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Lawyer Continues Android v. GPL Crusade

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the pound-on-the-table dept.

Android 155

jfruhlinger writes "Edward Naughton has been insisting for months that Android violates the GPL because Google created a new set of Linux kernel headers that it hasn't released the source code for, despite the fact that it incorporates open source code. While numerous commentators, including those who helped write the kernel headers, claimed this code isn't copyrightable, Naughton in persisting in his crusade, saying that the questions need to be resolved in court for the good of the open source movement."

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155 comments

No legal standing (5, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 2 years ago | (#38014746)

Only the copyright holders have legal standing - and they've already said its all good. Naughton should know that, but that never stopped anyone who wants to do damage by creating FUD.

Re:No legal standing (0, Troll)

SharkLaser (2495316) | more than 2 years ago | (#38014778)

Yes, in legal sense noone but the copyright holders can sue Google for infringing their GPL code. But is that the correct thing to do? So we should just ignore Google's blatant violation of GPL?

Re:No legal standing (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38014806)

But is that the correct thing to do?

Yes. Both legally and morally. The Copyright holders have said they're O.K with it, no damage has been done.

So we should just ignore Google's blatant violation of GPL?

Calm down, it's hardly the worlds worst GPL violation anyone has ever seen. If the Copyright holders were pissed off then yes, maybe, but they're not, so everyone else needs to put their dick back in their pants and STFU.

Re:No legal standing (2, Insightful)

SharkLaser (2495316) | more than 2 years ago | (#38014924)

Well, I'm not ok with it. And I have contributed patches to Linux kernel, and those are my copyrights. I don't think it's good for everyone that Google blatantly violates every copyright law and most importantly, every privacy law.

Re:No legal standing (4, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015016)

You hold copyrights on the headers? If not it really doesn't matter what you think.

Re:No legal standing (4, Insightful)

maroberts (15852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015074)

Well, I'm not ok with it. And I have contributed patches to Linux kernel, and those are my copyrights. I don't think it's good for everyone that Google blatantly violates every copyright law and most importantly, every privacy law.

Well if they've used one of your files, then go ahead and start a suit. If not, then STFU.IIRC copyright in Linux vests with the original author of any patch, so you'd have standing if any of your files were really involved. I strongly suspect that if you really had contributed significant patches to Linux, instead of trolling, you'd have a lower Slashdot ID.

Its possible that Google do play a little fast and loose with some of their code, but since they've promised to release the source to Ice Cream Sandwich fairly soon that event will bring them into strict compliance with the GPL before someone can mutter copytright violation in court.....

Re:No legal standing (0, Troll)

SharkLaser (2495316) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015186)

And can't you see what is the problem with this? I have no time or money to go fight against Google in the US. To begin with, I live in Europe and I have no money for expensive lawyers. So what can I do?

Re:No legal standing (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015220)

What is the problem? The copyright owners are fine with what Google is doing. The only people up in arms are those with no legal standing.

Re:No legal standing (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38015260)

Shut-up and go on with life?

Re:No legal standing (2)

Lisias (447563) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015458)

EFF [eff.org] is your friend.

Stop whining and go for it.

Re:No legal standing (4, Informative)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 2 years ago | (#38016612)

Actually, more likely the SFLC which exists specifically to take such cases. But let's be much more specific. I also live in Europe and if you can name a decent sized set of lines of original work which Google has copied without license and you are willing to sue them then I'll give you 500Euro to start it off with.

And please note, there's no reason to go to the US. Google has presence in Europe and if you wrote your code here you can sue them here. Germany is probably quite a good place for that.

If you (the grandparent) can show that Google copied your orignial work. Which I doubt.

Re:No legal standing (1)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 2 years ago | (#38016460)

EFF perhaps?

Or maybe have a quiet word with Apple or MS. Maybe they'll offer you some legal advise out of the, erm, goodness of their hearts.

