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Caldera Government The Courts News

Germany Muzzles SCO 349

Posted by Hemos
from the one-step-closer dept.
skyryder12 writes " We have news from Germany. It seems, according to Computerworld, that SCO Group GmbH (SCO's German branch) agreed, on February 18, 2004, to an out-of-court settlement between it and Univention and will refrain from saying in Germany some things it says in the US constantly. There are four things they have agreed not to say in Germany, on pain of a fine of 10,000 euros per offense -- that's about $12,500 USD -- and one thing they can't say unless they present proof within a month of the settlement date. Story at GrokLaw"
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Germany Muzzles SCO

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  • Good to see... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Da Fokka (94074) on Monday March 01, 2004 @08:49AM (#8428330) Homepage
    I'm glad the european judicial systems are not as prone to SCO's legal guerilla tactics as the US system is.
    • Not only that, but it looks like their justice system has a sense of humor: SCO can't sue any Linux users except their own customers. That's comedy gold, right there. ;)
      • by EricWright (16803) on Monday March 01, 2004 @08:58AM (#8428380) Journal
        That's a mistranslation. SCO has been saying that they reserve the right to sue any Linux user, except those who bought a SCO or Caldera distribution. The German court says that SCO must quit saying that.

        Apparently, the translation turned from saying the above to, SCO may not threaten to sue any linux user, except those who bought a SCO or Caldera distribution... gotta distribute the logical not throughout the statement properly!!!
        • by jkrise (535370) on Monday March 01, 2004 @09:15AM (#8428475) Journal
          Given the amount of mis-transalation and mis-representation by SCO in this case, I think it's best the press goes with this version - SCO can sue only Caldera / SCO Linux users in Germany. That seems pretty fair in this case.

          -
        • by dirkx (540136) <dirkx@vangulik.org> on Monday March 01, 2004 @09:29AM (#8428552) Homepage
          It is a bit more subtle; going back to the german version it says that as "Univention" essentially represent all, -except- for those with whom SCO has a direct relationship, the ruling affects all but those. So SCO can do with its -own- customer what it wants; it just should not mess with "Univentions" their customers.

          Note that it is not just sue - but "Strafverfolgung"; i.e. a criminal offence reported to the "attorney general" which the "people' bring on, rather than a civil law case.

          Dw
        • by llogiq (455777) on Monday March 01, 2004 @09:45AM (#8428667)
          Are you really sure? I have read the german text, and I think the translation is quite correct. (Having german as a mother tongue helps here ;)

          The german law implies you may not sue anyone who does not have business with you or interferes with you in some way. Therefore, if SCO tells it will be suing people they have no business with, they are obviously wrong.

          Paragraph 263 of the german "Strafgesetzbuch" (criminal code) seems to apply in this case (fraud, making false claims to extract property).

          Oh, and the obligatory IANAL.
      • SCO can't sue any Linux users except their own customers.

        Both two customers?
      • by 4eek (302404) on Monday March 01, 2004 @09:38AM (#8428622)

        What Univention used against SCO is what the Germans call "Beweislast" (burden of proof). According to German law, the burden of proof lies with the plaintiff. This means SCO cannot, according to German law, make public statements threatening anyone about anything especially if this would undermine the accused (Linux in this case), before the accusations or claims have been proved to be true in a court of law. This is how things should be since it stops alot of unecesarry lawsuits

      • by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday March 01, 2004 @09:58AM (#8428762) Homepage Journal
        The great Free Speech debate. There is the clasic saying that, "free speech does not mean that you can yell fire in a crowded theater". That could apply here. Then you have the debate does free speech cover commercial speech? If so then why limits on ads for cigs?
        I really think that often fraud is hidden under the terms of free speech. The world if when people make a statment of what they claim is fact where forced to take some responsibility for that statment. If SCO came out and said that "We feel that Linux infringes on our copyright and are going to look into it." I would have not problem. But when they make totaly false statments like, "Millions of lines of our code in in Linux". Then they have gone to far.
      • by arivanov (12034) on Monday March 01, 2004 @10:06AM (#8428819) Homepage
        No it does not.

        Their customers - it is contract law

        Other people - it is general antitrust, slander and copyright law.

        That is the distinction and there is nothing funny in it.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 01, 2004 @10:15AM (#8428877)
        Any article that starts with...

        Die SCO Group...

        has got to be good!
    • Re:Good to see... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by BillFarber (641417) on Monday March 01, 2004 @08:55AM (#8428367)
      I don't mean this as a troll, but it seems to me that if the US courts did something like this to a small business man (rather than to Satan), the slashdot crowd would be screaming about Ashcroft and free speech rights.
      • Re:Good to see... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by SMOC (703423) on Monday March 01, 2004 @09:00AM (#8428387)
        There's no such thing as "the slashdot crowd". Opinions differ. That doesn't mean slashdot contradicts itself.
      • Re:Good to see... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 01, 2004 @09:07AM (#8428435)
        "Are you mad or just insane"(*)

        They can't say it unless they prove it. You can't destroy anyones reputation just because. First you gotta prove it...

        (*) King Diamond
      • Re:Good to see... (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 01, 2004 @09:12AM (#8428466)

        it seems to me that if the US courts did something like this to a small business man (rather than to Satan), the slashdot crowd would be screaming about Ashcroft and free speech rights.

