[SATLUG] Ruling Is a Victory for Supporters of Free Software

Todd W. Bucy toddwbucy at grandecom.net
Thu Aug 14 14:11:00 CDT 2008

On Thu, 2008-08-14 at 11:01 -0500, Sean Crandall wrote:
> Borries Demeler wrote:
> > This came out in this morning's NYTimes, I hope it won't be appealed:
> > 
> > http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/14/technology/14commons.html?th&emc=th
> > 
> > -b.
> I don't post a lot (mostly just lurk), but this is up my alley, so I'll 
> chime in.  For those who don't want to read the article, this was an 
> appellate decision from the Federal Circuit (the court that normally 
> hears patent case) that upheld the Artistic License.  The tricky thing 
> is, the Fed. Cir. is not a regional circuit, so it was trying to apply 
> 9th Circuit law (Fed. Cir. only has precedential authority over 
> patents).  So this isn't controlling law anywhere (not even in the 9th 
> Circuit), but it's very good persuasive authority everywhere.  The 5th 
> Circuit would most likely do the same if any case went up to them.  They 
> tend to be strong on freedom to contract.
> Interestingly, I just finished writing a layman's guide to the GPL 
> because I've had several clients who want to use GPL software, but are a 
> little scared by its reputation (if anybody would like to see it, e-mail 
> me off list; I'd welcome your feedback).  One of the issues I addressed 
> is that there are still no U.S. rulings construing the GPL (the best we 
> have is a district court saying it doesn't see any reason it wouldn't be 
> enforceable).  It's good to see another open source license getting a 
> thumbs up from a federal appellate court.
I would love to see it.  please forward to me offlist


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