Or you could just put details of what is your's here along with evidence if anything conclusive exists (that part might be difficult if the contribution was some time ago). That might stop people simply calling BS.

Re:No legal standing (2)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 2 years ago | (#38016502)

And you are not the copyright holder, so your time and money is again, irrelevant.

What you can do is shut up and stop trying to claim you're being hurt because someone elses work is being used in a way you don't like.

ITS NOT YOUR CODE, YOU HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO RIGHTS WHAT SO EVER OVER IT.

The fact that its GPL DOES NOT CHANGE THAT AT ALL, that only grants you the right to use someone elses code, not the right to demand how it is used.

We've established that YOU DID NOT COMMIT ANY OF THE CODE IN QUESTION because THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE THEIR NAMES ATTACHED TO THE COMMIT LOG SAID IT WAS FINE.

In short shut the fuck up.

Re:No legal standing (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 2 years ago | (#38016932)

I think he would rather lie to us badly and show his ignorance of the situation than STFU.
I am wondering if he has put his own name in his shill list as an "Anti-Google Shill"?

Re:No legal standing (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015310)

There are two points here:
  1. Does Naughton have standing to sue? The answer seems to be no as he does not hold any copyrights.
  2. Can you sue for headers? Generally headers fall under scènes à faire [wikipedia.org] and are not copyrightable. As someone who has copyrights in Linux as you claim, consult with an IP attorney if you feel strongly about it. They will probably tell you the same thing I'm telling you.

Re:No legal standing (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015622)

Pleaso don't continue to make us all look like freetards. This has been done over many times - not everything in the kernel is copyrightable. Linux contains a lot of stuff that you're free to copy. For example, stuff that came from BSD code, stuff that is governed by a public standard, stuff that is "scene a faire" material and therefore not subject to copyright, stuff that is "sweat of the brow" material and as such not subject to copyright.

The Android headers conform to this. So, where's the problem? Oh, right ... people who think that EVERYTHING should be protected when it's their code, and NOTHING should be protected if it's someone elses code.

This fud falls into the same category that Stallman and the FSF were engaged in back in August [fsf.org] . Lots of "blah-blah-blah" and no substance - just another attempt to get some attention with a baseless attack on Android.

Freud said it best - he wasn't worried about the nutcases he treated, but the nutcases who were friends.

Re:No legal standing (0)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 2 years ago | (#38017084)

freetards

At the point that you start picking on the mentally ill to try to divide us up you are beginning to look like a pretty sad and pathetic individual.

The Android headers conform to this.

You know this? You have actually checked them all? I mean, I personally believe this. I think Google is a pretty careful and well resourced company which isn't likely to screw up, but

So, where's the problem? Oh, right ... people who think that EVERYTHING should be protected when it's their code, and NOTHING should be protected if it's someone elses code.

The problem is pretty clear. People signed up to Linux in the belief that they were putting in to a common pot that everybody would have a chance of having a meal from. Now Google is actively looking for ways to split out the meat into a special strainer and eat from those bits of that pot whilst not letting anyone else.

This fud falls into the same category that Stallman and the FSF were engaged in back in August [fsf.org] . Lots of "blah-blah-blah" and no substance - just another attempt to get some attention with a baseless attack on Android.

You think that it isn't a problem that there are thousands of people who have the right to terminate my manufacturers license to give me updates to my phone? But then in fact; we see your signature and realise that this wasn't meant as some thinking, logical attack:

RMS is asking police to investigate a murder attempt. Someone slipped Odor-Eaters into his sandals.

The first time you see this, it's pretty funny. Stupid, immature, but then who doesn't occasionally laugh at a "poo" joke? Potty fart.. HA ha haaa... oh. But this isn't just a joke to you. This is your signature which you have now kept for months on end. This is how you define your personality; by a personal attack on someone else's hygiene "opportunities" [flickr.com] . At the very least it's the theme you would like to use to link your posts together. I mean fuck sake; what is your problem?? Did RMS take you to Catholic church as a child or something?

