February 2011

Ninth Circuit Ruling Guts Enforceability of Open Source Licenses

A recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision elucidated a new rule that a contract obligation will be considered a license condition only if the obligation contains a “nexus” to the exclusive rights accorded to the copyright owner via the US Copyright Act. The Ninth Circuit’s ruling casts considerable doubt on the ability of open source licensors to effectively enforce open source copyleft obligations.

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