Linux Today: Linux News On Internet Time.

Bruce Perens: Inside Open Source's Historic Victory

Feb 22, 2010, 16:33 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bruce Perens)

"What probably made Jacobsen most angry was when Katzer's lawyer sent a Freedom of Information Act request to Jacobsen's employer, the U.S. Department of Energy and its Lawrence Berkeley Labs, accusing them of sponsoring the model train project, and asking for copies of all of Jacobsen's email and Skype communications, and a long list of other information which one could conclude was meant to embarrass Jacobsen in front of his employer.

"The Department of Energy eventually denied the FOIA, but only after it had caused Jacobsen a lot of trouble. Because it was so unlikely that the laboratory would disclose what was obviously private correspondence, the only reason I can see for this FOIA would have been to harass Jacobsen through his employer and to put his job at risk.

"At that point, Bob Jacobsen had enough. Rather than wait to be sued, he decided to sue Katzer first. But of course little folks like an Open Source developer working on a scientist's salary can't afford to spend much time in court. Katzer's company expected to win any case simply because Jacobsen would not be able to afford to defend himself. Fortunately, Jacobsen was able to find help. Not through the Software Freedom Law Center, which was just being founded in 2005, but through attorney Victoria Hall, who was active in EFF."

Complete Story

Related Stories: