Why I closed FM source code
Monday, 9 January 2012 17:10
I'm being asked this again and again, so here it is:

One day I got an email from one of the users that was something like this: "check this out, looks just like FM". So I did check it out and I found that it was reskinned with some shitty library, authors (me & David) were removed, GPL License was removed and the guy was taking donations for this. But that wasn't enough... so I've started searching for this "Cyber Bandwith Monitor" and I've found two things:

1. almost every major software-download-website was hosting it
2. it was diagnosed on some websites that it contains malware

So I was pissed like hell... some shithead took our work and thought "Hey, let's make a profit out of someone elses work!". So I wasted 3 days just trying to put his website down and take all that apps down. The response was really poor... At that time his hosing provider was go daddy and they were very professional in taking it down in a matter of minutes, so the guy changed his provider and the next one replied to my mails: "So what?". So I've started looking for help and I've described everything and posted it to GPL Violations and all I got from them was: "We can tell you how you can sue him". So all I had was his whois from domain name:


Registrant:
Nir Halowani
serelin 18
holon, holon 58279
Israel

Registered through: GoDaddy.com, Inc. (http://www.godaddy.com)
Domain Name: SPEEDAPPS.COM
Created on: 20-Aug-06
Expires on: 20-Aug-08
Last Updated on: 01-Nov-07

Administrative Contact:
Halowani, Nir nirmice@gmail.com
serelin 18
holon, holon 58279
Israel
972544397622

Technical Contact:
Halowani, Nir nirmice@gmail.com
serelin 18
holon, holon 58279
Israel
972544397622


Since I don't have the time, money and he is in Israel and I'm in Poland I just taken the project down from SF. I left the version that was there just beacause I felt that if I published something it's no use to take it down since the damage was already done... I had a chat with Rick Brewster (the Paint.NET guy) since he had the same problems as I did and what he said is that without lawyers you can't do shit and since lawyers cost a lot of money... Rick had similar problems but had much more luck in taking down the sites - probably due to popularity of Paint.NET.

Since then everytime somebody says "OpenSource is great!" I ask him: "Are you a developer?" if the answer is "yes" then I ask them "Have you created any OS project that is used by anyone?" in 99% cases the answer is "no" and then I say: "Then fuck you".

(Sorry for the emotional tone, but this still boils my blood)




Comments

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FM user
Saturday, 14 January 2012 10:33
Dude, thanks a lot for your free software. Protect your code = protect your work + time. As long as I'm enjoying FM, I'm thankful. :)

Nice rant btw. & I agree.
Mastermnd
Sunday, 15 January 2012 15:33
Hi man. Really get your frustration here, but the world is full of people like these. When you OpenSource any code, I guess you sort of imply acceptance that somebody can, and will, do this kind of crap. However, the amount of people that you have helped with your effort should surely outweight the damage. Nobody can take that away from you.

As for which actions to take: maybe bundle the next version with a generic notice to make people aware that your product is free of charge and about "illegal copies".

Remember you are not alone. Recruit all FM fans to leave negative comments on all major software download sites about the illegal program. We can make sure everyone finds out what it is!
The Dude
Wednesday, 18 January 2012 01:05
I fully agree with Mastermind. Better yet, I'd make it my life's work to slime A-holes like these. Be sure to post this story on Reddit/4Chan etc with the man's information. The internet will deal with him.
EM
Wednesday, 18 January 2012 19:26
Just wanna say keep up the good work and fight the good fight. Shit like this, bound to happen...
Boo
Saturday, 21 January 2012 17:05
So am guessing http://www.tiler.com/freemeter/index.php is not you.

Cheers for the hard work, a pity about the opensource being abused but people in all walks of life are greedy.
Raymonddf
Monday, 23 January 2012 23:52
Like one of the other users said, with GPL your reward lies in your "happy customers". I for sure am one of those. Thanks for making this very useful program!
Rafael Morales
Tuesday, 27 March 2012 17:38
I am very sad after reading your story, yet I thank you for publishing it.

Thank you also for you work. You have inspired many people to do the same, and in that way we make our world a little bit better.

Hume
Sunday, 8 April 2012 20:10
I understand your reaction. I have experienced this problem myself. The license does nothing.

Maybe in the future somebody will convince you that they will not be a jerk, and you can make an agreement between you to share the source code. Person to person agreements seem to work better. Bad behavior thrives in anonymity.

