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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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  • by Toe, The (545098) on Monday October 18, 2010 @08:01AM (#33931004)

    Did someone come back in time and start IISi in order to delay the deployment of Skynet by a few years?

    Brilliant!

  • 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.

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Hugo Grotius [wikipedia.org] for the win!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

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

      Maybe IISi could license the software to the CIA? Surely a government contract is worth a pretty penny (especially in this situation). On the flip side, if IISi's headquarters is accidentally hit by a drone using the pirated software it would be just a tad ironic (the CIA could just cliam the software was trying to get home while in 'homing pigeon' mode).

    • 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: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 Richard_at_work (517087) <richardpriceNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday October 18, 2010 @08:47AM (#33931300)
          I take it you went down the road of 'screw appearances' :)
          • I take it you went down the road of 'screw appearances' :)

            Dude, it's CIA. I severely doubt they're worried about appearances. :P

          • by billcopc (196330)

            It's the CIA. They don't give a fuck, they'll just kill anyone that gets too nosey. It is, after all, the "American Way".

        • by AHuxley (892839)
          Like when the NSA makes you an offer. The tech just drops away and you walk away with a smile.
          The problem is contractors want to milk the system for generations, the life of a platform and its next revisions.
          They also want in on the next gen and zero bid. So they get their hooks in some experimental proof of concept deal and then expect to grow with the system.
          The problem is this was so rushed and now its all catching up with the US gov. The US gov could set up its own people to do it, but that wou
        • by c6gunner (950153)

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

          • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            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]

        • by bluie- (1172769)
          you should copyright that idea, so that if the CIA does it you can sue and try to stop them from doing it, only to have them do it again to you...
        • Re:Eminent Domain (Score:4, Interesting)

          by rtb61 (674572) on Monday October 18, 2010 @11:22AM (#33933394) Homepage

          Too late secrets out, "The identity of the person whose cell phone signal has moved from one tower to another, according to IISi's court filings. Such techniques - quickly combining intelligence with live mobile phone surveillance from the air - are reportedly central to the CIA's targeting of missile strikes by unmanned aircraft" http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/09/24/cia_netezza/ [theregister.co.uk]. See proof positive that using a mobile phone or allowing someone to use it near could get you killed ;D.

          New terrorist weapon of choice planting a mobile phone from a dodgy account on your enemies (or one that's had naughty voices picked up via filtering and analysis). Personally I think that is really dodgy data to base mass murdering a group of people without trial or review of evidence, really dodgy, borrow someone's phone to make a call and it gets your family killed, there is some really callously indifferent decision making going on at the CIA.

        • by JWSmythe (446288)

          No, no, no, you have it all wrong.

          In the middle of the night, "someone" goes in, collects everything, and it's replaced with dummy supplies. (i.e., filing cabinets full of blank paper, computers with blank hard drives, etc). Then the actual developers are suddenly and quietly moved off to another site, but that's ok, because replacements were left in place where necessary.

          It's a terrible shame, but it seems there was some sort of gas leak in the building(s), wh

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by b4upoo (166390)

          Actually there is a bit of relevant history. Certain encryption programs have been declared "munitions" in the past. The purpose was to keep those programs from being exported. But the same laws could be used to keep drone guidance programs from being sold to anyone but the US government and perhaps even grant seizure powers such that the government gets all the existing software for free.
          Also it would b

        • by Dunbal (464142) *

          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.

                Which would make people seriously consider moving to Venezuela because at least Hugo Chavez doesn't pretend to be what he's not - see what I said about appearing like a "free" country?

        • except the company's business is selling the software to all the branches. They are probably big enough in with the Pentagon the CIA can't just make them roll over. They probably also have government contracts to SELL the product to other agencies, and those agencies won't let the product just be taken away, so the CIA was just being dicks because they're not used to following the rules.

      • by couchslug (175151)

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

        There is enough money available to simply acquire the whole company, or pay whatever they like for the software.

        • by hedwards (940851)
          Yeah but that would take taxpayer money whereas if you use eminent domain or quash the suit you don't have to spend more than a small fraction of that.

