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SCO Backs Off in Germany - Out-of-Court Settlement with Univention Reported
Monday, March 01 2004 @ 02:56 AM EST

We have news from Germany. It seems, according to Computerwoche, 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 geschäftlichen Verkehr, also gegenüber Kunden und Anwendern, künftig nicht mehr behaupten, dass Linux-Betriebssysteme unrechtmäßig erworbenes geistiges Eigentum von SCO Unix beinhalten. Der Vergleich verbietet es SCO ferner zu behaupten, dass Endanwender, wenn sie Linux einsetzen, für die damit verbundenen Schutzverletzungen der SCO Intellectual Properties haftbar gemacht werden können. 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, Käufer von Linux-Betriebssystemen hätten eine Strafverfolgung zu befürchten, es sei denn, es handelte sich bei den gekauften Betriebssystemen um SCO Linux oder Caldera Linux. . . .

"Nach diesem wird SCO auch nicht mehr öffentlich behaupten, Beweise für die Urheberrechtsverletzung würden demnächst vorgelegt. Ausnahme: Sollten diese Beweise innerhalb eines Monats nach diesem Vergleich vorgelegt werden, kann die SCO Group GmbH solch eine Behauptung weiter veröffentlichen."

Update: Here's the legal document [PDF], in German, listing the things agreed to by SCO, as to what it could no longer say.


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