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LinuxTag To SCO: Detail Code Theft Or Retract Claims

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the schadenersatz dept.

The Courts 531

RoLi writes "Heise has a story (The babelfish translation sounds like a speech from Yoda, but the important facts are translated correctly.) about LinuxTag taking legal action against SCO. SCO will either have to retract their claims, disclose their "proof" (if it exists) or be fined. That's certainly good news." Update: 05/26 17:25 GMT by T : Reader Fizz points to the more understandable LinuxTag press release (in English and German), and adds: "The notice, dated Friday, May 23, maintains that SCO Group is sowing uncertainty among the community of GNU/Linux users, developers and suppliers."

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A lot better than all the speculation... (5, Funny)

Angry White Guy (521337) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040903)

Maybe now we won't have a SCO/Linux story every day.

Re:A lot better than all the speculation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6040915)

Common, we need some cause to support!

Re:A lot better than all the speculation... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6041116)

If you mean we need a common cause to support, then I disagree. Slashdot needs no unifying rally cry.

If you mean to type "Come on" and are too fucking stupid to know the difference, then go eat a dick.

Re:A lot better than all the speculation... (5, Insightful)

Chexum (1498) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041050)

Every day... I keep wondering, why do we have to even *think* about SCO until they come forward? The age old saying, "don't feed the trolls", comes to mind...

But for a bit more informativeness, I don't hear about the few software releases that have strong Caldera/SCO bonds, even as a new release, or a revived tool from way back then: OpenSLP [openslp.org] , CSCOPE [sf.net] (gee, cSCOpe [advogato.org] , advogators will kill me) and something similar (not trivial) which eludes my mind just now...

Re:A lot better than all the speculation... (3, Insightful)

wo1verin3 (473094) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041129)

>>I keep wondering, why do we have to even
>>*think* about SCO until they come forward?

Because they are effectively customers of open source solutions saying that they could be legally responsible. All the bewan counters will ask, is could this have been avoided using MS?

Re:A lot better than all the speculation... (1)

wo1verin3 (473094) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041153)

er.. effectively threatening

English translation of translated English (5, Informative)

SeanTobin (138474) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040908)

The english translation of the english translated version (just a sensible cleaning up of babel fish translating. I assume warned means file some kind of legal document. I didn't want to push the interpertation that far though.)

LinuxTag [linuxtag.de] warned SCO that it is engaging in anti-competitive behavior. SCO has stated that Linux contains patented Unix source code whose patents are owned by SCO. SCO has also warned end users and companies that they could be held liable "for the use of Linux." SCO has not explained which parts of Linux are believed to contain the patented code.

The warning by Linuxtag now forces SCO to submit proof that Linux contains patented code, or to retract the statements. The unproven statements by SCO are causing economic damage to competitors that use GNU/Linux and are tarnishing its reputation.

Hans's Bavarian of SCO Germany has confirmed that the warnings have been recieved. SCO's attourneys are examining them. SCO however only wants to respond with a small statement clarifying its position. It does not want to divulge the proof until the trial against IBM. SCO sued IBM at the beginning of march for $1,000,000,000.

The expresso version:

LinuxTag is mad because SCO is saying to its customers that you could be sued because we might own some of the linux IP and you haven't paid us. LinuxTag called SCO out saying that is anticompetitive and either prove or retract your statements. SCO now caught between a lie and a legal brief doesn't want to until the trial with IBM. LinuxTag will probably tell SCO 'tough cookies' and possibly blacken the sky with paratrooping attourneys... maybe with some air support from IBM.

"Mahnung" in german is not quite Warning (4, Informative)

aepervius (535155) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040951)

It is a writing (or a writ) given by a lawyer to somebody. I think you call it "cease and decist" letters.

Re:English translation of translated English (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6040961)

I suppose I could also point out that "tag" in German means "day." Therefore, LinuxTag is LinuxDay in English. Just thought that those of you whose German isn't that good should know...

Re:English translation of translated English (3, Informative)

Farang (552254) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041156)

Yes, "Tag" does mean "day," but then we have words like "Bundestag" and "Reichstag," where it does not. Not sure exactly what the Germans had in mind here, but I suspect this "Tag" in "Linux-Tag" is related to "Tagung," which means something like meeting, congress, convocation. That's why "Bundestag" can be translated as "Federal Parliament" instead of "Federal Day." So for "Linux-Tag" we might say "Linux Forum," maybe. CMIIAW. As for "Mahnung," this noun means warning only in the sense of admonition, reminder, exhortation; you don't use in expressions like, "Warning! Minefield!" It's more for, "I warned you once already, so this time you get sent off."

Re:English translation of translated English (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6040969)

The problem with this is that forcing SCO to disclose evidence in a civil trial before the appropriate time will harm their ability to make their case against IBM in court. Now, I assume that SCO has sued IBM in the US, but that this action is happening in Germany, but I would imagine treaties between the US and Germany would prevent a German court from doing anything that harms SCO's case in the US.

