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posted by janrinok on Saturday February 10 2018, @01:08AM   Printer-friendly
from the slapp-me-again,-I-like-it dept.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/02/08/bruce_perens_grsecurity_anti_slapp/
http://perens.com/2018/02/08/bruce-perens-seeks-mandatory-award-of-legal-fees-for-his-defense-in-open-source-security-inc-and-bradley-spengler-v-bruce-perens/

Having defeated a defamation claim for speculating that using Grsecurity's Linux kernel hardening code may expose you to legal risk under the terms of the GPLv2 license, Bruce Perens is back in court.

This time, he's demanding Bradley Spengler – who runs Open Source Security Inc and develops Grsecurity – foots his hefty legal bills, after Spengler failed to successfully sue Perens for libel.

Perens, a noted figure in the open source community, and his legal team from O'Melveny & Myers LLP – as they previously told The Register – want to be awarded attorneys' fees under California's anti-SLAPP statute, a law designed to deter litigation that aims to suppress lawful speech.

That deterrence takes the form of presenting unsuccessful litigants with the bill for the cost of defending against meritless claims.

"Plaintiffs Open Source Security, Inc. and Bradley Spengler sued Defendant Bruce Perens to bully him from expressing his opinions that Plaintiffs' business practices violate Open Source licensing conditions and to discourage others from expressing the same opinions," Perens' latest filing, submitted to a US district court in San Francisco today, declared.

"Rather than allowing the public to judge Plaintiffs' contrary opinions through public debate, Plaintiffs tried to 'win' the argument on this unsettled legal issue by suing him."

[...]

Perens is asking for $667,665.25 in fees, which covers 833.9 hours expended on the litigation by numerous attorneys and a $188,687.75 success fee agreed upon to allow Perens to retain representation he might not otherwise have been able to afford.


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  • (Score: 2) by archfeld on Saturday February 10 2018, @02:37AM (22 children)

    by archfeld (4650) <treboreel@live.com> on Saturday February 10 2018, @02:37AM (#635842) Journal

    Was it in fact meritless or did they just lose ? There is a huge difference. If it wasn't thrown from court I'd say it would be hard to prove meritless....

    --
    For the NSA : Explosives, guns, assassination, conspiracy, primers, detonators, initiators, main charge, nuclear charge
    Starting Score:    1  point
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

    Total Score:   2  
  • (Score: 5, Informative) by requerdanos on Saturday February 10 2018, @02:54AM (6 children)

    by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 10 2018, @02:54AM (#635845) Journal

    Was it in fact meritless or did they just lose ? There is a huge difference.

    It was meritless; they sued him for saying what I said above [soylentnews.org], and for saying that participating in their licensing game might put you on risky legal footing. Which it very well might.

    Their lawsuit was a textbook SLAPP suit [anti-slapp.org]:

    SLAPPs are Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation. These... chill free speech and healthy debate by targeting those who... speak out on issues of public interest. SLAPPs are used to silence and harass critics by forcing them to spend money to defend these baseless suits. SLAPP filers don’t go to court to seek justice. Rather, SLAPPS are intended to intimidate those who disagree with them or their activities by draining the target’s financial resources.

    It was not filed because Perens was wrong (Perens wasn't wrong). It was filed because Perens pointing out GRSecurity's nonsense was damaging to GRSecurity continuing said nonsense.

    If Perens had just been wrong, GRSecurity probably would have published a rebuttal and gotten on with it. Perens' statements didn't damage GRSecurity so much as their own shady behavior which he called them out on.

    • (Score: -1, Spam) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10 2018, @06:53AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10 2018, @06:53AM (#635908)

      Note: What Perens wrote in his article, with the exception of the contributory copyright infringement claim, were the same arguments that MikeeUSA had been making for over a year. The reason for this may be that Perens was in correspondence with said entity. People here doubted that MikeeUSA was an attorney. One wonders if they still hold strong to that belief.

      One notes that the reason people doubted MikeeUSA is because he supported the old testament opinion that it was fine for men to marry female children.

    • (Score: 2) by archfeld on Sunday February 11 2018, @04:22AM (4 children)

      by archfeld (4650) <treboreel@live.com> on Sunday February 11 2018, @04:22AM (#636257) Journal

      Thanks for the information, and the further explanation. So much of this stuff, while extremely relevant is very esoteric and far outside my admittedly small scope of knowledge. I've a basic legal knowledge from a criminal and penal background in law enforcement but contract law is a whole different kettle of stinking fish.

