[Linux-aus] THE SOLUTION TO SOFTWARE PIRACY - indemnity
leon at cyberknights.com.au
Thu Jul 15 09:01:01 UTC 2004
On Wed, 14 Jul 2004 13:00, David Ruwoldt wrote:
> Who indemnifies the customer running the illegal software?
The customer. Although I imagine some insurance companies would hedge
you against this. This applies to *all* software - Open, closed,
self-written or beamed in from Saggitarius.
> I know SCO was a case in point where this happened and they did not
> seem to have a good case, but what happens when some company does
> have a good case?
SCO's case is collapsing in part because the code they're complaining
about is all open and public and yet they won't point to any part of it
and say "the fault lies here".
*All* of the judges involved have asked questions along the lines of
"Why not?" and "Well, why didn't you coimplain about this earlier?"
That latter is particularly important because the absence of a prompt
complaint when all of the information needed to lay such a complaint
has been to hand from Day One looks very much like a form of
With closed-source software, these principles would not be useful in a
> As open source companies such as RedHat and others try to sell
> support services will that inlcude indemnification against illegal IP
> in products?
Some distributors do offer that, but most have openly stated that
they're doing this only because their customers are asking for it, not
because they believe that there is a serious risk.
You could make a good case for the author(s) being responsible for the
inclusion of entangled IP, a mediocre case for the distributors and
practically no case for the end user. End users and to a large extent
distributors have no way of knowing that code is polluted, and no
reason to suspect that it is.
Every developer I've interacted with would terminate polluted code in
their project with extreme prejudice and great haste as soon as they
became aware of it.
> Who will be held responsible for such legal breaches:
> - The application developer in the backyard (No real money to go
> after), - The distro company (If selling services may have real money
> but are they responsible),
> - The end user who installed and uses the software (Could have
> considerable money to make a grab at)
> - All of the above ?
If anyone, the foremost is legally accountable. In real life, tossers
like The SCO Group go for the people with the most money (and, some
would say, who are the biggest threat to their New Be$t Friend in
Redmond) and this is part of the reason why their case is failing.
Anyone looking to indulge in similar barratrous practices will have The
SCO Group as an exemplar and warning - and legal precedent. AutoZone,
for example, have had their frivolous lawsuit put to sleep until IBM
pound TSG into the sand, and will then refer to the case. I imagine
that the final hearing will go something like this:
Counsel for the Defence: we refer you to the case of TSG vs IBM.
Judge to Prosecution: have you anything to add?
Judge to Court: case dismissed, with prejudice. Prosecution is
ordered to pay Defendant's costs.
Adelaide Uni need only do the same if a problem arose. Which you can't
say of a BSAA audit - which *WILL* find thigns, no matter how careful
the Uni is, if they want to.
http://cyberknights.com.au/ Modern tools; traditional dedication
http://plug.linux.org.au/ Vice President, Perth Linux User Group
http://slpwa.asn.au/ Committee Member, Linux Professionals WA
http://linux.org.au/ Past Committee Member, Linux Australia
http://osia.net.au/ Member, Open Source Industry Australia
More information about the linux-aus