        ...and another part of the Slashdot crowd, the one based in reality, would point out that commercial speech has long been restricted in ways that individuals' speech has not, and that businesses can't go around lying in order to make money (cue Microsoft jab, 3, 2, 1...).

      • Re:Good to see... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Baumi (148744) on Monday March 01, 2004 @09:15AM (#8428473) Homepage
        I don't know about that - it's not about denying free speech, it's about disallowing groundless claims. If you were an innocent citizen and I were someone with enough media clout to send out the message that you're a murderer over all available news outlets, you'd probably try to get a court order to stop me from doing that, as well. And rightly so.

        Free speech is fine when we're talking about opinions and facts - it shouldn't protect lying and baseless claims.

        Baumi
        • Re:Good to see... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by blinder (153117) <.blinder.dave. .at. .gmail.com.> on Monday March 01, 2004 @10:53AM (#8429334) Homepage Journal
          Free speech is fine when we're talking about opinions and facts - it shouldn't protect lying and baseless claims.

          wow, scary.

          free speech means I can make all the baseless claims and lie all I want. What I can't do is yell "fire" in a crowded movie theater (the classic example).

          If I break the law (through fraud) -- then fine, arrest me, and I'll go through due process, but to simply restrict speech simply because it may be baseless or a lie is ridiculous and scary.

          Right now, I'm sitting on the beach typing this and that later today I'm going to take a long drive in my Ferrari.

          See, that was a lie! I'm sitting in my cubicle right now! But according to your definition of free speech, I just committed a crime by lying where I am and what I'm doing.

      • Re:Good to see... (Score:5, Informative)

        by EricWright (16803) on Monday March 01, 2004 @09:17AM (#8428488) Journal
        Free speech rights don't include the right to libel or slander. Unless SCO can prove otherwise, they are certainly guilty of slander (Oral communication of false statements injurious to a person's reputation) against, at the very least, Linus for claiming he is the ringleader of an international group of IP pirates and copyright infringers.

        Libel (A false publication, as in writing, print, signs, or pictures, that damages a person's reputation; the act of presenting such material to the public) requires publication. I'm not sure what, if anything, SCO itself has published. Most publications have been interviews with SCOs officers, published by various members of the media.

        IMO, BTW IANAL TLA, SCO is also guilty of barratry (The offense of persistently instigating lawsuits, typically groundless ones) as they have filed numerous suits against various groups without providing so much as a shred of tangible evidence (ie, evidence that wasn't refuted within 24 hours).

        In short, take those free speech arguments and shove 'em where the sun don't shine. Even free speech has its limitations...
      • Re:Good to see... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by orthogonal (588627) on Monday March 01, 2004 @09:47AM (#8428681) Journal
        I don't mean this as a troll, but it seems to me that if the US courts did something like this to a small business man (rather than to Satan), the slashdot crowd would be screaming about Ashcroft and free speech rights.

        Two issues here: even an ACLU liberal like me won't argue that free speech is so absolute as to preclude laws against slander or libel. And most of us would be willing to have limits on threatening speech, although this is more subject to abuse.

        The second issue is that "free speech" is very much an American idea. That's not to say that freedom is unknown in Europe, but Europe is far more willing to restrict speech that would (generally) be considered protected in the U.S. Germany, especially, is far more willing to subjugate free speech to social order, as a result of seeing the particular zeal with which certain very bad ideas were formerly so lovingly embraced by German listeners.

        I'm referring, of course, to Germany's Nazi past: as a result, Germany law holds social order -- the protection of ideals of democratic government -- to be more important that a right to the exhortation of Nazi "hate speech", including not only speech in favor of Fascism but also Fascism's ugly underpinnings, such as racist and anti-Semitic speech, and minimization of Fascism's consequences, such as Holocaust denial.

        Other European nations are also more leery of speech that is too stark a reminder of history, as we saw with France's restriction of eBay's sale of Nazi memorabilia. Britain, too, is less concerned about free speech, but limits speech less through hate-speech laws than through far easier to get judgments against libel and slander.

        One of the strongest arguments of free speech advocates in the U.S. is that the best antidote to "bad" speech is not suppression, but instead the "free marketplace of ideas": "bad" speech is supposed to generate counter-arguments against what it advocates, allowing a free people to freely weigh both sides of the question and -- presumably -- end up even more strongly against the "bad" speech. (I keep using scare quotes around "bad" not because I'm a fan of hate speech, but because this argument for free speech presumes that it is up to each listener, and not a government, to determine in his own conscience what speech is "bad".)

        I'm inclined to agree with this analysis, but furthermore, I can't see what alternative to it allows a people truly to be free, and I worry that suppression of hate speech in Europe -- and Germany in particular -- is just a tacit acknowledgement that these countries don't really believe that all the demons of their past have truly been put to rest, that they fear that Fascism might again prove irresistibly seductive if allowed to be advocated freely.

        But I'm an American, not a European, and I have the luxury of living in a land that has never been touched by Fascism or Communist Statism, where Democracy -- however unevenly applied to minorities or women or the poor -- was at least the ideal to which we pledged ourselves. And of course, the U.S. has not been shy about restricting free speech in its colonial possessions, as a perusal of our laws in the Philippines or Cuba makes clear.

