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Thought you should know about this...

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Geek45
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Thought you should know about this...

link to illegal site removed
After a merciless spoof of the PortableApps.com logo, I decided I should tell you guys about this. I'm sure John would like to know about this.
That site stole pretty much everything from this site...

Zach Thibeau
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I assure you we already know

I assure you we already know about this and already have taken some form to stop this.

your friendly neighbourhood moderator Zach Thibeau

NathanJ79
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It's Google, so...

It's Google, so they should be pretty quick about taking it down, following enough requests, that is.

It is interesting to note, however (and I know this won't be a popular opinion, but) that they have a lot more stuff than we do, and that's aside from the illegal stuff.

PA.com is very particular and very picky about what it hosts. Not only does everything have to be open source, it's also got to be dissimilar to anything up here (no forks, at least). While these rules are good and distinguish PA.com from other sites, they do kinda limit you if you want a more varied portable application suite.

PA.com portable applications are the best portable applications, but they ain't the only thing out there. Here's what I got, for example, that *didn't* come from PA.com (all legal or at least legal for me to have):

PAM R34 MOD - Launcher w/ folders, other cool options, probably where PAM 2.0 should be.
Audacity 1.3.7 (we still only have 1.2.6 I think, here)
CCleaner - temp files remover, registry cleaner
Crimsonland - Top-down shooter, but it's not freeware
Deus Ex - Unreal Tournament '99-based RPG, also not freeware
IrfanView (don't use this much, it's mostly backup for 2-3 other apps)
XnView - Picture/image management

So, nothing I couldn't live without per se, but games aside, nothing that one shouldn't be able to get or shouldn't want to have, anyway.

Open Source is cool, but it's not everything.

Zach Thibeau
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@Nathan yeah open-source is

@Nathan
yeah open-source is cool but getting a lawsuit isn't. These sites that "make" portable apps are nothing but a rip off, alot of the apps like Mozilla Firefox they are repackaged versions of our apps with the license stripped and the source code removed. They are making us look bad and it has to stop.

@everyone else
Those apps at those sites a ILLEGAL, do not support them and if you do don't complain to us that this app isn't portable and say you got it from portableappz.blogspot.com as you will not get support from us.

your friendly neighbourhood moderator Zach Thibeau

NathanJ79
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Right.

First, what I meant by Google was that Google owns Blogger or Blogspot or whatever it's called. I've got such a blog (same host I mean, I don't mean that I host warez, which I most certainly do not) so I know. And that, being Google, they should expedite taking it down. It's not like we're talking about sites hosted out of some Pacific island with no accountability to international law; quite the opposite.

They ought to edit the link out of the first post. I mean, at first it looks all innocent, right? Portable Chrome, how bad could that be? Then you start looking at links, and it's Portable Photoshop here, Portable whatever Pro there, Portable whatever Enterprise Edition, and you know they're talking about stuff you're not supposed to have, at least not without shelling out a few hundred bucks. And one of their affiliates lists nothing but portable games - though, oddly, only the $10 value bin ones you see at Walmart or whatever. All the Zuma clones, store sims, poker games, Mahjongg, all that stuff.

What gets me is when you see something like 7-Zip hosted on Rapidshare or one of those other disposable hosts. I mean why not just link to the one from here on Sourceforge? That one works just fine.

The answer to that lies in the problem with warez on the Net in general. Sure, it's illegal, but in this tough economy do you really care if a billionaire can't buy a new jet this year, has to stick with last years' model? But never mind the billionaire, look at the cracker. What's in it for him? Sure, he'd like you to think he's a hero, that the program itself really does want to be free and he's liberating it from its oppressors or whatever they say, but what gain, really, is there to have in violating the DMCA and copyright laws? As I understand it, they often put trojans, keyloggers, and/or viruses in their "releases". They don't host to the 7-Zip Portable on Sourceforge because it doesn't contain the keylogger they'll use to steal your home banking credentials. Theirs does (or, to be fair, I should say likely has something equally bad).

There is still the point that sites other than PA.com - not necessarily these - are perfectly willing to take freeware that isn't open source and package it up in the PA format with a tool offered on this site for integration with the launcher, sort of pick up where PA.com leaves off. And there's nothing illegal, or even detrimental to PA.com, for portable freeware to be offered. Even if you mean to tell me Mr. Haller pioneered portable applications as a concept and practice, there's nothing to stop anyone else from doing it, as long as it's apps they own. For example, the XnView and CCleaner I have came from their sites. The games were never meant to be portable - I just copied the folders over. I suspect the portability and stealth of these apps aren't as good as the ones on PA.com, but they serve their purpose.

