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Caldera Operating Systems Software Unix

USENIX Responds to SCO; Fyodor Pulls NMap 846

Posted by michael
from the tit-for-tat dept.
ronys writes "The venerable USENIX organization has written a fine response to SCO's letter to Congress. As they point out, 'USENIX was here before SCO. USENIX was here before Linux.' Short and well written." And Reece Arnott writes: "As part of the NMap Press Release for the latest version of NMap, is a statement that explicitly revokes SCO's licence to redistribute it. From the press release: 'SCO Corporation of Lindon, Utah (formerly Caldera) has lately taken to an extortion campaign of demanding license fees from Linux users for code that they themselves knowingly distributed under the terms of the GNU GPL. They have also refused to accept the GPL, claiming that some preposterous theory of theirs makes it invalid (and even unconstitutional)! Meanwhile they have distributed GPL-licensed Nmap in (at least) their "Supplemental Open Source CD". In response to these blatant violations, and in accordance with section 4 of the GPL, we hereby terminate SCO's rights to redistribute any versions of Nmap in any of their products, including (without limitation) OpenLinux, Skunkware, OpenServer, and UNIXWare. We have also stopped supporting the OpenServer and UNIXWare platforms.'"
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USENIX Responds to SCO; Fyodor Pulls NMap

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  • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Friday February 27, 2004 @09:56AM (#8407185) Homepage Journal

    For those too lazy to look up Section 4 of the GPL [gnu.org]:
    4. You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Program except as expressly provided under this License. Any attempt otherwise to copy, modify, sublicense or distribute the Program is void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License. However, parties who have received copies, or rights, from you under this License will not have their licenses terminated so long as such parties remain in full compliance.
    Now this gets interesting: if SCO continues to distributed NMAP will the FSF start filing lawsuits? This might be the "Big Test" everyone has been waiting for.

    /me makes a bowl of popcorn and sits back to enjoy the show.. (as an aside, does anyone know what compiler SCO uses to generate their binaries?)
  • by rtz (221437) * on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:01AM (#8407242)
    RTFA, they are not changing the license. They are invoking a clause in the existing license.
  • by rokzy (687636) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:04AM (#8407264)
    if they're saying GPL is unconstitutional and allows enemy nations to develop WMDs, then I'm guessing they don't accept it.

    and if you don't accept the license you can't distribute GPL software (assuming you accept copyright, which SCO do)
  • Re:Oops. (Score:4, Informative)

    by LittleLebowskiUrbanA (619114) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:04AM (#8407266) Homepage Journal
    ummm...That's Debian' social contract *not* the GPl, dude.
  • Re:ummm.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by bhtooefr (649901) <.gro.rfeoothb. .ta. .rfeoothb.> on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:05AM (#8407284) Homepage Journal
    They're in violation of the GPL, by not fulfilling the terms necessary to be allowed to distribute the software under Section 4.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:06AM (#8407291)
    NO. SCO is violating the GPL by placing additional terms on anyone's use of linux distrabutions. There's a clause in the GPL that states that any additional terms will cause their license to be terminated. Since SCO's GPL license is terminated, the copyright authors for nmap could do whatever they want. They could even sue.

    Now let this be a lesson to all, don't violate the GPL! Nmap's action against SCO doesn't make it non-free, it's just that SCO has rejected the GPL and is using a product in violation of copyright law.
  • by big-giant-head (148077) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:08AM (#8407306)
    Generally defined discrimination is based: Age, Race, Nationaliy or Sex. Or some combination of those.

    Hence unless SCO can somehow be defined as an Age Group?? No

    Race?? No

    Nationality ?? No

    Sex?? M, F, or SCO - No

    So to descriminate (legally speaking) you would have to revoke thier lincense based on one of these criteria.

    However, if a licensee is behaving in bad faith, i.e. SCO, that is a legal ground for revoking thier license. I think it could easily be argued SCO is acting in bad faith through out this whole affair.
  • Re:Bad move (Score:5, Informative)

    by steveit_is (650459) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:09AM (#8407320) Homepage
    That is not what this is about, it is quit simply about Fyoder enforcing an already existing clause of the GPL (4). He's not ammending the thing to lock SCO out. He is just making it a little more clear that having violated section 4 they are no longer entiteled to make use of or distribute NMap.
  • Re:Oops. (Score:2, Informative)

    by chamcham (647769) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:11AM (#8407331)
    Nmap is still GPL. They didn't modify it. The debian guideline states that the license cannot discriminate against persons or groups -- the GPL is compatible w/ this statement / 'social rule' for debian. Nmap just invoked the part of the GPL that lets them revoke the license from an individual or group. Nmap is discriminating, not the GPL.

