October 2011

Good news for open source: 9th Circuit contradicts itself on scope-limiting license conditions

A little less than a year ago, in MDY Industries, LLC v. Blizzard Entertainment, Inc., the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit elucidated a new rule that a contract obligation in a license agreement will be considered a scope-limiting license condition, breach of which is remediable by copyright remedies, only if the obligation contains a “nexus” to the exclusive rights accorded to the copyright owner via the U.S. Copyright Act, or is a payment obligation. For more on this case, go to my previous blog post or read the article I wrote for Landslide magazine.

However, in a decision rendered less than one month ago, Apple Inc. v. PsyStar Corp., (9th Circuit, Sept. 28, 2011), the Ninth Circuit ruled (emphasis added):

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