        Lest we forget, not only Germany, but Italy, Portugal -- until 1974, and Spain -- until 1977 --, were Fascist, and Eastern Europe -- including East Germany -- languished under Communist Statism just as tyrannical until the 1990s. With that perspective, it's perhaps more understandable that Europeans feel they must -- to paraphrase the U.S. doctrine in Vietnam -- restrict freedom in order to save it.
        • Re:Good to see... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by pubjames (468013) on Monday March 01, 2004 @10:45AM (#8429240)

          I know that views like yours are common in the USA. However, many of us here in Europe look to the USA and don't much difference in the level of "free speech" in either place. True, there are a few laws in a few countries in Europe that go against "free speech" in the strictest sense. But in the USA you have something we don't have so much of - increadable social pressure to conform to what society thinks is right.

          For instance, we don't have any type of speech that is publicly ridiculed for being "Un-european". We don't have ridiculous over-reactions like that of your country to the exposure of a woman's breast. And what is "free speech" if your actors cannot give their personal opinions about current events when accepting awards?
          • Re:Good to see... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Experiment 626 (698257) on Monday March 01, 2004 @12:14PM (#8430446)

            And what is "free speech" if your actors cannot give their personal opinions about current events when accepting awards?

            The kinds of comments you refer to are the entertainment industry equivalent of flamebait or offtopic digressions (like this one, I'm afraid). Such comments add nothing of value to the debate over current events - does skill at acting really confer any special sagacity about foreign policy? Is the opinion being expressed going to be in any way better informed than a soundbite on the issue from the janitor who sweeps the floors after the awards ceremony is over would be?

            Also, such offtopic and inappropriate comments from actors open up a can of worms. Should they be able to make controversial comments that generate lots of backlash against the studios they work for? What if the speech is so controversial it would generally be viewed as insensetive, racist, or hate speech? If some spouting of political comments is good and other types would be bad, what political correctness censoring authority determines how free speech should really be?

            Famous people already have a much louder voice for their personal opinion than their expertise on the matters being discussed would merit. They can give interviews, issue press releases, and often testify before congress about topic they have no particular knowledge about. Does having once played a doctor really make someone an expert on health care policy? Newspaper columnists don't go around claiming their political commentaries entitle them to a role in a film, why do entertainers think being good at acting makes their political opinions worth listening to?

        • Re:Good to see... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by kmonsen (606584) on Monday March 01, 2004 @10:53AM (#8429333) Homepage
          I think a reality pill is in order. Yes you live in a country that has been touched by fascism. One easy example is the McCarthy (?) period where any socialist ideas where in effect banned.

          What many americans don't realise is that there can never be total freedom. In a total free society you would be free to do what you want, and I would be protected from your actions. This is not possible if we want different things. There will always be a tradeoff between your freedom and my protection. We europeans just have a (slightly) different tradeoff.

          You and me refere to fictional characters here of course.

        • Re:Good to see... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by maxwell demon (590494) on Monday March 01, 2004 @10:54AM (#8429354) Journal
          Well, the argumentation for the free speech restrictions in Europe is not quite unlike the argumentation of the restrictions in the GPL: In order to protect your rights, we have to restrict you from certain freedoms which would allow you to destroy that freedom.

          For GPL software, you may f.ex. not redistribute binaries without source. This is obviously a restriction of your freedom. But the FSF believes this to be necessary to protect your other freedoms given to you through the GPL. Others (like the BSD people) disagree.

          In Europe, you may not say certain things which help fascism. This is obviously a restriction of your freedom. But the European countries believe this to be necessary to protect your other freedoms given to you through democracy. Others (like the USA) obviously disagree.
          • Re:Good to see... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Hektor_Troy (262592) on Monday March 01, 2004 @12:16PM (#8430478)
            In SOME European countries ... some ...

            Denmark, for instance, has the worlds ONLY state funded Nazi radio station. Why? Because the legislation that allows for publicly funded radiostations set out some guidelines that the Nazi station lives up to, namely public service (like news etc).

            I have absolutely no problem with that. Why? Because if I want freedom of speech, it should also cover the speech I find deeply appaling! If it doesn't, how can it be free?

            And our politicians? Well, they want to ban it. But they can't do it by law, as they haven't broken any laws yet. When they try to remove funding from the station by tweaking the law, they end up closing fifty other stations as well, so that doesn't work.

            And damnit - I wish they'd keep their fucking hands of them! Not because I like Nazis - I don't like their view of the world, but because it is so much easier keeping them in check, when they're out in the open and you can ridicule them instead.

            Nazis here like marching on various occasions. They're allowed to, it's quite legal. So how do you stop them? By having citizens organize a fundraiser. "We will donate ?150 to various jewish organisations [like holocaust center] for every km the nazis march." That took the air right out of their balloon ...

            THAT'S how you use free speech to impede dangerous speech ... not by restricting it, but by making i lose its power by exposing it to sunlight.

            IMHO
        • Re:Good to see... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 01, 2004 @11:00AM (#8429408)
          But I'm an American, not a European, and I have the luxury of living in a land that has never been touched by Fascism


          First of all, I'm aware that history books in the USA do a bad job at this, but you really should differentiate between fascism and nazism.

          Fascism was the system in place in Italy, Nazism was the system in place in Germany and has a lot in common with it, but there are a few very significant differences.

          The most important one is evident from Muscolini's opinion about Hitler, he thought the man was obsessed with racial issues.

