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Comment: Re:On this 4th of July... (Score 1) 349

by rev0lt (#47394549) Attached to: Qualcomm Takes Down 100+ GitHub Repositories With DMCA Notice

I was speaking only of unpaid volunteers.

I know. But those are only a subset of the contributors. And eg. for big, important projects, development is done mainly by companies (eg. Linux Kernel, Java, some GCC infrastructure, Mozilla, WebKit, etc), even if the commiters are listed individually. As I explained, the idea of the poor lonely guy in a basement writing code and being sued by the "big corps" is skewed from reality, and it has been for many many years.

The term quantify means to assign a number to something.

That number may be absolute (as you're implying with the SI reference) or relative. Checking yourself into a hospital because of an anxiety attack and getting a prescription and some off time because of the whole situation is easily quantifiable. Many health-related quantifications are done in percent of an expected, well known pattern. And insurance and disability funds are paid based on that.

I doubt that a few github takedowns are really going to impact a professional operation, however. They tend not to use sites like github as part of their core workflow. It mainly gets used by those poor nerds in basements.

While I do agree with your point (relying on a 3rd party is usually not a good idea, specially when you can self-host the codebases), this is more common than you think. I myself maintain/contribute to several private (paid) repositories that rely on external dependencies from OSS projects.

There is no criminal remedy to a false DMCA complaint that doesn't require a prosecutor to file.

Again, if someone publicly acuses you of a crime that is later proved you didn't commit, you are entitled to indemnification by damages caused to your reputation and your business/whatever. As this is not a matter of crime, it is a dispute filed on a civil court. There is no prosecuter on this. It is a dispute between two entities.

I'm really only concerned with the guys doing unpaid volunteer work here.

Yeah, but again, they are only a subset.

The community-driven project can't afford to deal with the likes of Qualcomm

Please tell me one well-known, widespread OSS project that is completely community-driven and mostly built with unpaid volunteer work. And no, stuff like foundations don't count - they're done for tax purposes.

Comment: Re:On this 4th of July... (Score 1) 349

by rev0lt (#47392865) Attached to: Qualcomm Takes Down 100+ GitHub Repositories With DMCA Notice

What lost time is there for a volunteer on an FOSS project? The courts do NOT award lost time for responding to the lawsuit, but they might award it for the actual takedown notice, assuming you can show damages

You are assuming a "volunteer" is not paid. In many cases, it is a false assumption.

What are the SI units for that?

Americans (mostly) don't use SI units. But what is the SI unit to bone damage in a broken leg? What is the SI unit for autism? What is the SI unit that measures impact of an infection on the organism? All these cases are quite easy to quantify.

Maybe. That might depend on how it is advertised. In any case, Qualcomm isn't the one advertising this case, so there is no claim for libel.

So I hire an assassin. The assassin commits a crime, and I'm not responsible for inciting and paying for the execution of the crime? Wow.

How are they depriving you of your IP? They're only preventing you from distributing it, unless github was your only copy of it.

Many many tools rely on automated checkout of libraries and components (under FLOSS licensing) from repositories. Having a base library or something like that unaccessible based on false pretext breaks those tools. This may translate on commercial releases that can't be done because further manual integration needs to be done. If I maintain or contribute to one of those tools, and my employer cannot deploy the latest bugfix or our platform because some monkey decided to file a DMCA, I'd bet they'll be having a bad time. And yes, again - this is quite common; OSS maintainers that are paid for what they do and integrate that work into the employer's product line. The notion that a project volunteer is a poor nerd in a basement, while romantic - is generically wrong. They exist, but they are not the majority.

As far as criminal charges go - only a prosecutor can seek those, and to date none has done so over a DMCA claim.

A prosecuter is necessary for a public crime. And some crimes are semi-public (they require a lawyer to file the complaint).

If you file a DMCA counter-notice you are potentially inviting a lawsuit.

Crossing the road is also dangerous.

You stand nothing to gain other than the right to continue distributing the work in question, and a LOT to lose

Or not. You assume the system is rigged "for the big guys". I don't. In Qualcomm's case, any doubts about licensing of their driver/firmware code would have direct impact on sales. Pushing this to court while blatantly wrong would cause damage to the existing business. Qualcomm is not SCO; its not a patent troll trying to make a quick buck. As an example, I've done consulting on embedding systems for small network appliances. One of the criterias I use for component/platform selection was how "untainted" the driver is. Does the manufacturer provide a OSS-licensed reference driver? Is it known to push back or discontinue existing drivers? Are the drivers actual working drivers, or a wrapped blob? Is the licensing clear? Does it require an NDA? etc. etc. Given the rising popularity of android and linux systems, and the fact that many other companies also factor in these elements when choosing provider (not only price or funcionality), I'd be surprised if they try to move this forward.

