Jesamyn, you are absolutely right. And it just needs one person who keeps pushing the copyright issue to make things difficult for others.
On that I agree, or at least I hope it's true. I would hope that one person can make things difficult for those who choose to plagiarize and those who choose to enable them. Unfortunately, I don't really think it's true. Nonetheless, I'm going to voice what happened and let others know. I can already see several very reputable people in this thread agree, and I think there would be many more out there who would once they learn about it.
Quote from Elsia »
Mazzle, I presented my views with linked sources. You can call me names and caracterize it as "This nothing more than petty and completely inaccurate and uninformed mudslinging." all you want. I'm sure people can make up their mind, when they are actually given all the information and not oddly twisted hearsay arguments such as this:
Fine. I'm perfectly happy with people thinking whatever they'd like about the Mazzlegasm business. And you bringing it up as if it has some sort of relevence is indeed nothing but mudslinging. The only thing interesting about it is that it shows that you have a chip on your shoulder concerning me that started from that issue.
Yes, I include the model data among the many things he plagiarized.
Quote from Elsia »
You make further odd claims. You have the right to report copyright infringement and demand that if it's found it be removed from a site. You do however have no right to demand any punative action of any kind from the site admins, certainly nothing in copyright law that I know supports your demand for a ban.
I made no such demand. I specifically said "The only thing I want is the plagiarized project pulled." I added, "Personally, as a repeat offender, I think he should be banned." That is my personal opinion on how a site that respects author rights would deal with a repeat plagiarizer. It is by no means a demand for a punitive action nor a claim that I have a right to it, as you put it.
Quote from Kaelten »
Mazzle, I'm sorry. I'm sorry that I forgot to respond and notify you of the decision that was made. I thought I had and looking back I find I didn't.
I sent you multiple PMs and e-mails. I had several people contact you on IRC, including some of your moderators here, asking you to respond. Unless you're the guy from Memento, I don't find that the least bit plausible that you simply forgot to respond to every single one of those requests and reminders. You want to claim that, fine -- no one could prove otherwise -- but, I'm sorry, it's not the least bit believable.
Quote from Kaelten »
Kevin, isn't (nor has he ever been) my boss. Nor did anyone from Curse ever tell me take it down. It's not their place, nor could anyone you've spoken with at curse give a valid determination of what is or is not copyright infringement.
To be fair, I have no idea what the setup is between you guys. All he told me was that his company bought WoWAce and that he had contacted you on multiple occasions to have it taken down. I find it perplexing that you'd say noone there ever said to take it down. I can show you the entire history of e-mails between myself and them, at least half a dozen of which specifically say that they talked to you about it and asked you to take it down.
Quote from Kaelten »
As far as the issues with the sphere addon, I was told that the author and benumbed came to a resolution and it was no longer an issue. So, and reasonably I believe, I dropped it.
I simply cited that incident as evidence he had been previously reprimanded for plaigarizing code before. That was the account reflected in both the thread concerning that claim and the account I got from the author, Moongaze. I did not say anything about you being wrong for dropping it after the author agreed to.
Quote from Kaelten »
It is our opinion that the current work has changed sufficiently to no longer be a derivative work. Looking at the history I'd say that yes, he owes you a measure of credit, but it is not my place to enforce that.
That argument is a fallacy. You cannot take a derivative work and add features and restructure things around until it magically becomes an original work. To me, that seems like common sense. If site admins cannot realize this very basic and fundamental fact, then plaigarism will never, ever be enforced and author rights are out the door. Anybody with the most rudimentary coding skills can obfuscate things enough that you can't easily match it up with diffs or or a cursory perusal. If you don't realize how much of a fallacy that argument is, then you might as well say that WoWAce's plagiarism policy is:
Step 1: Author notifies site admin of plagiarism.
Step 2: Site admin notifies accused plagiarizer of claim.
Step 3: Accused plagiarizer obfuscates and re-works code.
Step 4: Site admin replies to author that his claim has no merit.
The only plagiarism claims that would be addressed would be the ones where the plaigarizer was too lazy to jump through the hoops.
