A Good Day for Open Source
An important legal victory for the free software movement.
In non-technical terms, the Court has held that free licenses such as the [Creative Commons] licenses set conditions (rather than covenants) on the use of copyrighted work. When you violate the condition, the license disappears, meaning you're simply a copyright infringer. This is the theory of the GPL and all CC licenses. Put precisely, whether or not they are also contracts, they are copyright licenses which expire if you fail to abide by the terms of the license.
Important clarity and certainty by a critically important US Court.
Markoff: "[T]he federal appeals court in Washington said that just because a software programmer gave his work away did not mean it could not be protected."
More at the NYT link on the connection between free software and model trains.