    To that i say: rock on!

  • Re:Oops. (Score:5, Informative)

    by bhtooefr (649901) <.gro.rfeoothb. .ta. .rfeoothb.> on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:11AM (#8407334) Homepage Journal
    SECTION 5 OF THE GPL:
    5. You are not required to accept this License, since you have not signed it. However, nothing else grants you permission to modify or distribute the Program or its derivative works. These actions are prohibited by law if you do not accept this License. Therefore, by modifying or distributing the Program (or any work based on the Program), you indicate your acceptance of this License to do so, and all its terms and conditions for copying, distributing or modifying the Program or works based on it.

    I'd consider declaring it invalid is not accepting the license. Therefore, they're in violation of Section 5 (for distributing without agreeing to the license), and Section 4 (for distributing without being allowed to by the GPL, due to Section 5)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:14AM (#8407361)
    Apache has it's own licence that is far less restrictive in what can be done with the code than the GPL, SCO can do what they like with any code from Apache.

    See here: http://www.apache.org/licenses/ [apache.org]
  • by BJH (11355) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:15AM (#8407368)
    No, the FSF will only generally defend the GPL for software where the copyright belongs to them (i.e. software written by the FSF or which has had its copyright assigned to the FSF by its author).

    The simple reason is that only the copyright holder can sue someone for violating that copyright.
  • by iapetus (24050) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:18AM (#8407383) Homepage
    Here is a company who in public says GPL is not legal. And these people are trying to use GPL against them.

    Um. No they aren't. If SCO believes that the GPL is not legal, then they do not have a license to use and distribute nmap. Now they're being called on it. The default state of software where the copyright is held by someone else is that you do not have the right to use it, and just disagreeing with the license they're distributing the software under doesn't magically give you the right to steal their IP.

    More interesting, however, is the question of whether nmap have the right to retract the license from SCO (IANAL, but I'm pretty sure they don't - that's part of the point of the GPL, after all). And a new license that explicitly denies SCO the right to use the code wouldn't be GPL-compatible, AIUI.

    That said, in order to exercise their rights under the GPL, SCO have to agree to it. They can't claim it's an invalid license while at the same time agreeing to it in other cases. My guess is that they'll just ignore this problem and try to keep their two faces pointing different ways on the issue...

  • Re:Bad move (Score:5, Informative)

    by 10Ghz (453478) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:18AM (#8407393)
    I, for one didn't realise that owners could block companies from using their code and don't like it one little bit.


    GPL (or any other license for that matter) basically says that "You may use/distribute this software as long as you agree to these terms". If you do not agree to those terms, then you lose the rights the license gives you. SCO disagrees with the terms of the GPL, therefore they lose the rights the license gives them.
  • by Tuck (41529) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:20AM (#8407402) Homepage
    Here is a company who in public says GPL is not legal. And these people are trying to use GPL against them.
    SCO claiming that the GPL is not valid does not change the fact that the NMAP code is copyrighted, so in that case they are knowingly violating copyright law by shipping it.
  • by Roofus (15591) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:23AM (#8407424) Homepage
    Apache isn't distributed under the GPL though, it falls under the Apache License. I don't believe SCO has ever made any statement as to the validity of the Apache License, and as such the Apache Foundation probably can't do anything about it.
  • Re:Bad move (Score:3, Informative)

    by 920 (450020) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:26AM (#8407460)
    Read the article and the linked message from NMap. They're not saying "You can't use this because we don't like you", they're saying "You have violated the terms of the license and therefore, it has been revoked". There's nothing wrong with this.
  • by warmcat (3545) * on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:32AM (#8407509)
    That is not actually true.

    http://linuxupdate.sco.com/scolinux/ [sco.com] has their full distro for download.

    (Blank credentials work fine in the authentication dialog: just click OK).

    The thing with SCOX is they say one thing and do quite another. Tricky and Litigous Bastards.

