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SCO Fined in Munich For Linux Claims 436

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the can-we-do-that-here-too dept.
nordi writes "heise.de reports (in German) that SCO Germany has to pay a fine of 10,000 Euros (~10,800 US$) because they kept on saying that Linux contains stolen intellectual property of SCO. In May a German court had decided that SCO Germany must not continue making those claims." Yes, it's auf Deutsch, so break out babelfish.
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SCO Fined in Munich For Linux Claims

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  • We can only hope (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mao che minh (611166) * on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @09:57AM (#6849842) Journal
    $10,800 USD seems a bit low, considering that SCOs lies and threats have probably damaged Linux companies and consultants many times that amount. While the US legal system appears impotent in the face of this slandering and despicable business tactic, Germany is obviously prepared for this nonsense. Since the effects of SCOs claims have the potential of effecting companies in just about every nation on Earth, I say that Germany fine them appropriately, and even get the European Union in on the action.

    At the end of the day, companies like Microsoft and SCO won't be stopped by the US. The best we can do is waste a couple hundred million in tax dollars on a useless court case that is headed by a puppet judge. We can only hope that the EU will save us, a body that acts swiftly against vil business tactics, and usually solidly (just look at how they dealt with Nintendo).

    • by Richardsonke1 (612224) * on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @09:59AM (#6849857)
      It's more important that they have seen that they are lying. I wouldn't care if they fined them $1, as long as it has been taken to court and they have shown that their claims are baseless. That damage is in the past, stop it from happening anymore in the future.
      • Re:We can only hope (Score:5, Informative)

        by presroi (657709) <neubau@presroi.de> on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:04AM (#6849916) Homepage
        It's more important that they have seen that they are lying.


        Please don't misunderstand this fine. This is not about the (doubtful) statements of SCO.

        SCO GmbH in Germany was only fined because they did not fully comply with a preliminary injunction which told them not to repeat certain statements.
        • Mod this parent up... I can see a lot of people making this mistake...
        • Sorry, I can't ready German very well ;-) And the babelfish translation was quite obfuscated.
        • Re:We can only hope (Score:5, Interesting)

          by mr_z_beeblebrox (591077) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:27AM (#6850086) Journal
          SCO GmbH in Germany was only fined because they did not fully comply with a preliminary injunction which told them not to repeat certain statements.

          Yes, this does not mean that they see that they are lying. Only that they did not comply with a court order to quit lying ;-)
          Seriously, I think this will be viewed as a major setback by SCO. They are trying to coerce people into buying licenses and now they can point to a country which has effectively gagged them. People will become wary of $cos dubious claims.
          • by arivanov (12034) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:42AM (#6850177) Homepage
            This also allows any international company to politely ask SCO to send the licensing request to their German IT department. Or move the IT department mailing address to Germany for the same reason.

            So any "licensing" request can be directly forwarded to court and converted to a payment request.

            • by presroi (657709) <neubau@presroi.de> on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @11:04AM (#6850327) Homepage
              This also allows any international company to politely ask SCO to send the licensing request to their German IT department. Or move the IT department mailing address to Germany for the same reason.


              Well, $700 USD per CPU are nothing compared to German income tax :)

              So if you sum everything up, surrendering to SCO might not be the worst outcome from a fiscal standpoint.

              SCNR.
          • by GerardM (535367) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @11:09AM (#6850371)
            SCO has been fined for saying things without proof/ Where SCO to say the same things and substantiating their claim, it would be ok for them to say so.

            A hell of a difference.
          • Re:We can only hope (Score:5, Informative)

            by tlk nnr (449342) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @11:35AM (#6850574) Homepage

            Yes, this does not mean that they see that they are lying. Only that they did not comply with a court order to quit lying ;-)

            Not to quit lying, the court order is more specific:
            The court order is against claiming that Linux contains SCO intellectual property without presenting any evidence. SCO Germany now complies with that: www.sco.de doesn't mention IP concerns with Linux at all. They were fined 10000 Euros, because they overlooked a few files, which they removed a few days later. Only 10k Euros, because it was clearly an accident - they overlooked files accessible through https.
            SCO Germany is free to turn around and claim IP infringement if (and only if) they include evidence.
        • Re:We can only hope (Score:5, Informative)

          by gweihir (88907) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @12:17PM (#6850932)
          SCO GmbH in Germany was only fined because they did not fully comply with a preliminary injunction which told them not to repeat certain statements.

          Indeed. And they can be re-fined and the fines can be made higher if they repeat the statements again. They basically where fined because they disobeyed a court order. The original court order was issued because the judge(s) thought it likely that the claims SCO made where untrue and damaging to the competition.

