[linux-elitists] Info on SCO Lawsuit

Andreas Thienemann andreas@thienemann.net
Fri May 30 00:12:11 PDT 2003

On Thu, 29 May 2003, Don Marti wrote:

> I'm still trying to understand the law in .de that LinuxTag is using.
Basically LinuxTag e.V. send a cease-and-desist letter to SCO Germany
demanding that they stop their anticompetitive actions.

The idea behind this cease-and-desist letter is obviously to force SCO to
publish their alleged proof of Linux violating their copyrights (or
whatever it is today that Linux is violating).

According to a SCO Germany spokesperson they recieved three different
cease-and-desist letters which are currently (that means the 26th of
May, 2003) checked by a lawyer.

One of germany's leading newsticker (Heise News - www.heise.de) quotes
Michael Kleinhenz, a spokesperson for LinuxTag: "It is unacceptable that
SCO is trying to inflict damages on competitors by intimidating their
customers and thus effectivly harming the image of GNU/Linux (sic) as an
open platform."

>From this one could gather that the basis for the cease-and-desist letter
is in fact anticompetitive practices by SCO.

The usual process of these cease-and-desist letters leaves SCO several

 - Accept the demands from LinuxTag and sign this letter
   ("Unterlassungserklaerung"). They thereby confirm that the allegations
   are true and they will stop any future actions which they are accused

 - In case this cease-and-desist letter was combined with a fine
   ("Strafbewaehrte Unterlassungserklaerung") they furthermore accept that
   any further infringement will result in SCO having to pay this fine.
   (Keep in mind that this is not the same as a court ordering SCO to pay
   a fine but this is more like punitive damages in a contract between
   two parties)

 - Ignore the letters but still refrain from any further violations.

 - Ignore the letters and carry on as before.

The first three options would mean that the aim of shutting up SCO has
been reached and everybody could be happy.
Should however the fourth option be choosen by SCO, LinuxTag now has the
possibility of applying for an interim injunction before a court.
Should this injunction be granted, SCO will be ordered by a court
to refrain from any of their current practices.

The only problem might be that there are people who consider LinuxTag
unable to send such a letter as they are not competing with SCO. However,
whether these people are correct remains to be see.


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