Basically, the worst that could happen is that the German court might enjoinder SCO not to make public statements in Germany about their US case until it's been decided.

Re:English translation of translated English (5, Insightful)

kien (571074) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041060)

The problem with this is that forcing SCO to disclose evidence in a civil trial before the appropriate time will harm their ability to make their case against IBM in court.

I think that is an incredibly oxymoronic statement. If the public disclosure of evidence threatens the merits of a civil lawsuit, the grounds of that lawsuit should be questioned...publicly.

Yet another infinite while() loop in the legal code?

--K.

Re:English translation of translated English (4, Insightful)

B'Trey (111263) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041107)

It appears that the warnings were delivered to the German arm of SCO, leading me to speculate that they were cautioning German companies who use Linux of possible culpability much as SCO has been doing in the US. I fail to see how disclosing their evidence can harm SCO's ability to to sue IBM. (They are required to provide the evidence to IBM prior to trial anyway.) What it will do is harm their ability to take advantage of the FUD their suit is causing. It also allows the Linux community to immediately get started in rewriting any code in the unlikely event that some part of their claims actually have merit.

Human translation (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6041039)

Here's a human translation:

LinuxTag e.V. sent an "Abmahnung" [a legal document somehwat similar to a cease-and-desist letter, I think, but IANAL] to SCO because of anti-competitive behavior. SCO is claiming that Linux violates the company's intellectual property because Unix source code has been copied into the Linux sources, and they're warning Linux users that they might be liable when using Linux. However the company has not yet disclosed, which parts of Linux are actually affected.

The cease-and-desist forces SCO to either prove their claims or to take them back. "We cannot accept that SCO trys to use unproved claims to harm competitors by intimidating their customers and to damage the reputation of GNU/Linux as an open platform", said Michael Kleinhenz, LinuxTag e.V.'s spokesperson.

Hans Bayer, director of SCO Germany, confirmed having received three ceases-and-desist letters. They are currenlty examined by a lawyer. He could understand that the current uncertain legal situation is problematic for Linux companies. SCO would also aim for a quick resolution, however they will not present their proof until the court case against IBM. In early march, SCO had sued IBM for one billion dollars damages.

Re:English translation of translated English (1)

Angry Pixie (673895) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041126)

If it's true that SCO doesn't want to disclose evidence before their civil trial with IBM, then it suggests that SCO is pretty uncomfortable with their case. There's really no big advantage in concealing the evidence at this point since after the discovery phase has completed, IBM will have the right and the opportunity to challenge whatever evidence SCO has. It seems the only real strategy in concealing the evidence (remember this is published source code available to anyone), would be to keep stoking the fire and prevent any backlash from harming SCO should the judge be well-informed on the subject and not partial to SCO such as what happened to Microsoft in the Microsoft I case.

It's great that there's a grass roots movement starting. It would be great if similar actions were taken here in the US. Unfortunately, whatever happens in Germany, stays in Germany, and German courts tend to side with individuals over multi-national corporations. We can be described as just the opposite at times here. The case in Germany is considered foriegn law - foriegn as in outside of jurisdiction. Therefore, it has no mandatory influence on an American court's decision. I wonder what WIPO has to say about this...

Babelfish.. (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040911)


You don't need babelfish [altavista.com] to understand "Hey SCO; shit or get off the pot!"

Re:Babelfish.. (1)

Kissing Crimson (197314) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040921)

Is there a legal term for that?

Re:Babelfish.. (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040937)


Is there a legal term for that?

It's been a while since I took Latin but I think it goes: "Defecatus elsum Pottus Risus"..


Ok I'm full of it.

Re:Babelfish.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6040962)

LOL!

Re:Babelfish.. (0)

Capt. DrunkenBum (123453) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041142)

Yeah, "Put out, or get out."

i told you i was hardcore (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6040916)

/dead

Isn't that the normal way? (2, Insightful)

m0rbidini (559360) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040923)

I mean... SCO claimed code theft and they will have to prove it... DUH!

Re:Isn't that the normal way? (4, Informative)

Crashmarik (635988) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040966)

Not in the good old USA.

Under our system they can make the allegation threaten people, file suit, delay forever causing pain and suffering for all involved and never actually prove anything.

Note in federal court civil and criminal cases share the same pool of judges. Because the constitution mandates a speedy trial for criminal cases, there is a minimum 2 year wait for civil cases to come to trial in federal court So SCO theoretically could be crapping on everyones day for the next 2 years or longer before ever having to put up or shut up.

Re:Isn't that the normal way? (1)

realdpk (116490) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040997)

So we can look forward to 500 or so more articles on /. about the SCO issue? I'm sure glad /. is giving them so much press to the exact market SCO wants their FUD spread to. SCO is already winning.

GPL or not (1)

kardar (636122) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041077)

So now what's a company to do when they develop new code? Do you GPL it, or can you try to squirm your way out of the GPL claiming FUD? And then what - 4 years later...

