The Legality of Free and Open Source Software Licences: The Case of Jacobsen v. Katzer

Fitzgerald, Brian and Olwan, Rami ORCID: (2011) The Legality of Free and Open Source Software Licences: The Case of Jacobsen v. Katzer. In: Knowledge Policy for the 21st Century: A Legal Perspective. Irwin Law, Toronto, Canada, pp. 23-38. ISBN 9781552211724


In August 2008 one of, if not the most, influential Intellectual Property courts in the USA known as the Court of Appeals for Federal Circuit upheld the validity of a free and open source software licence known as the Artistic Licence. The case is significant because up until this point there has been little judicial discussion of the legal operation of this new type of copyright licensing that is sweeping across the world fuelled by the ubiquity of the Internet. The decision in Robert Jacobsen v. Matthew Katzer and Kamind Associates, Inc. 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 17161 (Fed. Cir. 2008) issued on 13 August 2008 provides a unique and welcomed insight into the legal operation of free and open source software licences and by analogy Creative Commons styled open content licences. This article analyses the judgment and provides commentary on its reasoning.

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2022 23:32
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2022 08:27
Uncontrolled Keywords: Artistic License, Condition, Copyleft, Copyright, Copyright Licensing, Covenant, Creative Commons, Enforcement, FLOSS, FOSS, Federal Circuit, Free Software, Free and Open Source Software, Jacobsen v Katzer, Legality of Free and Open Source Software Licensing, Open Content, Open Content Licensing, Open Source, Restrictions, Software Licensing
Fields of Research (2008): 18 Law and Legal Studies > 1801 Law > 180116 International Law (excl. International Trade Law)
Fields of Research (2020): 48 LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES > 4803 International and comparative law > 480399 International and comparative law not elsewhere classified

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