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Developer Exposes Copyright Infringers On Twitter

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the better-than-paying-lawyers dept.

The Courts 164

snitty writes "Wil Shipley, developer of Delicious Library, found some applications on the iTunes App Store that were using without permission some images from his popular desktop application. He outed them on Twitter. The team at Technically Legal broke down the story and the take-home messages for using other people's images."

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Hmm (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29430161)

Image off of his website. [delicious-monster.com]

Macbook, Starcraft, Peggle... Are those fair use applications?

Re:Hmm (4, Informative)

Itninja (937614) | more than 5 years ago | (#29430185)

When the President does it, it's not illegal.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29430235)

Well, when the president does it that means that it is not illegal

Re:Hmm (4, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 5 years ago | (#29430303)

Macbook, Starcraft, Peggle... Are those fair use applications?

More to the point: did he try to pass them off as his own? No.

Re:Hmm (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29430361)

Macbook, Starcraft, Peggle... Are those fair use applications?

More to the point: did he try to pass them off as his own? No.

This centers around one party using another party's compyrighted property without permission.

His image looks like a photoshopped version of a stock, copyrighted Apple image:

Apple Macbook Pro [wordpress.com]

I'm using the lighting on the top left corner and the artifacts around the camera. I wonder if he asked for permission from Apple before manipulating that image of theirs.

It's bad if someone uses his wood grain background without permission (to make money, no less). But when he uses someone elses' copyrighted material (to, in turn, push his own product), it's fine and dandy.

Either derivative works are fine or not.

Re:Hmm (1)

B'Trey (111263) | more than 5 years ago | (#29430499)

Additionally, he says: "And at best I'd maybe get an injunction, not damages. And, really, they're not making enough money for me to regain my losses."

Uh, what losses? Granted, if he owns the copyright to the image, it's illegal to use them without his permission. But in what way did the use of those images actually cause him any losses? How was he actually harmed? I have no issue with him asking, or even demanding, that they stop using his artwork. But to claim "losses" is downright silly.

Re:Hmm (1)

Amorya (741253) | more than 5 years ago | (#29430815)

I think he means the losses he'd make taking it to court i.e. hiring lawyers etc.

Re:Hmm (1)

Me! Me! 42 (1153289) | more than 5 years ago | (#29431199)

I think you are largely correct about what he means. But there is also a loss in that they are creating a somewhat similar competing product using his work product and potentially confusing customers that might have bought his product etc. Not easily quantifiable, but none the less, also an actual loss.

Re:Hmm (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 5 years ago | (#29431711)

His photoshop job of the original MacBook picture is certainly an original composition, even though he uses several copyrighted photos, he adds enough to it that it is almost certainly legal.

Now, copying his photo for your own, commercial use in no way adds to the composition, or changes the original, and it's just plain copyright infringement.

We have rules for the way these things work, and though they tend to be judgement calls we have pretty well worked things out in these cases. Borderline cases are always iffy, but this doesn't seem that borderline. Though he used many copyrighted photos, the new photo is certainly unique.

The Image (5, Insightful)

FornaxChemica (968594) | more than 5 years ago | (#29430331)

The copyrighted image is actually the "woodgrain background", quoting Technically Legal. Is this a joke? The whole story is about a background texture being stolen? Some actual artists out there who've been ripped off must be feel pretty distressed right now.

Re:The Image (5, Insightful)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 5 years ago | (#29430413)

Bingo.

Why didn't he just email them and ask them either not to use his pictures, or to pay him for them?

Seems to me like the real reason for him being angry is that the iPhone application he's complaining about looks to be basically an iPhone version of his desktop application. Someone beat him to it on the iPhone and he's mad..

Re:The Image (4, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 5 years ago | (#29430523)

Why didn't he just email them and ask them either not to use his pictures, or to pay him for them?

Because sometimes even when you do both of those things [lazylightning.org] , you get nowhere fast. Twitter is something that a lot of people utilize and it's a good way to go about expressing your frustration and getting the word out to a lot of people (including the offender) quickly.

Re:The Image (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 5 years ago | (#29431659)

Why didn't he just email them and ask them either not to use his pictures, or to pay him for them?

Because sometimes even when you do both of those things [lazylightning.org] , you get nowhere fast.

Who cares about "sometimes", there's due process. Outing someone for infringing your copyright is akin to vigilante justice. While that works in comic books, in real life you just get violations of the law to enforce the law.

If it does turn out it's similar but not his texture then he's opened himself up for law suits for defamation.

Re:The Image (4, Informative)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 5 years ago | (#29431965)

Outing someone for infringing your copyright is akin to vigilante justice.

WTF? No it's not, not at all.

Vigilante justice would be breaking into his house and stealing stuff worth what you consider to be the value of a license to use your copyrighted work.

Beating him up would also be vigilante justice.

Do you even know what "vigilante" means? Holy cow man. Yelling "Stop! Thief!" is not vigilantism, and neither is calling someone who steals your picture a copyright infringer.

If it does turn out it's similar but not his texture then he's opened himself up for law suits for defamation.

Not really, do you understand what defamation is? It's damaging one's reputation, character, or good name by slander or libel.

Now, slander is a false statement injurious to a person's reputation. Libel is essentially the same with print.

All that to say, if the person saying/writing it believes it to be the truth, then it is not slander or libel and therefor not defamation. Slander and Libel, and therefore defamation, are notoriously difficult to prove. Else we would not have the political system we have.