Re:Isn't that the normal way? (5, Insightful)

waterbear (190559) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040988)

I mean... SCO claimed code theft and they will have to prove it... DUH!

It's more than that. In Germany, intimidating your competitors with unfounded threats to harm their business can amount to unfair competition and again in Germany there's a law against that. The threatener can himself become liable. IMO it's the kind of law we could use in other countries too ....

Re:Isn't that the normal way? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6041140)

Hey, no, it's against the Holy First Amendment.

In the US, you can lie in order to harm other people and yet not be liable for it. And what's even better is that also applies for companies, that have thus a lot of freedom to screw their customers.

Isn't it great ?

Re:Isn't that the normal way? (4, Insightful)

terraformer (617565) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040989)

Unfortunately under the law (US) they have every right to hold back evidence until sometime just before the trial. Their close lipped nature, given that this (the copyfight infringement) could be so easily proven, is what is fueling the speculation that their evidence is weak and they are just doing this to be bought out.

Them crazy Germans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6040928)

Go get 'em Tag

Day 965 of the SCO vs Linux crap (3, Insightful)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040933)

This feels like the OJ trial... boring, pointless, everyone knows the verdict... unless we put too much media coverage on it... then we'll all of a sudden have a surprise twist at the end of the trial... for ratings... it's all about the ratings...

Re:Day 965 of the SCO vs Linux crap (5, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041022)

Yeah, but I read a leaked copy of the script. Apparently SCO are going to win, in a dramatic plot twist in the final episode of this season. The writer is quoted as saying 'It was the only way we could see a chance at getting funding for a second season'. When asked about the probability of a second season, a network executive who whished to remain anonymous stated 'Well, it's been a lot more popular than we expected, but we're still not sure yet.' There are no known plans for syndication yet.

Re:Day 965 of the SCO vs Linux crap (2, Insightful)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041078)

The OJ verdict came as a surprise to a many people, ie those who still felt it was possible to obtain justice throught the courts. Given that SCO's position seems tenuous are we to assume that they will now not only win but probably have the Judge award them 10 billion instead of 1.

Re:Day 965 of the SCO vs Linux crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6041130)

I believe two things were proven in the OJ trial.

1) OJ killed Nicole and Ron.
2) The LAPD extensively fabricated evidence.

What is justice at that point? Ultimately I believe it was the correct verdict.

Paid subscription (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6040936)

Just think, if you were a paying member of slashdot, you could see this crap before everyone else

Funny, this is (couldn't resist) (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6040938)

The article, this is from:

Hans's Bavarian, Geschaeftsfuehrer of SCO Germany, confirmed, three warnings to have received.

German, Yoda is?

Thank goodness for the last line (4, Funny)

MickLinux (579158) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041104)

Mark Twain once said he'd never read another book in German, because once he did attempt it, and got to the last page, but it was missing.

But all the verbs were on the last page.

So anyhow, thank goodness for the last line. It's a lifesaver.

Re:Funny, this is (couldn't resist) (1)

BJH (11355) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041137)

I love his title. It brings to mind large numbers of uniformed SCO stormtroopers... um... employees stomping around in jackboots yelling "Ja, mein Geschaeftsfuehrer!"

OK, OK, Godwin's Law, mod me down...

Three warnings (5, Funny)

Kaemaril (266849) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040944)

From the Babelfish translation: three warnings to have received

In related news, George Lucas confirms that LucasArts is to sue AltaVista for stealing trade secrets relating to proprietary Yoda Speech Mannerisms v3.1 algorithms.

Yoda Speech Mannerisms v3.1 (2, Funny)

wiredog (43288) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040995)

Finally, a useable version.

Re:Yoda Speech Mannerisms v3.1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6041019)

Unfortunately he's still using Dialogue Writer 2.0 for most of his scripts.

Re:Yoda Speech Mannerisms v3.1 (2)

Kaemaril (266849) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041099)

Usable, yes. But proprietary. Fortunately a group of young padawan coders hacked together a new version, GNU/Yodix. Open-Source he is.

Indeed (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6040945)

SCO is simply defending itself against the long haired hippy trash that is the Linux community. I mean, how would you feel if someone stole your intellectual property? Typical slashdot hypocracy.

Re:Indeed (0)

faaaz (582035) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041005)

How would you feel if someone in desperation claimed that you stole their idea?

How does someone steal my "IP", anyway? Do they go into my brain and take some of my braincells?

Knowledge can not be stolen, it can be gained and used.

Re:Indeed (1, Insightful)

jd142 (129673) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041123)

Knowledge can not be stolen, it can be gained and used.

Hmm. So taking something that isn't yours, doesn't belong to you, belongs to someone else and the rightful owner didn't want you to have it isn't theft?

Ok, so LinuxTag is what kind of organization? (4, Insightful)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040948)

What kind of pull do they have? I mean, I'd certainly like to see SCO "shit or get off the pot". But other than the letters, what can they do? Are they a German EFF (or is the EFF an American LinuxTAG)?