Anyway, thank you for your effort and keep it it...you know...if you feel like it.
Compstuff
Saturday, 14 April 2012 14:59
The guys a piece of garbage and I really wish there was something you and others could do... all hosting companies should be all over supporting developers like you.
martinez
Wednesday, 25 July 2012 18:47
Open-source or closed-source, who fuckin' cares? as long as it's free ┐( ̄ー ̄)┌
_
Saturday, 18 August 2012 22:21
Thanks for the software you have provided to the community free of charge; I'm happy there are people like you who keep the trend going. I sincerely hope this guy gets what's coming to him for tarnishing your hard work.
Deetron
Friday, 7 September 2012 04:42
Thank you for what you created and shared. Such a bummer that fucks like that exist, but sadly they do. Hope the "Yeah, Bro!" comments are at least a small consolation. Best wishes on your next endeavor. Hope THAT thief catches a misdirected Syrian civil war missle.
Ricardo Santos
Friday, 14 September 2012 04:29
Sorry to hear that.

GPL thrives on the free work of those who program and gives it to those who didn't do the work. Is perfectly legal, for example, to take a GPL work, sell it back and give Zero to the programmer that did the work. As long as you give the source. And some are highly successful doing it. For example: Red Hat, Apple, Google, etc.

Making OS does not help the programmers, but those who take advantage of the programmers.
miechu
Friday, 14 September 2012 12:00
@everyone
Thx for interest and support

@Ricardo
interesting thought
Daniel
Friday, 8 February 2013 12:10
Yeah I feel for you. Here's some boobies:

( . )( . )
miechu
Friday, 8 February 2013 12:42
That cheered me up! Thanks :)
Some Guy
Friday, 8 March 2013 08:09
Damn, that sucks! I feel your pain. It's really unfortunate that assholes like that rip off other people's work and even pass it off as their own.

You have my sincere thanks and appreciation for your network meter. Hopefully our gratitude helps a little bit. :)
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 14:17
Hiya,

Yes, that kind of scam is bound to happen. But the best way to deal with it is to alert the opinion about it.

That means, people have to learn about safe places and safe ways to get their software. You can't protect them unless you teach them.

But do not abandon opensource for good because of one of its side-effect, which is more due to greed than due to the opensource nature of the program.
Care about making your softw
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 14:19
...are available, do not care about some other guy who do shit about it. That's kinda the main point.

Wish you good luck !
miechu
Friday, 29 March 2013 12:23
Hmm, got ya, but you know that there were sites - big ones that were hosting this shit... so there is nothing left but to self-host it...

I was thinking about this "don't abandon open source"... since I can't work full time on FM anymore... I'll try to find a few days and finish 1.7 and then re-relase it as OS on codeplex or something...
IT Guy
Saturday, 30 March 2013 23:17
That's a bummer that guy did that to you; and maybe releasing your software on your own site would be better for you than forgetting about opensource altogether. Your program is great and hope there is more coming in the near future.
Twinkles
Tuesday, 9 April 2013 16:14
Sorry to hear about your problem, but there IS something you can do: donate your code to the Free Software Foundation. They have lawyers who are very experienced in enforcing the GPL.
Adam
Friday, 5 July 2013 12:34
Sorry to hear about your troubles, I feel for you. I know first hand what it's like to have your hard work stolen from under your feet! However I'd like to say that I'm happy with your work, works absolutely amazingly and does EXACTLY what it says on the tin!!
Phaelax
Wednesday, 23 October 2013 13:43
That really sucks. People like that is what hurts OSS the most I think. I'll be sure to never use Cyber Bandwidth if I ever come across it. I know what it feels like to have this happen too.

Back in the late 90s, I had artwork (desktop wallpapers) I made posted online. I was surprised when I found MY art being sold on a CD containing many other pictures (probably also stolen) without my permission. And like you, the site was hosted in another country and there was little I could do.
fas
Tuesday, 18 March 2014 11:23
Hi,
I'm sorry to hear what has happened to you, but, as many others have said before: you have to be aware that something like this can happen.

Nevertheless I'm an active supporter of open source software (I'm a developer myself) and I myself even decided to release my software under a BSD-style license. And I've got more than one reason for that. Of course there are "ideologic" ones like "open access" and "free knowledge" and so on. But the two ones most important for me are:
- I can (and did) receive help from people interested in using my software and making it better
- I, being a developer, can change software for my personal needs - and I did it that for more than one time in the past and it helped me a lot in having things exactly as I need them without putting too much effort into.


And, as a side note, when you're using C# or Java, anyone can use and change your code as he wants to, even without having the source code. To give you a keyword: ILSpy...

