corporate scare tactics on a lower level?
Due to my recent affection for jQuery, I was looking around for a good tooltip framework. I found SimpleTip
written by Craig Thompson and it is great! I noticed that there was a SimpleTip 2.0
link on the top and was pretty aggravated at what I saw:
Simpletip2 is now discontinued due to supposed copyright infringement
It was a good run, but unfortunately my own arrogance to the scope of this project led me to make some very bad decisions regarding the design of this site, most notably the copying of anothers layout for my own purposes. I gladly hold my hands up to the fact that, in my rush to provide others with a service, I neglected to think about what I was actually doing - infringing copyright.
I'd like to make one thing abunduntly clear about this whole situation, and that is that no code was ever "adapted, transformed or built upon" as per the terms of the license I supposidly infringed upon. My one and only mistake in this matter was utilising a, to use the term loosely, "competitors" design, and since I have neither the time nor the resources to fight a legal battle between myself and Nick, the project will henceforth be discontinued.
I take this as a life lesson, and hopefully those of you who read this will too, because this incident almost cost me something very valuable to me, my reputation.
Please direct all questions about this infringement to Nick Stakenburg and his Prototip2 project.
A log of all email transactions between me and Nick is available, strictly for reference purposes.
Well, I guess I should re-phrase, I wasn't upset at first, as I am all about following copyrights and such, but I became upset after I read the email transcript
. Apparently, according to Nick Stakenburg a developer that charges for a similar Prototype plug-in (he gets no links from my page) Craig is infringing on his rights and he threatened him:
Not only that, but he goes on to attack Craig's reputation, which is just not cool - as he is doing a great thing by releasing an open-source alternative to a commerical product; nothing unethical about it!
I will leave it to you if you want to read the transcript, but I highly recommend you do. The part that sticks out to me the most was from Nick:
The result of the code is the important thing, the code itself could be rearanged or coded in a different language, just like a translation on licensed text would not be allowed unless given permission. I could code Prototip for any framework and make the underlying code look different every time I go over it. If I did it in jquery I'd start from the ground up as well and end up with a similar result. When you look at the results it's clear that you've based the code on my API and ideas ending up with basically the same thing.
So, apparently, if the 'result' of software is the same as another, they are infringing upon the software itself, even though it may be completely different. Someone better let Open Office know, because they are in a world of hurt, considering this would be no different than if MS came after OO. Not to mention all those email apps and web browsers... almost the entire software industry is in legal trouble if Nick was writing the books. In fact, Nick seems to have released a product (that he charges for) that is amazingly similar to countless js image viewing plugins out there... isn't he breaking his own 'rules'?
Though the most brazen and ridiculous statement though comes at the end:
If you want to use your code for personal use while there is no alternative that works with jquery I'm okay with that but I can't give a green light on distribution.
This is obviously a scare tactic used by Nick to frighten a 'competitor' who is encroachinig on his sales. Nick is jarred by the fact that someone has released a comparable (better?) product that his and it is free. It behaves somewhat the same, so obviously it was copied...
I could be wrong, I am no legal genius, but this seems like a big load of BS and Nick is trying scare tactics to get Craig to remove his competition. I hope Craig calls his bluff (I am assuming that Craig did in-fact not copy Nick's work, as he doesn't have the source).
In fact, isn't this the EXACT reason for the open-source community? Making free alternatives to commercial software that developers can dig in to? Collaboration of minds on software? This whole situation disgusts me. What does everyone else think?
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