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June 9, 2003

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German Courts Order SCO-Caldera to Stop Anti-Linux FUD

German Penguins Launch Successful Counter-Attack in SCO v Linux War

By Mike Angelo -- 9 June 2003 (C) -- Page 2

Article Index

SCO-Caldera v. IBM:

SCO Clears Linux Kernel but Implicates Red Hat and SuSE

IBM Files Answer to SCO's Caldera v IBM Complaint

IBM Response to SCO-Caldera Complaint Is Outrageous!


SCO-Caldera & the GNU/Linux Community:

Peter Ganten Discusses Injunction Against SCO

(continued from page 1)

MozillaQuest Magazine: Usually (in the U.S. legal system) in order to get a (temporary) injunction it is necessary to show the court that one will suffer immediate and irreparable harm as a result of the conduct that is to be restrained. What is that irreparable harm upon which Univention GmbH based its request for an injunction?

Peter H. Ganten: Basically it's the same in Germany. I am not sure, if it is known in the U.S., that SCO has sent Mail to 1,500 commercial Linux users, in which it stated, that commercial Linux users might have to pay SCO for the use of Linux. Also the press reported this. Our customers were worried about this. They told us that they will wait before they continue their Linux projects, and asked us to indemnify them from SCO's legal claims.

So parts of our business are in danger, as long as customers think, that they may have to pay something later, what they can't calculate now.

-- MozillaQuest Magazine: It is my impression that the SCO letter went to 1,500 Fortune 500 and Forbes 1000 top companies, regardless of whether they use Linux, or Unix for that matter.

-- Peter H. Ganten: The letter also went to me and we are not in one of the above categories. I don't want to speak about our customers here.

MozillaQuest Magazine: Exactly what does your restraining order against SCO prevent SCO from doing?

Peter H. Ganten: To say in the public, that Linux systems contain illegally acquired intellectual property of SCO and/or that the end user of Linux can be made liable for copyright or patent infringement.

-- MozillaQuest Magazine: It seems the word Schutzrechtsverletzungen is translated as patents. Does it also translate to copyright? If not, I do not see the word copyright listed in the Court's injunction order?

-- Peter H. Ganten: Yes it does translate to copyright and not to patents.

MozillaQuest Magazine: Has SCO filed a reply to the Court?

Peter H. Ganten: Not yet, as far as I know.

MozillaQuest Magazine: Up to your injunction proceeding, it is SCO that has been on the offensive with lawsuits. Univention GmbH's obtaining an injunction against SCO is a novel and interesting counter-measure to all SCO's very aggressive threats and actions against the Linux community.

Peter H. Ganten: We have been discussing this with some lawyers and a lot of other German Linux firms and Linux-related organizations. Already last Monday, the LinuxTag e.V. had sent a dissuasion to SCO Germany and has announced this to the press, the LIVE e.V. (Linux-Verband, German Linux-association), has asked SCO publicly to prove all its allegations and to stop writing threatening letters to Linux users. Also I am sure, that we are not the only firm, getting an injunction against SCO, we were just the first one.

-- MozillaQuest Magazine: What is, or what do you mean by dissuasion?

-- Peter H. Ganten: That's from my dictionary. I mean a letter, where we did ask SCO to sign a declaration, that they will not do their controversial claims again. As I understand, such a letter is needed, if you don't want to pay the costs of the court's injunction proceedings, because otherwise SCO could say that we should ask them directly before going to the court.

-- MozillaQuest Magazine: I have read some reports that LinuxTag obtained an injunction against SCO. Is this true or are some people confusing your injunction with LinuxTag??

-- Peter H. Ganten: LinuxTag sent them a dissuasion, they don't have an injunction as far as I know.

-- MozillaQuest Magazine: Do you know if anyone else has sought or obtained an injunction against SCO?

-- Peter H. Ganten: As far as I know, another German Linux firm, Tarent GmbH, has an injunction since yesterday.

MozillaQuest Magazine: What gave you the idea to get an injunction against SCO?

Peter H. Ganten: This is a common legal tool to employ if someone hurts your business by telling unproven stories about you. If we would sell cars and someone tells our customers, that we haven't stolen all the steering wheels in our cars, and they need to pay for that later, we would do the same.

MozillaQuest Magazine: What do you hope to accomplish through your lawsuit against SCO?

Peter H. Ganten: To tell our customers, that there is absolutely no financial risk (at least not from SCO) in using Linux-based systems.

MozillaQuest Magazine: As I understand the injunction against SCO, it applies only in Germany, is this correct?

Peter H. Ganten: Yes. But for us, that is enough.

MozillaQuest Magazine: Could other people, organizations, and companies in other countries do the same thing that Univention GmbH did in Germany in their countries -- and restrain SCO from attacking Linux in their countries?

Peter H. Ganten: I am not a lawyer and especially, I am not a lawyer of foreign countries. We would welcome this of course. But, those people, companies or organizations need to discuss this with their local lawyers.

-- MozillaQuest Magazine: What sort of impact do you think it might have if people in lots of other countries also would obtain injunctions against SCO attacking Linux?

-- Peter H. Ganten: It sure would increase the pressure on SCO and might decrease the stock price.

Article Index

MozillaQuest Magazine: Do you have any other thoughts or comments about your injunction or about all the SCO v Linux stuff?

Peter H. Ganten: Well, basically we hope, that the public forgets this story soon, so that we and everybody else can get back to business.

-- MozillaQuest Magazine: Do you believe this SCO war on Linux has been disruptive to Linux development or Linux business?

-- Peter H. Ganten: Not until now, but it sure has the potential to. That's the reason why we took action. The most dissatisfying situation is now, where SCO is just claiming things without presenting any evidence. In case there is code inside Linux, which is copyrighted by SCO, it should be possible for the Linux community to replace it. But first the community must know, which parts are affected. The other question is, if any replacement is necessary at all, since SCO has licensed Linux to people under the Terms of the GPL and other Open Source Licenses.

  • See Summary and Conclusion on Page 3 ----->

  • Please see the first two parts of our series about SCO-Caldera's IP claims plus its intentions to enforce and license its intellectual property rights.

    SCO-Caldera & the GNU/Linux Community: The SCOsource IP Matter

    SCO-Caldera & the GNU/Linux Community: Part 2, Under the Iceberg's Tip



    UNIX is a registered trademark of The Open Group in the United States and other countries

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