Boonex is time to choose!

mastermindsro posted 10th of March 2010 in Community Voice. 24 comments.

Yes I had enough with all the Boonex team, someone just stolen my templates and put them on sale for half price.. here:

[edited out by Andrew Boon]

Here are the original templates:

I contacted Victor T. and then Andrew itself, I talked with both of them about an hour but without any result.. I have made a long list of arguments why I believe this is wrong but they just keep telling me that they don't see any copyright infringement.. they could remove that post in 2-3 seconds but they don't see anything wrong.. so they won't do it..

What the hell do you guys want me to do to make you see that IS WRONG TO ENCOURAGE PLAGIARISM!

All that I achieved so far is the result of many years of hard work and studies, my work is not junk, I never released junk, I always worked at least a month for each template and I believe it shows.. I also provide support for ALL my clients no matter what questions they have.. I had hundreds of clients, none of them complained about any of my templates and none complained about my support and care. My clients are my friends, I respect my clients and I hope they respect me too, that's why I don't want my templates to be copy/pasted as any other junk product.

I have been here on Boonex for enough time, so you guys know me pretty well, I have put a lot of work myself to help Dolphin take it's current shape.. If you guys choose to protect the leeches than so be it, but I would not be around anymore to see this garbage piling up..

I decided to remove all my templates from the market as long as Andrew itself protects plagiarism.. I really can't describe in words how I feel about all this but is the only thing left for me to do..

Goodbye and from now on enjoy your "made in china" products.

Adrian M. /

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According to Andrew's (UnoBoonex's) blog posting in the wee hours it looks to many of us that Boonex is going to protect the scammers and such on this site. Even if it's not a copyright issue, it seems that Unity is turning into a free for all that is designed with the idea that noone cares about those who actually do honest work.

I'm waiting for [edited out by Andrew Boon] or one of them to steal the work of the Boonex coders and start posting that up at discount prices. Wonder what the view see more will be then.
It's sad to see that nobody cares. About much anything. I've been following the landscape here for the last year or so, and I've been struck time and again by the fact that so little attention is paid to users' (and customers') legitimate concerns. Boonex might do well to appoint a customer liaison whose main task it were to make sure that every valid issue gets heard and addressed.

If this happened on a site operated by myself, and regardless of whether I were the CTO or whatever other chair, see more I'd gladly have the next mega feature wait a week or two and just clear my sky of all these dark clouds accumulating month in and month out. Otherwise, it's nothing short of shooting oneself in the foot, and at this point it's reaching tragicomic proportions, especially over the fact that nobody seems to even be able to understand that it's happening and evidently just growing worse.
And on that note, can I just ask what Andrew and Victor's take on the issue was? How can they not see copyright infringement if you clearly demonstrate that it's your original work and it's been copied?
Victor T. was something like: Go and talk this with him (with that scum)
Andrew: was something like: We are not a party in this dispute in any way, you should demonstrate that it's illegal and then we will remove it..
No comment..
Andrew Boon, grow a pair of balls and delete the damn listing. This is such an obvious act of theft, I fail to see why you would even need more than 5 seconds to think about it. Is it really in your companies best interest to pretend you don't see this?

Sometimes, I'm really disappointed with Boonex. This is one of those times.

re:"And on that note, can I just ask what Andrew and Victor's take on the issue was? How can they not see copyright infringement if you clearly demonstrate that it's your original work and it's been copied?"
That's the hardest part. It has to be clearly demonstrated. If it is clearly demonstrated and the original copyright owner can acquire a cease and desist then there is grounds for removal.

As for me, there are some members here that carry a higher trust equity than see more others. I am sure there are some whom many will not want deal with. That being said, Adrian I think your work is known well enough and in time the imitators will not benefit very much from your efforts. You are a long time member, you've developed enough trust equity and I believe that should be considered.

Alright, so that's an interesting resignation there, then. In the meantime I have just had a look at Andrew's blog, and while I see the angle, I can't see I'd agree. When someone provides a platform, they should do so in a manner that guarantees some sort of base level of ethics and rules of fair play.

