Security expert Guillaume Tena, who was last week ordered to pay a fine of 14,300 euros for breach of French copyright law after publishing information about security vulnerabilities in an anti-virus application, has already collected around half the money in donations after appealing for help on his Web site.
On 21 February, Tena lost his appeal in a case involving vendor Tegam and was ordered to pay a fine of 14,300 euros (around AU$23,000) for breaking French copyright laws. Tena appealed for donations on his Web site -- to buy a new anti-virus application because asking for donations to pay a fine is also illegal in France -- and within a week he has already collected over 8,000 euros.
Tena said the generosity shows that whatever the courts think, the Internet and security communities can recognise injustice: "It seems that people on the Internet have an acute bull**** detector, and have decided by themselves who is right and who is wrong."
"I've asked for donations and have already received around 8,500 euros (AU$13,600) in a week. That is so incredibly nice, I have no words. I hope this is what I will remember from all of this," Tena told ZDNet Australia .
However, Tena said although the donations will help him financially, in reality nobody will win because the French IT security industry has been dealt a painful blow.
"I think it's the end of using reverse engineering tools to find flaws in France. Maybe the next step will be to forbid the possession of debuggers and disassemblers.
"This is so stupid -- we all lost this case, all in our own way. [Tegam] did, I did and the users did. All because [Tegam] wouldn't believe its software could have flaws," added Tena.