Commercial software developers, listen up: If you think open source is a free toolkit from which you can borrow at will, look a good look at Wednesday’s legal ruling. A U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in New York City, where many intellectual-property cases are heard, overturned a Northern California court decision in Jacobsen v. Katzer, a pivotal case in open-source and Creative Commons law.

The bottom line? Even if open-source or Creative Commons licensing agreements charge no cash, if you violate terms of the license you are infringing on copyrighted material. … Go to source

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