Legal Insanity: Suing Timezone Database

8. October, 2011

Like many people, I have a strong opinion about justice. In this time and age, it feels like the legal system, invented to give justice to everyone has become part of the problem. Note that I’m not asking to abolish the legal system – but we should pay heed to abuse nonetheless and think how to prevent it.

In this instance, Astrolabe is suing the Olson database (legal files). Olson database? If you’re using Linux, you can find a copy in /usr/share/timezone. The database contains the offsets to UTC/GMT.

WTF? Apparently, the tz database contains record from a book “The American Atlas” for which Astrolabe owns the copyright. So what they’re doing is perfectly legal.

But it smells.

Update: Astrolabe has apologised and withdrawn the complaint.

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