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Civil Suit Filed, Involving the Time Zone Database

timothy posted about 3 years ago | from the they-preferred-the-old-system dept.

The Courts 433

An anonymous reader writes "Arthur David Olson, the creator and maintainer of the timezone database used in about every unix/linux platform in use on the planet, just sent the message to the timezone mailing list: 'A civil suit was filed on September 30 in federal court in Boston; I'm a defendant; the case involves the time zone database. The ftp server at elsie.nci.nih.gov has been shut down. The mailing list will be shut down after this message. Electronic mail can be sent to me at @gmail.com. I hope there will be better news shortly. --ado' A Google search does not yet reveal anything about this; does someone know what is going on?"

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does someone know what is going on? (-1, Troll)

RNLockwood (224353) | about 3 years ago | (#37628738)

Yes, I think so, someone must.

Re:does someone know what is going on? (0)

roc97007 (608802) | about 3 years ago | (#37628782)

Funny, but not very helpful.

Re:does someone know what is going on? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37628858)

Uh, no, that was not remotely funny.

Re:does someone know what is going on? (0)

RNLockwood (224353) | about 3 years ago | (#37628902)

re: 42

Re:does someone know what is going on? (-1, Offtopic)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 3 years ago | (#37628980)

Note to mods with ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE OF HUMOR.

Go back to real coffee, the decaf is killing us. Lighten up. Smile.

Re:does someone know what is going on? (1)

jd (1658) | about 3 years ago | (#37629140)

Not necessarily. If the plaintiffs are the usual Eliza bots, memory doesn't extend beyond extracting keywords from the previous reply.

Astrolabe, Inc. v. Olson et al (5, Informative)

millert (10803) | about 3 years ago | (#37628776)

Astrology (3, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37628882)

Would that happen to be the same Astrolabe Inc. behind this company selling astrology software [alabe.com] ?

Re:Astrology (3, Funny)

jd (1658) | about 3 years ago | (#37629172)

Maybe they ran a prediction and it told them they would win.

Re:Astrology (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37629180)

That would be the one - http://alabe.com/alabedirections.html. Same address as listed below in complaint.

Re:Astrolabe, Inc. v. Olson et al (5, Informative)

idontgno (624372) | about 3 years ago | (#37628930)

This blog article [thedailyparker.com] has an analysis of the action. It appears, essentially, that Astrolabe publishes an altas that the tz database is based on (in terms of reproducing time zone information from the atlas in the db):

Defendant Olson's unauthorized reproduction of the Works have been published at ftp://elsie.nci.nih.gov/tzarchive.qz [nih.gov] , where the references to historic international time zone data is replete with references to the fact that the source for this information is, indeed, the ACS Atlas.

I thought the issue of whether you could copyright facts (e.g., phone numbers, timezone values for specific locations) was already settled law.

Re:Astrolabe, Inc. v. Olson et al (4, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | about 3 years ago | (#37629048)

This is America, lawyers don't bother with minor details like the law before filing lawsuits. There's lawyer fees to be made!

Re:Astrolabe, Inc. v. Olson et al (4, Interesting)

loftwyr (36717) | about 3 years ago | (#37629414)

Looks like the Plaintiff's Lawyer don't care about a lot of things: "Sandwich Planning Board Member Julie C. Molloy Fined $3,000 for Improperly Representing Clients Before the Sandwich Zoning Board of Appeals"
http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=ethpressrelease&L=4&L0=Home&L1=Commission+Meetings+and+Publications&L2=Commission+Press+Releases&L3=2008+Ethics+Commission+Press+Releases&sid=Ieth&b=pressrelease&f=2008_molloy_0521&csid=Ieth [mass.gov]

Re:Astrolabe, Inc. v. Olson et al (4, Interesting)

grimmjeeper (2301232) | about 3 years ago | (#37629052)

The law may be settled but that doesn't stop people from filing suit anyway. They may either think they have a notable enough exception or they're just working with a lawyer who knows he's going to lose but is getting paid to do what the client tells him to do (after doing his due diligence of informing them of the probable outcome).

Re:Astrolabe, Inc. v. Olson et al (1)

PaulDSonntag (2478370) | about 3 years ago | (#37629304)

The law may be settled but that doesn't stop people from filing suit anyway. They may either think they have a notable enough exception or they're just working with a lawyer who knows he's going to lose but is getting paid to do what the client tells him to do (after doing his due diligence of informing them of the probable outcome).