Keep going ^^
Красен
Wednesday, 7 May 2014 19:16
Cheers friend I understand you. I was wondering why you have this message that the project is no longer hosted on SF.net and now I know ;)
kingpoop
Friday, 11 July 2014 21:29
I just ran across your post and have to say I totally agree. There should be a law where you get to beat the holy living shit out of those fuckers who steal your amazing work. I've been in the industry for 30+ years and have ran across so many dooshbag plagiarizer's it's disheartening. The only thing i can say to you is that you know that you have the gift of a "true" developer and can actually produce something that is useful and works. All the rest of the dooshbags are incompetent and could never walk into the same room with you and have a shred of hope to contribute.
Dude38
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 18:15
Mexicandude's anti-semitic slur above is not surprising but really sad. There are assholes from every country - no one group has a monopoly on assholes!
iwrk4dedpr2
Thursday, 7 August 2014 21:17
You had a right to be pissed.


You had a right to beat the dweeb with a baseball bat as well. I'd have held him down for ya.
Assassin
Sunday, 28 December 2014 20:17
Get a gun and a full box of ammunition. Hunt the motherfucker down. Kill him. Start at his kneecaps, move to his dick and balls, then gut-shoot him and watch him die slowly as you pop a few more in non-lethal areas.
miechu
Wednesday, 31 December 2014 20:44
Being mad and harming people would feel good I guess, but as I'm a pacifist and I'm against all violence that wouldn't be an option...

On the bright side I've finally sat down and me & another dev started working on new version - full blown 2.0 :)
carnation
Tuesday, 11 August 2015 17:06
I just read your post about the nasty gentleman who stole your code and now profits from it.

I happen to be in Israel and the thief's address is about 6 km from me. Would you like me to knock on his door and tell him something?

I have no tolerance for people who rob IP
David
Friday, 8 January 2016 02:52
Sorry to hear of your plight. I hear similar issues for (Chrome) browser extensions (even ones not OSS) as others reverse engineered them to copy and resell, etc. As another person commented (C#, Java), not all code/programs are secure from decompiling and copying.

As a developer and OSS user, I would say OSS is useful. And it is successful when you have people using it, and better yet improving upon it by modifying the OSS codebase, with forked projects and stuff, etc. Whether people copy off it and try to commercialize it for benefit unethically is another matter, but also in a way is testament to how useful and successful one's project is (few would counterfeit a useless app/project). And for the being pissed at having one's project counterfeited, I'd be more pissed if it was a proprietary/commercial product of mines and take action there. For OSS, it's still bad & we should take action, but being OSS, in terms of harm, you don't have anything to lose as free/open is not something you profit on nor put a price on, although the perpetrators violate licensing laws but that's a legal issue and not something for say a civil suit or small claims court suit.

The thing I hate most with treatment of OSS projects though is when the owner decides to remove access to the OSS code - closing source it or not providing access to it anymore. That goes counter to the OSS spirit. Rather one should leave existing OSS code as is and available to public, but can chose to not release updates (licensed) as OSS (essentially close sourcing feature versions). Offering code as OSS and then removing it later on for said existing code, on a whim, for whatever reason, just seems to be of bad spirit - why release as OSS then? If you remove access to it, technically by the OSS license, others would be able to host it provided they keep the OSS aspect intact (and that they have an archived copy to host).
Anonymous
Monday, 15 February 2016 16:08
I never open source any of my software, because its a quagmire from what I've seen, for many of the same reasons that you've said.

However, having open sourced it, you do have options. The Free Software Foundation (And I hate that they're re-purposing 'Free', but that's another argument) actively pursues people like this scum if it's provable- just report it to them, and let them take it from there.
Griff
Sunday, 15 May 2016 12:15
Fuck them. I have only just found your page (via SF) and I think your rant was excellent. Germs that take source code and then skin it and (worse still) ask for money for 'their' work are the lowest of the low in the coding world. I wish you had the chance to 'rip them a new arsehole' as we say in Australia.
Cheers
Griff
Griff
Sunday, 15 May 2016 12:22
Oh, and purely because of your excellent rant, I donated a little bit of my non-existent cash :) I haven't even installed your software yet :)
John
Sunday, 25 December 2016 22:20
There is always that one person or %1 that don't do the right thing. Keep your chin up I found your software and plan on using it. I'd be down to help a gofundme for you to go get him. Legal shield is a monthly service I'm probably going to get for legal issues. They'll write a few letters a month to help as part of your membership. I like how small (screen and file size) your app is. It's a simple thing that I won't mind leaving open to see what my pc is doing. Thanks for your hard work. Most people are good sorry this happened. You need a cease and desist letter for their isp and them