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Linux and Lawyers

CmdrTaco posted more than 15 years ago | from the put-the-legals-out-of-work dept.

Linux 77

desslok writes "This article in the National Law Journal talks about how Linux might make work scarce for intellectual property lawyers. It describes the open source model and how it will mix with business from a legal standpoint."

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Open Source == Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1982968)

Just as public defendants slave away for low pay but for a good cause, so will the developers of Open Source software.

And just as private-practice lawyers make a fortune off their inventions, so will private-practice coders.

Lawyers serve a purpose... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1982969)

Of course they serve a purpose. They are used to defend against other Lawyers... Duh... :-)

Open Source == Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1982970)

Uhhhh... i am a "private-practice coder" and i do not make a fortune....it's called make a living and paying the rent...do you donate all your time to free software and make a living doing.....what?

Lawyers serve a purpose... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1982971)

Does this mean if we killed all the lawyers (read R.A.H's "The Number of the Beast") that we wouldn't need them anymore?

I guess they're kind of like bacteria that way...you need to make sure you kill ALL of them otherwise they'll just reproduce...

This was an important article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1982972)

. . . not for what it said, or how it said it, but because it marks the day when run-of-the-mill lawyers get exposed to OSS.

These guys could be MAJOR sources of FUD, so it's nice to see that at least some of them are open to the OSS idea.

Rather than making jokes about lawyers, we should be watching them VERY carefully, and trying to win them over whenever possible. They can make life very difficult for people/ideas they don't like. On the other hand, if OSS garners more support from the legal community, it would make grabbing the Fortune 500 a lot easier. CEOs are risk-averse, usually. That's why they hire lawyers. And that's why they LISTEN to lawyers!

Whatever will they do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1982973)

Poor, impoverished IP lawyers, I'm sure.
Prediction:
We'll see the formation of a volunteer coalition of lawyers to enforce the GPL, LGPL, Mozilla, Community, etc. The disturbing trend towards the fragmentation of licenses ensures that future code -- using a LGPL'd library here, a fragment of Community code there -- will have some tiny conflict. And if the legal owner happens to have deep pockets, we'll get lawyers working in the "public interest" to force huge settlements (and, needless to say, huge commissions.)
Think of the PR generated by a volunteer group of lawyers suing IBM for "violating the spirit of open source software." (Granted, their violation may be as horrendous as miscopying the license statement from a header file, but the press won't care about that...) IBM apologizes and massive cash flow follows.
Better yet, what about Microsoft? Say they release some stuff open source and forget to dot every last i. If you want cash, how much better can you get than "suing Microsoft in the public interest?"

A lawyer from Corbis was harrassing me a while ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1982974)

The jerk said, "I guess you don't understand intellectual property."

I said, "I do understand intellectual property. That's why I work with Linux and the GPL."

Do you know what Corbis does? They buy up images, and then make people pay for using them. Do you know who owns Corbis? Your friend and mine, Bill Gates.

The company will probably never go out of business or be shut down with his backing. They're a bloody parasite, the worst kind of vampiric company there is.

More Lawyer Jokes please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1982975)


Digessing!!!!?!??? You mean that is the way the world IS. There's no place to go but up.

Mark

Lawyers - winning better than truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1982976)


The problem with lawyers is that in their field, the truth is not the goal - winning is the goal.

Lawyers and police spend their lives with this mentality.

Not all of course, but trial lawyers and ambulance chasers certainly.

Lawyers DO have a purpose... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1982977)

They make great speedbumps!

Yet another reason to love Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1982978)

As if there weren't enough reasons already to love Linux, now we have one more: It puts lawyers out o work!

YALJ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1982979)

The National Institutes of Health have announced that they will no longer be using rats for medical experimentation. In their place, they will use attorneys. They have given three reasons for this decision: 1. There are now more attorneys than there are rats. 2. The medical researchers don't become as emotionally attached to the attorneys as they did to the rats. 3. No matter how hard you try, there are some things that rats won't do.