Bingo. Additionally, merely being in the right doesn't mean that it's cost-effective to prevail in court. Often it's cheaper to simply pay off the predator in a settlement than it is to pay your defense lawyers to win the case.

Re:Astrolabe, Inc. v. Olson et al (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 3 years ago | (#37629322)

While the outcome may be obvious, there's still a strategic advantage of stringing the whole thing out. The idea being that if you have deeper pockets, you'll force your opponent into bankruptcy. Sacrifice your own money to bleed them dry.

Re:Astrolabe, Inc. v. Olson et al (1)

Myria (562655) | about 3 years ago | (#37629484)

While the outcome may be obvious, there's still a strategic advantage of stringing the whole thing out. The idea being that if you have deeper pockets, you'll force your opponent into bankruptcy. Sacrifice your own money to bleed them dry.

I have a feeling that their lawyer isn't quite aware of the hornet's nest she's stirred up here. The zoneinfo database is pretty much everywhere outside of Windows. There's even a copy on my iPhone. She's indirectly picked a fight with the largest corporation in America.

Re:Astrolabe, Inc. v. Olson et al (3, Interesting)

Phoenix Rising (28955) | about 3 years ago | (#37629562)

Which opponent does Astrolabe think they'll force into bankruptcy? This move is sure to draw in the orbital lawyer brigades from IBM, Apple, Microsoft, Red Hat and pretty much every other OS and device manufacturer in today's tech world. Maybe they thought they'd start small with Olson, but the presiding judge is going to soon be overwhelmed with amicae briefs.

Just ask SCO (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | about 3 years ago | (#37629566)

Does IBM use time zone info? They're pretty good at squashing insects.

Re:Astrolabe, Inc. v. Olson et al (1)

AlienIntelligence (1184493) | about 3 years ago | (#37629074)

I thought the issue of whether you could copyright facts (e.g., phone numbers, timezone values for specific locations) was already settled law.

I think facts are different than 'facts arranged in a database'.

Ever written a database...? It's a non-zero time event. I'd
want to get paid if someone used a db I created.

*Mind you I'm not making a direct statement about the
pending lawsuit since it seems there isn't much info.

-AI

Re:Astrolabe, Inc. v. Olson et al (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37629132)

The US does not allow a sweat-of-the-brow argument for copyright. Facts are not copyrightable without creative expression.

Re:Astrolabe, Inc. v. Olson et al (1)

timster (32400) | about 3 years ago | (#37629354)

I have to ask: is "sweat-of-the-brow argument" an actual legal term?

Re:Astrolabe, Inc. v. Olson et al (4, Informative)

aevan (903814) | about 3 years ago | (#37629504)

Apparently [uslegal.com] .

Re:Astrolabe, Inc. v. Olson et al (3, Interesting)

julesh (229690) | about 3 years ago | (#37629184)

The facts were, to all appearances, copied out of a book and inserted into a database by the defendant. No selection was applied at any point; the time zones for every recognized country is included in both sources, so I don't think there's any argument that creativity is involved. I don't think database right applies here.

Re:Astrolabe, Inc. v. Olson et al (1)

Unequivocal (155957) | about 3 years ago | (#37629396)

That's a good point, and I would case the whole case will center around that issue.. Thanks for pointing it out so clearly.

Re:Astrolabe, Inc. v. Olson et al (1)

Surt (22457) | about 3 years ago | (#37629312)

But whether or not any given defendant will surrender before fighting you for years to verify that is an open question.

Re:Astrolabe, Inc. v. Olson et al (1)

Unequivocal (155957) | about 3 years ago | (#37629380)

I believe it is possible to assert copyright on the formats in which the facts are presented, which may be the problem in this case. I don't know enough to say, but if they aren't just copying facts but structures containing the facts (and what fact doesn't have a structure?) there could be grounds..

Re:Astrolabe, Inc. v. Olson et al (2)

kevin lyda (4803) | about 3 years ago | (#37629410)

I emailed their sales department to inform them that I would be actively encouraging people to avoid their products.

http://alabe.com/contact.html [alabe.com]

Of course they peddle astrology shit so it's not like I'd buy from them anyway.

Re:Astrolabe, Inc. v. Olson et al (5, Informative)

Ghostworks (991012) | about 3 years ago | (#37629526)

As usual, IANAL, but...