Freud said it best - he wasn't worried about the nutcases he treated, but the nutcases who were friends.

Freud was a nutcase himself. What an appropriate post.

Re:No legal standing (2)

jbolden (176878) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015772)

OK what lines of the header files do you claim copyright to?

Re:No legal standing (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 2 years ago | (#38016486)

Too bad your opinion means absolutely jack shit because its not your software. You own the copyrights on the bits you committed, thats it, you don't own the copyrights on the rest of the kernel because you added a line.

Your not entitled to everything in the world just because someone slapped GPL on the chain somewhere. Dipshits like you give GPL a bad name.

Re:No legal standing (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 2 years ago | (#38016858)

Do you just hate Google with a passion and will stop at nothing to do FUD damage or are you truly unaware of what Google is being accused of?

Re:No legal standing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38014820)

Who is this "we"? Kernel devs say there is no issue. They are the copyright holders.

Re:No legal standing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38015054)

They should dual-license their code, then.

Re:No legal standing (5, Insightful)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 2 years ago | (#38014828)

But is that the correct thing to do? So we should just ignore Google's blatant violation of GPL?

The correct thing to do is respect the opinion of the people who have the copyright. If they say it's OK, then it's OK. It's as much a violation as entering a house after its owner allows you in.

Re:No legal standing (2)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 2 years ago | (#38014838)

The authors can let anyone use it any way they like, their word is god. If they say "Google can use them" then by definition, Google isn't in violation of the GPL.

Re:No legal standing (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38014866)

Hi, Edward J. Naughton, nice of you to join Slashdot.

So, who's paying you to bring forth all this FUD? Microsoft? Apple? I'm fairly certain you're not doing this due to your altruistic nature.

Re:No legal standing (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38014906)

Much of the code (type definitions, macros, and function prototypes) contained in those headers are essentially in the public domain as a result of being part of either the ANSI C standard or the POSIX/SUS standards, or both. There could be a violation beyond that, but Naughton nor Miller seems to be bothered enough to post actual snippets of infringing code. Instead they adapt the Darl McBride/SCO approach: I tell you, megabytes of my client's intellectual property have been dumped into Android without the appropriate license. Only it probably wasn't their client's IP, since it belongs to the FSF and the glibc or kernel developers. Oh well.

Re:No legal standing (3, Interesting)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38014996)

The headers are non-copywritable, the plaintiff is a lawyer with too much free time on his hands and no client. If you are worried about setting a bad precedent, I would be more concerned with the idea of lawyers suing for issues that even the supposedly wronged are upset with. Ambulance chaser style lawyers that convince people they are wronged before they think so themselves are bad enough, now we are going to get a bunch of lawyers suing without consent of the clients? What happens next, woman trips in store, says everything is OK, lawyer sues store for unsafe floors? Current problem we have, despite the stupid high number of frivelous lawsuits, even if we pretend they aren't a huge problem, all lawyers except patent lawyers are currently overpopulated to the point where there are more of them then jobs to do. Larger problem, now they are starting to make lawsuits without needing to be hired?

Re:No legal standing (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015138)

Most headers are non-copyrightable. There may be some headers that have logic in them that might qualify for copyright. From what I know, the ones in question are mainly #include statements with a few #ifdef. As such they fall under scènes à faire exclusion outlined by Gates v Bando and Computer Associates v Altai.

Re:No legal standing (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015374)

Most headers are non-copyrightable. There may be some headers that have logic in them that might qualify for copyright. From what I know, the ones in question are mainly #include statements with a few #ifdef. As such they fall under scÃnes à faire exclusion outlined by Gates v Bando and Computer Associates v Altai.

I'd say comments are much more likely to be copyrightable. I can put a little poem into each header file that I create as a comment, and if you copy the header file including my poem, it's very clearly copyright infringement.

