SCO fined $US10,875 for Linux claims

The SCO Group has been fined $US10,785 for violating a German court's ruling that it must cease claiming that the Linux source code violates its intellectual property.

The fine comes nearly three months after a regional court in Munich issued the court order in response to a suit brought by the non-profit Linux conference organisation, LinuxTag, and IT consulting firm Tarent.

The two groups sought the injunction to prevent SCO from making claims about intellectual property violations in Linux without presenting any evidence, according to LinuxTag spokesperson, Andreas Gebhard.

In March, SCO launched a $US3 billion lawsuit against IBM, claiming the computer maker had inappropriately contributed code to the Linux operating system.

SCO has also claimed Linux contains code that was copied line for line from its Unix System V source code, as well as "obfuscated" code that is almost identical to that in System V.

SCO has been criticised for not revealing evidence of Linux source code violations. When the company did reveal two snippets of allegedly illegal code at its SCO Forum user conference two weeks ago, they were quickly dissected by the Linux community, which claimed that both snippets were legal.

Since the Munich court ruling, SCO had been enjoined in Germany from saying the Linux source code contains intellectual property violations, Gebhard said.

"They are not allowed to say this in Germany because this is not true," he said. "They cannot justify this."

In early June, SCO shut down its German website in an effort to remove all offending material.

However, the company had neglected to remove a document entitled "Letter to SCO's Partners" from its website, according to SCO spokesperson, Blake Stowell.

It was this page that led to the fine, he said.

SCO has since removed the offending page, but a similar page can be found on SCO's US website at

SCO is appealing the fine, Stowell said.