Of course the more stuff there is on the market, the more Boonex stands to benefit in a number of ways, but I don't see how it can be at the expense of people who have a track record of doing solid see more original work.
BTW mastermindsro ..... Nicely done templates. I can tell you put a lot of work into them, and your attention to detail is evident in the refined appearance of your templates. Yours is the type of talent this community needs more of, and that talent should not be disrespected by allowing thievery.
Strong suggestion: All of us remove our Paid Items from the Market, go to a closed door system of items are only available via referrals. Next up, we quit paying the Premium Fees that line Boonex's pockets and make the Agents provide support to the newbies.

Yes, it sucks that the newbies won't get support but if Boonex can't give us support that we PAY for then why should we give them our money and support for free.

Listen Closely Andrew: We're beyond pissed now, between the latest actions see more of thievery and your blogs, this shit is way out of control now.

Adrian never asked me to do this but here's my side-by-side comparison:

What do you guys think?
Isn't it just plain obvious that it's a clear and obvious case of plagiarism? How come an issue like this even needs to be discussed? Asking someone to provide proof beyond that (of course one has to be able to demonstrate that his version was first) is just harassment.

How would Boonex like it if I grabbed their Dolphin 7 open-source piece, gave it a little twist, and plugged it straight into the CMS framework I have been developing the last year plus? Hell, I could turn the whole of Dolphin see more 7 into a module among modules in my setup without cracking too much of a sweat; we could call it the Aquarium build.

Anyone interested in seeing what would come out the other end if we took Dolphin 7 for a little swim into ocean deep? Give me a free weekend and we can have a party, and then we can all revisit the concept of good business ethics and what's fair and productive. I am dead serious; if there's interest, I don't mind at all doing a little favor to the Boonex community to make the point loud and clear!
This is going the same way as expertzzz was.... no moderation at all.
If you buy something do it from people you know they are trusted on you own opinion. Thats what I do.

I are go to think if I will stay premium longer..
I will do only support in dutch for the webmasters there
Andrew Boon
This is clearly a plagiarism - not a very nice move, and I have decided to remove the mod, however I have to tell you that this case is not proved to be illegal, per se, so let's just change the tone of the discussion and stop bashing BoonEx for "facilitating, condoning, encouraging illegal activity", shall we?
you are right in your request to have the members stop referencing not bashing, this is not bashing if it is factual. where i dont have a dog in this hunt, i would like to share what i see from the outside looking in. This is not the first time this has been reported, this is the first time there has been so much discussion about what is going on.

The fact that you were contacted by the original author, and he was basically ignored which lead to this post in the blog, leads me to believe see more that this was not taken seriously. As a development company yourself, this could have been handled with a lot more finesse that was implemented on this per instance.

I have a question, and i would like an honest straight answer, had this been Aramis or AntonLV that contacted you said that this person was selling their mod, what procedure would have been put forth then? If there are any different steps that would be taken by one of your employees proclaiming theft, why would a member (paying member) be addressed any differently.

There have been other reports of theft that have gone flat out IGNORED, and yes i believe its so that boonex is able to capitalize monetarily. because quite frankly i forget the members name, but i am sure you can use the search feature on the forums and find the posts where the member was ripped off for his language translation. There was nothing done about this whatsoever. There are complaints about others that are thieves, yes Andrew thieves.

Where it may be your position that it is not your duty to police the market, I would suppose you are wrong on that one. You shouldnt have an open market where you are charging a fee to post to if the persons items are not secure.

2000 character limit
As to whether the author who contacted you was the original author, you can tell that very easily by timestamps on your database. member-1 uploads to the market a template that member-2 purchases x days later. member-2 uploads a template to the market that is 66% similar, then it is safe to say that member-2 is selling stolen goods. I use the number 66% because in order to release something new, you have to change minimum 35% to take it outside its original copyright.

I personally wish you would see more revisit how this is handled. I think there are a great number of members who are paying to post their products in the market, and with that payment, there should be some security that rogues and thieves are not going to be allowed to prosper from what is stolen.

