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Jacobsen and FOSS Community Win Big in Jacobsen v. Katzer Settlement

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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.

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

1. Payment of $100,000 to Jacobsen over an eighteen month period.

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