Timezone database shutdown; chaos reigns

One has to laugh at the exaggerated headline “Chaos feared after Unix time-zone database is nuked” that appears a the The Register site.

Here’s a tidbit from the report:

The internet’s authoritative source for time-zone data has been shut down after the volunteer programmer who maintained it was sued for copyright infringement by a maker of astrology software.

I’m pretty sure that I won’t notice any change.

My linux system (from which I am posting this), actually gets its timezone data from “/usr/share/zoneinfo” which will stay in place even as that “authoritative source” is shutdown.  In turn, the database on the computer came from the opensuse repo, which will also retain its data regardless of a site shutdown.  No, there won’t be any chaos.

There’s some good information about this at The Daily Parker.  As best I can tell, this is due to copyright trolling.  The only relevant data at the timezone database seems to be comments that refer people to the Astrolabe atlas.  The actual timezone data is presumably all public domain.

Something does need to be done about copyright trolling.



About Neil Rickert

Retired mathematician and computer scientist who dabbles in cognitive science.

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