Re:No legal standing (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 2 years ago | (#38016532)

Until I cut your poem out.

Re:No legal standing (3, Interesting)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015328)

If this is a violation, then every single piece of software linked against the kernel headers is also a GPL violation. Even other GPL'd software, since none of those ever include the header files they were built against as part of their source package, so they have all failed to meet the requirement of distributing the "corresponding source code".

Re:No legal standing (2)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#38017090)

If this is a violation, then every single piece of software linked against the kernel headers is also a GPL violation.

No it isn't, a proprietary, BSD, ASL, etc.. -licensed application linking to a GPL-violating (if that were the case here) system library would not be a GPL violation in itself as there is explicit provision in the GPL that states that you can link to system libraries (which includes the kernel) with *any* code proprietary or not without being affected by the GPL in any way, they do not have any obligation to release source code.

Re:No legal standing (1)

SETIGuy (33768) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015624)

IANAL, but my understanding is if it's just the header files that have changed, and if the header files do not contain code, but only interface definitions, then no copyright violation has occurred. That type of header file is just a list of interfaces, and a list isn't subject to copyright. Since the GPL relies on copyright being valid, the GPL can't apply to that type of header file.

If the header file contains code, then the that code is subject to copyright, and therefore the GPL, but the interface definitions are not.

Personally, I think that Google, like TiVo and most everyone else that works with the linux kernel, is trying to have it both ways, so this kind of pressure against Google is good, even though it probably won't succeed in changing anything

.

Re:No legal standing (1)

morgauxo (974071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015746)

Woops, replied in the wrong place. Here is where I meant to.

If the copyright owners have said it's ok then does that constitute a verbal license agreement between the copyright holders and Google? Plenty of things get released under multiple licenses. A more common example would be allowing a company to pay to use code which is otherwise available under the GPL in their closed source product. It isn't a GPL violation because they aren't using it under the GPL. The GPL is not involved.

If 'saying it's ok' amounts to a verbal license then there really isn't any GPL issue here at all. They just aren't using the GPL.

Of course, IANAL, I haven't even played one on TV

Re:No legal standing (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#38016962)

So we should just ignore Google's blatant violation of GPL?

How can it be a blatant violation if even the people who wrote the headers say it's not copyrightable? What's your basis for concluding that they are violating the GPL?

...unless he has a patch in there (4, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38014812)

Only the copyright holders have legal standing - and they've already said its all good.

Have all of them said it's all good? Linux doesn't use copyright assignments, and I was under the impression that Edward Naughton might represent someone who has had at least one patch accepted.

Re:...unless he has a patch in there (2)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015022)

Wha? Microsoft had one patch accepted, so yes, he's represented someone who does.

Nobody has said it's bad, literally. If anyone had, that's not only a: something for the copyright holder to decide what to do (along with the purported violator), and b: something that has nothing to do with court unless a is resolved first.

Lots of avenues exist outside of going to court. We're not all microsoft and patent trolling for fud, after all.

Re:...unless he has a patch in there (1)

ulricr (2486278) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015190)

looks like this is about the standard-based definition header files of glibc, so MS haven't a patch accepted in some other part of linux does't really relate to any of this

Re:...unless he has a patch in there (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38016674)

Good luck getting a standard judge to understand that.

Re:...unless he has a patch in there (1)

mortonda (5175) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015478)

... and you think Microsoft would go to court to "validate" the GPL for us???? ROFL

Re:...unless he has a patch in there (2, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015712)

... and you think Microsoft would go to court to "validate" the GPL for us???? ROFL

I think Microsoft would find it worthwhile to go to court to "validate" that the GPL means that anyone who has ever contributed to non-assignment GPL project has standing to sue over any alleged GPL violation by any distributor of any work derivative of that project (they'd probably like to do the same with assignment-based GPL products under an intended-beneficiary theory, though that's more a stretch legally.) Now, in one sense, that would validate the strength of the GPL as a license for creators who wish to retain strong protection of the openness of their works.

