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posted by Fnord666 on Sunday February 16 2020, @02:22PM   Printer-friendly
from the no-way-out dept.

The head of security firm Open Source Security, Brad Spengler, says he had little option but to file a lawsuit against open source advocate Bruce Perens, who alleged back in 2017 that security patches issued for the Linux kernel by OSS violated the licence under which the kernel is distributed.

The case ended last week with Perens coming out on the right side of things; after some back and forth, a court doubled down on its earlier decision that OSS must pay Perens' legal costs as awarded in June 2018.

The remainder of the article is an interview with Brad Spengler about the case and the issue.

iTWire contacted Spengler soon after the case ended, as he had promised to speak at length about the issue once all legal issues were done and dusted. Queries submitted by iTWire along with Spengler's answers in full are given below:

Court Orders Payment of $259,900.50 to Bruce Perens' Attorneys

Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2) by Arik on Sunday February 16 2020, @06:39PM (2 children)

    by Arik (4543) on Sunday February 16 2020, @06:39PM (#958867) Journal
    I'm rather at a loss to even respond to that. It's hard to think of a clearer case. I suspect your theory wouldn't survive the first meeting with the judge.
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  • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Monday February 17 2020, @12:14AM (1 child)

    by FatPhil (863) <> on Monday February 17 2020, @12:14AM (#958945) Homepage
    I'm with you, and khallow, and obviously Bruce and the judge, on this - thanks for your useful contributions to the thread. Hating to be devils advocate, I'm sure there is a way to achieve almost everything that mr spanglypants wants through a a clear (perhaps clean room, different companies) separation of the patches and the support contracts. He should have hired a more savvy lawyer when setting up his business(es) in the first place.

    There are often sneaky ways round the GPL. I remember distributing .o files, including ones that had stubbed implementations of functions in a GPL library just so that I didn't have to release my source for a while. Wanna run my code? link it to the real GPL library yourself.

    Nowadays I wouldn't bother, but I was dabbling in a pretty competitive field and didn't want to lose my edge.
    Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by stormwyrm on Monday February 17 2020, @12:38AM

      by stormwyrm (717) on Monday February 17 2020, @12:38AM (#958949) Journal
      IIRC, NeXT tried to do that with GCC, but the FSF warned them that was still a GPL violation. Apparently NeXT legal agreed, and that's the reason why GCC wound up with an Objective-C front end. And why Steve Jobs hated the GPL.
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