SCO Germany forced to pay fine
According to a letter seen by heise online, the German Federal Office of Justice last week launched summary proceedings against The SCO Group GmbH for "breaching regulations pertaining to the publication of its accounts." The proceedings were suspended after the imposed fine was paid. No information on the size of the fine is available. According to the agency's website, the fine can range from 2,500 euros to a maximum of 25,000 euros.
The proceedings relate to SCO Germany's annual accounts for the 2006/07 financial year, which were published in February last year. According to these accounts, "Mr Johannes Bayer and Mr Mike Olsen" were appointed as "executive directors of The SCO Group GmbH, Bad Homburg", ("Olsen" in the original, but actually Mike Olson). The annual accounts were also apparently signed off by Messrs Bayer and Olson. According to an entry in the commercial register dated 19th April 2007, however, Johannes Bayer left the board on 13th April 2007 – before the end of the financial year. Mike Olson's details are also inaccurate – according to a commercial register entry dated 2nd April 2008, Olson left the board on 27th March 2008.
In the course of a legal dispute between SCO Group GmbH and Tarent GmbH, SCO's lawyers stated that Olson had left the board by 7th November 2007 and that Jean Acheson had taken over as executive director on 14th November 2007. Who the SCO executive directors actually were was one of the points of dispute in the case. Acheson no longer works for SCO; the sole executive director is now Kenneth Nielsen, finance director of the US parent company. According to the German registry of companies, The SCO Group GmbH has since corrected the erroneous details. The 'corrections', signed off by Kenneth Nielsen, do not, however, include a complete set of annual accounts.
A rather different error still awaits correction – for its Shout Postcard service, currently in the beta phase, SCO subsidiary Me Inc. has copied and pasted a slightly outdated version of Facebook's terms and conditions with very little modification. This 'oversight' is given added spice by the fact that parent company SCO Group is embroiled in legal action against IBM in which it claims Unix source code was copied by IBM programmers and pasted into Linux [-- ] from which SCO hopes to derive licensing rights over Linux installations.