  • Re:Uhhh... (Score:5, Informative)

    by l3pYr (754852) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:34AM (#8407528)
    Quoted directly from the GPL
    5. You are not required to accept this License, since you have not signed it. However, nothing else grants you permission to modify or distribute the Program or its derivative works. These actions are prohibited by law if you do not accept this License. Therefore, by modifying or distributing the Program (or any work based on the Program), you indicate your acceptance of this License to do so, and all its terms and conditions for copying, distributing or modifying the Program or works based on it.
    I would say that SCO's declaration of the GPL as unconstitutional and illegal would be equivalent to not fully accepting the terms of the license. And because distributing programs under the GPL is prohibited unless you accept the GPL (see above), SCO has no legal right to distribute GPL'd code.
  • by rubberpaw (202337) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:35AM (#8407535) Homepage Journal
    Aha, but it's not a question of the GPL being invalid. They're not arguing that. Rather, they, as licensor of nmap, are revoking the license. The original licensor of the software has more power than redistributors. This is why some organizations are able to provide multiple licenses for their software.

    If you were a judge, the question of the GPL would be less pertinent than the question of whether or not Nmap.org has the right to revoke the license. And the answer is: yes.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:35AM (#8407541)

    Since NMAP source is GPL, does it's inclusion in Battle Royale make the movie a derivative work and therefore also subject to the GPL?

    Of course not. If, in a film, somebody walked past a bookshelf, and you saw the books on it, would that make the film a derivation of the books? It's the same sort of thing. NMAP in this instance is just a prop.

  • Re:www.sco.com (Score:2, Informative)

    by cblguy (697834) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:43AM (#8407614)
    Where ya been, living under a rock? ;)

    In a response to the dDoS attack from the MyDoom virus (several weeks back), SCO pulled sco.com and replaced it with thescogroup.com

  • Re:ummm.. (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:47AM (#8407667)

    Doesn't the GPL say you cannot discriminate against any group?

    I believe that's the Debian Free Software Guidelines.

    Or is their license being revoked because they are in violation of the GPL?

    Not only did you not read the article, but you didn't even bother reading the Slashdot blurb? It explicitly states which part of the GPL they are violating. Learn to read!

  • by triptolemeus (538604) on Friday February 27, 2004 @10:47AM (#8407668)
    Are there other popular open source products whose authors can agree to make a similar statement?

    Samba is the first that comes to mind (and would have a major influence).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 27, 2004 @11:01AM (#8407837)
    Of course they have the authority to do this. Let's take a look at each sentence of section 4 of the GPL, which is what USENIX invoked:

    4. You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Program except as expressly provided under this License.

    Okay, you have to play by the rules in this document. In particular, note the third thing you're not allowed to do -- you can't sublicense.

    Any attempt otherwise to copy, modify, sublicense or distribute the Program is void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License.

    So when SCO started saying "You need to use our license to use this GPL code", that sublicensing terminated their rights to use the code under the GPL.

    However, parties who have received copies, or rights, from you under this License will not have their licenses terminated so long as such parties remain in full compliance.

    Anybody who previously received copies of the code from SCO is fine, as long as they didn't do any of the 4 things that this section says you aren't allowed to do.

    IANAL, but USENIX's action seems to be in compliance with this section of the GPL.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 27, 2004 @11:03AM (#8407854)
    Forget PHP. It's not under a GPL licence.
  • Nitpick (Score:3, Informative)

    by sammy baby (14909) on Friday February 27, 2004 @11:06AM (#8407892) Journal
    Apache isn't distributed under the GPL. It's distributed under the Apache Software License (ASL) [apache.org].
  • by D. Taylor (53947) on Friday February 27, 2004 @11:09AM (#8407920) Homepage
    Well, in the same way, the laws give the IP owner complete discretion in deciding who can copy/share/modify their code too. Perhaps the USENIX text could have been clearer, but it is right, and it does make its point, IMO.
  • by Arker (91948) on Friday February 27, 2004 @11:12AM (#8407951) Homepage Journal

    I don't think Apache can do it, because their license is different. Samba could and should, but they've decided for the time being not to pursue it. There are a LOT of other software that could too - if they pull everything GPL out of their software they wouldn't have a usable system anymore.

  • by polin8 (170866) on Friday February 27, 2004 @11:13AM (#8407958) Homepage

    Unmentioned by relevant section of the GPL:

    5. You are not required to accept this License, since you have not signed it. However, nothing else grants you permission to modify or distribute the Program or its derivative works. These actions are prohibited by law if you do not accept this License. Therefore, by modifying or distributing the Program (or any work based on the Program), you indicate your acceptance of this License to do so, and all its terms and conditions for copying, distributing or modifying the Program or works based on it.