It would also help validate the perception of GPL works as legally risky propositions for downstream users.

Re:...unless he has a patch in there (1)

GumphMaster (772693) | more than 2 years ago | (#38016714)

It would also help validate the perception of GPL works as legally risky propositions for downstream users.

I have, of late, come to the conclusion that doing anything with a computer more complex operating the power switch is a legally risky proposition. If you write code then chances are high that there is someone else out there who feels entitled to a cut through patent, copyright or trademark (specious or not). Always a cut of the profits but never a cut of the costs/losses.

Header files are like phone books (1)

kawabago (551139) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015416)

You can make a new phone book, it can look different but the information inside it must still be the same and it would not be infringing any copyrights. Headers files are the same, you can dress them up any way you want but they still must define everything the same way or everything else will break.

Re:Header files are like phone books (5, Informative)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015540)

But header use alone does not trigger a GPL requirement.

From the second link:

Torvalds responded to my inquiry on March 21 and had this to say:

"It seems totally bogus. We've always made it very clear that the kernel system call interfaces do not in any way result in a derived work as per the GPL, and the kernel details are exported through the kernel headers to all the normal glibc interfaces too.

Re:Header files are like phone books (1)

smartaleckkill (1161259) | more than 2 years ago | (#38017088)

Torvalds isn't a lawyer. He has no idea what constitutes a GPL infringement. His intentions are irrelevant--the code's licensed under the GPL, so an infringement's an infringement whether he likes it or not. I'm not saying in this case there IS any infringement--I'm not a lawyer, either. And it'd still take someone with some claim to copyright to make anything of it anyway. But Torvalds' (& other devs) views are essentially irrelevant here.

Re:...unless he has a patch in there (2)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015690)

If he represents one of the copyright holders, he must file the suit on their behalf with them as the plaintiff. Or have people learned nothing from Righthaven?

Re:...unless he has a patch in there (1)

jbolden (176878) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015800)

It wouldn't matter. Far too many people with standing have argued that there is no violation. Even if there would otherwise be a violation, that kills the violation.

If I say that you aren't violating my property rights be being on the back 1/3rd of my backyard, even though legal reasoning is nonsense that kills the trespassing charge.

Woah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38016672)

Copyright is not a democracy and laws are meant for protecting minorities.

Re:Woah (1)

jbolden (176878) | more than 2 years ago | (#38016898)

I understand it is not a democracy. However committing a copyright violation requires that the minority prove by preponderance of the evidence that a violation occurred. Large numbers of people with a well over majority stake in the work saying there is no violation is likely to make that impossible.

Re:No legal standing (2)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38014998)

don't forget that naughton has worked with microsoft, to boot. His credibility is not only in question, but it's basically inaccurate. This is just banging the same old fud drum that naughton raised before.

Re:No legal standing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38015252)

No. If he has used Linux he has standing, because his rights may have been violated by Google not showing the headers.

Re:No legal standing (2)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015900)

No. If he has used Linux he has standing, because his rights may have been violated by Google not showing the headers.

Where is the -1 WTF mod? Google published the headers in question a while ago, and it was dealt with on slashdot back in March [slashdot.org]

"In this email from 2003, Richard Stallman says 'I've talked with our lawyer about one specific issue that you raised: that of using simple material from header files. Someone recently made the claim that including a header file always makes a derivative work. That's not the FSF's view. Our view is that just using structure definitions, typedefs, enumeration constants, macros with simple bodies, etc., is NOT enough to make a derivative work. It would take a substantial amount of code (coming from inline functions or macros with substantial bodies) to do that.'

This should help end the recent FUD about the Android 'clean headers.

There was no violation, except of common sense by people who have an anti-Android agenda.

