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Comment Re:Does it account for greedy homeowners? (Score 2) 111

Where I live we call them "traffic calmers" and they come in a bunch of varieties including speed bumps and sections of the road that have narrow winding lanes lined with noise strips and cement barricades, planters in the middle of regular-sized intersections, etc. What is replacing speed bumps are ramps where you can take it at up to 25mph in most cars, but you smash up the bottom going faster. Much better than traditional speed bumps that require a much lower speed.

Most people like them. But another demographic that hates them are people that can barely drive.

Comment Re:Wow (Score 1) 340

I dunno, I'm using xfce and my mouse works exactly the same as it did in the 1990s. Wheel and all.

The only difference is that in the 1990s we had to do some extra tricks just so the browser could see the mouse wheel! But then it worked consistently.

Different apps behave differently because you have choices. If you care about the GUI bits you can just use all the apps from the same desktop system, and they'll all act the same. If you want to make a different specific choice for each type of app, there will be small differences. That is expected as part of having more choices. Not everybody responds in a positive psychological way to choice. If choices are stifling you, maybe try an apple computer? You get *nix under the hood, but there is always a crowd to safely follow!

Comment Re:Wow (Score 1) 340

Grandpa, about 10 years ago or so there were some stories about how the software vendor in question negotiated with all the major hardware vendors to standardize this interface.

So the whole, "oh that's between you and your vendor" this is a load of horseshit. No, it is not between you and any different party. All the decisions related to this were taken as a group, and they're all involved and all responsible. And yes, the BIOS might have known failure states that suck rocks. On purpose, because of other cases where the feature helped. If you want to use those features, or avoid them, either way, the details matter.

Comment Re:Not everyone is happy... (Score 1) 107

Courts have already looked at that and didn't blink. It is hypothesizing of a very silly sort, because the answer is obvious and already known.

When you license code to the world in return for conditions in a license, those conditions are the consideration you received. Done. This is not a mystery.

If some business comes to me and asks for me to write some code for them, and I tell them that I'll do it for $100, and they agree, then I received $100 of consideration. If instead I tell them, you don't have to pay me, but you have to license back to me whatever derivative code you create, then that potential to receive code back itself has value. The courts view that like a speculative purchase, where you might make a lot of money or lose money. Even if in the end you lose money, the possibility was itself a valid consideration that a reasonable person might want to negotiate for. Same with open source; even with BSD, you're getting back an agreement that all the programmers or engineers who work with your code will see your name at the top of the source file! You will receive whatever fame and recognition from your peers results from that promotion. You might become famous, and have your pay go way up, because of that copyright notice; it has value! But a minor change in the license terms that still requires your copyright notice to remain intact wouldn't harm you, if that was the only consideration you received. So there is clearly consideration; harm from license changes is the hard thing to show here, not the consideration.

Comment Re:Estoppel by acquiescence and laches (Score 1) 107

There are additional problems that they would face in bringing a complaint; they would have to show actual harm just to get in the door. When you give away open source software, you're giving up much of your ability to profit based on exclusive control. So you're also giving up most of the harm that could be done to you by the others who also have an ownership stake.

The reason that a copyright holder can sue even when they're not actively benefiting from some work, (maybe it is out of print or something) is that they still could benefit later; their rights have inherent cash value. They might be leaving it out of print now so that if interest is generated later, they can re-issue it to new excitement. So there are lots of copyright cases like that, that created precedent for strong copyright.

But that doesn't mean that anybody with any copyright interest would be harmed by a case of not being able to control the work; in the case of open source where you've already granted a non-revocable free license to the whole world, losing control leaves you where you already were; without the ability to profit financially from the work. Surely you still have some interest that you can exercise by your prerogatives, but suing over it starts to get really hard. If the lawsuit is about somebody violating the license, then you can still sue over that because what those terms give you back (access to changes, or just retention of copyright notice and resulting fame) is the consideration that you got in return for the license. But when the dispute is with other copyright holders, who also have the same (weakened) interest in the code, now you have a hard time showing that you are harmed by their changes. Especially when the copyright is divided between a bunch of people, and the majority of them agree to the changes.

Courts like to reduce everything to its cash equivalent, and then compare those. Following that principle here, it is easy to see what sort of result will be achieved.

Comment Re:Not everyone is happy... (Score 1) 107

It isn't enforceable if you have a significant interest in the software, but if you only have insignificant contributions then it probably is good enough.

The court would have to balance each of those situations individually by its own merits, there isn't a general rule to smack it with. So some of the people who got that email, that is all they really need to get. Others, it is not enforceable because they have a significant interest in the code and would have to give express consent to any license changes.

Courts don't get flustered by the lack of a bright-line rule, in fact they usually insist on individual analysis in context.

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