The terms of the GPL.

Story: Denying SCO's right to redistribute GPL'ed code opens questions of Open Source complianceTotal Replies: 1
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Feb 27, 2004
6:49 AM EDT
I guess I'm missing something here. I thought you had to accept the terms of the GPL in order to distribute GPL software. If that is the case, then isn't SCO refusing to accept the terms of the GPL when they attack it as being a violation of the U.S. Constitution? If not, then it seems like they get to be in a "have their cake and eat it too" position, which hardly seems appropriate. Either they accept it as a valid license and abide by its terms or they refute its legality and stop distributing software licensed under it.

Of course I guess SCO's position is if the GPL is invalid then GPLed software is in the public domain and they can do whatever the heck they want to with it...


Feb 27, 2004
8:47 AM EDT
Often the law allows you to be schizophrenic in your actions. Whether or not this is the case here is another matter. However, there are some points to keep in mind:

1. Simply notifying an offender that they are violating your copyrights might not get you much, which would compel you to seek enforcement through the courts.

2. I believe there is a statutory framework governing recoverable damages, which can be cumbersome to follow through on for smaller open source firms.

Legal fights are about as much fun as having athletes foot and it takes not inconsiderable resources to get through them. In my opinion the liability issues presented by nmap are already present in the ongoing SCO litigation v. IBM, RedHat and Novell. However, nmap could be in a position to recover for damages caused by SCO's inappropriate use of Nmap's copyrighted material.

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