO (nyse: SCO - news - people ) is a claim that International Business Machines (nyse: IBM - news - people ) destroyed evidence by ordering its programmers to delete copies of software code that could have helped SCO prove its case.
Yeah... there are 2 options:
1. We never got the code, yet somehow we *KNOW* you're infringing our rights with it.
2. We had the code, but we lost it, so YOU must provide it.

SCO alleges this happened in 2003, yet the company has never talked about it in public before.

However, an attorney for SCO says the code deletion is one reason why the Lindon, Utah, software maker has been unable to comply with a demand that it produce examples of allegedly stolen code.

"It's kind of hard for us to do that," says Brent Hatch, an attorney with Hatch, James & Dodge in Salt Lake City, "because we don't have it. It was destroyed before it could be given to us." ...
Toward the end of its objection, SCO claims IBM deleted copies of two versions of Unix, called Dynix and AIX, which could have helped SCO prove its case.

Soooo ... it is the first, then. We never had the code, but you're baaaad. Veeery baaad. And because you can't find the code of one OS of maybe 1000 (with the different versions), so you're hiding something.

SCO claims the move was "egregious" and represents "spoliation of evidence," a potentially serious charge.

"Weeks after SCO filed its lawsuit, IBM directed 'dozens' of its Linux developers...to delete the AIX and/or Dynix source code from their computers," SCO's objection claims.

Claims, claims...

"One IBM Linux developer has admitted to destroying source code and tests, as well as pre-March 2003 drafts of source code he had written for Linux while referring to Dynix code on his computer," SCO says.
One guy working for IBM said, that he delete some code of some old obscure UNIX implementation. So what?

Hatch says the allegation has become relevant now, because it helps explain why SCO could not meet demands to cite source code ... and we couldn't think of anything else.

Hatch concedes the Wells ruling represented a setback for SCO. But he says SCO still has a strong case.
So, pigs do fly?

"You can't read big things into all these little wars," Hatch says. "It's like saying the North didn't win the Civil War just because a couple of battles were bad for us."
Couple of battles? Come on, every semi-intelligent being can see their case is just hot-air.

And most of all, the judge cannot rule this in their favor for one simple reason:
They have to proove that IBM did this for the purpose of winning the case. So what? Someone in your organisation deletes some code when you're under litigation. You're charged with "destruction of evidence". Just because you destroyed some evidence, doesn't make you guilty. The destruction have to be on purpose.
Unless there is sufficient proof of their guilt, their claim is just bullsh*t, or put otherwise, good-ol-FUD.

SCO claims IBM destroyed public sourcecode? (1)

NimbleSquirrel (587564) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757857)

So, SCO are claiming that IBM have effectively destroyed their evidence. If this is such pivotal evidence, then why didn't SCO have it before they filed the case? SCO is just throwing a massive lawsuit at IBM and hoping they will find something. Too bad for them that the judge can see through this and is now getting annoyed by it.

Furthermore, SCO are saying that IBM have destroyed key Linux source code. The key point about Linux is that it is OPEN SOURCE. If IBM added such key source code, and then made the version public, the source would be public too. All SCO have is a developer saying he deleted DRAFT source code that MAY have been based on Dynix and/or AIX. Even if that is the case, it was draft code, and it would have been purely for internal purposes, and never saw any kind of public release (otherwise SCO woould have the evidence by now). That's hardly a smoking gun.

Of course, all of this is based on the assumption that SCO does own the patents/copyrights on UNIX. As far as I know, that has yet to be determined. At this time I'm more interested in the SCO vs Novell [wikipedia.org] case, as the result from it would blow the SCO vs IBM case out of the water, and sink SCO completely.

Hatch = Hatch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15757861)

Is Brent Hatch related to Senator Orin Hatch?

They're one to talk. (1)

MImeKillEr (445828) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757877)

Pot? This is kettle. You're black.

--

This is simply a last-ditch desparate effort of SCO to divert the attention from their pathetic selves and delay this tired and drawn-out leagal action.

Some advice for SCO - Roll over and expose your soft underbelly in a show of submission while IBM humps the air over you.

Your tactics are old and busted and everyone's tired of hearing about you.

SCO? I hear your momma calling. You better run home now.

SCO is to IBM what Bush was to Iraq except... (1)

miataninja (980534) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757917)

Bush: They have weapons of mass destruction Iraq: No we don't Judge Hans Blix: Motion dismissed Bush: Destroy them! SCO: They have the source code! IBM: No we don't Judge: Motion dismissed SCO: Nag nag nag! SCO: Destroy them! Oh wait! GAAAAH! We're broke! HEEEEELP!

This is very serious... (1)

Eric Damron (553630) | more than 7 years ago | (#15757920)

And I'm sure that SCO is prepared to present evidence to prove this latest claim that is every bit as compelling as all of the evidence to support all of their other claims they have made so far... Yawn...
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...