Re:The Image (1)

Evil Shabazz (937088) | more than 5 years ago | (#29432901)

So you're saying that, because the system designed to protect him is broken and slow, it's okay for him to make inflammatory, potentially false, public statements about other people, in his own interest, because the system design to protect them is also broken and slow?

Just as a side-note, you're only half-right about the "belief of truth" clause. The second half of that is that there can also not be a "reckless disregard for whether the statement is true or false." And that's only as right as the state in which we're talking jurisdiction. Depending on whether he has more proof than, "Hey! That super-generic background texture looks just like a really super-generic background texture I derived from existing work myself!" they might have a case.

Um? (1)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 5 years ago | (#29432373)

Is it normal behaviour when nicking someone's images to also start following them on Twitter?

You beat me to it. (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#29430543)

So I'm going to call them thieves publicly and embarrass them. Skip the lawyers, let's go back to shaming people!

A first step might have been to contact them, let them know that they were infringing, and see what the response was. Especially considering

Stolen images update: Tom from Netwalk apologized, said he didn't know it was my texture, promised a resubmitted "MyMovies" update tonight!

Sometimes the carrot works better than the stick.

Yeah, but not this time (1)

xant (99438) | more than 5 years ago | (#29432341)

> Sometimes the carrot works better than the stick.

Isn't this exactly an example of the stick working better than the carrot? What he actually used was a stick, and it worked. You're hypothesizing that he could have used a carrot, but it would not have worked any better than immediate success.

Re:The Image (2, Insightful)

AmigaHeretic (991368) | more than 5 years ago | (#29430633)

>>Why didn't he just email them and ask them either not to use his pictures, or to pay him for them?

The guy (who's texture was "stolen") sells a product that lets you scan a UPC of a CD, DVD, etc and then "downloads" a digital image of the cover.

So did this guy contact EVERY company and artist about offering to sell the cover images online? (His product is $40)

He purchased a license to do exactly this.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29431371)

Indirectly, he did - he's got a license to exactly this from Amazon:
http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1369741&cid=29431009 [slashdot.org]

Re:The Image (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29431849)

They're Amazon's images, and yes, he has permission to use them.

Re:The Image (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 5 years ago | (#29432033)

He's not selling anybody's images, the photos are downloaded after the fact from a presumably public source.

It's the program that he is selling.

Re:The Image (3, Informative)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 5 years ago | (#29432059)

So did this guy contact EVERY company and artist about offering to sell the cover images online? (His product is $40)

Yes. He gets the images from Amazon, and he's been in talks with them for some time on the subject, just to make sure that he accesses and uses the images and data in a legal manner. But hey, accusing him without looking into the situation is all the rage these days, so I can understand where you're coming from.

Re:The Image (1)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 5 years ago | (#29432193)

So did this guy contact EVERY company and artist about offering to sell the cover images online?

He gets the covers from Amazon. And yes, he contacted Amazon and got permission to use the covers the way he uses them.

Re:The Image (2, Informative)

stickystyle (799509) | more than 5 years ago | (#29430713)

Seems to me like the real reason for him being angry is that the iPhone application he's complaining about looks to be basically an iPhone version of his desktop application. Someone beat him to it on the iPhone and he's mad..

Actually, he did have an iPhone version of his app but Amazon.com forced him to pull it http://twitter.com/wilshipley/status/2517428863 [twitter.com]

Re:The Image (3, Interesting)

diamondsw (685967) | more than 5 years ago | (#29430883)

Except he's been on the iPhone [delicious-monster.com] for a while - until Amazon yanked all mobile licenses to their data.

This goes back to the whole issue of stealing "look and feel", which they most certainly did. Whether that constitutes legal copyright infringement is beyond me (and I imagine 99% of the commenters on /.).

Re:The Image (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 5 years ago | (#29431407)

Why didn't he just email them and ask them either not to use his pictures, or to pay him for them?

Why didn't he just put the pictures on his website as examples of how NOT to use his texture?

Re:The Image (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 5 years ago | (#29432203)

Someone beat him to it on the iPhone and he's mad..

It's useful to look into the situation sometimes before you talk. The truth of the matter is that his app was pulled from the AppStore [tuaw.com] because Amazon changed the terms of their API over the summer. Delicious Library was on the AppStore before these knock-offs, but isn't any longer, so he did beat them to market. Also, who's to say that he didn't e-mail them? Twitter isn't a press conference (though it may reach a larger audience on occasion), so it's not like he's making a big deal of it in public.

Re:The Image (2, Interesting)

coaxial (28297) | more than 5 years ago | (#29430525)

True, it is the texture. But let's be honest here. It's not just the texture. It's the whole look of the application. Delicious Library has a VERY distinctive look. Books and DVD boxes sitting on wooden shelves. It's unmistakable, yet these applications completely aped it. More importantly, it is confusingly similar.

Re:The Image (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29430669)

Yeah, cause a company like Microsoft would never borrow the look and feel of another program, like say Mozilla Firefox's tabs...

Re:The Image (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29431047)

Yeah, cause a company like Microsoft would never borrow the look and feel of another program, like say Mozilla Firefox's tabs...