The trouble is, you now CAN copyright databases. It's been made explicit in EU law, but I think it's still defensible under US law. The idea is that the organization of facts is copyrightable (take for example, encyclopedias, atlases, etc.). The trouble is, copyright transcends specific media, while a database separated from a specific medium is a mundane collection of facts. The argument here is that Olson's TZ database just cribbed Thomas Shanks' atlas.

This seems like it's troll action. They're not going to be able to get anything of value out of Olson, so they probably want to get a judgment against him as leverage for payments from companies that uses the timezone database through Linux. On the other hand, those companies would be insane not to just bankroll Olson's defense. It's seems like a pretty weak case in a gray area, so it could go either way. Since Olson has announced his desire to retire from the project, I guess this was a "now or never" opportunity for the trolls.

As a side note, the infowars portion of the suit has begun. The reference to Shanks on the "Tz database" page was added as close to the top as could be managed by user JulDes on Sept. 3, which seems to be the day the account was created. As of May 2006, "Thomas Shanks" on Wikipedia redirected to Irish footballer Tommy Shanks. As of One month ago, it now instead has information on the otherwise unknown author of the American Atlas, 1978, ACS publications. The editing account, "TZ Master" seems to have been created expressly for the purpose 5 minutes earlier.

Re:Astrolabe, Inc. v. Olson et al (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 3 years ago | (#37629104)

About Astrology software? I have no idea how this could work. Only thing I can find is http://www.alabe.com/ [alabe.com] , but I have no idea how that could be tied to the timezone database. Then again, filing a lawsuit requires absolutely nothing more than the desire to file a lawsuit.

Re:Astrolabe, Inc. v. Olson et al (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about 3 years ago | (#37629406)

I can't help you there but I've got a hot time from their website, it's a good time to meet females!

Applying Moon Trine Mercury
Communications flow smoothly now. Feelings and emotions are expressed naturally. It's a good time for meetings with females.

Re:Astrolabe, Inc. v. Olson et al (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about 3 years ago | (#37629438)

Even better. It applies to us!

Applying Venus Trine Neptune
This transit stimulates artistic creativity, spiritual inclinations, and romantic interests. Rules and restrictions are relaxed and there is compassion for the less fortunate.

Civil Suit (0, Offtopic)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | about 3 years ago | (#37628780)

does someone know what is going on?

Yes, it's patented by Apple.

Re:Civil Suit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37628826)

fuck off if you can't engage in an actual conversation.

Re:Civil Suit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37628976)

Seems someone is still mad that Steve died. Grow up kiddo, you never knew Steve.

Re:Civil Suit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37629128)

Steve died?

original point still stands.

Re:Civil Suit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37629448)

Yeah and you'd think it was Jesus fucking Christ himself the way the news is still going on about it.

Re:Civil Suit (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | about 3 years ago | (#37629596)

Did Jesus actually get much coverage on his death?

Re:Civil Suit (-1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | about 3 years ago | (#37628988)

It would be a good idea for you to follow your sense of humor and commit suicide.

Anyone got the time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37628792)

Anyone got the time?

Re:Anyone got the time? (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | about 3 years ago | (#37628938)

I'm sorry, that information is copyrighted.

Re:Anyone got the time? (1, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | about 3 years ago | (#37629460)

I could tell you, but then I would have to sue you.

Given he had retirement plans how unfortunate (4, Informative)

realxmp (518717) | about 3 years ago | (#37628806)

Just was reading http://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-lear-iana-timezone-database-04 [ietf.org] apparently it looks like Arthur Olson was planning to retire. IETF was planning to take on the custody of the role and host the list? I wonder if this is related?

Re:Given he had retirement plans how unfortunate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37628896)

Damn! and only 2 days left till retirement

Re:Given he had retirement plans how unfortunate (1)

Unequivocal (155957) | about 3 years ago | (#37629420)

Might be a shakedown.. IETF probably has deeper pockets than ado and may have motivation to make this go away so they can keep the thing running.

Didn't realize it would go this far (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37628810)

When I read that neutrinos had violated the law of special relativity.

Astrolabe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37628836)

Apparently something to do with Astrolabe, Inc. v. Arthur David Olson et al

Re:Astrolabe (1)

Cito (1725214) | about 3 years ago | (#37629204)

at least it wasnt Astroglide v. Arthur David Olson... that could get embarrassing. but would make for a more entertaining slashdot article.

