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Court: ‘Violating Copyleft Is Copyright Infringement’

A federal appeals court has overruled a lower court ruling that, if sustained, would have severely hampered the enforceability of free software licenses. The lower court had found that redistributing software in violation of the terms of a free software license could constitute a breach of contract, but was not copyright infringement. The difference matters because copyright law affords much stronger remedies against infringement than does contract law. If allowed to stand, the decision could have neutered popular copyleft licenses such as the GPL and Creative Commons licenses. The district court decision was overturned on Wednesday by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

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One Response - Comments are closed.

  1. Lopo says:

    Of course it is. What was the doubt?

    Copyleft (where you can also include some Creative Commons licenses) is JUST an addendum to the Copyright Laws where the author allows some use and/or modifications to its work, usually for free.

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