One good tern deserves another (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1982980)

An attorney was sitting in his office late one night, when Satan appeared before him. The Devil told the lawyer, "I have a proposition for you. You can win every case you try, for the rest of your life. Your clients will adore you, your colleagues will stand in awe of you, and you will make embarrassing sums of money. All I want in exchange is your soul, your wife's soul, your children's souls, the souls of your parents, grandparents, and parents in law, and the souls of all your friends and law partners." The lawyer thought about this for a moment, then asked, "So, what's the catch?"

More Lawyer Jokes please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1982981)

Unfortunately (and I'm not kidding about this) two or three years ago, a group of - hold your breath - lawyers got together in San Francisco to set guidelines for how to "prevent" (i.e. sue) people from telling lawyer jokes, especially ones where the lawyer was portrayed as unsavory.

The reasoning was that the "malicious jokes" were "damaging the reputations of lawyers nationwide." Right. I guess, being lawyers, their concepts of cause and effect are a bit odd (whoops! Now they'll sue me for sure!).

So I haven't heard any follow ups, nor have I seen anything about any successful lawsuits, but I'd guess it's only a matter of time.

Hey - wake up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1982982)

"If they have any fault as a group, it's that they tend to live in their own little world, use terms that baffle outsiders, argue among themselves over
things as simple as the definition and syntax, and spend long hours deciphering arcane and confusing language in an effort to try and produce
something that approaches a working program... er, court case."

certainly, that's not the fault for which people depise lawyers. they feed on mistrust & selfishness that plagues society, and that puts their financial interests squarely against that of society as a whole - it's institutional.

thing that bugs me the most: not knowing the law is no execuse for violating it, but all the damn F*CKING laws are written in martian whose obtuseness serves a purpose that i can't fathom - see a plot here??

no, it's not the same as tech people using their jargon in their field - vi users aren't forced to learn the jargons regarding curse lib.

Fashion Police... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1982983)

hmm IMHO if they removed that background, and learned when to cut a page in parts! just cause one can have a mile long page doesnt mean you should... but for lawers it isnt that bad, ie i have seen uglier web pages...

Lawyers serve a purpose... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1982984)

"Well, for one, they (and the courts) are pretty much what keeps MS, Oracle, Intel, and other folks from just grabbing GPL'd software and
ignoring the license requirements."

yeah, thank the nuclear bombs for keeping peace in the world.

OpenSource® Licenses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1982985)

Now we will need more lawyers just to resolve all of the differences in the OpenSource® license of the week that every new company creates.

Open Source ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1982986)

"Open Source" should not be confused with "Free Software", they describe different activities. Free Software is about writing code, whereas Open Source is about marketing the code. When ESR recently appeared on slashdot to make a better impression of himself, he engaged into discussions about market share, cooperate models, and the fine points of profitability. As you would imagine, I departed
with the thought that Open Source is about marketing and business. Very little was said about freedom.

RMS is an evangelist, ESR is a tele-evangelist.

A lawyer is your friend...Sometimes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1982987)

2/3 of nothing is nothing, but 2/3 of something
helps pay for the things you need.

Am I serious defending lawyers? Lemmie go check
into a psycho-ward.

oh well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1982988)

...and too bad.

What happens when you give Viagra to a Lawyer??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1982989)


He gets taller.

Caution, funny lawyer joke ahead! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1982990)

What's the difference between a lawyer and a bucket of shit?

The bucket!

Lawyers to sue GPL violators (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1982991)

That's not possible, because no one will ever be sued for violating GPL. Rather, if someone distributes a program in violation of GPL, what they will be sued for is copyright violation.

The place GPL would actually come up in court would be as a defense to a copyright infringement suit.

This makes your "100k to any lawyer" clause fail on two counts:

1. Since any GPL suit will really be a copyright suit, only someone with standing to file a copyright suit can sue. That's the copyright owner.

2. Any penalty clause added to GPL would only work if it were less severe than the penalty for copyright violation, because the only way it will apply will be if the defendant wants to subject themselves to it.