          SCO can use legal means to get the court order lifted, but then they would have to show proof for their claims, which, it seems, they cannot.
    • Re:We can only hope (Score:5, Informative)

      by JanneM (7445) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:00AM (#6849873) Homepage
      That's just a fine for non-compliance with a court order. Suing SCO over defamation or damaged business is a different matter - and something that is likely a lot easier with this fine as a background.
    • Re:We can only hope (Score:5, Informative)

      by presroi (657709) <neubau@presroi.de> on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:01AM (#6849875) Homepage
      $10,800 USD seems a bit low, considering that SCOs lies and threats have probably damaged Linux companies and consultants many times that amount.


      You were right if this fine was for messing around with the Linux community. This fine is only because SCO did not follow a preliminary injunction promptly. Certain statements were shown on sco.de *after* this injunction came into effect.

      If you speak German, you might check out the original injunction (one of many) a this place here [univention.de].
    • by Zeinfeld (263942) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:08AM (#6849949) Homepage
      At the end of the day, companies like Microsoft and SCO won't be stopped by the US. The best we can do is waste a couple hundred million in tax dollars on a useless court case that is headed by a puppet judge.

      Jackson a puppet of Microsoft? What are you on? Can I get some?

      Jackson was the best thing that happened to Microsoft, Boies was the next best, but not by intention. Jackson was so gratuitously biased that there was no way the appeals court could possibly have backed his decision.

      Having watched David Boies in action in the Microsoft, Florida and Napster cases I am convinced that his reputation is vastly over-rated. He was responsible for botching the Microsoft case, he fought the case on the weakest complaints, not the strongest ones. In Florida he let the Bushies roll right over him. His arguments in Napster were profoundly unconvincing.

      • by autopr0n (534291) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:24AM (#6850053) Homepage Journal
        Having watched David Boies in action in the Microsoft, Florida and Napster cases I am convinced that his reputation is vastly over-rated.

        Lets not forget this one, Boies is Lead Counsel for SCO.
      • Re:We can only hope (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Valdrax (32670) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @11:01AM (#6850301)
        I still don't understand exactly how Jackson's actions were grounds for an appeal. From the start of the case, Jackson seemed to have no bias one way or another. He didn't even use a computer for doing his paperwork from what I understand. By the end of the trial, he'd had to deal with Gates's Clinton-esque waffling over the meaning of commonly used English words, repeated use of faked evidence, and mountains of testimony of contemptuous monopolous action. Why exactly would forming a negative opinion about a company that had so blatantly flaunted their disregard for the law and for his own court room be a bad thing? It seems utterly natural to me that Jackson would come out of the case with a severe distaste for a company that had pulled such flagrantly disrepectful antics in his own court room.
        • by Rogerborg (306625) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @11:58AM (#6850791) Homepage

          >It seems utterly natural to me that Jackson would come out of the case with a severe distaste for [Microsoft]

          And if he'd just had the simple bloody common sense to keep his comments to himself until after the case, that would have been fine. The problem was that he gave interviews during the case, in which he made his feelings clear. He quite literally pre-judged Microsoft. He was trolled, and he bit.

      • by critter_hunter (568942) <critter_hunter@h ... m ['tma' in gap]> on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @11:04AM (#6850334)
        It matters little how convincing the arguments are, as long as the arguing is convincing. If Boies manages to get so many high-profile cases, he certainly has some power of persuasion, at least over PHBs...
    • Re:We can only hope (Score:4, Interesting)

      by LWATCDR (28044) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:15AM (#6850003) Homepage Journal
      It is $10,800 this time. If they continue to do it the charges will mount. All in all a pretty fair system. Now how will they deal with it is interesting. Considering that information travels pretty freely across boarders. Will this ruling effect statments made by SCO USA or only SCO Germany?
      All they really might have to do is send the press releases from the US office.
    • by Fnkmaster (89084) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:16AM (#6850009)
      I would say that $10,800 seems low for willfully failing to comply with a preliminary injunction, which is what this fine is for. The fine for ignoring court orders should be a heck of a lot higher than that for a decent sized company. Of course, there's still presumably the potential for much larger damages later if they were found to commit whatever the German equivalent of slander is, thereby damaging many people's businesses (are civil and criminal proceedings combined in Germany as in many other European jurisdictions?).
    • by Anonymous Coward
      The ammount of money doesn't matter. The real and only aim of this judgement was to create a precedence. This has been done and now companies whose image has been damaged by SCO are free to go and hunt for the big money in german courts referring to this precedence. The benefit are faster trials and less money such companies have to spend.. That's the way it is.. not in the US.. but in germany.
    • by Brahmastra (685988) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:18AM (#6850021)
      A better fine would be $10,800 each for every Linux user they sent an extortion letter to.
    • Re:We can only hope (Score:2, Interesting)

      by 4lex (648184)
      It's just 10.000 euro per offense. So, while it is just unfunny to offend with a web page (just one offense), it would be suicidical to start a letter campaign in Germany...
    • by AEton (654737) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:34AM (#6850130)

      $10,800 USD seems a bit low

      On the contrary! That's 15.45 Linux desktop licenses. Hey, imagine a Beowulf cl--just kidding.

