> I can confirm that ScientiaMobile is in its full right to do what it did.
On what grounds? You keep making assertions without providing anything to back them up, which is why we’re finding them hard to believe.
> Professionals in the software business don’t normally have a problem with the idea that good software has to be paid for, since they are the first ones who know that software takes serious knowledge, serious research and serious effort.
That’s not the issue under discussion, and it reflects poorly on you that you are implying that people using permissively-licensed software under the stated terms of the license are somehow immoral freeloaders.
I’m a professional in the software business. I’m happy to pay a fair price for quality software, but I’m also happy to use free software. I generally prefer free software, but only because it tends to have developers that are more responsive to bug reports or feature requests, and because I often have the opportunity to improve the software myself and contribute my improvements back to the community. So no, I do not have a problem with “the idea that good software has to be paid for”, as long as you aren’t using that phrase to denigrate the vast number of extremely good software projects that are available for free. I do, however, have a problem when people who use permissively-licensed code under the stated terms of the license are sent takedown notices and accused of copyright violation.
> We are not going to discuss aspects concerning copyright infringement in public.
Why not? If I were interested in using old WURFL data in one of my own endeavours, I’d like to know where I stand and whether I should expect legal action against me. ScientiaMobile made the code and data public under a permissive license, and I believe it is entirely reasonable to be told what the perceived violations are so that others know where they stand. In fact, I believe that you have an undeniable responsibility to be clear on what kinds of uses you consider to be in violation.
> The takedown notice already provides plenty of information.
No, it does not.
1. My client’s work that was infringed – the WURFL.xml – can be found at the following URL: http://www.ScientiaMobile.com/communitywurfl/wurfl.zip. You also ask that we identify the work infringing upon the copyright in my client’s work. We have done so in item 2 below.
2. The material we allege is infringing WURFL.xml is found in the directory entitled “Resources” available at https://github.com/OpenDDR-org/OpenDDR-Resources. In particular, we allege that the two files entitled “oddrVocabulary.xml” and “DeviceDataSource.xml” available in that directory infringe upon my client’s copyright in WURFL.xml and it is these two files that we request you cease distributing through your website.
The claim is that two files in the OpenDDR repository violate the copyright in “WURFL.xml”, and the version linked to in the takedown notice is the August 2011 version, with a different license from the July 2011 version OpenDDR claims to have used.
This license states “You are required to make modifications to this file public and be fair to other developers and companies that have shared their changes with you and with all other WURFL adopters.” OpenDDR have made their modifications public, as required by both this version of the license and the July 2011 version.
The only other possible restriction is very ambiguous: “The data is meant for use with the WURFL API available on the official WURFL website at http://wurfl.sourceforge.net.” I’d read that to mean “this is the intended use, and we’re unlikely to accept patches that conflict with this”, but it could be meant as a very poorly worded variant of “you are prohibited from using this in any other context”. Is this the violation you’re claiming?
In summary: The takedown notice claims unspecific violation on grounds that are tenuous at best, against a version of the WURFL data different from the one OpenDDR claim to have used, which is licensed under slightly different terms.
> Commercial entities that took from WURFL in the past have explained (some of them in this very thread!) how they changed their vocabulary, data, data structures and API to avoid infringing.
Where is the documentation about how to do this? Where does it state in the license which bits are excluded from the “only thing required is to make public any modification to this file” clause? When I see a license applied to a file, I expect the entire file to be licensed under the same terms unless there are specific exclusions noted.
Luca, you are not being reasonable. No matter what heinous crimes OpenDDR may or may not have committed against you or anyone else, your refusal to explain what uses you consider to be in violation of your July 2011 (and August 2011, for that matter) WURFL.zip licence terms is not making you any friends. Even the people who, like myself, are inclined to support any commercial enterprise that releases open source versions of their products are being alienated by your apparent disregard for the terms of your own license and your obvious disregard for our concerns about your recent actions.