    SCO refuses to accept the GPL as valid. If the GPL is invalid the software does not become public domain, it reverts to traditional copyright - eg., specific, rather than general, permission from the (C) holder.

  • 5th section of GPL (Score:4, Informative)

    by Fzz (153115) on Friday February 27, 2004 @11:14AM (#8407963)
    5. You are not required to accept this License, since you have not signed it. However, nothing else grants you permission to modify or distribute the Program or its derivative works. These actions are prohibited by law if you do not accept this License. Therefore, by modifying or distributing the Program (or any work based on the Program), you indicate your acceptance of this License to do so, and all its terms and conditions for copying, distributing or modifying the Program or works based on it.

    In stating that the GPL is invalid, they are refusing to accept it, and therefore do not have the right to distribute GPL'ed software.

  • Re:hmm (Score:5, Informative)

    by radja (58949) on Friday February 27, 2004 @11:15AM (#8407970) Homepage
    GPL is not a free for all: you have to actively accept it, and stick to the requirements. by claiming the entire GPL as invalid, SCO does not accept the terms of the GPL, so the software reverts to normal copyright, which does not allow distribution and (in europe) does not even allow use (not sure if this also goes in the US. in european copytight law for software it is recognized that in order to run a program, you have to first make a copy of it in memory which counts as duplication)
  • by Frater 219 (1455) on Friday February 27, 2004 @11:18AM (#8408007) Journal
    the licence itself is not accepted, hence the licence reverts to standard copyright, which does not allow distribution.

    The GPL isn't a contract, which has to be "accepted" by the receiving party to be effective. It is a straight copyright license. So that argument would not fly -- except for one thing: equitable estoppel.

    "Equitable estoppel prevents one party from taking a different position at trial than they did at an earlier time if another party would be harmed by the change[d] position." -- Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]

    In other words: You can't argue in a custody suit that you're the child's father and then argue in the following child-support suit that you aren't.

    The GPL, as Eben Moglen points out, is a distributor's defense when accused of copyright infringement by an author: "I'm not infringing -- because this author granted me permission to copy, under this here license." However, SCO have argued elsewhere that the GPL is invalid. Therefore, even though the GPL is a valid license, and would be a valid license for SCO's use of nmap, SCO is estopped from raising it in court as a defense.

  • There has never in the history of copyright been any legislation, precedent, or case law that would support a judge doing that.

    No?

    How about Stallman writing the GPL with the Express Purpose of spreading out software with source code, so that anyone that copy it, install it, and make derivitive works of it?

    The only software covered by the GPL is software that says that it is covered by the GPL--and that means that the copyright holder of that software said "take this, make as many copies as you want, and make derivitive works with this source code."

    Emminent domain doesn't enter into it. (IANAL-RU?) The express wishes of the copyright holder, and the reasonable consequences of the law, are what matters. I don't think it's unlikely at all that, if the GPL was nullified as unconstitutional, that the same court wouldn't declare all GPL'd work public domain for the public good.

  • by expro (597113) on Friday February 27, 2004 @11:24AM (#8408072)
    Martin Luther was an earlier advocate of file sharing of establishment-copy-controlled scripture texts with the masses. And many early Americans thrived on ignoring English copyrights.
  • by TheLinuxSRC (683475) <slashdotNO@SPAMpagewash.com> on Friday February 27, 2004 @11:30AM (#8408142) Homepage
    Eh? I'm lost. As you say, SCO can download a new license. That's not what's going on. USENIX has terminated SCO's distribution license of NMAP - completely. Even if SCO "downloads" a new license, they would be barred from distributing NMAP, since that's what USENIX's position is.

    Are you trolling or is that an honest question? There are two seperate issues mentioned. 1. USENIX has written an open letter to Congress contradicting most of what SCO's letter to congress (pdf) [osaia.org]. 2. Nmap's creator has simply stated that due to GPL violations, SCO has no right to continue distributing nmap. He is not changing the license in any way. He is simply stating that the license to distribute has been violated, thus distribution rights are revoked.

  • by TheLinuxSRC (683475) <slashdotNO@SPAMpagewash.com> on Friday February 27, 2004 @11:39AM (#8408224) Homepage
    Ripped straight from The GPL [gnu.org] (emphasis mine)

    4. You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Program except as expressly provided under this License. Any attempt otherwise to copy, modify, sublicense or distribute the Program is void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License. However, parties who have received copies, or rights, from you under this License will not have their licenses terminated so long as such parties remain in full compliance.