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @12:10PM (#6850894)
      Because it seems to jive with other evidence I've found that Germany has some very strict "thruth in advertising" laws. I've never had anyone confirm it (don't know any Germans) but it strongly seems to be the case.

      I first noticed it with pro audio equipment. When a company quotes SNR stats at you about their pro sound card, it is almost always marketing BS. They quote you the SNR of the D/A or A/D converters themselves, not the effective SNR with all the supporting circutry taken into account. This is, of course, a more impressive number since the supporting circutry isn't perfect and degrades sound quality. This is accepted practise in the US, and is the same as chip companies quoting theortical Gflop numbers at you that you'll never see off of paper. Well, this isn't the case with any German card I've ever used. All the numbers are the no-bullshit, check-it-yourself, actul performance of the actual unit.

      I suspect that's where this kind of injunction came from. LinuxTag said "They are lying about us in their ads (or offical company releases, same thing)" and the court said "Ok, SCO, you need to shut up until we have a hearing to determine the truth of your claims". SCO violated that order and is now in trouble for it.

      Here it seems to more work that they can go around making claims UNTIL they are shown to be false, then they have to shut up.
  • Karma Whoring (Score:5, Informative)

    by euphline (308359) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @09:59AM (#6849855)
    Google Translation Follows:


    SCO Germany must pay 10,000 euro order money. Basis for the decision of the regional court Munich I is a provisional order of the enterprise Tarent and the LinuxTags against SCO. thereafter may not the enterprise not maintain, of Linux contains illegitimately acquired mental property of SCO. against it is to SCO on its homepage to have offended, why Tarent had requested an order procedure in June .

    The court accuses negligent behavior "according to a report of the Tarent GmbH SCO" with the enterprise of its firm homepage . There the statement is to have read be also after the provisional order that "final users, who use the software Linux for protection injuries of the mental property can be made liable by SCO".

    Tarent lawyer Till hunter sees itself confirmed in the decision of the court that the statements of SCO as "substantial business-damaging expressions" are to be regarded, which concern a "extremely sensitive range". With unproven statements expense the expense third a business with the fear one make. With SCO Germany to time anybody for a statement cannot be attained; to request on a procedure stress Hans Bavarian, Managing director of SCO Germany, already beginning June opposite c't: "our intention was to hold back us conformal." The offence against the provisional order did not happen deliberately. ( anw /c't)

    • contains illegitimately acquired mental property

      Mental Property? That's a new one. :-)

      z
    • Re:Karma Whoring (Score:5, Informative)

      by MuParadigm (687680) <jgabriel66@yahoo.com> on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:34AM (#6850132) Homepage Journal

      More readable, human, translations of various articles and references to this story are available in the comments [userland.com] section of the write-up at Groklaw [weblogs.com].

    • Human Translation (Score:5, Informative)

      by cwernli (18353) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @11:11AM (#6850384) Homepage
      SCO Germany has to pay a 10'000-Euro fine. The basis for this decision of the court of the district of Munich is a preliminary injunction of the company Tarent and Linuxtag against SCO, according to which the company [SCO] may not state that Linux contains illegally aqcuired intellectual property of SCO. SCO is supposed to have violated this ruling on its homepage, and Tarent had requested a ruling against this in June.

      According to a communication of Tarent Ltd. the court accuses SCO of "negligent actions" regarding its corporate homepate. It's supposed to have contained - even after the preliminary injuction - the claim that "endusers who use the software linux can be held responsible for violating intellectual property of SCO".

      Tarent's lawyer Till Jaeger is of the opinion that the courts decision confirms that the behaviour of SCO is "massively economically damaging" which concern a "very sensible area". Business with fear on the back of third parties is made with unproven statements, continues Jaeger. Nobody could be reached for comment at SCO Germany; when a ruling had been requested at the beginning of June, Hans Bayer, CEO of SCO Germany, said: "It was our intention to conform to the preliminary injunction". The violation of the preliminary injunction had not been intentional.
    • by Idaho (12907) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @11:16AM (#6850434)
      Translation by hand (mostly):

      SCO Germany has to pay a EUR 10,000 fine. This decision of the regional court of Munich I is based on [violation of] a provisional order of the enterprise Tarent and the LinuxTag against SCO. The order states SCO should cease making claims that Linux is violating SCO's Intellectual Property. It seems that SCO continued making such claims on their homepage, and therefore, in june Tarent asked the judge to impose a fine on them.

