Monthly Archives: April 2012

Something’s got to change! (In London)

Should have been out on the #labourdoorstep tonight with people, but had family things to do. So I watched last night’s London Mayor debate on bbc iplayer.

I can’t believe that Boris stated the Thatcher Government had to abolish the GLC and that Ken’s original Fares Fair was in some period of pre-history. If he want the pensioner vote he’d better get his London history right, but then he’s not a Londoner. The comment/fact that Boris isn’t a man for detail shone through on the transport/police debates. He hasn’t a clue. He’s increased fares and cut the police. He claims that the money isn’t there to meet Ken’s Fare deal; only TfL who work for him say this, every independent expert says that its do-able. I hope so, every time I pass an oyster card reader, I am reminded of what Johnson’s making me pay.

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How can you commit copyright infringement without copying?

Yesterday, I read and commented on Judge Purdy’s judgement as to why Richard O’Dwyer had committed a serious crime in the this country and hence was liable to extradition to the USA. Here’s the source of my outrage,

he is due to face charges of copyright infringement while no-one claims he has copied anything

Not right!

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The O’Dwyer Case, why we thought linking was legal

It seems the Liberal Democrats are gearing up to oppose the extradition of Richard O’Dwyer. Good. He shouldn’t be extradited; it’s not the asynchronous nature of the Anglo US extradition treaty which is the problem here. In order to be extradited, you need to have a case to answer that you have broken a serious law in both jurisdictions.

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Code is not Property: Official!

Wired reports that, three days ago,  the US 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal has declared that code is not property and cannot therefore be stolen; there is no intent to deprive the owner of the object’s use. They also ruled that the perpetrator, there is no doubt that the code was removed from Goldman Sachs network, could not be prosecuted under the US Economic Espionage Act since the code in question was not used in commerce. I don’t actually know what the code did, but we can be sure that it was used in commerce, or it was a regulatory compliance program. If it didn’t have one of these two purposes, Goldman Sachs wouldn’t be doing it, and wouldn’t have wanted to keep it secret.

Does this mean that only traded software can be the object of the espionage act? If so I am not sure this is where we want to be.

Part of Goldman Sachs’ problem is that they wanted to keep the code secret and there are many reasons to want to do so. However patent and copyright protection require the intellectual property owner to publish their ideas, or the expression of their ideas. Another part of the problem is that people wanted to see Aleynikov go to prison and breach of employee confidentiality wasn’t sufficient to get him there.

As techdirt.com reports in their article,

Still, the overall ruling here is good, though it could have been more complete.

I wonder if there will be further appeals, but it’s an important stake in the ground. Copyright infringement is not theft.

This was also covered at engadget.com.

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