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Judge Orders More IBM Code For SCO

Magistrate Judge Brooke Wells ordered IBM to produce information on all its versions of AIX and Dynix, a court order handed down this week reads.

It's the latest in a long line of discovery motions and rulings since the SCO vs. IBM case first began in March 2003.

IBM officials were not available for comment at press time and SCO officials would not comment on the ruling.

This latest ruling comes from a renewed motion to compel a discovery motion filed by SCO lawyers late last year.

They pled for access to the source code of all versions of IBM's AIX and Dynix operating systems; any notes and access to relevant revision information; the names and contributions of all IBM employees who had a hand in developing AIX, Dynix and Linux source code; and a list of the 1,000 most important prospective trial witnesses.

And while SCO lawyers wanted complete access to IBM's Revision Control System (RCS) and Configuration Management and Version Control (CMVC) system, Wells ordered IBM to produce only the information applicable to AIX and Dynix in order to protect the company's other business interests.

IBM officials have said in the past the requirement totals approximately two billion lines of code.

There is a caveat, however. IBM must also file an affidavit specifying the efforts it makes, and if it fails to provide all information on AIX and Dynix, Wells said she will allow SCO lawyers "unfettered" access to the CMVC and RCS systems.

"By requiring this, the court seeks to circumvent future complaints by SCO alleging that IBM failed to provide all CMVC and RCS information," her ruling states.

IBM will also have to produce programmer's notes, design documents, white papers, comments and notes that go along with AIX and Dynix production. Also ordered was the contact information on 3,000 IBM employees who made the most contributions and changes to AIX and Dynix, as well as an affidavit detailing how the 3,000 were selected.

Before the order, IBM lawyers tried to have the motion blocked, claiming SCO lawyers made no attempt to ask for the information before filing the motion. But Wells sided with SCO lawyers, saying the information sought was part of the original discovery motion. However, she seemed more inclined to move forward with the motion in an attempt to speed up the process.

"Unfortunately, the court seriously doubts that a meet and confer over the present motion would have resulted in anything more than anemic advancement toward resolving the dispute," she said in her ruling.

There are hints throughout Wells' order that she is becoming wearied by the constant motions and counter-motions.

"There have been abundant accusations of stonewalling in this case by both parties," the ruling states. "While the court assumes the good faith of all litigants before it, the court, nevertheless, urges both sides to renew their efforts in cooperating with each other."

The deadline on the discovery portion of the trial was originally set for Feb. 11, but as it now stands, the jury trial originally expected to begin in November will likely be pushed back. Given the amount of information IBM will need to turn over combined with the time it will take SCO officials to pore over its contents, Wells ordered the two companies to come up with a revised schedule by March 25.