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Appeals Court Upholds Validity Of Open Source Licenses

Publication Date: 
August 14, 2008
Scott M. Fulton III

Professor Lawrence Lessig is quoted in BetaNews commenting on the decision in a case regarding Internet copyrights:

The win for Jacobsen drew a statement of support from Stanford University Professor Lawrence Lessig, a principal advocate of open source rights: "In non-technical terms, the Court has held that free licenses such as the [Creative Commons] licenses set conditions (rather than covenants) on the use of copyrighted work," Prof. Lessig wrote. "When you violate the condition, the license disappears, meaning you're simply a copyright infringer. This is the theory of the [General Public License] and all CC licenses. Put precisely, whether or not they are also contracts, they are copyright licenses which expire if you fail to abide by the terms of the license."