Filed under: contract types, copyright, current events, law, open source, source code
After a five-year struggle in US Federal District Court, Robert Jacobson recently prevailed in his copyright infringement claim against Matthew Katzer as a result of Katzer’s alleged misappropriation of open source code from Jacobson’s Java Model Railroad Interface project.
You can read all of the story in more detail at ConsortiumInfo.org. The end result is a huge win for open source developers as a result of three key findings by the District Court:
- Violation of an open source software license constitutes copyright infringement, not just breach of contract (this was first upheld by the Federal Appeals Court in 2008 in this case).
- Use of open source code without attribution is a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
- These violations entitle the Plaintiff (Jacobson) to monetary damages – which, as they’re based on violations of copyright law, are potentially much more substantial than those which may have been limited by contract law.
There are some mitigating circumstances in that the results in this case are not yet dispositive of all future violations, as the ruling of a US District Court is limited to absolute applicability only in its geographic district. The concern is that a Federal Appellate Court (including the US Supreme Court) could overrule or otherwise reverse this decision. Worse yet would be another US District Court coming to a different conclusion with a similar set of facts.
But for now, FOSS developers can rest a little easier knowing that their creations are protected by copyright law.
Filed under: communication, contract management, contract terms, contract types, current events, fun, law, negotiation, risk matrix, SL Ed Series, TWoTW
These are the discussions that happened around the web this week – maybe you already read about them, maybe you need to again. Come join the party on twitter (follow me here and you’ll participate in the conversation live.)
I also realized that many of you might have no idea what you’re seeing below. Sorry. These are “tweets”, 140 maximum character messages sent via Twitter. Within the Twitterverse individual users follow others and have followers (think of it like overlapping Venn diagram circles). To read a tweet, you have to wade through a bit of jargon used to make the most of the 140 character limitation. “RT” for example, is shorthand for “Re-tweet” and the @____ is the username of some other individual on Twitter. Combined together, then, “RT @_____” means that someone else wrote a tweet that I found important and I now want to forward along to my followers. The URL’s are then also shortened by shortening services like bit.ly to make the most of the character limitation, too. Lastly, you might see “hash” identifiers “#______” which are ways to tag tweets of a particular flavor for easy searching later and “<” which means that I am commenting on what came before it.
- RT @TradeSecretLaw: Vary the Speed and Timing of Your Negotiations for a better deal. http://bit.ly/XP5W9 < Good. Are there better examples?
- RT @johnlwatkins: New blog post: Why Judge’s confidentiality rule may increase arbitration and mediation. http://bit.ly/j9PYj
- RT @TOpatentlawyer: Microsoft patents a way to make more money from MS Office http://ow.ly/tGOg (via @slashdot)
- RT @dahowlett: Qu: do software buyers make rational decisions? Methinks ‘not often.’
- The Cloud Computing Consultant: http://bit.ly/2lSgVQ (via @dealarchitect) < Hilarious and NSFW.
- MS attempts to patent software licensing based on time: http://bit.ly/kRcsO < I hope there’s a solid prior art search (and practice).
- RT @glambert: “When is a blog a sponsored endorsement?” (via DLA Piper) http://bit.ly/peWyj
- RT @CopyrightLaw: “NBC And CNBC Sued For Infringing Use Of…FONTS” http://tinyurl.com/yfob39h
- RT @jayshep:Best law school advice? “Say hi to Heidi. She’s in our section.” Been married to her 13 years with 2 beautiful daughters.< 🙂
- RT @TradeSecretLaw @worklawyer: Don’t lecture. Tell stories. Emotion is more persuasive than facts. < works w/ negotiation, too.
- RT @matthomann: Three great questions to help you remove ego from your (and your clients’) decision making: http://bit.ly/isPkL < Excellent!
- RT @CopyrightLaw: “More fair use follies — copyright infringement by court filing?” http://tinyurl.com/yh75nfc < I’m loving @copyrightlaw
- RT @gfiremark: Termination rights: music to artists’ ears http://bit.ly/15O7Hq
- RT @CopyrightLaw: Resale of International Textbooks to US Students Not Protected by First Sale Doctrine http://tinyurl.com/ybqo828
- RT @gfiremark: Was a Contract Formed? http://bit.ly/OvsQs < K wasn’t conditioned on others’ perf. Can’t wait to see the pics.
- @VBalasubramani OK… so who’s going to take this to the SCOTUS? And what’s the third case: Vernor, Cincom and…???
- RT @VBalasubramani: what’s the difference between a purchase and license of software? http://bit.ly/QSMwP < Congrats! Great job.
- Cool trademark search/registration site: http://www.trademarkia.com
- Andy Clarke (@cowshedstudio) on being a Contract Killer: http://bit.ly/Bv4pP <Good article by the kind of person I want as a contract client.
- RT @highrockmedia Freelance contracts: Do’s And Dont’s – http://bit.ly/hiXLg (via @smashingmag) < I’m commentator #39.
- SEC charges former CEO of IBSG with fraud in announcing fictitious licensing agreements: http://bit.ly/3NLp6U
- RT @gtiadvisors: Gmail, AOL, Yahoo! all hit by webmail phishing scam http://bit.ly/3UN3CM < What does this say about the USERS? 🙂
- RT @ITLeadersForum @alltop The Twitter decision flow chart – fun way to think about our use of Twitter…http://retwt.me/CgU4
- RT @marinafeehan: Nixon Peabody Says Student Recruitment needs Overhaul. http://bit.ly/CJsHL < Translation: We don’t want to go it alone.