You're right though, the illegal sites have got to stop, at least the one that's jacking this site's logo. So what can we do, ordinary folks, I mean. Aside from clicking on the links and getting them referral credits. Gotcha there. Anything else though?

//edit: It's more complicated than just flagging the blog. Seems you can't just report warez on Blogger (no wonder it's so widespread - I was curious but didn't want to ask - now I know) but rather the copyright owner must file a DMCA report with Google, and they have instructions on how. Good luck with all that...

John T. Haller
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Freeware Is Illegal

Just to hammer this point home... yet again... it is 100% ILLEGAL to repackage ANY software without the permission of the publisher. An open source license usually gives you this permission. A freeware license nearly always DOES NOT. So repackaging Google Chrome: illegal. Repackaging CCleaner: illegal. Unless you have gotten permission from the publisher, which they don't.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Chris Morgan
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Going...

Due to the nature of our work, I won't say more than I need to here.

Be assured that there is a group of us addressing sites like this - we've got a bigger list than you're likely to find by yourself. We're getting sites like this dealt with, but let us go our own way - which is more effective and comprehensive than you think. I'll say no more, "just in case".

I am a Christian and a developer and moderator here.

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1

solanus
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There are other sites that don't impinge on PA copyrights

and offer a wide range of apps that are more or less "portable"

Two come to mind immediately:
WinPenPack
Winpenpack offers Open Source apps, and according to their site, freeware apps portablized with the permission of the author.
WinPenPack has a very quick turnaround for updated apps, so you can usually expect to find the latest and greatest versions of your favorite apps. However, it's hard to imagine that they have a rigorous testing process, and I don't know how truly "portable" their apps are. Still, they usually seem to work OK

Portablefreeware
Portablefreeware does not modify apps. It's mostly a collection of moderated, user-submitted links to apps that are "portable", but their requirements for this designation are less strict than here. They do link to this site for PA Apps, so you can find quality stuff there, but it's hit or miss.
They do offer instructions for Q&D "portablization" of apps, which doesn't at all account for registry entries or local settings, but again, they aren't modding the apps themselves.

I made this half-pony, half-monkey monster to please you.

Geek45
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I see somebody wasn't too happy...

I clicked one of the download links (Portable flock, I think), and their host took down the download.

!!

gluxon
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Well...

Surprisingly, PortableAppsz.blogspot.com links back to us.

Ed_P
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Need to make clear the limitations

There would be less illegal activity with the PortableApps sw if the home page changed its wording from

Free
The PortableApps.com Suite and Platform is free. ....
... It's 100% free to use, free to copy and free to share.

To something that clearly states the limitations you impose. Something like:

All PortableApps.com software and apps are copyrighted. Do NOT attempt to share this software without a preauthorized licensing agreement with our lawyers else we will be forced to sue you, your family and school.

Something like that should stop the kids that set up websites and try to share it.

Ed

Chris Morgan
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Wrong attitude, wrong info.

And anyway, they don't care about such things. They'll do things like this whether you put in something like that or not. All it will do is scare away other people and give the wrong impression of our attitude.

However, please consider the following: under the GPL, anyone can share our software without a special licensing agreement. They can do what they like with it, so long as they leave our copyright intact (feel free to add their own on anything they do) and remove the branding. They are perfectly allowed to distribute all our installers and apps as they are, as well. It is free to use, free to copy and free to share. And that's how we aim to keep it.

I am a Christian and a developer and moderator here.

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1

Ed_P
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so long as

They can do what they like with it, so long as ...

And this sums up the problem. The "so long as" limitations/restrictions/etc are never mentioned let alone made clear. And this leads people to accept at face value that "free to share" means they can share it anyway they want, including creating web sites to do it.

"free to share" means to most people that you give them something and they can do with it what they want. Similar to someone giving you the keys to their car and telling you you can use it as long as you want. But PortableApps is not "someone" giving you car keys, they are Avis and there are a lot of forms and restrictions with the keys they give you.

Until the "free to share" is changed to include the "so long as" there will be people misinterpeting it and cause for lawyers and concern and etc when it is found being freely shared outside the limitations.

And saying that the term Open Source is used repeatedly doesn't change the situations. Most people who come here are not lawyers and the term Open is seen as equivalent to Free and both are seen as meaning having no limits.