Re:Ok, so LinuxTag is what kind of organization? (1)

DragonMagic (170846) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041068)

If I recall, LinuxTag either produces or distributes Knoppix Linux, which would be considered part of the "You put out Linux, you have to pay." So they could file suit against SCO in theory to say what are they infringing upon if anything, or to stop threatening people already.

Just a thought.

Re:Ok, so LinuxTag is what kind of organization? (1)

Woffle (572988) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041122)

It's explained on the webpage LinuxTag.org [linuxtag.org] .

Taken from there:

LinuxTag is the largest Linux and Open Source fair in Europe. Our concept unites technical expertise and the special charm of the world of free software. This mixture has made LinuxTag the most successful event of its kind.

The Open Source culture finds its expression in the organization of the event: everyone is invited to play an active part in the preparation of the fair. At LinuxTag, innovative technologies are not only planned out in theory, but also made a reality.

Re:Ok, so LinuxTag is what kind of organization? (4, Informative)

j7953 (457666) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041135)

They organize a yearly Linux exhibition, called "LinuxTag" (which means "Linux day"), which according to them is Europe's biggest Linux exhibition. They're not direct competitors to SCO, however if SCO causes less people to visit the trade show or causes exhibitors to shy away from actually displaying Linux products, that will harm LinuxTag e.V., so that's why they can take legal action.

I don't know what they can do other than writing letters. In fact, I have to say that I'm quite surprised to see this move. I don't expect SCO to simply accept their demands, so unless all they wanted is some free press coverage, they'll have to sue SCO.

What about these comments (5, Interesting)

h00pla (532294) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040960)

I'd be interested to know if this kind of thing constitutes libel. This is a page [sco.com] that SCO has posted that tries to make Stallman and Perens look bad. The use it to back up their "case".

Re:What about these comments (1, Funny)

blair1q (305137) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041020)

I get it now.

ESR is sending out press releases and posting on /. because Dickie and Brucie were important to SCO and he wasn't.

Makes perfect sense.

Re:What about these comments (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041029)

I'd be interested to know if this kind of thing constitutes libel. This is a page that SCO has posted that tries to make Stallman and Perens look bad. The use it to back up their "case".

Hehe. As if Stallman needs help from SCO to look bad...

Re:What about these comments (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6041030)

These are quotes -- that you spoke/wrote the truth is an absolute defense to slander/libel.

Re:What about these comments (1)

Zeinfeld (263942) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041040)

I'd be interested to know if this kind of thing constitutes libel. This is a page that SCO has posted that tries to make Stallman and Perens look bad. The use it to back up their "case".

I took a look at the statements, they are quotes from Perens and Stallman. It is not likely that a libel suit could succeed unless the quotations are false. But it is a somewhat odd tactic, Perens and Stallman are hardly the core of the Linux project. OK so they certainly have a connection, but they are not spokesmen for either Linus or Linux.

Re:What about these comments (3, Insightful)

Zeinfeld (263942) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041141)

Agh.. somehow hit submit early...

I think the SCO quotes page makes SCO look bad rather than Linux. It is the sheer desperation of the tactic. The quotes are clearly taken out of context.

Attacking minor figures inevitably makes you look small. Whether justified or not, Bush made a major error calling for a boycott of the Dixie Chicks, it made him look like a small minded bully. He should have laughed it off. A President with real class would have called them up and talked to them in person.

I think the problem here is that SCO has burned its boats on this one. They have no future in the Open Source world and probably little future in the Unix world either. It seems pretty certain that there will be only Linux and OS-X left as viable O/S in the UNIX world in ten years time. Every other UNIX will be a legacy platform on minimal life support. Eventually they will become Linux subsystems the way VMS is becomming a Windows NT subsystem.

The problem SCO has with its litigation strategy is that the Linux world is global. Most EU countries have pretty severe penalties for false allegations of copyright infringement. It is pretty easy to put a party on notice to substantiate its claim or shut up. It is not that hard to do in the US either. It takes a minimum of two years to get a civil case to trial, but there are evidentiary hearings before then and the courts do everything they can to get matters disposed of without a trial. So while it will be two years before the case gets to trial, SCO is going to have to be specific about its claims very soon, it may even be a condition of getting to discovery.

Re:What about these comments (0, Offtopic)

Otter (3800) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041165)

Offtopic, but -- when did Bush call for a boycott of the Dixie Chicks? Any links for such a thing?

As far as I'm concerned, the president of the US has bigger things to worry about than some faux-country VH-1 band anyway, be it denouncing them or sucking up to them.

Re:What about these comments (2, Insightful)

sebi (152185) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041044)

I'd be interested to know if this kind of thing constitutes libel. This is a page [sco.com] that SCO has posted that tries to make Stallman and Perens look bad. The use it to back up their "case".

This page seems to contain a number of direct quotes. If Stallman and Perens indeed said those things (in a public forum) then there is no way to keep SCO from repeating them. Libel doesn't even begin to think about entering the picture unless the quotes are false.

