Open Source Copyright Licenses Held Up by U.S. Court of Appeals


This news is of vital importance to anyone concerned with General Public License (GPL), Creative Commons (CC), or other Open Source licensing concepts.  If you’re concerned with sampling, remixing, and digital music creation, this should include you!

Lawrence Lessig explains the significance of the recent ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals:

"In non-technical terms, the Court has held that free licenses such as the CC licenses set conditions (rather than covenants) on the use of copyrighted work. When you violate the condition, the license disappears, meaning you’re simply a copyright infringer. This is the theory of the GPL and all CC licenses. Put precisely, whether or not they are also contracts, they are copyright licenses which expire if you fail to abide by the terms of the license."

Read more at Lessig

1,333 thoughts on “Open Source Copyright Licenses Held Up by U.S. Court of Appeals”

  1. I’ve never understood why some superstar producer or exec, like a Diddy type, hasn’t said “Fuck it,” released a CD of uncleared samples, waited to be sued and taken it all the way to the Supreme Court arguing for a broader application of Fair Use. Sampling seems to be exactly what Fair Use was intended for; you can quote text from a book in another book without permission under Fair Use; why not a snippet from a song? If I ever “make it big” or whatever you want to call it, this is something I would totally do, not just for me but for future beatmakers and producers. Chopped up samples of larger things are more and more present in our daily lives; our art should reflect that as well.

    Big ups for the Lessig link too — I co-sign anything Larry Lessig has to say on this issue.

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