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The Military Piracy Technology

Pirated Software Could Bring Down Predator Drones 123

Posted by samzenpus
from the stealing-the-code dept.
Pickens writes "Fast Company reports that Massachusetts Superior Court Judge Margaret Hinkle will soon issue a decision on an intellectual property-related lawsuit that could ground the CIA's Predator drones. Intelligent Integration Systems (IISi) alleges that their Geospatial Toolkit and Extended SQL Toolkit were pirated by Massachusetts-based Netezza for use by a government client and is seeking an injunction that would halt the use of their two toolkits by Netezza for three years. The dispute goes back to when Netezza and IISi were former partners in a contract to develop software that would be used, among other purposes, for unmanned drones. IISi's suit claims that both the software package used by the CIA and the Netezza Spatial product were built using their intellectual property and according to statements made by IISi CEO Paul Davis, a favorable ruling in the injunction would revoke the CIA's license to use Geospatial. If IISi prevails in court this would either force the CIA to ground Predator drones or to break the law in their use of the pirated software. But there's more. Testimony given by an IISi executive to the court indicates that Netezza illegally and hastily reverse-engineered IISi's code to deliver a faulty version that could cause predator drones to miss their targets by as much as 40 feet. "
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Pirated Software Could Bring Down Predator Drones

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  • Eminent Domain (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thorgil (455385) on Monday October 18, 2010 @08:06AM (#33931024) Homepage

    If the CIA really needs the IP, they could just declare it as eminent domain. Problem solved.

  • Bad headline (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sunderland56 (621843) on Monday October 18, 2010 @08:17AM (#33931104)
    "Take down" and "prevent from flying due to a legal injuction" are not synonyms.
  • At least.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by airfoobar (1853132) on Monday October 18, 2010 @08:24AM (#33931158)
    This is what copyright law was intended for, not for going after high-school students and grandmas.
  • Re:Eminent Domain (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dunbal (464142) * on Monday October 18, 2010 @08:24AM (#33931166)

    You still need to pay for eminent domain. If you want to maintain the appearance of being a "free country", at any rate.

  • Re:Bad headline (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mapkinase (958129) on Monday October 18, 2010 @08:30AM (#33931194) Homepage Journal

    They are synonymous for Afghan peasants and Pakistani merchants in NWFP.

    They are not synonymous for Mujahedeen: there is no reward if they are taken down because your Kafkaesque system stumbled upon itself.

  • Re:Linux? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday October 18, 2010 @08:31AM (#33931206) Journal

    Created by the community, maybe not. Free Software? Definitely. The buyer (in this case, the DoD) absolutely should require the FSF's four freedoms for any code that they buy. If they can't audit the code, fix bugs, or deploy modified versions, they are selling national security to commercial interests. If they can't get another company to come in and maintain the software or use it in the next generation, then they are locked in to a single supplier.

  • Re:Eminent Domain (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thorgil (455385) on Monday October 18, 2010 @08:33AM (#33931222) Homepage

    Just declare the IP a state secret. The market value is then zero, as the company cant sell it legally. Buy it from the company for 1 cent. Then classify the contract as top secret. If the company complains, send the people to jail or gitmo.

  • by kevinNCSU (1531307) on Monday October 18, 2010 @09:08AM (#33931466)

    Yea, we should scrap them and go back to B-17's. 100% of the ordinance they dropped hit their intended targets. Course it's pretty hard to miss the ground...

    In all seriousness though, you're aiming a missile at a spot on the ground and you have a flying video camera that can stick around. It's not very hard to figure out if you hit the spot on the ground you were aiming at. Anything beyond that is a target selection/ordinance effectiveness issue and would have absolutely nothing to do with the predator software, pirated or not. In addition, I'm not that well versed with the predator company, but they just make the plane right? If that's the case if whatever ordinance it's carrying detaches from the mount correctly it's done it's job. Wouldn't the missile guidance/software belong to whatever company manufactures the missile?

  • Re:Eminent Domain (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheCarp (96830) <`ten.tenaprac' `ta' `cjs'> on Monday October 18, 2010 @09:30AM (#33931670) Homepage

    ahahah the CIA... obey laws? ROTFL they are little more than a criminal gang. Legalities didn't stop them from testing aersolized LSD on a small town in france. It didn't stop them from hiring prostitutes to slip LSD to johns in NYC to study their reactions. It didn't stop them from importing cocaine in the 80s, or illegally funneling weapons (against the decisions of congress), it didn't stop them from kidnapping, or torture.....

    Now ... copyright is going to stop them. Sure it is.

    -Steve

  • Slightly OT (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) on Monday October 18, 2010 @11:30AM (#33933510) Journal

    Physical property is just as imaginary as intellectual property. Physical possession is not, but property is. If someone robs you of a possession, the only thing that connects you to that object is a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo, similar to the legal mumbo jumbo which makes up intellectual property. The main difference? Everyone is now used to physical property, since we've had a few odd centuries to become accustomed to it.

  • Re:At least.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by amoeba1911 (978485) on Monday October 18, 2010 @11:45AM (#33933742) Homepage

    Copyright law is being abused by copyright holders. The damn law wasn't intended to be "forever minus a day", it was supposed to be for limited time. It protected the non-functional creations for about 2 decades, after that it was public domain - anyone could use it, sell it, buy it, modify it, make other crap based on it after that.

    What happened to copyright now? They violated it so much that, it never expires! Does none of the things it was intended to do, and is in fact used against the very people it was supposed to protect.

    So, yes: copyright law is being abused.

  • Re:Eminent Domain (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheCarp (96830) <`ten.tenaprac' `ta' `cjs'> on Monday October 18, 2010 @01:05PM (#33934832) Homepage

    Or they could use a front company to buy this company out and kill the whole suit. Why use taxpayer money when they can use money from one of their front operations, or other "off budget" stuff. One would assume that they still get a piece of cocaine shipments here and there. Or illegal arms sales. The CIA has never exactly been sticklers for the rules.

    -Steve

  • Re:Eminent Domain (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 18, 2010 @01:51PM (#33935406)

    Just declare the IP a state secret. The market value is then zero, as the company cant sell it legally. Buy it from the company for 1 cent. Then classify the contract as top secret. If the company complains, send the people to jail or gitmo.

    This is why we don't put people like you in positions of power

    You [wikipedia.org] must [wikipedia.org] be [wikipedia.org] new [wikipedia.org] here. [wikipedia.org]

Nothing succeeds like success. -- Alexandre Dumas

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