Feeds

Astrolabe backs off, timezone database safe

You can’t copyright facts

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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 US horoscope software company Astrolabe has withdrawn the lawsuit which last year saw the Unix timezone database shuttered.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”. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.