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MXS responds… round 2

Totally out of the blue I received an e-mail from Jonathan Miller at Maui X-Stream. Okay, not totally out of the blue, but still a bit unexpected. In this email Jonathan concedes that VX30 Ad-Stats is indeed based on phpAdsNew and covered by the GPL and offers to send me a copy of the VX30 Ad-Stats source code.

While I appreciate the offer that was not the reason for my previous article. That offer is moot anyway because you can already download the source code from drunkenblogs latest article.

Curious about the e-mail? Below you will find the complete e-mail send to me by Jonathan Miller of Maui X-Stream and the response I send to him.

Dear Niels-

I’m very sorry to contact you under these conditions and I hope that we can quickly come to a resolution between any possible disagreement between our two parties.

As I believe you are aware we do have a product called VX30 Ad-Stats that is based upon phpAdsNew. Ad-Stats is sold as a companion software to our video encoding application as a way to track your video clips. Obviously we do provide the source code to our customers who purchase this software. I would like to offer you that same source code – although I doubt it has any use for you.

Once again I’m sorry if you’ve been bothered by this situation – a lot of unfair characterizations are being passed around right now about us and we are trying to make our best effort to clear the air.

This is the response I send back:


As you could have read on my weblog I have a couple of major problems with the way Maui X-Stream has been handling the VX30 Ad-Stats product. I am not asking for you to publicly publish the source code of VX30 Ad-Stats on your website, or to give the source code back to me. Although the offer is appreciated, it is not required by the license under which I licensed my source code to you, the GPL.

One of the main problems is the statement published on the VX30 website. In that statement your company claims “We have recently been asked whether VX30, Maui X-Stream’s video streaming software, is built on third-party code covered by a General Public License (GPL). The answer to that question is no.” and “VX30 is an original, proprietary product created over a three-year period by Maui X-Stream employees and contractors.”

As shown on my weblog, and acknowledged earlier in your letter this is simply not true. VX30 Ad-Stats is build on third-party code covered by the GPL. I am not asking for you to mention phpAdsNew or my name, but I am expecting that your company does not lie to its (potential) customers about the origins of your products.

Secondly, the way your company distributed the source code of the VX30 Ad-Stats product is not compliant with the section 1 and 2 of the GPL. The problem is that all copyright statements have been removed and/or modified in the source code. As copyright holder to a large part of the phpAdsNew source code this is unacceptable to me.

7 Responses to “MXS responds… round 2”

  1. Roel wrote on May 19th, 2005 at 7:27 am

    Wow, they respond and ‘confess’. That’s a start. Allthough I wonder how far they will go and where this will end.

  2. Pompous Guy wrote on May 19th, 2005 at 12:32 pm

    That’s pretty rad. He says "Obviously we do provide the source code to our customers who purchase this software." but that isn’t exactly GPL compliance all by itself. If, like many of their other products, they’ve distributed demos of VX30 Ad-Stats…

  3. hcgtv wrote on May 19th, 2005 at 12:43 pm

    They removed the copyrights, oh that’s bad.

    The least they can do is funnel some monies back to the GPL projects that make up their suite.

    The bad publicity they’ve generated will no doubt have a negative impact on their company.

  4. Hurkemmer wrote on May 23rd, 2005 at 8:16 am

    The joke is that they probably won’t notice anything in their sales because their target market doesn’t pay attention to geek blogs. What should happen is that they should be taken to court and habve a judge tell them that they are not allowed to distribute the product anymore. Let them take it off the shelves, reimburse clients and build something of their own. But heck, unless this hits something like the NYT or WSJ notin’ gonna happen.

    What bumble fuck eh? I eman move to maui and steal code.. sheesh.. why didn’t I think of that.

  5. Wannabe Lawyer wrote on May 23rd, 2005 at 1:27 pm

    Sue the bastards! You (or the main developer of phpAdsNew) would have a great case, and I’m sure you’d have no trouble getting a lawyer to take it. This would be a great test case for the GPL, and you should be able to get some money damages out of it too.

  6. humblemonkey wrote on May 23rd, 2005 at 9:13 pm

    I agree…legal precedences concerning the GPL needs to be reinforced.
    MXS ceratinly isn’t the only ones out there doing this, so when its found, it needs to be hit hard.
    And if they wanna settle out of court…well, a public apology on their site for no less than 90 days, plus X-amount of dollars donated to open source projects of your choice certainly sounds reasonable.

  7. macewan : wrote on May 24th, 2005 at 7:27 pm

    Tisk, stealing code & then offering it back are we? Naughty naughty greenback chasers….