Re: Perl Co-inventor Convicted

norman@ecf.toronto.edu (Norman Wilson) writes:

>What possible difference can this make?  Either Schwartz's actions
>constituted a criminal act or they didn't; your views of the moral
>fibre of the alleged victim are irrelevant.  Or are you one of those
>odd people who thinks it's OK to beat up someone just because you
>don't like him?
Under Canadian Law you are guilty of criminal mischief if you destroy
or alter or make unuasable  or alter any data on a computer. There is nothing in
the law which states that a defense is that  it is your data or
 that you have authorisation to alter that data. You are liable to 10
years in Jail if you violate this law with respect to computers. Now,
Your actions today HAVE constituted a criminal act. Your opinion about
the morality of this law is irrelevant . If someone really wanted to they could
have you thrown in jail for 10 years, for your actions today. So do you
think it is OK for you to continue your criminal behaviour just because
you think this is a stupid law? And be assured that if you read the
terms of the Criminal Code of Canada literally you have commited a criminal act

I probably would have a somewhat hard time convincing a prosecutor to
actually proceed against you, but if I were someone like Intel (or the
University of Toronto), it might not be hard. And you would then have to
rely on some jury or judge deciding whether or not your particular case
constituted behaviour that the law was really designed to prevent, or
whether, although it litererally fell under the law as criminal
behaviour, it was a stupid application of that law.
To talk so blithely about the law as though the lawmakers were actually
competent, and actually wrote laws which hung together logically and
were limited in their effect to only achieving the ends they were
originally set out to achive is, shall we say, naive. Read some of the
laws and then come back and tell us how his actions "either constituted
a criminal act or they didn't."
Bill Unruh

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