Zotero Makers Sued

Thomson Reuters is suing George Masons University, sponsors of the Zotero bibliographic software. The Disruptive Library technology blog has details and extracts from the suit.

I’d note that it doesn’t look like the Thomson legal team actually had anyone look at the Zotero code. The complaint alleges that “users of Zotero [are freely converting] the EndNote Software’s proprietary .ens style files into open source Zotero .csl style files and further distributing such converted files to others.”

It’s hard to figure out what Thomson Reuters thinks they’re gaining with the lawsuit, aside from the eternal ire of technically-savvy people all over the world.

According to a story from Courthouse News Service, Reuters is claiming that George Mason is violating the terms of its license agreement by including a function in Zotero that will convert citation styles from the proprietary EndNote format to a format that can be used by Zotero. Reuters also asking for $10 million in damages for destroying the EndNote customer base. Since George Mason is a state institution, the Commonwealth of Virginia is also named in the suit.