          In fact, the system as the USA has today is very close to fascism, it is a system in which big business runs the country, and where the government acts on their behalf. Traditional fascism comes with a fair amount of nationalism and national pride, and usually (but not by definition) results in expantionalism. At any rate it perfectly matches Muscolini's own definition of fascism.

          This very aspect of Nazism is what provokes very strong reactions among jewish people specifically, but also among almost anyone who has lived through it in EUrope, and those who were brought up knowing about what happened.

          Both Nazism and Fascism heavily lean on glorifying the past, and use a lot of symbolism in order to keep people from looking at reality.

          What was forbidden in France is selling things that have been used in such a way by Nazis speicifcally, interestingly enough, you wont see the same vigorous attempts at suppression with purely fascist things.

          When looking at the response to nazism in much of Europe, you have to think back to events on sept. 11 and what emotions it triggered in the USA. multiply it a few 1000 times to get to the scale of what Europe experienced under Nazi rule, and you can also count on emotions being proportionally stronger.

          Regarding Germany, laws there are not much different from those in the rest of Europe, tho tend to get implemented more strictly (but hey, that is a german thing to do, they do that with lots more then just those rules and laws)

          That for example Mein Kampf is not available in Germany is first of all due to the current copyright holders preventing that (happesn to be the government of bavaria if I'm not mistaken) and not because of it being forbidden by law.

          Finally, not allowing 'hate speech' as is the case in many European countries is just putting a slightly different line then is done in the USA. Which line is better is up for debate, but neither have absolute free speech.

        • Re:Good to see... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 01, 2004 @11:20AM (#8429689)
          >"free speech" is very much an American idea

          This isn't correct, but typical of contemporary US nationalist meme-thinking. The conceptions of free-speech are somewhat different in Europe and the US but if you think "it is very much an American idea " you are in need of an education.

          - The idea of free speech originated first in Europe (maybe elsewhere also). Scores of euro philosophers/political thinkers have argued for free speech long before the US existed, including ancient greeks.
          - The european provisions you mention are insignificant. There are far more important factors to free speech, such as good public service media and the conditions of political campaigns.
          - The worlds oldest freedom of the press-laws are European (the first one was made law in Sweden, which is in Europe last I checked).

          In practice, socio-political debate in west-european countries span a much wider range of ideas than that of the US, and is far more critical of government (power in general). That is the main point of free speech.
      • Re:Good to see... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by DrHyde (134602) on Monday March 01, 2004 @09:53AM (#8428730) Homepage
        This idea that a corporation should have rights - such as free speech - as if it were a person strikes me as being quite spectacularly daft. A corporation is *not* a person, but an artificial construct the existence of which is merely permitted by laws. Also it is incapable of assuming the responsibilities of a person, is not subject to the same penalties when it misbehaves as a person, and therefore should not enjoy the same rights as a person.

        Regulating what a company can say is just fine. If the shareholders don't like it, they are still perfectly capable of speaking in their capacity as individual citizens.
    • Re:Good to see... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Windsurfer (30408) on Monday March 01, 2004 @09:08AM (#8428447)
      I'm glad the european judicial systems are not as prone to SCO's legal guerilla tactics as the US system is.

      Unfortunately, it's the large companies in the US that SCO want to target the most. And they have just announced that they've persuaded another bunch of suckers [yahoo.com] to sign up....
      • Re:Good to see... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by EinarH (583836)
        Said to see the Headsurfer sink to such a level.
        Probably a marketing stunt to get some free press. BTW, I doubt EV1 is a "fortune 1000 company" (whatever that is).

        And check out webhostingtalk.com and EV1 forums for hordes of unhappy people.

  • Yay! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dolo666 (195584) * on Monday March 01, 2004 @08:49AM (#8428331) Journal
    SCO gets to try on a muzzle... this is happy news. My only question is if this settlement favours Univention or SCO? I guess if you look at it one way, it favours us all because we don't have to listen to SCO whine and complain in Germany. Oh wait a minute... their website can be reached from Germany, so does that count as an offense?
  • Hmm.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by freerecords (750663) <`gro.sdrocereerf' `ta' `todhsals'> on Monday March 01, 2004 @08:49AM (#8428332) Homepage Journal
    As a British guy, I hope we get similar things brought in in Britain soon.. SCO needs to be stopped once and for all, and this seems like a fine (excuse the pun) way to do it.
  • How does it come? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 01, 2004 @08:50AM (#8428336)
    That US law couldn't do such things?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 01, 2004 @09:02AM (#8428407)
      In the US the rights of an individual only hold sway over another individual if the first individual has more money at its disposal. Hence SCO, with cash in the bank and a powerful marketing voice has stronger rights than people, it's part of US law. It's not codified as such, but that's the result.

      In many parts of Europe, it's the opposite. A company, no matter how well respected or large will always have to bow down to the will of the people in the end. This is what's happened as a result, and Germany made the right decision to act.
      • by Moraelin (679338) on Monday March 01, 2004 @09:55AM (#8428746) Journal
        Essentially it boils down to the fact that the US government and justice seem to have degenerated in little more than a farce. They're so busy rewarding their corporate sponsors and begging for future campaign contributions, that they seem to have forgot who they're really supposed to represent. (Hint: the people.)

        In Europe this hasn't happened yet.

        I'm not saying that European politicians are born more honest. They're not.