          I'm always a bit curious as to why people are more comfortable with eminent domain than just paying the assessed value of whatever. Sure it costs tax payers more, but with a lot of it there's no real way of knowing that you're not going to be the next one that gets screwed by it in some fashion.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by TheCarp (96830)

            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

    • Or they will do what they do best, ignore the problem and keep using it anyways.

      There are still those in the CIA who believe they answer to no one. Do you really think a lawsuit will make the CIA ground their predator fleet? They will still use it but just won't know about it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TheCarp (96830)

      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

    • Not quite. Typically they show up and claim the item as a important for "national security" just like they do for people in advanced mathematics, cryptography, fire arms design, ect. Now that the CIA has the case in court they will probably show up with a check, tell the judge it is "reasonable" and tell the judge they want the product and all the software tools, for "national security". The company will have their work gutted and the Company will have it's software.

    • The CIA will probably purchase a license from IISi and then try to recover the cost from Netezza if IISi gets their injunction and then wins. Alternatively, they may convince the judge to exempt them. They might have to promise to pay royalties to IISi if it prevails.

  • Linux? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 18, 2010 @08:08AM (#33931036)

    Predator drones should use only open source software created by the community at large...

    so all of us can help contribute to their accuracy and make sure they kill the right people...

    Uhh.... wait... what?

    • so all of us can help contribute to their accuracy and make sure they kill the right people...

      Exactly, guiding the drones those who pushed the button for button destruction (and potentially the operator).

    • 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.

      • That would violate their priority of spending a lot of money. National security can neither be strengthened nor harmed much at this point, but political careers and defense profits are at stake.
      • by T.E.D. (34228)

        That's the way it used to be ... well ... sort of. All DoD software was delivered with sources and owned by the DoD. Any contractor working on a DoD job had access to the sources of other DoD jobs (after filing the appropriate paperwork).

        It has only been the last 15 years or so where they started to emphasise "COTS" (Commercial Off-The-Shelf) software. The idea was to stop paying for the software equivalent of $5,000 hammers. The problem is that companies often get into the habit of declaring "COTS" stuff

    • Surely it wasn't just me who read that title and envisioned something along the lines of:

      *Two figures meet in a dark alley way*
      MPAA Executive: General, we have new targets for you.
      General: Hmm, the PirateBay server cluster. Interesting. Shouldn't be a problem for our Predator drones. And our deal?
      MPAA Executive: Don't worry, next war movie will be focused on the 'war crimes' of Iran.
      General: And who will play the, ahem, brave general who saves the day?
      MPAA Executive: No less than Tom Cruise of course.

  • by bistromath007 (1253428) on Monday October 18, 2010 @08:16AM (#33931094)
    Oh nooooooooo. :|
  • 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.
    • by geogob (569250)

      I guess they all went to the same find-a-title-school as the people from The Enquirer, or something...

      I'm always a little surprised when I see slashdot falling to this level. Listing in my mind the people I personally know as /. regulars, it really doesn't add up.

    • 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.

    • by Mathinker (909784) *

      Yeah, we all know that it's ninja software which takes down drones (but only when you're not looking, of course).

  • I know, it's Slashdot. But still ..

  • ... by as much as 40 feet

    It's a good thing drones don't have feet then.

  • The preditors will not have to stop flying based on a ruling that the intellectual property of IISI was stolen. See the last clause of the fifth amendment to our Constitution: "nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation." This means the CIA doesn't need a license, it just needs to be willing to pay just compensation.

    Of course, what constitutes "just compensation" tends to be considerably less than fair market value in practice. Fortunately for the tax payors, CIA might

    • Copyrights are not property.
      • by peragrin (659227)

        Then why do courts allow the term intellectual property in court documents? Since it has no legal definition it should either be defined or banned for legal use.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Perhaps the courts don't mind confusing terminology? Personally, I agree, the term "intellectual property" should be abolished entirely -- it creates too much confusion between copyrights, patents, trademarks, trade secrets, and real property.
          • by Anonymous Coward

            The courts don't consider it confusing terminology because they are of one mind with Humpty Dumpty: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humpty_Dumpty#In_Through_the_Looking-Glass [wikipedia.org].

            I can't decide whether I consider it funny or scary that that passage has appeared in 250 judicial decisions in the U.S., including two Supreme Court decisions.

