As expected, the Jacobsen case has now settled. The settlement was a complete victory for Jacobsen and is great news for the FOSS community. The Jacobsen case was very significant for the FOSS community because it was the first case in the US about the enforcement of open source software licenses. http://lawandlifesiliconvalley.com/blog/?p=141. This settlement is important because after a significant victory in the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“CAFC”) which set a very favorable standard for licensors to get “injunctive relief”, the District Court failed to issue an injunction. This failure to grant an injunction was on appeal, but the result was uncertain because the CAFC imposes a high burden on parties challenging such decisions by district courts (the appeal has dismissed as part of the settlement).
The settlement is a vindication for Jacobsen. The settlement has three important elements (the Settlement Agreement can be found at http://www.docstoc.com/docs/25847971/Jacobsen-Settlement):
1. Payment of $100,000 to Jacobsen over an eighteen month period.
2. A very broad injunction prohibiting Katzer from reproducing, modifying or distributing “JMRI Materials” as well as prohibiting Katzer from registering certain trademarks and domain names. JMRI Materials is very broadly defined to include all types of copyrightable materials relating to the original model railroad software, from software code itself to text to arrangements of data. http://www.docstoc.com/docs/25851030/Jacobsen-Permanent-Injunction
3. A special procedure to resolve disputes about compliance with the settlement agreement through a private procedure using mediation and arbitration.
The lawsuit is dismissed with prejudice (i.e. the case cannot be refiled by either party). This case is an excellent resolution for the FOSS community and the lawyers for Jacobsen should be congratulated for their hard work and success.
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