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Ruling Is A Victory For Supporters Of Free Software

Publication Date: 
August 14, 2008
The New York Times
John Markoff

Professor Lawrence Lessig and Creative Commons are referenced in a New York Times article about a ruling Wednesday, in which the federal appeals court in Washington said that just because a software programmer gave his work away did not mean it is not protected:

It also has implications for the Creative Commons license, a framework for modifying and sharing creative works that was developed in 2002 by Larry Lessig, a law professor at Stanford.

That license is now used widely by organizations like M.I.T. for distributing courseware, and Wikipedia, the Web-based encyclopedia. In March, the rock band Nine Inch Nails released a collection of musical tracks under a Creative Commons license.

The ambiguity facing open-source licensing has been one of the hurdles facing the movement, said Joichi Ito, the chief executive of Creative Commons.

“From a practical business perspective when big companies and their legal teams look at Creative Commons there are a number of questions,” he said. “It’s been one of the things their legal teams throw at us.”