I was just over at host for web, and looking at their Terms of Service. I have no accusation here other than its very obvious that this persons work was stolen, did you remove the thief from the market. I doubt it. So what i found is where you claim you will not do anything about the a claim that something has been stolen. Your hosting service provider does declare differently in their Terms of Service

Host For Web TOS:

HostForWeb, Inc is pleased to offer our clients unlimited traffic, hits and web space. To maintain the integrity of our service the usage of account for backup or file storage is not allowed as well as the following kind of activities, traffic and usage:

Hacker focused sites/archives/programs
Sites promoting illegal activities
Forums and/or websites that distribute or link to warez/pirated/illegal content
Fraudulent Sites of any kind

2000 character limit
now with what has been posted about the fact that you offer a service, a price that is paid for a developer to list their works. You are whether you wanted it or not responsible if its stolen, especially if its stolen from another individual that paid you for access to the product. Based on those facts alone, you are in violation of the TOS from HFW.

and for that matter any hosting facility globally. this is not about whether you are in violation of the TOS for HFW, what the point is here Andrew, see more is that you accepted a sense of responsibility when you:

1. charge for a service (ability to post in the market)
2. provide a means for property to be stolen (charged for member with stolen property to post to the market)

I am not bashing, but the last three, in which you are asking to be left out of you are not showing traits of non-participation.

If you allow known thieves, I will not call any names, but you have been notified of them, if you allow such ROACHES on this site, which ultimately attract other ROACHES and breed ROACHES, then you are in fact facilitating, condoning, and encouraging illegal activity.

Get rid of the ROACHES, and you get rid of the problem. however, you must always have your Exterminator handy, because trolls and theives are always lurking. So unless you are doing something to D I S C O U R A G E the theft, you are in fact E N C O U R A G I N G the theft by proxy.
Andrew Boon
The author was not ignored, Victor and I spent well over an hour just talking with the author. I was trying to explain that it is not immediately obvious to us that the case like that requires item removal from the domain, and the demanding approach of the author didn't help either. We all see people building mods upon mods, or other products. There're templates being build upon other templates, too. It's a very fine line and very often we can't just say "yes". Ultimately, I have removed see more the copied templates and will probably remove such things in the future, but for reasons that are different from "this is illegal", it's more because "this sucks".

Personally, I see big difference between templates provided by Mastermindsro and the now infamous copies, and I like the originals very much, and I don't see how anyone in their sane mind would go and buy the copies.
Andrew, the fact that you spent well over an hour just talking with the author highlights the need to streamline the process of resolution (as in my comments to your blog on the topic). The more unequivocal the terms and your internal due process are, the less time you have to spend beating around the bush and wasting your time in improvised conflict resolution (and good luck with that) while you could be coding that code.

For starters, you could establish some ground rules for a base level of see more "borrowing code". Then, if the mod authors themselves offer an additional license on how their code can be reused (and you should encourage them to license their work clearly, perhaps offer sample licenses to use at the time of upload), and then if you see that code reused beyond the limits of the original author, it's crystal clear that there is a case of illegitimate reuse (whether illegal or not), and the copycat needs to go down. The person filing the complaint should of course be responsible for filling up that standard form where plagiarism is demonstrated.

I don't think any of the above would be too hard to do. It's just a question of whether you are willing to step into those shoes or not. If not, and as long as the transactions happen on your premises, there's bound to be unnecessary confusion and discontent that will alienate some of the independent developers you value, and who contribute to your software in many ways.
I greatly appreciated your response on this, and you are right, being hammered incorrectly by anybody is just as wrong as the wrong-act itself. however, there should be some provided method and means of reporting such in appropriate activity, allowing the original author to produce proof that the works are theres. The previous approach you were using to approve extensions was one way to thwart this, but now that you have starting charging the modders for certification, you dont have that see more option. However, what option you do have is running a DIFF on the two file sets and comparing the likeness.

As stated, if member-1 uploads product-A
then member-2 purchases product-A there is record of this activity in your database

then member-2 releases a mod uploads to the database which triggers member-1 to lodge a complaint

now i know this was not your intent to settle these types of battles, but by offering the market service, you are responsible for a certain level of control. now be that as it may, you may well wish to implement a security featured mod offer providing those who wish to pay a little more for a guarantee that their work will not be stolen, and if stolen the reported mod on the market would be removed immediately for investigation. not saying one or the other is right, and for each challenge charge a small processing fee. if accused is found guilty, then absolute remove from our community never to return. or if he wishes to have forgiveness, incorporate a forgiveness tax charging an x amount and providing the original author x % for having the emotional duress.

sounds crazy, and may be, but if there is no control and you are trying to run this hands off, then the better approach would be to shut the market down. yes just shut it down, that way you are free of dealing with any such reports.

The person who files a complaint should of course be responsible for providing Boonex with adequate information and documentation on the overlap between the products in question, in as much detail as possible.

