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Thread: Someone ripped of my software.

  1. #1

    Default Someone ripped of my software.

    I'm not too upset about this as there not making any profit from my software, but someone decided to rip off my open source software, by changing the language and name, and removing all credits to myself, however they do put a "based on" on the actual page, but when you use it, you've got no clue it was written by me.

    Is this a good or a bad thing? there version is an earlier version of mine, It doesn't bother me too much as it provides options for other people, the name is pretty much the same, and they removed a few things.

    I don't mind too much, but this isn't going to come back and bite me is it? I know with some people they will accuse you of stealing it etc.

    On the bright side, they liked it enough to rip it off, apparently they like it and use it, hmm.

    That and they haven't bothered to update it, as soon as I contacted them, hmm odd. I actually wanted to ask if I could use the translation he did, and add that as a language pack.

    Is this normal, and has this happened to you before?

    Also to put it out there, the disassembled source code is 99% the same as mine, the only thing he changed was the language, and copyrights.

    His version is also open source, with the source code available too, I disassembled his compiled version to make sure he wasn't doing anything sketchy, like putting in malware, or making it call home or something.

  2. #2

    Default

    What license did you use when you released it?

    The whole purpose of the license is to clearly define what someone can and can't do with your work. Most open source licenses are purposefully permissive in the creation of derived works, most (but not all) don't specifically require giving credit to the original project (though it's common courteous to do so), many put stipulations on the release of derived works (usually but not always requiring the source be made available under a compatible license), and so forth. If this derived copy complies with the license you release it under, they've done nothing wrong (in fact, they've specifically done what you've indicated you are ok with them doing).

    In general open source is built around the idea of people building on each others work. It's not always that amicable, a lot of forks come from disagreements (sometimes over really silly things), but generally the idea of releasing the code is so others can build on top of it. The reality of open sourcing something is someone may take it, go further with it, and you just become a forgotten footnote in it's history.

  3. #3

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by BoundCoder View Post
    What license did you use when you released it?

    The whole purpose of the license is to clearly define what someone can and can't do with your work. Most open source licenses are purposefully permissive in the creation of derived works, most (but not all) don't specifically require giving credit to the original project (though it's common courteous to do so), many put stipulations on the release of derived works (usually but not always requiring the source be made available under a compatible license), and so forth. If this derived copy complies with the license you release it under, they've done nothing wrong (in fact, they've specifically done what you've indicated you are ok with them doing).

    In general open source is built around the idea of people building on each others work. It's not always that amicable, a lot of forks come from disagreements (sometimes over really silly things), but generally the idea of releasing the code is so others can build on top of it. The reality of open sourcing something is someone may take it, go further with it, and you just become a forgotten footnote in it's history.
    It's released under the GNU GPL Version 2, meanwhile this person removes the licence, doesn't even contain one :P

  4. #4

    Default

    In that case he is possibly in violation of the license (specifically because the GPL stipulates any derived works must be released under a compatible license).

    Everything else he did though should be fine, with the possible exception that there is a clause requiring a comment to be in each source file changed with the date and nature of the change or somesuch.

  5. #5

    Default

    You should mention this around Linux nerds where you are able to link to the programs in question. Sounds like something people will look at.

  6. #6

    Default

    If someone gets rid of the license, that's an issue and you should tell them to add it back on, but you can't really do more then that.

    As long as GPL'd code is public and it retains its license, there isn't an issue if someone takes the code wholesale and works on it. That's actually how forks work... A software development team basically materialized to work on your project for free, and now you have a version of your work in another language.

    This sort of thing isn't uncommon either, for example, Linux currently has almost 14,000 people doing that with its codebase on GitHub.

    If that's not your thing though, you would have to pick another license or keep it closed source.
    Last edited by thingywhat; 22-Aug-2016 at 07:05.

  7. #7
    MarchinBunny

    Default

    This person in question ... did they use any of your actual work or did they start from scratch and make their own version?

  8. #8

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by brabbit1987 View Post
    This person in question ... did they use any of your actual work or did they start from scratch and make their own version?
    It was a complete rip-off. It's doesn't surprise me a bit.

    It's like if I were to buy a car, and remove the logos and slap my own on there and say I made the car, than go around saying I made the car from scratch.

  9. #9

    Default

    Well, you may fork under the same license, keeping the attribution intact.
    You may not take the codebase, strip its license and slap your name on it.

    But since we don't know where it's hosted, and what he did exactly I don't think even someone with experience in this could help you take the next step.

    I guess that would be to write him, telling him exactly what he did wrong and how to fix it so it becomes a real fork of your project instead of a rip off.

  10. #10

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by kapi View Post
    Well, you may fork under the same license, keeping the attribution intact.
    You may not take the codebase, strip its license and slap your name on it.

    But since we don't know where it's hosted, and what he did exactly I don't think even someone with experience in this could help you take the next step.

    I guess that would be to write him, telling him exactly what he did wrong and how to fix it so it becomes a real fork of your project instead of a rip off.
    I'm not bothered by it, but I did contact him saying, he is free to work on a language pack, and to add based off into the credits in the application,

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