Lawyers Suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1982992)

...and the old lady claims you should have seen her comming, the courts agree and decide both parties were equally at fault. Each gets no money and has to pay their own legal fees. You still don't have any income or anything but now you owe a few thousand in lawyer and court fees (which have probably since gone to a collection agency.)

The mother of a friend of mine was stopped at a red light and was rear-ended. The courts decided she was 50% at fault because she did not attempt to get out of the car's way.

Other Headlines: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1982993)

Well, Eskimos never did need Ice, as I recall, it was
the rest of us who did.

PS, the PC term is Inuit, 'cause Eskimo is just an
Indian work for "blubber eaters", which the Inu find
to be a somewhat limited characterization.

Lawyers serve a purpose... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1982994)

Food for worms when they die?

Lawyers serve a purpose... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1982995)

My lawyer served a purpose last year, when I got caught holding the bag. Luckily he knew someone in the prosecutor's office...

It's just you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1982996)

>The rest of us recognize that when talking
>about anything other than computer
>memory/storage (which is addressed in binary),
>k for kilo means decimal one thousand. As in
>km, kW, kg, kiloton, etc

Exactly: k=1000
but: K=1024

That's why it's written kg, km but KB and Kb.
(KByte and Kbit)

so Y2K=2048, and Y2k=2000.

So what do we call 2038? Y2.038E+3?

Kent

I am going to be a lawyer. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1982997)

I like lawyer jokes. I'm studying EE. (And also history, but that's beside the point.) I also intend to be a lawyer -- an IP lawyer, even worse!
I also run Linux and support Open Source. There is no contradiction.

Most people only notice laws when they are inconvenient or boneheaded, and as a consequence, they are usually in a bad mood when they run into lawyers. What people don't realize is that the entire foundations of our society are based in law -- the good and the bad. The idea of freedom, for instance, is intrinsic to the structure of the law. While people and corporations both take advantage of the law in some situations, in general, the only thing that you have on your side in a might-makes-right world is the the law, as boneheaded as it can sometimes be.

The law is a collective fiction that we accept as a society. In a way very similar to economics, it applies a rational framework for understanding the effects of our actions on other people. More to the point, open source will never obviate the need for intellectual property lawyers. IP will need to be rethought, but I don't see any harm in that. IP is just the legal mechanism for recognizing that intangibles can have value, as well. In that way, IP is very similar to open source -- they are both just systems for managing ideas in a (more or less) efficient manner.

Now, I make no excuses for stupid laws nor stupid lawyers. But, as Rex Lee (former solicitor general of the U.S.) once said, "You can't judge an entire profession by two or three . . . hundred . . . thousand . . . bad examples."

Misinformed author (1)

Luis Casillas (276) | more than 15 years ago | (#1982998)

I found this article to be terribly researched. The author seems to imply that Linus invented Free Software! Looka at this quote:
"Linux developers have created a model that will tend to reduce legal involvement on the intellectual property level," says Stephen M. Goodman, a partner at New York's Pryor, Cashman, Sherman & Flynn L.L.P.
Hmmm, wasn't the GPL written by the FSF?

Also look at this:

Today, as many as 27 million copies of Linux may be in use, but given Linux's unique distribution pattern, precise numbers are impossible to obtain.
Well, I'm not going to discuss whether this might be close to the truth or not, but, well, the media usually don't go around saying GNU/Linux has 27 million users.

Overall, this article simply was not well researched. The author should look into the history of Free Software and assign credit where it's due.

---

No! Better than you... (1)

Luis Casillas (276) | more than 15 years ago | (#1982999)

I won't discuss whether Linux may or may not have 27 million users by now. The point is that, in the context of such a superficially researched article, I'm about as willing to believe it was a typo, and the author meant 7 million.

---

Skunk and lawyer (1)

Mike Rasmusson (409) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983000)

Hmm, I heard it as:

Q. What's the difference between a dead skunk in the road and a dead lawyer in the road?

A. Skid Marks.

Also, what do you call 100 lawyers lying at the bottom of the harbour?

A. A good start.

Blame Corel... (0)

J4 (449) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983001)

Since WordPerfect is popular in
law offices. If they all used Word,
I wonder how long it would have taken
for this view to come to light.

