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Re: 'It's just a f*cking kernel...'

From: Alfred M. Szmidt
Subject: Re: 'It's just a f*cking kernel...'
Date: Sun, 10 Dec 2006 22:07:15 +0100 (CET)

   > Same thing that stops most people from not stealing things from
   > your home: the law, and the repercussions of breaking said law.

   Irrelevant. The corresponding situation here would be if the thief
   broke into your house, copied your papers, and then left, and if
   the same thief had the right to decide if the police / public could
   see his papers at all.

It is quite relevant.  The theif, police and/or public do not decide
that.  The judge judge does.  There is this thing called a search
warrant you know.

But in the case of software, you can simply reverse engineer the
binary, or show enough similarites to show copyright infringement.  I
suggest you go and visit or similar
places to see how the real world works.

   Microsoft has the power to circumvent detection (closed source - if
   you see it, you have to sign a non-disclosure agreement). So, fear
   of law does not come into play here.

Sure it does.  Microsoft doesn't have the means to circumvent
detection, unless they stop distributing binaries.  You do not need
the source code to figure out if a program is similar enough, software
is not black magic.

   How can you "suspect copyright violation" when the code might be
   from the innards of the linux kernel - say something that governed
   page writes ?

Reverse engineering.  Similarity in behaviour.  Bugs.  Strings that
are the same/similar.  Many ways exist, several projects that have
tried their hands on violating the GPL by not disclosing the source
code to their users have failed miserably.

   How would you convince a non-technical jury/judge on something
   circumstantial (you have no access to Microsoft's source code,
   remember ?) brought up on years of Microsoft FUD ?

Judges aren't as stupid as you try to purport them to be.  Nor is the
source code a prerequisit for suing someone for copyright infringment.
When the case has gone to court, the court can make Microsoft (for
example) to show their code.  For example, IBM showed all of their AIX
code, with version history and all, yet SCO didn't need to have that
to go to court.


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