The judge presiding over The SCO Group's $5bn lawsuit with IBM 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 until yesterday Brooke Wells, the judge presiding over the case, had put SCO's request on hold until SCO had first provided IBM with more information about the nature of its claims.
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 IBM chief executive officer Sam Palmisano, and Irving Wladawsky-Berger, the IBM executive who crafted the company'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 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.
Yesterday'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.
However, 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.
Robert McMillan writes for IDG News Service