Murphy's Law: LiberKey. GPL Violation or Sour Grapes?

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markterada

For me, Their Service is excellent. I don't blame you two party. Its circumstance using portable applications is desirable. I wish both party to keep their acitivity.

 

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Agus

Also Comodo thing.

Time Machine.

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Agus

D HALe HALe HALe Bieber HALe HALe Bieber. Haller Bieber!. Hallerrrrrr! T. Haller. What was that? I dont know, but now I guess.

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vernor

Dear David,

Some time ago, we had an interesting debate concerning LiberKey.
I suppose you have read the recent article signed by their team.
It clears up several points, don't you think?

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TheMurph

Haven't seen it -- what's the link?

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vernor

Dear David,
The link is direct if you click on "the recent article" (see my last post).
Just in case: the link is : http://www.liberkey.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=3200

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kc7wbq

Thanks for the write up Dave. I'd heard rumors of this argument and was glad to get the whole store.
 Two thoughts:

1. It does sound like maybe LiberKey's developers are trying to take credit for other peoples work. Obviously that's bad, those people spent a lot of time to donate something to the community.

2. What at mess! Assume you have an idea for packaging some free or open source applications together to bring value to the community. Good Lord, why bother! If you are going to end up in a hornets nest of "you logo's are to small" and "you have to use our installer" and "your sharing the source code wrong “why bother? It sounds like for every hour you spend developing code you spend 2 hours reading licensing agreements. Doesn't this defeat the purpose of open source software?

I'm assuming LiberKey isn't selling their product. I say cut the developers some slack.

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vernor

I have just read your article. Hope LiberKey team will react on the only two points upon which you give serious arguments:
1. GPL2 violation due to indirect link to sources
2. OpenOffice renamed as "OpenOffice portable" .

Based on these criticisms, MaximumPC kicked off LiberKey from their article on Suites (Freeware Files: Five Portable Software Suites for your USB Key).
Now, the Lupo PenSuite is in the article. This suite
- renames several software with plus (i.e. Audacity Plus, Firefox Plus, etc.)
- does not provide links to sources
- uses some launchers from a well known Warez, (look at the exe launcher properties i.e. emule, unlocker, opera)
My question: Don't you think this is much more of a problem?

Last but not least: You have screened Liberkey's suite through the GPL 2 statements.
Within PortableApps Applications, check the content of software. The launcher source is present, not the application source ( notepad++, filezilla ,....). There is not even a direct link to download these sources. At least LiberKey links to sources.
Thus I have now difficulties to understand the true conclusion of your article.
If there are no proofs at all, no negative comments from copyright holders so far, the whole thing seems peculiar.
My personal conclusion: It seems like LiberKey  MUST be discredited, full stop.

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TheMurph

Pointing fingers at another application's suspected violations in no way invalidates the violations of an application that "does less."  GPL and trademark violations aren't like boiling water on a stove: There's no "a little warm," "hot," or "boiling."  A violation is a violation.  Period.

I didn't address Lupo PenSuite for two reasons: "We received no complaints about it" and "We received complaints about LiberKey."  On a side note, here's an explanation by the Lupo PenSuite author.

I did not screen LiberKey's suite through GPL2 statements.  I used the licensing requirements of the GPL2 to illustrate the flaw in LiberKey's blanket treatment of all applications with a generic "link to source" arrangement.  I don't have the time or resources to research the licenses of all 200+ freeware and open-source applications in LiberKey's suite to find other violations.  The point was more exposing the flaws in LiberKey's blanket statement, which calls into question the due diligence they've performed regarding their other blanket statements--like their assertion that they have contacted every freeware developer for permission to distribute.  As you saw in the uTorrent example, I highly doubt that to be the case given the company's insistence that it be allowed to define the terms of installation, not LiberKey.  The same holds true for the trademark violations.  Based on the example of "OpenOffice Portable" (again, I don't have the ability to check trademarks on all 200+ applications), I find it highly suspect that LiberKey contacted OpenOffice.org to ask for permission in any regard.  If so, there's no way OpenOffice.org would allow them to misrepresent and mislabel their brand.

Are there complaints from copyright holders?  I don't know.  That would be a discussion between the copyright holder and LiberKey, unless either source decided to go public with its accusations.

Again, the situations presented in the article are examples of where LiberKey's statements just don't hold up.  I'd be happy to find more, but I think I've done a good enough job of showing some pretty high-profile occurrences where the whole "we ask for permission" story completely breaks down.

 

 

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vernor

Thank you for your answer.  Your “complaint / no complaint” part sounds a bit as double standards to me.
But more precisely, I am not sure I understand your position on two points.

