Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
The Internet

MusicCity's Morpheus violating GPL 445

dotslash writes "The new Morpheus Preview Edition client [download.com] is actually just a fork of Gnucleus an open source GPLd Gnutella client. Upon installation Morpheus PE displays the GPL and asks the user to accept. It is currently being distributed without source in violation of article 3 of the GPL. Gnucleus developers are not too happy about this. This Morpheus client is being downloaded by thousands of frustrated Morpheus users who have been cutoff the FastTrack/Kazaa network and are now migrating to Gnutella. The violation of the GPL is blatant and will also be the first glimpse of the GPL for many of these new users. It seems like the executives at MusicCity have decided that they prefer free 'as in beer' not 'as in speech.'" Update: 03/03 05:10 GMT by T : It looks like the source is available now, gpl.txt and all.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

MusicCity's Morpheus violating GPL

Comments Filter:
  • Source Availability (Score:2, Informative)

    by Ada_Rules ( 260218 )
    They don't have to post the source..They just have to make it available.. GPL does not require source to be distributed at the same time as binary (although you invoke the third party rule if it is not)
    • I don't understand. What's the difference? How else would they offer it? Snail Mail of a cd?
    • MusicCity's prior practices have set precedent for the way they will handle their code. They make the gnucleus source available, but not the morpheus source available it seems.

      That said, there is no actual source being posted, which constitutes the derivative work based from gnucleus.

      That's what it looks like so far after reviewing the source linked to on their site.
  • Wrong! (Score:5, Informative)

    by nikkelitous ( 222386 ) on Sunday March 03, 2002 @12:56AM (#3100130) Journal
    Actually, the source for Morpheous is available. If you just look down at the bottom of the menu on the left you see a link called "Source Code." If you click on that link it lets you download the source.
  • I downloaded the Morpheus client just after the previous story about it changing to the gnutella network and there was a link on the front page to the source code for the new client. I currently have a file "mpesrc1.zip" sitting on my desktop which contains source code. Admittedly the zip file then contains a folder called gnucleus1 so it may be the original, unmodified code rather than the morpheus code. Anyone else see this link or have the ability to analyse the code?
    • by MajroMax ( 112652 ) on Sunday March 03, 2002 @01:02AM (#3100158)
      Admittedly the zip file then contains a folder called gnucleus1 so it may be the original, unmodified code rather than the morpheus code. Anyone else see this link or have the ability to analyse the code?

      A cursory check of the source reveals files modified as little as 24 hours ago -- one contains the comment at the beginning "Modified for StreamCast Networks by Rob Adamson 3/2/2002".

      Grepping the source tree for "orpheus" reveals several mentions, including in what appear to be product name strings.

      Looks like the real deal, folks, and someone just jumped the lawsuit-happy gun.

      • Looks like the real deal, folks, and someone just jumped the lawsuit-happy gun.

        Yes, I've just performed the same kind of analysis (had to move it to a UNIX box for sanity though). However, for the life of me I can't find the link to the source code that people are saying was on the front page (and I thought it was too). Has it been removed or am I merely blind?

        • by MajroMax ( 112652 ) on Sunday March 03, 2002 @01:26AM (#3100249)
          However, for the life of me I can't find the link to the source code that people are saying was on the front page (and I thought it was too). Has it been removed or am I merely blind?

          It's at the bottom of the blue sidebar/frame on the left, just above the green "Return to Home." As of now, it appears -- if it's not working for you check that you're not using a cached version of the page, and that your browser likes frames (probably a given).

          If you're still not getting it, here's a link straight to the source [musiccity.com].

  • by MajroMax ( 112652 ) on Sunday March 03, 2002 @12:58AM (#3100141)
    MusicCity [slashdot.org] actually _does_ have a source code download link, on the main page even -- check the left toolbar, at the bottom.

    A quick download and scan of the readme.txt file shows that it is indeed Gnucleus source. The GPL violation here is merely in the advertizement -- the source is quite throughly public; I'm sure the flaw will be corrected soon.

  • um (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kraf ( 450958 )
    You have to make the source available upon request, not distribute it.

    I've checked the links, and it isn't clear if it is available or not.

    Writeups like these do not exactly make me want to reach into my wallet and pay for this site.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I now see the light.