Another non-sense law-suit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37628842)

Lawyers need to be reigned in due to things like this, as well as all of the fishing trying to find anyone to blame for everything that happens. I'm sure that someone couldn't understand how to use NNTP and decided to sue. Either that or Oracle is trying to claim that the purchase of Sun gives them control of time... And you now have to pay them a licensing fee...

Re:Another non-sense law-suit... (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 3 years ago | (#37629520)

Lawyers need to be reigned in

Yes. I suggest a noose. A garotte could work, too. To paraphrase Douglas Adams: "A:you hear they are executing lawyers now?" B: "Oh yeah? for what offense?" A:"What do you mean, offense?", although in that case he was referring to insurance people...

Found Something (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37628846)

This link shows an action filed on 9/30/2011

http://www.rfcexpress.com/lawsuits/copyright-lawsuits/massachusetts-district-court/82641/astrolabe-inc-v-arthur-david-olson/summary/

RFC Case Number: C-A11-11725A
Court Case Number: 1:11-cv-11725-GAO
File Date: Friday, September 30, 2011
Plaintiff: Astrolabe, Inc.
Plaintiff Counsel: Julie C. Molloy - Attorney at Law
Defendant: Arthur David Olson
Paul Eggert
Cause: 17:101 Copyright Infringement
Court: Massachusetts District Court
Judge: Judge George A. O'Toole, Jr.
Notes:

Law suit info (1)

mwaggs_jd (887826) | about 3 years ago | (#37628854)

Over-used (1)

ArrowBay (2326316) | about 3 years ago | (#37628880)

"...the timezone database used in about every unix/linux platform in use on the planet..."

But, is it used in any unix/linux platforms not in use on the planet? What about off the planet?

Re:Over-used (2)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 3 years ago | (#37629084)

"...the timezone database used in about every unix/linux platform in use on the planet..."

But, is it used in any unix/linux platforms not in use on the planet? What about off the planet?

Seems simple... The ones not in use have no need of timezone info. The ones on different planets would need timezones for whatever planet they are on.

Re:Over-used (1)

jd (1658) | about 3 years ago | (#37629250)

Not necessarily. I hear that the Galactinet Engineering Task Force mandates that dates transmitted between planets be converted to and from Galactic Standard Time, to avoid planet-specific restrictions on timezone information. To do that, you'd obviously need the offset, which will vary according to where the locality is.

Re:Over-used (1)

doconnor (134648) | about 3 years ago | (#37629126)

The Time Zone Database lists the time zone for different places on Earth. If you are not on Earth the database is of little use to you.

Maybe... (0)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | about 3 years ago | (#37628894)

Could it be that his email password was stolen somehow and this mail is just a hoax? Computer compromised by a keylogger,etc, so the bad guys had access to mailing list credentials,etc to shut it down as well? Just mentioning since there's no significant detail in the message

Complaint Text (5, Informative)

apilosov (1810) | about 3 years ago | (#37628898)

I've pulled the complaint from PACER and uploaded it to docstoc:

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/98231225/ACS-Atlas [docstoc.com]

Re:Complaint Text (3, Interesting)

apilosov (1810) | about 3 years ago | (#37629006)

So, it appears that ACS is trying to claim copyright on the timezone historical data that they've compiled - and that's used in the TZ database.

Under Feist v Rural, information which has no "creative expression" is not copyright-able - but in this case, Olson can easily claim it doesn't apply.

This will be interesting.

Re:Complaint Text (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37629512)

Olson is the defendant. Did you mean Astrolabe can claim it doesn't apply? Or did you mean that Olson could claim the copyright does not apply? Your use of "but" implies the former, and creates confusion on your point.

Re:Complaint Text (1)

cryptographrix (572005) | about 3 years ago | (#37629054)

Doesn't seem to be available yet, or at least not available to download.

Re:Complaint Text (3, Interesting)

Qzukk (229616) | about 3 years ago | (#37629142)

OK, so it's a copyright infringement case, claiming that ACS Atlas's compilation of historical time zone data was copied. It seems that this would fall under the "phone book" interpretation of copyright (facts cannot be copyrighted but their presentation can be) does anyone know if this ACS American Atlas software contained these historical time zones as tzdata source files that could have been copied?

Re:Complaint Text (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37629146)

To sum it up:

Astrolabe created ACS Atlas, which has historical timezone data. Mr. Olson supposedly posted this to the elsie site, said it came from ACS Atlas, and claimed the data was public domain. Astrolabe said, "no, it's not; take it down." Mr. Olson said, "no." Astrolabe told their lawyers, "get him!"

