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Author Topic: This Really Irks Me.  (Read 13823 times)

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Offline Delite

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This Really Irks Me.
« on: November 12, 2011, 09:53:36 AM »
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Like-City-Simulations-Try-Simutrans-NEW-PC-game-FUN-/180726664913

The link says it all. Unauthorised distribution of Simutrans for profit. I hope someone will be taking action against the seller.

Offline stmaker

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Offline Václav

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Re: This Really Irks Me.
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2011, 10:52:29 AM »
It is clear that it is against GNU licences. GNU licences allow to want money for distribution - but it can be only money for direct coverage of distribution, itself.

And that (today) price 7 dollars it gives price set for purpose of earning money, not for only direct coverage of distribution - because it is too high - 1 CD costs about less than 1 USD.

Offline Ters

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Re: This Really Irks Me.
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2011, 11:44:59 AM »
It is clear that it is against GNU licences. GNU licences allow to want money for distribution - but it can be only money for direct coverage of distribution, itself.

http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/selling.html suggests otherwise, but simutrans isn't under a GNU license as far as I can see, so the point is moot.

Offline stmaker

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Re: This Really Irks Me.
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2011, 11:54:55 AM »
But the seller didn't make the game right?

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: This Really Irks Me.
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2011, 01:24:03 PM »
The Artistic Licence under which Simutrans is distributed provides as follows:

Quote from:
Artistic Licence
5. You may charge a reasonable copying fee for any distribution of this Package. You may charge any fee you choose for support of this Package. You may not charge a fee for this Package itself. However, you may distribute this Package in aggregate with other (possibly commercial) programs as part of a larger (possibly commercial) software distribution provided that you do not advertise this Package as a product of your own.

Offline VS

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Re: This Really Irks Me.
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2011, 01:33:25 PM »
So, according to the license terms, we can leave "support" to that leech ;D

It's wrong, but buying a game in such way is dumb. I don't think so many people will actually do that, and these that do - why should we care ::( Sad, but life.

As to our "loss"... It's not like you can ban everyone who sells the game, and if you do, it's only temporary, unless some resources are diverted to always seeking these cases. The next logical step would be selling Simutrans under different name, and then we're done. So, why bother?
« Last Edit: November 12, 2011, 01:43:12 PM by VS »

Offline Delite

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Re: This Really Irks Me.
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2011, 01:38:26 PM »
It appears that the seller may be trying to pass ST off as his own product (that of a company called 'new earth software') and anyway he seems to be bundling it with some other games that I recognise as being ripped from somewhere else...

@stmaker: Ugh, didn't really know where to post. Could you tell me where these complaints should go? Thanks!

Offline stmaker

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Re: This Really Irks Me.
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2011, 01:49:56 PM »
...buying a game in such way is dumb. I don't think so many people will actually do that, and these that do - why should we care ::( Sad, but life.

As to our "loss"... It's not like you can ban everyone who sells the game, and if you do, it's only temporary, unless some resources are diverted to always seeking these cases. The next logical step would be selling Simutrans under different name, and then we're done. So, why bother?

Totally agree.

It appears that the seller may be trying to pass ST off as his own product (that of a company called 'new earth software') and anyway he seems to be bundling it with some other games that I recognise as being ripped from somewhere else...

It's true. The seller also copy free software to make a budget for him. You know what, if he got the budget, he should give some/most to the creators of the games.

Offline Spacethingy

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Re: This Really Irks Me.
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2011, 08:08:36 PM »
This interesting.

Look at the "bonus software" also on the CD. To name a few famous FREE programs, there's also Scorched 3D, TuxPaint, Celestia, FreeCiv... (a few under different names)

This needs serious immediate attention!

The guy's also doing a pack CD with Blender and OpenOffice on - again for too high a price to just "cover costs".

Can someone with an eBay account PLEASE report this now!

Offline prissi

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Re: This Really Irks Me.
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2011, 08:14:18 PM »
Artistic license explicitely forbid charging for the game, which is for instance a sale by ebay. However, arguing with ebay requires an account (which I have) and a lawyer (which I do not). Even things that are clearly illeagal are on sale at ebay. (I tried once taking one down. One is of course free to write a comment on this company.) I can did for email communication. The wanted a written statement from ALL developer and copyright holder of simutrans before taking action.)

(Since it says: Shipping is free, it violates the artistic licence without any doubt. YOu may only charge for shipping and packaging, not for the item itself.)

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: This Really Irks Me.
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2011, 11:50:30 AM »
I think, strictly, one can charge for the medium, can't one? The exact wording is,

Quote
You may charge a reasonable copying fee for any distribution of this Package.

Indeed, by the look of that, one is potentially entitled to charge for one's time in performing the copying. That would make it very difficult to say that any fee charged for a disc containing Simutrans is a fee for anything other than the time and trouble of writing the disc, since there is no limitation on how a person may value her/his time in charging for such copying.