    I didn't give a damn before about music companys getting cheated, but now that this freeloading is hurting an opensource company.......I'm changing my ways. I will now go out and legally purchase the latest by N'SYNC
  • by Confessed Geek ( 514779 ) on Sunday March 03, 2002 @01:08AM (#3100183)

    Its ok to have software designed to "share" possibly copyrighted music, but God forbid they mess with the GPL copyright...

    Not condemning, just seems amusingly ironic.
    • It actually isn't quite so hypocritical as you might think. Violating the GPL is almost like the reverse of violating traditional copyright. Trade copyrighted music, and you are doing something illegal. Refuse to trade GPL code, and you are doing something illegal. It is the lack of "sharing" source code that is a GPL violation. It is easy to see then, how someone could share copyrighted music yet still obey the GPL (sharing code). Sharing is the name of the game, and these people are strong believers.

      Of course, that is no excuse to violate copyright law. And when someone does violate the GPL, it gives these people less room to speak (law-wise).
      • Opposing copyright is righthink; supporting intellectual property is unrightthink.


        The GPL uses intellectual property law to achieve the rightthink agenda, making it plusrightthink, while others litigate against those who violate the ungood property laws, which is doubleplus ungood.


        Opposing violating the GPL, even by accident, or even if the person making the righthink claim that you did without bothering to check, is thus doubleplessunrightthink.


        see?


        :)


        hawk

    • The real irony is that if they had violated the GPL, it might be easier to sue them and win than for the record industry to sue them and win.
    • Not condeming, ...

      I'll be happy to condemn. Or maybe some of the music-sharing crowd would like it if I started redistributing GPL code on my own terms, screaming (erroneously) "fair use"?

  • by Uller-RM ( 65231 ) on Sunday March 03, 2002 @01:09AM (#3100188) Homepage
    Actually, I'm NOT paying for this. :P

    In all seriousness, if /. wants people to pay for it, there needs to be some serious checking of stories before posting. The Internet may have partially obsoleted deadtree papers, but it hasn't obsoleted the concept of journalistic integrity - and integrity is what separates a legitmate newspaper from a tabloid.
    • I couldn't have set it better myself -- I, for one, would definately pay for several thousand slashdot page views (I'm sure I view that many pages in a year) but I, like you, want to make sure that I'm getting reliable reporting.
    • by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Sunday March 03, 2002 @01:29AM (#3100260) Homepage Journal
      I've been thinking about whether I would be willing to pay for a subscription or put up with advertising, but I have to agree with you -- this "article" just made the decision easy. If the "reporters" like CmdrTaco can't be bother to check something so trivial before splattering such a sensationalistic item like a supermarket tabloid, then I see absolutely no sense in paying for the "service."
      • CmdrTaco made it easy the first time around, by making /. much more expensive for those who provide content for it ("just 3% of users" as Taco would prefer.)
      • ....or at least check out these "GPL violation!" before posting them! Errors in the reporting of the latest quantum computing vapor are one thing; these license violation stories border on libel and at least 90% of them turn out to be cases like this where the submitter either doesn't understand what the GPL requires or flat-out can't read.

        It's like when Slashdot used to post a "Mozilla Milestone n+1 is out!" story every single time a new n=1 directory was opened after Milestone n was released. You'd think that after the sixth or seventh time they got burned, they'd start paying a little extra attention.

    • Since when has slashdot ever really been trying to be a newspaper? I don't see Slashdot being a source of the stories, just a place where news/'non-news' I might be interested in are linked to. Meta-journalism(meta- being the prefix used for search engines, not really the true meaning) if anything. I guess I'm only really replying since this post is marked at 5 for the moment, but the argument seems a little silly. This is a community for people to discuss articles linked, not a newspaper or a tabloid. So when the article is posted the community will correct the mistakes that might not be obvious at first. Don't bring journalistic integrity into this when this isn't a news source.
      • Because this is honestly the first accurate description of the way things are and should be with slashdot.

        This place is merely a community. If you want it to survive, you donate. The editors are providing some kind of minor reward for this. But really, the reward means shit, you're donating to this site if you truly want it to go on. If you don't, then shut up.