Or, like say kayak.com
http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/06/kayak-bing/

Re:The Image (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29432619)

"VERY distinctive" ... seriously? There are four places in my apartment I could take a picture and capture the same "look and feel". Why? Because objects sitting on wooden shelves is about as old as old gets. If you are going to acuse anyone of "aping" then you need to start at the source.
 
In any case, I would submit that wooden shelves with things on them is essentially common culture and anyone can do anything they please with the concept. No one owns the exclusive rights to wooden shelves, and if someone ever did, it expired about 2000 years ago.

I wish it were a joke (3, Insightful)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 5 years ago | (#29430837)

It sure sounds like a joke, doesn't it? I mean, come on, he's all bent out of shape over a woodgrain texture? It's not like they took his logo or something distinctive about his application. It sounds pretty petty to me.

I hate to say it, Mr. Shipley, but this is not the kind of trivial copyright stuff that we're constantly railing against. From TFA:

If the owner of the image has registered that copyright, it can open you up to RIAA v. The People sized damages: thousands to tens of thousands of dollars per infringement.

Congratulations Mr. Shipley, you're now being compared to organizations like the RIAA. Were you Right(TM) (as in, technically correct in that your copyright was violated)? Sure, I'll concede that, and if they knew that the texture came from you, they should have checked if it was okay before using it. But where you right (as in, responding in an ethically appropriate way)? Absolutely not. Again, from TFA:

So I'm going to call them thieves publicly and embarrass them. Skip the lawyers, let's go back to shaming people!

Mr. Shipley, it strikes me that you decided to publicly call someone a thief and unilaterally decided to shame them without really knowing the circumstances of the situation. Did they simply decide that they didn't want to pay for a texture, and maliciously rip yours off? Maybe. But I find it just as likely that they may have simply assumed that it was a public domain texture.

Or just maybe, being a small outfit or independent developer (which I can certainly empathize with), they got it from a third party who represented that it was either public domain or their texture. I know that for community projects I'm involved with, being as artistic as a two-by-four, when I need a resource like that, I usually post a message somewhere saying something like, "Hey, does anyone have an icon/texture/whatever that I can use?" If someone sends me one, I usually do the due diligence of asking them if I have the rights to use it (e.g. if it's public domain or, if they created it, if they are willingly giving me the rights to use it), but it's not like I hire a lawyer to do a detailed search of everything that's ever been copyrighted to verify it. I simply don't have the time or money to do so.

So according to TFA, "there are really two important take-away messages from this story." Actually there is at least one more. Some people can really be stupid and petty about such things, making mountains out of molehills, and unfortunately, the legal system today favors those people. Oh, and maybe another is that it's getting harder and harder to be a small, independent developer these days because of idiocy like this. Every time you turn around and no matter what you do, there are people out there who want to squash you like a bug, people ranging from other small developers to giant corporations. Everything from "Hey, you used a button, and we use a button, so we're suing you!" to "You thief, you stole my generic-looking woodgrain texture, waaah!"

Re:I wish it were a joke (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 5 years ago | (#29432221)

Did they simply decide that they didn't want to pay for a texture, and maliciously rip yours off? Maybe. But I find it just as likely that they may have simply assumed that it was a public domain texture.

Ignorance of the law is no defense. The picture was clearly marked with the Creative Commons license, which means it is free for non-commercial use. That means these guys were not allowed to use it, and they should have contacted the artist for a license to use it in their application, or found a public domain texture (which likely does not exist), or hired an artist to make one for them (probably more expensive than just licensing).

This is exactly the situation that copyright is needed for. Some guys stole his art (intentionally or no) and made money off it. He has limited monopoly on that texture, and by not licensing with the artist first they are breaking the law. If this is not the situation you want to see copyright for, I dont' know what the hell you want it for at all. This is not some kids downloading movies that they wouldn't buy anyway, it's an artist who has been ripped off.

Most artists don't make enough for their work as it is, yet you think this is petty?

Re:I wish it were a joke (3, Interesting)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 5 years ago | (#29432741)

Ignorance of the law is no defense.

No, but there is such a thing as "reasonable perspective." This guy is so worked up about a frickin' woodgrain texture that he's wanting to sue for losses, and since that would actually cost some money, instead resorts to calling the other developer a thief? I don't care if they did knowingly swipe the texture, that's stupid, plain and simple.

Do you ever speed on a highway? Technically, you're breaking the law every time you do. How would you like it if a police officer decided that he just plain doesn't like you? He stakes out your house, and every time you go 56 in a 55, he dings you with a ticket. Even more, the judge doesn't like you either, so you don't get stuck with a minor violation, you get charged with reckless driving and have to go to jail.

It was a frickin' woodgrain texture. The appropriate response would have been to just let it slide. The "I'm irritated" response would have been to e-mail the developer and said, "Hey, that's my texture, please remove it from your app." His actual response, though, is stupid and petty.

Most artists don't make enough for their work as it is

Yeah, because I'm sure that's why people were using these applications. Not just because of the woodgrain texture, but because of that specific woodgrain texture. Any other woodgrain texture would have made both the original application and the iPhone app pieces of crap. People are seeing that specific woodgrain texture on the iPhone app and thinking, "The app is just okay, but that texture is so... beautiful...

Puhleeze. I'm sorry, I thought this was about an application, not a "work of art." Sounds like someone is a little too full of themselves.

Re:I wish it were a joke (1)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 5 years ago | (#29432231)

It sure sounds like a joke, doesn't it? I mean, come on, he's all bent out of shape over a woodgrain texture? It's not like they took his logo or something distinctive about his application. It sounds pretty petty to me.

