04 February 2013

Software Developer Accused Of Aiding And Abetting Illegal Gambling

In today's world of overzealous prosecutors and overly broad laws, everyone, including developers, should be a little paranoid--

Software Developer Accused Of Aiding And Abetting Illegal Gambling | Perkins Coie - JDSupra: "On January 8, 2013, the Supreme Court of the State of New York conducted a hearing in a criminal case that may cause concern among software developers whose software could be used for illegal activities. . . . The key practice tips for software developers who license software for operations that are legal in some jurisdictions but not others are as follows:
  • Clearly and explicitly prohibit use of your software for illegal purposes or in jurisdictions where its use may be illegal, and reserve the right to terminate the license upon suspicion of potentially unlawfully use.
  • Know to whom you are licensing your software and how your customer is using the software. If you have concerns about how a potential customer might use your software, don't license it to the potential customer. If you have already licensed the software to a customer and you have concerns or learn that the customer is making unauthorized use of the software, consider terminating the license.
  • In the licensing agreement, require your customer to obtain your approval to sublicense your software or otherwise restrict the customer's right to sublicense its rights.
  • Pay attention to irregularities or other clues that your customers may be using the software for illegal or unauthorized purposes. 
  • License fees paid in cash or substantial use of license keys by sublicensees may be such clues.
  • Keep yourself informed of how your software is being used and investigate rumors of improper use. . . ."
Google Submits Proposal in Bid to Resolve E.U. Antitrust Case - NYTimes.com: " . . . Google had sent “a detailed proposal,” which the commission was analyzing before taking any further steps. But there is no formal timeline in European antitrust cases, meaning negotiations could continue. “I can’t anticipate the timing or the substance of the analysis,” said Mr. Colombani. Mr. Almunia could still take a far more confrontational stance with Google by sending the company a Statement of Objections, which is the European equivalent of formal antitrust charges. But that is something Mr. Almunia has been seeking to avoid because he favors non-litigious solutions to antitrust problems, particularly in the fast-moving technology field, to prevent cases from dragging on for years. A European antitrust case against Microsoft eventually resulted in penalties and fines totaling more than $2 billion, but the process lasted about a decade. During that period, a number of competitors complained that they were losing out to Microsoft and warned that the European process was too slow. . . . "

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