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CODE4LIB  September 2008

CODE4LIB September 2008

Subject:

Re: Zotero under attack

From:

Jonathan Rochkind <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 29 Sep 2008 15:07:40 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (87 lines)

Makes sense to me.  Only the judge that decides the case knows for sure.

Jonathan

Bill Dueber wrote:
> Am I wrong, though, in thinking that a clean-room recreation of the Zotero
> code that parses .ens files would be legal (although the use of ISI-provided
> .ens files would still be, at best, questionable)? If so, I'd like to
> encourage everyone who might be interested in working on such a project to
> *not* look at any Zotero code. At all. If this holds up and the offending
> code is removed, anyone re-engineering it would need to have never been in
> contact with the original code.
>
> Or (as I started with), am I wrong?
>
>
> On Mon, Sep 29, 2008 at 12:38 PM, Edward M. Corrado <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>
>   
>> Klein, Michael wrote:
>>
>>     
>>> Edward M. Corrado wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>       
>>>> This will be interesting to see how it works out. From what I read, it
>>>> looks like the case that Thomson has is based on, or at least strongly
>>>> enhanced by, the EULA. Thus, the legal questions may end up being 1) is
>>>> "freeing" data from a proprietary file format aviolation of
>>>> copyright/patent/ etc.? and if not, 2) can you sign that away by
>>>> agreeing to an EULA?
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>         
>>> Two points:
>>>
>>> First, it's my understanding that contract law trumps basic civil law in
>>> almost all cases. Unless you can convince a court that you entered into
>>> the
>>> contract under duress, or that the part of the contract in question is a
>>> violation of a basic unabridgeable right (this last being the reason a lot
>>> of employment contract non-compete clauses are unenforceable in several
>>> right-to-work states), you're bound by it. I think you'd be hard pressed
>>> to
>>> argue that reverse engineering is a Basic Right Of Humankind. Unless...The
>>> First Amendment guarantees the Right of Assembly. Can we extrapolate that
>>> and argue for a Right of Disassembly? ;-)
>>>
>>> Second, this isn't a EULA in the sense of "By opening this package, you
>>> agree..." or "By clicking this, you agree..."  Those kinds of contracts
>>> are
>>> questionable. It's an actual contract granting GMU a site license for the
>>> Endnote software, negotiated by Thomson and GMU and agreed to in writing
>>> on
>>> both sides.
>>>
>>>
>>>       
>> This is a very good point.
>>
>>  I'll be disappointed if Thomson Reuters prevails on this one, but I won't
>>     
>>> be
>>> surprised, either, based on my own (admittedly limited) understanding.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>       
>> Same here. If it wasn't for the EULA I'd probably think differently.
>>
>> Edward
>>
>>     
>
>
>
>   

-- 
Jonathan Rochkind
Digital Services Software Engineer
The Sheridan Libraries
Johns Hopkins University
410.516.8886 
rochkind (at) jhu.edu

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