Data Management

Time zone database lawsuit dismissed

The lawsuit that shut down the venerable time zone database, tz, which powered the majority of Unix-derived software across the globe, has been dismissed.

Under the threat of sanctions (PDF), astrology software maker Astrolabe has withdrawn its complaint, apologised for its actions and agreed to a covenant not to sue in the future.

"Astrolabe's lawsuit against Mr Olson and Mr Eggert was based on a flawed understanding of the law. We now recognise that historical facts are no one's property and, accordingly, are withdrawing our complaint. We deeply regret the disruption that our lawsuit caused for the volunteers who maintain the tz database, and for internet users," Astrolabe said in a statement.

"We can only conclude that neither you nor your client conducted even a cursory legal or factual investigation prior to filing the complaint, much less a reasonable one. [...] We note that your client has not attempted to actually serve its complaint, but neither has it withdrawn it," wrote Electronic Frontier Foundation intellectual property director Corynne McSherry in a letter to Astrolabe.

In October last year, the tz database was shut down when Astrolabe filed a civil suit against tz founding contributor Arthur David Olsen and editor Paul Eggert on the grounds of copyright infringement.

The tz database was subsequently shut down by Olsen and was restored a week later by ICANN, which took over the database's maintenance.

About

Some would say that it is a long way from software engineering to journalism, others would correctly argue that it is a mere 10 metres according to the floor plan.During his first five years with CBS Interactive, Chris started his journalistic advent...

0 comments

Editor's Picks