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Matts (1087)

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I work for MessageLabs [] in Toronto, ON, Canada. I write spam filters, MTA software, high performance network software, string matching algorithms, and other cool stuff mostly in Perl and C.

Journal of Matts (1087)

Tuesday January 07, 2003
05:47 AM


[ #9807 ]

Today I found out that NAI (Network Associates - makers of McAffee anti-virus and various other things) have just bought out DeerSoft - owners of the trademark "SpamAssassin" and employers of Justin Mason and Craig Hughes - the creator of SpamAssassin and another one of the developers respectively.

Unfortunately for me this creates a conflict of interest. NAI, a competitor of ours is now using code I created, and will continue to do so.

Looks like my development on SpamAssassin ends here. Shame.

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  • Were your code contributions under GPL or Artistic License? If so, what do those licenses call for when the company is bought? Does NAI have to keep it open or re-write it if they want to close it, or ...?

    Not trying to be difficult; I really don't know and I'm curious. There was an article on Slashdot about the purchase, but there wasn't a lot of informed or informative comments when I looked.

    • "COPYRIGHT: SpamAssassin is distributed under Perl's Artistic license." ...according to its manpage.

      I will confess to being a bit nervous about Spamassassin's future as a NAI property.

      -DA []

  • Interesting. The trademark is probably the most valuable acquisition they made, if the code is open sourced. I wonder whether the FSF should be recommending that free software projects have names with trademarks owned by the FSF, to prevent IP abuse.