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DT
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The US federal appeals court move overturned a lower court decision involving free software used in model trains that a hobbyist put online.

The court has now said conditions of an agreement called the Artistic Licence were enforceable under copyright law.

In non-technical terms, the Court has held that free licences set conditions on the use of copyrighted work. When you violate the condition, the licence disappears, meaning you're simply a copyright infringer.

It transpired that Matt Katzer and KAM Industries copied open source code from Robert Jacobsen and JMRI and then went to market it as his own.

See the BBC article here

Robert Jacobsen and JMRI news here

Matthew Katzer and KAM Industries here
 

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Thats brilliant news.

I've released some Open Source programs in my time and have had problems with people using the code in their own applications.
Glad to see there is now some legal precedent for dealing with it.

Also good to see the hobby get a mention in the worlds press


Alex
 

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Just another modeller
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QUOTE (Doug @ 15 Aug 2008, 08:47) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>It transpired that Matt Katzer and KAM Industries copied open source code from Robert Jacobsen and JMRI and then went to market it as his own.

***It was actually worse than that - it was a quite bizzarely cheeky attempt:

KAM not only copied the JMRI code and then claimed it as his own - they/katzer then started a lawsuit against JMRI to try to gain a royalty payment for every copy of JMRI that had been downloaded from the JMRI website - a heavy six figure sum indeed!

I think that his biggest mistake wasn't taking on JMRI as such but Jacobsen - a senior professor at one of the best respected US universities and a man with strong principals and equally strong support within open source movement and the circles in which he moves....

This decision isn't an end to it by the way - it overturns a previous court decision, validates the rights of open source and leaves the way open now for KAM to get their just deserts, but thats a way off yet I think.

Can't wait to see Katzer ascending the steps of the guillotine - who knows with the US legal system though.

Richard
 

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Chief cook &amp; bottle washer
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Nah, that's reeeeeeeely good news
a smack in the eye for the bad guys.
 
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