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Court ruling weakens Artistic License

posted by brian_d_foy on 2007.08.26 7:59   Printer-friendly
ggoebel writes "There's a story on Slashdot about a recent court decision concerning the Artistic License. The decision interprets the violation of the Artistic License as breach of contract instead of copyright infringement, I.e., the licensor in this case was not granted an injunction on the licensee to prevent them from continuing to redistribute their code.

The slashdot article references Law & Life and the JMRI project page

Looks like we may all be thanking Allison Randal and her efforts developing the Artistic 2.0.
  • Could the same thing happen under the Artistic 2.0 or Will further revisions to the Artistic license be required?
  • Should adoption of Artistic 2.0 wait until Perl 5.10?
"
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  • Why have our own when there is a plethora of others already out there? What differs in the Artistic from say the Apache?

    I ask because David Golden for the new Class::InsideOut changed to the Apache 2.0 from the Artistic stating:

    "changed to the Apache License, version 2.0; (it's clearer, relicensable, and is explicit about contributions)"
  • The court made no decision on the Artistic License, and it wasn't a claim before the court. The court did rule on a motion to dismiss a claim of copyright infringement because the Artistic License gives everyone (i.e. non-exclusive) the right to copyright, so there can be no infringement.

    The court did not say that the Artistic License was a contract, either. They dismissed the claim of infringement but noted that another claim might (might!) be made under contract law instead of copyright law.

    The plaintiff
    • I don't understand your argument that this doesn't make a difference. Here, somebody took code under Artistic License, removed the copyright notifications from it, put his own name on it, redistributed it as part of one of his own products, and has admitted all that in his filings with the court.

      If the license isn't relevent here, how can it ever be?

      And if it can't be enforced by copyight (which AFAIK has damages), but has to be enforced as a contract (which AFAIK does not, as the download was "free"),

      • I'm not making an argument. I'm pointed out that the court hasn't ruled on the case yet. The parts that it has ruled on haven't gotten to the meat of the defendant's behavior.

        Don't get too worked up just yet. The court ruled that the plaintiff's right to copy has not been harmed. That's a different claim than the defendant not abiding by the license. The court hasn't ruled on that yet.