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Software GNU is Not Unix Your Rights Online

VX30 Ad-Stats Code Online 248

tmk writes "Drunkenblog has done it again. After deconstructing Maui X-Stream has GPL Violations with reproducable proof, he put a copy of the VX30 Ad-Stats source online. There is also a copy of the phpAdsNew source to compare. Drunkenbatman says 'This is a community problem, and it's pretty much up to you.'"
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VX30 Ad-Stats Code Online

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  • Gotta trackback... (Score:5, Informative)

    by BrynM ( 217883 ) * on Monday May 23, 2005 @07:01AM (#12610693) Homepage Journal
    For those who don't RTFA, you should. The second trackback from the post on the 18th points to a post on Rakaz's blog (he's the author of phpAdsNew) from the 19th. They admit guilt and dig their hole deeper. Damn. They're SCOing themselves in the foot.

    MXS responds []... round 2 from rakaz Totally out of the blue I received an e-mail from Jonathan Miller at Maui X-Stream. Okay, not totally out of the blue, but still a bit unexpected. In this email Jonathan concedes that VX30 Ad-Stats......
    Get this quote: "As I believe you are aware we do have a product called VX30 Ad-Stats that is based upon phpAdsNew." - Jonathan Miller of Maui X-Stream

    Darl must be beaming and handing out cigars by now...

    • They're SCOing themselves in the foot.

      I'll add this to my lexicon. SCO has become an Action Verb !!

      Time to remake Schoolhouse Rock

      • I don't understand what the gripe with making new verbs is. I consider it one of English's great strengths, that one can make new verbs at will. English is very flexible due to this.

        If nominalization in English is acceptable, I would hope the opposite (verbification) is OK. Among other languages, Japanese and Latin both have it.

        Please, just give me one reason why what the gp said was poor communication (and that is, after all, the whole point of language -- to communicate).
  • Innovation (Score:5, Informative)

    by /ASCII ( 86998 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @07:01AM (#12610694) Homepage
    Maui does seem to have a new mode of operation here. Whenever somone proves that they stole some source code, they say 'Oh, that... Yeah that was just a bit of test code we borrowed. The new release is clean.' Then they release a new version which is identical to the old version, except maybe they altered some text strings to make the release appear to be different.
  • by Ritz_Just_Ritz ( 883997 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @07:07AM (#12610713)
    OK, so they denied taking something and it was proven (at least to my satisfaction) that they did. Now Maui is "coming clean" that they "borrowed" GPL code and want to play nice. I guess they figure it's easier to ask forgiveness than permission. It makes me wonder if their other products have similar issues.
    A slippery slope.
  • Perhaps it's time... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Senor_Programmer ( 876714 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @07:30AM (#12610772)
    for investigative and prosecutorial branches in the OSS legal community. It might well be self supported from awards and even generate some $ to put in developers pockets.
  • by Adult film producer ( 866485 ) <> on Monday May 23, 2005 @07:36AM (#12610788)
    It sounds all too much like an elaborate marketing scheme on their part. The formula is pretty simple. Build a junk product, use gpl'ed code, make sure someone in the oss community noticed you're not handing out the modified source, let them howl for a few months, brand recognition goes through the roof!

    There's no such thing as bad press right ? Slashdot & everybody else shouldn't feed them what they want.. keep quiet and have the EFF sue their asses.

    Like I said, this is gotta be a junk product they're building. I don't know what the hell it is and have not read the article(s) here on slashdot.
  • by winchester ( 265873 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @07:46AM (#12610822)
    It's not a community problem... it's a business ethics problem. As long as companies can get away with using open source software in closed source products, they will continue to do so.

    Only when the first cases are brought before court, we might see an improvement. Until that moment, this will continue.
    • by mpcooke3 ( 306161 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @08:21AM (#12610946) Homepage
      You mean GPL'd software in closed source products. Open source = many licenses (including LGPL, MIT and BSD which can be used in closed source products.)
  • (especially useful for reformed IP litigation companies who've gotten a conscience)

    1. Identify companies who are violating the GPL by secretly incorporating it into their proprietary products.

    2. Make licensing arrangements with the Open Source authors involved, so as to be able to sue on their behalf. Register the copyrights involved on behalf of the authors (this allows increased damage awards for willful copyright violation, IIRC)

    3. Contact the GPL violators and get them to comply and pay a please-go-a
  • by kmortelite ( 870152 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @10:44AM (#12611920)
    The name of EVERY FUNCTION is completely different. All the ones in Maui software start with ADSTATS and in the so-called original, all the function names begin with PHPSTAT.

    How could this be copying code?

    And as for all the function bodies being exactly the same code, well, it's a miracle. I guess good programmers all format their code exactly the same, use the same comments, and even misspell the same comments. Uhm, I gotta go.

    Maui X^H^H^H^H^H^H Someone with no financial interest in the outcome of this situation
  • by FellowConspirator ( 882908 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @10:44AM (#12611922)

    I looked into the Maui X stuff and checked, and yes, they are very cleraly violating the GPL. It strikes me, however, that by making it impossible to obtain the source code, they are circumventing the technological measure of access control (namely, the source code in ASCII form).

    The DMCA doesn't necessarily require an access control measure to lock someone out of access to a work (how it is typically employed). Specifically, a technical measure is:

    (B) a technological measure `effectively controls access to a work' if the measure, in the ordinary course of its operation, requires the application of information, or a process or a treatment, with the authority of the copyright owner, to gain access to the work.

    I'd argue that distributing source code so as to grant access to the work is an effective measure to do so, and that in the normal course of it's operation (communicating the structure of an application) that it requires the application of information (headers, expert knowledge, software analysis tools), a process or treatment (at the very least, a system tath can decode ASCII and render it as glyphs on a display or printed page), and the authority of the copyright owner (a license; namely the GPL).

    It seems to mee that if you contact their ISP you can have their site shut down. Further, you can complain to the FBI since it's now a federal criminal complaint:

    (a) VIOLATIONS REGARDING CIRCUMVENTION OF TECHNOLOGICAL MEASURES- (1)(A) No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title. The prohibition contained in the preceding sentence shall take effect at the end of the 2-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this chapter.
  • by dmh20002 ( 637819 ) on Monday May 23, 2005 @11:35AM (#12612409)
    TFA is great work and right on target, but too bad the blog also stoops to doing some personal snooping and posting links to some personal info stuff about a couple of people involved. That brings it almost to the level of the O'gara stuff about PJ. It even points out one person's religion (ala OGara), as if that matters. You could argue that its part of the investigation of who is who in this affair. Thats a judgement call, I suppose. To me it was gratuitous.

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton