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posted by n1 on Thursday July 06 2017, @11:39AM   Printer-friendly
from the to-hell-with-gpl dept.

Bruce Perens warns of potential contributory infringement and breach of contract risk for customers of GRSecurity:

Grsecurity is a patch for the Linux kernel which, it is claimed, improves its security. It is a derivative work of the Linux kernel which touches the kernel internals in many different places. It is inseparable from Linux and can not work without it. it would fail a fair-use test (obviously, ask offline if you don’t understand). Because of its strongly derivative nature of the kernel, it must be under the GPL version 2 license, or a license compatible with the GPL and with terms no more restrictive than the GPL. Earlier versions were distributed under GPL version 2.

Currently, Grsecurity is a commercial product and is distributed only to paying customers. My understanding from several reliable sources is that customers are verbally or otherwise warned that if they redistribute the Grsecurity patch, as would be their right under the GPL, that they will be assessed a penalty: they will no longer be allowed to be customers, and will not be granted access to any further versions of Grsecurity. GPL version 2 section 6 explicitly prohibits the addition of terms such as this redistribution prohibition.

By operating under their policy of terminating customer relations upon distribution of their GPL-licensed software, Open Source Security Inc., the owner of Grsecurity, creates an expectation that the customer’s business will be damaged by losing access to support and later versions of the product, if that customer exercises their re-distribution right under the GPL license. This is tantamount to the addition of a term to the GPL prohibiting distribution or creating a penalty for distribution. GPL section 6 specifically prohibits any addition of terms. Thus, the GPL license, which allows Grsecurity to create its derivative work of the Linux kernel, terminates, and the copyright of the Linux Kernel is infringed. The contract from the Linux kernel developers to both Grsecurity and the customer which is inherent in the GPL is breached.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 07 2017, @05:19PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 07 2017, @05:19PM (#536186)

    >by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 06, @10:28PM (#535910)
    >I do not believe
    It does not matter what you believe. Your existence as a proud white programmer doesn't make you an expert on everything, though you may think it does. You may also believe that you can "control" a woman somehow when the police and state are opposed to you and anyone who can't is "weak" and it will be different for you because you are so smart you can convince her not to divorce you. Everything's fine. Only weak non-whites want to marry young girls instead of strong women like us white men who can take the challenge!

    Take a read of the license, and take a read of the lengthily explanations, also learn some law.

    And yes I am a Lawyer. And yes, your understanding is lacking.

    GRSecurity has added a term not present in the license grant the Linux-Kernel owners have extended to GRSecurity to the the agreement between GRSecurity and those to whom it is distributing the derivative work. This is explicitly forbidden. The Linux-Kernel copyright owners forbid such behavior in their license upon pain of automatic revocation.

    Argue all you want the other-way, I will likely not respond. If 5 pages of explanation aren't enough, then nothing can overcome the self-sure hubris.