Where necessary I think Boonex also should, as a matter of conflict resolution where the complaint appears to be more than hot air, give the developer filing the complaint free access (in case of pay-for mods) to the suspect rip-off to be able to examine them and produce the parallels for see more Boonex staff to look at.

These two steps would take the bulk of the code review process off the Boonex staff, but would still give them a decent ground for determining what's going on.

Of course there has to be an agreed standard on how much overlap two mods can have before being considered plagiarism. In my view, anything more a couple of silly lines of identical code, or very generic things, should be ruled out as unacceptable, unless the license of the original developer allows this.

And at the end of the day (to all of your modders), if you don't clearly license your work, you'll have a hard time making your complaint heard, as not everyone is educated in the finesse of copyright laws, and the assumptions made are wrong 95% of the time... (No doubt in part due to wishful thinking!)
Andrew Boon
Well, I'm all for a system, diffs, streamlined resolution process, etc. It seems like it's a no-brainer, but devil is in details, and here, there're whole lot of details...

1. Similarity, per se, doesn't mean stealing. it depends on the license, dependancies of the original code, relations of the profiles owners, etc.

2. Technically, it's easy to change the code in such a way that it will look different, but would still be same.

3. Verification like this is still very resource-intensive. see more With paid certification, we can afford it, while free checking may mean some serious sacrifices (read delays).


For now, I'd say that the best we can do is to rely on the opinion and voice if this community and kill off whatever "feels" like total crap. Much like in this case, I had to explain that it's not illegal (until proved otherwise), but I still deleted it.
And on those devils in the details, with whom I find myself dancing on a regular basis.

1. These are of course information you should have the person filing the complaint provide you; a) the license under which his original work was released, b) his relationship (if any) with the alleged copyist, c) the similarities which he feels are over and above reasonably generic structures. Just pass the buck to them in an orderly and standard manner, and insist that all complaints must be reported with see more a standard complaint form.

2. If the code is structurally the same, but the variable names have been changed to make it look original, in my view that can also be held to demonstrate intention to "steal and repaint", not at all unlike a car thief painting the car anew, while the engine and all the essential parts are the same. Again, for the complainer to demonstrate in sufficient detail.

3. If you had a standard complaint form to which the complainer were to fill in all of the above (and more as you deem necessary), and only accepted complaints sent in proper form, it would both give the serious complainer an avenue to demonstrate his case, and screen out frivolous complaints that take your time.

If you want to leave this up to the community to give their vote and opinion, please consider having a proper avenue for that; such as a separate forum section, or a "conflict resolution" area in the market where community experts could weigh in and act as an unofficial jury, giving their votes and angles on the case. This would again take more of the work off your shoulders, but would provide a constructive (rather than constrictive) way to deal with all this.
We are about to launch a free independent site which will allow members of just not dolphin but other social platforms to sell there mods and also search our help forums.

This will be heavily moderated and unlike expertzzz and such it will be up to the creator of the 'copied' mod to prove that his is genuine and not copied, we will also be running a three strikes and your out, as well as a few other methods which will prevent the scammers and the thiefs from not only ruining the income of genuine see more modders but also the everyday users of there products.

If you would like more details please PM me if needed.

I have used dolphin for a long time and have been stung before with imitation mods that provide no support or poor quality.
I feel that a little friendly rivalary may just be what the extensions market here needs.
Dean Syme
Plagiarism like theft will thrive and blur the lines between true and false where it is tolerated.

It is in the long-term interest of Dolphin to have a zero tolerance policy with regard to that. I am sorry "three strilkes you are out" - whilst fair in the sporting context - is too lenient when it comes to plagiarism. The rule should be - one strike and you are out.

It seems fair though that the one claim the infringement should provide full disclosure about the nature and extend see more of the plagiarism so that Boonex is able to arbitrate fairly and justly by:

1. removing the contested items from the market place pending the resolution of the complaint.
2. providing the accused party with the full details of the complaint and the opportunity to refute the allegations in writing,
3. Boonex in its sole discretion making a fair and reasonable call whether the complaint should be upheld

Jtadeo's side-by-side comparison: makes a call on this a no-brainer

Creative not protected means that we will have to be content with mediocrity - That's clearly not what we want - We all and Boonex more than anyone else stands to benefit by providing a protected space for the best creative minds to be attracted to this community.

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