The accuracy of the quote is irrelevant wrt libel (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6041145)

Suppose Stallman said:

"I think it's disgusting that some people believe that cannibalism is good"

or

"I believe that that cannibalism is good but only when referring to salvaging some parts from some machines to use it in another. Human cannibalism is disgusting."

Quoting him as saying "I...believe that cannibalism is good" or "I believe that cannibalism is good" is libelous even though Stallman may have actually said those words.

Context is everything.

Re:What about these comments (2, Informative)

Otter (3800) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041052)

I'd be interested to know if this kind of thing constitutes libel.

Under US law, truth is an absolute defence against libel. (Although I seem to recall reading that one of the Stallman quotes is misattributed, but he'd still have to demonstrate that they knew that.)

No, reminding others of embarassing things someone once said is entirely legal. Again, in the US -- other legal systems undoubtedly vary, just as German law is being used against SCO's German arm here.

Re:What about these comments (1)

RoLi (141856) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041055)

The funny thing is that Stallman isn't even a friend of Linux and has never contributed a single line to Linux.

Does this really make you a Linux-leader?

Re:What about these comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6041076)

It's funny too because if you have followed RMS's comments and position over the years, you can see that these quotes are against the idea of linux. He has been promoting GNU/Linux or GNU/Hurd for years.

What I think he was saying is that in his mind, Linux is just warmed over UNIX. He was promoting that a new non-unix os be developed. He was not trying to say that linux was stolen unix code as sco is trying to imply.

Also, the idea of a "hack" to RMS is the idea of a clever engineering solution, not something that is stolen or broken into like a cracker.

Re:What about these comments (1)

tim_maroney (239442) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041058)

Directly quoting someone's own words is libel?

Re:What about these comments (5, Insightful)

BJH (11355) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041114)

Richard Stallman

"Linux is a copy of UNIX. There is very little new stuff in Linux."
Linux kernel forum


I'd like to see a date put on this. Anyway, Stallman's position has, for a long time, been that the Linux kernel is only a stopgap measure until the HURD reaches the appropriate state of perfection (although he seems to have relaxed that stance a little lately).

"I consider the law prohibiting the sharing of copies with your friend the moral equivalent of Jim Crow. It does not deserve respect."
Richard Stallman, Free as in Freedom, Richard Stallman's Crusade for Free Software: O'Reilly (2002) at p. 72


And what, exactly, are SCO trying to imply with this? In case they didn't notice, he said "friend", not "multi-billion-dollar corporation". I fail to see how it has any bearing on their case against IBM.

"The whole GNU project is really one big hack. It's one big act of subversive playful cleverness..."
Richard Stallman, Revolution OS (DVD)


Now, this one's just plain old misrepresentation (intentional or not). RMS's use of the word "hack" here corresponds to the second sentence - i.e., a clever piece of work. It would seem that SCO thought he meant it to imply a giant tangle of spaghetti code.

Bruce Perens

"This is becoming a tradition. I go there and break the law every year in the name of free speech."
Bruce Perens, explaining his plan to demonstrate how to modify DVD technology to attendees of an Open Source convention.


Again, I fail to see how DVD copy protection has any bearing whatsoever on SCO's case against IBM.

"We have to remember that Linux is a follow-on to UNIX. It's not just a UNIX clone. It's actually a UNIX successor."
Bruce Perens, mpulse magazine, December 2001.


This is a bit of a strange quote to put up - perhaps they're trying to imply that Bruce was saying that Linux builds on UNIX, but I suspect what they really wanted emphasize was the "... a UNIX clone" line; i.e., while it might currently be more than a clone of UNIX, it is at the core just a UNIX copy, perhaps in more ways than one.

Summary: Yet more FUD. Thanks, SCO, now please disappear off the face of the Earth.

Doesn't he mean "Gnu/Linux"? (1)

TheLastUser (550621) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041162)

"Linux is a copy of UNIX. There is very little new stuff in Linux." - Richard Stallmann

A kernel does not a unix make, so shouldn't he have said "Gnu/Linux"?

questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6040970)

What is LinuxTag?
In what country/court did they file their action?

Re:questions (4, Informative)

Patersmith (512340) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040977)


from the English index page...

A Good Idea Needs a Good Platform
LinuxTag is the largest Linux and Open Source fair in Europe. Our concept unites technical expertise and the special charm of the world of free software. This mixture has made LinuxTag the most successful event of its kind.

The Open Source culture finds its expression in the organization of the event: everyone is invited to play an active part in the preparation of the fair. At LinuxTag, innovative technologies are not only planned out in theory, but also made a reality.

Concepts. Information. Orientation.
The LinuxTag concept is tried and true. As a convention for professionals and a fair for a broader public, LinuxTag has something to offer every visitor. Users learn about the latest in applications; developers display their current products and inform one another about their work. Decision-makers and IT specialists gather information on the professional use of free software.

