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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: 1) by khallow on Monday February 17 2020, @09:52PM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 17 2020, @09:52PM (#959307) Journal

    The argument is that they are not obligated to provide future updates or support if you violate their contract by redistributing.

    Which as has been repeatedly noted is a violation of the GPL 2.0 license for the Linux kernel.

    A "restriction" of the right to redistribute does not include me not giving you ponies for christmas until you die, ffs.

    Why in the world do you think that is relevant? Sure, you are right in that no one can force you to distribute code based on GPL 2.0 licensed code. But once you decide to distribute derivative code or programs (here, Linux kernel modifications), you have to follow the rules as outlined in the license.

    An actual restriction would be me telling you you have to pay me $100 every time you redistribute, or you have to write a letter to every major newspaper/website explaining what a douche you are, every time you redistribute.

    Nope. The GRSecurity example is an actual restriction as well. Because if you don't follow the rules about not redistributing the code, you don't get the pony. That's a straightforward actual restriction on use.

    Me saying "do what you want in regards to redistribution, but don't expect me to help you in the future" is not the same fucking thing

    Not all actual restrictions are the same fucking thing. There's an immense variety of ploys for restriction how you do things, that can range from the very explicit and straightforward to the very underhanded and covert. The GRSecurity example falls towards the former side. Now you know, right?