While this is not a court, a persistent and diff-agnostic definition of derivative code is also supported in more substantial cases. Orion quoted the description of what derivative code is, something which I've also linked to several times. If you actually look at the application of that law to legal claims about specific plaigarized code, the amount of similarity needed to constitute a derivative work is light years away from what you're using in your evolution argument. For example, check out this interesting article entitled "Software Derivative Work: A Jurisdiction Dependent Determination". http://www.linux.com/articles/113252. It deals with a comparison system that some courts have been developing to deal with this exact issue. It involves comparing the two code bases in a very complex way at multiple levels of abstraction and dissection. I'm not suggesting that we need to be doing stuff like. I'm just saying that what constitutues a derivative work is orders of magnitude away from what you are trying to posit, i.e. that this evolution argument is ridiculous.
Or here's a simpler reference from a law firm specializing in copyright law, http://www.rosenlaw.com/lj19.htm. In it, they say, "The primary indication of whether a new program is a derivative work is whether the source code of the original program was used, modified, translated or otherwise changed in any way to create the new program." That may just be a copyright lawyer's rule of thumb, but it's interesting to not that there is absolutely no mitigating affordance whatsoever for code evolving or changing.
Now I know we're not in a court of law here; I know that the definition can differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction; and, I hardly expect anything like that complicated AFC test be applied to WoW add-ons. But, there has to be some modicum of common sense. The precept that a derivative work can turn into an original one is absurd. And this is a derivative work. Not a single person has tried to claim that this project was nothing but wholesale theft until the point that he was notified that I knew what he did. He did not go back and rewrite the add-on from scratch, incrementally building it back up. The history of the add-on clearly demonstrates both of these facts. This is a derivative work through and through and should be pulled. You're doing yourself and WoWAce a disservice by supporting a plagiarizer.
if some of the claims about DaPortrait are correct (where your code was simply a reference but in the end production it is completely different) -- you have no gound for appeals.
Quote from Bam »
I guess we can take the above quote as an answer to Xinhuan's question about what solution you are seeking. From Elsia's research it seems like this solution was effectively satisfied near then end of February. If you still claim that the current project is a copy or derived work of yours, I believe you need to argue precisely why without any reference to the prior state of the project.
You guys are fundamentally wrong. That is the point where he hid and changed things enough that it became harder to detect, not the point where it magically became an original work. If I went and grabbed Pitbull right now, ran it through an obfuscator, added a bunch of features, released it as Mazzbull and said it is an original work, I would be a liar. It would still be a derivative work regardless of how many things I added or changed. I would not have been able to create it if I hadn't stolen Pitbull in the first place.
Quote from OrionShock »
Otherwise... sue and be done with it, or shut up. No one profits from bitching endlessly about this.
Nobody is going to be suing anybody. It's the nature of our legal system that you need to be both right and have lots of money to be able to get resolution from a court. (And sometimes you don't have to be right.) As a result, it's often up to the community to police things like copyright and any of a number of other similarly constrained issues, i.e. thing that people would often love to go to court for but practically couldn't. In terms of copyright, site admins are the only ones who can give at least some limited protection to authors. We rely on them for that. And here we have about as clear a case as you can have that WoWAce (and apparently curse-gaming) do not afford authors that protection.
You say that nobody profits from such discussions. I disagree. I think anybody who values author rights profits from knowing which sites will not protect them. Even people like Kaelten's co-authors are distancing themselves from the position that he's taken.
Quote from tekkub »
otherwise, seriously Mazz, stop making yourself look like a total prick :P
I'm confused. Didn't you say looking like a prick could be a positive thing? Anway, you should know better, Tekk. I have a valid point to make, and I don't care if it makes me look like a prick or not. I think all of my arguments are solid. The internets people can think whatever they want about me personally.
Greg writes - describing the response of people to it:
No actual critic of the mazzlegasm is interviewed or voiced in the piece.
So not only does Greg take side on the issue and dismisses critics of the mazzlegasm as "humorless" and "inane", he doesn't give both sides (for contemporary "humorless" folks check this http://www.wowinsider.com/2008/06/05/mazzleui-updated-for-2-4/, Eliah Hecht clearly is such a "stuck-up" :P). Even more he proceeds to leave out that Mazzle of course created the whole issue. Had there been a choice from the user side there would have been no issue and no streams of complaint and nothing to in turn annoy Mazzle. Also leaving out that Mazzle had used copyright arguments to stop people from patching out the mazzlegasm that was causing issues (see e.g. Tobold http://tobolds.blogspot.com/2007/02/mazzleui-avoiding-mazzlegasm.html). It took intervention from Blizzard to actually get Mazzle to add the switch that people wanted (http://www.wowinterface.com/forums/showpost.php?p=45624&postcount=140) because Mazzle insisted that he had the right to impose his particular view what was appropriate on everybody and force a take-or-leave it attitude through copyright arguments.
