ICANN Embroiled In Legal Action Over Time Database

Posted in: Domain Names at 17/10/2011 06:11

ICANN's taking over the operation of the Internet Time Zone Database, used by a number of major computer systems, has been met with legal action.

The legal action concerns whether Arthur David Olson, an employee of the National Institutes of Health who volunteered as coordinator as a side project, should have paid royalties for including data from software that astrology software company Astrolabe claims it is owed according to an Associated Press report.

The defendants have insisted that the data are in the public domain and not subject to copyright, according to AP.

The database is important for many databases and software around the world including Apple's Mac OS X, Oracle, Unix and Linux, but not Microsoft's Windows. It is also used by several websites that have time functions as well as some calendar software.

With the retirement of Olson imminent, and who had been looking for someone to take over the role since 2009, ICANN engaged in months of discussions and then took over management of the database on Friday (14 October) after the database was removed from the NIH server on 6 October.

Kim Davies, a technical manager at ICANN, told AP that because much of the Internet depends on the database, its management by ICANN is consistent with the organisation's mission to maintain a stable internet.

"We are aware of the lawsuit," Mr Davies said. "We believe it's important to continue the operation of the database. We'll deal with any legal matters as they arise."

A copy of the court papers is available at www.scribd.com/doc/67760407/ASTROLABE-INC-Vs-ARTHUR-DAVID-OLSON-and-PAUL-EGGERT-Complaint.

The AP report is available in full from:

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