Copyright Progress

August 13, 2008 at 10:29 AM

I was excited to read this morning that the Court of Appeals has upheld an open-source copyright license. To quote Lawrence Lessig's summary:

In non-technical terms, the Court has held that free licenses such as the CC licenses set conditions (rather than covenants) on the use of copyrighted work. When you violate the condition, the license disappears, meaning you're simply a copyright infringer. This is the theory of the GPL and all CC licenses. 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.

It's wonderful when things work the way they're designed.

Update: Groklaw has some additional information.

Another update: In another area of the copyright arena, Stanford's CIS has succeeded in obtaining a ruling from the New York Supreme Court rejecting the idea that is no de minimis use for recordings (again via Woot!