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Case Analyses for Intellectual Property Law and New Media

Series:

Steven L. Baron, Edward Lee Lamoureux and Claire Stewart

This text is a companion to the 2 nd edition of Intellectual Property Law And New Media: Free for a Fee. Moving the coverage of case analysis to this separate volume, enables the authors to focus their attention on important trial and legal procedures that apply extant law to, largely, new circumstances.
Readers can focus on history and concepts while reading the main text, allowing them to bring understandings derived there to bear on the cases found in this analytic text. The approach offers relief from information overload and allows time and space to «shift gears» between concepts and cases. To aid understanding and learning, the authors provide focused interpretations and analysis throughout.
The coverage allows these books to serve as an excellent resource for undergraduates studying interactive media, as well as being a primer for first year IP law students, a handbook for entrepreneurs, a guidebook for general lawyers to assist in referrals, and an interesting read for those simply curious about the field.
The books are supplemented by freeforafee.com, a blog providing textual updates, online links to bibliographic materials, and extensive resource aggregation. Learning objectives for each chapter and a glossary of key terms are provided within the texts.
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Chapter Four: Open Source Cases

Extract

| 39 →

CHAPTER FOUR

Open Source Cases



New Media Open Source Cases

Jacobsen v. Katzer, 535 F.3d 1373, 1381 (Fed. Cir. 2008).

Since open source software is not patented, movement participants sometimes depend on copyright law to protect open source code. In order to police and enforce compliance with open source standards, originators of open source software may bring legal action when their software is put to use in proprietary ways that violate open source principles. This strategy only works if the copyright for open source software supports the awarding of damages in software litigation. Jacobsen v. Katzer first denied, then validated, those damages and that protective use.

Robert Jacobsen was a model railroad train enthusiast who worked with others in the open source community to develop controllers and interfaces for operating model trains. Much of the work was published on a website. Jacobsen brought a copyright infringement action against Katzer, the owner of a company producing and selling items for model trains.

Both parties filed motions for summary judgment on a number of issues. The District Court ruled that the open source copyright did not support damages for copyright violation. Subsequently, the Circuit Court of Appeals reversed ← 39 | 40 → the decision, holding that open source license conditions are enforceable as a copyright condition and that the Artistic License is no different in that respect.

Free Software Fdn., Inc. v. Cisco Sys., Inc...

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