Court order halts SuSE Linux shipments

Software company SuSE Linux AG has been forced to stop shipments of its open-source operating system in Germany, after a temporary injunction was issued in a copyright case.

An unnamed plaintiff has filed suit, and shipments have been halted as of Monday, said SuSE spokesman Christian Egle. He added, however, that copies of the software already in the distribution pipeline can still be sold.

"SuSE Linux is still available at bookstores and computer specialty shops," he said. "We're in contact with the other party (in the lawsuit) and are hopeful for a good conclusion."

He declined to give further details about the case, and the plaintiff's attorney, G√ľnter von Gravenreuth, was not immediately available for comment.

A source close to the company said, however, that the dispute centers around a graphics program SuSE calls "Krayon," whose name closely resembles that of "Crayon" brand graphics software published by Crayon Vertriebs GmbH iG, a spin-off of Seidel Softwareservice.

Staff at Crayon were not immediately reachable.