(OT) - NOT A Major Blow to Copyleft Theory

Alexander Terekhov alexander.terekhov at gmail.com
Fri Feb 8 12:02:54 UTC 2008

On Feb 6, 2008 5:50 AM, Russ Nelson <nelson at crynwr.com> wrote:
> Alexander Terekhov writes:
>  > Here, however, Plaintiff has not retained any underlying copyright to
>  > the Decoder Definition files and at no time or under any circumstance
>  > do the exclusive copyright rights revert back to Plaintiff.
> That's where the judge screwed up.  In fact the Plaintiff *does*
> retain copyright, and grants a license ONLY under certain conditions.

You misunderstand. The court did acknowledge that the transaction
involved a nonexclusive license and not an outright transfer of title
to copyright. However, the court did rule that all exclusive rights
were licensed and none reserved. The court also ruled that the license
has unlimited scope. Translation: it imposes no time or quantity
limitations that would cause the copyright rights revert back to
Plaintiff under the circumstances of reaching the limit(s). The terms
of the license do impose certain covenants which are NOT conditions
(precedent). Translation: events "which must take place before a party
to a contract must perform or do their part" (conditions precedent).
One just can't turn covenants into conditions. Got it now?


"Notwithstanding Jacobsen's confused discussion of unilateral
contracts, bilateral contracts, implied licenses, "licenses to the
world" and "bare" licenses in his Appellant's Brief, the issue at hand
is fairly simple."

  -- Brief of Appellees (CAFC 2008-1001).

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