      The court accused SCO of ignoring this order, because according to a report of Tarent, their homepage still contained statements such as "Linux end users can be held liable for infringement upon SCO's IP" - even after the provisional order was in effect.

      Tarent's lawyer Till Jaeger is glad that the court has confirmed that SCO's expressions can be seen as "very damaging" to his company, especially because these claims have to do with very sensitive aspects of Linux development.
      "These totally unproven claims cost other companies a lot of money, because people tend to get afraid (FUD)."

      SCO can not be reached to comment on this matter.

      In june, Managing Director Hans Bayer of SCO Germany said in an interview by C't [a well known and respected IT magazine in Germany and the Netherlands] that "his company intended to do exactly as the order stated. The violation was a mistake, it did not happen deliberately".

      Disclaimer: Neither English nor German is my native tongue (and it shows :P), so I hope there are not too many stupid mistakes in my translation.
  • Babelfish Link (Score:5, Informative)

    by telstar (236404) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @09:59AM (#6849859)
    Or link to Babelfish [altavista.com] and save us the trouble.
  • Not the amount (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TuataraShoes (600303) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:01AM (#6849882)
    It's not the amount of the fine that's important. (Who gets the money anyway.) It's the 'official' trashing of SCO's accusations which is important. It will restore confidence in business considering Linux systems.
    • Re:Not the amount (Score:4, Informative)

      by Confused (34234) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:16AM (#6850011) Homepage
      This fine has not been levied because SCO is lying.

      The german LinuxTag is currently suing SCO german to forbid them to claim Linux contains illegal parts of Unix in Germany. As part of the procedure, a temporary injunction has been granted which orders SCO Germany not to use those claims until the matter is settled. SCO only failed to comply with this court order and has been fined for it.

      Should LinuxTag lose the lawsuit, SCO can ask from them for damages resulting from the injucntion.

      But in no way this has any relevance whether the claims by SCO are true or whether they're lying.
    • Amen to that. The courts, I think, are starting to to wrest back their control from the courts of public opinion.
  • *Chink* Chisel away (Score:5, Interesting)

    by curtisk (191737) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:01AM (#6849883) Homepage Journal
    At least it sets some precident in this "case". The fine is measely interms of the FUD they are spreading, hopefully others will follow suit in the legal realm and take SCO to task.

    Now, why would SCO germany pay, if they have SUCH a solid case??

    Side Note: Babelfish is aptly named, the translations are usually Babble

    • by Chris Burke (6130)
      Side Note: Babelfish is aptly named, the translations are usually Babble.

      Of course it's aptly named... Babble comes from Babel which comes from "the Tower of" which comes from the Biblical story in which man tries to build a tower to heaven and God gets pissed and makes it so they can't understand each other and thus couldn't finish the tower.

      Though given the origin of the name "Babelfish", then it is ironic that what comes -out- is babble. :)

      But it does make me wonder if perhaps the Babelfish in HHGTT
      • by TrentC (11023)
        But it does make me wonder if perhaps the Babelfish in HHGTTG didn't actually work that well. Thanks to the fish, no one ever bothered to learn anyone else's languages, but how do they know it's an accurate translation? Maybe the fish doesn't do any better than our poor software-based fish, but the bad grammar was fixed by the character's brains/the editor. At least it's amusing to think of all the aliens communicating in babelfish-like translations.

        No, if you've read the book, you'd know that the fact th
  • by heironymouscoward (683461) <heironymouscoward.yahoo@com> on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:03AM (#6849899) Journal
    Once SCO has been sued, the amount does not matter. If the plaintiffs (I must RTFA) can enjoin SCO to stop their claims, and get the courts to set damages, each time SCO repeats their offense, they'll pay again.
    Besides, I strongly suspect that a conviction in a German court will weigh heavily against SCO in other courts should this become a popular tactic.
    Even a 1 EUR award would be a significant blow against SCO's position.
    • >Besides, I strongly suspect that a conviction in a German court will weigh heavily against SCO in other courts

      Are European courts really that tied together?

      I know that, except for evidence presented, what goes on in courts in the US has no bearing on the court-judgement in Canada.

      Shouldn't that be the way in Europe?
  • by mao che minh (611166) * on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:03AM (#6849905) Journal
    In other news, Microsoft chairman and cofounder Bill Gates expressed regret, and is reportedly highly upset that Microsoft must pay $10,000 ($10,800 USD) Euros in legal expenses, after a judgement was passed by German courts.

    ;)

  • by Picass0 (147474) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:04AM (#6849908) Homepage Journal
    I'm sure that SCO will pay the 10k euro without blinking, but they are unlikely the change their bahavior. Then what? In the US the continuation of claims after paying the fine would eventually lead to contempt of court charges. Would this not be the case in Germany as well?

