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Piracy Software

Hamstersoft Ebook App Rips Off GPL3 Code, Say Calibre Devs 283

Posted by timothy
from the permission-to-spindle-and-maim dept.
Nate the greatest submits news of a claim that a recently released ebook application from Hamstersoft is actually built from code lifted from calibre, the ebook library app. He writes "It turns out that one calibre contributor is now reporting that his code was pirated for Hamstersoft. You can find the full details over on John Schember's blog. It's technically complicated and quite long. You can also find a non-technical summary. The short-short version is that Hamstersoft needs to give away a complete source code for the Hamstersoft Ebook Converter because that app uses parts of calibre, which is licensed under GPL v3. John gave Hamstersoft a month to comply and they did not. Now that app is clearly a GPL violation."
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Hamstersoft Ebook App Rips Off GPL3 Code, Say Calibre Devs

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  • Sigh... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @02:58PM (#37087674) Journal

    Queue the GPL critics praising the BSD license. The short-short-short of it is that if these fuckers didn't want to have to abide by the GPL3 license, they shouldn't have been lazy pieces of worthless stealing shit and wrote their own fucking code.

    I hope they get sued into fucking oblivion.

  • Re:Infection. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nattt (568106) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @03:00PM (#37087700)

    Surely the behaviour of a criminal, stealing code that they didn't intend to obey the licence of?

  • Why Do We Care? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by RobinEggs (1453925) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @03:11PM (#37087786)
    We all know you shouldn't steal public property for personal profit, and this theft wasn't unique or creative in any way. Where's the news?

    This isn't really any different than stories about random violent crimes or bad weather in other states. It's not relevant to your life, it doesn't teach you anything you didn't know already, and it's only purpose is to generate page views. It's not like I don't care about protecting GPL or preventing corporate malfeasance, I just question how this story tells me anything I didn't already know.

    I like news that tells me something...new.
  • Re:Sigh... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 14, 2011 @03:15PM (#37087818)
    Um what? GPL, BSD, WTFPL whatever, it's still a license breach and GPL vs. BSD has nothing to do it. We argue that GPL doesn't achieve it's stated goals regarding freedom, how does that relate to someone breaching a license? That it wouldn't have occurred under BSD? So what? It's not BSD licensed and it's clear by picking the GPL that the author wants the things the GPL provides which the author has every right to do, even a BSD fanboi can't argue with that. You're post is flamebait.
  • Re:Why Do We Care? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Shyfer (1875644) <shyfer@live.com> on Sunday August 14, 2011 @03:17PM (#37087842)

    Well this is still news, not really surprising or important but still news. Sometimes stories like this generate interesting discussions (along with troll and flamebait shitstorms), so I'm ok with it.

  • Re:man (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RobinEggs (1453925) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @03:21PM (#37087880)
    It's not hypocritical to believe in GPL and simultaneously despise the way intellectual property works in modern life.

    I believe in intellectual property where it is public property, something distributed openly and protected from corporate schills who want to strangle the path of innovation lest it lead away from their business model. You can be anti-corporate and against 75 year copyright yet still believe in the value of short legal monopolies and in the good of clearly defining (and protecting) public property.

    I feel about long-lasting intellectual property restraints the way I feel about jet fighters: in public hands, yes. In private hands, break out the pitchforks.
  • Re:Sigh... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 14, 2011 @03:36PM (#37088028)
    Unless you are on slashdot. Then it matters who you are. If you are a record company people should not respect any of your licenses, copyrights, etc. If you are Adobe, people should just take your stuff (break your copyright, etc.). If you are a GPL code author than anyone who breaks your copyright is evil incarnate and must be sued into oblivion. Let's just admit we have a double standard on this and move on.
  • Re:Sigh... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hedwards (940851) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @03:48PM (#37088136)

    There's a lot of libertarians around here. But most folks are just concerned with the abuses of power that the RIAA and MPAA engage in and the robbing of the public domain to profit an oligarchy.

    Few people here think that a person shouldn't be able to make a living creating copyright works, just that the time period needs to be balanced with the right of the people to own their culture.

  • by man_of_mr_e (217855) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @04:22PM (#37088424)

    This looks to me like the exact same situation of an application shelling out to a gpl'd app. This is allowed by the GPL, and is even explicitly allowed in the GPL faq IIRC.

    There is a huge debate in the open source legal community as to whether DLL's are considered "derived works", and there's lots of law on both sides to support their case. This probably won't be solved until a legal case decides the issue. So, until that time, it's just a case of everyone having an opinion, and it's not a clear cut case of violation.

  • by pavon (30274) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @04:23PM (#37088434)

    The DMCA take-down notices are to be sent to the providers that are hosting the content. The search engines are not hosting this content, and sending them take-down notices is a heavy-handed abuse of the law.

    So either John misunderstands the DMCA or is willfully abusing it. Either way it makes it a lot harder to sympathize with his attempt to address violation of copyright law, when he himself is willing to resort to the very behavior of other copyright abusers.

    But at the very least, shouldn't the OSS community have an army of lawyers willing to work probono, or financed by various foundations, for this kind of thing exactly?

    What exactly do you expect them to do? The offender is in Russia and is hosted in Russia. How is a small donation-funded organization supposed to enforce copyright in situations where even large well-funded companies like Microsoft have been unable to do so?

    People sometimes get away with breaking the law, especially far away countries. It sucks, but it's life and you have to learn to accept it. The people who won't are exactly the ones that drive us further and further into a police state in their unending drive to "decrease crime", not understanding the trade-off they are making.

  • Re:Infection. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @04:44PM (#37088636)

    Surely the behaviour of a criminal, stealing code that they didn't intend to obey the licence of?

    They didn't steal anything - everyone still has the original code. No one lost anything. What they did was a copyright violation, not theft.

    Isn't that the standard /. argument when someone equates copyright violations with theft?

    Of course, this is the GPL so out come the pitchforks and torches...

    And this will be moded down by someone who disagrees or dislikes having /. hypocrisy pointed out...

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