Copyright infringement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37628910)

http://www.rfcexpress.com/lawsuits/copyright-lawsuits/massachusetts-district-court/82641/astrolabe-inc-v-arthur-david-olson/summary/

PACER (4, Informative)

pirodude (54707) | about 3 years ago | (#37628932)

COMPLAINT, REQUEST FOR INJUNCTIVE RELIEF, RESTRAINING ORDER,
DAMAGES AND TRIAL BY JURY
Parties
1. Plaintiff, Astrolabe, Inc. [hereinafter “Astrolabe”], is a for-profit
Massachusetts corporation with a principal place of business at 350 Underpass
Road, P.O. Box 1750, Brewster, Barnstable County, Commonwealth of
Massachusetts 02631, and is engaged in the business of publication, marketing
and sale, including computer software publications and/or programs
pertaining to the field of astrology.
2. Defendant, Arthur David Olson [hereinafter “Olson”], is an individual with a
last and usual residence at 7406 Hancock Avenue, #2, Takoma Park,
Maryland 20912, and with a usual an ordinary place of business as a computer
specialist at the Laboratory of Experimental Carcinogenesis, Building 37,
Room 4146A, National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Health, 37
Convent Drive, MSC 4262, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.
3. Defendant, Paul R. Eggert [hereinafter “Eggert”], is an individual with a last
and usual residence in the State of California, who is engaged in the business
of computer services and programming, and employed as a lecturer with the
University of California, Los Angeles, Computer Science Department, with a
principal business address of: UCLA Computer Science, Box 951596,
4532JBH, Los Angeles, Calfiornia 90095-1596.
Case 1:11-cv-11725-GAO Document 1 Filed 09/30/11 Page 1 of 5
Jurisdiction
4. Pursuant to a written agreement, Astrolabe is the copyright assignee of the
copyright owner, of certain copyright-protected computer software programs
and information contained therein, pursuant to the Copyright Protection Act,
17 U.S.C. Section 101, et seq., known as the “ACS Atlas,” consisting of both
the “ACS International Atlas,” and the “ACS American Atlas,” in the form of
computer software program(s) and/or data bases, and in the form of electronic
output and future electronic media from said programs [hereinafter “the Works”].
5. These atlases set forth interpretations of historical time zone information
pertaining to innumerable locations throughout the world, based upon the
compilation of historical research and documentation regarding applicable
time zones officially and/or in actuality in effect, given the actual latitude and
longitudes of specific locations throughout the world.
6. Upon information and belief, defendants Olson and Eggert have unlawfully
reproduced the Works, in violation of the Copyright Protection Act, without
proper permission and/or authorization from the copyright holder, and without
paying royalties due and payable to the copyright holder and/or its assignee,
Astrolabe, in computer software format.
7. Plaintiff, Astrolabe publishes, markets and sells its ACS Atlas programs (the
Works) for commercial profit purposes to, inter alia, those interested and/or
engaged in the business and field of astrology seeking to determine the
historical time at any given time in any particular location, world-wide.
8. In connection with its rights to reproduce the Works, plaintiff Astrolabe is
contractually obligated to pay royalties to the owner/assignor of the copyright
and the authors of the same.
Facts
9. Defendant Olson’s unauthorized reproduction of the Works have been
published at ftp://elsie.nci.nih.gov/tzarchive.qz [nih.gov] , where the references to
historic international time zone data is replete with references to the fact that
the source for this information is, indeed, the ACS Atlas.
10. In connection with his unlawful publication of some and/or any portion of the
Works, defendant Olson has wrongly and unlawfully asserted that this
information and/or data is “in the public domain,” in violation of the
protections afforded by the federal copyright laws.
11. Defendant Eggert’s unauthorized reproduction of the Works have been
published at http://cs.ucla.edu/~eggert/tz/tz-link.htm [ucla.edu]
http://cs.ucla.edu/~eggert/tz/tz-art.htm [ucla.edu] , where the references to historic
Case 1:11-cv-11725-GAO Document 1 Filed 09/30/11 Page 2 of 5