PS I know they aren't using WP
on linux but I'm sure Corel sends
out product announcements to their
customers

alternate answers (1)

John Campbell (559) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983002)

There are skid marks in front of the dog.

Or:

There are no vultures snacking on the lawyer. Professional courtesy, y'know...

Hey - wake up. (1)

Analog (564) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983003)

Hmm. It has been my (mis)fortune to know more lawyers than programmers. Both are groups that have very strong stereotypes. It has been my experience that about 30% of programmers fit the stereotype in most ways. It has been my experience that virtually all lawyers fit the stereotype in most ways. Even when I met one who insisted "we're not all like that; a few bad apples make the bunch look bad", he turned out to be someone who would sell his grandmother if the price was reasonable.

If lawyers are tired of being beaten up on (poor things; $130/hr for this?) perhaps they should put a little less work into things like seeing how they can get their fingers into everyone's pie and a little more time into cleaning up their profession.

Other Headlines: (0)

gavinhall (33) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983004)

Posted by FascDot Killed My Previous Use:

With the Coming of Refridgeration, Eskimos No Longer Need Ice

Like it or not... (2)

gavinhall (33) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983005)

Posted by Mike@ABC:

...this article brings up a very good point. Despite a certain lack of understanding in this article, I find it comforting to know that the legal system is reacting to Linux, Open Source, free software, and everything else.

Whether you're for it or not, the penguin is going mainstream, and pretty soon, the rest of society -- the lawyers, the journalists, the accountants, the McDonalds workers, etc. -- is eventually going to have to deal with this stuff. Better to be nice and help inform the lawyers rather than insult them. An angry lawyer isn't a good thing.

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.

question (0)

mackga (990) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983006)

What's the difference between a dead dog lying in the road and a dead lawyer lying in the road?

The dead dog doesn't have multiple tread marks on its body.

Lawyers Suck (1)

shine (1502) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983007)

and then a 95 year old, half blind woman runs into you with her car, a 55 Rambler American, after running through a stop sign, cripples you, and you are left with no income, no job, huge hospital bills and great pain.

Then, a lawyer is your friend.

Lawyers serve a purpose... (1)

jmalicki (1764) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983008)

Lawyers protect you against the government, large corporations, and anyone else bigger than you. Lawyers have helped to give the little guy a chance. Albeit there are many many bad lawyers, the profession itself can be very noble if the lawyer isn't just out to screw over the little guy to make a buck.

New work for lawyers: fight IT sweatshops for us (1)

cthompso (2283) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983009)

Here's a win-win: lawyers get out of IP business, except to pursue GPL violators, as someone mentioned above.
Above and beyond that, those lawyers who really have law in their blood, and can't/won't become technical people, could dog employers that treat their programmers like dirt.

Signs that Lawyers are vultures. (1)

goon (2774) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983010)

I thought it was earlier in 2030's, something to do with 32bit machines?

Ain't nothin' new buddy... Ask Shakespear.. (1)

acb (2797) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983011)

Actually, what Shakespeare really wrote was "first thing we do, let's kill all the editors", but that never made it past the first draft.

A lawyer is your friend... (1)

ploeg (3058) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983012)

who gets a third of whatever you get.
-----

Recycling them as programmers? (1)

hzo (3742) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983013)

retraining them all as Open Source coders could
even save the US (but would probably screw
Open Source).


No! Better than you... (1)

fugue (4373) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983014)

True, it sounded like his historical knowledge was weak. But 27 million? That makes sense! Do you remember where the 5 to 10 million number came from? It came from a study researched and published sometime around late 1997, if my memory serves. The media have all been quoting that same figure for the past year and a half, while saying that popularity growth has been over 100%, as much as 200%. So 10 million well over a year ago could easily be 30 million now.

Hey - wake up. (1)

fugue (4373) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983015)

Subtracting your bias because two lawyers you know are family, what have you said? They're normal people. Where I come from, that's not a compliment! But seriously, I think we all know that some lawyers are OK. I know a few, too. But stereotypes don't come from nowhere! There are good ones and bad ones and ones in between, but there seem to be a hell of a lot of bad ones... not too surprising when it's in your best interest for people to fight.