    5. You are not required to accept this License, since you have not signed it. However, nothing else grants you permission to modify or distribute the Program or its derivative works. These actions are prohibited by law if you do not accept this License. Therefore, by modifying or distributing the Program (or any work based on the Program), you indicate your acceptance of this License to do so, and all its terms and conditions for copying, distributing or modifying the Program or works based on it.


    Thus it would seem that if you disagree with the GPL (which SCO has stated publicly on several occasions) you have no right to software licensed under the GPL. However I post to /. and thus IANAL.
  • Re:Response to code? (Score:3, Informative)

    by mbrinkm (699240) on Friday February 27, 2004 @11:41AM (#8408250)
    I too haven't seen a response, but I believe the reason is that SCO did not identify any parts of System V code that were copied. They only identified sections from AIX and/or Dynix as being copied into Linux.

    Basically, SCO changed from saying that the code from System V is in Linux to saying whatever any company developed and distributed with a Unix OS is a derivative work of System V and therefore owned by SCO. With this logic, any code that IBM developed for services on their Unix OS'es is now owned by SCO. This is such an idiotic argument that it's hard for me to think of a good way to rebuke it, other than "Are You F-ing Nuts?"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 27, 2004 @11:47AM (#8408311)
    nevermind, I should have RTFA, and/or posted anonymously.

    but note that the licence is "automatically terminated" under section 4.
  • by jafuser (112236) on Friday February 27, 2004 @11:50AM (#8408347)
    You can set up with the EFF an automatically recurring monthly donation as well. I did this a couple years ago and have been donating $25/month to the EFF ever since I started.
  • by Permission Denied (551645) on Friday February 27, 2004 @12:09PM (#8408515) Journal
    Since SCO is distributing nmap, Fyodor can refuse to permit it, and revoke their distribution license.

    This is absolutely incorrect and disinformative. The GPL explicitly prohibits this kind of action. From section four:

    4. You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Program except as expressly provided under this License. Any attempt otherwise to copy, modify, sublicense or distribute the Program is void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License. However, parties who have received copies, or rights, from you under this License will not have their licenses terminated so long as such parties remain in full compliance.

    And from section six:

    You may not impose any further restrictions on the recipients' exercise of the rights granted herein.

    This means that the GPL explicitly forbids developers from choosing who can use and distribute the software. The only exception given in section nine dealing with patents, copyrights and geographical distribution exceptions.

    When Fyodor licensed nmap under the GPL, he gave up certain rights, among those the right to choose who uses the software. Fyodor cannot "revoke" SCO's right to distribute nmap. He can only claim that SCO is violating the license and thus SCO's right to distribute is revoked.

    This is not some technicality, but is rather fundamental the the FSF's idea of "Free software": the most important privilege the GPL attempts to protect is the privilege for anyone to use the software in any way. The license is absolutely clear on this.

    In the past, certain developers licensed software with usage restrictions: for instance, one license I've seen said something akin to "anyone may use this software except members of the United States armed forces." The GPL prohibits these kinds of restrictions.

    So the only way Fyodor can revoke SCO's right to use and distribute nmap if SCO is violating the license. He can change the licensing new versions but if SCO is not violating the GPL, SCO can continue distributing old versions of nmap and Fyodor has no recourse to stop them as the only way the GPL is revokable is in the case of non-compliance. This fact has been used to fork previously GPL'ed software when a company decides to commercialize the software and changes the license: the company still owns the copyright on their code which is part of the fork, but they have no right to say what people can do with their code as long as those actions remain in compliance with the GPL.

    I'm surprised to see myself posting on licensing issues. I don't even agree with the all of FSF's ideology, but their license is very clear.

  • by johnnyb (4816) <jonathan@bartlettpublishing.com> on Friday February 27, 2004 @12:09PM (#8408520) Homepage
    I think it's the statement that they have made publicly that the GPL is invalid. If they are redistributing nmap, and they don't believe the GPL is valid, then that means they haven't accepted the license and therefore cannot redistribute it.
  • by JeanPaulBob (585149) on Friday February 27, 2004 @12:11PM (#8408552)
    However, SCO have argued elsewhere that the GPL is invalid. Therefore,
    even though the GPL is a valid license, and would be a valid license for SCO's use of nmap, SCO is estopped from raising it in court as a defense.