How is it not distinctive? Anyone who has used Delicious Library would look at those screenshots and instantly assume they are looking at a mobile version of DL.

Re:I wish it were a joke (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 5 years ago | (#29432385)

He also had his own iPhone app, but got all the images from Amazon (like his desktop app), but Amazon pulled the plug on licensing the pics for the mobile version. So these guys created what amounts to an exact duplicate, down to the very same texture, but I'm assuming they don't get their pictures from Amazon, and if they screwed up on the texture I'm imagining all the other images they use are used illegaly also.

In other words, this guy gets screwed because he actually follows copyright correctly, and here on slashdot we have people defending the assholes who stole his work.

Typical.

Re:I wish it were a joke (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 5 years ago | (#29432565)

OK, first off: This texture wasn't used "by mistake". There are thousands of wood textures out there in digital form. This guy wrote a program which both copies the look and feel of delicious library AND uses the ACTUAL same texture. That is no coincidence, it's deliberate disregard for copyright.

Second, it's not for YOU to say how important the artwork is. As it happens you only place so little value on it because you are ignorant of the development process of Delicious Library. The reason for it's success is because they sweated the details of the interface. That included commissioning (i.e. paying an artist to produce) not just a single wood texture, but several iterations of wood texture, till it looked "just right" in the application. The right shade, the right grain, the right scale. It is a valuable asset.

Why do you think the crook stole Delicious Library's wood texture, rather then use one of the thousands of other wood textures out there, some of which are free? Because Delicious Library one is the one that looks best for that design.

I don't expect you'll understand any of this though. You sound like a freetard.

Re:Hmm (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 5 years ago | (#29430385)

Are those fair use applications?

Pretty sure the answer to that is "yes, of course".

Re:Hmm (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#29431731)

I clicked through one of the links to an "offender" and I saw a
bunch of James Bond DVD covers that look suspiciously like they
came off of Amazon (like some of mine have). Or they could have
just been scans (when Amazon is a bust).

How do you sort out no less than 3 possible sources for the same
rather generic image?

Re:Hmm (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 5 years ago | (#29432301)

The images of Starcraft and Peggle are displayed within his app via an licence with Amazon to use those images. Amazon presumably has the permission to do this from the publishers who are selling their products through Amazon. So, neither of us know, but I'd tend to assume that he does indeed have the appropriate permissions.

As to the macbook image, Will Shipley is the indie developer with probably the closest links to Apple. Close enough to be talking to them regularly. Again I suspect he knows what images he's allowed to use. Apple WANT images of their products out there, and do supply images for others to use.

But perhaps you're just trolling.

Twitter (0, Troll)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 5 years ago | (#29430177)

How is this special? I mean really? It is just a shitty blog service that has been self gimped.

Headlines:
Man with missing toe kills wife!
Bald woman overcomes her fear of deep water
Building painted yellow falls down
Mice like Cheese, President shot!
Slashdotter has sex!

... Wait that last one makes sense. Point still stands. The story isn't special because of twitter. Just people that use twitter are 'special'.

Re:Twitter (2, Funny)

idontgno (624372) | more than 5 years ago | (#29430277)

Yeah. the twitter angle was pretty much gratuitous. I think it's become the Web2.0 way of making something cool: wedge "on Twitter" on the end of the sentence. Just like "in my pants" automatically makes any sentence hilarious.

"Developer Exposes Copyright Infringers In My Pants"

Yup. Hilarious.

Re:Twitter (1)

NinjaPablo (246765) | more than 5 years ago | (#29430427)

"Developer Exposes Copyright Infringers In My Pants on Twitter"

Re:Twitter (1)

Manos_Of_Fate (1092793) | more than 5 years ago | (#29430675)

I'm confused. How did your pants get on Twitter?

Re:Twitter (1)

digitalgiblet (530309) | more than 5 years ago | (#29431661)

"Developer Exposes Copyright Infringers In My Pants on Twitter"

That's what SHE said!

Re:Twitter (1)

drunkenoafoffofb3ta (1262668) | more than 5 years ago | (#29430435)

It's not even the first example of iPhone app devs nicking wood effect graphics from other iPhone apps -- in this earlier case, e-book readers. Twitter sold it to the media something good.

Re:Twitter (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 5 years ago | (#29430665)

Is that you, Super Volt?

Re:Twitter (1)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | more than 5 years ago | (#29430311)

I suppose it is a somewhat savvy leveraging of Twitter hype.

Even the most peripheral "connection" to Twitter is still enough to get a story bumped up on the perceived relevancy scale. At least as percieved by people who don't quite get Twitter or the appeal but sure hear about it a lot and are thus afraid of seeming un-hip by asking "what is this lame shit, really?" (IOW "Does the Emperor know he is naked").

Or maybe he is another narcissistic Twitter addict trying desperately to imbue it with significance by by further expanding its portfolio of uses.

So is copyright good or bad (1)

wiredog (43288) | more than 5 years ago | (#29430201)

in this case?

This is more about plagiarism (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 5 years ago | (#29430271)

Copyright didn't really come into play.

Re:This is more about plagiarism (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 5 years ago | (#29432467)

Ummm... yes it did?