        I do say, however, that here the democratic checks still work. The press, the unions, the other parties _and_ the other countries in the EU will raise a ruckus sky-high at the slightest hint that a politician may be bought or acting against the people's interest.

        Maybe more important is that here, to the best of my knowledge, all countries have more than two parties. There is no lack of choice for voting someone else into office, if the current lot does a bad job.

        Better yet, most often parties have to form fragile alliances to be anywhere near a majority. You can't take "we're the majority" for granted and do whatever you damn please. (I.e., reward those who paid for your campaign.) Often to get your own Law X voted, you have to secure the support of one or two other parties. Which might imply altering the law so they like it too, or supporting their own Law Y, or whatnot.

        Chances are good enough that enough of those will do the populist thing and refuse to support stuff that would piss off their voters. Or want to have it changed so it at least looks good to their voters.

        Speaking of fragile alliances: having one or two members in the parliament can (and often does) make _the_ difference between being the alliance leader or having to follow. There's a real competition for Joe Average's vote. You don't want to piss off Joe Average too much.
    • Re:How does it come? (Score:5, Informative)

      by stienman (51024) <adavis@ubasi c s .com> on Monday March 01, 2004 @09:32AM (#8428569) Homepage Journal
      Take one part "free speech" and two parts "Innocent until proven guilty" and you can pretty much say anything you want in any format as any entity under these laws (the corporation is such an entity) until someone succesfully sues you in a civil suit to stop making false claims.

      The hysterisis built into the US legal system, "Innocent until proven guilty" and "beyond reasonable doubt" create a small area inbetween "Truth" and "Lies" where both sides can claim victory: SCO says, "No one can prove these claims irefutabley flase" while others say "SCO cannot prove these claims true."

      Meanwhile they can make money off the proposition that they may be true, and people would be better off paying them rather than taking a small risk and waiting to see what the full outcome is. Many companies have little to lose if they 'lose' so they take the risk and don't pay. But many companies either have a lot to lose, or don't understand what they'll lose and so it's safer to not risk it and simply pay up.

      Many other countries have much stronger versions of what we call 'slander' or 'libel' - even covering free speech. One cannot make a statement which has not already been shown to be true or can be readily verified by any interested parties. Using phrases such as "may" or "could infringe" or "This contains forward looking statements" do not always satisfy the legal requirements to fall under 'free speech' as they do in the US.

      Quite frankly, you can simply say that the US system give them as much rope as they want to use before someone sues them, whereas the German courts step in and prevent them from getting much, if any, hanging rope. Handing down a warning, and knowing what the penalties are beforehand both empowers a company and stops them short of duping too many people.

      -Adam
  • Full Article Text (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 01, 2004 @08:51AM (#8428341)

    We have news from Germany. It seems, according to Computerwoche [computerwoche.de], that SCO Group GmbH (SCO's German branch) agreed, on February 18, 2004, to an out-of-court settlement between it and Univention and will refrain from saying in Germany some things it says in the US constantly. There are four things they have agreed not to say in Germany, on pain of a fine of 10,000 euros per offense -- that's about $12,500 USD -- and one thing they can't say unless they present proof within a month of the settlement date.

    Details of the settlement from the article:

    1) SCO Group GmbH (German branch of SCO) has agreed not to allege any more that Linux contains SCO's unlawfully acquired intellectual property.

    2) The settlement also forbids SCO from claiming that if end users are running Linux they might be liable for breaches of SCO's intellectual property.

    3) Also they cannot say that Linux is an unauthorized derivative of Unix.

    4) Finally SCO Group GmbH is prohibited to threaten to sue Linux users unless they bought SCO Linux or Caldera Linux.

    I asked a couple of others who speak German to make sure this last was an accurate translation, even holding off on the story for half a day, because it still sounds a bit odd. Evidently, they can sue their own customers in Germany if they feel like it. Perhaps others can refine our understanding. The news article also says that they can't allege that proof of copyright violations will be presented soon, unless such proof is presented within a month after the settlement date, in which case, then SCO Group may continue to make that claim publicly.

    Thanks primarily to doughnuts_lover, who did the initial translation for us.

    Here is a snip from the German, for those who can readily understand it:

    "Die SCO Group GmbH wird danach im geschaftlichen Verkehr, also gegenuber Kunden und Anwendern, kunftig nicht mehr behaupten, dass Linux-Betriebssysteme unrechtmaBig erworbenes geistiges Eigentum von SCO Unix beinhalten. Der Vergleich verbietet es SCO ferner zu behaupten, dass Endanwender, wenn sie Linux einsetzen, fur die damit verbundenen Schutzverletzungen der SCO Intellectual Properties haftbar gemacht werden konnen. Auch die Behauptung, Linux sei ein nicht autorisiertes Derivat von Unix, ist nicht mehr statthaft. Last, but not least, darf die SCO Group GmbH nicht mehr behaupten, Kaufer von Linux-Betriebssystemen hatten eine Strafverfolgung zu befurchten, es sei denn, es handelte sich bei den gekauften Betriebssystemen um SCO Linux oder Caldera Linux. . . .

    "Nach diesem wird SCO auch nicht mehr offentlich behaupten, Beweise fur die Urheberrechtsverletzung wurden demnachst vorgelegt. Ausnahme: Sollten diese Beweise innerhalb eines Monats nach diesem Vergleich vorgelegt werden, kann die SCO Group GmbH solch eine Behauptung weiter veroffentlichen."