      --
      For the NSA : Explosives, guns, assassination, conspiracy, primers, detonators, initiators, main charge, nuclear charge
      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 11 2018, @08:43AM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 11 2018, @08:43AM (#636306)

        > I've a basic legal knowledge from a criminal and penal background in law enforcement but contract law is a whole different kettle of stinking fish.

        If it's difficult for you, then you're a moron.

        But what is to be expected from white men? White men oppose men taking cute young girls as brides (Allowed in Devarim chapter 22, verse 28 (hebrew)), since such is against the interests of "muh white wuman". The white man is a golem of the white woman. Her solider and her mule. Thus the white man opposes the god, and does the will of the "MUH WHITE WUMAN"

        • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by archfeld on Sunday February 11 2018, @08:22PM (2 children)

          by archfeld (4650) <treboreel@live.com> on Sunday February 11 2018, @08:22PM (#636428) Journal

          Since when is a Hebrew a white man ? The people of Israel are those of color. Unless you are stupid enough to buy the blond haired blue eyed Jesus figure. Bottom line what does religion or color have to do with the discussion? I'd say you are just so lacking in any degree of self confidence or self respect that you can't deal with a full grown women on a one to one basis and prefer your 'equal' to be a 12 year old girl.

          --
          For the NSA : Explosives, guns, assassination, conspiracy, primers, detonators, initiators, main charge, nuclear charge
          • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 12 2018, @08:10AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 12 2018, @08:10AM (#636607)

            The white man opposes the law of the hebrews.

            You read the statement incorrectly.
            The white man worships "muh white wuman", not the god.

            The white man's law is whatever is in the best interests of the white woman.
            This is why he opposes marrying cute young girls (something that is allowed in the hebrew law)

          • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 12 2018, @08:17AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 12 2018, @08:17AM (#636608)

            Most men's social equal is a virgin young girl.

            "Full grown adult women" are whores who have had sex with many men. That is their occupation. They are experienced professionals. They know how to work men.
            The set containing said 'many men' are, however, only 20 percent of the male population. This is the population that women who's profession is to be a woman choose.
            Professional Women reject the other 80 percent of men for having not enough money to be worth their while, or for not being equal in professionalism to themselves.

            The other 80 percent of men have little to no social experience of this nature.
            Their equal is the little girl.

            (The most the Professional Woman will allow said 80 percent of men is an economic marriage when she is 30 or older: where she soon divorces the provider drone and makes him a slave.)
            (To provide herself with this windfall, the Professional _WO_man bans men from taking female children as brides)

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Saturday February 10 2018, @03:35AM (14 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 10 2018, @03:35AM (#635853) Homepage Journal

    I think that requerdanos has it summed up nicely. GRSecurity was pretty much in the wrong, from start to finish. The suit was meant to silence a critic - and not just any critic, but an influential critic. I don't think a lawsuit can get much more slappy than this one.

    --
    There is a supply side shortage of pronouns. You will take whatever you are offered.
    • (Score: 2) by EETech1 on Saturday February 10 2018, @06:44AM (1 child)

      by EETech1 (957) on Saturday February 10 2018, @06:44AM (#635904)

      The only way to get the good stuff when it's pertinent, is to pay the fee. If you want to exercise your rights to redistribute said software that you paid a fee for, well you might just lose your ability to access that software, even for a fee!

      • (Score: 2) by requerdanos on Saturday February 10 2018, @05:26PM

        by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 10 2018, @05:26PM (#636064) Journal

        If you want to exercise your rights [wrt] software... well you might just lose your ability to access that software

        With due respect, if you "might just" get penalized for exercising your basic rights, then they aren't rights at all, they are prohibitions enforced with said penalties.

        Within the context of security, inability to update to a current version is especially bad, because previous versions are the ones that tend to have the better-known exploits--so it's a harsh penalty for violation that prohibition*.

        -------
        * Prohibition: n. The act of prohibiting; a law or decree that forbids. (dictionary.com [dictionary.com]) Contrast with Right. n. a just claim or title, whether legal, prescriptive, or moral, or that which is due by just claim; ex. "You have the right to say what you want." (dictionary.com [dictionary.com]) This isn't Rocket Science n. A notoriously difficult area of the sciences, especially with respect to physics, treating the subject of convincing rockets (q.v.) to navigate as desired while interacting with comparatively powerful forces on a planetary, galactic, or universal scale.

    • (Score: -1, Spam) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10 2018, @07:01AM (11 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10 2018, @07:01AM (#635911)

      Strange... when MikeeUSA spoke here about the GRSecurity issue you all said he was nuts.

