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Zotero Lawsuit Dismissed

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the ending-of-note dept.

The Courts 60

peretzpup writes "The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that Thomson Reuters's lawsuit against George Mason University has been dismissed. Last fall the news organization had sued GMU's Center for History and New Media over supposed violations of the EndNote licensing agreement by the Zotero project, hosted at the university. Zotero, a Firefox plug-in designed to help scholars store and organize their online research, has seen millions of downloads. Zotero project co-director Sean Takats's announcement is pretty heartwarming. No comment as yet from Thomson Reuters."

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Primitives (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28223061)

If niggers are equal to whites then why did the white man have technology and the ability to cross the oceans, only to find niggers in stone-age settings who hadn't even invented the wheel yet? What do the liberals have to say to answer that one?

Re:Primitives (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28223433)

White people are so modern and advanced then why are white women flocking in droves to black men? We're not only talking white trash here, we're talking about businesswomen, writers, physicists, even biologists! Having sex with, marrying, and even procreating with black men!

Could it be that even well-bred, super-intelligent caucasian women are willing to be used and mistreated by stinky apes just so they can take the

BIG BLACK COCK?

The simple answer. (-1, Offtopic)

professorguy (1108737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28223597)

I know, I know. Don't feed the trolls. But I can't resist.

Year round warm weather means hunting/gathering will completely fulfill a human tribe's needs.

Harsh winters means technology must arise for food storage and shelter construction. Also, stored food is a barterable good allowing specialization of trades and further technological advancement.

People who live in year round warmth need protection from the harsh sun and thus develop extra melanin for this. People who live with harsh winters need better UV reception on the skin (for vitamin D) and thus lose melanin.

Pretty simple really. Now why you'd hate people who have extra melanin due to the location of their ancestors' tribes is really quite beyond me.

I know I'm trying to reason with the unreasonable, but that's just my nature. Excuse me.

Re:The simple answer. (0, Offtopic)

Ian Alexander (997430) | more than 5 years ago | (#28224019)

Storing food is no great feat.

What really facilitates technological advancement is agriculture, and for agriculture you need to look to warmth. Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, and the like are not known for their harsh winters yet where did our civilization come from?

For thousands of years civilization is what happened in the hot places of the world. Babylon, Israel, the Assyrian Empire, the Persian Empire, Uruk, the list goes on.

Re:The simple answer. (1)

jimbobborg (128330) | more than 5 years ago | (#28224229)

Maybe YOUR civilization did, but look at China, which is NOT a warm place. They've had a continuous civilization for several thousand years.

Re:The simple answer. (1, Informative)

droptone (798379) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225151)

First of all, China has a variety of climates. The cradles of their civilization, places like Zhengzhou [travelchinaguide.com] and Yangcheng [worldclimate.com] , seem to have moderate climates (I can't easily find historical data, so the links are not as conclusive as they could be). They aren't warm places, but they certainly aren't cold either.

Re:The simple answer. (0, Troll)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225565)

Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, and the like are not known for their harsh winters yet where did our civilization come from?

On the other hand, what they are known for these days is their complete collapse of civilization.

Re:The simple answer. (1)

buswolley (591500) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229727)

"Zotero for world Peace." [Citation Needed]

Re:Primitives (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28224227)

L-O-L you said "nigger" ^_^

Hurrah! (4, Informative)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 5 years ago | (#28223075)

And rightly so. I doubt they actually made any money from the plug in, so $10m would have utterly crippled both the university and the students therein.

Re:Hurrah! (3, Informative)

qortra (591818) | more than 5 years ago | (#28223325)

I agree, but don't overstate it - they're a large, public university with a 9 figure endowment. Even if the case had ended with a $10M judgement, I don't think that would have "crippled" them.

Re:Hurrah! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28223425)

they're a large, public university with a 9 figure endowment.

Citation needed.

Re:Hurrah! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28223479)

Re:Hurrah! (5, Funny)

JoeRandomHacker (983775) | more than 5 years ago | (#28223603)

There is something ironic about citing Wikipedia in response to a [citation needed].