    Has SCO actually claimed in court has the GPL is invalid? It doesn't seem that estoppel applies to statements made to the press--SCO can say one thing to the media and another in court all they want. They only have to be consistent in official legal proceedings.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 27, 2004 @12:31PM (#8408766)
    I think they were referring to an individual downloading and installing NMAP on their Unixware system. A particular system administrator is allowed to download and install GPL software simply by accepting the license, even if that OS may be distributed by SCO.

    SCO on the other hand is not allowed to distribute GPL code directly since they do not accept the license, and under copyright law they have no rights to distribute outside of that license agreement.
  • Re:Nitpick (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sxooter (29722) on Friday February 27, 2004 @12:32PM (#8408787)
    Sorry, but this isn't the playground, and apache can't just take their ball and go home. Unless SCO has violated the apache software license, the apache foundation cannot just suddenly remove the rights of SCO under that license because it "feels like it."

    SCO has violated the GPL. Companies that distribute their software under the GPL have a right to withdraw the licensing of SCO because the GPL gives them that right due to the violation.

    No such clause exists in the apache software license that if you violate the GPL they can pull your rights.
  • by Gadzinka (256729) <rrw@hell.pl> on Friday February 27, 2004 @12:41PM (#8408869) Journal
    One of SCO's legal arguments AFAIR is that some court, after finding GPL illegal (however they want to achieve it) could use the ``next best thing'' doctrine (I don't remember the exact latin term).

    Their reasoning is that court could declare all GPL programs Public Domain following the intention of author to distribute software free of charge, free to use, free to modify.

    I know that it is very streched, very dificult and stupid. Anything new?

    Robert
  • by red floyd (220712) on Friday February 27, 2004 @12:56PM (#8409021)
    Samba has already made a statment [mirror.ac.uk] about this. Go down to the "19th Aug, 2003" entry:
    Because of this, we believe that the Samba Team must remain true to our principles and our code must be freely available to use even in ways we personally disapprove of.


    Even when used by rank hypocrites like SCO.
  • by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris.beau@org> on Friday February 27, 2004 @01:01PM (#8409090)
    You are not required to accept the GPL to use GPL licensed software. Use is outside it's scope. Neither are you required to accept the Microsoft EULA, since it is just a shrink wrap license and isn't legally binding.

    However if you wish to MODIFY and/or REDISTRIBUTE software licensed under the GPL you must accept the license, renegotiate a different license with the author or violate the author's Copyright. See the difference?

    Btw, you also must accept the Microsoft EULA if you want rights over and above what the standard copyright license aquired at point of sale gives you. For example, tech support, updates, upgrade rights, etc.
  • by Lehk228 (705449) on Friday February 27, 2004 @01:14PM (#8409241) Journal
    EULA is unenforceable unless it is on the outside of the box and you have to sign it before buying the software, once you have purchased a copy of software the "copying" that results from installing or running that software clearly falls under fair use, You don't need a licence to rip a CD to your computer, and you don't need a licence to install software beyond having the right to use every copy installed (This is not usually the case for buisness environments which work out deals and sign agreements for software)
  • by ckaminski (82854) <ckaminski@nOSpaM.pobox.com> on Friday February 27, 2004 @01:20PM (#8409303) Homepage
    And exactly what court of law determined that?

    EULA's work because even if you choose not to accept them, your recourse is getting your money back. Whether your local retail outlet disallows such is irrelevant. If you paid for something, and detest the EULA, you have every right to return said software product, and any vendor refusing to refund your money is violating the law.

    Which is why EULA's have had no serious challenges to date. Witness the "Great Redmond Refund Day" just last year. You too can talk your XP box back to Microsoft and demand your money back.

  • by activewire (515493) on Friday February 27, 2004 @01:20PM (#8409307)
    They (NMAP authors) have NOT changed their license at all: NMAP is still GPL.

    Its just that the new RELEASE notes point out an obvious fact: SCO cannot distribute NMAP since SCO does not accept GPL.