      Then seemingly he spoke to Bruce Perens (on public mailing lists).
      Then strangely, we see a very similar opinion regarding the legal matters on Bruce's website a few days after.
      Same rhyme and meter.

      And then we see said language quoted in the Order (53 Order.pdf) (though just as a summary of the speech of the defendant)

      Now it's "obvious" GRS was wrong, when before it was "obvious" GRS was right and MikeeUSA was "wrong"...

      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Saturday February 10 2018, @10:32AM (5 children)

        by c0lo (156) on Saturday February 10 2018, @10:32AM (#635959) Journal

        Strange... when MikeeUSA spoke here about the GRSecurity issue you all said he was nuts.

        Linkies or it didn't happen.

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
        • (Score: -1, Spam) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10 2018, @01:08PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10 2018, @01:08PM (#635990)

          Timeline is this:

          GRSec closes patches.
          MikeeUSA is unhappy about this.
          Informs Spengler that he is going to sue GRSec one way or another.
          MikeeUSA Complains on the chans, the linux mailing list, the debian mailing list, ubuntu mailing list, redhat mailing list, writes articles for websites such as this, explains how GRSec is violating the license, explains the law, etc.
          Everyone says MikeeUSA is nuts, not a lawyer, not a programmer either, etc.
          MikeeUSA contacts keyholders in the free/opensource community. RMS, Perens, etc.
          Discussion ensues (forwarded to linux and debian mailinglists).
          Perens publishes an article that mirrors MikeeUSA's legal opinion (with the exception of the contributory copyright addendum).
          Brad Spengler sues Perens.
          Spengler Loses...
          Judge tells him she doesn't see how his claims are not merit-less and hints that an anti-SLAPP action against Spengler would likely be successful.
          and here we are .

          But MikeeUSA is a fucking retard and isn't a programmer and doesn't know shit when it comes to law. Right? Right?

          • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Saturday February 10 2018, @01:34PM (1 child)

            by c0lo (156) on Saturday February 10 2018, @01:34PM (#635998) Journal

            Somehow on that list of list MikeeUSA used doesn't contain Soylentnews.
            As such, why do you say

            when MikeeUSA spoke here about the GRSecurity issue you all said he was nuts.

            mmm?

            --
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10 2018, @03:56PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10 2018, @03:56PM (#636023)

              How does it feel?

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 11 2018, @05:46AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 11 2018, @05:46AM (#636276)

          I found this article from 2015: GRSecurity Linux Kernel Patch to End Public Accessability of Stable Patches [soylentnews.org].

          I assume that's what MikeeUSA is talking about, anyway. He spammed that comment section, too, but it's too close to bedtime for me to care to slog through it.

          • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 11 2018, @08:48AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 11 2018, @08:48AM (#636308)

            "he spammed that comments section too"
            Do you feel he has not the right to do what he will with what is his?

      • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Saturday February 10 2018, @11:02AM (2 children)

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 10 2018, @11:02AM (#635967) Homepage Journal

        I double checked my user page. I'm not the "you all" of whom you speak. And, these are not the bots you seek. And, neither the bots nor I ever made any claims that GRSecurity was in the right.

        On the other hand, some of those other bots posting here at Soylent are outright evil . . .

        --
        There is a supply side shortage of pronouns. You will take whatever you are offered.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10 2018, @01:10PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 10 2018, @01:10PM (#635991)

          Who started the fire?
          _

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by HiThere on Saturday February 10 2018, @06:19PM (1 child)

        by HiThere (866) on Saturday February 10 2018, @06:19PM (#636084) Journal

        That's almost irrelevant.

        I may think the legal argument is nuts, but making it puts you in danger of being sued anyway. And those statements are not contradictory.

        I actually *do* think that GRSecurities reported agreement is legal. (IANAL) But so what? This doesn't mean I think that depending on it doesn't put you in danger of being sued, and that's legal trouble.

        --
        Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 11 2018, @08:39AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 11 2018, @08:39AM (#636305)

          "IANAL". Indeed, you have no basis for your thoughts, and you are incorrect.

          Stick to code, kid.

          GPLv2 forbids additional terms added to the agreement between the licencee and those to whom the licensee distributes the work (or derivative work). (distributees)
          Terms can be memorialized or not. They can be verbal, be evinced by a course of business dealings, or be in a writing.
          Here the additional terms added to the agreement were in a writing (they are memorialized).

          You, a programmer, believe that the paper that the GPL v2 is printed on is "the agreement" (or the file in which the text of the GPL v2 resides). This shows your inadequacy in dealing with even slightly abstract topics.

          Stick to code. Nothing personal.