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 fromMazzle, 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.
Quote fromSo you seriously claiming copyright to http://fish.wowace.com/browse/~raw,r=63115/WowAce/trunk/DaPortrait/Constants.lua ?
Yes, I include the model data among the many things he plagiarized.
Quote fromYou 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.
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 fromKevin, 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 fromAs 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 fromIt 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.
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 fromOtherwise... 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 fromotherwise, 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.