Re:Hurrah! (3, Informative)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#28224035)

It's just sad. No one knows what a primary source is anymore.

Here is a good citation [gmu.edu] .

Re:Hurrah! (2, Funny)

z4ckpete (1108053) | more than 5 years ago | (#28223803)

Endowment: $54,080,984

Pretty sure that's 8 figures...

Re:Hurrah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28236233)

Endowment: $54,080,984.0

There, fixed that for you.

Re:Hurrah! (3, Informative)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 5 years ago | (#28223505)

Actually, given the state of the economy, the large-endowment schools are hurting the most, because suddenly their primary source of income is in fact bleeding money.

Re:Hurrah! (1)

qortra (591818) | more than 5 years ago | (#28223695)

True enough. The endowment was only meant to demonstrate that their cash-on-hand dwarfs the $10m figure that the OP mentioned. My point was that a $10m fee could not cripple the university by itself (though I acknowledge that it could have been "the straw that broke the camel's back").

Re:Hurrah! (5, Informative)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 5 years ago | (#28223827)

Also the AC above was right:

http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/college/items/3749 [rankingsandreviews.com]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Mason_University [wikipedia.org]

GMU's endowment is only $54,955,028. Wikipedia had an extra 1 on the front for some reason (I fixed it.)

At the same time, I got the corrected figure from the reference cited on Wikipedia, so it doesn't really discredit wikipedia, so much as prove you need to follow your sources, whatever you're reading.

http://eagle.gmu.edu/gazette/articles/9750 [gmu.edu]
This article also puts the endowment as just reaching 50 million a few years ago.

Re:Hurrah! (1)

qortra (591818) | more than 5 years ago | (#28224135)

Point taken, thanks for correcting that.

Re:Hurrah! (2, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225875)

The precedent would have been sufficient to cripple any number of open source developers...

No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28226671)

The precedent would have been sufficient to cripple any number of open source developers...

This was a dispute over a contract, not about IP (copyright/patent/trademark). It'd only be precedent to open source developers who signed ridiculous contracts.

Jews (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28223119)

How many Palestinian homes did you demolish today, kikes?

Re:Jews (-1, Offtopic)

tritonman (998572) | more than 5 years ago | (#28223173)

not enough of them

Re:Jews (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28223387)

Always half as many as what they should have.

Re:Jews (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28224001)

How many Palestinian homes did you demolish today, kikes?

You silly dune coon, the home of the so-called Palestinians is Jordan, not Israel. The Palestinians are just useful idiots for the Arabs. This is how sand niggers think: why fight your enemy yourself and put yourself in harm's way when you can get some third party really pissed off at your enemy instead? Funny how everyone hates Israel and no one puts the blame where it belongs, on the U.N. for recreating Israel in the 1940s.

TR shot themselfs in the foot with this lawsuit (5, Interesting)

pesho (843750) | more than 5 years ago | (#28223409)

Taking page of RIAA playbook TR sued their own clients - academics using EndNote. The silly part is that many of the citation style files the lawsuit was about are actually created by Endnote users.

To make their court case stronger they put legal language on their website that prohibited sharing of style files and reference libraries. This naturally raised questions from the endnote users, because sharing these files is essential part of using the product. The support staff on their user forums was put in an awkward position of explaining that that files can in fact be shared, while the language on their own web site was stating the opposite. Now it seems they have corrected the license statement to allow such sharing.

Nice PR, TR;)

Re:TR shot themselfs in the foot with this lawsuit (4, Insightful)

qortra (591818) | more than 5 years ago | (#28223587)

Absolutely, and just like the RIAA, they are now out not only the lawyer costs and the goodwill of the public, but also a customer. From the Chronicle article:

George Mason University said in November it had not renewed a site license for EndNote

This is what happens when you fsck a client.

Re:TR shot themselfs in the foot with this lawsuit (3, Funny)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 5 years ago | (#28223727)

but at least they won't have any corrupt superblocks.

Re:TR shot themselfs in the foot with this lawsuit (1)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225177)

Unless they were blocks that were exiled from Krypton to the Phantom Zone.