          • by tehcyder (746570)

            Perhaps the courts don't mind confusing terminology? Personally, I agree, the term "intellectual property" should be abolished entirely -- it creates too much confusion between copyrights, patents, trademarks, trade secrets, and real property.

            Yes, because it's the name that causes all the problems, and obviously by abolishing the name the problems will just clear themselves up.

            • Kind of like changing Global War on Terror to Overseas Contingency Operations?

              It sounds so much friendlier.

              http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/24/AR2009032402818.html

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_on_Terror
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by slashqwerty (1099091)

      The preditors will not have to stop flying based on a ruling that the intellectual property of IISI was stolen. See the last clause of the fifth amendment to our Constitution: "nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation." This means the CIA doesn't need a license, it just needs to be willing to pay just compensation.

      You're going by the assumption that intellectual rights are property. If the government uses someone's software they are not 'taking' it away from the owner.

  • 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:At least.. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by mea37 (1201159) on Monday October 18, 2010 @10:27AM (#33932590)

      I'm curious why you think a law's intent includes a list of those against whom it may be used. Have you not heard the phrase "equal in the eyes of the law?"

      • Its hard to argue that copyright law is not being abused.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by amoeba1911 (978485)

          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

        • by mea37 (1201159)

          It's also hard to argue that zebras can fly, but what does that have to do with the conversation at hand?

      • by Myopic (18616)

        Oh, hey, I can answer that. The OP was using a rhetorical device called synecdoche [wikipedia.org]. This is extremely common in natural language. In the case of IP law, the original intent of the law was to stop for-profit copying of 'intellectual property'. Then, the OP used 'high-school students and grandmas' synecdochally to stand in for non-profit-seeking copiers.

        But, the OP is somewhat mistaken, because in the late 1990s a federal law criminalized not-for-profit copying.

        • by mea37 (1201159)

          "the original intent of the law was to stop for-profit copying of 'intellectual property'"

          You are factually mistaken. The purpose of IP law is and always was to promote the creative and useful arts by preserving the interests of the rights-holder, regardless of any commercial interest on the part of a potential infringer. You can go all the way back to the Constitution and you will find no mention of this notion that copyright were only to keep other people from profitting.

          • by Myopic (18616)

            Hmmm, that's a good point. I could have phrased my post better. Yes, the "intent" is to promote the arts (in theory, anyway). What word describes the essence of a law, its direction, its target? American law, for hundreds of years, specifically and purposely applied only to for-profit copying; and it was that which I described as "intent", but I think you are right, that's close to "intent" but it's something slightly different.

            • by mea37 (1201159)

              Well, I don't think you understand my objection to your position. I'm not interested in splitting hairs over what 'intent' means.

              Prior to the DMCA, copyright did already apply to not-for-profit copying; I don't know where you're getting information to the contrary, but making a profit from your copy was never a required element of infringement in U.S. copyright law.

              Have a look over the first Federal Copyright Statue of the United States of America [copyright.gov]; can you point out where it says anything about non-commerc

              • by Myopic (18616)

                Like I said, most of the time laws don't list exemptions; most laws rest on specifying the infringing actions, which is done in this law:: ...or knowing the same to be so printed, reprinted, or imported, shall publish, sell, or expose to sale,
                or cause to be published, sold or exposed to sale, any copy of such map, chart, book or books...

                Anyway, I was referring to the fact that criminal copyright infringement used to required a profit motive, until 1997. Here's a link about the NET Act [wikipedia.org], and here's a quote:

                Pr

                • by mea37 (1201159)

                  Interesting game plan.

                  1. Post misleading comment about copyright
                  2. When challenged, retreat to a technically correct (but contextually meaningless) position and pretend that was all you meant in the first place (even though it would've been entirely off topic)
                  3. In the course of the retreat, preemptively cast aspersions on any possible reply
                  4. ???
                  5. Profit!

