Raster

Firstly, let me preface this with, the facts at hand are based off this article, and are assuming it is true as written at the time of writing this post here

So ... it seems Grsecurity want to sue Bruce Perens for expressing his opinion that their added restrictions to the GPL license are in violation of it. Let's just leave that alone for now and get to another matter. The matter in the title of this post.

Bruce Perens

First, Bruce Perens is someone I happen to know, and deeply respect. He has been a pillarof the Open Source and Linux Community for decades. He's one of those people who helped build it. I first met him about 20 years ago, and from personal direct expereience can tell you that Bruce is a careful, considered and intelligent person. Also if there is one thing he REALLY knows, it's about Open source. Licenses and Community. Bruce is the kind of guy that God himself turns to when looking for advice about Open Source license issues.

Going after Bruce Perens legally for an opinion, that is IMHO very likely reliable, isn't just about a disagreement, but it's about simply not understanding what Open Source is all about. Specifically Open Source when it comes to the Linux kernel and GPLv2. Forget legal facts here. I'm talking about honor. Open Source is an honor system (backed by a set of licenses), that basically goes like this:

"Here you go. I (and possibly many others) wrote this code, and am/are giving it to you on the basis that you can use it and do what you want as long as you also share it along and don't restrict anyone further than that, and that they get all the rights and freedoms I gave to you. If you don't follow this you re not following the Open Source way".

Let's not get bogged down in the detals of GPL vs. LGPL vs. GPL2 vs. 3 vs. BSD vs. Apache etc. ... the above still is a core part of what Open Source is all about. This is not about nitpicking legalities. It's about the honor, or lack thereof in this move.

So I'm going to make the claim that if you trust Grsecurity because they claim to understand Open Source in any way, then I'd say you should re-think that.

Bruce is the kind of guy that helped build this amazing Open Source world ... and if you go after Bruce for standing up for Open Source licenses like GPL, then you not only are going after him, but you are going after all of us who helped build this Open Source world so many millions of people and billions of dollars of business depend on, and you are sending a clear signal that you just don't get the honor system this world of Open Source is built on, and you re likely a threat to it instead.

Congratulations Grsecurity. You have made it onto my "naughty list". A lump of coal for you this Crhistmas, and for many after that.

And Bruce, you have my support, my respect, and my gratitude.