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

Charles Hogan cd_satl at futuretechsolutions.com
Thu Aug 14 19:10:01 CDT 2008

Todd W. Bucy wrote:
> 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
> thanks
> Todd

It would be a very good read.  I'd like a copy as well.


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