The best distro for Lawyers... (1)

Teflik (4823) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983016)

hehe... I can see the flame wars now...

Lawyers (0)

Kid Zero (4866) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983017)

Lawyers are taken seriously by corporate CEO's and the like, so we have to at least know their habits.

Corbi$ is fucking EVIL (1)

cthonious (5222) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983018)

This has got to be the most disgusting site I've ever seen. A clean break from net tradition. I can't believe anyone buys this shit. When I first saw it (using Alta Vista), I thought, "why would anyone ever use this?" - then later I learned Bill Gates was behind it. Fitting.

I would just love to find some images on Corbis that they didn't pay for. I'm sure there are lots of them ... there's no way they got author's permissions for all that shit.

I, for one, do not shed a tear (0)

LizardKing (5245) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983019)

Bye, bye worthless parasites


Chris Wareham

"very futuristic, pie-in-the-sky" (0)

thinker (7404) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983020)

Kinda like IBM ever supporting an operating system
developed collaboratively over the Internet, huh?

If so, lawyers who have spent the past 20 years
struggling with the issues of intellectual
property protection for software might in the
future find themselves all dressed up with no
place to go.

Naturally, many IP lawyers disagree vehemently
with this supposition. Marc E. Brown, a partner
in the San Jose, Calif., office of Oppenheimer
Wolff & Donnelly L.L.P., says that this is "a
very futuristic, pie-in-the-sky kind of
discussion. It is inconceivable to me that by the
time I retire, [software intellectual property]
issues aren't going to still be here."

Yes, I hope you die a slow, painful death.
---------------------------------
"The Internet interprets censorship as damage,

Self-fulfilling prophecy. (1)

thinker (7404) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983021)

Have lawyers create a body of incomprehensible
law and you will need a lawyer to interpret it.

Rather like the present American systems of
government and justice, no?

Apparently, there was an amendment to the
Constitution that would have prevented lawyers
from holding elected office; there is
disagreement over whether or not it was actually
ratified. At the time, everyone's attention was
focused on the, shall we say, small difference
of opinion between the States on an unrelated
matter.

The programmer analogy is apt, though.
---------------------------------
"The Internet interprets censorship as damage,

Well without them... (1)

tilly (7530) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983022)

What would we do for jokes?

Ben

If you want to know WHY we need lawyers (1)

Goonie (8651) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983023)

Check out this book: The Justice Game, by Geoffery Robertson [amazon.co.uk]

Not to mention all those free speech cases the EFF has been involved in - or the inevitable courtroom test of the GPL . . .

question (1)

zosima (8652) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983024)

What do you have when you have a lawyer up to his neck in cement?

Not enough cement

A market is a market (1)

NatePuri (9870) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983025)

All this article states is that the IP Attorney market will be replaced by transaction practices.

In other words, drop your IP attorney for a good Contract/Licencing Attorney.

As much as you hate us, you can't get rid of us.

Some of us do work for free (i.e., me)

But then again, I'm almost certain that I'm the only lawyer who uses Debian on a full-time basis.

If there are any lawyer readers here, email me and I'll show you how to be a much stronger force on the internet than the rest of your M$-o-phile colleagues.

PEACE

Ain't nothin' new buddy... Ask Shakespear.. (1)

NatePuri (9870) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983026)

He said it best "First thing we do, Let's kill all the lawyers."

Since I am one, I often reflect on this quaint little addage.

All it means is that bitching and bickering have been around for a long time. And as someone who has had first hand experience with divorce, criminal, bankruptcy, etc., etc., it's usually the clients that want to get dirty, not the lawyers.

The lawyers just say "hell, ya! we'll smear 'em for ya," and the client sits back and loves watching his big guns trample the opposition. At least that is the perception.

It's an sick fucking world my friend; lawyers are merely its mouthpiece...

Here! Here! (1)

NatePuri (9870) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983027)

Email me; I'd like to discuss things with you if you wouldn't mind.