- New post at licensinghandbook.com : FTC Required Disclosure http://bit.ly/18TPsw
- RT @WieseLawFirm: What are you saying that you aren’t saying? New Blog Post up on the importance of Body Language. http://bit.ly/4gSB7k
- RT @Molly_McDonough: Need a social media/copyright refresher? Take this @bobambrogi quiz http://bit.ly/EyHq
- RT @DanaNewman: Guns N’ Roses sued for copyright infringement: http://bit.ly/NbvWI
- Court Re-Affirms First Sale Doctrine Applies to Licensed SW – http://bit.ly/2fNwsI < Compare w/ Cincom http://bit.ly/IJKVR
- Just use whatever the hell you click “yes” to the first time you load up Resident Evil V to get you started. > http://bit.ly/3WiF51 < Oh my
- Stanford loses patent rights b/c a researcher signed a partner co’s visitor agreement (@ontechcontracts): http://bit.ly/vyPit
- RT @gtiadvisors @kaedron: Microsoft confirmed that thousands of Hotmail accounts compromised in a phishing attack – http://bit.ly/1kpIVT
- RT @fscavo: Expect to hear more of these. From @DavidLinthicum “SaaS Horror Stories Are Starting to Appear” http://bit.ly/kpFT4
- RT @Francineward: Intellectual property- Should biz methods be protected by patent? What will the Supreme Ct say? http://tinyurl.com/ya84d57
- RT @BrianNFletcher: Reading: Red Hat files briefing in support of stopping software patents http://sbne.ws/r/2WRe
- RT @DanaNewman: Dreamworks’ “Flushed Away” sued for copyright infringement: http://bit.ly/p9dOa
- New post at licensinghandbook.com : Announcing the Software Licensing Education Series on DVD http://bit.ly/7RNjZ
- RT @JoeTalik: Many firms unhappy with procurement outsourcing deals http://bit.ly/2lcPP < Don’t outsource what you don’t already do well.
- RT @gfiremark: Excellent Review of “most prolific scholar of copyright in history” http://bit.ly/2dGAws
- Have you downloaded my free Software Licensing Risk Matrix yet? http://bit.ly/FreeRiskMatrix
- RT @raesmaa: Do your lecture notes violate your prof’s copyright? Holy crap! http://bit.ly/1yyPoT < Read comment #8 for the best analysis.
Filed under: contract management, contract terms, contract types, negotiation, TWoTW
- Skype licensing issue might force eBay to recode from scratch. http://bit.ly/10Tk7u
- Businesses cough up £6m for unlicensed software: http://bit.ly/4gaFyU
- RT @hitchandplow: Men At Work Loses First Stage Of Copyright Lawsuit http://bit.ly/12zSnJ < 😦 You betta’ watch, you betta’ take cover.
- RT @vpynchon: even better; Shatner doing Rocket Man in 1978 http://twurl.nl/s4dmlb
- New blog post: Lease by XKCD http://bit.ly/f4572
- EA’s new motto: please pirate our games… er, storefronts – http://arst.ch/3tj via @arstechnica
- The listing price is not the asking price, a basic negotiation tenet that many forget, regardless of what you’re buying: http://bit.ly/cgT9e
- RT @r1c1: insightful article re: apple product design teams: http://bit.ly/3eYW < explains why you shouldn’t do contracts by committee, too
- IBM flings FUD at Neon zPrime customers (The Register): http://bit.ly/hiayP < netnet? Review your license agreement to see if you’re ok.
- Learning from Iran how to negotiate with the Israelis and Arabs (TPMCafe): http://bit.ly/cD0TA
- RT @spendmatters: NYC’s Spend Management Approach To The Homeless Problem — Give ’em Free One Way Plane Tickets http://bit.ly/121tti
- RT @stephenodonnell: RT @stevedupe: RT @CTeng “msft/yahoo – two increasingly desparate companies. 1+1=1, maybe 1.2ish” Excellent!
- David Miller: A Master Negotiator (Unambiguously Ambidextrous): http://bit.ly/3Ra6CQ < hilarious real-life negotiation tragedy.
- Jeff’s Weekly Negotiation Tip: After you make an offer, shut up. Silence has the tendency to make others fill the void.
- Too Much Targeting, or That Hot Single Could be Your Wife (@vedrashko): http://bit.ly/zCx1i
- Four Rules for Effective Negotiations (@anthonytjan): http://bit.ly/Ysu4K
- GM prepares for new CIO (InfoWeek): http://bit.ly/HdLch
- Pirate on When to Negotiate vs Kill Hostages (@dangerroom): http://bit.ly/181urC
- RT @Consensus: Is it better or worse to make the first offer in a negotiation? Check out this tip http://bit.ly/bxrGI
- Microsoft still licking their chops over a Yahoo! meal. http://bit.ly/zDm8H
- Charting lessons from optical illusions (@r1c1): http://bit.ly/8tTei
- RT @hitchandplow: Inside the Octomom Reality Show Contract http://bit.ly/k6HDc
- And for my take on protecting your intangible assets: http://bit.ly/Ak58j
- RT @gtiadvisors: RT @TradeSecretLaw: Learn strategies for protecting the intangible assets in your business.
- RT @mkrigsman: .@vgtero Never a good sign when vendors spend energy criticizing their competitors instead of explaining their own virtues.
- RT @vpynchon: RT @TradeSecretLaw: Negotiation Tip:Say No. http://bit.ly/1sqmHb < Liked it better when Jim Camp wrote it. 😉
- RT @PeterKretzman: RT @billschrier: RT @TechFlash Cool map or wiring diagram of Amazon’s acquisitions over the years: http://bit.ly/yAmIq
- Yet another reason why I don’t like Letters of Intent (HT @ontechcontracts): http://bit.ly/sn9oC
- RT @hitchandplow: (Press Release) Own A Song: SongVest To Auction Royalties For 80’s Hits: http://bit.ly/1Nbm1