Time is not on SCO's side

For everybody outside of SCO it is business as usual, but we still need a speedy end to the lawsuits

The fact that several online journals of note this morning rushed to report that IBM has dropped three charges against SCO, even though the full story is a bit more complicated, points to one truth: everybody now wants this case to be over and done with.

Not because it will let us get on with business as usual — everybody outside SCO is doing that anyway — but because most people have lost track of who is countersuing whom and for what.

Luckily we have Groklaw to remind us. Even without the three counterclaims now dropped by IBM in an attempt to speed things up, there is a list of a further 18 from IBM and Novell alone, without even bringing Red Hat to the table.

We should be thankful that the judge presiding over the case denied SCO's motion to compel IBM to disclose pretty much everything ever done by anyone at IBM that had anything to do with Linux. This case is already set to last long enough (it's almost certain to run past Christmas 2006) without pandering to SCO's assertion that IBM should disclose information on code that SCO still, years on, refuses or is unable to specify. Just give us everything, says SCO, ignoring the fact that this could very well mean a million pages of information. SCO chief executive Darl McBride likens it to preventing IBM from wiping the fingerprints off the smoking gun. Everyone else likens it to timewasting.

Those who find themselves frustrated by the already drawn-out process should take some heart from the recent Microsoft restructure, where plain old economics and the march of progress (mainly that of Google), is doing what the Department of Justice could not and turning Microsoft into several 'Baby Bills'.

SCO of course does not have an innovative predator creeping up on it. Arguably, any sensible predator would carry on straight past without stopping to pick at SCO's bones. And while it would be a mistake to characterise the case itself as irrelevant, in the eyes of an increasing number of people, SCO is.