Re:No legal standing (1)

morgauxo (974071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015730)

If the copyright owners have said it's ok then does that constitute a verbal license agreement between the copyright holders and Google? Plenty of things get released under multiple licenses. A more common example would be allowing a company to pay to use code which is otherwise available under the GPL in their closed source product. It isn't a GPL violation because they aren't using it under the GPL. The GPL is not involved.

If 'saying it's ok' amounts to a verbal license then there really isn't any GPL issue here at all. They just aren't using the GPL.

Of course, IANAL, I haven't even played one on TV

Re:No legal standing (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015978)

There's no need for a license - everything that was published by Google is unprotected.

This was dealt with back in March [slashdot.org]

Just because a file has a GPL license doesn't mean that the entire contents of the file are copyright, same as a copyright book may also contain, for example, a poem that is in the public domain. You're free to copy the poem.

In the case of the headers, there are large portions that are not under copyright (and this ignores the fact that many of the patches NEVER contained copyright or license notices).

Ambulance chaser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38016190)

It doesn't matter if he has legal standing or not. It's far more probable that he is looking for "victims" so that he can represent them. He's just looking for work.

Sounds familiar... (-1)

Meshach (578918) | more than 2 years ago | (#38014748)

Did Darryl McBride get a name change?

Re:Sounds familiar... (0)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015134)

Minor nit: it;s Darl, not Darryl. And the world is full of like-minded sociaopaths like McBride; the RIAA and MPAA are full of them (as is every boardroom in every corporation).

I wonder if Microsoft or Apple are secretly funding this guy, like MS funded SCO?

Re:Sounds familiar... (2)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015460)

No, this is a different guy.
this guy was in fight club.

It's a lawyer... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38014770)

Obviously he would like to see it being resolved in court... it's a lawyer.

In a case where neither plaintiff nor accused are interested in this, the lawyer is the only person who could possibly win!

Re:It's a lawyer... (1)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 2 years ago | (#38014790)

In every case, the lawyer is the only person who could possibly win!

FTFY.

Re:It's a lawyer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38014826)

So who is going to pay his lawyer? Himself?

Re:It's a lawyer... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015198)

Lawyers usually prefer to see cases resolved out of court, as there's more profit in a settlement than reaching a verdict. Plus, if you have a settlement you have a contract, but nobody knows for sure what a judge or jury will decide.

I continue my suit over my analingus patent (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38014780)

It happened when I was 19, a guy I met a guy in my College library took to his dorm and turned me around having pulled pants down. I figured he wanted to eat me doggystyle, when he stuck his tongue up my anus...

7 years later and more than 30 partners of all shades; half of whom have performed analingus on me, has me thinking its perhaps the new cunnilingus and 10 years time it will be part of foreplay.

PS: I return the favour.

Your thoughts.

Re:I continue my suit over my analingus patent (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38014890)

Did he at least buy you dinner first?

Re:I continue my suit over my analingus patent (0)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015046)

Erm, why would you assume he wanted to eat you doggy style rather than, say, fuck you doggy style or fuck you up the pooper?

donations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38014818)

Where do I donate to him?

Re:donations (2)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015032)

He's a lawyer. Donating money to a lawyer is like donating blood to a vampire. It makes them stronger and then they hurt more innocent people.

Try donating your money to someone who deserves it, like these people [eff.org]

Re:donations (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015060)

Donating money to a lawyer is like donating blood to a vampire. It makes them stronger and then they hurt more innocent people.

Try donating your money to someone who deserves it, like these people [eff.org]


"Don't donate money to lawyers! Donate it so someone who deserves it, like these lawyers!"

Re:donations (1)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015196)

The EFF is not a law firm. TOR, HTTPS Everywhere, etc. are not lawsuits.

Even where they're involved in litigation, it's to set a precedent that helps you and me, not to line their own coffers with settlement money.

Re:donations (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 2 years ago | (#38016956)

Yea, TOR, the US Navy research project that the EFF created ...

If you're going to paint them as useful for more than just lawsuits, at least pick stuff they actually did, not just something they happened to join into late in the game to play along.