international time zone data is replete with references to the fact that the
source for this information is, indeed, the ACS Atlas.
12. In connection with his unlawful publication of some and/or any portion of the
Works, defendant Eggert has wrongly and unlawfully asserted that this
information and/or data is “in the public domain,” in violation of the
protections afforded by the federal copyright laws.
13. On or about May 12, 2011, Astrolabe sent a “takedown notice” to both the
National Institute of Health [hereinafter “NIH”], and the University of
California Los Angeles hereinafter “UCLA”], which have failed and/or
refused to remove the unauthorized publication and copying of the Works.
See Exhibit 1, May 12, 2011, Letter to NIH, and Exhibit 2, May 12, 2011,
Letter to UCLA.
14. Despite having received copies of the letters attached hereto as Exhibits 1 and
2, defendants Olson and Eggert continue to unlawfully publish the Works,
without permission and/or authorization to do so.
Count I
Copyright Violation -- Olson
15. Plaintiff repeats and reasserts the matters set forth above, as if fully set forth
herein, incorporating the same herein by reference, and further states:
16. In publishing any and/or all of the Works as set forth above, defendant Olson
has and does so in violation of the federal copyright protection laws of the
United States, to the detriment of plaintiff, Astrolabe.
17. Defendant Olson is well aware that the information and/or data wrongfully
and unlawfully published by him violates the plaintiff’s copyright in the
Works.
18. As a direct and proximate cause of defendant Olson’s unlawful and wrongful
publication of some and/or any portion of the Works, he has unlawfully
deprived plaintiff of income it would have otherwise derived from sales of the
same, and has wrongfully and unlawfully asserted that the information and/or
date taken from the Works is in the “public domain.”
WHEREFORE, plaintiff requests that this Honorable Court enter judgment in its
favor, and against the defendant Olson, and enter the following orders and/or judgments
of the Court:
A. Issue a temporary restraining order prohibiting defendant Olson from
unlawfully publishing any and/or some part of the Works;
Case 1:11-cv-11725-GAO Document 1 Filed 09/30/11 Page 3 of 5
B. Issue a permanent injunction prohibiting defendant Olson from
unlawfully publishing any and/or some part of the Works;
C. Award plaintiff damages and such other amounts, including interest,
attorney’s fees and costs, for the unlawful and wrongful use of the Works.
D. Such other orders and/or relief the Court deems just, reasonable and
appropriate.
Count II
Copyright Violation -- Eggert
19. Plaintiff repeats and reasserts the matters set forth above, as if fully set forth
herein, incorporating the same herein by reference, and further states:
20. In publishing any and/or all of the Works as set forth above, defendant Eggert
has and does so in violation of the federal copyright protection laws of the
United States, to the detriment of plaintiff, Astrolabe.
21. Defendant Eggert is well aware that the information and/or data wrongfully
and unlawfully published by him violates the plaintiff’s copyright in the
Works.
22. As a direct and proximate cause of defendant Eggert’s unlawful and wrongful
publication of some and/or any portion of the Works, he has unlawfully
deprived plaintiff of income it would have otherwise derived from sales of the
same, and has wrongfully and unlawfully asserted that the information and/or
date taken from the Works is in the “public domain.”
WHEREFORE, plaintiff requests that this Honorable Court enter judgment in its
favor, and against the defendant Eggert, and enter the following orders and/or judgments
of the Court:
A. Issue a temporary restraining order prohibiting defendant Eggert from
unlawfully publishing any and/or some part of the Works;
B. Issue a permanent injunction prohibiting defendant Eggert from
unlawfully publishing any and/or some part of the Works;
C. Award plaintiff damages and such other amounts, including interest,
attorney’s fees and costs, for the unlawful and wrongful use of the Works.
Case 1:11-cv-11725-GAO Document 1 Filed 09/30/11 Page 4 of 5
D. Such other orders and/or relief the Court deems just, reasonable and
appropriate.

