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+ - SCO found guilty of lying about Unix code in Linux->

Submitted by
mlauzon
mlauzon writes "In the United States, SCO's Linux/Unix litigation has been stalled out while the company's bankruptcy trial is being dealt with. In Germany, however, several court cases have found SCO Group GmbH, SCO's Germany branch, guilty of lying about Linux containing stolen Unix code.

In the first case, reported on by Heise Online, the pro-Linux German companies, Tarent GmbH and Univention found that SCO was once more making claims that Linux contained Unix IP (intellectual property). Specifically, SCO GmbH made the familiar claims that "As we have progressed in our discovery related to this action, SCO has found compelling evidence that the Linux operating system contains unauthorized SCO UNIX intellectual property (IP)." This was followed by the usual threat "If a customer refuses to compensate SCO for its UNIX intellectual property found in Linux by purchasing a license, then SCO may consider litigation."

The German Linux companies had already successfully protested against these statements in 2003. Then they were granted an injunction against SCO from making its claims that Linux contains illegally obtained SCO IP, a.k.a. Unix source code. If SCO violated this injunction, SCO would have to pay a fine of 250,000 Euros.

Since Tarent and Univention brought the matter to the attention of the courts, SCO has taken down the offending page with its claims.

Of course, in the U.S. court system, it has already been ruled that SCO has no Unix IP. Novell, not SCO, owns Unix.

Tarent's managing director told Heise Online that he found "It disconcerting, though not surprising, to see SCO trying to do towards the end what it is really being paid for by its supporters: spreading falsities as disparaging as possible about Linux." Unlike 2003, where Linux companies had to nip things in the bud, exercising vigilance is due now where things are coming to an end: "Even though SCO has reached the end of the line in our opinion, one should not let them get away with this."

In a similar case, Andreas Kuckartz, a German Linux advocate, had been publicly stating since 2003 that "SCO IP Licenses for Linux" amounted to little more than "protection money pricelists" and that SCO is "spreading rumors about copyright violations in Linux." Further, Kuckartz claimed that "The SCO Group Inc. is probably is involved in crimes such as stock manipulation and filing a fraudulent complaint against IBM."

SCO took him to court over these claims and SCO has lost (German PDF document). The Higher Regional Court in Munich ruled, Kuckartz said in e-mails to Linux-Watch, "that my statements are allowed because none of the factual statements I made to support those accusations are false. I can now even go to a business partner of The SCO Group GmbH and tell him or her that SCO is probably involved in the named crimes."

Kuckartz claim that he believes is the most important one is that in the four years the case has dragged out, SCO never objected "to my statement that SCO has not presented any proof of copyright violations in the lawsuit SCO vs. IBM."

In the United States, however, SCO, even now, continues to drag out its unsubstantiated claims that IBM has stolen SCO's Unix IP. In the SCO bankruptcy hearing, SCO attorney Arthur Spector once more claims, "Our litigation is a tremendous asset" and "Our litigation with IBM could bring in hundreds of millions of dollars.""

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SCO found guilty of lying about Unix code in Linux

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