Is it possible that open source may become the new legal bugaboo for corporate counsel, and perhaps it will eventually be necessary for corporations to create and enforce internal controls, in the same vein as Sarbanes-Oxley, to protect from the risks and exposure engendered by their dealings with open source? Any thoughts about the direction and pitfalls facing users? Let us here from you on this subject. (Marlene Palmer, Consultant, WSR Consulting Group LLC)
Written by Charles Babcock on August 14, 2008,
A U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision has upheld the binding provisions of open source licenses, saying to fail to abide by their terms makes the user an infringer of their inherent copyright protections.
Until the decision in Jacobsen vs. Katzer was issued Wednesday, it wasn't clear whether a court of law would regard an open source license as being capable of imposing enforceable copyright restrictions on the use of computer code.
The Circuit Court of Appeals cited Stanford professor Lawrence Lessig's Creative Commons license and as well as Jacobsen's use of the Artistic License in saying that their provisions constitute a form of copyright.