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Piriform Asks BleachBit To Remove Winapp2.ini Importer 305

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the you-always-need-a-lawyer dept.
ahziem writes "As author of the BleachBit system cleaner, I received a polite but firm request from Piriform, makers of the similar application CCleaner, to remove a two-year-old feature from BleachBit that allows individual BleachBit users to import winapp2.ini data files created by the community that define which files to delete for applications. Does Piriform's request have merit? Do I need a lawyer? What is a good response to avoid any ugly situation?"
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Piriform Asks BleachBit To Remove Winapp2.ini Importer

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  • by Frosty Piss (770223) * on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @01:03AM (#42793671)

    Do I need a lawyer? What is a good response to avoid any ugly situation?

    And once again for the 1,000,000 time, yes, and this isn't the place to get legal advice...

    On the other hand, a "firm request" doesn't quite sound like a legal threat. Anyone can send a "firm request".

    Maybe check it with a REAL lawyer, but not worry too much until the people you've collided with send you a letter with more solid threats?

    Who knows, I'm not a lawyer...

  • IANAL (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @01:07AM (#42793691)

    I am not a lawyer nor your lawyer, but I would just ignore the e-mail. Don't answer, just ignore it. Importing a text file has nothing to do with their ToS. This is not a legal advice.

  • Re:Hanlon's razor (Score:4, Informative)

    by Skapare (16644) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @01:15AM (#42793753) Homepage

    They said "terms of use". Use of what? If HE downloaded CCleaner files and included them with his app, then I do see problems galore. But if he did not download CCleaner files himself I do not see how he is obligated contractually to their terms. Contract Law 101.

  • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @01:18AM (#42793773) Journal

    And once again for the 1,000,000 time, yes, and this isn't the place to get legal advice...

    Lemme quote that guy had stated:

    Does Piriform's request have merit?

    Do I need a lawyer?

    What is a good response to avoid any ugly situation?

    Of the three quoted questions above, "Do I need a lawyer?" comes closest in resembling a "legal advice", but it ain't.

    The gist of what poster "ahziem" was looking for is "What is a good response to avoid any ugly situation?" - that is, how should one go about under that situation.
     

  • by 1u3hr (530656) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @01:21AM (#42793789)
    They're not "CCLeaner files". Winapp 2 is made by a 3rd party See theior site:

    http://www.winapp2.com/ [winapp2.com] "This website and its files are not endorsed or supported in any way by Piriform. They take no responsibility for any damages or problems that arise from its use.",

    Looks like Piriform has sent similar messages to them.

  • Get a lawyer (Score:5, Informative)

    by steelfood (895457) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @01:30AM (#42793843)

    Sounds like winapp2 is an independently-developed "application" that Piriform does not own. If you wrote your own libraries to parse the file, then they'll have trouble successfully suing you. But that doesn't mean they won't sue. If you're using their libraries, then best ditch it and rewrite that piece yourself.

    In either case, you need a lawyer. Let the lawyer respond.

  • Re:IANAL (Score:5, Informative)

    by Garridan (597129) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @01:56AM (#42793993)
    Yeah -- unless you're using their software, you can't violate their TOS.
  • winapp2.ini [winapp2.com] is not property of Piriform. It is a separate project by other people and even notes the compatibility with BleachBit as a feature. Piriform is just being a bunch of assholes. Fuck them.
  • by ebspso (959601) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @02:43AM (#42794219)

    The header for winapp.ini contains this...
    ----
    Application Cleaning file
    WARNING - DO NOT EDIT THIS FILE

    If you would like to create custom entries then create a new file
    called winapp2.ini which follows the same format as this one.
    CCleaner will automatically pick up the new file.

    Copyright 2004-2008 Piriform Ltd, All Rights Reserved.
    This file and it's contents may not be copied or distributed
    without the express permission of the author.
    ----

    The copyright section does indeed say that you aren't allowed to use winapp.ini
    Since BleachBit and other 3rd party software are using winapp2.ini (which the copyright doesn't cover), Piriform can not insist that BleachBit stop using it.

  • IAAL (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @03:25AM (#42794343)

    I am not a lawyer nor your lawyer, but I would just ignore the e-mail. Don't answer, just ignore it.

    IAAL (not practising) and a developer and this comes closest to what I know I ought to do in this situation. Don't communicate until such time as a formal legal request is made and then communicate only as per legal advice.

    Personally I would be fighting with myself really hard to stop replying (aka giving them evidence)... however I wouldn't dream of representing myself (not even if I were practising).

    At this stage I would save myself the $$$ and just wait to see if they escalate the matter. I'm in no position to assess the legal liabilities in your particular situation. Nor should you accept the analysis or assurances of anyone commenting here. It may be they have no case, in which case their lawyer should tell them to wear it. At least in my jurisdiction a lawyer can face disciplinary proceedings for initiating action without "reasonable chance of success," and threatening legal action where no legal basis exists is a huge no-no (for lawyers that is). That may be different where you or Piriform are.

    If a formal legal letter threatening action (a lawyer is of course free to ask you to stop doing something on behalf of a client ... "pretty please ...") were received I would take legal advice in quick order.

    This is not a legal advice.

    Nor, it should go without saying, is this. It's just what I would do. If it makes you sleep better at night and you have cash to splash about you may want to get your legal team to take these jokers apart starting tomorrow.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @03:44AM (#42794399) Homepage

    This has been established over and over and over again in case law. Phone books, statistics and lists are not eligible for the type of legal protection being sought.

    Information is being made available by the public to the public. Part of that public includes a commercial entity. There is no case here as far as I can see.

  • by sg_oneill (159032) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @05:16AM (#42794729)

    I think its obvious that he's considered it due to the slashdot thread!

    But yeah, he really isn't obliged to comply. Unless they can point to a specific patent or something that infringes on something then he really hasn't got any obligation to thake them seriously at all AFAIK.

    The files are created by other people, and no judge on the planet is going to accept that the agressors EULA which is an agreement between them and THEIR customers in anyway entraps third parties without the third parties consent. Just importing a datafile isn't consent otherwise the entire edifice of IT interoprerability would be under siege.

  • by BobTheLawyer (692026) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @07:08AM (#42795115)

    I am a lawyer. The previous post is wrong - the usual rules of copyright apply whether or not you've accepted terms of service.

    Piriform's objection is not very clearly stated, but there is a problem if the Bleachbit developer is encouraging people to import winapp.ini - the information in it is copyrighted and this is likely an unlicensed use. It would be prudent for Bleachbit to tell people not to use its import functionality to import Piriform's original winapp.ini, and better still if the software rejects attempts to do this.

    Whether importing third party (non-Piriform) rules is acceptable depends upon the terms on which those rules are made available. If they're posted in a forum whose rules provide the files can be used only in Piriform products then Piriform has an arguable case (that Bleachbit is procuring a breach of contract/copyright) but that's a more difficult argument for Piriform to make, as they have to show the terms of the contract/copyright license are effective.

    Bob

  • by Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @10:32AM (#42796247) Journal

    From the "community" web site:

    What is Winapp2.com?
    Winapp2.com is the official website of Winapp2.ini, an addon for CCleaner, System Ninja, and
    BleachBit
    that adds support for over one thousand additional programs. For more information about the project, its authors, and the website, click on About in the site navigation.

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