Discussion:
nmap licensing claims
(too old to reply)
Birzan George Cristian
2004-03-05 19:05:43 UTC
Permalink
Hello!

First of all, I would like to ask you to Cc: me to replies, as I am not
subscribed to the list. Thanks in advance!

Now, the reason I'm posting here is I've noticed the following claim
made by nmap developers [1]:

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."

IANAL, but I see two issues with this.
First, nmap is distributed under the GPL. Section 4 of the GPL sates [2]:

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.

My understanding of that is that you're only allowed to use this program
as long as you comply with the GPL, which does not limit its
distribution or usage on certain platforms. Any such addendum would be a
new licence.

By browsing the GPL FAQ, I came across two sections, which, in short,
state that if you change the GPL, you must not use the name GPL [3] and
that you are not allowed to distribute a program under a different
licence than GPL, but have all modifications be GPL [4].

I am not sure if adding that claim means you've changed the GPL. If it
doesn't, then what I've said above is irrelevant and should be ignored.
:-)

The second problem is one that concerns Debian, namely, the DFSGiness of
that. It is, to me, clear, that it is not DFSG [5], since it violates 5
poits.

1) Free Redistribution

The license of a Debian component may not restrict any party from
selling or giving away the software as a component of an aggregate
software distribution containing programs from several different
sources. The license may not require a royalty or other fee for such
sale.

5) No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups

The license must not discriminate against any person or group of
persons.

6) No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor

The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the program in
a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the
program from being used in a business, or from being used for genetic
research.

8) License Must Not Be Specific to Debian

The rights attached to the program must not depend on the program's
being part of a Debian system. If the program is extracted from Debian
and used or distributed without Debian but otherwise within the terms
of the program's license, all parties to whom the program is
redistributed should have the same rights as those that are granted in
conjunction with the Debian system.

9) License Must Not Contaminate Other Software

The license must not place restrictions on other software that is
distributed along with the licensed software. For example, the license
must not insist that all other programs distributed on the same medium
must be free software.

Now, my questions for you are:

1) Is nmap's licence GPL, or by adding that mention, they created a new
licence?
2) Is nmap DFSG compliant, and can be distributed in Debian?
3) Was I on crack when reading the above?


[1] - http://www.insecure.org/stf/Nmap-3.50-Release.html
[2] - http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html
[3] - http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#ModifyGPL
[4] - http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#ReleaseNotOriginal
[5] - http://www.debian.org/social_contract#guidelines
--
Birzan George Violence is the last refuge of
Cristian the incompetent -- Salvor Hardin
Humberto Massa
2004-03-05 20:11:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Birzan George Cristian
1) Is nmap's licence GPL, or by adding that mention, they created a new
licence?
One: nmap's license is GPL. the "mention" you talked about is just a
warning to SCO that, having violated the GPL, their license is
terminated, in accordance
Post by Birzan George Cristian
2) Is nmap DFSG compliant, and can be distributed in Debian?
Two: see One above.
Post by Birzan George Cristian
3) Was I on crack when reading the above?
Three: it seems so. :-)

In Fyodor's opinion, SCO violated some (yet unknown?) terms of the GPL
license in his works (nmap). He is telling them their license is
therefore void. As to especulate where SCO violated Fyodor's rights,
it's possible that the language at the second half of section 5 explains it:
"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."
But, as SCO stated in *official court documents*, they do not accept the
GPL as a valid license; therefore, they cannot distribute nmap.
Birzan George Cristian
2004-03-05 20:26:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Humberto Massa
In Fyodor's opinion, SCO violated some (yet unknown?) terms of the GPL
Yet unknown? Isn't this the same thing SCO is doing, spreading FUD about
how Linux violated their IP?
Post by Humberto Massa
license in his works (nmap). He is telling them their license is
therefore void. As to especulate where SCO violated Fyodor's rights,
"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."
But, as SCO stated in *official court documents*, they do not accept the
GPL as a valid license; therefore, they cannot distribute nmap.
One: nmap's license is GPL. the "mention" you talked about is just a
warning to SCO that, having violated the GPL, their license is
terminated, in accordance
Hm. Fair enough, I guess.
--
Birzan George Violence is the last refuge of
Cristian the incompetent -- Salvor Hardin
Steve Langasek
2004-03-06 04:17:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Birzan George Cristian
Now, the reason I'm posting here is I've noticed the following claim
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."
IANAL, but I see two issues with this.
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.
My understanding of that is that you're only allowed to use this program
as long as you comply with the GPL, which does not limit its
distribution or usage on certain platforms. Any such addendum would be a
new licence.
1) Your comment above is misleadingly imprecise. The GPL is not an
end-user license; you do not need to accept it at all in order to *use*
GPL software.