For young entrepreneurs, LinuxTag offers the chance to address specialists in the field face to face. This is the stepping-stone to turn new business ideas into successful strategies. LinuxTag sets the standards for the development of innovative concepts and powerful synergies.

/.ed text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6040974)

LinuxTag mahnt SCO ab

Der LinuxTag e.V. hat SCO wegen wettbewerbswidrigem Verhalten abgemahnt. SCO behauptet, Linux verletze Schutzrechte des Unternehmens an Unix, da Unix-Quellcode in die Linux-Quelltexte kopiert worden seien, und warnt Linux-Anwender, auch sie könnten "für die Nutzung von Linux haftbar gemacht werden". Bislang hat das Unternehmen jedoch nicht erklärt, welche Teile von Linux konkret betroffen sind.

Die Abmahnung soll SCO nun zwingen, Beweise für die angeblichen Rechtsverletzungen vorzulegen oder die Behauptungen zurückzunehmen. "Es darf nicht angehen, dass mit unbewiesenen Behauptungen versucht wird, Mitbewerbern von SCO einen wirtschaftlichen Schaden durch Einschüchterung ihrer Kunden zuzufügen und GNU/Linux als offene Plattform nachhaltig im Ansehen zu schädigen", so Michael Kleinhenz, Sprecher des LinuxTag e.V.

Hans Bayer, Geschäftsführer von SCO Deutschland, bestätigte, drei Abmahnungen erhalten zu haben. Die Schreiben würden zurzeit von einem Anwalt geprüft. Er könne nachvollziehen, dass die derzeitige unklare Rechtslage für Linux-Firmen belastend seien. Auch SCO wolle eine zügige Klärung, wolle seine Beweise für Rechtsverstöße durch Linux jedoch erst im Verfahren gegen IBM vorlegen. SCO hatte IBM Anfang März auf eine Milliarde US-Dollar Schadenersatz verklagt. (odi/c't)

Re:/.ed text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6041025)

niemand gibt ein bumsen!

How will this affect the US case? (4, Insightful)

astrashe (7452) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040980)

If SCO ignores the German suit, how long will it take for them to be fined, and how big will the fine be?

If they produce documents in the German suit, will they be available in the US suit against IBM? Or can they stick to their original timetable for releasing docs here in the states?

It's amazing -- I didn't think it would be possible to dislike SCO any more than I did after I had to work on their OS a few years ago, but here we are. They pulled it off.

Re:How will this affect the US case? (1)

homebru (57152) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041152)

This is a very good point. Can court records in Germany be sealed away from the public? Can we please have some response from Germany?

SCO FUD Attack (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6040983)

The company I work for sells network security products, some of which are based on Linux. We have gotten inquiries from a large user saying that SCO sent their CEO a "cease and desist from using Linux" letter.

I can't confirm that SCO actually did this, and it's not just the customer's way of pushing the issue. But, either way, it shows their FUD campaign is working.

My translation of the translation (3, Funny)

Angry White Guy (521337) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040984)

Not making any guarantees of validity...

LinuxTag warns SCO

The LinuxTag e.V. warned SCO of its anti-competitive behavior. SCO stated that Linux infringed on its enterprise Unix patent rights, since Unix source code was cpoied into the Linux source, and warns Linux users that they could be made liable "for the use of Linux". So far SCO has not disclosed which parts of Linux are concerned.

The warning is to now force SCO to submit proofs for the alleged infringement, or retract their statements. 'With the allegations made by SCO, they are causing economic loss to their competitors through intimidation of their competitors customers and damaging the relationship of Gnu/linux as open platform', says Michael Kleinhenz, LinuxTag e.V spokesman.

Hans's Bavarian, CEO? of SCO Germany, confirmed that three warnings have been received. The letters were examined time by a lawyer at the time. The letter states that the present legal situation for Linux companies is unclear. Also SCO wants to only submit a clarifying brief, covering its proofs of copyright offences by Linux in the lawsuit against IBM. SCO had sued IBM for a billion US dollar compensationat the beginning of March .

fine? (2, Interesting)

pyros (61399) | more than 11 years ago | (#6040991)

I didn't see mention of a fine in either the babel translation or in the english version. Can anybody comment on what gives LinuxTag the ability to fine SCO?

Re:fine? (4, Insightful)

Angry White Guy (521337) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041010)

That it is hurting LinuxTag's source of revenue through what LinuxTag considers to be anticomptetitive practices. They (I guess, I don't speak German, nor Babelfish) that further state that SCO's seemingly baseless allegations are bringing Linux's viability as an enterprise platform into question via intimidation of lawsuits to linux adopters/customers.

But wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6041125)


(I guess, I don't speak German, nor Babelfish)

Didn't you just offer a translation a couple of posts ago?
What gives?
I'm all for getting information out there, but to post a translation and then in later post say that you don't know the language you just translated is, well, wrong.

