[Snort-devel] Output Plugin Licensing

Gary Gamerman ggamerman at ...439...
Tue Sep 4 07:12:04 EDT 2001

Under the GPL the obligation to provide source ties to distribution of the modified code.  However, I think the key criteria is whether you are distributing modified GPL code.   For example, you db has two components: (i) a Snort plugin, like the brilliant barnyard, that incorporates existing Snort code; and (ii) a db and its adapter that receives input from the plugin that has no Snort code (and is not compiled in).

My reading of the GPL (for what its worth) is that if you distro the first component it comes under the GPL source release and other provisions (as it is a derivative work of the GPL code), but not the second component.  This is comparable to other db plugins for Snort that are GPL'ed although the db they push data to (Oracle,...) is not.  However, as always, ask a knowledgeable lawyer (if they have not heard of GPL or GNU and can cite its major elements from memory, and clearly understand programming concepts like linking, compiling and ODBC, then they probably are not right for the job).  In any event, appreciate that the GPL is a largly untested (by the courts) license, with awkwardly drafted provisions.  Your mileage will vary with driving conditions such as judge, jury and facts and political climate. 


Gary E. Gamerman
President & CEO
NetImmune Technologies  Inc.
Email:  GGamerman at ...543...
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-----Original Message-----
From: snort-devel-admin at lists.sourceforge.net
[mailto:snort-devel-admin at lists.sourceforge.net]On Behalf Of
snort-devel-request at lists.sourceforge.net
Sent: Monday, September 03, 2001 3:10 PM
To: snort-devel at lists.sourceforge.net
Subject: Snort-devel digest, Vol 1 #407 - 2 msgs

Message: 1
From: Thomas Whipp <tkw at ...415...>
To: snort-devel at lists.sourceforge.net
Subject: RE: [Snort-devel] Output Plugin Licensing...
Date: Mon, 3 Sep 2001 10:33:31 +0100 

As I understand the GPL you are only required to release the
source to people you provide binaries to, there was a long
discussion about this on Slashdot sometime last year.


-----Original Message-----
From: Dana Powers [mailto:dana at ...798...]
Sent: 01 September 2001 00:32
To: snort-devel at lists.sourceforge.net
Subject: [Snort-devel] Output Plugin Licensing...

I am investigating the possibility of writing an output
plugin for snort
that would pipe output to a proprietary database system. I
have a really
basic question about licensing: is this legal?

I do not have the luxury or desire to release the code to
the proprietary
system, and seeing that snort is licensed under the GPL, Im
afraid that I
might be required to because the output plugin could be
considered a
'derived work' of snort. Certainly the plugin would contain
header files at
the very least from both the proprietary system as well as
snort. Does
anyone have any insight into this situation?


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