Re:PACER (1)

networkBoy (774728) | about 3 years ago | (#37629042)

he's citing sources for a collection of facts.
How the hell is this case not already thrown out?
Collections of facts can not be copywritten
presentation of those facts can be, thus, since he is presenting the facts in another way he is not infringing on that.
-nB

Re:PACER (2)

DickBreath (207180) | about 3 years ago | (#37629300)

The word you are looking for is 'copyrighted'.

Right as in right to copy. Not Write as in pencil.

The porpoise of copyright is to codify who has the right (not write) to copy.

(The word I am looking for is 'purpose'.)

Re:PACER (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37629062)

Underpass road? Sure sound like trolls to me!

To paraphrase Jerry Maguire (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37629102)

Shut up, just shut up. You had me at "astrology".

Re:PACER (1)

Roxoff (539071) | about 3 years ago | (#37629234)

1. Plaintiff, Astrolabe, Inc. [hereinafter “Astrolabe”], is a for-profit Massachusetts corporation with a principal place of business at 350 Underpass Road, P.O. Box 1750, Brewster, Barnstable County, Commonwealth of Massachusetts 02631, and is engaged in the business of publication, marketing and sale, including computer software publications and/or programs pertaining to the field of astrology.

So this company are into made-up science, reading the stars and telling the future? And because the own early versions of the time zone information they've stopped everyone in the world having the latest version? What a ridiculous situation they've caused. Surely they could have seen this coming?

Information is not protected by USA copyright. (2)

John Hasler (414242) | about 3 years ago | (#37629242)

"...defendant Olson has wrongly and unlawfully asserted that this information and/or data is in the public domain,"

Under USA law all information and data is in the public domain. Only creative expression is protected by copyright.

Re:PACER (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37629246)

Is it just my sense of irony, but did anyone else laugh when they read Astrolabe's address? Underpass? If that's not a troll, I don't know what is. :)

Re:PACER (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37629446)

pirodude, you are brazen! You just published (presumably without their permission) a document that Astrolabe clearly authored. The fact that this is public record appears to make no difference to them. I suggest you lawyer up! Perhaps you and Olson can get a group rate.

Has to do with TZ change dates (4, Informative)

Phoenix Rising (28955) | about 3 years ago | (#37628986)

Here's a decent and quick summary, clipped in part from the complaint. Short version: Astrolabe, Inc. has purchased the copyright to the American Atlas and is claiming that because Olson and others used the atlas as a source for some timezone information, the entire database infringes.

http://www.thedailyparker.com/PermaLink,guid,c5f28bae-4b9c-41ea-b7b7-8891ad63c938.aspx [thedailyparker.com]

Of course, the timezone information itself is public - the atlas only collected it.

Re:Has to do with TZ change dates (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37629136)

Looks like the key claim they will have to prove is #5 (emphasis added):
5. These atlases set forth interpretations of historical time zone information
pertaining to innumerable locations throughout the world, based upon the
compilation of historical research and documentation regarding applicable
time zones officially and/or in actuality in effect, given the actual latitude and
longitudes of specific locations throughout the world.

Without "interpretation" the work is just "historic time zone information" and is not copyrightable.

Re:Has to do with TZ change dates (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 3 years ago | (#37629160)

Here's a decent and quick summary, clipped in part from the complaint. Short version: Astrolabe, Inc. has purchased the copyright to the American Atlas and is claiming that because Olson and others used the atlas as a source for some timezone information, the entire database infringes.

http://www.thedailyparker.com/PermaLink,guid,c5f28bae-4b9c-41ea-b7b7-8891ad63c938.aspx [thedailyparker.com]

Of course, the timezone information itself is public - the atlas only collected it.

Reminds me of those YOU BETTER NOT COPY THIS DVD OR WE'LL CALL THE DVD LAW ON YOU AND THROW YOUR BUTT IN DVD JAIL messages I see at the start of DVDs loaded with content from the Public Domain.

Copyright on time zone (2)

hantarto (2421914) | about 3 years ago | (#37628992)

I am not think that anybody can be have copyright on time. Time belong to us all. We live in it and share it.

We all should be happy friend moving harmoniously through fourth dimension.

Person who think he own time or time zone is real stupidhead haha.

Source is on ftp.debian.org and others (2)

sam_vilain (33533) | about 3 years ago | (#37628996)

The source is so widely replicated it would be difficult to truly retract, for example it's here [debian.org] for those who are interested in looking at it to look for potentially infringing pieces.

Hang on, (2)

Pop69 (700500) | about 3 years ago | (#37629000)

Isn't the TZ database a collection of facts and therefore not subject to copyright protection ?

If I'm correct then the answer to this suit should be a very short "Fuck off, Troll"

Re:Hang on, (2)

Nadaka (224565) | about 3 years ago | (#37629096)

In a sane world? Yes. Here on earth? Maybe.

Re:Hang on, (2, Insightful)

geminidomino (614729) | about 3 years ago | (#37629110)

Unfortunately, the suit is already filed. "Fuck off, Troll" might be an appropriate response to one of the extortionist nastygrams they tend to send ahead of time, but doing so now would just lead to all sorts of unpleasantness (default judgments and/or contempt, etc...)

Re:Hang on, (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | about 3 years ago | (#37629364)

So what lawyer do I write a check to so they go after the throat of the troll?