        The only other place that I in my limited college student surfing experience have witnessed do this honor system is Penny Arcade [www.penny-arcade]. You donate, you get a bonus wallpaper. The only way the site got payment was through their users. They tried this at the beginning of July. Note that link isn't dead.
    • Read my journal entries on how the charges are tallied (and updates are at another site [marotti.com]). And look at this comment [slashdot.org] where I take the editors to task. As a paying customer.

      I'd plonk CT, but then I'd lose half of the articles here.

    • Actually, I'm NOT paying for this.
      Exactly. No one is asking you to pay for Slashdot. You are being given the option of paying to avoid seeing advertising. Big difference. You want Slashdot to be something it isn't, e.g. a service where the editors check the facts of the stories. That's fine but it's got nothing to do with the subscription model.
    • by drix ( 4602 ) on Sunday March 03, 2002 @04:26AM (#3100604) Homepage
      Fear not, good friend, and let our legal system work its magic.

      I just got out of a libel workshop on Friday for the newspaper I write for [dailycal.org] with our libel lawyer and ... let me tell you ... /. is going to get absolutely nailed sooner or later if they continue to print what are essentially lies accusing other entities of breaking the law.

      Next time you are reading the newspaper or watching television news, take notice of how criminals are described. No one ever committed a crime, he was "alleged to have ..." If a man is convicted, sentenced to die, and executed, he did not "murder his wife," he "was convicted of murdering his wife" (actually, for dead people the rules are much more lax, but you get the point.) You never state as fact something which is not absolutely, completely, 100% provable; if you do, you've just opened yourself up to huge liability. And printing a correction/"Update: 03/03 05:10 GMT by T:" does emphatically not get you out of the doghouse. This is basic knowledge of libel law that every journalist should know and /. apparently does not. BTW tabloids are in no way exempt from this law, so don't say /. is acting like a tabloid. All the stories that tabloids are running are more or less factual if they are being written about other people. The art of gossip tabloid writing, actually, is in really pushing the edge of the law without actually being libelous/slanderous. They are very good at it. Also, you get a little more leeway when it comes to public figures, politicians, rock stars, etc. You do not get more leeway when it comes to "Joe Blow, co-developer on the Morpheus project".

      With that in mind, I think a story entitled "MusicCity's Morpheus violating GPL" speaks for itself. I am surprised that the council for /.'s parent company really hasn't come down harder on them for these shenanigans, which appear to be occuring with increasing frequency.

      • Slashdots saving grace is that it is very popular amongst the people who use products made by companies it criticizes. For example 80%+ of Slashdot readers use Internet Explorer. If someone was to even threaten to sue, it would bring such a negative backlash against them that would be even more damaging than anything they could recover in a lawsuit. Microsoft once asked Slashdot to remove a post and the response was overwhelming. They backed down.

        Where Slashdot has to be careful is with groups that could care less about the Slashdot population. Like Scientology. They have been the only group to successfully get a post removed from Slashdot. A group that is not affected by the geek population could successfully sue without worrying about popular repercussions.
      • I know this issue at hand is a bit offtopic, but the parent post has opened up pandora's box. I'm not familiar with the law, hence I'm replying to drix for some answers.

        My first question is: most of your comment is on the onus of /. to cross check references, but what liabilities are there on the original poster, i.e. for this posted story, the user dotslash? He/she was the one who submitted the story and wrote what we see in italics.

        My second question: does journalism ethics really apply to a website that, distilled down, is really a moderated bulletin board service. My best analogy to what I see slashdot as (now, correct me if I'm completely wrong), is the local corkboard/kiosk/bulletin board at your local University. Is it the University's responsibility to police what is thumbtacked on their walls that is really meant to function as a service for the community? I don't know about you, but I've seen my share of libelous, even criminal posts, on local kiosks.

        Drix, I kinda get what you're saying, but if you can provide me with a hypothetical situation that could get [/.] absolutely nailed sooner or later if they continue to print what are essentially lies accusing other entities of breaking the law, maybe it would be clearer to me.

        • My first question is: most of your comment is on the onus of /. to cross check references, but what liabilities are there on the original poster, i.e. for this posted story, the user dotslash? He/she was the one who submitted the story and wrote what we see in italics.


