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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.

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: 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.
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  • (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.