I'd be interested in learning more about your involvement with linux, OSS, etc. from the perspective of a legal professional.

I'll be finishing law school here in a few months. I don't plan on practicing law much either. I have a business plan ;>.

Signs that Lawyers are vultures. (1)

PsychoSpunk (11534) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983028)

Well, well, I was amused at the comment by the one IP lawyer who was certain that this was just a fad. Apparently, he doesn't realize that the other software (spreadsheets, word processors, etc) that is needed to run on the operating system is free as well. Wonder if he knows his ISP runs Linux?

I don't want to sound too paranoid, but does it seem like the lawyers are just waiting to figure out how to deal with this cause celebre? The fed govt is already trying to figure out the taxing system for eCommerce (they want the biggest piece of the pie). We've got the morons passing laws on Y2K, and trying to figure out how to prosecute and defend the cases that are "inevitable". When do we let the suits know that that one is a hoax? ;)

Btw, is it me or does anybody else realize we've still got nearly 49 years til Y2K (2K = 2048, right?)

Oh well, I just wanted to bitch about lawyers. Oh might as well stop and thank one of them though. Mr. Vice President, thank you for creating this forum so I could bitch about your fellow lawyers.

PsychoSpunk

ALL HAIL BRAK!!!!

Hey - wake up. (1)

Samrobb (12731) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983029)

My father is a lawyer, as is my brother. Believe it or not, they're human beings, and good people (took me years to realize my brother was OK, of course.) Both of 'em like lawyer jokes, even.

Keep that in mind, will you, when you're posting about how all the idiot lawyers suck and they should be forced to live in stinking garbage heaps? I'm not saying all lawyers are saints - but c'mon, folks, most of 'em are just regular people.

If they have any fault as a group, it's that they tend to live in their own little world, use terms that baffle outsiders, argue among themselves over things as simple as the definition and syntax, and spend long hours deciphering arcane and confusing language in an effort to try and produce something that approaches a working program... er, court case.


Lawyers serve a purpose... (1)

Samrobb (12731) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983030)

Well, for one, they (and the courts) are pretty much what keeps MS, Oracle, Intel, and other folks from just grabbing GPL'd software and ignoring the license requirements.

Hey - wake up. (1)

Samrobb (12731) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983031)

But stereotypes don't come from nowhere! No, they don't. Be careful, though - there's always the danger is that people outside the group come to expect the stereotype, instead of people, and that people inside the group start to act like the stereotype, instead of individuals. ... not too surprising when it's in your best interest for people to fight. Good point - laywyers, like police, or soldiers, or various other agents, exist to fight (court cases, crime, battles) and win. Most of my experience with lawyers has been seeing them in their "off" time. Someone who had to face a lawyer (or group of lawyers) day in, day out, as their central opponent in some conflict would no doubt have a different view.

Lawyers to sue GPL violators (1)

Kludge (13653) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983032)

Smart lawyers will still be able to make money suing those assholes that violate the GPL, like those who post only binaries of modified GPLed code. Maybe someone should put a reverse liability clause in the GPL: If you do not follow this license you may be liable to any lawyer for $100k or something. That would keep people from violating it.


it could happen but... (money) (1)

vpp (14878) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983033)

winning in court isnt about being right, its about how long you can afford to stay in there... why do you think MS get away with so much? the world sucks doesnt it... always greed over morals

Where did they get that number ? (1)

Eivind (15695) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983034)

"As many as 27 million copies may be in use"

Now, I've seen numbers up to maybe 10-12 million. But 27 ? I don't think so. Not yet :-)

Fashion Police... (0)

SissyLaLa (17392) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983035)

That had to be one of the uglies web pages I've ever seen. I issue them a $1000 fine.

Fashion Police... (1)

SissyLaLa (17392) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983036)

#ifdef _TYPO_
#define uglies ugliest
#endif
// *heh* So sue me.

Uh oh... (1)

CodeShark (17400) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983037)

This article is too funny. Of course, lawyers might just be a bigger threat to Linux than Microsoft.