          IANAL a lawyer but I have some indirect experience with libel. My predecessor at a job was fired for making false accusations about my boss. He wanted to sue for slander but since every statement she made had the form of "Joe told me Bob is a dope-smoking embezzling child molseter" she was off hook. She always said she was repeating someone else's allegations. (These people denied making the allegations in the first place.) Based on this, it is my understanding that you cannot commit libel/slander by proxy, but /. may be different. They add headlines, etc. and massively redistribute other people's libel. Maybe this is different.
          • I think the issue is how Slashdot markets itself... that is, whether it claims to be disseminating facts or merely repeating the allegations of others.

            For me the answer is clear... The first thing on every Slashdot page is a large graphic prominently containing the word "News" -- from this I think Slashdot cannot simply use the "we are only a bulletin board" defense to escape liability. A major portion of Slashdot's traffic clearly comes from those who are seeking news coverage; there isn't even a disclaimer anywhere saying "but of course we aren't really news and anything you see here may be or is even likely to be fictitious or merely opinion."

            That is not to say I'm happy about Slashdot's liability. I think one of the things most sorely lacking in our culture is a forum for the disgruntled to come together and try to figure out just what the "truth" is, without the mediation of corporate and government propaganda in the mainstream media. That such a forum (i.e. Slashdot) likely won't survive much longer without greater controls is truly unfortunate.
          • I'm the original poster and IANAL either, by far -- I'm a full time college student and a part-time reporter. So take what follows with a brick of salt.

            You can get hit for what you call "libel by proxy." How else do you think newspapers ever get sued for libel/slander in the first place? All of our information comes from sources. Here's the relevant paragraph, ripped straight out of our reporter's handbook:

            Re-publication is not a defense for libel. Printing something libelous that was uttered or written by someone else leaves the paper open to libel just as much as the person who uttered or wrote it originally. Even stories that comes off the AP wire are not guaranteed to be libel free; if [we choose] to run stories from our wire service, we are completely liable for the content of those stores--even though we didn't right them.
            There you have it, straight from the horse's mouth. Reading that for the first time really shocked me.

            I might add that that paragraph really doesn't even apply in this case, where there was clearly not even a good-faith effort made to verify the details, as evidenced by the 20-some readers who posted a link to the source within 10 minutes of the story being posted. At the point where a simple phone call--or, my god, even easier, a scant minute of web-browsing--would have sufficiently refuted everything that they posted, I think that the case for reporterial negligence is pretty clear-cut and strong. Let's face it: Slashdot has the journalistic mores of a middle-school gossip rag, at best; CmrdTaco, Jamie, et al are lousy reporters. If you want to pay money for that, fine, but I'm gonna keep sending my checks to wsj.com.

  • by dangermouse ( 2242 ) on Sunday March 03, 2002 @01:10AM (#3100192) Homepage
    Technically, the GPL only obliges a distributor to provide source if asked by someone who has received binaries from him.

    Did anyone download the binaries and ask for a copy of the source before they started screaming?

    • The GPL actually obliges the distributor to either provide the source with the binary or accompany the binary with a written offer to provide source. So while it's true that he only has to actually provide source to those who ask, he's still required to make a written offer to do so; just providing the source to people who ask isn't itself enough.
  • Hm...

    They don't care about the Music industries Intellectual Property... why should they care for the Open Source communities IP? :)

    After all we have a lot less money to sue them.

    I think we should create a paypal account where we can take donations to buy our own Senator so that we can get or OWN version of the SSSCA created! :)

    Kevin
  • I have to wonder, why the author claims that the Gnucleus developers are not happy about it. The gnucleus home pages states As long as they post their source code and credit us in the program I dont have a problem with this which would indicate they don't mind so much and doesn't mention anything about not being happy.

    Then again, the whole story was a farce but it makes you question the claims of people not being happy in /. articles a bit more.

  • Not only that ... (Score:5, Informative)

    by fferreres ( 525414 ) on Sunday March 03, 2002 @01:43AM (#3100306)
    But the Gnucleus team is really happy with Morpheus. The "news rant" i think was due to the MusicCity attitude. They didn't even the contact Gnucleus team.

