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Re: Jacobsen v. Katzer settled

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: Jacobsen v. Katzer settled
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 2010 14:09:44 +0100

The comedy continues to unroll. Uh retarded crackpot free softies. LOL!

"A big legal victory for open source

Date: February 21st, 2010
Author: Jack Wallen 
Category: General
Tags: Software, GPL, Victory, Open Source, Tools & Techniques,
Management, Jack Wallen

Many of you may not realize, but a large victory for open source
software was won February 19, 2010. The case, at first blush, seemed
very simple (and cut and dry). A software developer (and member of the
Java Model Railroad Interface Project), Robert Jacobson, had created a
piece of software released under the GPL that the defendant (Matthew
Katzer - owner of a proprietary model train controlling software KAMIND)
ripped off. Not only did the defendant rip off the code, he removed all
mention of authorship for the original code and stripped away the
copyright notice. Of course the removal of the copyright was a violation
of the Digital Millennium Copyright legal president was

The original patent claim Katzer made against Jacobson was in 2004. The
case dragged on quite some time (for all the details you can visit the
Wikipedia entry for Jacobson v. Katzer). And although this was a big 
win for Jacboson, the long-term effects for F/OSS could be bigger. Why?

Our court system runs on precedent. A precedent is a prior legal case
that a court uses as a reference when deciding on a current case. One of
the biggest issues facing open source software was that there was no
precedent to fall back on. Now there is. Now the open source licensing
model stands up in a court of law and is legally entitled to copyright

What this does, IMHO, is that it gives businesses and developers a
security they didn’t have prior to the verdict. And because this case
eventually went to U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, the ruling was
binding in all district courts underneath the US FCCA.

What started as a small victory for a model railroad aficionado and
developer became a huge victory for an entire community of developers.
How? The GPL is valid in a court of law. You can develop your software
now, release it under the GPL and know the US Federal Court has your
back. This small victory will ensure big companies no longer pilfer
various GPL codes, place them into their own code, and get away with the
crime. Now they will pay.

Is the open source development community better protected because of
this ruling?

 Remains to be seen
 Do not have enough information

View Results
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Although I hope this doesn’t turn into a coup, with open source
developers scrambling through other codes to try to find violations, I
am thrilled the open source community can now continue their work with
actual legal protection waiting for them in the wings. This ruling has
been a long time coming. This victory is deserving. Thank you Robert
Jacobson for fighting for your rights and for the rights of open source
developers across the globe.

Jack Wallen was a key player in the introduction of Linux to the
original Techrepublic. Beginning with Red Hat 4.2 and a mighty soap box,
Jack had found his escape from Windows. It was around Red Hat 6.0 that
Jack landed in the hallowed halls of Techrepublic. Read his full bio and



P.S. "I'm insufficiently motivated to go set up a GNU/Linux system 
so that I can do the builds."

Hyman Rosen <> The Silliest GPL 'Advocate'

P.P.S. "Of course correlation implies causation! Without this 
fundamental principle, no science would ever make any progress."

Hyman Rosen <> The Silliest GPL 'Advocate'

(GNG is a derecursive recursive derecursion which pwns GNU since it can 
be infinitely looped as GNGNGNGNG...NGNGNG... and can be said backwards 
too, whereas GNU cannot.)

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