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Piracy Software

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

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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  • by kwikrick ( 755625 ) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @03:22PM (#37087886) Homepage Journal

    From their EULA: (


    The source code, design, and structure of HAMSTER free software are trade secrets except software licensed under GNU GPL 3.0, LGPL, MPL, BSD-licensed or Free components used to compile. You will not disassemble, decompile, or reverse engineer it, in whole except to the extent expressly permitted by law or except GNU GPL 3.0, LGPL, MPL, BSD-licensed or Free components used to compile HAMSTER free software. You will not use HAMSTER free software for illegal purposes. You will comply with all export laws. HAMSTER free software is licensed, not sold.


    Sorry guys, you can't have GPL'd code and trade secrets in one piece of software.

  • by HiThere ( 15173 ) <{ten.knilhtrae} {ta} {nsxihselrahc}> on Sunday August 14, 2011 @03:37PM (#37088036)

    I approve of the GPL, but the copyright period is FAR too long. Of course, that's not the doing of the FSF, so don't blame them, but they could have thrown the code into public domain after five years. Or maybe ten.

  • by ByteSlicer ( 735276 ) on Sunday August 14, 2011 @06:10PM (#37089194)
    If Calibre was a library ditributed under the Lesser GPL then you would be right.

    But it's not, it is the normal GPL that applies here, and even v3, which was specifically designed to eliminate the grey areas from the v2.

    Hamstersoft has two options: either immediately cease all distribution of the infringing binaries, or provide the full sources under one of the methods specified in the GPL.

Today is a good day for information-gathering. Read someone else's mail file.