[Gdal-dev] Re: BSB /MapTech /BS/Legal Issue

Eric Schermer schermer at msu.edu
Wed Sep 10 22:08:37 EDT 2003


I'm no lawyer but my instinct tells me that Mr E. D. Markham 
President and CEO of MapTech made a huge blunder in threatening you 
before consulting with his lawyers.  If he had any grounds to stand 
on at all it seems to me you would have got a cease and desist order 
from his lawyers and you never would have heard from him directly. I 
can't believe Microsoft, AutoCad and ESRI would allow their 
competitors products to import their formats if MapTech really had a 
legal right to try this.  I think Mr Markham is bluffing.  He 
probably consulted with his lawyers first, was told there is nothing 
they can do, so he's just trying to scare you-stupid on his part.  I 
would talk to a lawyer to see if you can sue for harassment.

The only thing I worry about with this and the SCO v. Linux case, is 
that some company might in the future try to steal open-source code, 
and copyright it.  I don't know that SCO or MapTech did that and I'm 
no Linux fan anyway, but it just seems inevitable that someone will 
try that someday.  Hopefully you all keep a good and complete archive 
of all the work, cvs snapshops, gdal-dev digests, or whatever, so 
that if this does happen in the future, then you have proof of who 
really developed the code first.

I'm so angry at this, I visited maptech.com and saw a waving American 
Flag (animated gif) at the top of their page.  It just sickens me and 
I feel less and less proud to be American after seeing this.

Take care,


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