One of the frustrations of lawyers serving the open source industry is that they have few cases which interpret open source licenses. As Eben Moglen has pointed out, such cases are few because licensees need the license be in effect to avoid copyright infringement. However, with the increasing use of open source software, many lawyers believe that issues such as the scope of the license are likely to come before courts. The first example of these disputes arose in a decision published on August 17, 2007 in San Francisco regarding the Artistic License. Unfortunately, this case was wrongly decided and if allowed to stand may deprive open source licensors of the ability to get a court order (an injunction) to stop violation of the terms of their license, an important remedy for breach of such licenses.
Aug 25, 07