For somebody not making money off of the distribution, it is a big risk to take.

Again, you assume its a guy in a basement. More often than not (at least for code that is actually useful), its not the case.

Comment: Re:On this 4th of July... (Score 1) 349

by rev0lt (#47389873) Attached to: Qualcomm Takes Down 100+ GitHub Repositories With DMCA Notice

And what damages exactly does somebody doing volunteer FOSS work have to show?

Besides lost time, the fact that code was unavailable for possible futural employers to look at, the fact that the volunteer was publicly pointed out as a copyright infringer and may not feel comfortable continuing his pet project? Heck, just the stress of it all is quite easy to prove and quantify.

The site was only down for a few days, and then per the DMCA it goes back up when you file the counter-claim.

Meanwhile I actually read the DMCA from Qualcomm, and it seems that - in most cases - the claim seems legit. Well, for the cases that aren't, you have your *public repo* with your name on it linking to a frivolous DMCA claim. While the claim itself is perfectly legal, advertising it may constitute libel if the claim is bogus. Also, if the files aren't accessible, they are depriving you of your intellectual property, by claiming its theirs. You already have a ton of posts on this thread explaining in detail why when someone states they're the legitimate copyright owner in a DMCA claim when that is false is - by itself - a crime.

The US court system doesn't recognize the burden of having to defend a lawsuit as damages.

There is no lawsuit. There is a DMCA complaint. If it is publicly displayed and its proved wrong, its libel, and grounds for suing. If the DMCA complaint itself violates the law, its grounds for suing. But I'd be very surprised to see Qualcomm taking anyone to court - you see, that kind of move scares away their customers that use Qualcomm code and semiconductors. This is usually settled fast (outside the court system) and silently.

Comment: Re:Github overtaken by thuggish government (Score 1) 349

by rev0lt (#47388063) Attached to: Qualcomm Takes Down 100+ GitHub Repositories With DMCA Notice

* AFAIK, there are no restrictions on Americans purchasing services from Venezuelan companies (or paying for them with American credit cards).

...yet. And Venezuela isn't a politically stable country. I wouldn't be surprised if sooner or later those Colo companies were nationalized.

Comment: Re:On this 4th of July... (Score 1) 349

by rev0lt (#47387959) Attached to: Qualcomm Takes Down 100+ GitHub Repositories With DMCA Notice

Unless you can prove Qualcomm maliciously and purposefully filed an false DMCA claim you aren't getting jack.

Not really. If you can prove that Qualcomm's false DMCA claim caused you harm (financially, psicologically, etc), you're getting jack and his wife. Public perception frowns upon "big companies abusing the little guy", so I'd expect this to not even go to court and to be settled with a non-disclosure clause, as it is common practice.

Seems like a huge risk for a very modest reward, if you win you are only out the years it took to litigate the matter but if you lose you could wind up liable for damages for infriging copyright on your own code (now Qualcomm's code).

Imagine this - you go to court to prove the code is yours, and its an actual part of Qualcomm's product line, to such an extent they thought they owned it. They caused you harm *while* benefiting from your unpaid work. An you think they would stand a chance in an appeal/counter suit? Now imagine its your pet project, and you subtly change the license to forbit explicit usage from Qualcomm from the get-go, while the process carries on? Then its possible for you to actually slap them with a DMCA claim of your own, and even *gasp*, prove it in court.

The actual news seems like Qualcomm hired some IP firm that doesn't know shit about code and found automatically some "infringing" files. If this is the case, they will do everything to avoid going to court, regardless of the number of lawyers on staff, while silently settling the case with the IP company. And this shit keeps happening because no one bothers into taking it to court.

Comment: Re:So wait... what? (Score 1) 314

by rev0lt (#47244959) Attached to: California Regulators Tell Ride-Shares No Airport Runs

In fact, in the USA, ALL tips are taxable income

You are right, I wasn't aware of that. But it doesn't change the argument - it does not constitute a commercial contract (you're not paying for services or goods). And it is responsability of the receiver (or more commonly, his employer) to actually comply with the tax law. Even in the US, receiving a tip is not illegal. Not declaring it in your IRS may be, but - by itself - is perfectly legal as an act.

Comment: Re:So wait... what? (Score 1) 314

by rev0lt (#47234689) Attached to: California Regulators Tell Ride-Shares No Airport Runs

You were stating, that a legal difference exists between payment and a mere "tip". I doubt it strongly...

