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Censorship The Courts Your Rights Online

China Faces Piracy Suit Over Censorship Software 113

angry tapir writes "Web software filtering vendor CyberSitter has filed a $2.2B lawsuit against the Chinese government, two Chinese software makers, and seven major computer manufacturers for their distribution of Green Dam Youth Escort, a controversial Web filtering package the Chinese government had mandated to be installed on computers sold there. Researchers at the University of Michigan found that Green Dam copied code from CyberSitter."
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China Faces Piracy Suit Over Censorship Software

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  • Are you telling us that China doesn't have this out clause?

    It does not have this clause in China, because in countries like that suing the government is as bizarre and unimaginable as, say, defecating on the Moon (without spacesuit).

    It does not have this clause in the US either — for entirely different reasons... If you were to RTFA, you would've known, that the suit was filed in the Los Angeles federal court.

  • by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @10:52PM (#30664730)

    Asking the USA for a judgment against China? Sounds like even if they win they don't get anything.

  • by BitterOak ( 537666 ) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @11:04PM (#30664862)

    If the USA did this, it could remove itself from the lawsuit claiming "Sovereign Immunity" and it's game over. Are you telling us that China doesn't have this out clause?

    Actually, sovereign immunity means you can't sue the government if they pass a law that affects you in a negative way. It doesn't give the government free reign to ignore existing laws. The government has to pay license fees for copyrighted material just like everyone else. Do you think the U.S. government didn't pay for all the copies of Microsoft Office it uses. (Granted they probably get a great deal on some sort of bulk licensing agreement, but still, I'm sure Microsoft gets paid.)

  • by toastar ( 573882 ) on Tuesday January 05, 2010 @11:17PM (#30664962)

    They are a WIPO member, I think they've signed a couple copyright treaties

  • Sovereign immunity really does mean that you cannot sue the government for monetary damages for any reason, unless they explicitly consent to it. The reason Microsoft could sue the U.S. government for copyright violation is that the U.S. federal government has waived its immunity in advance, for wide classes of torts, via the Tucker Act [] and Federal Tort Claims Act [].

    In a much earlier era, the standard way for someone with a grievance against the U.S. government to collect on it was to file a petition with Congress, which would pass special-case legislation agreeing to pay them, if Congress felt that the person in question was indeed owed redress. The fundamental separation-of-powers justification is that an individual claiming that they're owed money is a request for money from the U.S. Treasury, and only Congress may appropriate such money.

    This obviously became rather tedious as the volume of claims increased, and didn't give a great perception of fairness, so in 1855 Congress delegated the hearing of most such claims to a newly created Court of Claims [], a special court that served as essentially a claims-hearing arm of Congress (a "legislative" or "Article I" court, not a part of the judicial branch), which would report a recommendation back to Congress; Congress typically then appropriated the money as a sort of rubber-stamp, but was still technically in charge. The system gradually shifted to a more and more judicial one, first by having the U.S. Treasurer automatically dispense judgments from pre-appropriated money, and later increasingly by consenting to have claims heard in regular courts.

  • Quote Cory Doctorow: (Score:3, Informative)

    by cheros ( 223479 ) on Wednesday January 06, 2010 @03:50AM (#30666702)

    The USA was a pirate nation for the first 100 years of its existence, ripping off the patents and trademarks of the imperial European powers it had liberated itself from with blood. By keeping their GDP at home, the US revolutionaries were able to bootstrap their nation into an industrial powerhouse. Now, it seems, their descendants are bent on ensuring that no other country can pull the same trick off.

    I could not have said it better, other than summarising it: hypocrites..

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