Bonum Certa Men Certa

Can Germany Fine Microsoft for Slandering GNU/Linux?

Interesting new article from Groklaw:

German Court: SCO Must Pay a Fine. Yes. Again.



[...]

SCO was enjoined from making certain claims in Germany, and it signed an agreement in 2003 not to say them there, because its alternate choice was to have to prove them immediately, so it chose silence. As a result, SCO can't say in Germany that Linux violates SCO's IP or that end users could be liable for violations of SCO's intellectual property or that Linux is an unauthorized derivative of UNIX. Unless it can prove it. Good luck with that. SCO hasn't been successful proving that anywhere, so it can't say that in Germany. But the US website makes such claims, which were apparently shown in Germany too. Naughty, naughty.


This German law, which forbids making negative allegations without proof, was mentioned here over a year ago. Can Microsoft be fined and forced to apologize for making accusations while refusing to back any of them using evidence? For all we know, Novell was their 'evidence'. It was precedence [++]. ___ [++] Dell joins Microsoft Linux 'protection' deal:

In mid-November, shortly after the pact was announced, Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer said companies that sell or run Linux, but aren’t covered under the Novell deal, are illegally using Microsoft’s IP. “We believe every Linux customer basically has an undisclosed balance-sheet liability,” he said.

He said in a later meeting: “I do think it [Novell deal] clearly establishes that open source is not free.”


Steve Ballmer license
Image from Wikimedia

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