    Darl in a German prison. That thought makes me smile :)
    • They are getting away easy only because they haven't sent extortion letters to Linux users, asking for licensing fees in Germany. The 10k fine was for just 1 incident.. something posted on a webpage. If they had sent 1000s of extortion letters, I suspect the fine would have been significantly higher. I wish a US court would fine them for similar offenses. That could lead to a much bigger fine because of all the extortion letters sent by the thugs.
    • by mikeee (137160) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:36AM (#6850145)
      Well, I understand Germany is having troubles keeping its budget deficits within the Euro limits - if they fine SCO 10K Euros everytime Darl M. says something that'll clear right up!
    • by j7953 (457666) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:52AM (#6850233)
      In the US the continuation of claims after paying the fine would eventually lead to contempt of court charges. Would this not be the case in Germany as well?

      Yes, probably, but they don't continue to make those claims. The preliminary injunction is only against "The SCO Group GmbH," i.e. the German subsidiary, not against the US parent company. I've just looked at SCO Group GmbH's web site, and not found any claims about Linux, information about their Linux licensing or anything like that.

      The fine that SCO has to pay now is because after the injunction against them was issued, SCO took offline their German web site, but when they put it back online their "letter to Linux users" was still published on the HTTPS version of the web site. SCO claims that the continued publication was a mistake. That was in June, more information can be found in this article [heise.de] (German).

      The court has now decided that SCO was negligent in operating their web server, that's why they have to pay the fine.

  • by advocate_one (662832) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:04AM (#6849910)
    A good start...

    bit like one of those "dead lawyer" jokes...

  • by Joel Carr (693662) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:04AM (#6849914)
    I wonder what sort of spin the SCO Information Minister is going to put on this one... I bet it's all IBM's fault again!

    http://WeLoveTheSCOInformationMinister.org

    ---
  • Are they being fined because what they (SCO) are saysing isn't true, or because they won't show thier "evidence"?

    If it is because what they are saying isn't true, based on what "proof"?

    Don't get me wrong, I don't believe them either, but it isn't that simple in the courts.

    • Re:FINED! for what? (Score:5, Informative)

      by peterprior (319967) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:08AM (#6849947)
      They are being fined for continuing to make claims, when the german courts said they must not until the case goes to course.

      The are in violation of the injuction made against them spreading FUD while the case runs, which was brought about by linuxtag.

    • Re:FINED! for what? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anita Coney (648748) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:12AM (#6849974) Homepage
      It's a little more complicated than what was stated. A Linux group sued SCO in a German court for an injunction to stop SCO from making its claims without proof. The Linux group probably wanted to see the alleged proof and thought that SCO would turn over it over once it was sued.

      The fact that SCO has still refused to show its proof is pretty good evidence to me that they don't have any.

    • Re:FINED! for what? (Score:5, Informative)

      by IWannaBeAnAC (653701) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:19AM (#6850027)
      The injunction in Germany was about SCO making claims about linux but refusing to show any evidence to back those claims up.

      Basically, they have been told to "put up or shut up", and they did neither, hence the fine.

      It does not mean that a court has found SCO is not telling the truth, it just means that if SCO want to continue making big statement, they need to accompanying evidence.

  • by mrsev (664367) <mrsev@@@spymac...com> on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:05AM (#6849922)
    The question now is can SCO germany be fined for the slander by SCO in the US. After all they are making these comments about an international operating system and comments in the states do effect lionux in the EU.

    Come to think of it could every distro with a presence in Germany sue too.

  • by TWX (665546) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:07AM (#6849938)
    For whatever reason, it looks like Courts of Law in other countries seem to operate with more sanity than American courts do. I've wondered if this is in response to a feeling of a lack of due process when the U.S. was founded, or if we just have gotten to where anyone feels that they're entitled to sue "just because".

    Of course, SCO/Caldera being an American company trying to enforce claims in a foreign country that doesn't (yet) have software patents might be partially why.
  • Will they stop? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GGardner (97375) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:07AM (#6849940)
    This German court has ordered the German division of SCO to stop making these claims. But what if the North American parent company continues making the claims? Is SCO Germany still liable?
  • More Links (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:13AM (#6849987)
    English:
    http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=1132 1

    German:
    http://www.pro-linux.de/news/2003/5909. html
  • by wfberg (24378) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:14AM (#6849991)
    Please remember, this is not about the SCO case at all, but about false advertising. SCO was saying "linux users have to pay" even though this is an untested legal theory - it is for these misleading statements they now have to pay. If they later are proven to be right, they still made allegations out to be proven fact, which is a no-no in advertising, as far as Germany is concerned.

