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Conditions And Covenants In License Contracts: Tales From A Test Of The Artistic License, Robert W. Gomulkiewicz Jan 2009

Conditions And Covenants In License Contracts: Tales From A Test Of The Artistic License, Robert W. Gomulkiewicz

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Pity the poor Artistic License version 1.0 (ALv1). The Free Software Foundation criticizes the license as “too vague” with some passages “too clever for their own good.” The Open Source Initiative suggests that it has been “superseded.” ALv1’s authors at the Perl Foundation even acknowledge its flaws.

Yet it is the ALv1, not the venerable GNU General Public License (GPL), which the Federal Circuit upheld in Jacobsen v. Katzer [535 F.3d 1373 (Fed. Cir. 2008)], establishing at long last that open source licenses are enforceable. Although that outcome received most of the headlines, the case’s greater significance lies elsewhere.

Jacobsen …