This has nothing to do with plagiarism, it's about an iPhone app that uses a texture (a copyrighted image) illegaly. It's licensed under Creative Commons, which does not allow for commercial use, and I believe it also requires attribution. To use his image legally, they needed to get a separate commercial license from the artist. They did not do this, so it is a copyright violation.

What part of that is NOT about copyright? And where the hell did you get plagiarism from?

Not very mature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29430211)

Seriously?

The best way he could think of handling the issue of someone using his images without consent was to whine about it on Twitter?

And Slashdot thinks this is news?

Slashbot response (2, Funny)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 5 years ago | (#29430269)

Take down notice: BAD

Software developer: GOOD

Copyrights: BAD

Twitter: GOOD

Lawsuit: BAD

Caught red-handed: GOOD

==Head Assplodes=l

Re:Slashbot response (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29430337)

==Head Ass

I'm gonna go ahead and stop you right there.

Re:Slashbot response (1)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 5 years ago | (#29430521)

Twitter: GOOD

Did I miss the announcement? I thought we were all still supposed to be shaking our canes and yelling at those damn kids to get off our lawns.

Re:Slashbot response (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29430535)

You had me until "Twitter: GOOD"

i frequently post scathing attacks on the riaa (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#29430341)

and i therefore find myself therefore morally compromised in finding cheer in this story

if i honestly believe that anything that can be digitally used should be free (and, as a matter of technological progress, is de facto free anyways, regardless of legality), then i have to say that this guy should expect no restitutition for having his images used

the riaa may be "big bad meanies", but my opposition to their reason for existence is philosophically grounded. and if i want to retain philosophical integrity, i therefore have to side against poor programmers as well

if something is digital encoded, exposed to the internet, forget trying to control it, regardless of whatever laws exist

Re:i frequently post scathing attacks on the riaa (2, Interesting)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 5 years ago | (#29430515)

The RIAA didn't become the "big bad meanies" because of going after copyright infringers.

They got that title through their strong arm tactics, legal arguments, twisted logic, abuse of the justice system, extortion... well, pretty much everything associated with how they operate these cases.

Contrast the above to how this infringement was handled.

I see no moral conflict here.

Lol.. reminds me of a friend. (3, Interesting)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 5 years ago | (#29430367)

I know the guy who made the blue frog on the Azureus startup screen.... and it wasn't for Azureus.

lol.

He's complaining about... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29430373)

...someone "stealing" a wood-grain texture. On Twitter moreover, because in Court he might have to explain exactly where the creative work is in a wood-grain texture (in the tree), or what harm he's suffered as a result (none).

And yet, his own software, that he sells as $40 shareware for the Mac (...why?!), is designed specifically to display copyrighted and/or trademarked cover art of other people's software/music/etc, in its entirety, without the permission of the copyright/trademark holders. Did he ask them? I doubt it. Is it Fair Use? Pretty clear "no" on that, it doesn't check any of the boxes.

And yet, he gets pissy over a woodgrain texture. Good grief. Damn control-freak shareware authors. Bloody hypocrites. Let's move on, now, please, this really doesn't deserve screen space here.

Next on Slashdot: Neighbour mows 2cm of next-door neighbour's lawn. Hilarity (and feud) ensues. *yawn*

Let's be fair (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29430869)

It's not a wood grain texture, it's a faux wood grain texture of the type you might find printed on cheap, tacky veneer. Presumably, shipping a version of this software with a bitmapped texture that approximates real wood would cost more. So how much wood would a woodchuck chuck to simply store metadata in the filesystem? Just think of how many virtual trees (oil in the veneer case) we'd be saving when nobody needs such silly apps.

Re:He's complaining about... (5, Insightful)

diamondsw (685967) | more than 5 years ago | (#29431009)

Delicious Library is one of the most popular Mac shareware apps, and is exceptionally well-designed. Those wood bookcases are central to its UI look and feel [delicious-monster.com] . And he's already written an iPhone app [delicious-monster.com] - except Amazon decided to yank all mobile licenses [tuaw.com] to their data. Yes, that's right, he pays Amazon for access to their data, so it is legal use and paid for.

So your entire post is written like a true asshat who has no idea what's going on, and has contributed nothing. But that never stops Slashdot.

Sounds to me... (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 5 years ago | (#29431877)

Sounds to me like the guy has his chops busted by Amazon for violating a Terms of Service agreement. Feeling kind of sore over it, he's decided that if some anal third-party treats him like that, he might as well treat everyone else like that, too.

Problem is, his anger is misdirected. Getting all nasty with this guy over something so piddly in no way gets back at Amazon for whatever wrong, real or perceived, they rained down on him.

He had his iPhone app pulled, so he'll be damned if he lets someone else have their app out there, and this is just a convenient, lame excuse.

But that's just how he comes across to me.

Re:Sounds to me... (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 5 years ago | (#29432645)

Sounds to me like the guy has his chops busted by Amazon for violating a Terms of Service agreement.

Bullshit, he licenses his stuff legally, if Amazon doesn't want to license it he doesn't use it. Unlike these other guys, who flatout ignore copyright and get defended here on slashdot, even though this is a clear case of why copyright is necessary.

I think it's more about, you know, someone else illegaly using his art.

If you've ever known an artist, you'd already know that even excellent artists don't make shit for their work. Stealing copyright is a very big deal because artists need every little red cent they can get to survive. This is what copyright was designed for, protecting people in situations like this so they will have a reason to create more. Granted this guy is probably doing just fine, but he is simply one of the ones who has made it.