Re:TR shot themselfs in the foot with this lawsuit (3, Interesting)

guisar (69737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225173)

My brother is a digital media specialist (aka Librarian 2.0) for a major university and believe me Endnote has not just lost one client. Everyone on the inside is wicked pissed about their lawsuit, their outrageous fees and shitty service. They should not be surprised when Universities abandon them in droves just to avoid becoming the next target of this shitty company. Let's hope Blackboard is the next casualty since they suck even harder. (aka almost as much and in the same "make a simple task slow and complicated" way as this comment system on Slashdot)

Re:TR shot themselfs in the foot with this lawsuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28229109)

I'm sorry but as a user of Blackboard, I have to tell you: Slashdot is a marvel of clarity & usability compared to it. They aren't even playing in the same leagues of suckitude.

Re:TR shot themselfs in the foot with this lawsuit (1)

yes it is (1137335) | more than 5 years ago | (#28248221)

+1

Sharing ENS Styles (4, Insightful)

Noksagt (69097) | more than 5 years ago | (#28223599)

Now it seems they have corrected the license statement to allow such sharing.

Kind of. Their terms of use state: [endnote.com]

EndNote includes customization options that licensed individual and institutional customers can use to create new and modify existing EndNote style (.ens), filter (.enf), and connection (.enz) files for their personal use and to share with other licensed EndNote users for use only in conjunction with EndNote.

(emphasis mine). In other words, they claim that you can't use the files that you create using their software in third-party software, such as Zotero. This would be like saying you can't open an MS Word Document in OpenOffice.org Writer.

They tried to STOP the very people they ... (1)

crovira (10242) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225349)

should have been encouraging.

TR were stupidly engaging in trying to shut people down, instead of using an open source license solution to grow and extend their product AT NO COST TO THEMSELVES.

The use of lawyers who are creatures who can act like O'Brien in 1984, instead of the use of innovation to add value, is entirely consistent with people who believe that authority comes from the power they can bring to bear instead of the authorship of the idea.

Hmm (0, Troll)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28223485)

Requires: Firefox 3.0.0 or later

Disabled: This extension does not work with Firefox 3.0.10

Zotero extension dismissed.

Works fine for me (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28223639)

I'm running Zotero 2.0b5 in Firefox 3.0.10 right now. What problems are you having?

Re:Hmm (3, Informative)

speed of lightx2 (1375759) | more than 5 years ago | (#28223849)

I have zotero with 3.0.10 (as I'm sure many people have, it's the default Ubuntu version in 9.04) and Zotero works flawlessly. I've had issues in the past, when trying the Firefox3 beta, but it's been stable for many months now.

Re:Hmm (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28223855)

Both Zotero 1.0.10 and 2.0b5 have install.rdf manifests declaring compatibility up to Firefox 3.5. If you're getting that message, there's a problem with your Firefox profile.

Victory (4, Insightful)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 5 years ago | (#28223775)

This is the sweet taste of victory for an excellent project. Thomson Education is notorious for charging exhorbitant amounts of money to students for textbooks. Their testing division is a borderline racket for the amount they charge for testing on testing software that still runs on Windows 2000 Professional and crashes mid way through the MC$E tests. I even was told that I couldn't get a refund or a makeup date because I was expected to be at a test center in the middle of snow storm in Pennsylvania. Never mind that two feet of snow fell. Any time Thomson Reuters gets its butt handed to it, I cheer.

Re:Victory (2, Funny)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225807)

Their testing division is a borderline racket for the amount they charge for testing on testing software that still runs on Windows 2000 Professional and crashes mid way through the MC$E tests.

Now that's funny.

is it me (1)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 5 years ago | (#28224123)

or is zotero VERY buggy? and crashes :(

yah yah i know, open source, fix it yourself :|

Re:is it me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28224251)

works fine for me. i used zotero extensively during spring term with nary a hiccup. i'm very happy gmu won this battle because zotero rocks!

