That is really interesting. I don't really understand all the details, but my impression is that someone used freeware in a program they were selling to program decoders--shame on them if that is true/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/angry.gif. Is there any connection with the NMRA patent lawsuit? The comments indicated that the party that got sued and lost in the upper courts also filed for "illegal patents?" Any info on that? Inquiring minds want to know. Maybe we should have a "Court TV forum for model railroading."/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/laugh.gif Just a thought.
Posted By Dr G on 08/15/2008 9:45 AM
Is there any connection with the NMRA patent lawsuit?
Nope...the NMRA patent lawsuit was about sound in model engines...and as I recall, the NMRA won...meaning, the patent claim for "inventing sound" for model engines was quashed.
The ruling related to in this topic was a VERY BIG DEAL to the software community...and NOT just the model railroad community. Had this ruling gone the other way, all the producers of shareware or freeware would have been devastated. The key ruling was that even if the software is free to download, it comes with enforceable (read that as financial) limits to use. The guy that lost was trying to say that because it's free, he can't be penalized for violating the copyright on the software. He lost...and NOW, the owner of the copyright can sue him for damages.
This is a BIG DEAL for those people who donate software to the public. Many of these folks JUST want to be recognized for their inventiveness...and THAT is recorded INSIDE the software. If someone was allowed to strip that out whenever they used the donated software, people would stop donating.
If you use shareware or freeware...you just won BIG!!!! If this decision had gone the other way, shareware and freeware would soon have gone away.
PS...while I'm not sure...I believe a LOT of this site is supported by shareware and freeware...stuff that Shad "integrates" and "fixes" (meaning he's an open source contributor). Open source software is an IMPORTANT part of your internet experience, even though you can't tell.