The first one: you explain that LiberKey was kicked out because “We received complaints about LiberKey”.
I suppose you receive a complaint. You do not take it for granted. As a journalist, you must have asked for evidence or elements to ground the complaint. You must have contacted LiberKey to get their viewpoint and arguments. And you must also have considered who the complainant was.
If, since the beginning, you had in hand all the proofs, then it is hard to understand why these “2000 words”. “Here is what I have. And that is why we kick them out” was enough, don’t you think?
The chronology of the whole thing does not sound right. To produce both the evidence and the name of the complainant is the only way to "justify" why you kicked them out. Can you tell for example who the complainant was? the Free Software Fondation? John T. Haller? an author?

Now the second point: My previous post clearly drew your attention on a point which is PortableApps, the GPL2 and the way sources are made available. As you have written an article (Open-Source Licensing Brings Headaches, Confusion) I was just interested to get your interpretation of my remark. But may be it is pointing fingers at another application?

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TheMurph

The decision to pull LiberKey from this article was made by Maximum PC based on complaints about the alleged licensing violations.  You can see one complaint in the very comment thread of that article.  Other complaints MPC may have received are out of my hands -- I'm not the one who receives email on these things.

Due to the complicated issues surrounding LiberKey's legality, I felt it best to talk to both software developers and LiberKey itself to determine the validity of what's been said about the applicaton suite.  While I was first worried that MPC had unfairly removed LiberKey from the software listing based on FUD, a thorough analysis of what LiberKey has been doing helped me come to this article's conclusions.

On a side note, you're incorrect about PortableApps -- on the download page of any application, they list the location of the source code for both their launcher and the specific application in question.  More than that (the heart of some of this controversy), PortableApps hosts the source code for the applications they use themselves. Some have argued that this is exactly what one needs to do to satisfy the requirements of the GPL v3--just linking to a publisher's source code isn't enough.

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vernor

I must be tired because your explanations are confusing me even more.

On the chronology of removing LiberKey from the article, it clearly shows it was groundless at the time the decision was made. At least you acknowledge it by saying "While I was first worried that MPC had unfairly removed LiberKey based on FUD, (…)". In fact, it was "Kick them out, we'll see later". One should take due note of that.

"Other complaints…I'm not the one who receives email on these things." I suppose this is the only answer I shall get about who the complainant was. With due respect, I think you know enough people at MaximumPC to relay my inquiry (Call it "Looking for fairness").
If I had to guess, based on the way your article is structured (it shows LiberKey Vs. Haller), hum, hum... Would you confirm that John T. Haller was the "original complainant" who convinced MaximumPC to change their editing line?

Now, as for my last point, it is my turn to tell you "you're incorrect". Please read again your own analysis of LiberKey's deviation on GPL. You base the entire thing on extracts from GPL2 (and not GPL3!)
That is the very point. If you go back to my question, I am simply telling you that PortableApps shows (at least) the same deviation. I mean EXACTLY the same concerning application source under GPL2. Even worst because at least LiberKey is linking – abusively may be- the download of source to a Website (which, by the way, seems to be authorized by GPL3).
In conclusion on that point, you have widely used "GPL2 violation" concerning LiberKey where you could say at least the SAME for PortableApps. Your comment on that point is vital.

Your answers are far from convincing me. Until we get LiberKey's position (and eventually their amendments) I hope you'll produce something to show your readers that the whole thing started on dubious grounds. That's what I will call fair.

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TheMurph

#1:  I did not remove LiberKey from the article.  That was done by editors at Maximum PC with whatever knowledge or discussions they had on their end.  Hence why I was first worried that MPC had removed them unfairly, as I had already been looking into the issue prior to the official removal. 

#2: I know people at Maximum PC, yes.  But they are well-equipped to answer email in their own right and, as I just noted, will respond to allegations or criticisms how they see fit.  Every page on this Web site has a "contact us" link at the bottom -- if you want to get in touch with the editors, you're more than welcome to!

#3: PortableApps distributes the source code for the applications they use.  It's all available on PortableApps servers from the same place you download the binary of the applications.  That fulfills the intention and spirit of the GPL v2.  The point is that LiberKey only offers a link to the source code that's hosted on other sites.  LiberKey is not distributing the source code alongside the application, nor hosting this code on servers of their own control.  Furthermore, you have to actually install the binary to find the link to the (presumed) accompanying source code -- that's not readily available for one to download alongside the binary.  I'll quote the GPL v2 on this, emphasis mine:

"If distribution of executable or object code is made by offering access to copy from a designated place, then offering equivalent access to copy the source code from the same place counts as distribution of the source code, even though third parties are not compelled to copy the source along with the object code."

I'm not sure how this could be any more convincing.