If we start allowing people to get away with copyright infringement on legitimate works, fewer people will make art, and the world will be poorer for it.

I still can't understand why you people don't get that this is exactly why copyright was invented in the first place. This, right here. This is it.

Re:He's complaining about... (4, Informative)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 5 years ago | (#29431101)

Dude... thanks for telling.

I though this was about the icons and glyphs, which in many high-quality applications are actually designed by external design studios for lots of money. I can imagine getting pissed about somebody taking something which you actually had to pay quite a bit for.

But this is just a woodgrain texture, and a pretty ugly one at it.
I mean seriously, it isn't hard to make a woodgrain texture lots better than that one:
5 minute photoshop tutorial: http://www.tutorio.com/tutorial/photoshop-wood-texture [tutorio.com]
Free windows program for making wood textures: http://www.spiralgraphics.biz/ww_overview.htm [spiralgraphics.biz]

Heck, for all we know he actually used one of these or a source image, in which case he couldn't even claim copyright over it since anybody who made it themselves using such methods would end up with an identical texture.

Re:He's complaining about... (2, Interesting)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 5 years ago | (#29431461)

If it's that easy to "make a woodgrain texture lots better than that one", then how come none of those lazy bastards did it instead of poaching his?

Re:He's complaining about... (1)

Animaether (411575) | more than 5 years ago | (#29431783)

I mean seriously, it isn't hard to make a woodgrain texture lots better than that one

Which should lead to the rather obvious question that most people who state that it's "just a stupid background image" seem not to naturally stumble into...

If it's so easy, why didn't the accused do so, instead of copy/pasting from this guy?

Re:He's complaining about... (1)

JackRandom (468548) | more than 5 years ago | (#29431953)

Actually, at least one of the apps' woodgrain looks considerable different. (PantryList) I'm not sure how he's determining that "generic" woodgrain is suddenly omfg copyright!!! infringement. Seems like a bunch of hand waving to me.

Re:He's complaining about... (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 5 years ago | (#29432757)

Let me correct you. "For all YOU know". Others here know better.

Actually the development process of Delicious Library has been blogged about and formed the topic of a number of conference presentations. It is a ground breaking app.

The wood texture was commissioned from an artist, and took a number of iterations back to the artist to redo before it looked right for the app. That's the reason why people keep stealing Delicious Library's artwork to use in competitor programs (this isn't the first time). Any old wood texture simply won't do.

Why is there so much ignorance of design on Slashdot?

Re:He's complaining about... (1)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 5 years ago | (#29432265)

And yet, his own software, that he sells as $40 shareware for the Mac (...why?!), is designed specifically to display copyrighted and/or trademarked cover art of other people's software/music/etc, in its entirety, without the permission of the copyright/trademark holders. Did he ask them? I doubt it. Is it Fair Use? Pretty clear "no" on that, it doesn't check any of the boxes.

He gets the artwork from Amazon, with permission. In fact, Amazon provides an API for this.

Re:He's complaining about... (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 5 years ago | (#29432625)

Wrong on all points. That must be a record.

Penny Arcade (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29430395)

According to Penny Arcade, he gets "hand jobs from Steve Jobs". http://www.penny-arcade.com/docs/7-2-07b.jpg [penny-arcade.com]

Who cares, why are you promoting this story (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29430417)

This guy develops proprietary software for a proprietary platform. He doesn't care about freedom, he cares about control. We should pay him no heed that he whines about a wood grain texture (real original there buddy).

He's whining people are integrating this texture in their proprietary iPhone apps being sold at the proprietary iPhone story by the notorious proprietary monolith, Apple.

The story should be: Hoarder hoards, and then when gets hoarded by a hoarder, cries out in pain and tries to Hoard more.

p.s. he's free to make non-free software just as I'm free to never ever use his software.

Re:Who cares, why are you promoting this story (1)

Qubit (100461) | more than 5 years ago | (#29430721)

Even if it is proprietary software, it's an interesting discussion to have on how developers interact with each other when they're not sure that the legal system is the right place to take the fight, sociologically speaking. I mean, Twitter? Really? I guess whatever floats your boat...

Aside from that part of it, I agree: why yammer about Apple and their proprietary goodies? Let them do their thing and let's do our own thing. They have marketshare and power because we give it to them. Just say no.

Anyhow, mod parent up. I would if I had points.

Re:Who cares, why are you promoting this story (1)

tyrione (134248) | more than 5 years ago | (#29430839)

This guy develops proprietary software for a proprietary platform. He doesn't care about freedom, he cares about control. We should pay him no heed that he whines about a wood grain texture (real original there buddy).

He's whining people are integrating this texture in their proprietary iPhone apps being sold at the proprietary iPhone story by the notorious proprietary monolith, Apple.

The story should be: Hoarder hoards, and then when gets hoarded by a hoarder, cries out in pain and tries to Hoard more.

p.s. he's free to make non-free software just as I'm free to never ever use his software.

Grow up. The guy paid an artist to make that look 'n feel. To have to taken freely and put into other applications should be challenged.

