Sunday, April 01, 2007

Programming without a license?

On January 26, 2007, Icelandic programmer David Josephssen was convicted in Diagon, Texas, of practicing software engineering without a license. I have been unable to locate credible evidence of an earlier conviction for this offense anywhere in the world, so this is likely to be a precedent-setting case, both for licensing of programmers and for jurisdiction on the Internet.

I have written a column for the April issue of the Communications of the ACM. Non-members of the ACM can access it through Peter Neumann's Inside Risks Archive.

There is also an eyewitness account of the trial.

Updated at 16:55 to add: As Alert Reader has pointed out, "texasdirt" reports that the case has been closed by the "emergency execution" of David Josephssen. The licensing and jurisdiction issues will have to wait. Meanwhile this is a tragedy for the Josephssen family.

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6 Comments:

Comment by Anonymous BBC Listener:

I caught just a snatch of this story on a BBC broadcast, but when I went to the BBC website, I could not locate any reference to it at all. I tried searching for "Josephssen" (and even "Josephson"), for "Diagon", and for "software engineering", but did not find anything remotely connected to this story.

12:16 AM  
Comment by Anonymous Icy4Warming:

This is already this morning a big story in Iceland. There is much discussion on TV and radio news and talk shows.

What people like not is that the government knew about the David Josephssen case for many weeks, but did not the public tell, or the parents.

Also, we wonder why there is no coverage of this story by English language news?

Does US have treaty with Iceland for rights of citizens protecting?

12:24 AM  
Comment by Anonymous Anonymous:

I am a reporter for a major UK daily newspaper (I dare not be more specific).

I was assigned to cover the David Josephssen case, and we planned a major story for Monday. Then my editors got a DA-Notice on the case.

You won't be seeing anything about this in British newspapers, magazines, radio, or TV. Or at least not until the story has been widely published in the rest of the world. The reason censorship works so well in the UK is that it is "voluntary," backed up by the Official Secrets Act.

12:33 AM  
Comment by Anonymous Alert Reader:

It looks like this case is closed. See the most recent post from texasdirt.

4:45 PM  
Comment by Blogger Jim Horning:

See the new CPfAF blog.

4:41 PM  
Comment by Blogger Jim Horning:

See also Virtual vs. Actual Professionalism.

12:03 PM  

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