                  Too bad, because right up until then you seemed like a reasonable, if perhaps misinformed, individual; but now you come across as an anti-IP troll with a revisionist a

          • by Myopic (18616)

            You can go all the way back to the Constitution and you will find no mention of this notion that copyright were only to keep other people from profitting

            I've been thinking about it and I think you have made an error by ignoring the important fact that the law made "no mention of this notion that copyright were only to keep other people from profitting", but the law did actually only "mention the notion that copyright was to prevent other people from profitting." I mean, sure, it never said "hey, it's okay t

            • by mea37 (1201159)

              'but it did say "hey, we are only making it illegal to copy for profit".'

              You keep saying so, but I've not found any version of the law that agrees with you. Can you provide a citation?

      • by houghi (78078)

        Yes, I heard about it. I believe the correct quote is. All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

    • No, copyright law was intended for encouraging arts and sciences, specifically by giving artists control over distribution of their works, even more specifically by giving artists the right to sue anyone who distributes their work without their permission. So, while the purpose not to make high-school students and grandmas suffer financially, granting immunity to high-school students and grandmas (or equivalently, abridging the artist's right to sue them for their wrongdoings) would directly contravene the

      • Suing high-school students and grandmas encourages the arts and sciences?? It's one thing to allow creators to derive some benefits from the work, but it's an altogether different thing letting publishers put all culture behind a paywall for more than a century while instating draconian laws to protect their profits.

        If content creators could see what copyright has become today they'd be seething with anger.

        • Suing high-school students and grandmas encourages the arts and sciences??

          Suing pirates encourages the arts and sciences. Some students and grandmas are pirates. Therefore, suing some students and grandmas encourages the arts and sciences.

          It's one thing to allow creators to derive some benefits from the work, but it's an altogether different thing letting publishers put all culture behind a paywall for more than a century while instating draconian laws to protect their profits.

          You're more right than you kno

    • by cdrguru (88047)

      Isn't it great that with the publishing power of the Internet even high-school students and grandmas can bring publishing for revenue to an end?

  • Hearts and Minds... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Apocryphon (1849660) * on Monday October 18, 2010 @08:40AM (#33931258)
    This may be a rare case in which a narrow ruling (e.g., on an IP scuffle) might just have the ability to affect broader policy and policy debate - on at least two important fronts, to boot. Indeed, this is likely why this particular case made it all the way to a state Supreme Court in the first place - replace "drones" with any other disruptive technology and this action likely never gets the traction to do so.

    Obviously, by "Hearts & Minds," I was attempting to evoke the cost of drone-deployment in combat zones, which are many, i.e.,10 civilians killed for each "militant" in these "targeted killings" alone (Brookings - 2009), wherein this sort of murdering of civilians has made the United States' combat efforts so much more difficult and extensive as each of those ten civilians' friends and family are each pushed marginally closer to becoming an "enemy combatant" themselves....

    But the "Hearts and Minds" of Americans are at stake too, and not only because the question, "How long until we bring UAVs home for domestic 'policing'?" might very well frighten a broad swath of the U.S. political spectrum.

    The hearts and minds of Americans, saturated by war coverage and often passionate in one way or another, may also be incidentally opened to:
    - The costs and consequences of current intellectual property law;
    - The ubiquity of unscrutinized "black box" software systems running the complicated machinery that runs our lives - runaway Toyatas, meet runaway Drones;
    - The extent of the government's ability to quickly circumvent the Codes and laws that hinder individuals and corporations alike.

    Of course, TFA says "some sort of face-saving resolution" is most likely, but, one might hope that the passion that Americans' seem to harbor about their war effort might trickle over into other issues that ./ spends much time debating to, again, even if only marginally, raise those issues' profile in Americans' consciousness.

    At least, that is, before the next news cycle.
  • After hearing repeated stories of these drones missing their targets or hitting innocents, how do we know they are accurate with or without pirated software?
    Does anyone REALLY know if they did hit their intended targets? No one is actually on the ground to confirm the accuracy of their hits.
    After all, they are remote-controlled and target based on information that could easily be inaccurate.
    • 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?

      • old story (Score:5, Interesting)

        by nten (709128) on Monday October 18, 2010 @09:55AM (#33932066)

        The Reg had this a few weeks back. If the plane tells a bomb/missile the wrong coordinates it would be the plane at fault. Netazza didn't have permission to port the code, but they did tell the CIA about the potential error they had introduced by their unauthorized port from ppc to x86. The CIA said "we can accept that" probably while mumbling something about horseshoes, hand-grenades, and hellfires. The CIA later said "actually we think the discrepancy is an indication of inaccuracy in the *previous* system." Which if you think about it seems more likely in that the x86 has larger fpu registers than the ppc, but either way the customer knew about the defects of the sold software. They probably didn't know that it was violating a contract between the provider and its subcontractor.