    • Correction on #4 (Score:3, Informative)

      by kmonsen (606584)
      What it really should be is that they are not allowed to say that Linux users can be sued unless they buy the SCO kind.
    • Re:Full Article Text (Score:5, Informative)

      by Renegade Lisp (315687) * on Monday March 01, 2004 @09:01AM (#8428399)
      Here's a translation of the German bit:

      "SCO Group GmbH will henceforth in its business relations, that is, towards customers and users, no longer claim that Linux operating systems contain illegally aquired intellectual property of SCO Unix. The settlement further prohibits SCO from claiming that end users, if they employ Linux, may be held liable for infringement of SCO Intellectual Properties. Further, the claim that Linux is an unauthorized derivate of Unix, is no longer acceptable. Last, but not least, SCO Group GmbH may no longer claim that buyers of Linux operating systems had to fear criminal prosecution, unless the operating system that was bought is SCO Linux or Caldera Linux...

      "Henceforth, SCO will also cease to claim publically that proof for the copyright infringement would be presented shortly. Exception: Should this proof be presented within one month after this settlement, then such a claim may further be made publically."

  • Gagged..... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cuteface (450372) on Monday March 01, 2004 @08:51AM (#8428342) Homepage
    something which perhaps the US courts should do more often?

    Watching from the sidelines, I'm sometimes disappointed at the trial by media and sensationalist reporting going on in the US. But then I'm not an American so maybe I'm out of touch.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 01, 2004 @08:53AM (#8428348)
    Now, what will make the remainder of my day great is a falling SCO stock price. Now I just have to wait for the markets to open...
  • Say what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lordsilence (682367) on Monday March 01, 2004 @08:53AM (#8428353) Homepage
    Should it really have to take a court-order to make them be quiet? Things that have been on my list of things to ignore for a long time: 1. spam 2. banners 3. SCO-fud
  • S.U.S.E (Score:5, Insightful)

    by moberry (756963) on Monday March 01, 2004 @08:54AM (#8428356)
    I'm not a big supporter of S.U.S.E linux, but i'm sure this settlement made them relax a bit.
    • Re:S.U.S.E (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dabadab (126782)
      Well, I don't think so - I mean I doubt they were nervous about this SCO nonsense in the first place. Actually, I work for a Germany-based big corp and there is work on transitioning from SCO UnixWare to Linux as they clearly see that:
      1. SCO will die soon
      2. Linux will not

  • by Xpilot (117961) on Monday March 01, 2004 @08:54AM (#8428357) Homepage
    Unlike Americans who are born with the lawyer gene, Germans are born with the engineer gene. So this decision is not so surprising ;)

    • by Lehk228 (705449) on Monday March 01, 2004 @08:58AM (#8428377) Journal
      I am half German and half irish, so i do my best work under the influence;p (of whisky, not the Freebase that Darl has been on)
    • by ratamacue (593855) on Monday March 01, 2004 @09:22AM (#8428515)
      But why are there so many lawyers in the US? Does it have something to do with culture? Hardly.

      The lawyers are here because the law is overly complex, ambiguous, and exploitable. In other words, the root of the problem is government. As long as the law is exploitable, there will be a demand to exploit the law. The lawyers are only here to supply the demand.

      Everyone wants a piece of the pie, and the US government's solution is to keep producing more and more pie (to continuously expand the scope of government). This is a classic example of government creating problems of which the "solution" requires (guess what) more government. The real solution, of course, is to limit the size of the pie.
  • by kyrre (197103) on Monday March 01, 2004 @08:55AM (#8428364)
    Finally SCO Group GmbH is prohibited to threaten to sue Linux users unless they bought SCO Linux or Caldera Linux.

    SCO is only allowed to threaten people that actually bought Caldera or SCO linux? Good thing I never bought either then...
  • by the_mad_poster (640772) <shattoc@adelphia.com> on Monday March 01, 2004 @08:56AM (#8428368) Homepage Journal

    4) Finally SCO Group GmbH is prohibited to threaten to sue Linux users unless they bought SCO Linux or Caldera Linux.

    Hello, Darl? This is irony calling.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 01, 2004 @08:57AM (#8428375)

    Nach diesem wird SCO auch nicht mehr offentlich behaupten, Beweise fur die Urheberrechtsverletzung wurden demnachst vorgelegt.


    This fifth statement had been left out:
    they can't any anymore that their proof will turn up "real soon", unless they actually do it! That should cut down on the crap press-releases...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 01, 2004 @08:59AM (#8428383)
    The court order [univention.de] (in German)
  • Germans... (Score:4, Funny)

    by SisyphusShrugged (728028) <meNO@SPAMigerard.com> on Monday March 01, 2004 @08:59AM (#8428384) Homepage
    First the Germans do away with Nazis, then Scientology, then SCO!!

    Seems like they are doing pretty good (At least recently...and they have a powerful Green Party!)
  • by BJury (756346) on Monday March 01, 2004 @08:59AM (#8428386)
    2:00, nothing yet on either Reuters or Bloomberg news...

    Lets hope its true!
  • Dupe? (Score:3, Informative)

    by FrostedWheat (172733) on Monday March 01, 2004 @09:00AM (#8428393)
    No, not the story. Well kinda...

