The judge presiding over The SCO Group Inc.'s $5 billion lawsuit with IBM Corp. has ordered IBM to provide SCO with the source code to its AIX and Dynix operating systems.
SCO had been seeking this information from IBM, but Brooke Wells, the judge presiding over the case in the United States District Court for the District of Utah, had put SCO's request on hold until SCO had first provided IBM with more information about the nature of its claims.
"In light of what the Court considers SCO's good faith efforts to comply with the Court's prior order, the Court lifts the discovery stay it previously imposed," Wells wrote in a ruling Wednesday.
The ruling orders IBM to also provide SCO with "any and all non-public contributions it has made to Linux," as well as documents relating to IBM's Linux projects, including documents from Sam Palmisano, IBM's chief executive officer, and Irving Wladawsky-Berger, the IBM executive who crafted Big Blue's Linux strategy.
The judge also reiterated an earlier order for SCO to identify the specific lines of code that it has alleged IBM contributed to Linux, as well as all the code in Linux that it claims rights to.
SCO spokesman Blake Stowell had little to say on the ruling. "(The judge) ruled that there are a few items that SCO needs to provide, but then she goes on for about five or six pages or so on items that she's now asking IBM to provide SCO with," he said. Stowell declined to comment further on the matter.
Wednesday's ruling shows that the court believes SCO to be acting in good faith, said Jeffrey Neuberger, a partner with Brown Raysman Millstein Felder & Steiner LLP. But Neuberger downplayed the significance of the development. "I wouldn't read too much into it," he said. "In terms of the merits of the lawsuit, it doesn't have any meaning one way or the other."
IBM declined to comment on the ruling.