On 2011-09-30, an astrology(!) company called "Astrolabe, Inc" filed a lawsuit against the maintainers of the time zone database, claiming the database infringed their copyright. The result of this lawsuit was that the FTP server and the tz mailing list were shut down at 2011-10-06.
More info about this madness is available here.
Actions like this can't be tolerated, no one can claim ownership of something as essential as timezone data. What's next? Patenting the alphabet?
Does this outrage you? You can help: Set up a mirror of the tz database files.
It's simple: Clone this repository to a folder on your webserver:
$> cd /var/www/example.com/ $> git clone --recursive https://github.com/canbuffi/tzmirror.git
Done! Your mirror should be up and running under
If your server runs Linux and has git installed, there is an easy solution to keep your mirror up-to-date:
$> crontab -ein your shell. A file editor opens up.
Add the following line to the end of the file:
0 4 * * * cd /var/www/example.com/tzmirror/ && (/usr/bin/git pull origin; /usr/bin/git submodule update)
Note: ('/var/www/example.com/' has to be replaced with the actual path of the folder, where you cloned the repository into)
Save the file.
The repository is now checked for updates automatically, every night at 4 AM.
If you want to check for changes manually, you can do it by running these commands in your shell:
$> cd /var/www/example.com/tzmirror/ $> git pull origin $> git submodule update
After you have set up your mirror, please add the URL to the list of known mirrors in the wiki.
A tiny detail: This repository contains the files and directory structure for setting up a mirror. The actual tz database files are hosted outside of the US, on gitorious.org, rather than on github.com. However, they are linked to this repository as a submodule and get downloaded automatically as you clone it.
The tz database files are public domain, as well as the mirror website files. Mirroring, forking and contributing is encouraged. Let's give them a taste of the good old Streisand effect.