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April 25, 2004

IBM issues first SCO case subpoenas

IBM Corp has issued its first subpoenas in its defense of breach of contract and copyright claims brought against it by SCO Group Inc, and there are a few surprises.

By CBR Staff Writer

Lindon, Utah-based SCO’s key investors Canopy Group Inc and Royce & Associates LLC, financial adviser Morgan Keegan & Company Inc, consultant S2 Strategic Consulting LLC, former owner of the Unix code Novell Inc, business partner Center 7 Inc, and SCO Intellectual Property License for Linux licensees EV1Servers.net and Computer Associates Inc are the expected targets.

The surprise addition is Oracle Corp, which until now has kept itself out of the SCO campaign against Linux, other than to maintain its support for the open source operating system.

Notable names missing from the list meanwhile are recent SCO Unix licensees Microsoft Corp and Sun Microsystems Inc, as well as recent SCO investors BayStar Capital Management LLC and Royal Bank of Canada. This is just the first round of IBM subpoenas, however.

At this stage it is not clear what IBM hopes to get out of Oracle. It has been subpoenaed to supply information relating to Oracle’s relationship with SCO and Canopy, as well as Unix and Linux, and any documents relating to the confidentiality of Unix source code.

The rest of the subpoenas are more obvious and can be grouped in to three areas: those concerning relationships with SCO/Canopy and Microsoft; those concerning the breach of contract lawsuit between CA, Canopy and Center 7; and the Novell subpoena, which relates to the previous ownership of the Unix System V code.

Waltham, Massachusetts-based Novell, which has intervened in the case by claiming to still own copyright over the Unix System V code – prompting SCO to take out a slander of title lawsuit against it – is subpoenaed to produce details of its acquisition of Unix Systems Laboratories Inc, the sale of the Unix business to Santa Cruz Operation Inc, and any details it has of the lawsuit between USL and Berkeley Systems Design Inc, amongst other things.

Morgan Keegan, Royce & Associates, S2 and EV1servers have been subpoenaed to produce details of their relationships with SCO and Canopy and any meetings or communication with Microsoft, while Morgan Keegan and Royce are also requested to produce details of their investments in SCO and S2 has also been requested to produce details of its meetings and communication with BayStar and Royal Bank of Canada.

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The subpoenas served to Canopy, CA and Center 7 concern the August 2003 settlement of the breach of contract case between CA and Center 7 and Canopy, which led to CA’s apparently inadvertent licensing of SCO’s intellectual property license, among other things. Canopy is an investor in Center 7 as well as SCO, which has a joint venture with Center 7 in the form of Volution Technology Inc.

CA is also subpoenaed to produce details of any confidentiality agreements it has entered into regarding Unix, while Canopy is also subpoenaed to produce any details it still has of SCO’s antitrust action against Microsoft, which was carried out under its former guise of Caldera.

Approximately 3 million pages totaling 937 boxes of court-ordered documents used in Caldera versus SCO were shredded and pulped on the wishes of Canopy in 2003, however, although Sun did step in at the last minute to scan and save an unknown quantity of the documents.

This article is based on material originally published by ComputerWire

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