Mazzle could have prevented "feeling betrayed by the community" by simply not making an elefant out of a tiny thing. Add the switch and complaints stop. But no, he had to aggravate a trivial issue by taking a hard-nosed stance and even pressuring others who tried to offer third-party outs via wielding the copyright as weapon. The Mazzlegasm was not a good example how inconsiderate users are of addon authors... it was more one of the most extreme examples I know how inconsiderate addon authors can be of their users, requiring Blizzard intervention to change course.
Oddly enough Greg's piece dated May 07, hence three months after Blizz intervened does not even mention this. Why Greg Tito engages in this type of one-sided and shotty reporting is not clear to me. Maybe he just trusts Mazzle's opinion without doing independent research? By that time a lot of opinions on the situation were plainly available. And just some research would have revealed that Mazzle wasn't just a victim to annoying addon users, as the piece ended up portraying.
Is that what it has come down to? Rehashing the mazzlegasm issue? You're actually trying to say that article was biased as well? Haha, ok. Well, thanks for at least showing the depths of you bias, which clearly has been simmering for quite some time. This nothing more than petty and completely inaccurate and uninformed mudslinging. The only thing to be taken from those few paragraphs is that you have a chip on your shoulder, a thing that usually colors people's views.
Quote from Elsia »
People who want to review DaPortrait, I encourage them to check out http://fish.wowace.com/browse/WowAce/trunk/DaPortrait/. You will find that constants.lua was completely pulled and completely replaced (following the demand Mazzle places on new work). Also core.lua and DaPortrait.lua saw substantial rewriting in two patches between February 26 and March 3. Don't trust me, do your own diffs. My personal view is that indeed DaPortrait doesn't have much of a trace of it's pre-February 26 state right now and except for some frame handling code is a rewrite, that however was not completely pulled and recommitted, but rewritten and committed in 2 stages over 4 days or so. To pull DaPortrait now would mean forcing major work by the author offline simply due to its history and I agree with Kaelten that a new upload with this source code would not really stand a derivative claim to Mazzle's code. If the pull-because-of-history demand is sensible, I cannot tell (despite Mazzle's vehement claims that it's obvious his claim is right). But that's next on my list to research. I have my personal views but unlike Mazzle I'm not gonna pass them off as facts.
Unlike Greg it may be worthwhile to actually research the viability of Mazzle's claims and it's actual impact on the addon author community before putting out stuff and calling people thiefs and blackpaint admins. I for one would have told him that I disagree with Mazzle's stance, for at least two reasons, one legal and one communal.
Feel free to research. I would love to see how an add-on can be completely re-written from scratch without ever once losing a feature. If he's so damn fast and good, I wonder why he's repeatedly starting add-ons using other people's work rather than just churning it out with his magical, coding skills.
Quote from Elsia »
Let me put out a somewhat radical claim for a second: Benumbed work deserves protection just as much as Mazzles. If Benumbed has done substantial new work we ought to consider his rights as much as anybody else. For example Benumbed's constants.lua R 63115 or later is original work and deserve full protection without reservation. It's a fresh commit from an erase at the previous revision. But some here are busy pre-judging Benumbed as thief, rather than take a more benign possibility, namely that he acted naively and meant no malice and on top of it has done original work. Mazzle does not have the right to bully Benumbed's or anybody's original work out of existence. He has the right to protect his original work.
You can make whatever radical claim you want, but copyright code clearly states that only the original copyright holders have the right to develop derivative works. Nearly all derivative work add something, otherwise it would be the base case of plagiarism not the derivative case. Your argument holds no water. Benumbed is not entitled to any protection of the project whatsoever, regardless of whether he added features.
Quote from Elsia »
Furthermore let me make another not so radical claim that Kaelten has indicated before: Software writing is very frequently if not almost inherently derivative. Brian Kernighan could call me plagerizer and thief because I modified Hello World from his C book without asking his permission first. Luckily Brian is a great and lovely and sane guy... And certainly he'd have the grace to ask me if I wanted a Kernihug before forcing it on me and everybody, rather than claiming he has the right, I shouldn't socialize with him if I don't accept that and people are bad sport if they don't. And certainly he won't take extreme stances on copyright to pressure others.