Remember, most of the offending websites are not those of corporations or industries with legal staffs and auditors, they're just individuals.

Ed

John T. Haller
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Honestly

Honestly, Ed, it's pretty clear that these websites you're referring to are doing 100% illegal stuff. Violating the GPL *AND* copyright law *AND* trademark law *AND* just about everything else. It's a no-brainer.

You ARE free to download any of our software. You ARE free to use it for free. And you ARE free to give it to anyone else for free. That's all we say. And that's all true. Nowhere do we say you're free to violate our copyright by violating the GPL. Or violate our or anyone else's trademarks, so why would anyone assume they are? Well, they'd assume that if they don't care about copyrights or trademarks or legal stuff of any kind, as this site we're discussing obviously doesn't.

This topic is about a website that's basically about warez and illegal software that's also violating our trademarks and copyrights. And it would seem you're somehow trying to defend it. We get that you kinda want everything in the world to be totally free for everyone to rip off and do whatever they want with. That's fine. But that isn't the way the world works. And we're not gonna write up three pages of conditions for things that are common sense to 99.99% of people. There is always a 'so long as' with everything in the entire world including free software like firefox, openoffice.org, linux, etc.

ALL of the offending websites and individuals are 100% aware that they are breaking the law and doing something unethical. They just don't care.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

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Kids aren't lawyers. Many adults too.

ALL of the offending websites and individuals are 100% aware that they are breaking the law and doing something unethical.

Unless you've spoken with each owner and they have specifically said that I don't know how you can make that statement.

Some possibly, probably even, all questionable. Not everyone is a lawyer, some don't even speak English. They are simply shaing, like you say they can, and should, do.

All I'm saying is you can cut down on the number of illegal sites by rewording your home page so it is clear to the non-lawyers.

Ed

John T. Haller
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Follow The Lead

When I see similar warnings on the Mozilla Firefox, OpenOffice.org, Ubuntu and other homepages, I'll follow suit. "free to use, free to copy and free to share" is 100% accurate. It doesn't say free to modify (though you can within the confines of the open source license) or free to use the trademarks of or free to slap your own logo on and redisrtibute (though you can within the confines of the open source license). It doesn't say ANY of the things you feel someone thinks they should be free to do. It only says use, copy and share. Which is completely, totally, 100% accurate.

USE, COPY AND SHARE ≠ ALTER, MODIFY, CLAIM YOU WROTE, ETC

No matter how you try and twist or phrase it.

You can defend website offering illegal copies of Photoshop and ripping off Mozilla trademarks and violating open source licenses all you want. But it's still illegal. And I still can't see a connection between us writing something on our homepage and these sites stopping ripping off Adobe, Microsoft and other big companies as well as us.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

NathanJ79
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I think the confusion lies between...

I think the confusion between the two of you (and forgive me if I'm wrong) lies between redistribution and modification. As I understand FOSS and GPL, I'm free to download and use an open source app without paying for it (if it's FREE open source software, that is) and I'm free to burn it to a CD or whatever and pass it along.

I also understand that I'm free to modify it, if I so choose, but that I can't continue using the previous name, either explicitly, or merely if it's a protected name (e.g. Mozilla Firefox). This is where programs like Iceweasel come into play. As I understand it, PortableApps.com has Mozilla's explicit permission to alter Firefox as they have and keep "Mozilla Firefox" in the name. That's OK, but they had to seek permission to do so. PA.com aside, modifying Firefox and keeping it Firefox requires that you work with Mozilla, through their forums and other official channels - or make an extension. Otherwise you've got to change its name.

I don't see any defense of outright piracy (e.g. Photoshop) from anybody. Warez monkeys are generally easy to spot (everything's a conspiracy and they know their "rights") and I'm not seeing that characteristic in anybody in this thread. Violating open source licenses may be illegal, but it's not in the same vein as pirating commercial software. As I say, they may both be illegal, but it's hard to justify pirating commercial software without sounding like a bit of a fanatic. Violating an open source license can possibly be explained away with a bit of confusion. That being said, I think the owners of the blog once linked in the first post know exactly what they're doing. I'm not going to defend a single one of them. If they're going to host JTH's apps on Rapidshare or Mediafire rather than linking to the page, something's gotta be wrong. Redistribution of unaltered PA.com apps is OK as I understand things, but I don't think the PA.com apps they're pushing are unaltered and I will even go so far as to say they are probably infected with malware of some variety.

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