Predicting the outcome of lawsuits is a risky game. But I'm going to predict that this motion by SCO seeking to dismiss the declaratory judgment complaint filed against it by Red Hat will fail. Miserably. Unless of course SCO's lawyers were to promise the court that they would never bring a copyright infringement claim against Red Hat or any of its customers. That's highly unlikely, but it would certainly moot the case.
SCO is the company that has been running around claiming that Linux violates its intellectual property rights. While trumpeting this claim, and offering purported licenses to users of Linux, SCO has been unwilling to make public a single convincing example of infringing code. It seems pretty obvious that SCO's own actions create a live controversy sufficient to satisfy the Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 UCS § 2201. Furthermore, the suggestion that the case is somehow precluded by a related action involving SCO and IBM is not at all persuasive, especially as many of the issues in that case involve a contract to which only IBM was a party. SCO is represented by David Boise's firm, Boies, Schiller & Flexner. So far, the paper in SCO's case and the client's general behavior are not making the Boise firm look good (yes, yes, I know some clients are beyond their lawyers' control….). Usually top-quality firms have aces up their sleeves before filing stuff like this motion, something that over time gives them credibility with judges, but right now I just can't see where an ace might be hiding.
There has also been recent action in the SCO-IBM case: IBM filed an elegant and reasonable-sounding counter-claim. It's an interesting document because it wraps IBM's case in the flag of open source and the GPL. IBM is represented by Cravath, Swaine & Moore.
Meanwhile SCO insiders have been selling stock at a decent clip .
The whole SCO-Linux thing is too big to summarize here. If you're just coming in at the middle, the places to go for more info are Slashdot and especially a great blog called Groklaw. Worryingly, Groklaw—imprisoned by the responsibilities of success—is about to have a bit of an identity crisis.
Even if SCO were to promise to never sue Red Hat or any of it’s customers, Red Hat would still have a case against them because this would simply solidify the claim that SCO was making misleading claims about Red Hat’s products — because their campaign has been based on the fact that they have siginificant legal liabilities.
SCO is really in a “Choose which foot you’d prefer to shoot” mode on this one.