    But they indeed are very proud, and happy. Take a look:

    http://www.gnucleus.com/general/clones.html [gnucleus.com]

    Here's the text:

    "Morpheus: Also a post-Gnucleus 1.0 clone. Wow, this was unexpected, 50 million users and they switch over to the Gnucleus engine... uhm.. welcome aboard!"
    • >The "news rant" i think was due to the
      >MusicCity attitude

      Or is it due to the Gnucleus attitude? Gnucleus is GPL-licensed. It means, the GPL condition is the *only* one you have to follow if you want to distribute. No other restriction is allowed.

      So, there's nothing wrong with MusicCity not contacting/thanking the Gnucleus team.

      After all, we all know that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Do you need more tha that?
  • giFT (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Robotech_Master ( 14247 ) on Sunday March 03, 2002 @01:53AM (#3100335) Homepage Journal
    Let me just say it again. giFT [sourceforge.net]. giFT, giFT, giFT. If you're into file-trading and you've got Linux (or some other Unixlike that will compile it), run it. If you're into file-trading and programming and you use some other OS, maybe you should consider writing a port.

    Or you could use Limewire or some other Gnutella, I suppose, but I have been trying for days and I have yet to get anything to download from Gnutella. It just keeps rechecking and rechecking and nothing ever sends. giFT might have a smaller network, but at least it actually works most of the time.
  • I just downloaded, installed and attempted to run the new client, and received the message "Your version of Morpheus is too old to connect to the network. Please download updated [sic] version from www.musiccity.com"

    WTF? Anyone have this problem?

  • not really the spirit... I downloaded the source, and even rebooted into windows to give it a whirl. It's painful. When you first open the open the workspace in visual studio, you have many open files, and they have neglected to include all of the resources necessary for a build. (All of the source seems to be there, but icons and bitmaps are missing... VS won't even start a build without them.) To be fair to the Morpheus folks, though, it looks like they might have simply forgotten a directory in their zip file. I checked Gnucleus out of CVS and copied the "res" directory from their checkout to the Morpheus directory. It still didn't build, but I got the same (mis-)behavior with both projects. Morpheus clearly was in a hurry to get this source file up; the archive is a mess. Absolute paths (like d:\gnucleus\morpheuspe.exe) are hard-coded into the workspace, and the changelog isn't even updated. I'm too tired to play with it more tonight, but it looks like the essentials (for license compliance) are there, just in a shitty package.
  • Set my targets in VC++, checked my paths, checked it all...

    --------------------Configuration: Gnucleus - Win32 Release--------------------
    Compiling resources...
    C:\gnucleus1\Gnucleus.rc(1852) : fatal error RC1015: cannot open include file 'res\Gnucleus.rc2'.
    Error executing rc.exe.

    morpheusp.exe - 1 error(s), 0 warning(s)

    Naturally, this makes sense since the contents of the zip contains no res\Gnucleus.rc2

    Now I recall having read in one of the posts that the source doesn't include some of the major Morpheus components.

    But, damn it...I want to exercise my right to be able to compile this project and breeze through all the source. Since the inclusion of the Gnucleus source will spread the GPL throughout the morpheus client, I would like to get a full source code distribution...

    Am I missing something here? This is simply wrong

    • It's not just the Gnucleus.rc2 file that's missing. There is no resource directory in the zip at all. That means that all of the following resources are unavailable at build time. Does anyone know where I can get these? Are they making the full source available so that I can build it myself? I suppose I could just make bogus icons, but I have to have the res/Gnucleus.rc2 file.

      Icons:
      "res\\Gnucleus.ico"
      "res\\Connect.ico"
      "res\\Disconnect.ico"
      "res\\Statistics.ico"
      "re s\\Trashed.ico"
      "res\\Routed.ico"
      "res\\Broadcas ted.ico"
      "res\\Incoming.ico"
      "res\\settings.ico"
      "res\\TrayOn.ico"
      "res\\TrayOff.ico"
      "res\\Sha re.ico"
      "res\\Transfers.ico"
      "res\\Search.ico"
      "res\\Chat.ico"
      "res\\Browser.ico"
      "res\\Browser .ico"
      "res\\Browser.ico"
      "res\\Transfers_Partial .ico"
      "res\\Transfers_Up.ico"
      "res\\Transfers_Do wn.ico"
      "res\\Search_Results.ico"
      "res\\Search_A dvanced.ico"
      "res\\Connect_Advanced.ico"
      "res\\C onnect_Basic.ico"