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JerryThom

What's fair is judging the reports on the merits and not on who said them.  It doesn't matter if the LiberKey guy's ex-wife was the complainant, what matters is that the complaint is valid.  Let's compare:

PortableApps: Has the license mentioned on each app's homepage

LiberKey: Nothing

PortableApps: Has a link to the source code for each app on the app's homepage that they host in their own SourceForge project

LiberKey: Nothing

PortableApps: Has the source for the launcher for each app and a file (other\source\appsource.txt) with a link to the portable app's homepage to obtain the source for each app, which they host on their own SourceForge project

LiberKey: Has no source for their launcher and has a file with a link to the original application's source code (which they won't host themselves)

PortableApps: Attributes all contributors on the app pages, on their team page and in the copyrights and source code included with all their apps

LiberKey: Has taken PortableApps' code and removed the branding, GPL and source and passed it off as their own on multiple occasions

PortableApps: Has permission from Mozilla to distribute Firefox, Thunderbird and Sunbird and says so on their page

LiberKey: Has no permission from Mozilla and is distributing Firefox, Thunderbird and Sunbird illegally and won't even answer this question when asked

PortableApps: Doesn't yet distribute Google Chrome or Opera due to licensing issues (at least that's what it looks like from some forum posts)

LiberKey: Distributes Google Chrome and Opera without permission in violation of their EULAs

So, who cares who originally reported it.  What matters is if LiberKey is violating the law, copyright, trademark and open source licenses.  And it looks like a yes to all those.

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TheMurph

JerryThom,

If you're going to make accusations, please make them with some kind of source that you can cite for your claims.  You have no idea if LiberKey has permission from Mozilla, for example.  The same goes for Google Chrome or  Opera.

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vernor

My dear Jerry Thorn,
The numerous posts you have written (and that anyone can see by clicking on your pseudo) show that you are not debating. You are just AGAINST LiberKey.
To illustrate my remark, you just wrote in one post [I only meant]: "I only meant that liberkey hasn't really done anything unique or built much themselves ". Now, in the field of portable applications, LiberKey Internet updater is unique, isn't it? So your sentence is nonsense.
And now you come again with the echo of elements which are, for me, based on approximation.
May I advise that you should first "know your enemy" better? If you had taken a few minutes to install the LiberKey you would have seen that some points in your list (in your post "What's Fair") is largely based on disinformation. May be not intentional but because you have a wrong interpretation of GPL (License on homepage?? Source code on homepage??). You are obviously mixing several different obligations. And LiberKey is aligned with those (with the interesting exception raised by David Murphy on the interpretation of GPL2).
This weakens the rest, including an already debated point: everyone has understood that big boys (Mozilla, etc) will stand for their own rights. Your avenger's position is not adding clarity.
Now, don't participate to the debate if you miss the point about the legality of removing LiberKey from the article without proof at that time. You do not seem to appreciate the moral and legal content.
Same remark concerning the step-by-step interpretation of GPL2 concerning a software (i.e. NotePad++) in the various suites (PortableApps, Lupo Pensuite and LiberKey).
If there is your truth and only your truth, thus why readers should comment? It is because I have been interested by Murphy's angle that I started to install the various suites and went on evaluating them. In the turmoil, users should keep control of their nerves and debate on sound points, no passion.
So please let me progress with David Murphy.

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JerryThom

I tried LiberKey last year and it was all portableapps's software that opendev aka chris peuch had tried to pass off as his own.  While spamming various forums about his little liberkey thing, he was called out on it, and he lied about it.  Looks like he's still trying to lie his way out of a corner he backed himself into.  Liberkey is mostly work done by other people that is packaged illegally.  The menu is just Asuite.  The file associations are just something called Cafe.  He didn't write either of those either.  He won't provide proof of permission for Firefox or other stuff because he doesn't have it. He's just a sad little open source and freeware leech trying to make a name for himself by stealing other people's hard work.

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TheMurph

The menu is just Asuite.  The file associations are just something called Cafe.  He didn't write either of those either. 

That has no bearing on the discussion.  These programs are open-source: LiberKey doesn't have to write them to use them, provided proper licensing requirements are followed.

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JerryThom

I only meant that liberkey hasn't really done anything unique or built much themselves. It's the same menu that winpenpack and lupopensuite use (and they didn't make it either).  If they are now admitting that they're just packaging other people's work, that's nice.  It still doesn't excuse liberkey stealing all of portable app's stuff last year and then lying about it.

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class101

KeyFileAssoc PDS and more they are from them but you didn't notice because you haven't tried before to comment on it

I'm angry and I just registered to say JerryThom's comments smell like shit, you can find whatever you want against them, as long as 1 + 1  = 2; LK > Papps

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mesiah

Thanks for the follow up to the follow up :D It sounds like to me the makers of liberkey feel they are too small an inconsequential to be punished for something like copyright infringement. Maybe they should talk to Shawn Fanning about napster before they make assumptions like that though. I think for now I will avoid liberkey, which is a shame because I do like the feature set.

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