You can go ahead and make that "radical claim" as well, but it's ridiculous. Saying all code is derivative and is absolute nonsense and is no better an argument than saying all books are derivative because the author was reusing similar sentences he saw in other books.
And which radical claim do you want to stick with, that Benumbed's "version" should be protected or that no code should be protected at all? (I'm guessing that it doesn't matter. You just want to find some argument that will support what you want to believe. You'll throw them all out there and hope a few stick.)
Quote from Elsia »
- I for one see that Benumbed didn't ask for permission and was rebuffed when he asked post-hoc. I can see that Mazzle can ask for an apology for that but that is a personal matter not something I personally like to see dragged into the public. He did immediately work on a rewrite as is evident from fisheye. For me that means he acted immediately and in rather sensible faith to the rebuff. I.e. he did not intent to continue using Mazzle's code without permission when it was actively withheld. Certainly I cannot detect from the code history any evidence of contempt for Mazzle's request this his withholding of permission be honored. Mazzle is still running around and calling Benumbed a thief. I can't say that I find that appropriate given the code changes. It smells of character assassination, but oh well.
I couldn't care less about apologies. Benumbed is a repeat plagiarizer. It's well-supported by fact. The only thing I want is the plagiarized project pulled. Personally, as a repeat offender, I think he should be banned.
Quote from Elsia »
- Mazzle really could use some letting go of stuff. Really this is a matter practically resolved on a code-level at the end of February and it's now dragged around still at the end of July. As I see it mostly because of personal beef against Benumbed and resentment that others don't carry out punative moves without reservations. I think that's just going a little bit too far.
This thing has dragged on b/c Kaelten strung me along for a month and then stopped responding to me with no warning. I will post my entire e-mail history with him. I was never once rude, disrespectful or even impatient in a single correspondence. It then dragged on for another two months as the administrators at curse-gaming tried to get him to act on it, but he wouldn't. This is not me dragging it out for months. The fact that it's being talked about now is purely a function of Kaelten's approach.
First people try to argue that data wasn't original. Then you try to argue that there was no code plagiarism. Now, you're positing multiple "radical" claims (that conflict with each other) and trying to argue that it was plagiarism, but he did rewrite the entire thing (we just didn't notice) and it's now original. Coupled with your ridiculous rehashing of mazzlegasms, the only thing that this smells of is a person searching for evidence to support a viewpoint that they want to believe, i.e. a person with no intellectual integrity.
For the record, I do not distribute any modified add-ons without permission. The only notable add-on that is included is Bongos, and Tigerheart and I absolutely made sure to get Tuller's permission before we did that. (Tiger is the one who made most of those changes.) In fact, I have not even allowed people who have been trying to update MazzleUI to use Bongos 3 to do so without first getting permission from Tuller. Ask every single one of the people who release bug patches whether this is true. One of them even stopped developing their bug fix patch b/c of my stance on that.
And for the record, in the past, if any author asked me to remove an add-on, I did it willingly. It only happened once (during the Mazzlegasm business), and I removed the add-on without question. Nowadays, it's no longer a compilation; I simply package a core that can work with any of a variety of compilations that people could put together. The main (and perhaps only) one people use right now is packaged by a user named DocEvl. If you want him to remove your add-on from his package b/c it's associated with me, feel free to send him a message. I'm sure he would. You don't even have to make any official WoWInterface request. He's a stand-up guy.
Many of you guys have put forth the comment "I don't care about my author rights, therefore you shouldn't care about yours" or, similarly, "people who care about author rights are selfish and bad". Unless you are arguing that author rights are so bad and deleterious that they should not be respected or enforced, such comments are completely irrelevant to the discussion of whether author rights were violated in this case and how it should be handled. As Cogwheel has suggested, such comments are nothing more than mudslinging, i.e. an attempt to detract from the person bringing up the issue rather than the issue itself.
Anyway, my point here is that copyrights really don't do any good in the addon community. There is no profit to be had (and a few have tried) that would warrent the need to restrict distribution of addons. For that matter, every author out there that puts his works out WANTS them to be shared... OR THEY WOULD NEVER PUBLISH THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE. It's not as if addon code must be shown to the public for an addon to work at all, an author can "protect" their code by simply keeping it private.
