McAfee: We're Not Asking to Be Sued

Lora Bentley

In its annual report, security vendor McAfee made the following statement, according to the INQUIRER:

To the extent that we use "open source" software, we face risks.
Earlier this week, ZDNet's Dana Blankenhorn commented that making such a statement is tantamount to "asking to be sued." He seems to see it as admission, albeit vague, that the company uses open source software without making its code available under an open source license. That's especially risky given the Software Freedom Law Center's more aggressive stance on enforcing the GNU General Public License.


McAfee's response was predictable, as quoted in another ZDNet blog post:

It is standard practice for public companies to include an extensive list of potential risk factors in their 10-K filings. We included in that list of factors is reference to potential licensing risks associated with open source software. This risk factor has been included in previous McAfee filings and is similar to current filings from other companies in the technology space...

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