    Didn't LinuxTag do the same thing? Force SCO to stop putting out unfounded claims in Germany?
  • by cnb (146606) on Monday March 01, 2004 @09:05AM (#8428422)

    I asked a couple of others who speak German to make sure this last was an accurate translation, even holding off on the story for half a day, because it still sounds a bit odd. Evidently, they can sue their own customers in Germany if they feel like it.

    Sounds like a cool twisted ploy to make them lose their two remaining german customers.

    - cnb

  • Translations... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 01, 2004 @09:06AM (#8428428)
    @ Sysiphus:

    That all-caps line isn't so nice a thing to post (pre-1945 national anthem, forbidden to sing in Germany). The intend is warmly received, the wording is not. ;-)

    That being said, I'll try myself at a word-by-word translation. (Native German speaker, me...)

    "Die SCO Group GmbH wird danach im geschaftlichen Verkehr, also gegenuber Kunden und Anwendern, kunftig nicht mehr behaupten, dass Linux-Betriebssysteme unrechtmaBig erworbenes geistiges Eigentum von SCO Unix beinhalten."

    "The SCO Group GmbH will therefore refrain, in future business communications, meaning in communication with customers and users, from claiming that Linux operating systems contain unlawfully purchased intelectual property of SCO Unix."

    "Der Vergleich verbietet es SCO ferner zu behaupten, dass Endanwender, wenn sie Linux einsetzen, fur die damit verbundenen Schutzverletzungen der SCO Intellectual Properties haftbar gemacht werden konnen."

    "The settlement further forbids SCO to claim that end users, in employing Linux, could be held liable for the implied violations of SCO intelectual property."

    "Auch die Behauptung, Linux sei ein nicht autorisiertes Derivat von Unix, ist nicht mehr statthaft."

    "Also the claim, Linux were a non-authorized derivative of Unix, is no longer allowed."

    "Last, but not least, darf die SCO Group GmbH nicht mehr behaupten, Kaufer von Linux-Betriebssystemen hatten eine Strafverfolgung zu befurchten, es sei denn, es handelte sich bei den gekauften Betriebssystemen um SCO Linux oder Caldera Linux. . . . "

    "Last but not least (translator's note: I don't believe this is the official wording), the SCO Group GmbH must no longer claim that purchasers of Linux operating systems must fear lawsuits if the purchased operating systems are not SCO Linux or Caldera Linux..."

    "Nach diesem wird SCO auch nicht mehr offentlich behaupten, Beweise fur die Urheberrechtsverletzung wurden demnachst vorgelegt."

    "After this, SCO will no longer claim in public that proof for the copyright infringement will be presented shortly."

    "Ausnahme: Sollten diese Beweise innerhalb eines Monats nach diesem Vergleich vorgelegt werden, kann die SCO Group GmbH solch eine Behauptung weiter veroffentlichen."

    "Exception: Should these proofs be presented within one month after this settlement, the SCO Group GmbH may continue to publish such a claim."

    • Re:Translations... (Score:3, Informative)

      by Renegade Lisp (315687) *
      You translated:

      "[...] the SCO Group GmbH must no longer claim that purchasers of Linux operating systems must fear lawsuits if the purchased operating systems are not SCO Linux or Caldera Linux..."

      Since this bit has been the most controversial one, I believe you should be careful about doing any boolean arithmetic with it. The negations in the original are different:

      "SCO Group GmbH must no longer claim that purchasers of Linux operating systems must fear lawsuits, unless the operating system that was

  • What exactly.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cypherwise (650128) on Monday March 01, 2004 @09:08AM (#8428439) Journal
    ..did Univention have to give up in the settlement? Did they have to pay SCO to stop it's FUD? What are the details of this agreement? If SCO actually got some type of monetary compensation the German legal system just folded when they should've held and continued to let SCO's play up it's bluff.


    If I am wrong, someone please help clarify.

  • by 10Ghz (453478) on Monday March 01, 2004 @09:08AM (#8428445)
    Link [yahoo.com]

    Quote: "LINDON, Utah, March 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The SCO Group, Inc. ("SCO") (Nasdaq: SCOX - News), the owner of the UNIX(R) operating system and a leading provider of UNIX-based solutions, today announced an intellectual property licensing agreement with EV1Servers.Net, a dedicated hosting division of Houston-based Everyones Internet (EV1.Net). Under the terms of the agreement, SCO will provide EV1Servers.Net with a site license that allows the use of SCO IP in binary form on all Linux servers managed by EV1Servers.Net in each of its hosting facilities."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 01, 2004 @09:11AM (#8428464)
    Somebody has sure muzzled Darl since the Harvard talk a few weeks ago. SCO ain't made a single peep since then.

    So telling SCO they have to shup up now instead of six months ago doesn't appear to be doing much that hasn't already happened.

    The real question is why Darl has felt it necessary to deprive us of his rather unique insights into intellectual property ownership.

  • by subjectstorm (708637) on Monday March 01, 2004 @09:17AM (#8428485) Journal
    person: judge storm! judge storm! the people of slashdot are badly misinterpretting item 4 to mean that SCO may only sue their own customers!

    JS: mmm . . .

    person: judge storm? shouldn't we correct them?

    JS: no . . no, i'm going to allow this one.

    person: but-

    JS: SILENCE! my position is unassailable. now bring me a goblet of cheese and all 25 episodes of "Berserk". i need to do some thinking on more important matters . . . such as how that CAN'T be the LAST episode, can it?!?!? Griffith, you BASTARD!!!

