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Re: Jacobsen v. Katzer settled

From: RJack
Subject: Re: Jacobsen v. Katzer settled
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 2010 10:56:39 -0500
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20090812)

Alexander Terekhov wrote:
The comedy continues to unroll. Uh retarded crackpot free softies.

"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 present.

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? Precedent.

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 protection.

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?

Yes No Remains to be seen Do not have enough information

View Results Loading ...

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 profile."


I'll bet Jacobsen will be as surprised as the rest of us that his model
train software is now GPL.

I'll also bet the CAFC will be surprised to find that all those district
courts under them (exactly zero) are bound by their copyright precedent.

Rjack :)

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