Re:But wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6041159)

well, he has just rewriten the babelfish translation, with better gramar. he doesn't understand it any better than other non-german speakers, but its a easy way to gain karma

Re:But wait... (2, Funny)

Angry White Guy (521337) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041168)

I had already apologized for the poor translation of the engrish bastardization which I posted earlier. I was just sectioning out part of it for someone who couldn't understand my piss-poor translation.

And one of the problems with translating German is you never really know when to yell. That is why there isn't a lot of German love poetry.

IBM counter suit (5, Insightful)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041017)

I'd like to know why IBM hasn't counter-sued SCO yet. If a small company can make abuse the legal system, you'd think a big company could abuse it a lot more.

Re:IBM counter suit (3, Insightful)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041124)

Because they would only end up suing themselves when they buy out SCO?

its about time... (3, Interesting)

josepha48 (13953) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041038)

... that someone has said "PUT UP OR SHUTUP!"

Which is basically what they are saying. FYI, you don't need bablefish, you just need to click on the british(or english?) flag.

What SCO is doing is could be considered slander IF they have no proof, thus slander is finable.

Well I say, SCO, show us what code you think Linux is infringing, and what proof you have that it came from IBM OR "SCO/UNIX IP"?

FINALLY (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6041042)

somebody is trying to do something that has more immediate effect against SCO. Unfortunately none of the big boys (Red Hat?) have taken this approach. Why Not?

Why is Red Hat so stupid???

No Fine Mentioned (1)

webmaven (27463) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041045)

I've read all the English language versions (BabelFish, English press release, etc.), and don't see any mention of a fine.

Only connect (3, Insightful)

tengwar (600847) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041047)

SCO bought Xenix from Microsoft. Does anybody know whether Microsoft retained any commercial interest in SCO?

Re:Only connect (1)

Angry White Guy (521337) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041148)

it's either 25% or 6 shares of non-voting preferred stock that was only purchased as a good will gesture, depending on which way the winds are blowing on Slashdot and the mood of the trolls.

Worker Bees (4, Insightful)

Veteran (203989) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041062)

The members of the opensource community are like a hive of busy bees. We need to realize that worker bees carry a sting.

Here is how to utterly stop anything like the SCO legal action in the future.

Each individual in the open source movement needs to file a small claims law suit not only against SCO but against the individual lawyers working for SCO. These people have defamed us, and they need to learn that they do well to leave all of us alone.

It is impossible to fight thousands of law suits filed in hundreds of different courts. The expense is huge, and failure of the other side to respond results in a summery judgment against them.

While each suit might be small - a few thousand dollars - the end result is a disaster for someone like SCO and their lawyers.

Re:Worker Bees (2, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041083)

The suits would be consolidated into one big suit. That's done all the time in multi-injury claims.

Re:Worker Bees (2, Interesting)

Veteran (203989) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041136)

It is usually plaintiffs attorneys who do this - in the hope of getting a big payoff. People are not required to join those suits.

My being defamed has nothing to do with anyone else being defamed.

Please Mod parent up (1)

Crashmarik (635988) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041167)

The above is brilliant

Does this mean BSD is still Dead? (3, Interesting)

Martin Marvinski (581860) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041072)

If this lawsuit goes against linux, could this be the rebirth of BSD to the mainstream? The lawsuits in the early 90s nearly killed it, but now it is legally clear, so if Linux has problems legally we could revive BSD.

Although there is a problem because FreeBSD has problems with Christian owned companies in my experience. One of my clients got offended when I installed an OS whose logo was a Daemon. She made me install Solaris instead of FreeBSD because she didn't want a "Satanic" OS.

Insanity? (4, Interesting)

malakai (136531) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041079)

Wouldn't this be like E3 suing Electronic Arts because Electronic Arts alleges IP violation in say a ID Software Game?

Or like COMDEX suing Motorola, because they allege Ericsson stole some technology.

LinuxTag is a conference, a media event. I think they are grossly overstepping their bounds.

Would a "Car Show" sue a major car manufacturer because said manufacturer comes up with some legal case that threatens to make all other manufacturers indebted to them? They might be pissed, but filing some legal suit for such a 4th party participant in the field is misuse of the system.

-malakai

Re:Insanity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6041118)

No, LinuxTag is a non-commercial community organization which primary goal is to convey Free Software (thats what is written in their statutes). The fair is only a by-product of their lobbying.

Sigh, it's just a press release (3, Interesting)

tootingbec (561955) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041092)

Neither the German nor the English text says anything at all about any legal action by LinuxTag. The piece in heise.de does say that lawyers have sent each other nastygrams. Lawyers do that all the time, I hear. I get the sense that people don't know what LinuxTag is. It's a trade show. Nowhere in any of the linked articles does anyone say what the legal theory for a lawsuit against SCO would be...especially by a trade show! Frankly, it'd be more of a story if there were such information. Nothin' to see here, people, move along...