    By stating this, NMAP has not further restricted the GPL, neither have they changed their license.
  • by FatAlb3rt (533682) on Friday February 27, 2004 @01:23PM (#8409341) Homepage
    clue stick [imdb.com]

  • by mla_anderson (578539) on Friday February 27, 2004 @01:36PM (#8409475) Homepage
    No it's because they are changing the license for GPL code. GPL is not dependant on what you believe. However they are sub-licensing GPL'd software which is expressley forbidden by the GPL.
  • by shish (588640) on Friday February 27, 2004 @01:36PM (#8409477) Homepage
    Some more info -

    > Section 4 ... seems subject to interpretation

    But section 5 isn't - "You are not required to accept this License, since you have not signed it. However, nothing else grants you permission to modify or distribute the Program"

    > The GPL is invalid and therefore code released under it is public domain

    not even that - if the GPL is invalid, it falls back to being Fyodor's personal copyright, and he can sue them for that instead.

  • by double-oh three (688874) on Friday February 27, 2004 @01:51PM (#8409662)
    New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/02/technology/02boo ble.html?ex=1076389200&en=fa84beea109b9d88&ei=5062 &partner=GOOGLE
    Ars Technica:
    http://arstechnica.com/news/posts/10778 53182.html
    Computer Buissness Review:
    http://www.cbronline.com/currentnews/b69e c9e24cdfa eb480256e39003855ab
    Chicago Daily Herald:
    http://www.dailyherald.com/business/busin ess_story .asp?intid=3804089
    Reuters Via San Diego Union-Tribune:
    http://www.signonsandiego.com/news /computing/20040 220-1336-tech-apple-pepsi.html
    CNN Stories:
    http://search.cnn.com/cnn/search?source= cnn&invoca tionType=search%2Ftop&sites=cnn&query=slashdot

    So to sum it up, Yes; Slashdot is read by the news media and is in many, many stories.
  • by shepd (155729) <slashdot...org@@@gmail...com> on Friday February 27, 2004 @01:52PM (#8409673) Homepage Journal
    On CNN? [cnn.com]

    In stories by the AP? [google.ca]

    Business [canoe.com] pages [canoe.com] of the Sunday paper?

    Answer? YES! :-)
  • by El (94934) on Friday February 27, 2004 @02:10PM (#8409861)
    Unfortunately, the Samba team has already declared that they are taking the moral high road on this, and will continue to let SCO use Samba -- even if they are being asses.
  • by AuMatar (183847) on Friday February 27, 2004 @02:40PM (#8410203)
    Ars Technica and Computer Buisness Review aren't huge circulations (and AT has the same type of readership as slashdot).

    As for the Chicago Daily herald- I lived in Chicago for 21 years. The two papers are the Tribune and the Sun Times. Never heard of a Daily Herald.
  • by canajin56 (660655) on Friday February 27, 2004 @02:55PM (#8410340)

    No, SCO is breaking Section 2b of the GPL by charging for the kernel, as they are NOT licencing their code in it free of charge to all third parties. You will note that this Section also states that putting two programs on the same CD/distrubution package does NOT put them under the same licence. So you can break the licence of one without touching the other, since they are NOT under the same licence. (This also means that you can include proprietary code without any problems)

    Since they are breaking 2B., then under Section 4, their licence is void, and they may not redistribute at all. However, if they go up to a company running Redhat, and demand a fee, they have not violated the GPL at all: The GPL is only void if they sell copies of Linux complete with a licence to use the code. Of course, it is illegal to demand compensation for something you don't own, but unless they are charging it for their OWN copy, the GPL has nothing to do with it.

    Further more, they are only charging for the Linux kernel. They are not charging for NMap, grep, gcc, Samba, perl, or anything else that may or may not be in a particular GNU/Linux distribution. As such, they have not violated the licence on these pieces of software. If the authors try to revoke SCO's right to this code, THEY are violating the GPL by not licencing it under the GPL to ALL third parties. SCO's right to the kernel is void by their actions (If they are selling licences to the kernel that they are distributing, and the licence sold is a condition of said distribution) but not their right to anything else.

  • by Dastardly (4204) on Friday February 27, 2004 @03:24PM (#8410663)
    Isn't the Linux kernel distributed under the GPL? Can't SCO's license to distribute the Linux kernel be revoked? That would mean they couldn't sell any distributions of Linux and, subsequently, couldn't force people to buy licenses from them...right?

    This happens to be one of IBM's counter claims. Since, IBM has code in Linux that is under IBM's copyright, IBM has claimed that SCO is violating their copyright by attempting to sublicense IBM's code according to terms other than the GPL, and continuing to distribute Linux on its FTP site while claiming non-GPL rights.