Oh... sorry, I forgot. By the time the DOJ gets things wrapped up, the lawyers will be fine. They'll all be working for Microsoft.

Monolithic View of Lawyers is Childish (2)

gwachob (17615) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983038)

OK, lawyer jokes are funny. And there is almost always a kernel of truth in them.

But to lump lawyers together like some sort of homogenous group of narrow-minded, blindered technophobes is counter-productive, childish, and reflects poorly upon the OS movement.

There are many members of the legal community (myself included) who have worked on OSS (I don't practice law, thank you). If you take the time to look, you will find a large number of thoughtful, aware, and intelligent lawyers and other legal professionals who really do understand what Linux and open source software is all about.

Open your eyes a little, you may be surprised what you see.

-Gabe

More Lawyer Jokes please (1)

H0bb3z (17803) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983039)

I find it discouraging to see that one can't even invent something, drive outside the lines, shoot their neighbor's dog, etc. without the legal system getting involved! (I was kidding about that last one...) The world is digressing into legal mayhem where lawyers are pitting one against the other and coming out ahead regardless of the outcome. People seem to be more self centered and gullible than I thought -- I should have been a lawyer so I can take advantage of stupid people...

Pay-per-view Content (1)

Anjou (18613) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983040)

This is an edit of a message I posted to my (IP law) class mailing list... (Most of the links have appeared in Slashdot before).


>With regard to the questions posed at the end of your email... I think
>I'd be wanting a serious reduction in price if I were to have my rights in
>the music made subject to a restrictive licence. Certainly it wouldn't go
>down well with the music buying public, but then, if the corporations want
>us to go this way we'll have no choice: they'll just withdraw the other
>music media.

Yup. People won't be happy with restrictive licences, but the corporations
will try to introduce them anyway...

Following my ramblings about proprietary vs. open formats, there is an interesting piece in Wired News, reporting a speech from the head of BROADCAST.COM, Mark Cuban.

WIRED: MP3 WILL DIE [wired.com]

He says "distribution, not content, will be king" and that "MP3 will die".

Two thoughts spring to mind.
1. The golden rule of the web: "Content, Content, Content"
2. Why give up what's free in favour of what costs?

MP3 can't be uninvented - and new open formats will undoubtedly come along. I think this gives publishers and broadcasters a problem - they are going to have to find new ways to "add value" if they want to keep their markets.

This also applies to Windows vs. Linux:
WIRED: OFFICE DELAYS AFFECT MS PROFIT [wired.com]

WIRED: LINUX CUTS IN ON MS TURF [wired.com]

Does anyone think governments, regulators, and the software and entertainment industries will be able to stem the tide?

LAWNEWS: LINUX MAY ALTER IP LEGAL LANDSCAPE [lawnewsnetwork.com]

Hopefully this all ties in with the current study topics - I apologise if I'm just rambling on :-)

I say sell broadcast.com, buy redhat and Transmeta :-)

What do slashdot-ers think?

--
http://www.dubar.com

--

It's just you. (1)

AJWM (19027) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983041)

The rest of us recognize that when talking about anything other than computer memory/storage (which is addressed in binary), k for kilo means decimal one thousand. As in km, kW, kg, kiloton, etc.

And besides, on Linux (or any other 32 bit unix) we have a year 2038 problem, not a year 2048 problem.
I'll start worrying about that around the time that Star Wars episode IX is released... :-)

Just Doin' What they do best (1)

Desperado (23084) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983042)

turning a wonderful positive thing,free software, into a movement designed to impoverish a whole class of people, IP lawyers. Do you suppose they'll sue?

Lawyers serve a purpose... (1)

Ron Harwood (136613) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983043)

...I've just never been sure what it is.

-

Law without Lawyers (1)

RedFang (178492) | more than 15 years ago | (#1983044)

Law is a necessary evil, as it keeps Microsoft under some measure of control. Lawyers, on the other hand, make a living by stretching, slicing, and sundering the law to fit the arbitrary viewpoint of their respective benefactors.

I'm not bitter, mind you. ;)

Just don't fall prey to the supposition that Law cannot exist without Lawyer.

-c.
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