JMRI Defense: Keeping an Open-Source Project Alive

Donate to JMRI This page is summary information; if you're looking for most recent events and breaking news, go here. For the entire story, see the summary page and links from there.


Great news: The case settled on February 17, 2010. For more information on that, please go here. For some of the press and community reaction, please see the Articles by Others page.


JMRI is an open-source project for developers to write software for model railroads. It has achieved wide-spread acceptance, with more than a hundred people writing parts, and users on every continent except Antarctica (and we're working on that one!)

Starting in 2004, JMRI was repeatedly attacked by Matt Katzer in an effort to stop our efforts and steal our work for his own purposes. This ended up in Federal Court in Spring of 2010. The full story is a long, complicated one, but we've put a short summary here.

The end result is that we got a legal order preventing Katzer from further depredations, and we created some legal precedents useful to the Open Source community, but we went 10's of thousands of dollars into debt to do it. We still need people to Donate to JMRI contribute to help pay for the legal expenses, so we can all get back to model railroading. Anything would be greatly appreciated.