Re:donations (0)

bhlowe (1803290) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015262)

Don't send money to _ANY_ lawyer. Send it to the DEVELOPERS.

License your code BSD if you want anyone to be able to use it, put a commercial license on it if you want to be paid for your work.. Rarely is GPL the best license, for this very reason--because software isn't just for a geek's computer.

Re:donations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38015678)

The GPL doesn't restrict use at all—as in, you know, users.
I think you mean, license your code BSD if you want anyone to be able to make a proprietary version.

American History X (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38014836)

I loved him in American History X

He was even better when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38014876)

...he recorded the classic 70s disco hit "Makin' It"!!!

Re:American History X (1)

Trogre (513942) | more than 2 years ago | (#38016906)

I'm glad I wasn't the only one thinking this.

Headers are Facts (3, Interesting)

Your Anus (308149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38014844)

SCO tried to cornhole Linux over errno.h being similar to BSD. SCO lost for the same reason and also because they suck. Unless they abused headers to jam in a bunch of functions that might be "creative" (and that would be their content anyway), the headers should just be lists of facts.

Re:Headers are Facts (3, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015204)

Technically SCO v IBM never got to that point. Many of their claims got thrown out due to lack of specificity and the rest was stayed until Novell v SCO was resolved. Since Novell won, the judge in IBM doesn't have to decide if errorno.h violates copyrights--SCO doesn't have standing to ask the judge to decide in the first place.

Re:Headers are Facts (1)

Lexx Greatrex (1160847) | more than 2 years ago | (#38016558)

SCO is proof that such baseless litigation is not only resistant to findings of fact, but also to common sense, dignity and morality.

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/11/05/144211/sco-zombie-creaks-into-motion-again [slashdot.org]

As we have seen of late, courts are becoming less tolerant of this form of abuse of the judicial system

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/11/02/158211/us-marshals-ordered-to-seize-righthaven-property [slashdot.org]

My hope is that a few more notable cases like this will make the cost-benefit of copyright litigation increasingly less attractive to the trolls

Tilting at windmills? (3, Interesting)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#38014850)

Aren't the bionic headers included with the Android source? I wonder who his clients are. I don't think he's wacky but he's certainly chasing a whole lot of nothing.

Re:Tilting at windmills? (1, Interesting)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015212)

Yes, they are included. But they are imported by non-GPL software, and he is arguing that if you #include any Linux header files, you are in violation of the GPL because even IF you also license your code under the GPL, you didn't distribute the Linux headers with your source, so you did not fully distribute your source code. And if you ever in the past have violated the GPL, you have lost your rights FOREVER and can never get them back, so fixing your "mistake" will not bring you back into compliance. And with recent Oracle v. Google rulings that APIs and headers are copyright and cannot be used without a license, they may be right.

Re:Tilting at windmills? (4, Interesting)

servies (301423) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015414)

Which rulings concerning copyright in Oracle vs Google? To my knowledge there has not been a ruling yet concerning this subject and I don't recall seeing one on groklaw.

Re:Tilting at windmills? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38015446)

If the #include is just glibc output, the GPL has nothing to do with it. Anyone can generate identical output with a few lines of code.

Re:Tilting at windmills? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38015548)

"And if you ever in the past have violated the GPL, you have lost your rights FOREVER and can never get them back".
This is entirely inaccurate in the sense that rights are automatically lost. For example, the GPL-Violations organization attempts to resolve disputes by having parties obey the terms of the GPL (and continue using the code).

I quote:
"The goal of gpl-violations is to resolve violations. We recognize that companies make mistakes. We seek amicable solutions whenever possible, but only if that solution resolves the violation."

If a party automatically lost their GPL rights, then none of this would make any sense.

Re:Tilting at windmills? (3, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015608)

Which rulings are you talking about? All I see on groklaw [groklaw.net] is the judge is asking both parties how they would like to proceed on copyright issues of the 37 APIs in question. There is no mention of headers or a ruling.

