ILN Today Post
May 26, 2017
By Davis+Gilbert LLP
of Davis & Gilbert
Recently, in Artifex Software v. Hancom, Inc., a California district court refused to dismiss breach of contract claims for alleged violations of the GNU General Public License (GPL) in connection with the use of open source software. The decision signals a growing acceptance of contract law as a viable option for addressing GPL breaches.
Open Source Licenses
An open source license is a type of license for software that imposes fewer use restrictions than a standard proprietary license. Among other things, it is designed to govern the use of the software released in its human readable or “source code” form. Access to source code, which is not usually contemplated in commercial licenses, allows users to see the underlying “blueprint” for the software. Open source licenses range from “permissive” licenses, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) licenses, that contain few restrictions on reuse, to “copyleft” licenses (such as the GPL) that typically require that rights to use the covered software are preserved when the software is shared.
March 18, 2013
In a bold decision rendered on March 7, 2013, the Supreme Court of Florida eviscerated the economic loss rule (“ELR”) in contract cases and created a bright-line rule that the ELR only applies to products liability cases. In reversing years of precedent which applied the ELR to a variety of contractual contexts, Justice Jorge LaBarga, writing for the majority, concluded that “[h]aving reviewed the origin and original purpose of the economic loss rule, and what has been described as the unprincipled extension of the rule, we now take this final step and hold that the economic loss rule applies only in the products liability context.” Tiara Condominium Association, Inc. v. Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., No. SC10-1022 (March 7, 2013) (Not final until time expires to file rehearing motion, and if filed, determined).
ILN Today Post
September 12, 2012
The simple answer to this question is yes. A civil wrong can be committed if, without lawful justification, a person intentionally interferes with a contract between two other persons by persuading one of the persons to the contract to break the contract. A tort (a civil wrong) is also committed under this heading if a person (not a party to the contract) by some unlawful act directly or indirectly prevents a party to the contract from performing his duties under the contract. More…
ILN Today Post
July 17, 2012
Law360, New York (July 09, 2012, 2:38 PM ET) — The Second Circuit’s recent decision in
Forest Park Pictures v. Universal Television Network Inc. found that the “Star Wars”
actor Hayden Christensen’s claim for breach of an implied contract was not preempted by
the Copyright Act. Christensen had alleged that the USA Network series “Royal Pains”
used, in breach of their implied contract, the idea he pitched to them for a television show
about a “concierge” doctor to the rich and famous. He had claimed that there was an
implied contract that he would be paid if his pitch was used and that USA Network
breached that contract by failing to pay him for “Royal Pains.” More…