14 May 1997: See RSA v. PGP
13 May 1997: Add new report from Kevin Connolly.
8 May 1997
To: cyberia-l@LISTSERV.AOL.COM Date: Thu, 8 May 1997 11:02:39 -0500 From: "Kevin J. Connolly" <kconnolly@EVW.COM> Subject: Encryption--RSA v. PGP -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- RSA Data Security, Inc. filed an action in the Superior Court of California, San Mateo County, against Pretty Good Privacy, Inc. PGP has been claiming that its license to distribute RSA-based encryption software is based on a chain running from Public Key Partners to Viacrypt, Inc. PGP acquired Viacrypt, Inc. in January 1996 and has been selling RSA-based encryption software for commercial use ever since. The complaint, filed by Tomlinson Zisko Morosoli & Maser, alleges that PGP's license is derived from a license to Lemcom, which in turn has been terminated. This might well mean the end of PGP. This would certainly be a bad outcome for security and freedom on the Internet. I will be following these developments and report to the list. It's ironic that RSA is doing this while complaining about PGP conduct as a freeloader. I doubt that public key encryption would be anywhere as notorious as it has become if it were not for Phil Zimmermann's crusade; and I haven't noticed RSA offering to help with Phil's legal expenses. Kevin J. Connolly The opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author, not of Eaton & Van Winkle. This communication is not legal advice. If it were legal advice, it would be accompanied by an invoice. -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: 2.6.2 iQCVAwUBM3HrGTQOqu5WyMfpAQFX7AP/T0R54+S05FqKJ+zZXVb1uCHMrPZmagEm aiW9Dfgwo/K3tXbkrbS0WEtCc8tZobXbL7fLOT82qzKvXehRsERILV2keeaXlAe7 WN5c66SjaWe/xGfLQ/8UAnzaBl6l+olG8gN2zxGatbLDcKuakP7j0LGRuzhTXAaG BOYGDUbsSAY= =VCFW -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
To: cyberia-l@LISTSERV.AOL.COM Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 11:03:31 -0500 From: "Kevin J. Connolly" <kconnolly@EVW.COM> Subject: Re: Encryption--RSA v. PGP -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- There are several additional bits and pieces to report. First, RSA is not seeking to enjoin the distribution of PGP products. The lawsuit is seeking solely to revise the royalties to be paid. Second, it can be said that the suit represents something of a stretch. RSA (the original patent holder) assigned the patent to Public Key Partners, whose membership consists of RSA Data Security, Inc. and Cylink Corporation. Public Key Partners had granted a license to ViaCrypt, Inc., which was acquired by Lemcom, Inc. Then Pretty Good Privacy, Inc. acquired Lemcom and performed a reverse subsidiary merger, with Lemcom as the surviving entity. Lemcom then changed its corporate style to (surprise!) Pretty Good Privacy, Inc. Cylink--the other half of Public Key Partners-- was not consulted before RSA purported to terminate the license and sue PGP. Third, It appears that one major reason for RSA's purported termination of the license agreement was to get around the very broad arbitration clause in the license agreement. Finally, it appears that RSA commenced the suit in reaction to PGP's development of algorithm-independent encryption. This innovation would make it possible for PGP to embrace not only the RSA Algorithm but also Diffy-Helman, El Gamal (a variant of Diffy-Helman), elliptical curve cryptography or even n-dimensional lattice vector schemes. In the meantime, however. PGP continues and will continue to incorporate the RSA algorithm, if for no other reason than downward compatibility and the need to continue to support the significant number of existing RSA-based keypairs. It should be noted that any bias apparent in this posting stems from the failure of RSA's counsel to return my calls, even though I identified myself and the fact that I am preparing an article for print in a significant news weekly (which I will not identify until and unless the article actually runs). However, I did identify the publication to RSA's counsel, and he chose to let me get my information from PGP, Cylink, and other industry sources. Kevin J. Connolly The opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author, not of Eaton & Van Winkle. This communication is not legal advice. If it were legal advice, it would be accompanied by an invoice. -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: 2.6.2 iQCVAwUBM3iC4jQOqu5WyMfpAQECGQP+IkL0fslR6M/GSHKNdrnCVqQNoYllXurt qcPM0okSKCGEnySvBdeHJE2nf/7nn/CpYtFiPe36hkbfplpjOE4cRgupbr57AL9V kxQluZQdJwJJKNwXrdhiCHHBleM7l7RUSSwIRovsMxy6+4Zd3MNweGKX7wfmFnX8 yRFOV1z7CGs= =W5P9 -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----