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Comment: Re:Pick a different job. (Score 1) 519

So the deathmarch would be acceptable if the boss further cut the quality control work in order to deliver on time? Really? 'Cause unions don't demand schedule changes, they only demand that workers get paid. And the kind of boss that requires a deathmarch places a priority on his uneducated concept of "good enough."

Seriously, if that's acceptable to you I don't want you on my team or anywhere near my code. At any salary.

Snowden and Manning are heroes.

Manning is a vile, conscienceless poor excuse for a human being who thinks the world owes him something. The patriotism in Snowden's behavior is at least debatable but Manning? The guy/gal whose response to a bad month was to indescriminately dump every secret he could get his hands on? What's wrong with you?

Comment: Re:C++ is not the language you start with (Score 3, Insightful) 519

I disagree. Learn how to program in a well structured manner that other programmers have some hope of following when they read your code. THEN learn how to juggle memory while programming in a structured manner.

If you haven't written code in C and assembly, you're not yet a computer scientist. But don't start there! Learn addition and subtraction before you learn algebra and learn Java or another learning language before you learn C.

Comment: Re:Pick a different job. (Score 1) 519

I'm 41. I started my own software consulting business this year. I had plenty of job offers. I even interviewed at Google a couple of times. But I wanted to do my own thing. And I'm doing quite well at it.

If your programming career was over at 40, what did you do that caused you to miss while I kept on hitting?

Comment: Re:Pick a different job. (Score 1) 519

programmers aren't smart enough to unionize

What would a union require of management that would make an unacceptable programming job acceptable?

Would you enjoy the work if only the boss didn't demand you work Saturdays? You would not.

Would the union be able to get rid of the office fool who screws up your otherwise beautiful code while convincing the boss its your fault? It would not. That's not what unions do.

Would you be paid more? Programmers who are any good are in high demand. If your boss isn't paying you fairly, find the next job. If no one is willing to pay you more despite the high demand for talented programmers and you're not willing to start your own business and take on the risks yourself then you're already paid what's fair for your level of talent and the level of risk you're willing to accept.

Unions are for folks whose labor is trivially replaceable. Work that most anybody can be "trained" to do. Programmers are artists. Instinct is not trainable and talented programmers are not easy to hire. Managers who think otherwise don't last long as managers of software development projects.

Comment: Re:C++ is not the language you start with (Score 1) 519

Python is a terrible choice for learning. C++ is not a great choice either. You want a learning language to be highly structured so that you're pushed away from sloppy programming practices that less structured languages allow.

Pascal was a good choice of learning language. Now that OOP has proven out, Java is a good choice. Stay away from the rest until you're competent in one of those two. Like Picasso said: Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.

Comment: Re:What if it were Microsoft code (Score 1) 191

by Spazmania (#47677679) Attached to: Larry Rosen: A Case Study In Understanding (and Enforcing) the GPL

AFAIK, torrent clients don't keep a log of who they transferred parts of the file to.

If the pirate sold your software (directly or as part of a derivative work) then it had monetary value to him. There are a couple other ways to calculate it as well. Basically, plaintiff and defendant both produce analyses of how much of the defendant's software was actually the offending work and the judge either picks the one which makes the most sense or uses parts of each to produce his own analysis. Both sides have to be careful here to maximize their respective benefit without crossing the line to unreasonable since the judge will discard any analysis he deems unreasonable. Apply that formula times the defendant's gross revenue for the software. If the infringement is willful (defendant knew up front he was infringing and did it anyway), the judge then triples it.

Comment: Re:What if it were Microsoft code (Score 1) 191

by Spazmania (#47675777) Attached to: Larry Rosen: A Case Study In Understanding (and Enforcing) the GPL

I believe you mean that copyright and patent infringement is a more serious _tort_ than license violation. We're talking about civil law here, not criminal law. No one at Versata is going to jail over this.

Statutory damages are a substitute for situations where real damages can't reasonably be proven. Such as making songs available via torrent where it's plain impossible to know how many folks ultimately received the song. That doesn't appear to be the case with Versata. Courts hate to apply statutory damages where it's practical to calculate real damages.

Also, you missed option E: stall the court proceedings while revising the software to work around the infringement, then do everything practical to minimize the monetary payout for the then strictly past infringement.

Comment: Re:What if it were Microsoft code (Score 1) 191

by Spazmania (#47672339) Attached to: Larry Rosen: A Case Study In Understanding (and Enforcing) the GPL

The recipient of the derivative work can enforce the GPL license between himself and the creator the derviative work. Said license came into effect as a result of the creator's acceptance of the GPL when he received the original work and its subsequent distribution.