  • by watzinaneihm (627119) on Monday March 01, 2004 @09:21AM (#8428512) Journal
    For someone to sue them in US too
    Finally SCO has sold one of their licenses to a commercial Linux user. Here is the press release [yahoo.com]
    The buyer is Everyones servers, a web hoster. I wonder why This guy [ev1servers.net] is doing this?
  • by Channard (693317) on Monday March 01, 2004 @09:27AM (#8428536) Journal
    ... from the follow-up lawsuit include.

    D*ryl McBr*de

    Ly*ng Scumf*cks

    S*mpr*ni
  • This proves it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by miketang16 (585602) on Monday March 01, 2004 @09:30AM (#8428561) Journal
    The whole fact that SCO was willing to settle so easily, and give up their rights to bitching, proves that they know they don't have a leg to stand on.
  • original injunction (Score:5, Informative)

    by graf0z (464763) on Monday March 01, 2004 @09:35AM (#8428605)
    The settlement is based on this preliminary injunction [univention.de] from may 30 2003 containing - besides juristic framework - just one sentence:

    Der Antragsgegnerin wird [...] verboten, im geschaeftlichen Verkehr die Behauptung zu verbreiten, dass LINUX-Betriebssysteme unrechtmaessig erworbenes Eigentum von SCO UNIX beinhalten und/oder dass Endanwender, die LINUX einsetzen, fuer die damit verbundenen Schutzrechtsverletzungen der SCO Intellectual Properties haftbar gemacht werden koennen.

    I try to translate, but beware my english (maybe someone can do a better job on this):

    [SCO Group GmbH] must not spread the assertion that linux operating systems contain unlawfully obtained property of SCO UNIX and/or that end users could get hold responsible for implicated intellectual property infringement implicated by using linux.

    Thanks to LEO [leo.org]

    /graf0z.

  • by utlemming (654269) on Monday March 01, 2004 @09:41AM (#8428641) Homepage
    Forgive me, but someone has to say it --

    "Die SCO Group"

    When I started to read the German news report, I didn't go into German mode, and was throughly entertained to read that a news organization was saying to SCO "Die." But it was just saying "The SCO..." Oh well.

  • Dear SCO (Score:5, Funny)

    by Lobo_Louie (545789) on Monday March 01, 2004 @09:42AM (#8428649)
    Dear SCO,
    You're null unt void.

    Signed,
    Germany

  • by El (94934) on Monday March 01, 2004 @09:49AM (#8428696)
    I didn't know weasels could be muzzled!
  • by CdBee (742846) on Monday March 01, 2004 @09:52AM (#8428720)
    If any concerned people wished to contact SCO's European head office, to press them to abide by the terms of the German court throughout their European market, they can do so at the following address:

    EUROPEAN HEADQUARTERS
    The Santa Cruz Operation, Ltd.
    Croxley Business Park, Hatters Lane
    Watford WD1 8YN, United Kingdom
    TEL: +44(0) 1923-816344
    FAX: +44(0) 1923-813808
    E-MAIL: info@sco.com


    It would probably do no good but, well, you never know.
  • by 4eek (302404) on Monday March 01, 2004 @09:52AM (#8428727)
    What Univention used against SCO is what the Germans call "Beweislast" (burden of proof). According to German law, the burden of proof lies with the plaintiff. This means SCO cannot, according to German law, make public statements threatening anyone about anything especially if this would undermine the accused (Linux in this case), before the accusations or claims have been proved to be true in a court of law. This is how things should be since it stops alot of unecesarry lawsuits
  • by BCW2 (168187) on Monday March 01, 2004 @09:54AM (#8428736) Journal
    It's amazing that any judge in any country came up with a simple and common sense solution. Maybe some US courts can pay attention, rulings don't have to be 20 pages of convoluted crap thats unreadable to 90% of humanity.

    Is there a way to send this to the judge in Utah? It might make this a short case.
  • The world is the internet's audience, they can still say what they want and it will come back to people in Germany.
  • by Chilles (79797) on Monday March 01, 2004 @10:35AM (#8429131)
    Rule 1) SCO Group GmbH (German branch of SCO) has agreed not to allege any more that Linux contains SCO's unlawfully acquired intellectual property.
    Rule 2) The settlement also forbids SCO from claiming that if end users are running Linux they might be liable for breaches of SCO's intellectual property.
    Rule 3) Also they cannot say that Linux is an unauthorized derivative of Unix.
    Rule 4) Finally SCO Group GmbH is prohibited to threaten to sue Linux users unless they bought SCO Linux or Caldera Linux.

    Fact 1: SCO Group GmbH get's fined EUR 10,000 if they break Rules 1 through 4.
    Fact 2: Darl mcwhatever is CEO of SCO.
    Theorem 1: SCO Group GmbH is a branch of SCO group and falls directly under SCO group.
    extrapolation 1: If Theorem 1 holds then Darl mcwhatever is part of SCO Group GmbH.
    Conclusion: If extrapolation 1 holds then SCO Group GmbH gets fined EUR 10.000 everytime Darl mcwhatever says or does anything covered by rules 1 through 4.

    Does this mean that every SCO press release now costs them an additional EUR 10.000?
    What about the sco.com website? is that a repeat offense every time someone presses refresh?

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