    • "missing their targets or hitting innocents"

      This is a case of ambiguously using the word "target" and "accurate". There is the tactical target that the military plans to engage (which could be based on faulty information) and there is the physical target from the drones' perspective designated by the crosshairs (or whatever sighting system).

      There is accuracy as in success rate of them engaging their tactical targets and there is accuracy as in deviation from where those crosshairs were pointing.

      The pirated
  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Monday October 18, 2010 @08:53AM (#33931350) Homepage

    Patents, trademarks, copyrights, contracts, trade secrets?

    I ask because the obvious interpretation, that it's a copyright claim, might not be so black and white.

    The claim appears to be that the software was reverse engineered and then modified, which would make the resultant system a derivative work with significant transformation. As anyone who's actually reverse engineered a non-trivial binary will tell you, whatever you get to compile in the end will pretty much be an "influenced by" ground up re-write.

    And since copyright only covers the particular expression of an idea, not the idea itself, this might turn into a pretty entertaining bun fight.

    • 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.

      • If someone robs you of a possession, the only thing that connects you to that object is a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo

        Hah. That's why I write my name on my stuff with a sharpie. Gotcha!

      • by vaporland (713337)

        Difference being, if someone steals your physical property, you no longer have use of it. If someone steals your intellectual property, you no longer have use of the money you would have received when you sold the rights to it...

    • by ratboy666 (104074)

      Actually, it is more likely that Netezza had the source code for the ppc version, and ported it themselves. IISi had quoted for the port, but it was considered to take too long.
      Which would definitely put this into the "Copyright violation" category as an unauthorized derivative work has been created. Which was sold commercially...

  • it'll be declared a national security issue and buried in the courts forever.
    Their great-grandchildren might get a notice someday.

  • So if the bits in a file are media, copying them isn't theft since they are still there so the 'pirating' is A-OK.

    If the bits in a file are under the GPL or some other open source license it is now somehow wrong to pirate them even though all the bits are still there.

    Got it.

    No, wait, don't got it.

  • Never!

  • So this only affects the CIA run Predators? What about those flown by the Air Force ? I know they have some Predator drones they use. (Some are controlled in Grand Forks and by the 199th in Fargo.

  • Hi, I'm Chris Hansen. What are you doing here? Why don't you take a seat, right over there.
  • 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.

    Why are those the only two options? Seems to me the most logical option is for the CIA to license IISi's software and drop the real toolkit in place of the badly pirated one. Yes, I know Netezza is seeking an injunction but I bet if the CIA came along with several million dollars it would be accepted. The drones keep flying, Netezza makes the profit they wanted to, etc. Or is that too sensible a course of action?

  • Be real, the CIA will keep the drones flying no matter what some piss ant judge says.

  • Am I the only one concerned that some IP legal battle could ground the planes? If GM steals some contractors software and puts it in their new SUVs does it mean people who own those SUVs can't drive them? I understand that no more predators should be built using the code, but to render useless all the predators already in use seems wrong. According to US law if I purchase stolen property I have to give it back for free even if I didn't know it was stolen, so if a company stole property on a grand scale w
  • Am I the only one who finds it sad that all the complaints from our allies in Pakistan about the inaccuracy of the predator killing their citizens didn't move us one bit...but when it turned out the software was massively inaccurate due to being a pirated version of a beta, then one little "IP" lawsuit can get the whole program shut down?

    Seriously. We are now hated by the populus of our most important ally in this effort, entirely due to the collateral damage from these drone strikes. Polls show the US is

  • This is actually very good news for those among us who favour copyright reform. Sure individual cases like this aren't going to cause much change by themselves, but when there is a national security and a 'limitless powers to the CIA' argument for softening copyright law, suddenly there are a whole lot of influential people on our side who were against us before.

It is much easier to suggest solutions when you know nothing about the problem.

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