Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Out of my Hands

So the MediaCard people are stating that they will relesae source under GPL, which is all they are legally required to do. Since I don't know of their integrity, I can only believe them at this point as I have no evidence to tell me not to. It's safe to say (at this point at least) that they are doing things legitimately and shouldn't be harassed. If you are using a banner that says not to buy the mediacart, please take it down, and don't harass them anymore. Hopefully this doesn't ruin their business in the future.

18 comments:

Ibrahim Awwal said...

Well, to be fair, I guess this is like how most carts include Moonshell as the media player, and I doubt he gets paid either. That's kind of how GPL works I guess. Still, it would be nice if you could get paid for your hard work so that you could continue doing improving DSO. The image support is really nice now, the only problem is when pages get too big to fit in the DS's memory and it hangs. But that's only a minor issue really.

Mike Martin said...

The fun thing about this is that now you can incorporate the design changes that you like into the main branch of DSO. :D

To be honest, this isn't any different from vendors selling computer systems with Linux pre-installed. The Linux developers don't see a dime from it, but the price of the computer is for buying the hardware instead of the software.

Fenrir said...

I can see it that way but other carts who use peoples work state that as such Moonshell is Moonshell and when you read the contents it states that is what they use...not ripping someone else's work and pawning it off as their own. If these guys want to do the right thing they should be giving credit where it is due....Not throwing a coat of paint on it and calling it their own.

DragonMinded said...

Morally, it may be wrong. But under the GPL they have every legal right to do exactly as they are doing if they release the source. They don't have to credit me or anything.

I honestly don't care anymore. It's a lose-lose situation. If I speak out, I get poeple telling me I did a bad thing and am ruining the company. if I pull the source to protect my work I get people telling me I violate the GPL. If I stay silent, another person takes full credit for my hard work. No matter what I do in this case, I can't come out ahead. It isn't worth the stress, so I honestly don't give a shit.

luc said...

i hope that all the things
have a happy ending
your work deserves the credit
and that this is not the
end of DSO

Greetings an courage

Anonymous said...

Can't you register your work under another license??

dg10050 said...

The point of the GPL is kinda to _keep_ the program under the GPL. This is so that someone else can't suddenly claim rights to an open source app and change the license. So no, he can't really change the license without violating the GPL. Please read up a bit before you start saying that open-source sucks. There are reasons for these kind of things. >_>

Daniel said...

You might want to consider re-licensing it to a Creative Commons license.
You can include options like "non-commercial use only" and such ^_^
Here is a link to a fancy graphical Freedoms license generator, which lets you put together the appropriate license for your purpose.
Graphical thing: http://labs.creativecommons.org/freedomslicense/
Creative Commons home site: http://creativecommons.org/

I'm sad to see you so down, but please don't lose your fate in free software licenses. And as soon as I get my internet banking thing working I'll donate you some money for your pc ^_^

Regards,

Daniel

DragonMinded said...

You can't relicense code linked against GPL code. Many of the libraries I use are GPL thus I have to be GPL as well.

Iwakura said...

It would be nice if you could work out some deal with mediacart though. After all, their so-called developers are just ripping you off your code, legally, but still ripping off. I say they fire all these "developers" and hire you :P

You should request them to add a link to your website, or a link to your donations page or something.

Well, like you said, its pretty much a lose-lose, but you can soften the blow...

DragonMinded said...

So dispite the fact that they have put that they will follow the GPL on their site, they have said to me in email that the last thing they want to do is open source it. Thus, the only way they will get me to allow them to use my portion of the code is if they license it from me. However, their initial offer was $322. Either they are entirely clueless as to what actual code is worth, or they thought I was some dumb punk that they could swindle. I am trying to work out a licensing deal, but I will probably end up shafted.

L said...

It is a bit late and all that but you could consider dual-licensing after your done with this business. Pearl and OpenOffice do this so yeah combine GPL with something else.

Jeff said...

DM: Legally they can't not distribute the source code. The same license that binds you and forces you to release source is the same license that will force them to release the source. If push comes to shove, I'll demand the source from them and post it up on several other sites, just so the source code is out there for their entire cart.

Ibrahim Awwal said...

Yeah, if they refuse to release the source then they are violating the GPL and you can probably sue them or whatever, but also congrats on getting 2nd place in the neo summer compo! I would have voted for you but I didn't want to make a forum account over there, mainly because I was too lazy and forgot. Don't worry, worst case some jerks steal your software and profit, but we'll be behind you no matter what happens. That's really stupid of them though, since they know your program is GPL and they're willingly violating it.

KiDCoDEa said...

btw dragonminded, not all opensource news is bad lately for u.
okiwi went opensource, check okiwi blog.

Phlip said...

I just want to point out to jeff (and anyone with similar ideas) that they are only legally obligated to release the source to you if you own a copy of the program (in this case: you've bought a copy of the card)... just emailing them and demanding a copy of the code isn't going to get you anywhere.

However, if you do own the card, you can legally demand a copy of the source code, and once you've got that, you can do whatever you want with it, within the terms of the GPL... in particular, you can freely copy it to anyone you want, whether they own the card or not.

(NB: This is for GPLv2... I haven't had a close look at v3 yet.)

Tobias Gruetzmacher said...

If you are using GPL-only libraries, it is not possible to relicense and you always have to provide full source. If you remove all GPL dependicies, you are free to relince your work. If THEY use your GPLed work and don't want to open source it, they have to stop using it. You are free to sue them into oblivion. Consider asking Harald Welte of gpl-violations.org for support.

DragonMinded said...

I know how the GPL works. I specifically stated that if they were licensing from the the license was ONLY for my code that I can relicense. They balked at the suggested price I gave them and didn't counter-offer. It really seems they were trying to get away with it, as they don't want to open source under GPL, yet they don't want to pay me what is fair or even bargain with me. Their last message states that they might just drop manufacturing of the device.