2) The above statement does not limit the distribution or usage of nmap
on any particular platforms. It only limits its distribution *by
certain parties* who they claim have violated the license. Anyone else
still has permission to distribute nmap binaries compiled for SCO
systems under the terms of the GPL, and anyone can use nmap on SCO
systems, it's only SCO themselves who are prohibited from distributing.

The nmap license still offers the same terms to everyone, they've just
included a notice in the distribution that a particular party has failed
to comply with those terms. Therefore, this is not an act of
discrimination, as other parties who fail to comply with the terms of
the GPL are also not allowed to distribute nmap, whether or not the nmap
authors make a point of publically shaming those parties.

Regards,
--
Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer
Andreas Barth
2004-03-06 09:43:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Birzan George Cristian
First of all, I would like to ask you to Cc: me to replies, as I am not
subscribed to the list. Thanks in advance!
Now, the reason I'm posting here is I've noticed the following claim
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."
IANAL, but I see two issues with this.
Well, don't worry about that statement. It's either a policial
statement (also known as FUD), or it's just telling what the GPL
Section 4 says itselfs. So, in neither case, it changes anything of
the GPL.



Cheers,
Andi
--
http://home.arcor.de/andreas-barth/
PGP 1024/89FB5CE5 DC F1 85 6D A6 45 9C 0F 3B BE F1 D0 C5 D1 D9 0C
Andrew Suffield
2004-03-06 09:46:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andreas Barth
Post by Birzan George Cristian
First of all, I would like to ask you to Cc: me to replies, as I am not
subscribed to the list. Thanks in advance!
Now, the reason I'm posting here is I've noticed the following claim
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."
IANAL, but I see two issues with this.
Well, don't worry about that statement. It's either a policial
statement (also known as FUD)
Only *false* statements can be FUD. This one is both political and true.

(Doesn't affect the license though, it's just a reflection on how
copyright works)
--
.''`. ** Debian GNU/Linux ** | Andrew Suffield
: :' : http://www.debian.org/ |
`. `' |
`- -><- |
Branden Robinson
2004-03-09 05:01:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Birzan George Cristian
Now, the reason I'm posting here is I've noticed the following claim
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."
First, note that they are terminating one licensee's license, that being
SCO's (the SCO Group's).
Post by Birzan George Cristian
My understanding of that is that you're only allowed to use this program
as long as you comply with the GPL, which does not limit its
distribution or usage on certain platforms. Any such addendum would be a
new licence.
A copyright holder always has the right to revoke a license for
noncompliance with the license's stated terms. Debian cannot do
anything about that.
Post by Birzan George Cristian
By browsing the GPL FAQ, I came across two sections, which, in short,
state that if you change the GPL, you must not use the name GPL [3] and
that you are not allowed to distribute a program under a different
licence than GPL, but have all modifications be GPL [4].
I am not sure if adding that claim means you've changed the GPL. If it
doesn't, then what I've said above is irrelevant and should be ignored.
:-)
The NMAP developers are asserting that SCO has violated their (NMAP's)
application of the GNU GPL to the NMAP software.
--
G. Branden Robinson | Fair use is irrelevant and
Debian GNU/Linux | improper.
***@debian.org | -- Asst. U.S. Attorney Scott
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ | Frewing, explaining the DMCA
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