Tekkub, my ass friend, that's ridiculous. Add-on code is visible b/c that's the way Blizzard's add-on architecture works. Authors are not releasing their code b/c they want to share the actual code; they're releasing it because they want to share the in-game utility that their code provides. If Blizzard used some sort of byte-code version of lua where people could release binaries that would hide their code, many authors would indubitably use it. To be honest, I don't particularly like the idea of that -- we all learn a lot by looking at other people's code -- but I think it's absurd to say that the fact code is visible means that authors want to share code or, inversely, that not releasing add-ons is a viable way to protect your author rights.
You are now denied bacon for three hours for putting forth such a preposterous supposition.
Ack, I just noticed this thread now due to a post made on another site. As you can imagine, I have some responses. And, I'd like to say that I feel warm and fuzzy that I at least brought some consensus to this thread, in that everyone seems to agree I'm some sort of dick. Yay for me.
Anyway, as I read this thread, I put down some clarifications and responses. Here they are, topics separated by a random number of dashes. Prepare for an epic wall of text.
A few people have been debating the nature of the model database. While I think it's completely immaterial since it's far from the only source of the complaint, I'll comment on it. Malcolm, you are wrong. The WoW API gives you no information about adjustments whatsoever; they all default to the same thing. There is no public information that those values are mined from. The data was indeed hand-constructed. The first was done 50% by me and 50% by a team of beta testers that literally spent months creating calibrated data (it was a much harder issue in earlier versions of WoW when they didn't give us the model names). The second version was done solely by me using another utility add-on that was never released.
(It's feasible that someone could actually extract all of the models from the client and data mine the structure of the 3d-objects to determine normalization values, but I don't have the 3d file format/linear algebra expertise for that sort of thing. I investigated that at one point, but it looked like it would be way too much work.)
Anyway, someone above said that the "complain originally stemmed from the constants table that Benumbed took from Mazzle." That's not accurate. This is not simply a case of Benumbed copying my model adjustment database. While that alone would be enough to warrant much of what has happened, it's far from the only evidence. The database is just a very easy things for people to cite because it's so damn obvious since it contained not only duplicated adjustment data but the actual "random" id keys for each model. If you actually examine the code in the versions that were out before he learned that I discovered what he did and began to obfuscate things, you'll see it was wholesale theft. He literally started by cutting everything out and search and replacing "Mazz3D" with "DaPortrait". Or as I said to Kaelten in my second e-mail to him:
"Personally, I don't even find the data to be the biggest theft, even though it is important. The fact of the matter is that he ripped everything of significance in his add-on from my code. After reading through his code and the past versions of his code, it became very clear that his original goal was a stand-alone version of the 3d model aspects of my core MazzleUI add-on, something a lot of folks wanted but I did not have the time or interest in doing. So, he copied out all the relevant parts of my add-on, searched and replace the word Mazzle with DaPortrait, added what was necessary to make it stand-alone and then released it. All of this theft is all completely demonstrable. Comparing the code side by side will show you how it's almost exactly the same except for the changes needed to make it stand-alone. This is definitely not a case of "being inspired by" or "there's only one way you can code this" sort of thing. I can even show you examples of code that has no purpose other than to interface with another utility add-on of mine that was never publicly released. This utility add-on is something I use to hand-adjust all the models and do sanity checks on some interim database that are used in its generation. And I can show you several examples of weird idiosyncratic approaches that are done exactly the same in "his" code, for example code workarounds that I was always planning to get back to fixing later. There's even some legacy code in there from my previous version of the add-on."
Someone also mentioned that they thought the code was never examined at those early points. That is not true. Programmers at WoWInterface immediately looked at it. Kaelten also told Greg Tito, the author of that article, that had he had two developers look at it who agreed it was plagiarized. He also told his boss at curse-gameing, Kevin Van Ness, that they looked at those pre-notification versions and it was indeed plagiarized.
And to be clear, Benumbed knew what he was doing. I put a copyright notice in every single directory with what rights I release and how to contact me. (Of course, he claimed that he would have contacted me but didn't know how, not that it would matter if he did.)
And for those of you who did not pick up on this earlier in the thread, Benumbed is a repeat plagiarizer. Six months prior to stealing my code, he did the same thing with another add-on. That author, Moongaze, while equally furious, decided to relent in exchange for the admins chastising Benumbed and forcing him to add credit in the documentation. He told me that he was not at all happy with the resolution, but thought it would be easier than making a big issue out of it. (I tend to be a bit more stubborn.) He described the whole encounter as "shady."