    Bear in mind the order restraining them from making such claims is only a prelimenary injunction. That means all is still to play for, though the likelihood of a judgement against SCO Deutschland is very high indeed.
    • by Alomex (148003) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:28AM (#6850094) Homepage

      In Germany they have this weird concept that a seller liying in an advertisement is fraud, as the seller is misrepresenting the product.

      In the USA, we are more enlightened than that, and judges have ruled that is quite Ok to lie (even when the company *knows* its lying) in an add as this constitutes free speech.

  • by presroi (657709) <neubau@presroi.de> on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:16AM (#6850004) Homepage
    it goes like this (only applicable in Countries with preliminary injunctions against SCO regarding their Linux statements):

    1. call the SCO HQ.
    2. ask them about ther 'Linux end user license'.
    3. The SCO person will answer "we can't tell you about this because a German court does not allow this."
    4. pretend to be surprised.
    5. hang up.

    6. call again.
    7. tell them that you actually read the preliminary injunction and it does not tell anything about the SCO-Linux-License.
    8. ask again to send information about this SCO-Linux-License to you
    9. listen to their suffering. ...

    and so on.

    I did it 4 times and the last time, they forwarded me to the CEO of SCO Germany. It's funny indeed.

    My dictionary says that "schadenfreude" is also an english word.
    • Bear in mind though that SCO's irresponsible behaviour is entirely the fault of the new management over in the US. The German SCO employees might even be totally disgusted with what's going on. What would you do if you were in their place? How would you feel if you were a Free Software enthousiast and you had joined Caldera years ago, happy to have a job at a Linux company (not a very successful one, but still), and all of a sudden your new US bosses started pulling all these ridiculous and libellous claims
    • > My dictionary says that "schadenfreude" is also an english word.

      Maybe the germans don't use it. "Zeitgeist" is another word that's more popular in english as well. To say nothing of "blitzkrieg".
  • According to (Score:5, Informative)

    by stephenbooth (172227) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:16AM (#6850010) Homepage Journal

    The Inquirer [theinquirer.net]:

    SCO fined 10,000 or CEO goes to gaol

    Injunction breached, site claims

    By INQUIRER staff: Tuesday 02 September 2003, 10:51 A REPORT ON a German web site said that SCO faces a fine of 10,000 or alternatively its CEO can spend 10 days in clink for violating an injunction.

    According to Pro-Linux.de, the site kept on claiming that Linux breaches SCO intellectual property and copyrights, even though it was ordered by a German judge earlier this year to stop doing that.

    The site claims that SCO has to divvy up the Euros with delay.

    Stephen

    • ... or alternatively its CEO can spend 10 days in clink for violating an injunction.

      According to SCO's current business model, the CEO should choose this option because it is going to generate a lot more press coverage than silent payment of the 10,000 fine.

  • by pair-a-noyd (594371) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:19AM (#6850022)
    What's it going to take to get a similar ruling here in the US??

    Making these insane claims like they do is damaging Linux and the reputation of a lot of good people.

    SCO needs to put up or shut up.

    I hope to see a slew of counter suits filed against SCO and I hope a judge will order SCO to STFU until this is resolved. Anyone that loses money over this should personally sue SCO..

    • What's it going to take to get a similar ruling here in the US??

      Consumer rights. Ain't gonna happen.

      In the EU, and even more so in north-western Europe, consumers have much more rights than in the US, and the proof of burden is typically on the companies and not the consumer. In this case, the company (SCO) made a claim against the consumer's rights, but could not, or could not yet provide a legal foundation for their claim. Thus the German court first gagged SCO from making the claims until/if they

  • Precis (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tiassa (632878) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:19AM (#6850023)
    To make a short article shorter (and enlighten the German-impaired):

    SCO Germany got fined 10,000 EUR because they transgressed against an injunction ordering them to remove from their web page any allegation that Linux contained ill-gotten IP of SCO's. Apparently they overlooked something when cleaning up their pages.
    However, there was no judgment on whether or not these allegations are correct, so put the champagne back in the fridge, guys.
  • Just https (Score:5, Informative)

    by Schoellix (703576) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:19AM (#6850029)
    It has to be added that the sum that the court had deciced to charge against violation of the court decision was set to 250.000 Euros. The reason that it is only 10.000 Euros is that SCO "forgot" to remove all statements from their HTTPS server as well, thus not complying to the court decision. As this was only seen as a minor offense against the court decision, the sum was reduced.
  • Manual Translation (Score:5, Informative)

    by ewn (538392) <ernst-udo.wallenborn@freenet.de> on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:32AM (#6850123) Homepage

    SCO Germany has to pay a 10000 Euro fine. This decision by the Landgericht Munchen I is based on a preliminary injunction against SCO, granted to the Tarent company and LinuxTag. According to it, SCO may not claim that Linux contains illegally obtained intellectual property from SCO. SCO has allegedly violated this on its homepage, therefore in June Tarent asked for a trial.

