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Owner Of Copyrighted Software May Enforce 'Open Source' License To Control Use

Publication Date: 
August 19, 2008
Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal

Professor Lawrence Lessig's comments about a recent court opinion about open-source software licensing are referenced in a BNA Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal story:

On the day of the Federal Circuit's ruling, Creative Commons issued a statement on its Web site hailing the decision and its importance. "This opinion demonstrates a strong understanding of a basic economic principles of the internet; attribution is a valuable economic right in the information economy," the statement said. Creative Commons' founder Lawrence Lessig said on the Web site that the decision is critical in recognizing and upholding the terms of public licenses. "When you violate the condition, the license disappears, meaning you're simply a copyright infringer ... 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," Lessig said.

A full text of the decision may be found at