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Subject: Re: Remove PluginJewels from RockBox downloads immediately

Re: Remove PluginJewels from RockBox downloads immediately

From: Neon John <jgd_at_johngsbbq.com>
Date: 2006-04-19

On Tue, 18 Apr 2006 18:44:41 -0700, Steve Garcia <sgarcia@bak.rr.com>
wrote:

>Bluechip wrote:
>
>> If he wants to get stupid about IPR and S/w Patents etc. then let's give
>> hims a run for his money !?
>
>Somebody mentioned small claims court. If it goes to court, this is a
>copyright matter, so that means Federal court.
>
>If you have an ironclad case in a patent matter, the average cost to
>*you* to fight it is around $1 million. That's with right on your side.
> Copyright cases are probably a lot cheaper -- with an ironclad case (is
>this really ironclad?) we could probably get by for less than $50k.

One wonders what motivates these sorts of posts. The topic isn't
patents but copyright. And it's not a federal matter, it's an
international one.

Perhaps as someone who has pursued a copyright infringement case
against a client (they outright stole my software product and the
machines it was stored on), perhaps I can add some relevant
information.

First off, if this went beyond 'who's peter is bigger' (it won't)
posturing, that guy must define explicitly what intellectual property
has been copied. Not "sorta copied" but actually duplicated. The
absolute defense to that claim, one that stops the suit before it gets
started because the prospective plaintiff's lawyer can smell the
coffee and see that he's not going to get paid, is to demonstrate that
the IP in question was authored by someone else. In this case it came
from Gweled and he got it from ???? Crappy drawings of jewels are all
over the net. Truth be known, that guy's developer probably snarfed
THEIR jewels from somewhere else. They look suspiciously like the
ones used in a similar game by a client of mine back in the early 90s.
This client manufactured bar-top video games and I'm fairly sure HE
grabbed them from a Bally game.

Which brings up the next point. The prospective plaintiff's has to
prove ownership of the IP. After looking carefully at the screen shot
he reference, I kinda doubt it. The jewel images themselves show all
the artifacts of having been through multiple image manipulations and
compressions which means that they probably were snarfed up from
somewhere else.

If "our side" fails the first test and the guy somehow manages to
prove ownership then he must establish jurisdiction. Since the
alleged offender is in Europe, that will not be favorable to the
plaintiff's' side.

Since the alleged infringement occurred in some country in Europe,
that country's laws will have jurisdiction, laws which probably won't
even consider it an infringement.

If he gets past that, he still has to hire foreign counsel and pay the
costs. Since many European countries have a "loser pays" policy on
civil suits, his newly hired European lawyer is going to take one look
at this case, sit him down and have a nice chat with him about his
financial exposure. That will be the end of that.

It's unfortunate that these shithouse^H^H^H^H^H^H internet lawyers
have to poke their heads up out of ooze and spew forth such an
irrelevant discussion every time some 2 bit company officer yells
"infringement". So much time wasted by so many people who don't have a
clue.

So far, this guy has blustered "explicit infringement". When
challenged (I've Bcc:ed him each of my posts on the topic and he's
replied to a couple), he backs down with a whole slew of ifs and buts
and "may be"s. 'round here we call that "Crawfishing".

At this point I'd be somewhat surprised to hear anything else from
him. He knows (and/or if he's been foolish enough to waste his
company's money talking to a lawyer, he's been told) that there is no
infringement here and that he hasn't a leg to stand on.

Doing ANYTHING other than perhaps putting a disclaimer on the download
page is a mistake. Legally, if anything associated with rockbox ever
ended up in a court (yeah, right!), a skillful lawyer could make great
hay over the developer(s) previously making changes resulting from an
accusation of infringement, an implied admission of guilt.

Costs. Again, it seems like these "experts" who read articles on
Wired or MSNBC or The Onion or some other equally credible source
"know" that it costs millions to (choose one {defend:prosecute}) an IP
suit. Reality is a bunch different.

Mundane IP suits proceed in federal district courts everywhere in the
country every day. The lawyers involved could only dream of 7 figure
fees.

In my case, my lawyer (Note that I said "lawyer" and not "law firm")
took my case for a 1/3 contingency plus expenses. Over the two years
that the other side dragged things out, I was out of pocket about
$20,00 for expenses, at least until the settlement. Quite high for
such suits but the other side worked quite hard at running the cost
up, thinking they could starve us out.

After 2 years that wore both sides out, we settled out of court. The
settlement is confidential but I can say that I was neither harmed nor
made rich.

This was a case where they came into our offices, baited us to the
conference room, then held us captive while they stole the equipment
out of our development lab. Yes, there were criminal charges
involved. There was NO QUESTION that a) we owned the software (we
wrote it) and b) they stole it. Quite a contrast to this
piss-fight-via-email.

I suggest that we all STFU and forget about it.

John

---
John De Armond
See my website for my current email address
http://www.johngsbbq.com
Cleveland, Occupied TN
Don't let your schooling interfere with your education-Mark Twain
Received on Wed Apr 19 06:50:02 2006

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