    According to a Tarent GmbH statement, the court accuses SCO of "negligence" in running its company's homepage, which, even after the preliminary injunction allegedly read: "End users who use the Software Linux may be held liable for violations of SCO's intellectual property."

    Tarent attorney Till Jaeger sees the court's decision as confirming that SCO's allegations are "massively business-damaging statements" concerning an "extremely sensitive issue." Unproven claims were used to do fear-induced business on the expense of others. SCO Germany is currently not available for comment. In early June, asked about the trial, SCO Germany CEO Hans Bayer emphasised: "Our intention was to comply." and that the violation of the preliminary incunction had not been intentional.

  • by asv108 (141455) * <(gro.oiduatahp) (ta) (xela)> on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:46AM (#6850198) Homepage Journal
    One item of note on the topic of SCO is that the latest PC magazine has a opinion column [pcmag.com] by editor-in-chief Michael J. Miller that is completely biased against Linux.

    From the Article

    I was initially quite skeptical about these claims, but after talking with several of the principals in the case, I'm not so sure anymore. The history of SCO and Unix is complex.

    That's when the copyright controversy emerged. Chris Sontag, a VP at SCO, recently visited PC Magazine's offices with a stack of documents he claims proves SCO's case. Some of these documents are compelling. Sontag explained that SCO owns the copyright to Unix System V. He said that through kernel 2.2, Linux was progressing fine under the GPL. But in the transition to kernel 2.4, code was added that violates SCO's copyrights.

    Some of the evidence Sontag showed us is straightforward: Sections of the Linux kernel code relating to the journaling file system and multiprocessor support are identical to the Unix System V code. He offered to show us specific sections of the Unix code, but only under a nondisclosure agreement, which we refused. He said this code was not added to Linux by IBM but by someone else, and that it's a violation of SCO's copyright. I'm not a lawyer, but his argument seems convincing.

    PC magazine may not be as relevant as it was a few years ago, but it is still where a lot of people get most of their computer news. I was pretty shocked to read this crap as the first story. I would encourage people to leave some feedback [pcmag.com] for Mr. Miller.

    • by WCMI92 (592436) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:57AM (#6850277) Homepage
      PC Magazine is part of Ziff-Davis. And I trust anything they editorialize about as far as I could throw a tank.

      ZD is notoriously biased towards advertisers. Microsoft being one of their largest ones.

      I was a subscriber to Computer Gaming World for years (it used to be by far the BEST gaming magazine) until ZD took over and they started giving glowing reviews to shit games (who advertised).

      The old CGW would rip what deserved ripping.
    • Retarded (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Quintin Stone (87952) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @11:25AM (#6850500) Homepage
      Some of the evidence Sontag showed us is straightforward: Sections of the Linux kernel code relating to the journaling file system and multiprocessor support are identical to the Unix System V code. He offered to show us specific sections of the Unix code, but only under a nondisclosure agreement, which we refused.
      This is just plain stupid. How can the author write with a straight face two contradictory sentences, one right after the other? Either you saw the Unix code and compared it to the Linux code, or you did not. If you didn't see the Unix code, how can you sit there and say that it's identical to the Linux code?
    • This oversimplifies the case. First, even SCO FUD claims this is "not about copyright, but about licensing" between them and IBM. So either the article or the FUD is wrong. Probably both.

      Also, this doesn't mention the concept of "public domain", of which the code they supposedly own is an implementation of such an algorithm. If the text is a copy/paste but the concept is directly school textbook, IANAL to determine how much value there is in their stuff anymore.

      The details of the releases have been po
  • by Channard (693317) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @10:55AM (#6850249) Journal
    .. now this? Almost makes me want to move to Germany.
  • by auferstehung (150494) <tod,und,auferstehung bei gmail,com> on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @11:14AM (#6850406)

    Want to destroy SCO? Contribute to a Death of a thousand cuts [shu.ac.uk] by filing suit in small claims court. Only a 150,000 such suits should tap SCOX's [yahoo.com] market cap.

  • by Glasswire (302197) <glasswire@gm a i l.com> on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @11:48AM (#6850692) Homepage
    SCO must pay order money

    SCO Germany must pay 10,000 euro order money. Basis for the decision of the regional court Munich I is a provisional order of the enterprise Tarent and the LinuxTags against SCO. thereafter may not the enterprise not maintain, of Linux contains illegitimately acquired mental property of SCO. against it is to SCO on its homepage to have offended, why Tarent had requested an order procedure in June .

    The court accuses negligent behavior "according to a report of the Tarent GmbH SCO" with the enterprise of its firm homepage . There the statement is to have read be also after the provisional order that "final users, who use the software Linux for protection injuries of the mental property can be made liable by SCO".

