[tz] Astrolabe dismisses suit.

Zoidiasoft Technologies tech at astrology-x-files.com
Thu Feb 23 01:17:05 UTC 2012

Any chance that Dr Eggert and Arthur Olson will come back now that this 
nonsense is over with?

-----Original Message----- 
From: John Hawkinson
Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 7:37 PM
To: tz at iana.org
Subject: Re: [tz] Astrolabe dismisses suit.

The EFF issued the below press release this afternoon
with statements from Astrolabe.

--jhawk at mit.edu
  John Hawkinson

Subject: EFF Wins Protection for Time Zone Database
X-RSS-ID: https://www.eff.org/rss/69783 at https://www.eff.org
Date: Wed, 22 Feb 2012 23:41:37 -0000
From: "Deeplinks: rebecca"

Copyright Lawsuit Threatened Essential Tool for Engineers Around the World

San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is pleased to
announce that a copyright lawsuit threatening an important database of
time zone information has been dismissed. The astrology software
company that filed the lawsuit, Astrolabe, has also apologized and
agreed to a 'covenant not to sue' going forward, which will help
protect the database from future baseless legal actions and

Software engineers around the world depend on the time zone database
to make sure that time-stamps for email and other files work correctly
no matter where you are. However, last September, Astrolabe filed a
lawsuit against Arthur David Olson and Paul Eggert -- the researchers
who coordinated the database's development for decades -- because the
database includes information from an atlas in which Astrolabe claimed
to own copyright. But facts -- like what time the sun rises -- are
not copyrightable. EFF, along with co-counsel Adam Kessel and Olivia
Nguyen at the Boston office of Fish & Richardson P.C, promptly signed
on to defend Olson and Eggert and protect this essential tool. In
January, EFF advised Astrolabe that Olson and Eggert would move for
sanctions if Astrolabe did not withdraw its complaint. Today's
dismissal followed.

In a statement, Astrolabe said, "Astrolabe's lawsuit against Mr. Olson
and Mr. Eggert 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. We deeply regret the
disruption that our lawsuit caused for the volunteers who maintain the
TZ database, and for Internet users."

"It's a fundamental principle of copyright law that facts are not
copyrightable, and Astrolabe should have known that," said EFF
Intellectual Property Director Corynne McSherry. "While the lawsuit
should never have been filed, we're pleased that the legal threat to
an important resource has been eliminated.

"We are grateful that EFF and its co-counsel at Fish & Richardson were
able to step in and assist us, so that we could help ensure the TZ
database would continue to be available," said Eggert and Olson.

For more on this case:


Corynne McSherry
   Intellectual Property Director
   Electronic Frontier Foundation
   corynne at eff.org

Mitch Stoltz
   Staff Attorney
   Electronic Frontier Foundation
   mitch at eff.org

   [1]: https://www.eff.org/cases/astrolabe-v-olson


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