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More on the SCO-Tarent case in Germany - It Wasn't Their Fault, Won't Pay Damages
Wednesday, November 21 2007 @ 01:16 PM EST

Here is the next installment of the Tarent/SCO story I told you about a week ago. Now SCO appears to be haggling a bit about the amount of money they should pay. They claim it wasn't their fault that the anti-Linux statements reappeared on the SCO Germany website. It was the web host's fault, and that it was a link to the US site, not originating from SCO Germany, so they say they won't pay damages, but they will pay Tarent's legal fees, in the amount of 1780,20 Euro. I wonder if that is the end of the matter?

Tarent has now posted all the correspondence up on its web site about SCO's recent violation of the terms of the 2003 preliminary injunction, forbidding SCO from making certain anti-Linux remarks that in the US we have been obliged to endure since 2003. In Germany, you can't say things against a competitor unless you can prove them, and SCO didn't try, when Tarent gave them a choice of accepting the injunction or proving their claims. So in Germany, SCO is not allowed to say that Linux contains SCO's intellectual property, that Linux end users could be sued for using it, or that Linux is a derivative of Unix.

What is truly fascinating is that there is a letter [PDF] back to Tarent from SCO signed by Michael Olson [PDF], and the date is November 15, 2007. Since SCO has told the US Trustee and the Bankruptcy Court that Mr. Olson had gotten another opportunity in September and would hence be leaving SCO, as of October, although staying on as a contractor for a brief length of time, one can't help but wonder if he is still on the payroll as CEO, or one of them, at SCO Germany. I say one of them because there is now a new letter from SCO lawyers to Tarent [PDF], the first paragraph informing Tarent that Jean Acheson is the new CEO of SCO Germany, as of Novembe 14, which we reported a week ago. Tarent's original letter to SCO was sent to Olson as CEO.

Now, as I earlier explained, under German law there is personal liability for CEOs, I can't help but wonder who is the responsible party there? If Olson is not, and his letter is not signed as CEO, then do his representations have the necessary weight? Is this a personal letter, then, with regard to the threat of personal liability? Or are there multiple CEOs in Germany? If she is the CEO as of the 14th, by what authority does he send Tarent a letter on the 15th? I don't know, but I know that is the right question.

To complete the collection, there is a cease and desist letter [PDF] sent to SCO to agree to, and the November 8 lawyer letter agreeing to the cease and desist terms [PDF], in addition to the Tarent cease and desist letter (Abmahnung) I showed you earlier. However, now the new letter is haggling over the terms, so stay tuned.

It would be grand if someone could translate at least the November 21 letter from the SCO lawyers for us. We have the November 8 letter and the Olson letter is in English.

Bottom line to me? They aren't saying that they are free to make such statements, are they? Olson does say that he represents that he won't make the three statements in Germany "unless or until there is evidence that such statements are true." So, if there is no evidence currently, what would a York entity be buying from SCO in the way of "Linux litigation" rights? I see this as just haggling about who allowed the statements to reappear on SCO Germany's website when they should not have, and positioning for the future in the remote chance that Darl McBride's impossible dream might someday come true in the great by and by. That says it all. And if I were Tarent, I'd inquire as to who admins the German site. Last I looked, it was SCO US.

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