Some have made the point that it is hard for a site admin to detect the difference between the case of a few lines copied here and there and the case of a derivative work. It's an important distinction to make because the first case can be remedied by replacing those few lines, while the latter can never be remedied without a complete rewrite. The latter case is that of a derivative work, i.e. a project that is based on the project of another, a project that would not have existed if the code of the first project was not plagiarized. To be more accurate:
A ?derivative work? is a work based upon one or more preexisting works, such as a translation, musical arrangement, dramatization, fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording, art reproduction, abridgment, condensation, or any other form in which a work may be recast, transformed, or adapted. A work consisting of editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications which, as a whole, represent an original work of authorship, is a ?derivative work?.
This is through and through a case of derivative work. It would have NEVER existed if he did not steal my code first. I'm not saying he isn't a good coder or didn't add cool things later. He does seem to be and he did. But this isn't American Idol code development. You can't just grab an add-on and "make it your own". With enough additions and restructuring, plagiarized derivative code cannot magically be transformed into original code. That is a clear fallacy that Kaelten is implicitly suggesting when he says that he can no longer detect changes and therefore doesn't have to remove anything.
So, then the question becomes how can a site admin tell if it's a derivative work and not just a case of a few lines copied, which can easily be remedied. Unfortunately, there is no easy way. That said, the fact that it may eventually become very hard to tell the difference between the two cases does not mean the work is no longer derivative; rather, it simply means that it's a difficult issue that may require deeper information and administrators who believe in author rights and are willing to hear about that information. If you have the history of the add-on, you need to look at it. If you have an author willing to take you through the evidence, you need to listen to them. If you find the evidence, you need to act on it. If you have a repeat plagiarizer, you need to ban them.
And that's exactly what could have been done here. This was a very obvious case that could have been resolved in a matter of days. This was not a smart plagiarizer. There was no difficulty in determining it was a derivative add-on whatsoever. We had the entire history of his add-on from his first beta release. He did not try to hide it at all until he found out that he was discovered. There's at least one example of every type of tell-tale thing that you would look for. It was indubitably derivative work.
And, in general, it's not hard to determine whether something was actually re-written in response to a plagiarism claim if you look at the history. As an example, let me point out a case from way back in the day, a case in which WoWAce did handle a plagiarism claim with integrity. For those of you that have been here a long time, you may remember the case of GMail, an add-on that was accused by the CTMod author of being a derivative work of CTMailMod. In that case, WoWAce actually pre-emptively pulled the add-on while the issue got resolved. In contrast to the douchebaggery of Benumbed, the person who came out with GMail, Grennon, was actually a person with a bit of integrity. He admitted he used the code, agreed that he didn't have permission and pulled it. In a few weeks, he came out with a very simple add-on, Postal, that had a minute fraction of the functionality of GMail and incrementally built it up over the next few months until it was a very nice, original piece of work. If you look at the history of that add-on, you can very easily see at which point it was re-written and built up again. WIth a much more complicated add-on like this one, the difference would be even more marked, i.e. it would take far, far longer. Nothing like that happened in this case, and it was obvious.
Unfortunately, the GMail example is a far cry from what happens at WoWAce nowadays. For example, Kaelten's claim that "if I had reviewed it earlier in the development, yes I would have removed it" is bordering on a lie. I immediately volunteered to show Kaelten these versions and take him through it. I even e-mailed them to him. He responded, "No I'm going to give the code a once over, but assuming that I find what I expect I'll take actions to reach a agreeable outcome shortly." He never once responded to me again. And he certainly did not pull the add-on while it was being investigated. After a month of not responding to me and allowing Benumbed to continue to post version after version, he then told his bosses at curse-gaming that he could not longer detect differences, and therefore it was no longer plagiarism. To me, claiming that "at the time it was reviewed it could have been uploaded again and wouldn't have been removed" is the shallowest and most transparent of rationalizations -- as if he was somehow forbidden from looking at old version to see if it was a derivative work. In my opinion, it shows he had absolutely no interest in determining whether it was truly an act of plagiarism.