Yes, it is you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28224267)

I use it daily & it has never crashed. Firefox occasionally crashes (but that has usually been due to the flash plugin). Have you posted anything at the Zotero forums [zotero.org] about your issue? They do have a good error reporting tool too.

Thomson Reuters are UCONN fans. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28224373)

Guess they were upset when George Mason beat UCONN.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_NCAA_Men%27s_Division_I_Basketball_Tournament#East_Regional

Why was the suit even brought? (2, Insightful)

bzipitidoo (647217) | more than 5 years ago | (#28224869)

Good that GMU won. Even better that the case was tossed. Yet celebrating this feels like celebrating that the bar was lowered an inch after it had crept up 10 inches.

What gave Reuters the idea he had a case? Is he just another greedy control freak who knew very well he didn't really have a case but thought he could game the system to give him far too much? Our laws are so bad he really thought he had a chance? And did he think users would meekly submit to his control if his lawsuit succeeded? I expect he didn't think that far ahead. Or maybe the whole thing was a bluff and he hoped GMU would roll over without a fight? Or did he really believe he was in the right?

Thomson Reuters is not just this guy (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28225161)

Thomson Reuters [wikipedia.org] is multi-million dollar company.

Re:Thomson Reuters is not just this guy (1)

bzipitidoo (647217) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225599)

That just makes their thinking even more incomprehensible. I would be less surprised if this was just some crank. But for a large corporation to mess up like that doesn't speak well of them. Maybe top management has too much control and no one has the power to rein them in when they get stupid, or maybe it's groupthink and a corporate culture that overemphasizes blind loyalty.

Re:Thomson Reuters is not just this guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28228565)

Posting anon, because I may have some connection with some of the parties involved here.

Never underestimate the power of a runaway legal department. The balance of power in a lot of companies is very much towards what the lawyers want to do, rather than actually have the business call the shots. Equally, the actions of one part of one division may not be representative of the the rest of the company.

Re:Thomson Reuters is not just this guy (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226777)

NO!! Reuters is a guy! He looks just like Edward G. Robinson! I saw him on TV the other day.

Dismissed on what grounds? (1)

mdmkolbe (944892) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225303)

Does anyone have a link to the actual decision or know on what ground the case was dismissed?

Depending on the details this case could be a indicator of some sanity returning to copyright law or just a case that was won on ancillary technicalities.

Re:Dismissed on what grounds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28225329)

Depending on the details this case could be a indicator of some sanity returning to copyright law or just a case that was won on ancillary technicalities.

The case didn't hinge on copyright law, but on a contract agreement. I doubt anything has changed....

Zotero Donations (3, Insightful)

Noksagt (69097) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225591)

Trevor's blog also had this post:
http://www.zotero.org/blog/help-zotero-by-donating-to-the-center-for-history-and-new-media/ [zotero.org]
which says that all tax-deductible donations made in June will be matched twice-over. This seems like a good opportunity to congratulate the team for making it through their legal hurdles & to support the development of great free/open source software.

With or without prejudice? (4, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#28225707)

Was the suit dismissed with prejudice or without? The difference is important. "With prejudice" means that the issue is settled and they can never bring it before any US court again. "Without prejudice" means that they can try again.

The ironic thing (4, Insightful)

femtoguy (751223) | more than 5 years ago | (#28226839)

The really ironic thing is that if it hadn't been for the law suit, I would not have found Zotero. I have been complaining for years about Endnote, but was unwilling to go LaTeX/BibTeX all of the way, and had been paying for endnote, and using Microsoft Word. With Zotero, I got completely changed over to OpenOffice on all platforms.

So, Thanks for the law suit.

Re:The ironic thing (1)

Vertana (1094987) | more than 5 years ago | (#28229883)

I hadn't heard of Zotero either, but I know a few people whose lives it will make just a little bit easier :D I, too, thank the lawsuit.

Die Endnote Die (1)

bigbigbison (104532) | more than 5 years ago | (#28228753)

And I don't mean The Endnote The....

Endnote is a horrible program. Unintuitive, no error messages when you do something wrong.

It is just painful to use. Zotero isn't perfect but it is so much better than Endnote.
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