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Thread: Open-Source Projects Are Getting Ripped On Amazon

  1. #51
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by misiu_mp View Post
    As a customer I would feel cheated if I've been told something is cheapest here when it is free somewhere else. I believe it is false advertising.
    Even if it didn't state its cheapest, taking free stuff and selling it for money is making fools out of the customers, unless there is added value (packaging, ease, availability, support, charity you name it).
    I mostly agree (about feeling cheated), but most companies do put the software on physcial media, and mail it to you. Which could be a huge added value if you are on dial-up. If someone is just selling you a link to a download, that does enter into false advertising territory if they are claiming to be the cheapest, as it clearly isn't the cheapest source.


    Quote Originally Posted by misiu_mp View Post
    ...but people would likely assume that by paying for free software they are somehow supporting that software financially. So it should be clarified. Everything else is trying to earn money by deliberately withholding information to mislead and take advantage of the ignorance of the customers. That's not ethical.
    Again, I agree here. At no point should anyone EVER indicate that the Free Software they are selling raises funds for the original project when it doesn't. I don't think that people have to disclose where their profits go, but they should never mislead people into thinking they go somewhere they don't.


    Quote Originally Posted by misiu_mp View Post
    If an enterprise is serious about making money from free software projects in a long term, they would have to share their interests and support them. Otherwise a such a company would not appear seriously committed to the product they are selling. Not good for customers.
    Indeed. My company sells Free Software, and in many cases we do rebrand it first in order to avoid trademark issues. But we are always up front and open about it, and don't hide what we are doing. We provide access to the source code as required. We also contribute bugfixes and reports upstream to help in development. In the long run, doing things that way makes much more sense for everyone.

  2. #52
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    The Alps
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    Default Old times....

    I was a little amused by this debate on the lawfulness of Butterfly Media free software (re)sales and rebranding... just a little flashback...

    When I was a kid, in 1980s, newspaper stands were full of magazines that came with tapes and diskettes CRAMMED of games for VIC-20, C64, Spectrum and other systems, in later 80s even some Amiga ware... Those tapes, which could contain 10 or even 20 games each, didn't cost more than 10,000 lire (6-7 USD), a kid-affordable price... while in computer and media shops one single game couldn't cost less than 10$!
    And the games were the same (!!!) with some artwork stripped down, a very bad italian translation and the names changed (sometimes with exilarating effects... "wizball" turned into "no mercy" (why on earth?? maybe we had to have no mercy for the wizcat?), "Impossible mission" became "special agent", "boulderdash" had lots of different names every time we found it in one of those tapes, "Star Wars - return of the jedi" became "glow", "batman-the movie" became "bat boy", and in the magazine they wrote "you're a boy who plays Batman's role", well, you get the idea)

    Were these cassettes a blatant copyright infringement? well, yes... and no.
    the Italian copyright law did not provide explicit copyright cover on computer programmes: it was about copyrighting books, newspapers, music, paintings, photos, radio and TV programmes, films... "and any other intellectual work". Software was included in the law only in early 90s. This meant, you could tell video games are a product of intellect (and undobtely are!), and by redistributing them in those cassettes the magazine publishers (who NEVER had permission to) were breaking the law... but stop them doing that you had to demonstrate in a court the computer software is copyrightable material FIRST, and if the courts said you're right you could pursue the publishers. This means, you had to sue them twice (and publishers had lawyers too). And in 80s computers in Italy were considered "a too difficult matter" for judges too, so no one was ever punished for selling pirate copies of C64 games in newspaper kiosks (but when in 1990 the first draft of a law enforcing software copyright appeared, all those magazine vanished).

    All that butterfly/amazon thing looks very similar to what was going on in Italy in C64 times... on the edge of lawfulness... somewhat.

  3. #53
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    Sep 2008
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    The GPL stuff is hardly on the edge of lawfullness. It is completely legal to sell GPL software.

    The non-GPL stuff probably is in violation.

    The only real worthwhile thing to do is register on Amazon and give the company bad ratings with links to the actual project.

    And notify the owners of the proprietary products that this company might be violating their copyright.

  4. #54
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    Jan 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by yesterday View Post
    The GPL stuff is hardly on the edge of lawfullness. It is completely legal to sell GPL software.
    The non-GPL stuff probably is in violation.
    Well, in our case ( i am a codeveloper of www.rigsofrods.com ) sold as Transport Simulator by the same people ripping other open source projects, this is not correct.

    Its right, that we are GPL3 and anyone could resell our work as long as he includes the GPL3 license, what they actually did ( we bought on of the amazon offers ), but the executable ripped from our svn included copyrighted private contents not GPL3 licensed, ( including stuff i made beside my codework ), which is a harm of my right of intellectual property and my copyrights.

    And thats definetly fraud. Rigs of Rods never relicensed contents made by users, so its still there copyright and there property. So ripping this parts fropm our svn is not legal at all.

    @developers of affected projects:
    we should find a way to communicate and negotiate what to do.
    Our development team and our community are really unhappy with the things going on, our codework and content is distributed at a large scale over various reseller platforms on the net illegaly.
    We definetly have a leverage against this people ( stolen content ), but we would like to sync with other affected developers before we take action.

    So, if you interested in grouping up to end this fraud, please contact me via PM.
    My Rigs of Rods account is LIFTER, i am the official spokesman of the development team.

  5. #55
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoR-Lifter View Post
    Well, in our case ( i am a codeveloper of www.rigsofrods.com ) sold as Transport Simulator by the same people ripping other open source projects, this is not correct.

    Its right, that we are GPL3 and anyone could resell our work as long as he includes the GPL3 license, what they actually did ( we bought on of the amazon offers ), but the executable ripped from our svn included copyrighted private contents not GPL3 licensed, ( including stuff i made beside my codework ), which is a harm of my right of intellectual property and my copyrights.

    And thats definetly fraud. Rigs of Rods never relicensed contents made by users, so its still there copyright and there property. So ripping this parts fropm our svn is not legal at all.

    @developers of affected projects:
    we should find a way to communicate and negotiate what to do.
    Our development team and our community are really unhappy with the things going on, our codework and content is distributed at a large scale over various reseller platforms on the net illegaly.
    We definetly have a leverage against this people ( stolen content ), but we would like to sync with other affected developers before we take action.

    So, if you interested in grouping up to end this fraud, please contact me via PM.
    My Rigs of Rods account is LIFTER, i am the official spokesman of the development team.
    yes, please. I hate frauds like these and amazon should be the first to stop these kind of people, i wonder why they haven't so already, since am pretty sure they might have received an email or 2 about it (i would think)

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