This may be conjecture, but the fact that he cut off communication with me as soon as it was clear I would not submit to his desired solution, then allowed Benumbed to continue to post version after version for a month makes me wonder whether he was just giving the plagiarizer time to hide things better so he could make this shallow rationalization. Maybe I'm being a bit cynical, but I think he was actively supporting the plagiarizer in this case.
Some have been saying, most notably Kaelten, that I am somehow denying ideas to the community. Again, that is nonsense. This has nothing to do with squashing ideas. This has to do with stealing *the work I put forth to achieve an implementation of a particular idea*. I am not stopping anyone from releasing a similar add-on. In fact, I actively encourage users who ask me for a stand-alone add-on to check out the one other legitimate 3d model add-on out there, ZModDB. Unlike daPortrait, it was an original work built with permission upon Xageroth's "Model Citizen" add-on. Moreover, not only have I publicly praised ZModDb's contribution, I have given him tips on things I've noticed about his add-on.
Similarly, when SpartanUI came out, the first UI that did something similar to my configuration add-on, I sent the author an e-mail praising and encouraging his efforts. He was a great guy, and we were even going to work on something together for a while (a SpartanUI skin for my UI).
And, somebody mentioned putting together a community version of this add-on written from scratch b/c you think it would somehow spite me. To that, I'd first chuckle and then say feel free. I wouldn't care in the least. In fact, if it was a good add-on, I would point people to your project when they asked about a standalone version of 3d models just like I do right now with ZModDB.
In any case, my point is that this has nothing to do with denying ideas. This is about plagiarism pure and simple.
Also of interest to some might be the fact that Mazzle solicited Greg to write the article.
And for those wondering, yes, I did bring the issue to Greg Tito's attention. I had first met him in early 2007 when he contacted me while writing an article for the Escapist about why many authors stopped writing add-ons ("The Burnt-Out Crusade" http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/issues/issue_95/531-The-Burnt-out-Crusade.) I thought and hoped he might be interested in shedding light on this issue as well. A couple months after sending him an e-mail asking whether he still wrote articles, I finally got a reply that said an editor of his was interested. I forwarded him all of the e-mails that I had with Kaelten and the the curse-gaming guys. He then ran with it and contacted all of the relevant parties and interviewed them independently.
In short, I don't think there's anything wrong with contacting a journalist whatsoever. We, as authors, really have no power to do anything. Despite the fact that people may put hundreds if not thousands of man-hours in these projects, clearly nobody is going to be suing anybody over matters of this type. As a result, we have to rely on the integrity of site administrators to defend our rights. If they choose not do, the only thing we can do is bring the issue to light. What better way to do that than to let an, unbiased journalist investigate it? And guess what. Now, it's being discussed. This may be just a fairly meaningless little video game issue, but I think it's pretty cool.
And if you want to say Greg Tito is biased, then say it. Nebulously saying that "There is also some blatantly wrong information in there, but I'm not saying that greg made up things," and suggesting that it is "of interest" that I communicated this information to a journalist is nothing more than mudslinging trying to detract from Greg Tito's integrity and motives.
Personally, I don't think the article is biased at all. I think Cladhaire hit the nail on the head when he said "I agree the article seems biased, but with good reason." Not every issue is 50/50. Kaelten took a terrible stance on this issue, and it shows. I honestly had all the respect in the world for him -- when I brought this issue up to him, I didn't think in a million years he would take the actions that he did -- but, when it comes to copyright and author rights, I think he actively chose to take a bad position. (And, yes, it's possible for a guy to be a bad guy in one place and a good guy in others.) He doesn't care about copyright, and he's using shallow rationalizations like "oh, we can't detect it any more" to make that position the de facto policy of WOWAce.
In conclusions, I'll just say this. Quite frankly, you could not have a more egregious and obvious case of code plagiarism. You have the entire history of the add-on from day one, i.e. you can see how it's a derivative work and not a case of copying a few lines here and there. In this history, you have examples of legacy code, idiosynchratic code, many identical procedures, identical database that contained random id keys that were also identical. You even have an "author" who was previously accused and publicly chastised for code plagiarism. It's about as perfect an example as you can get, almost as if you designed this as a test case. If you don't defend author rights in this case, you don't defend author rights at all.
And, sadly, that is the position that once-esteemed WoWAce site and trying--to-be-esteemed CurseForge site now hold. As a long-time fan of Ace (even in the Rowne days), I personally am quite disappointed. I think you other authors should be disappointed as well. (except Tekkub)