    Tarent lawyer Till hunter sees itself confirmed in the decision of the court that the statements of SCO as "substantial business-damaging expressions" are to be regarded, which concern a "extremely sensitive range". With unproven statements at expense third a business with the fear one make. With SCO Germany to time anybody for a statement cannot be attained; _ to request on a procedure stress Hans Bavarian, Managing director of SCO Germany, already beginning June opposite c't: "our intention was to hold back us conformal." The offence against the provisional order did not happen deliberately.
  • by !Squalus (258239) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @11:49AM (#6850697) Homepage
    "Ha ha!"

    It's only $10,000, but it is a start. I guess this means the Heise/Boies/McBride/Sontag/Stowell show is on hold, eh? Either that or the poor German SCO Mgr. is off to jail.

    I can imagine this in Utah:

    McB: What is barratry?

    Sontaggie: I dunno, I only do what I am told.

    McB: (muttering below breath) Stupid, yes-man, marketroid (now shouting...) Lawyer, get out there and put a spin on this - now!

    H: Well, if we do anything, then they may rise the fines or put someone in jail in Germany...

    McB: So? I am in Utah! I want to sue every German now! Put out a press release! We declare Germany in violation of our Intellectual property, and they hate Mormons too!

    H: I don't know how our German employees will...

    McB: Somebody better get this written and in the German papers by this afternoon too.

    H: But..

    McB: But what? I am in Utah dammit. Stupid German Courts can't touch me. Bill G. hisself is backing my play, so shut up and do as I tell ya.

    The above parody is provided via the Not Ready For Evidenciary Players. We enjoy bringing you this daily laugh at the lives of some really screwed up people.
  • by Eric Damron (553630) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @12:05PM (#6850861)
    From the Google Translation, it sounds to me like the claims that they are being fined for appear on their web site. It also appears that SCO is claiming that this was an oversight that will presumably be corrected.
  • manual translation (Score:5, Informative)

    by Apogee (134480) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @12:23PM (#6850974)
    Hope I did better than the fish ...

    SCO must pay a monetary fine

    SCO Germany has to pay a fine of 10'000 Euro. The basis for this ruling of the district court Munich I is an injunction (trans: a rather loose translation of "einstweilige Verfgung", a German legal term, and IANAL) of both the Tarent company and the LinuxTag exposition. According to this injunction, SCO may not allege that Linux contains illegally acquired intellectual property of SCO. SCO apparently violated this injuction on their home page, and for this reason, Tarent filed for legal court proceedings.

    According to a press release of Tarent GmbH, the court blamed SCO to have behaved negligently in the operation of their company home page. Even after the injunction, the accusation that "end users who use the software Linux, can be held accountable for violations of intellectual rights held by SCO" could be read on the home page.

    Till Jaeger, the lawyer representing Tarent, sees the court ruling as a confirmation that SCO's claims have to be considered as "massively damaging to business", and that they concern a "very sensitive area". At the expense of other parties, Unproven allegations are used to make money out of fear. Nobody at SCO Germany was available for comment at present; regarding the filing of legal court proceedings, Hans Bayer, CEO of SCO Germany, told c't already in the beginning of June: "Our intention was to comply with the ruling." He claimed that the violation against the injunction had not been deliberate. (anw/c't)
  • by SnakeStu (60546) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @03:33PM (#6852723) Homepage

    A short time ago I filed complaints with the FTC and with the WA state Attorney General's office regarding what I consider to be (at this time) false advertising, i.e., claims by SCO to provide some actual benefit in return for licensing fees. In my not-a-lawyer viewpoint, SCO can't make that claim in a solid way until the legal issues surrounding it are resolved; until then, they should at least be required to label the benefit as "speculative."

    Haven't heard anything back on either complaint, nor do I necessarily expect to, although I know that SCO will receive a copy of it (at least from WA state if not the FTC). Not that they'll likely care unless the government agrees with my complaint and takes specific action accordingly...

  • by zakezuke (229119) on Tuesday September 02, 2003 @09:58PM (#6855500)
    Don't get me wrong, I think the SCO group are a bunch of foofoo heads that really need to get their asses whiped by the court system.

    They've been hit by a court order in Munich which doesn't allow them to spread their FUD... again, I agree with this 100%

    Question: does this only apply to servers in Germany or does this also apply to material located on US websites that those resident in Germany can access?

    While on the SCO level I don't mind so much, but I can see some far reaching implications of this. Clearly the German goverment has some very diffrent attitudes are censorship then America as a past slashdot story has shown.

    I'm sure it's possible to take reasonable measures that only specific countries can access specific web-pages which would solve the problem of possible legit forms of censorship aka court orders removing slander from infringing on other countries choice to make up their own minds.

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