Frivolous lawsuit? (1)

bradley13 (1118935) | about 3 years ago | (#37629454)

Since facts cannot be copyrighted, surely this is a case where you file for damages, legal fees, and demand sanctions against the opposing attorney?

Re:Hang on, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37629170)

answers to lawsuits are hardly ever short and never cheap. But I hope he gets to countersue for vexatious litigation and recoup at least 100% of his lawyer's fees.

Re:Hang on, (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about 3 years ago | (#37629254)

The key question is whether a specific collection of facts can be copyrighted.

Facts obviously can't be copyrighted, but if I made a piece of 'art' made up of simple facts on a piece of paper, that piece of 'art' would be copyrighted but not the underlying facts.

Could you claim a database is that piece of 'art'?

It's a pathetic copyright troll to be sure, but I'm just playing devil's advocate.

Copyright infringement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37629012)

"Defendant Olson’s unauthorized reproduction of the Works have been published at ftp://elsie.nci.nih.gov/tzarchive.qz, where the references to historic international time zone data is replete with references to the fact that the source for this information is, indeed, the ACS Atlas."

http://www.thedailyparker.com/PermaLink,guid,c5f28bae-4b9c-41ea-b7b7-8891ad63c938.aspx

http://www.scribd.com/doc/67760407/ASTROLABE-INC-Vs-ARTHUR-DAVID-OLSON-and-PAUL-EGGERT-Complaint

They've stirred the hornet's nest (1)

Myria (562655) | about 3 years ago | (#37629168)

Cue legal support from IBM, Apple and the EFF in 3...2...1...

Copyright! (1)

aneroid (856995) | about 3 years ago | (#37629176)

The database holds timezone information...about different timezones. Did they pay the world's governments the royalties for publishing their countries' priviliged info? That is clearly a trademark violation!

Option B: Some company wielding a patent for a 'database schema specifically designed to maintain timezone information' is going after him --- with the added claim that by warning everyone in advance, he would be facilitating the propagation of the patented schema/design, resulting in a further patent violation.

(imho, must be something retarded if he's a defendant and the case involves "timezones database"...too basic to be infringing; and yet important)

Astrolabe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37629228)

Sounds like an anal lube.

So now what... (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | about 3 years ago | (#37629276)

So now what- all time zones cease to exist? How do I know what time it is?

does anybody really know what time it is?
does anybody really care?
....(about time)

Re:So now what... (1)

JWW (79176) | about 3 years ago | (#37629464)

oh, I can't imagine why...

the end of timezones? (1)

snowbike (35353) | about 3 years ago | (#37629372)

It is too much to hope, but what is this eliminated the use of timezones? One global clock to rule them all!!

Re:the end of timezones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37629490)

Unlikely as most of the world don't give a flip what some US judge thinks in this case.

Re:the end of timezones? (1)

JarekC (544383) | about 3 years ago | (#37629572)

It's not that easy. People would still like to go to work in the morning and get back home in the afternoon. But that, depending on where they live, would mean they start their work day on one calendar day and finish it on the next one. That would be difficult to handle by HR / payroll departments, especially for companies which are not used to deal with night shifts. For example if you want a day off, which day that would be: the one you start your work, the one you end, or both?

OS TZ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37629374)

Time to move to an OpenSource TZ...perhaps one without the "savings time" that cost more than they save.

All your timezones are belong to us?

Bogus Lawsuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37629472)

Hmmm..."...the timezone database used in about every unix/linux platform in use on the planet..." Hmmmm...and just exactly WHO hates Linux....hmmmmmm.....?
They'll be deep this time, but keep beating the bushes! Evil will out!

Astrolo-GY?! (1)

Fishbulb (32296) | about 3 years ago | (#37629540)

Wait, wait, they're an ASTROLOGY company, not ASTRONOMY?! What, did their crystal ball tell them they'd win in court?

End Copyright (1)

Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) | about 3 years ago | (#37629584)

Can we PLEASE overhaul / ditch copyright law already? These kind of cases are getting absolutely ridiculous. Between patent trolls suing people years after the fact for something they didn't even have a patent on at the time, and trademark owners suing their own fans for making fair use derivative works, I think we can all agree that this massively hinders creativity and development of new technologies / inventions / ideas in the United States and needs to go. Now.

That most would rather settle than pay their lawyers to defend themselves even when innocent proves that the law is extremely burdensome.
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