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Re: Shoplifting, concealment, liability presumption

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: Shoplifting, concealment, liability presumption
Date: Tue, 04 May 2010 16:08:11 -0000

Hyman Rosen wrote:
> On 3/10/2010 5:14 AM, Alexander Terekhov wrote:
> > That appeal was dissmissed recently.
> The appeal was dismissed because the parties settled.
> Katzer agreed to pay Jacobsen $100,000 and to never

Yeah, yeah.

"At the start, the open source developer got hit with a large SLAPP fine
(urgh), and finally got the judgement reversed and was awarded damages,
but the article notes that: "This doesn't fully compensate Jacobsen for
all of his time and expense over 5 years, but it was the best he could
get." So, by not using the right OSI license, the developer opened
himself to years of legal hassles and woes.

Also, one wonders if by proactively suing, he ended up being worse off
than by not waiting and then countersuing. Finally, it is noteworthy
that since the DMCA was used on behalf of the open source developer,
this may not be seen by opponents of that law as a victory at all, as it
provides validation (if weak) of it's existence.

If this is victory for the little guy, I'd really hate to see what
defeat is like. "


"It took $30,000 up front and five years of legal wrangling. WORLD CLASS
MINDS had to engage on the side of the good guys. Look at the outcome.

$100,000 over 18 months and future disputes are sent to arbitration.

$100,000 does not even begin to cover the legal costs of the angels
here. If the good guy attorneys hadn't been working pro bono, our Hero
would still be in ruinous debt. If not for the amazing charity in this
case, Jacobsen's victory would be declaring bankruptcy. $100,000
probably doesn't even put a chip in the profits Katzer made by his
theft. $100,000 isn't even $100,000 since it's being paid over time,
which means the real net present value is less.

Worse, "Both parties have agreed to ... arbitration." Do some googling
on modern arbitration. It's so blatantly rigged you can't even properly
call it a fraud. Corporate interest prevail over the little guys in
something like 98% of all cases, and the remaining two percent get such
token amounts you can't legitimately call it a "win." Katzer is free to
pull some heinous new stunt tomorrow -- like filing entirely new patents
claiming ownership of Jacobsen's work -- and he can remain comfortable
in the knowledge that he has a 98% chance of getting away with it.

"Aw, shut the Hell up, man. We got the precedent and that's what really

Really? A precedent that costs $30,000 up front to try to use?

"Dude, seriously, STFU. We're making incremental progress towards a
larger victory here. FOSS is gaining legitimacy in the legal world, and
that's what really matters." 

I know. I've been hearing that for 20 years now. After twenty years of
gaining legitimacy, it still only takes five years, two appeals and a
team of pro bono attorneys to recover a token amount of somewhat less
than $100K and a decision that all future disputes will be resolved in
the favor of the bad guys. We're making wonderful progress. A few more
such victories and we'll be lost.

"Frackin' Hell, man, what the frack is your problem?!"

My problem is that I want everyone else to come to the same excruciating
conclusion I have. The System has a horrible bias in favor of the rich
and powerful. The System will go out of its way to screw the weak and
defenseless. That by Bruce's own admission, the System will take a tool
like SLAPP, expressly designed to level the playing field, and use it to
deny justice to those not rich enough to afford it. If Jacobsen hadn't
had an extra $30,000 laying around, this case would have been over
before it began.

Justice is no longer blindly weighing merits, but is instead whoring
herself out to the highest bidder. I want to change that, and we can
change that when enough of my fellow citizens begin to understand just
how corrupt things have become.

But wearing rose-colored lenses and seeing this as a "victory" doesn't
help us. Jacobsen and company had to wage a heroic, epic battle for a
very. very tepid victory. The real costs of his case weren't covered, he
hasn't been made whole for the time he lost, Katzer kept his profits and
is still out there free to start stealing again tomorrow. "



P.S. "I'm insufficiently motivated to go set up a GNU/Linux system 
so that I can do the builds."

Hyman Rosen <> The Silliest GPL 'Advocate'

P.P.S. "Of course correlation implies causation! Without this 
fundamental principle, no science would ever make any progress."

Hyman Rosen <> The Silliest GPL 'Advocate'

(GNG is a derecursive recursive derecursion which pwns GNU since it can 
be infinitely looped as GNGNGNGNG...NGNGNG... and can be said backwards 
too, whereas GNU cannot.)

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