Fyodor Terminates SCO’s Right to Distribute Nmap

Posted by – 28/02/2004

Wow! That is some twist in this whole SCO mess I haven’t foreseen. This is what is in Nmap 3.50 release notes :

“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.”

This gives me the following thought: what if every GPL author terminates SCO rights to redistribute their software?

Apparently, Groklaw’s Pamela Jones seems to agree that if SCO repudiated GPL, they can fall under section 4 termination terms, which means that any GPL author can sue them. That would be interesting, for a change!

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