      Bitmaps:
      "res\\Toolbar.bmp"
      "res\\search_butto n.bmp"
      "res\\logo_black.bmp"
      "res\\share.bmp"
      " res\\search.bmp"
      "res\\chat.bmp"
      "res\\transfers .bmp"
      "res\\SurfBar.bmp"
      "res\\bitmap1.bmp"
      "Re s\\transfers64.bmp"
      "Res\\connect64.bmp"
      "Res\\s haredfiles64.bmp"
      "Res\\disconnect64.bmp"
      "Res\\ preferences64.bmp"
    • by weezel ( 6011 ) on Sunday March 03, 2002 @11:32AM (#3101156)
      The Gnucleus source distribution also has this problem (in addition to tons of warnings, at least under VC7). I think you'll find all the files that should be under res\ are actually in zlib\. You can hand pick them out and move them to res\ or if you just want to compile quickly just duplicate zlib\ over to res\.
    • Resources like BMP files aren't source code, so they don't fall under the GPL. Thus you're not entitled to them (though it would be nice if they included them in the source archives).

      So its not a GPL violation.

  • GPL Never Violated (Score:2, Informative)

    by metakone ( 550502 )
    As far as I know the source code has been available from the music city website since the beginning of the availability Morpheus's New Preview Version. (I was one of the first ppl to download it) No GPL violation ever took place, I guess it took them some hours to add a link to the source (albeit not a very prominent link)
  • by Tal Cohen ( 4834 ) <talNO@SPAMforum2.org> on Sunday March 03, 2002 @03:39AM (#3100532) Homepage

    They made the source available, but well hidden, and then submitted a story to Slashdot saying "The source ain't there!". Result: free advertising on Slashdot.

    Will paying for subscription also remove this kind of ads, guys?

  • by taco1991 ( 213491 ) on Sunday March 03, 2002 @03:43AM (#3100537)
    I fear this will give the GPL and free software a bad name. If Morpheus is ever shut down because of copyright violations, then maybe people will associate GPL and free software with distributing warez, mp3s, videos, etc... all these illegal things that Morpheus (and gnutella) let you do.

    I really think people associated with free software DO NOT want their reputations attached to software which lets people conduct illegal activities (and don't argue with this - IT IS ILLEGAL). Yes, you could say this about FTPd or apache or other programs, but Morpheus and Gnutella have a single purpose - to let people exchange these files illegally. I just don't want other projects to take the rap for the few bad apples in the bunch... You know - then free software opponents (read as: Microsoft) will come along and paint Linux and other open source projects as "illegal" and "insecure" and "untrustworthy" (which they may or may not be). Anyone out there with the same sentiment?

    taco
    • So, according to you "IT IS ILLEGAL" if I want to distribute MP3s made of the track from my former band's CD, which we recorded ourselves? Or my recording (I play everything!) of my funk arrangement of "Amazing Grace"? There's no label involved, and I did all the recording myself, in an academic studio. All my recordings are belong to me, and I can distribute them however I choose.

      Morpheus and Gnutella have a single purpose: to let people exchange files. VCRs allow people to record and play back programs. Hammers are effective striking tools. All of these things can be used for both legal and illegal activities.

      It's OK if you want to say that _most_ things traded on these networks are illegal; it's probably true. But please don't make the "MP3s are illegal" mistake.

    • by gillbates ( 106458 ) on Sunday March 03, 2002 @12:47PM (#3101403) Homepage Journal
      maybe people will associate GPL and free software with distributing warez, mp3s, videos, etc... all these illegal things that Morpheus (and gnutella) let you do.

      I think the problem is that too many people associate the free software movement with slackers and "hackers" - those who want to leech off the rest of society. Though I distribute software for free (see my website), I don't call it "Free Software" because I don't want to be associated with that side of the free software movement writing slaveware.