Re:Tilting at windmills? (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38016700)

Doesn't the GPL say that you either distribute or make easily available? The linux header files are easily available. All Google has to do is put a link to them in the source-code.

Then again I haven't actually read the GPL for a while, so I could be horribly wrong.

you Fai7 It?! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38014936)

a productivity AMERICA) is the use the sling. networking test. playing so it's prima donnas 7o posts on Usenet are

Oh, him... (0)

zakkie (170306) | more than 2 years ago | (#38014950)

He should stick to acting.

Even if he's wrong, he's exercising his rights (0)

dacarr (562277) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015018)

The simple fact that he is declaring that a court should make the declaration is within his rights, even if he stands to gain nothing from his crusade. This includes pursuit in spite of speculation that, since he has nothing to gain from this and has no interest connected to him, it will likely be dismissed outright.

No, it is not (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015218)

He has no standing, there is no plaintiff and no defendant. Doesn't his Bar Association have rules about bringing the profession into disrepute?

Re:No, it is not (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015314)

One doesn't need legal standing to publish one's opinion. Secondly that rule doesn't mean "said something I disagree with". This guy is wrong but is well within his rights to give out his opinion.

Obviously the US is different (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38016592)

In the UK, lawyers are not supposed to comment on cases in which they are not involved. This is precisely to prevent touting for business like this. Do American bar associations not have similar provisions?

Re:No, it is not (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#38017016)

No, he is not within his rights. If you keep doing stuff like this, the court can call you a vexatious litigant and then you will need permission from the court to file any suits, if you had not been disbarred by then.

You're not supposed to bring suit if you have no standing and know it. He likely knows it. It's improper and unethical. The fact that it is rarely punished does not change that.

Wasn't there a rather famous lawyer who became disbarred and fined for bringing bogus lawsuits against the gaming publishers? Yeah, we discussed him here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Thompson_(activist) [wikipedia.org]

As a lawyer, you swear an oath to be ethical and proper as an agent of the court. http://www.michbar.org/generalinfo/lawyersoath.cfm [michbar.org] (for example). You basically promise not to be a schmuck.

Jack Thompson calls himself an activist, but he's still a schmuck. This guy is also a schmuck.

--
BMO

Re:Even if he's wrong, he's exercising his rights (5, Informative)

ilguido (1704434) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015324)

Yeah, he's got nothing to gain from this crusade. I wonder why he deleted all the references to his microsoft employment from his curriculum [techrights.org] , that's probably because there are no interests connected to him or maybe because he has nothing to gain. Really.... a lawyer who has nothing to gain...

because... (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015348)

he's going The Distance [dailymotion.com]

a little knowledge (1)

markhahn (122033) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015556)

this lawyer doesn't really understand programming - even his understanding of copyright is only enough to make him dangerous. he states, for instance, that a byteswap macro, because it is clever, is copyrightable. it's not: whole works are copyrightable. further, the license for the work in question explicitly states that the headers constitute the interface at which the license stops.

there is no issue here. lawyer is trying to make business for himself and others of his species.

Re:a little knowledge (5, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#38015880)

Or a lawyer who is secretly working for a client with an agenda. Mr. Naughton's former client is Microsoft. While he does not say they are a current client, he has scrubbed his bio to remove all references to them.

Re:a little knowledge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38015892)

Sampling a part of the song is subject to copyright restrictions, so it's not universal. But laws aren't perfect at ruling the world, and should be subject to common sense. Obviously, GPL waxs always used this way and it's a precedent, even without court ruling. Not that a company with a lot of $$$ (Oracle) and good lawyers could not twist it to suit their own interests, however; good thing is at least they are testing it against other company with a lot of $$$.

Android v. GPL Crusade (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38016586)

regret to inform you that being against the Crusades is illegal now [google.com]

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