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Subject: Re: Legal issues, names, privacy, and pseudonyms

Re: Legal issues, names, privacy, and pseudonyms

From: Joseph Jones <>
Date: Tue, 08 Jun 2004 17:33:05 +0100

Interestingly, this has been taken to another degree by the developers
of Xebian (Debian on the XBox), who wont allow access to their
executable signing app (used so that only MS executables and XBox Linux
authorised executables can be run with their bootloader-type-thing)
without an existing member of the team meeting the new member. Some
projects have been killed off because of this.


Fred Maxwell wrote:
> Björn Stenberg wrote:
>> The listed author of the Othelo plugin, who calls himself
> > Bluechip", refuses to tell us who he is. This has left us
> > legally vulnerable, since we do not know who wrote of all
> > the code we distribute.
>> I have for a long time tried to convince "Bluechip" to
> > identify himself, but he steadfastly refuses. Today I
> > tried and failed yet again. I see no other solution
> > than to remove the offending code.
> I am a strong advocate of privacy and have to side with Bluechip on this
> one. Suppose, for instance, that Bluechip holds a job with the RIAA.
> Should he be forced to put his job at risk because he contributes to a
> project that promotes MP3 playback (something that the RIAA hates)? What
> if he works for Creative Labs (in a non-engineering role) but they would
> view this as helping a competitor (Archos) sell products? What if he is
> an employee of Microsoft and does not want them to find out that he's
> contributing to an open-source project? Suppose Steve Wozniak wanted to
> contribute but did not want to float his e-mail address out there for
> all to see? I could certainly understand his desire to use a pseudonym.
> Knowing the name of a person who contributed code would not put the
> Rockbox team on any more solid legal footing. Knowing a name or
> pseudonym is no different if you have never met the person. Could you
> point him out in a court of law if you knew his name? No. If Bluechip
> told you his name was "Bob Smith", how would you even know if that was
> true? If you were sued by Archos and could tell them that his name was
> "Bob Smith", how would that improve your position over just knowing him
> by his pseudonym of Bluechip? Do you think that Archos's attorneys
> would say "well, so long as you know his name, we'll drop this lawsuit"?
> Regards,
> Fred Maxwell (or so you believe...)
> _______________________________________________
Received on 2004-06-08

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