      Slaveware is software which takes away another's right to a safe and enjoyable computing experience. Slaveware denies another man of his rights. Tools specifically built to crack systems and software are slaveware - regardless of whether or not they are released under the GPL. It seems that what the free software movement fails to emphasize is that free software is about empowerment and liberty - not stealing someone else's copyrighted material . The free software movement is literally being tarred and feathered by the likes of Morpheus and Napster (though it really wasn't free software) because they are giving away for free software that denies other people their rights. It is simply inexcusable for the authors of this software to claim that it was not designed for copyright infringement when they make no design effort to ensure that copyright is enforced. Something as simple as emailing the content creator when a file is shared would be sufficient. (I know, I know, but please resist the urge to flame about privacy and network load... But at least it would hold people accountable for what they do.)

      Free software needs another moniker - like, say, Complete Software. Complete Software comes with source code. If it doesn't come with source code, it's not complete. You wouldn't want to buy something incomplete, would you?

      You see, a simple name change, and the implications change. "Free" tends to imply that something has no value, or is only used by slackers/hackers (the public makes little distinction between the two). "Complete" tends to imply that there's something missing from other kinds of software - which is the truth that we want to convey to the general public. We want the general public to expect - no, demand more from software vendors.

      Rather than arguing for the adoption of free software, we should be questioning why we aren't getting Complete Software. Why doesn't the vendor provide the source code? Are they ashamed of it? Are they afraid that we, the user, will find bugs in it? Incidentally, the original software manufacturing company, IBM, started out by distributing the source code with its software - a point you might want to bring up when you're on the hot seat defending Linux....

    • If Morpheus is ever shut down because of copyright violations, then maybe people will associate GPL and free software with distributing warez, mp3s, videos, etc... all these illegal things that Morpheus (and gnutella) let you do.

      If Napster is ever shut down because of copyright violations, then maybe people will associate Windows and Microsoft with distributing wares, mp3s, videos, etc... all these illegal things that Napster (and Hotmail) let you do.

  • Nice update T... (Score:5, Informative)

    by zsmooth ( 12005 ) on Sunday March 03, 2002 @03:48AM (#3100543)

    Not only did CmdrTaco not check this out before posting, but Timothy's update is VERY misleading. He says "It looks like the source is available now, gpl.txt and all." (emphasis mine) Well, looks to me like it was available BEFORE too if you bothered to look. It's not like all the sudden they said "Holy CRAP, look at this story on /., we better get our source code up..."

    Sheeesh...

    • As I couldn't even find the source code link until I emptied my cache. Looks like musiccity may have actually noticed the increased traffic and checked out the reason.

      (though I still don't think they were in violation, it is nice of them to make the source code easily findable)
    • Regardless, the people at slash actually have a GPLed product (slashcode). Seemingly you would think that they would know that you don't have to include the source or even a link to the source. Just provide it if asked.
  • Features wanted. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nr ( 27070 ) on Sunday March 03, 2002 @04:12AM (#3100575) Homepage
    One feature I have been missing is that I want to know how far away each file/host are in terms of router hops. If theres multiple files showing up in a search I want to download from the closest one, maybe located on my ISPs network so I dont have to go thru the GIX (Global Internet Exchange Point) to other networks. If the client could do a traceroute for each file/host and show the number of hops in a colum I would be happy. An other feature I would like to see is the ability to limit searches by network prefix, for example 213.64.0.0/16, so I only see files which are located on hosts which have a address 213.64.x.x. Anyone know of Gnutella clients that have some of these features?
  • EVERYTIME I see some company do something like this, everyone freaks out. OMG THEY'RE VIOLATING THE GPL!!!! This is getting old people!! How about WAITING an hout or so or INVESTIGATING it further before posting a freakout story. SHEESH!
  • This article is intentionally hyped up. It says Morpheus is 'currently being distributed without source'. It's only been a day for christsakes!! And probably a very hectic and frustrating day for the Morpheus programmers i'd venture to say. They probably had always intended to release the source, but i'd venture to guess that they were just a little busy last night.

    Furthur, I see no indication that the Gnuclus programmers are 'not too happy about this'. Their homepage stated that they did not know what to think, but that as long as the source was released they'd be fine with it.