Re:Who cares, why are you promoting this story (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 5 years ago | (#29431045)

What a dumb Slashdot post. Developing proprietary software for a proprietary platform doesn't affect your freedom in any way, shape, or form. It also has nothing to do with control. You even confirm this when you later write that you're free not to use his software. What you're really doing is mindlessly leaning on the word "freedom" as a cheap emotional tie-in to bolster some wild-eyed opposition you have to commercial software, as if someone who sells software is somehow opposed to freedom. You repeatedly use the word "proprietary" under the premise that it's something bad, as if you're some college dorm room denizen who read a FSF manifesto one night and decided all commercial software is "evil." What a stupid position.

Without actually explaining why, you tell us that Wil Shipley is greedy for going after people who are ripping off custom artwork in an application he sells to make a living. Delicious Library is well-known in the Mac software market for its interfaces. If those people want their own woodgrain artwork, they should stop being leeches and make their own instead of copying artwork made by artists at Delicious Library.

It's no wonder you posted as an Anonymous Coward. That someone modded up you as Insightful instead of properly marking it down as a Troll is the most distressing. Someone actually deemed your opinion valuable and worthy of spreading to others as an insight. Not only is your post idiotic for criticizing someone who's putting a stop to people ripping him off, it also suggests it's okay for people to be lazy and not do their own work.

On top of all that, the GPL relies on copyright. I have no doubt you would bash someone who "stole" copyrighted code and violated the GPL. The hypocrisy is astronomical.

Woodgrain texture? BFD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29430519)

Seems like a lot of "waah" going on here. It's a frigging woodgrain texture for crying out loud. I wonder where the guy got the original?

Re:Woodgrain texture? BFD (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 5 years ago | (#29431091)

Another Anonymous Coward bashing this story. I'm beginning to suspect you and the other ACs are some of the people who were found to be ripping off the artwork...

The artwork was developed by Delicious Monster artists.

https? W.T.F? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29430533)

Why in the hell are you needlessly using https? Aside from the strain it puts on the webserver, is twitter so goddamn important that it merits this? Come on!

Just being lazy or don't care (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29430653)

There are excellent free resources like

http://www.cgtextures.com/

They just didn't care. There may be another issue. He can't sue them over trademark but it could be part of the concern that if I was a fan of his work the background might make me assume he was tied to the product since it's dominant theme on his web page. Either way pirating the image could have been avoided just most people only think, want, need, take when it comes to things like this. Do your homework and you won't have to steal images.

well this is boring (1)

Eil (82413) | more than 5 years ago | (#29430681)

Guy A infringes on Guy B's copyright.
Guy B calls out Guy A on Twitter.
Guy A removes the infringed images.

I at least expected 4-5 cross-referenced blog posts from each party containing legal threats and shouting about what a tool the other was. Instead, the situation was resolved amicably. Yawn. Call me when Kanye West does something retarded again.

Plan to copyright all icons (2, Interesting)

GargamelSpaceman (992546) | more than 5 years ago | (#29430803)

Even in 16 bit color the set of all possible 32x32 icons is 67,108,864 bytes, ( 67 megs )for 32 bit color it's 4,398,046,511,104 or 4 terabytes.

For 64x64 icons in 32 bit color, it's 17,592,186,044,416 bytes, or 17 terabytes.

I am surprised some copyright troll doesn't copyright the set of all 128 x 128 icons at 32 bit color depth ( comprising 70 terabytes ) and then sue everyone who uses a new icon in any product into oblivion. Every possible icon would be contained in one of those copyrighted icons either in whole or in part. It might be worthwhile to copyright commonly used lower color depths as well, though it shouldn't be strictly necessary.

Re:Plan to copyright all icons (1)

GargamelSpaceman (992546) | more than 5 years ago | (#29431013)

oops. I just made a dumbass mistake. Damn it. I suck.

Re:Plan to copyright all icons (1)

bami (1376931) | more than 5 years ago | (#29431373)

Yeah. I think (not exactly sure, my combination math is a bit rusty) that all image sets of 32x32 for 16 bit colour would give you (2^16)^(32x32), which is out of the range of most normal calculators, let alone find a storage bank big enough to hold that massive amount of data.

Re:Plan to copyright all icons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29431171)

Wow. Not only did you get your operator precedence wrong, but you also appear to think that every image no matter what size can be stored in a single byte.

Hint: there is a good reason nobody has tried to generate even all eight-by-eight black-and-white icons.

What? Delicious Library isn't public domain? (1)

Spazholio (314843) | more than 5 years ago | (#29430805)

I mean, when a program goes so long without being updated, touched, or improved upon in any way shape or form, it's gotta be public domain, right?

Re:What? Delicious Library isn't public domain? (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 5 years ago | (#29431129)

Huh? 2.2 came out recently.

Hmm, right-click save an image? really, people do (1)

s1d3track3D (1504503) | more than 5 years ago | (#29430825)

Hmm, right-click save an image? really, people do this?

Stolen images update: Tom from Netwalk apologized, said he didnâ(TM)t know it was my texture, promised a resubmitted MyMovies update tonight!

At a past company our web designers used to get their stock images randomly off the web, you know, the 'professional looking girl wearing the headset', for our web chat, etc., they used these images on our corporate site. Management was contacted once about it once I believe, they of course had no idea it went on and were pissed. But really, I've never heard of a web designer getting a budget to purchase high grade professional images.

Re:Hmm, right-click save an image? really, people (1)

The Moof (859402) | more than 5 years ago | (#29431335)

But really, I've never heard of a web designer getting a budget to purchase high grade professional images.