The Courtroom, pt.1 (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041098)


The SCO attorneys were seated across the courtroom from
IBM's legal team. "Your Honour," began SCO lead council
Henry L. Pencilneck, "we believe the defendent typed SCO
trade secrets into the Linux kernel. Furthermore, your Honour,
we maintain he did so whilst wearing this.."

The courtroom went silent as Pencilneck dumped the contents
of a brown paper bag on the table he was behind. The courtoom
erupted in gasps and cries as a bloodied leather glove landed
silently on the table. "Order! Order!" called Judge Shyster
as he hit his gavel.

"Mr. Pencilneck, why was this not brought into evidence earlier?"
asked the Judge. Pencilneck smiled. "Your Honour, only this morning
did we find this glove behind a small guest house owned by the
lead programmer employed by the defendent. Furthermore, we are
ready to prove that during the night the alleged copyright
transgressions took place, the lead programmer from IBM's Linux
project hit his head on an air conditioner behind the guesthouse
which is what caused him to drop this glove! Finally, we maintain
that in the guest house, none other than Linus Torvalds himself was
living rent-free." Two of SCOs programmers in the courtroom
broke into tears as they looked on the glove which was covered
in blood they maintain was from their source code. "There's only
one way to settle this," sighed Judge Shyster, "Have Linus Torvalds
try on this glove." The courtroom exploded.

A door at the back of the courtoom opened. Four armed guards
encircled a furniture wheeler
bearing the straight-jacketted form of Linus. Women in the courtroom
fainted.

Unshackling his right hand a guard tried to fit the glove on Linus.

It didn't fit.

The courtoom exploded again. "Order! Order," cried Judge Shyster,
"Notice how Torvalds balled up his fist? It won't fit in a glove like
that, but.." The Judge leaned back, "Bring in the Goatse.cx guy!"


To Be Continued

SCO : slanderous, libelous, derisive liars (2, Interesting)

small_dick (127697) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041102)

They have called the linux developers liars and theives, plain and simple.

They claim the "Enterprise Features" mentioned in ESR's work did not exist before IBM's involvement.

I'm suprised a variety of lawsuits haven't been filed against SCO by now. In particular, a class action law suit by the developers of all the enterprise features.

Of course, SCO has been planning this (probably with Microsoft) for many months, it might take time to get all the ducks in line for a major counter suit.

This could be a violation of their terms with the DOJ as well. DOJ should be subpoenaing all notes/conversations/etc between Microsoft and SCO for the last year or so...find that smoking gun and turn it right back that Microsoft.

We should all do this (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6041117)

Linux users of the world should unite. After all, SCO is threatening all of us, right? Anyone like minded, email me pdubb@aol.com, and maybe we can get a petition going or something.

"Until a few weeks ago..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6041121)

"Until a few weeks ago, SCO itself distributed the Linux kernel GNU General Public License (GPL)..."


During the week of May 19th, I downloaded a SRPM containing the kernel code from SCO's FTP server. The GPL requirements allowing use, redistribution and modification seem to apply regardless of if the redistribution is done for free or sold. The only thing SCO did a few weeks ago was to stop *sales* but they did not discontinue performing redistribution of the kernel.

I'm wondering why ... (1)

vlad_petric (94134) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041131)

Redhat doesn't do the same thing (i.e. countersue). They could just as well claim that this is unfair competition.

Have Mandrake sue them in the States and France, and they're gonna have enough legal pressure to last them until they cease to exist as a company (which one way or the other will very likely happen, as this process is their last bet of making money)

Re:I'm wondering why ... (3, Funny)

RdsArts (667685) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041174)

Because Mandrake is just now trying to claw out of bankruptcy, and doesn't have money to tie down in litigation right now?

As for Red Hat and SuSe, I honestly think they don't see it as a threat. For that matter, why doesn't IBM counter-sue? Simply because A) it takes money to sue, and B) even if you win against SCO, what can you win? They have less assets then a Napster verture capitalist.

CEO: Well, the suits over. And now, we... Have a massive overstock of SCO branded mugs!
Accountant: Ceramic, or plastic?
CEO: Ceramic.
Accountant: Ooo, that's high quality. I'll alert the stock holders!

It's just not worth the time to them, I'd imagine.

Acronym Bingo (-1, Funny)

_marshall (71584) | more than 11 years ago | (#6041138)

Shitty COmpany,
Smelly, Careless Oafs,
Sharing Code with 0,
Silly Corporate Oddballs,
Suing Companies Ominously,
and finally..

Somebody please Castrate Our lawyers

Here's what I think. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6041160)

Wait a second, how do we know that SCO didn't steal the Linux source code and incoorperated it into their product. From mailing lists and cvs changelogs we know who put what where.

Yeah, thats what I think. I'm looking forward to seeing Linus sue the bejeezus out of SCO for infringement of the GPL.

Posting anonymously just because I don't want my name attached to such a BS comment :)

Wait one friggin second.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6041176)

.. who gets the money if SCO does get fined? Does LinuxTag get it? If so, why the fsck didn't I think of this... I wanna fine a big corporation too!!!
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