huge and important news: free licenses upheld
So for non-lawgeeks, this won’t seem important. But trust me, this is huge. … the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (THE “IP” court in the US) has upheld a free (ok, they call them “open source”) copyright license, explicitly pointing to the work of Creative Commons and others. … the Court has held that free licenses such as the CC licenses set conditions … on the use of copyrighted work. When you violate the condition, the license disappears, meaning you’re simply a copyright infringer …
The decision in Jacobsen v Katzer is excellent news, to be sure; but isn’t it obvious? It may be “huge”, in the sense that this is the first time that a court has actually said this; but this has always seemed obvious to me (which is why I use a Creative Commons licence on this site). What am I missing?
2 Reply to “What’s the big deal?”
It wasn’t so obvious to the trial court, which went the other way. :)
My take on it is here:
Yes, I know the trial court went the other way, but it was the wrong decision, which is why we have appeals :-)
For what it’s worth, here are a few more links to comments on the case. First, another similar “local” link: Memex 1.1. Second, another blogger who thought the case “was a no-brainer”: CyberTech Rambler. Third, a good practical assessment from a US perspective: Reasonable Balance. Finally, a very interesting analysis from an antipodean perspective: Brendan Scott’s Weblog.