Feeds

Astrolabe backs off, timezone database safe

You can’t copyright facts

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

When you next tell a friend what time tomorrow’s sunrise is expected, you can do so without worrying whether you need to field a lawsuit. US horoscope software company Astrolabe has withdrawn the lawsuit which last year saw the Unix timezone database shuttered.

The lawsuit accused David Olsen, custodian of the Time Zone and Daylight Saving Time Database, of copyright infringement, along with Paul Eggert. The pair had coordinated the database for decades, as a service to the Internet community.

Astrolabe had accused them of copyright infringement because the database included information from an atlas which Astrolabe claimed as its own.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation took up their case on the basis that facts aren’t copyrightable, and has announced that Astrolabe has acquiesced.

The company says its lawsuit “was based on a flawed understanding of the law. We now recognize that historical facts are no-one’s property and, accordingly, are withdrawing our complaint.”

Astrolabe has also apologized to the two, and has agreed to a “covenant not to sue”, protecting the database against the lawsuit being revived. Eggert and Olsen have thanked the EFF and its co-counsel at Fish & Richardson for helping “ensure that TZ database would continue to be available”. ®

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.