  • I wonder how many people ever download source and verify that it is indeed the source for the GPL'd product, of the correct version and such. I've downloaded and compiled source when pre-compiled wasn't available. Additionally, I've downloaded pre-compiled binary versions of GPL'd programs. But I don't think I've ever done both for a GPL'd program and compared the behavior of the two pieces of code. The raw laziness of human nature leaves a lot of weasel room in the GPL.
  • The GPL license should be adhered to from the start, not just when people call them on violating it. And now that they *have* posted the source code, people seem to think this somehow makes their VIOLATION of the GPL OK. It does NOT make it OK. Thousands of copies of the Morpheus program were downloaded without the source...this means that the people who downloaded it may be under the impression that its not GPL'ed, which creates all kinds of problems (such as them redistributing it in violation of the GPL, and eventually a company getting ahold of it and trying to claim its not GPL'ed so they can rape it).

    To those of you who -- and I've read many of these comments -- say "calm down, calm down, give them a minute to post the source"...I say that its still a violation of the GPL. If a company got source code from MS or SGI on a confidential agreement, would they even DARE to, even for a few MINUTES, distribute that code on their web-site in violation of the confidentiality agreement? No, they wouldn't. The GPL should be adhered to just as strictly by corporations.

    I seriously hope that FSF sues them. The problem with the GPL, though, is that suing after they start abiding by the GPL doesn't accomplish much (other than perhaps a public admittance of wrong-doing)...there should be a clause in the GPL that calls for fines if its violated by a company.

    Tere are also some of you out there who say, "the GPL's never been taken to a court case," so it could mean anything, and the FSF's interpretation of it is meaningless. No, actually, that's not true. The FSF created the GPL, and they know exactly what it means. Furthermore, the GPL is written VERY clearly -- there's no doubt about exactly what it means. Corporations can hire the best lawyers in the world, but they'll never get a ruling that says "under the GPL, you don't have to distribute the source of something you bundle with a GPL'ed program". The GPL will not be invalidated -- it is in fact LESS strict than the EULA, which has (unconstitutionally) been held up in court.

    About some of you who continue babbling about Morpheus as an "illegal product", no its not. It was not designed for any particular purpose, and can be used for sharing anything, not just music, movies, or software. You cannot say that it has no uses other than infringement.

    If Morpheus -- or any other non-centralized file-sharing service -- is illegal, then so is the entire internet.

    Why are they switching to GPL? To make their life easier. Under the GPL, you can't "sue anyone". Its distributed by everyone. And even if you somehow sue MusicCity and force them not to distribute, you can never stop the distribution of Morpheus now. It is a simple fact of life that no matter how hard the stupid judges stamp their feet, they can't stop the distribution of anything that's freely downloadable. Proof in point -- DeCSS. Its all over the place: both the source and the executable can be found by Googling.

    As for some people's worries that GPL will be associated with piracy, warez, etc -- only in the minds of spin-meisters under the thumb of Jack Valentini and Hillary Rosen. The average person doesn't concern himself with these issues, and anyone smart enough to understand them knows how full of shit that idea is.

    Aside from that, there's nothing wrong with warez, piracy, etc. Ghandi said we have an obligation to disobey immoral laws. How much more immoral can a law be than one which keeps information "secret" and in the hands of the rich few who can afford it?
  • by Pinball Wizard ( 161942 ) on Sunday March 03, 2002 @02:31PM (#3101782) Homepage Journal
    holy bejeezus thats a lot of people using Morpheus.

    I've been using Morpheus for quite awhile, although I had always wished that it was an open source product. Now it is, thanks to improvements to gnutella.

    If Fast Track/Kazaa really did kick Morpheus off their network then they just committed suicide because given the choice between closed source spyware and open source, assumming both products work equally well, people will go for the open source version.

    53,000,000 downloads! I think that makes Morpheus the single most popular GPL'd software ever. Good job, guys.
  • "Fork" seems to grand a term for just taking someone else's code and adding annoying popup ads to it.

    Answer me this: is there ANY reason to use the new Morpheus rather than Gnucleus [gnucleus.com]? Seems to me that Guncleus is just Morpheus without a whole lot of annoying shit added.

    By the way, I got booted from the Morpheus chat room about six times yesterday for posting the Gnucleus URL. They seem to think they can supress the fact that they just took the code from Gnucleus and put their own branding info and advertising on it.

BYTE editors are people who separate the wheat from the chaff, and then carefully print the chaff.

Working...