It is the difference between an exchange and a donation. In the country where I reside, tips are "tax free" (and exempt from declaration) upto 75 Eur. This includes the money your grandmother gives you. If it is over 75Eur, it is considered income and it is taxed appropriately. Oddly enough, giving 2 times 75Eur to the same person still is tax-free.

Unfortunately — and this is a giant loophole in the American (and, possibly, British) legal system — the accused's property is not at all as protected as his person.

It depends on the relevancy for the case. And seizing of property usually requires a court order - both in US and UK - and I will tackle the civil forfeiture next.

The government can confiscate property immediately [] — without bothering with the Judiciary. They can't lock you up, but they can confiscate your car, cash (we suspect it is drug money, so we take it away), and even freeze bank accounts...

Well, yes and no. They could do it anyway, if a judge signs. In my country, if you commit tax fraud, this is done automatically - via a judge. The scope of civil forfeiture is quite limited, and I'd assume they must really have strong clues to use it (, because regardless of what happens, authorities are liable for every damage caused by unfunded accusations/wrongful/abusive confiscations, as most countries have something related to the presumption of innocence in their constitution.

In the article I linked to, the couple's family car was confiscated on the spot — on the Executive official say-so. That alone would severely impede the accused's ability to defend himself, would not it? Simply showing up in court suddenly becomes very difficult...

2 Suggestions - stop reading fox news as actual facts, It would not impede anything. I don't own a car. The notion that people need cars to survive is stupid.

And, for each example you may find, you have hundreds that were exactly the opposite - the "bad" guys were at fault. If you have a - lets assume - 3% - error rate on a major american city, that is a huge success rate. You should see it in perspective, not the isolated cases that are the anomalies.

Comment: Re:So wait... what? (Score 1) 314

by rev0lt (#47228677) Attached to: California Regulators Tell Ride-Shares No Airport Runs
I'm not saying authorities never fail. I'm saying it is not breaking the law, as whoever is involved in this will find out sooner or later in court. But I'd be surprised if the news is acurrate (most news aren't).

Now imagine the same couple being merely friends and the cop observing the money (a mere tip, not a payment — though I suspect, the distinction you are making is without difference) changing hands... They'd never convince anyone...

Well, they would not need to. The onus of intent or proof lies within the accuser. Even if they got fined/identified/whatever, in the end its up to the authorities to make proof that it was, in fact, an illegal transaction.

Comment: Re:So wait... what? (Score 1) 314

by rev0lt (#47226597) Attached to: California Regulators Tell Ride-Shares No Airport Runs

Yes, he would be breaking the law. And you, probably, would be breaking it too.

He would not. The friend would not engage on the activity motivated by monetary compensation, and the $20 isn't payment, its a tip. And this is legal in most countries. You are liable for services you've been paid for, not tipped for. As an extreme example, there is a huge difference between a commercial agreement regarding sexual intercourse (soliciting, as you're *bidding* for the service) and giving a tip - either in money or goods. The first one is a prostitute, the second one is a fuckfriend/girlfriend.

Comment: Re:You don't have to do that (Score 1) 100

by rev0lt (#47188707) Attached to: id Software's Original 'Softdisk' Games Open Sourced
I still support some Delphi 7.0 applications I built decade ago. Yeah, a decade ago, Delphi 7.0 was *already* "obsolete". They still work today, they still produce actual meaningful results. Try using a VB6 application (or a C++ application) from the same period on a modern windows system. You'd be surprised how well designed Delphi is. And Embarcadero really did everything they could to make sure the product would die.

Comment: Re:Fishy (Score 1) 566

by rev0lt (#47132437) Attached to: TrueCrypt Website Says To Switch To BitLocker
Building a secure OS isn't "that difficult" (as in, its quite feasible). Building a secure OS that runs software people want to run and need for work and can communicate with insecure computers (aka the internet) is a complete different story :) Everything that is 3rd party is potentially tainted, and that includes usually the compiler and the build toolchain. Some projects like OpenBSD integrate some 3rd party software into their own codebase, and do an audit to make sure no major holes are present. But unless you're using it as a firewall or to serve some static files, sooner or later you'll need 3rd party software from external sources. And if even in your codebase some "easter eggs" are difficult to detect (look at OpenSSL, the heartbleed vuln went unnoticed for what? 2 years?), it is almost impossible for external programs.

Comment: Re: Fishy (Score 1) 566

by rev0lt (#47124083) Attached to: TrueCrypt Website Says To Switch To BitLocker
Until you access that specific secret non-documented register that is available after some fancy port-knocking (bit-knocking) that will leave an internal gate to 1 instead of 0... Given that most chips do have extra circuitry for internal testing, this would be almost trivial to implement and very very difficult to detect.

13. ... r-q1