Offline The Hood

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Re: This Really Irks Me.
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2011, 01:24:25 PM »
Is there any way of just posting a review with a link to the free official download?

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: This Really Irks Me.
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2011, 01:30:31 PM »
I don't think so, alas :-( I did check.

Offline stmaker

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Re: This Really Irks Me.
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2011, 01:43:42 PM »
Is there any way of just posting a review with a link to the free official download?

Need an eBay account. :/

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: This Really Irks Me.
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2011, 02:02:04 PM »
I don't think that one can post reviews of things on eBay at all, alas.

Offline Spacethingy

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Re: This Really Irks Me.
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2011, 07:56:40 PM »
There's a report button for each sale, hit that I guess, no lawyer needed!

EDIT: I spend a bit of time on Orbiter-forum, a spaceflight sim, where they had a similar thing. Orbiter isn't open-source, but it's freeware and has a similar license - i.e. you can only charge for postage/packing. The eBay sales were reported and removed.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2011, 08:15:50 PM by Spacethingy »

Offline prissi

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Re: This Really Irks Me.
« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2011, 09:02:44 PM »
Maybe it is different for germany then. All my reports let to a standard form to be filled out by a company to prove I am copyright holder. Without all fields entered, it was not accepted.

Well, ebay gets money from doing that, and looses money from withdrawal. Thus removing it would require them to review the case and cost them money. But ebay germany is not really famous for good customer handling anyway, so this did not surprised me.

I am quite interested in the full story of the Orbiter software. What exactly needed to be done for this?

Offline Spacethingy

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Re: This Really Irks Me.
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2011, 10:21:57 PM »
All my reports let to a standard form to be filled out by a company to prove I am copyright holder. Without all fields entered, it was not accepted.

I guess it's the seem everywhere, because the author (Martin Schweiger) of the Orbiter sim had to report it in both cases (eBay and Amazon sales). Other than that, I'm not sure what happened exactly. Sorry!

Offline prissi

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Re: This Really Irks Me.
« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2011, 11:10:30 AM »
Amazon might be better in that regard, since the are a real seller; thus such would be (under german law) something they are directly liable. While ebay denies all liability and put it to the one offering goods.

Offline An_dz

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Re: This Really Irks Me.
« Reply #20 on: November 14, 2011, 05:45:35 PM »
I've made a report, let's check if something happens.

I've checked the other items he's selling and they are ridiculous, only free and open-source games/apps.
And it's only the CD, if the CD was printed, had a box or at least a CD/DVD cover with good printed art than U$5,00 would be a good price.

Anyway a note for the developers:
Quote from: eBay ad
Each of these games has been developed with professional quality in mind, tested and updated over time to look great, play great
See, at least he said you made a professional game.
Quote from: eBay ad
By ordering this games package,
you will be saving hundreds of dollars!
This one made me laugh.

Offline isidoro

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Re: This Really Irks Me.
« Reply #21 on: November 14, 2011, 11:33:47 PM »
I think that, although irritating, the question is not so simple for two reasons:
  • If we pay attention to the definition of free software of the FSF, you are free to do a lot of things with free software, even to sell it for a price (http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/selling.html).  The Artistic License (at least version 2.0) is included as a free license by the FSF (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html)
  • Even if the FSF is not right and Simutrans or other piece of collaborative free software is intended not to be profitable for people apart from the authors, only they, the authors (all of them) may try to defend their rights.  Would you try to find all ST authors and make them agree to go to court?

Offline Ters

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Re: This Really Irks Me.
« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2011, 05:51:19 AM »
I don't see why a single author can't defend the right of his/her own contribution to the project, except that it requires a type of viral license that forces the same terms on all parts of the program the code is included in. Otherwise, the seller could just claim not to charge for that part of the product.

Offline prissi

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Re: This Really Irks Me.
« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2011, 09:56:58 AM »
As the artistic licence says:
Quote
You may not charge a fee for this Package itself.
This is crystal clear. You may charge for support or copying, but not for the program itself. And some paks (like poak128 until 1.4.6 or pak64.german) are not Artistic Licence but have their own licence which states
Quote
Commercial distribution without written permission of the author(s) is not permitted.
Again not doubt about this.

Offline isidoro

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Re: This Really Irks Me.
« Reply #24 on: November 16, 2011, 12:01:58 AM »
That's probably the reason why the FSF states about the Artistic License 1.0: "too vague; some passages are too clever for their own good, and their meaning is not clear.".  And they (let's assume they know more about licensing than we know) do not recommend it.

Again, it is difficult to prove if 5 euros is profitable or it is due to expenses, those people may argue (i.e. vagueness of the license).

But the problem, from my point of view, is more profound.  If something is free software, it should be Free with capital F: free for everything, even free for making money.  No problem.  The problem with those people at the website above is that they are not telling the truth: they pretend or at least not say that they are not the authors, that the programs are free software, etc.

