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Court Throws Out Grsecurity Libel Lawsuit Against Bruce Perens ( 48

Long-time Slashdot reader SlaveToTheGrind writes: As previously discussed on Slashdot, Grsecurity developer Open Source Security sued Bruce Perens for allegedly defamatory statements about Grsecurity's licensing policies. Thursday, Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler of the District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed the lawsuit, holding that Perens's statements were not libelous:

"Mr. Perens counters, and the court agrees, that the blog posts are opinions about a disputed legal issue, are not false assertions of fact, and thus are not actionable libel. . . . Mr. Perens -- who is not a lawyer — voiced an opinion about whether the Grsecurity Access Agreement violated the General Public License. No court has addressed the legal issue. Thus, his "opinion" is not a "fact" that can be proven provably false and thus is not actionable as defamation."

While Open Source Security technically has the ability to amend its complaint to allege a new legal theory, Judge Beeler said any amendment likely would fall under California's anti-SLAPP statute: "Mr. Perens's statements were made in a public forum and concern issues of public interest, and the plaintiffs have not shown a probability of prevailing on their claims."

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Court Throws Out Grsecurity Libel Lawsuit Against Bruce Perens

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    And how much money and time has the poor guy had to spend to get this judgement ?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Who is Bruce Perens?

      • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Saturday December 23, 2017 @06:37PM (#55797751) Homepage Journal

        Is this some kind of John Galt meme, or do you not actually know how to use Google?

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Who is Bruce Perens?

        You see those curved symbols on your keyboard that look like this ( and this )?

        He invented those. [] Without Parens, the LISP programming language would never have come into being, and C++ and Java would look more like COBOL. Not only that, but the entire communication mechanism known as "emoticons" would not exist, so no one would be able to communicate on the internet. Since emoticons lead to emojis, and emojis are required for text messaging, you would not have text messaging without Bruce and his parens.

      • Who is Bruce Perens?

        You are definitely new here.

    • by Idarubicin ( 579475 ) on Saturday December 23, 2017 @07:01PM (#55797845) Journal
      It's hard to say what his out-of-pocket costs might be. One of his business ventures is a consultancy called Legal Engineering; Perens is the CEO. From his website:

      ...Bruce Perens is the bridge between lawyers and engineers, helping one to understand the other. He instructs engineers in how to comply with legal requirements and how to deal with intellectual property issues in their own work, and produces clarity for attorneys who are working on issues of computer software.

      He may well have had attorneys with suitable expertise already on retainer. Even if not, the marketing value of being on the "right" side of a dispute like this could have tremendous promotional value for him, his brand, and his company--the sort of advertising that no amount of money could buy.

      I'm not saying that it's fair that Perens was out any time, money, or inconvenience, or that Grsecurity wasn't trying to abuse the system by filing a spurious lawsuit. But this isn't an instance of a lone blogger's David bravely duking it out against all odds against a giant corporate Goliath. Perens definitely has the knowledge, contacts, and resources to effectively respond to this sort of threat, and is almost certainly one of the dumbest possible choices Grsecurity could have made to sue. Of all possible defendants, Perens is among those with the most to gain from successfully defending against this flimsy suit.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Bruce Perens has had his anti-SLAPP motion dismissed in order to allow the plaintiff one try to amend their complaint. But the court found no fault in Perens anti-SLAPP motion, they just denied it to give the plaintiff time to amend, and the anti-SLAPP was dismissed without prejudice, meaning Perens can file it again whether or not the plaintiff amends their complaint. The court said in their ruling that they were likely to find for Perens. It is hard to see how any change to the complaint could save the ca

    • by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) <> on Saturday December 23, 2017 @09:32PM (#55798313) Homepage Journal

      I apologize for not participating in this discussion, but it is obvious legal hygiene not to discuss the suit until it's all over. There are some things I can discuss: Here is the Court Order [], and I would like to introduce you to my Wonderful Legal Team []. Valerie, Stanley, and I are having a good time over the winter break and wish you all happy holidays. Don't worry about me, and I'll explain what costs I have, if any, when this is over.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I guess Grsecurity is not only violating the GPL, the organization is also run by lying wankers.

As of next Tuesday, C will be flushed in favor of COBOL. Please update your programs.