    I think this would explain why SCO has gone the GPL is invalid route, but they have not gone far enough. Let's assume SCO wins its claims. If one piece of code in Linux is copyright IBM, but not related to the System V contract, then IBM's counter claim also wins, since SCO has no rights to distibute, modify, or sublicense that IBM code except under the GPL. SCO actually needs to somehow claim that contributing code to Linux is contributing the code to the public domain, which I really can't see a judge going for, sinc copyrights can only be tranferred in writing, and it seems to me that a transfer to the public domain would also have to be in writing. IANAL

    So, what happens if one party wins a breach of contract claim against another party that at the same time has won a copyright infringement claim against the first party?

  • by Arker (91948) on Friday February 27, 2004 @04:50PM (#8411575) Homepage Journal

    You may be correct on the issue you're analysing, but consider that TSG has argued in court that the GPL is illegal. And remember that you don't sue anyone for 'violating the GPL' you sue them for copyright infringement. They then have to come up with a defense, and the GPL would be their defense against the infringement charge - it's not something the copyright holders need to bring up but rather a defense against them. Since TSG has and is arguing in court that the GPL is invalid, they should be therefore under an estoppel preventing them from then arguing that defense in another court. IANAL, and anyone wanting to sue them should definately talk to some folks that are about it, of course.

  • Re:Yes! Go Fydor! (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 27, 2004 @04:56PM (#8411615)
    Trolltech and SCO are both part of the same parent company.
    it goes by the name of Canopy.
    I somehow doubt Trolltech is gonna do *ANYTHING* to SCO.
  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@lynx . b c.ca> on Friday February 27, 2004 @06:08PM (#8412248) Journal
    If the authors try to revoke SCO's right to this code, THEY are violating the GPL by not licencing it under the GPL to ALL third parties
    Show me where in the GPL it says this.

    I think you are mistaken about what the GPL is.

    First of all, it is impossible for the copyright owner to violate the GPL on the software that he himself wrote. He _owns_ the copyright, after all. The GPL does not take ownership of copyright away from the author.

    Secondly, standard copyright law _always_ applies to any copyrighted work: permission to copy and distribute a copyrighted work is categorically forbidden without the permission of the copyright owner. In the case of GPL'd software, the GPL outlines the terms and conditions that one must simply agree to in order to obtain said permission. Where more conventional copyrighted works require express written permission from either the copyright owner or those explicitly authorized by him (such as a publisher), the GPL simply defaults to having given you permission that can be revoked by the copyright owner at any time should you fail to comply with the terms of the license.

  • by Xtifr (1323) on Friday February 27, 2004 @06:15PM (#8412321) Homepage
    SCO has filed a statement with the court (in response to IBM's counterclaims) saying that the GPL is (among other things) "unenforcable", "void and/or voidable", and "unconstitional". This could be read as prima facie evidence that they do not accept the terms of the GPL, which is a requirement for distributing any GPL'd software.

    If they'd confined themselves to press releases questioning the legality of the GPL, then I think you might have a point. But they've basically stated in open court that they do not accept the GPL at all, therefore they're in violation of section 5 of the GPL with respect to any and all GPL'd programs. (Thanks to the smart folks at Groklaw for pointing this out.)
  • by fishbowl (7759) on Friday February 27, 2004 @07:49PM (#8413031)
    "Pump and Dump" is vernacular language for something that people seem to think is illegal, or wish was illegal, but it's not illegal. The SCO folks have probably kept their toes ever so slightly on the "legal" side of the line.

    They have followed a bold, irresponsible course, they have made many public statements that are plainly false -- but they have also stopped short of securities fraud or perjury.

    Maybe they'll mess up and cross that line, but they haven't yet.

    In the mean time, you should have been investing in SCO, and making some money off this fiasco. There won't be much warning when it's time to head for the hills, but there will be some. So far, if you'd followed the analysts' advice on SCO, you'd have made money.

    There really hasn't been anything for the SEC to be interested in. What crimes do you suggest they have committed, exactly? Until the various court cases are decided, it's all still based on open questions.

    The Australian letters are a bit of a counter example. They may have broken Australian laws. I'm sure that has them scared in Utah.
  • by k_head (754277) on Friday February 27, 2004 @08:44PM (#8413421)
    That is why the FSF suggests that you turn over your copyrights on GPLed code to them. If they can gather all the copyrights in one place then it's easier to defend.

The first version always gets thrown away.

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