Distributed Computing Lawsuit Settled

from the bum-deal dept

Last summer we posted about David McOwen being threatened with a huge fine and jail time for setting up distributed.net software on computers at DeKalb college. He has now settled the case. He gets one year of probation, a $2,100 fine, 80 hours of “non-computer related” community service, and none of it shows up on his record. Of course, many people think that he would have won his court case entirely, and he doesn’t deserve any criminal punishment (he doesn’t). But, court cases take time, energy, and money – and you never know how they’ll turn out. In the meantime, he’s lost his job because of publicity around the lawsuit. If what he did was a crime, I know a ton of people who could be charged with similar things.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Distributed Computing Lawsuit Settled”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
1 Comment
Anonymous Coward says:


How can you say he doesn’t deserve to be punished?

He knowingly took computational cycles that belonged to someone else without asking. In many countries that is theft of services. I’ve worked in many places were if you want the spare cycles, all you have to do is ask.

This guy is the human equivilant of a resource wasting worm. I hope his fine was exactly calculated as per the number of cycles used as
to the cost of a machine over it’s 3 year life
time. I figure roughly he should pay back .0000173 cents for each cycle stolen, and yes
it should go on his record as a petty theft.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...