ICANN rescues time zone database

Chaos averted

The internet once again knows what time it is, after ICANN took over responsibility for the Time Zone Database.

Earlier this month, the long-time custodian of the database David Olsen took its FTP server offline after being threatened with a copyright trolling. The lawsuit had been initiated by astrology software vendor Astrolabe.

Astrolabe is claiming that the Time Zone Database includes data it publishes in The ACS Atlas, and therefore that royalties are owed.

Rather than let matters slide as the case winds its way through the courts, ICANN last Friday (October 14) issued a release stating that it would assume custodianship of the database. It says its decision came after a request from the Internet Engineering Task Force.

“Incorrect time zone information will impact many everyday activities, including meeting and conference call coordination, airplane and train schedules, physical package delivery notices, and astronomical observatories," said IETF chair Russ Housely.

According to AP, ICANN is willing to “deal with any legal matters as they arise”.

The new home of the time zone database is on the IANA Website, here. ®

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