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Does a court ruling raise the risks of open source?

Apr 16, 2009, 23:32 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bill Snyder)

""By opening the door to the increased likelihood of monetary recovery, it changes the dynamic," says Jonathan Moskin, an intellectual property specialist with the New York law firm of White & Case. "And lawyers being lawyers, I'd expect to see more litigation,"

"The litigation train

"The story begins in 2006, when Robert G. Jacobsen, a physics professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who was running the Java Model Railroad Interface (JMRI) project, filed suit against Matthew A. Katzer, a Portland, Ore., businessman who owns Kam Industries. Jacobsen claimed that Katzer had used a portion of the JMRI in a commercial software program and was redistributing the program without the credit required as part of the artistic open source license it was distributed under.

"The case has bounced between federal District Court and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), arguably the most important court short of the U.S. Supreme Court for intellectual property matters, says Lawrence Rosen, a Ukiah, Calif., attorney who has done quite a bit of work in support of open source."

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