The end user has no standing against the creator of the original work -- that license is between the original creator and the derivative creator. But he most certainly has standing in his license with the derivative creator which the derivative creator is shown to have established as a result of his acceptance of the GPL from the original creator.

Only if the creator of the derivative work accepted the GPL license of course. If he didn't then the work is simply infringing and the GPL does not come into play at all.

Comment: Re:Misreading section 7? (Score 1) 191

by Spazmania (#47672177) Attached to: Larry Rosen: A Case Study In Understanding (and Enforcing) the GPL

Here's this wonder free software, please use it! By the way, down here buried in the fine print you might not be allowed to use it, we'll let you know later if we don't like you. Trust me, it's fraud.

You can distribute your own code with any licenses you please, but each license must completely spell out the rights granted and responsibilities demanded. Lies of omission are still lies, lies with a financial impact are fraud, and the GPL doesn't allow for modification -- if you want to add patent limitations you have to use a difference license.

Comment: Re:What if it were Microsoft code (Score 1) 191

by Spazmania (#47668281) Attached to: Larry Rosen: A Case Study In Understanding (and Enforcing) the GPL

The claim in this subthread was, "the GPL does not create new obligations upon authors who combine original works with GPL works"

If you accept license to the GPL'd work, that plainly isn't true. What part of the phrase "If you accept license to the GPL'd work" was unclear? Yes of course if you don't accept the GPL license to the work then it's simply infringing and nothing in the GPL applies.

Comment: Re:What if it were Microsoft code (Score 1) 191

by Spazmania (#47668257) Attached to: Larry Rosen: A Case Study In Understanding (and Enforcing) the GPL

Downloading the original GPLed work does not automatically grant a license to possess derivative works.

A decent argument can be made, but you can come at this one from a number of angles. For example, GPL v2 section 4 says: "However, parties who have received copies, or rights, from you under this License will not have their licenses terminated so long as such parties remain in full compliance." This means that IF Versata accepted the GPL license then none of their customers are in violation unless those customers further redistribute the software. Even though Versata itself is in violation. More importantly, it means that IF Ximpleware asserts that Versata accepted the GPL (they seem to make this claim) that must also mean that the GPL license flowed down to everyone who received the software from Versata and themselves accepted the GPL license. Even if they never requested the source code and don't care to.

By downloading VTD-XML someone gets a license to use XimpleHelp's patents, but only within the context of using VTD-XML itself. It does not grant them the universal right to use those patents in any way they see fit

But that's just the thing - they ARE using it within the context of using VTD-XML. It just happens to be a copy of VTD-XML that's embedded in Versatta's derivative work. And if you grant that the patent license comes with the download of the GPL'd code then the license must have been meant to cover as many copies of VTD-XML that the downloader cares to use.

Comment: Re:Misreading section 7? (Score 1) 191

by Spazmania (#47666403) Attached to: Larry Rosen: A Case Study In Understanding (and Enforcing) the GPL

XimpleWare can distribute any of its code under any provisions it wants. It can give you a copy under the GPLv2, and point out you can't actually redistribute under it.

That would be simple fraud. Which would essentially kill XimpleWare's case in spite of Versata's bad behavior.

Comment: Re:What if it were Microsoft code (Score 1) 191

by Spazmania (#47666281) Attached to: Larry Rosen: A Case Study In Understanding (and Enforcing) the GPL

However, as soon as the GPL is violated the patent license is likewise null and void

That's an error. Violated != void. Violated means the license remains in full force and effect and you're entitled to enforcement of its terms. But it remains in full force and effect, including all the rights granted to the violator! Void means the license does not exist. They have no rights arising under any license and you're entitled to general remedies at law for the absence of permission.

Comment: Re:What if it were Microsoft code (Score 1) 191

by Spazmania (#47665991) Attached to: Larry Rosen: A Case Study In Understanding (and Enforcing) the GPL

You're conflating three distinct issues here: unlawful posession of a copyrighted work, unlawful copying and distribution of a copyrighted work and unlawful use of a patent.

Downloading the original GPLed work places Versata's customers in a position where they're entitled to posession of the derivative work. The path gets arcane but that's the bottom line.

Versata's customers are not entitled under the GPL to further distribute the derivative work without versata's source code. Period. They're liable for any such distribution, witting or otherwise, and Versata is liable to them for any damages they suffer as a result.

There's a decent case to be made that separately acquiring the software in a manner compliant with the GPL entitles the recipient to a license to use the Versata patents. Versata's behavior allows the statements they made about patent use in the GPL software to be interpreted that way. It puts the patent claim uncomfortably close to the 50% preponderance of the evidence line.

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