18 September 2012

More chickens, returning home to roost

I referred to the roosting chickens theme earlier today as to Oracle, and did not expect to be back to that topic for a while.  But the news does not wait
One of my long time concerns as a Cassandra, is that FOSS geeks firmly believe that  ignorance and  unworldly innocence, and a native sense of protection that 'just conduct' while participating in FOSS matters, will somehow insulate the 'good folks' from the world
To my experience, it does not work that way.  One needs to clearly disassociate from risky conduct.  A person needs to read EULAs and look for traps, like indemnification clauses
I see in the overnight news that RackSpace and Github face some hot water.  Drilling down, as to how this is likely to play out, I am aware that Github has an EULA, that provides in part:
Section F 3
You shall defend GitHub against any claim, demand, suit or proceeding made or brought against GitHub by a third party alleging that Your Content, or Your use of the Service in violation of this Agreement, infringes or misappropriates the intellectual property rights of a third party or violates applicable law, and shall indemnify GitHub for any damages finally awarded against, and for reasonable attorney’s fees incurred by, GitHub in connection with any such claim, demand, suit or proceeding; provided, that GitHub (a) promptly gives You written notice of the claim, demand, suit or proceeding; (b) gives You sole control of the defense and settlement of the claim, demand, suit or proceeding (provided that You may not settle any claim, demand, suit or proceeding unless the settlement unconditionally releases GitHub of all liability); and (c) provides to You all reasonable assistance, at Your expense.
Guess who is going to be added as a Defendant in that lawsuit next; guess who's pocketbook will ultimately be looked to, to pay for Github 'lawyering up.'  Github and RackSpace have every incentive in the world to 'point out' the poster of claimed infringing content to the Plaintiff and its lawyers, and so demonstrate 'good faith', a lack of intent to infringe, and their desire to mitigate any asserted damages