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Category Archives: Open Source

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Oracle v. Google Judge Writes the Book on Software Programming Copyright – For Now, Anyway

The trial in the dispute between Oracle and Google over the use of Java technology in the Android operating system is over, and the greatly anticipated ruling on copyright in the Java Application Programming Interface (API) has issued. The court ruled that the elements of the Java API, including the structure, sequence and organization, are … Continue Reading

European Court of Justice Rules on Copyright Status of Computer Programming Languages and Functionality

In a jury room in San Francisco, jurors in Oracle, Inc. v. Google, Inc. have been toiling over complicated issues related to the copyrightability of the Java computer programming language, and they may well return a verdict before the ink is dry on this post. We’ll write more about that case, which the judge has … Continue Reading

Novell Prevails in Long-Running Dispute over Ownership of UNIX Copyrights – And Open Source Software Moves On

The dispute between The SCO Group and Novell, Inc. over the ownership of copyrights in the code to certain versions of the UNIX operating system, which started eight years ago, appears to have been handed its retirement papers by the Tenth Circuit. Yesterday, on the case’s second visit to the circuit, the court upheld the … Continue Reading

What Can We Learn from the SCO Litigations?

Last week, the district court in SCO, Inc. v. Novell (D. Utah), the current act in the long-running drama of the SCO litigations aimed at the Linux operating system, refused to grant SCO’s motion to set aside the jury verdict rendered last March. The jury concluded that Novell owned the copyrights in the UNIX code … Continue Reading

Landmark Open Source Lawsuit Ends with Settlement

A dispute between a proprietary software company and the Java Model Railroad Interface (JMRI) open source project has ended with a settlement, the JRMI project announced on February 17. The dispute yielded a ruling in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Jacobsen v. Katzer) that warmly endorsed the open source approach to … Continue Reading

Jacobsen v. Katzer: Open Source Software Project Gains Key Rulings in Copyright Infringement Litigation

Jacobsen v. Katzer involves a dispute over rights in software code distributed pursuant to the open source Artistic License. Last year the case yielded one of the very few judicial rulings dealing with open source software. As we wrote at the time, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit rejected the argument that … Continue Reading

Free Software Foundation Announces Settlement of Copyright Dispute with Cisco Systems

On May 20, the Free Software Foundation announced the settlement of its copyright litigation with Cisco Systems over the inclusion of open source software in certain Linksys products. The settlement includes undertakings by Cisco with respect to compliance with the requirements of "free software licenses." Here’s some of what the FSF had to say about … Continue Reading

Free Software Foundation Files First Copyright Infringement Complaint to Enforce its GNU Licenses

The Free Software Foundation has filed a copyright infringement complaint against Cisco Systems. The complaint alleges that Cisco’s Linksys products contain certain works in which the FSF holds the copyright, but Cisco has not complied with the requirements of the licenses pursuant to which the FSF makes the works available. This is the first copyright … Continue Reading

We’ve Been Saying This For Years: The Part About “We Are All Going To Be ‘Mixed Source'”

CNET’s Ina Fried late yesterday posted an interview with Horacio Gutierrez, deputy general counsel and vice president of intellectual property and licensing at Microsoft, in which he declares that the “war between proprietary and open source is a thing of the past.” That statement is going to get a lot of press, and a lot … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Says Open Source License Conditions are Enforceable as Copyright Condition

There are so few judicial opinions dealing with open source licenses that any single one is of great interest, but the pro-open source ruling of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Jacobsen v. Katzer, No. 2008-1001 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 13, 2008) easily goes to the top of the charts of this small category. This is a highly significant opinion that will greatly bolster the efforts of the open source community to control the use of open source software according to the terms set out in open source licenses. … Continue Reading
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