[Spambayes] Spam Bayes use in a corporation

Tim Peters tim.one at comcast.net
Sun May 23 02:06:47 EDT 2004

[Bob Coe]
> What their lawyer thinks may be influenced by fear of the outcome of 
> the SCO suit against IBM.  If I'm not mistaken, SCO has already begun 
> trying to squeeze royalties out of end users of Linux for alleged 
> copyright violations of which the end users are admittedly blameless. 
> If SCO wins (and in today's legal and political climate anything is 
> possible), a lot of people may begin to rethink the value of open 
> source licenses.  I realize that Python isn't Linux, but almost any open 
> source development has some roots in the Unix world if you look deep 
> enough.  I'm not scared to use Spambayes, but I guess I could understand 
> the reluctance of someone who is.

[Mike Neel]
> Pardon me for saying, but that's the most off-base I've ever read, lol. 
> It's clear you're not up on the claim (or the implied claims that is) 
> of the SCO case.  Second you're also not clear on how opensource 
> software works.  Last, if a lawer reads the python license and thinks 
> the SCO case will have an affect on that in the slightest, you need to 
> get a new lawer.

I think SCO's FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) campaign against Linux has
been successful outside the open source community, and I'm sure Bob's
concerns are widely shared.

This isn't the place for that, so I'll just reference Eric Raymond's paper
on the topic:


One thing to note there is the diagram showing the relationships among more
than 30(!) variants of Unix(tm).  Most of them were proprietary -- Unix has
a long and complicated history, with many former owners of pieces of the

In contrast, Python and SpamBayes have never been released under anything
except open source licenses, so nobody can claim that the current release
infringes on the IP rights of some earlier proprietary version (there never
was such a thing).  While some yahoo may show up someday claiming that
Python or SpamBayes use, e.g., a patented algorithm somewhere, nothing in
legal life is immune from nuisance complaints.  Fear of that would be
paralyzing to no good end.

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