[Snort-users] license Question

Matt Kettler mkettler at ...4108...
Tue Jul 1 13:25:11 EDT 2003

At 05:12 PM 6/30/2003 -0700, Michael Steele wrote:
>He wants to provide support, so there is nothing he needs to do other then
>what is required by his local authority on setting up a business. He might
>want to consider liability insurance, or word it in his support contract
>that he cannot be held liable for anything out of the support he is
>providing. This needs to be done by an attorney, and should be part of any
>support contract.

Well, he wants to provide INSTALLATION and support. Installation 
constitutes distribution, distributing copies of snort is subject to the 
GPL terms, which really aren't all that unreasonable.

Heck, technically he could just leave a copy of the source tarball on the 
machines he installed it on and he's fully compliant. I just stated the "CD 
and printed license" as a "best practice" recomendation.

>As far as I know you can take Snort and do with it as you want. I see other
>variants of Snort out there and commercial companies use it all the time in
>their commercial devices; anything from switches, to full blown IDS devices.

That part is not true. There are certain limitations on what you can do 
with snort. There's not many, but there are some. For example I cannot use 
code directly from snort in a non-open source product.

You really should read the license.  BSD licenses are generally "do 
whatever, but it's still my copyright", but GPL licenses are "do whatever, 
but it must always remain open source when you're done with it".

Snort is GPL licensed, not BSD.

>Isn't that the beauty of 'Open Source'?

True, although some OS software is protected against "embrace, extend and 
extinguish" tactics by GPL licenses.

The relative merits of BSD vs GPL vs other OS type licenses is the subject 
of a great many flame wars, really the only relevant bits here are how GPL 
differs from "do whatever".

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