FOSS Devs Can Collect Damages From License Violators

A district court has ruled that open-source developer Robert Jacobson can collect monetary damages from Matthew Katzer in a case first filed in 2005. Jacobson created the Java Model Railroad Interface (JMRI) code, which Katzer used for his commercial model train software without attribution.

In 2008, a federal appeals court ruled that the license violation constituted copyright infringement, not just breach of contract. The case then returned to the district court to determine an appropriate remedy for the infringement.

Open source advocates hope that the ruling will encourage companies to reconsider before violating the terms of open-source licensing agreements.

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