David Ferrance (`10) received the University of New Mexico School of Law's 2010 Nathan Burkan Memorial Competition prize. The annual award is presented for the best paper written on a copyright law subject by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). The title of Ferrance's paper was, "Economic Interests and Jacobsen v. Katzer: Why Open Source Software Deserves Protection under Copyright Law." It will be published in the New Mexico Law Review and submitted in a national ASCAP competition.
"David's paper was impressive in its clarity, focus and argumentation in favor of specific copyright protections for open source code," said Professor Marsha Baum, who supervised Ferrance in the project. "His knowledge of and personal experience with open source software gave his paper depth beyond his understanding of licensing, contract law and copyright law and made his paper a clear winner for our local competition."
Baum, along with Dean Kevin Washburn and Professor Sherri Burr, who leads the school's intellectual property program, presented Ferrance with the award, which comes with $600.
"I'm thrilled that David won this award," said Burr. "Even before he began law school, David showed up in my office to discuss intellectual property law. Over the course of his career, he will continue to make contributions that will improve the law and our profession."