August 15, 2008

A Big Day in Court for the FOSS Community

Today those who believe in free content and free and open source software won a major victory in court, as reported by Larry Lessig, Mark Radcliffe, and Pamela Jones, among others. The underlying facts, and the legal counsel involved, were hardly major figures on the commercial landscape: the open source software at issue had been developed for model train buffs under an infrequently used free and open source license, and the attorney representing the plaintiff - a solo practicioner in Maryland - was young and inexperienced. But as often happens, a small case between small parties can have huge implications. And decisions that may make good strategic sense to the parties can also have disastrous consequences for those that are not in the same situation.



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