Friday, August 06, 2004


Now Why Am I Not Surprised At This One

From Computerworld, a report that an insider at a software company's R&D center in Mumbai stole source code and design documents. The money quotes from the article include the following:
The vast majority of U.S.-based software companies require their employees to sign an employment agreement that prohibits them from carrying the company's source code out of a development facility or transferring it in any way.

Though the Indian branch...requires employees to sign a similar employment agreement, the sluggish Indian legal system and the absence of intellectual property laws make it nearly impossible to enforce such agreements, the company said.

The company said it has decided to delay further recruitment and halt development activities in India until better legal safeguards are in place.

Uh, yeah.

This is why I keep thinking the world is upside down. A good portion of this world has zero, zip, nada respect for things like intellectual property and copyright laws, and is determined to make a buck by undercutting every American enterprise it can, and we have dopes like Hatch and Hollings creating absurd legislation like the Induce Act and DMCA to stamp on the rights of the people willing to invest in and pay for intellectual property. Of course, there will always be people who try to copy Shrek or MS Office to get a freebie. That's a loss of revenue to the intellectual property owners, but it's a small potatoes reaction to insufficent perceived value from the content providers. The problems arise with people selling huge amounts of bootleg or counterfeit product from countries that at best look the other way at this sort of thing, and at worst actively aid and abet piracy. We shouldn't have legislate around the content protection issue, that's something that's between the consumer and the content provider as a contractual matter.


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