[clug] sec: unclassified - Samba Team, on SCO and sweet irony

Darren Freeman daz111 at rsphysse.anu.edu.au
Mon Aug 25 18:11:36 EST 2003

On Mon, 2003-08-25 at 11:48, Martin Pool wrote:
> On Mon, 25 Aug 2003 11:42:16 +1000 (EST)
> "Matthew Hawkins" <matt at mh.dropbear.id.au> wrote:
> > 
> > Martin Pool said:
> > > I'm not sure what on what grounds they could be told to desist.
> [In the context of this thread we were talking about desisting from
> distributing Samba.]
> > Slander?  Defamation?  Misrepresentation of a competitors product(s)? 
> That's all very well, and good grounds for requesting an injunction on
> the behaviour, or a suit for (in the US) commercial libel, or a
> complaint to the ACCC.  However, none of them allow the GPL to be
> terminated.  Some licences (an early Netscape PL?) had a "you sue us,
> you lose the software" clause, but the GPL does not.

My own point is that they are arguing that the GPL is illegal. Thus they
should be prepared to stop using software licensed under it. Since the
GPL allows you to decline to accept it, under the condition that you are
unauthorised to distribute the licensed works, then SCO should be taken
as not accepting it since they publicly state its illegality. Thus they
then break international copyright law for still distributing the works.

> In any case, SCO is not defaming the Samba team at the moment, except
> indirectly as they say all open source programmers are bad.  So it would
> be a case of "you slander my friend, I terminate your licence", which is
> even more tenuous.

That's very true. Plus it's not in the free software spirit.
Nevertheless bagging free software and selling it at the same time
should be fought using any and all loopholes that may be available.


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