An important ruling supporting the validity of open source licenses has come out of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. It basically says that violating the terms of an open license is copyright infringement. This is good news for the open source/open content community. See Larry Lessig’s post for more and a link to the ruling. The ruling mentions MIT OpenCourseWare and many other open source/content projects in describing the value of the licenses:
Open source licensing has become a widely used method of creative collaboration that serves to advance the arts and sciences in a manner and at a pace that few could have imagined just a few decades ago. For example, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) uses a Creative Commons public license for an OpenCourseWare project that licenses all 1800 MIT courses. Other public licenses support the GNU/Linux operating system, the Perl programming language, the Apache web server programs, the Firefox web browser, and a collaborative web-based encyclopedia called Wikipedia. Creative Commons notes that, by some estimates, there are close to 100,000,000 works licensed under various Creative Commons licenses. The Wikimedia Foundation, another of the amici curiae, estimates that the Wikipedia website has more than 75,000 active contributors working on some 9,000,000 articles in more than 250 languages.