[Talk] LinuxTag.de sicks lawyers on SCO Gmbh. over Linux code claims

Chris Samuel chris at csamuel.org
Tue May 27 09:41:15 EST 2003


On Monday 26 May 2003 6:08 pm, Greg 'groggy' Lehey wrote:

> Can anybody recall where SCO defended their refusal to say where the
> stolen code was, and how exactly they defended it?

A very interesting development found via slashdot. LinuxTag have decided to 
set their lawyers onto SCO by issuing an "Abmahnung" - basically a legal 
warning to stop doing something that they feel is banned under Germanys 
unfair competition laws. For more details see [1] at the end of the email.

Quick question - what's an ex-parte injunction ?  I know "ex-parte" means "for 
one party" in Latin, but what does it mean in legal terms ?

The LinuxTag.de "Abmahnung" requires SCO to either withdraw the claims about 
copied code, or make the evidence public, or face the court, with a deadline 
of the 30th May.

Here's the text of the LinuxTag.de press release (the english version):


	English Version: LinuxTag has given notice to SCO Group GmbH to desist from
	unfair competitive practices

	 Lawyers representing the LinuxTag association have given notice to SCO
	Group GmbH to desist from unfair competitive practiices. The notice, dated
	Friday, May 23, maintains that SCO Group is sowing uncertainty among the
	community of 	GNU/Linux users, developers and suppliers. "SCO needs
	to stop claiming that the standard Linux kernel violates its copyrights, or
	they need to lay the evidence for their claim on the table," said LinuxTag's
	Michael Kleinhenz. 

	The association demanded that the German SCO subsidiary retract its claims 
	regarding ownership of Linux kernel code by this Friday, May 30, or make its
	evidence public. "SCO must not be allowed to damage its competitors by
	unsubstantiated claims, to intimidate their customers, and to inflict lasting
	damage on the reputation of GNU/Linux as an open platform," Kleinhenz
	added. Until a few weeks ago, SCO itself distributed the Linux kernel GNU
	General Public License (GPL) as a member of the UnitedLinux alliance. Thus
	even if SCO owns parts of the Linux kernel, it has made them into Free
	Software by distributing them under the GPL. 

	"This situation illustrates the superiority of the Free Software licensing
	model: If a software manufacturer withdraws from the development of
	GPL software, its contributions that were published under the the GPL
	up to that time remain available to users," said Jürgen Siepmann, attorney
	and founding member of LinuxTag. Till Jaeger, Director of the Institute for
	Legal Aspects of Free and Open Source Software, agrees: "Companies
	see this as an important pillar of investment security." 

There's a lot of heat and noise on Slashdot about this, especially where 
people don't understand the German law system, so I dug around a bit (thanks 
to Google) and found this explanation in English about what exactly an 
"Abmahnung" is.


Here's hoping that SCO will be forced to put up or shut up..

- -- 
 Chris Samuel  :  http://csamuel.org/  :  Melbourne, VIC

 Need someone with 10 years of Linux, Unix, Networking
   & IT Security skills in Melbourne, VIC ? Email me.

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