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August 22, 2008

Appeals Court Upholds Free Public Licenses.

In an important victory for online sharing and reuse of works, a federal appeals court has upheld the legal basis for the General Public License (GPL) for software and Creative Commons licenses for music, film and writings. While the legality of these licenses has long been assumed, the ruling gives “important clarity and certainty” to the legal premises of free public licenses based on copyright law, says Stanford Law professor Lawrence Lessig. Essentially, anyone who violates the license terms — which authorize specified forms of sharing — can be sued as a copyright infringer. For more on the legal subtleties, see the Creative Commons blog and “Wendy Seltzer’s blog.”:http://wendy.seltzer.org/blog/archives/2008/08/15/federal-circuit-confirms-key-free-software-licensing-practice.html

Photo of Free Software Foundation logo by Gruppo Operativo Linux Empoli, licensed under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license.