Serious web design companies do (or at least should) have a subscription to some sort of stock photography provider. It's not usually something that comes up when talking with clients. It helps protect clients from complaints about copyright/usage infringements. Think about the great press you'd get if you built a site for a client, and they get sued for copyright infringement because of images you found in your Google search.

Silly (1)

Demonantis (1340557) | more than 5 years ago | (#29430875)

I don't think the author of TFA knows much Copyright law;

And, yes, these tweets were reproduced with permission.

The tweets are facts directly cited from the source. It could be argued the guy has no copyright claim to them in this context. No wonder the US's Copyright system is broke. The people that talk about it don't even understand it fully.

Funny (1)

BatGnat (1568391) | more than 5 years ago | (#29430881)

But "Technically Legal" even said he had not registered the picture, which is required in America.

I am upset by the whole thing. I wanted to see have his day in court, and at the last minute "Mother Nature" or "God" shows up as a witness for the defense...

Re:Funny (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 5 years ago | (#29430995)

But "Technically Legal" even said he had not registered the picture, which is required in America. I am upset by the whole thing. I wanted to see have his day in court, and at the last minute "Mother Nature" or "God" shows up as a witness for the defense...

You don't have to register a copyright, but it lets you pursue statutory damages.

In Soviet America: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29431033)

Twitter expose developer to copyright infringers.

Yours In Ufa [youtube.com] ,
K. Trout

Yehsee - here's where I'd do this different (1)

gilgongo (57446) | more than 5 years ago | (#29431557)

For this guy to whine about "theft" and "losses" is wonderfully short-sighted.

Instead, if I'd been in his position (ie a tiny independent software developer making what is probably about $5 a month from their software) I'd have contact them and congratulated them on their taste, then asked them to credit me with the fact that they I'd created that background. Bingo! Instant GOOD publicity as opposed to promptly making myself look like a whinging tool.

"Oh, you hired Wil Shipley? Isn't he that guy who always beefs about 'intellectual property' and stuff?" "Rilly?" "Yah, just google him" "OMG! We better kiss him off before he gives us some kind of hassle about making him work out of hours or something!"

Re:Yehsee - here's where I'd do this different (1)

Stuart Gibson (544632) | more than 5 years ago | (#29431891)

If you think Wil Shipley is making "probably about $5 a month from their software" you've clearly never heard of him.

Put it this way, he's currently selling his super charged Lotus pending delivery of his Tesla roadster.

Re:Yehsee - here's where I'd do this different (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#29432673)

So he is a whiner and has bad taste.

Vladimir Syrkine cracker/pirate, with mugshot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29431897)

http://games.slashdot.org/comments.pl?no_d2=1&threshold=-1&mode=thread&commentsort=0&op=Change&sid=1358995&cid=29321527&pid=29321527 [slashdot.org]

Here's one scumbag's capture

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=1334140&postcount=6 [xda-developers.com]

(removed by xda since they like the guy and what he does, I leave the link for the hell of it)

http://games.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=241557&cid=19649963 [slashdot.org]

Saw this on pocketinformat.com and slashdot

http://www.pocketinformant.com/Forums/index.php?s=7c5317a05ae84814ac6bb4ab9a83e2ea&showtopic=11368&s [pocketinformant.com] t=0&p=61900&#entry619003

cracker iFalleni
aka Fallen
aka F/\LLEN
aka Syrkine, Vladimir
aka Vladimir Syrkine
russian living in australia, undergrad at university of sydney (honor roll according to univ.)

vsyr4253@it.usyd.edu.au

vsyr4253@mono.ug.cs.usyd.edu.au

As of 27-Jun-2007 (one day after this first posted) Vladimir Syrkine
has gone into hiding. Vladimir Syrkine had cracked and distributed 100s of software titles before being caught.

pirate mmtorrent
formerly pirate aBroad
formerly pirate bathrinath
formerly pirate sertoli
aka Anderson Barbosa de Oliveira
aka Anderson Barbosa
aka Anderson B Oliveira
aka Andros
aka androabo
aka mike terr
aka Barbol
aka tttsmith
aka bathrinath

As of July 2008 Anderson Barbosa de Oliveira is using the alias mmtorrent. He may also still be using the alias aBroad, which he has for more than a year, but only sporadically as that alias is mainly used by him as he tries to cover his tracks: all bathrinath warez uploads he's done the past year (1000s) were changed to the alias aBroad, though board software being what it is, he's not been successful in doing much covering up.

As of 27-Jul-2007 (one month after this first posted) Anderson Barbosa de Oliveira (androabo) uses bathrinath as his alias/aka. androabo has pirated more than 1000 software titles in the last year. He continues distributing warez to this very day, as he has every day for many years.

living in brazil

andersonbarbosa@cardiol.br

Know them? They have pirated your stuff. Google them to see what it is these two hoods do.

http://games.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=241557&cid=19649963 [slashdot.org]
Reply to This

Re:Symantec closes in on Vladimir Syrkine, cracker (Score:1, Offtopic)
by negRo_slim (636783) on Saturday September 05, @03:50AM (#29321575) Homepage
I thought the Fallout3 immersion factor was quite hi due to it's sound and lighting.Reply to This
Parent

Re:Symantec closes in on Vladimir Syrkine, cracker (Score:0)

Mugshot

http://img17.imageshack.us/img17/9808/crackerifallenivladimir.jpg [imageshack.us]

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