If they openly said so, from my point of view, there should be no problem.  Money in itself, and making it, is not a bad thing...

Offline sdog

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Re: This Really Irks Me.
« Reply #25 on: November 16, 2011, 05:35:19 AM »
Quote
If they openly said so, from my point of view, there should be no problem.  Money in itself, and making it, is not a bad thing...
that's the advantage of the CC attribution caveat.

Isn't it fraud what they are doing? If someone feels mischiefeous they could just file at the FBI internet crime site.
Quote
By ordering this games package,
you will be saving hundreds of dollars!

Offline VS

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Re: This Really Irks Me.
« Reply #26 on: November 16, 2011, 08:10:46 AM »
Actually, "saving hundreds" sounds as if it was a cracked copy. Perhaps that could be an angle too, if used as unconnected with Simutrans license at all.

Offline An_dz

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Re: This Really Irks Me.
« Reply #27 on: November 18, 2011, 05:46:15 AM »
I had the same feeling when read it. I would write a bunch of reasons to ebay for the removal of this copy, but they only allow very few characters.

Anyone noticed that someone already bought it?

Offline stmaker

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Re: This Really Irks Me.
« Reply #28 on: November 18, 2011, 09:54:03 AM »
Anyone noticed that someone already bought it?

I pity the fella, bought the game by price and free shipping.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: This Really Irks Me.
« Reply #29 on: November 18, 2011, 11:50:36 PM »
Perhaps somebody can contact the purchasor, explain that he bought something that he could have had for free, and encourage her/him to complain to eBay and give this fellow a negative rating?

Offline sdog

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Re: This Really Irks Me.
« Reply #30 on: November 19, 2011, 06:49:26 AM »
Perhaps somebody can contact the purchasor, explain that he bought something that he could have had for free, and encourage her/him to complain to eBay and give this fellow a negative rating?
afaik not possible, the purchasers are anonymised, only visible to ebay or the buyer.

Perhaps it was an FBI undercover buyer. Part of a large scale crackdown on illegitimate sale of free and open source (FOSS) software. :-P
« Last Edit: November 19, 2011, 06:54:14 AM by sdog »

random_us_lawyer

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Re: This Really Irks Me.
« Reply #31 on: December 09, 2011, 06:56:53 PM »
I am a lawyer actually (and a US Intellectual Property lawyer at that).
(Note, I am not YOUR lawyer, and my comments here do not form an attorney-client relationship or any specific representation of you.  My comments are general in nature and you should not rely upon them as any sort of legal advice).

One way to get rid of items like this on ebay is to use their VeRO program (http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/programs-vero-ov.html).  I used to use it with a previous client fairly regularly.  A copyright owner (one of the developers here would probably be the best choice) of an item improperly being sold on ebay has to submit the form to eBay.  Basically, eBay will then rip the auction down and notify the seller.  There's an appeal / challenge process, but, most sellers do not fight back.

As an addition/alternative, I noticed that the seller is also selling the OpenOffice.org suite.  As OpenOffice is an Apache project now (Oracle/Sun donated it to the Apache Software Foundation in mid 2011), it might be worth it to let Apache know that an ebay seller is selling their product and getting Apache to go after him.  This path wouldn't necessarily help with Simutrans directly, but, would certainly cause some discomfort for the seller.

Great game!  I've enjoyed playing pak128 on and off the last year or so.

Good luck!

Offline Isaac.Eiland-Hall us

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Re: This Really Irks Me.
« Reply #32 on: December 09, 2011, 08:16:03 PM »
Thank you very much for your advice!

Offline mEGa

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Re: This Really Irks Me.
« Reply #33 on: December 10, 2011, 10:41:56 AM »
Just to feed the discussion :
A whois newearthsoftware.com get some interesting information :

domain:                          newearthsoftware.com
created:                         07-Nov-2009
last-changed:                    07-Nov-2011
registration-expiration:         07-Nov-2012

nserver:                         ns57.1and1.com 217.160.82.168
nserver:                         ns58.1and1.com 217.160.83.168

status:                          CLIENT-TRANSFER-PROHIBITED

registrant-firstname:            Benjamin
registrant-lastname:             Ramsey
registrant-street1:              60 Clearview Dr
registrant-pcode:                01752
registrant-state:                MA
registrant-city:                 Marlborough
registrant-ccode:                US
registrant-phone:                +1.5082506536
registrant-email:                1and1@wealthyhomebusiness.com
...
EDIT I remove last lines (same as next) 
« Last Edit: December 10, 2011, 07:05:12 PM by mEGa »

Offline Colin

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Re: This Really Irks Me.
« Reply #34 on: January 10, 2012, 01:01:16 AM »
I remember this same subject being brought up several months ago. I reported the, then seller, to EBay and posted here, what I had said. EBay never responded and I can't see my post to Simutrans anymore. Is this a new seller? If not, where are the original posts?