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Re: Justice draws nigh

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: Justice draws nigh
Date: Wed, 08 Dec 2010 15:55:24 -0000
User-agent: tin/1.6.2-20030910 ("Pabbay") (UNIX) (FreeBSD/4.11-RELEASE (i386))

In gnu.misc.discuss RJack <> wrote:
> Alan Mackenzie wrote:
>> In gnu.misc.discuss Hyman Rosen <> wrote:
>>> On 5/12/2010 4:43 PM, RJack wrote:
>>>> Ahhhh... a frank admission of noinfringement.

>>> Copying and distribution of GPL-covered works without following the
>>>  requirements of the GPL is infringement of the copyrights of the 
>>> rights holders. Even assuming the lawsuit is faulty for not having 
>>> the correct version registered, copyright infringement is occurring
>>>  regardless.

>> How can the plaintiff even know which version of Busybox has been 
>> distributed?  It is likely that the defendants have customised 
>> Busybox to their own requirements, hence what they distribute won't 
>> match ANY properly released version.  It's thus silly to expect the 
>> plaintiffs to specify the exact version, and US law is surely not 
>> _that_ silly.

> So... do you propose charging a defendant with copyright infringement of
> unidentified code? People scream bloody murder when Microsoft
> alludes to Linux violating its unidentified patents.

Not at all.  The code has been identified as being some version of
Busybox.  All versions of Busybox are copyrighted by its writers.

The situation is a bit analogous to taking a copyright book, changing a
few words here and there, then maintaining it's not identical to the
registered book, so it's not subject to copyright.

> Remember the Best Buy et. al. scheduling order?


> It makes perfect sense to force a plaintiff to identify with specificity
> his original work that was allegedly infringed.

yes.  That work is called Busybox.  I think your assumption here is that
two copyright works are either identical or different, and that there're
no shades of grey between these extremes.  I doubt the courts subscribe
to that view.

> Would you support Microsoft's ability to file for copyright
> infringement over code it cannot or will not specifically identify in
> its Windows operating system?

No.  I would expect MS to identify the files involved, or the subsystems
involved, or whatever.  Enough for the defendants to know what they've
allegedly violated.  Which particular versions of those files would be

> How would a defendant prepare a defense against infringement of a
> "moving target"?

By shooting at it whilst taking account of its motion.  Has this got
anything to do with anything?  The metaphor of a "target" seems rather
strained here.

> Sincerely,
> RJack :)

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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