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Slashback

Slashback: Picnic, Neonapster, Microsoft 122

Slashback tonight with some good news about Linux Weekly News, an annual update for interested picnic-goers, a followup on Neonapster, and a few words of caution on Microsoft's approach to code disclosure. Read on below for the details.

Look at the nice horse they left. babbage writes "As part of ongoing antitrust settlement arrangements, Microsoft has 'opened' the source code to some of their protocol implementation source code. Go ahead and read the license -- but do keep an eye on the NDA you have to agree to first. If you find an NDA to be an objectionable first step -- and I'll admit, I haven't read the license because I don't agree to the NDA terms -- then speak up about it. The Department of Justice is accepting public comments from industry professionals about the new licensing terms. There is a real concern that such pseudo-open licensing could effectively scuttle development efforts on projects like Samba & Mono, but we need to get open access to the license in order to figure out what the risks are. If you have anything to contribute, now is the time to speak up to the DOJ."

Bring your own herring. Bill Kendrick writes: "From the folks who brought you the immensely popular "Linux10" event, comes Picn*x11, a picnic/barbecue celebrating 11 years of the Linux operating system. It's going to be held in Sunnyvale again, the Saturday after LinuxWorld Expo. So go RSVP now, and get your Picn*x11 t-shirt! (Proceeds go to EFF)"

With enough eyeballs many programs seem shallow, too. TheMMaster writes "Neonapster seems to have GPL'd their software, you can download the source here, not that I am terribly happy with what happened, but at least this seems to have been settled out of court ;) of course... it is still a cheap cdex rip off ;)"

LWN is good reading. Keck writes "We all shed a tear for Linux Weekly News a little too soon maybe?

Yes, we know we said there would be no LWN.net Weekly Edition this time around, but, in the end, it was worth the trouble to put together a mini version. So here it is; with luck, the full Weekly will be back on August 15. "

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Slashback: Picnic, Neonapster, Microsoft

Comments Filter:
  • by killthiskid ( 197397 ) on Thursday August 08, 2002 @08:02PM (#4036586) Homepage Journal

    Well, I started to read the license, but then I got caught at part one of step one:


    Authenticate with a Microsoft Passport.

    Well, I guess I'm out...

    • Well, it doesn't say you have to use your own. Let's all create passports and share them - whee :)
      • I know you kidding, but... (from Passport terms of use [passport.com])



        You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your password and account information.

        Clearly, by sharing your passport account you are in violation of the passport user agreement. Congratulations, you just became Bill Gates towel boy...

        • by mabinogi ( 74033 ) on Thursday August 08, 2002 @08:21PM (#4036665) Homepage
          That's not what that says at all...not even close.

          All that passage means, is that if you tell everyone your password, and someone else uses that to login as you, then it's not Microsoft's fault.

          Which is fair enough.

          By saying that 'you' are 'responsible' for maintaing the confidentiality, they are saying that no one else is going to do it for you.

          If it said you are 'required' to maintain the confidentiality, THEN it would be more like you said.

          However, I haven't read the rest of the terms of use, so I don't know that there isn't a passage like that. But the example above definitely isn't one.
          • It states who is responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your password and account information.
            Not Microsoft.
            It should mean something else. But that's not what it says.
        • I too know this is all a joke, however...

          By the phrase "You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your password and account information." I don't believe Microsoft is requiring you to maintain confidentiality, but instead they are disclaiming any of their own responsibility if your password is disclosed. ie: if you give your password to someone else, don't blame us, we're not responsible.

          Of course, other clauses probably give them the rights to shut down accounts which they realize have been comprimised. For security reasons, of course, MS clearly only wants to protect their users :)

          It's also a bit amusing and twisted to realize that statement also means that if Microsoft is hacked and your password and account information are stolen, that's your problem, not Microsoft's. Clearly you should have been responsible enough to not give it to MS in the first place :) Or maybe you should have been responsible enough to fix their security problems yourself before your account information got disclosed :)

        • You (not Microsoft or other corporate entities) are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your password and account information.
          That means that you are responsible for however Microsoft, etc uses or abuses the account. No thanks.
      • Let's all create passports

        Here's problem number 2: you seem to need IE to create a .NET Passport. It doesn't let me, a user of Mozilla, access the page for creating or updating a .NET Passport.

    • by WEFUNK ( 471506 ) on Thursday August 08, 2002 @08:21PM (#4036668) Homepage
      If you decide to continue anyways the next page [microsoft.com] begins:

      Microsoft Communications Protocol Program
      NDA Request Form Instructions

      The first step in the Microsoft Communications Protocol Program is to obtain and sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). To request an NDA, click on the link below and complete the request form... to facilitate confirmation of your request and avoid possible delays, it is important to use a Passport account with a verified e-mail address from a domain used by your company. Requests submitted using e-mail addresses from unrestricted or anonymous email domains (e.g., Hotmail) will not be handled without direct contact and verification from the company involved.


      ...and I thought my Hotmail account was my Passport. Well lets try anyway...

      If you keep on going, logging in with your Passport you'll probably hit this page [microsoft.com]:

      Microsoft Communications Protocol Program
      NDA Request -- Passport Configuration


      Which basically asks you to set up your Passport account to share your personal (although probably inaccurate) information with all Passport Services before you can even get to the protocol NDA request page...

      Ummm, No thanks.
      • ...and the next page (Score:3, Informative)

        by Ian Peon ( 232360 )
        for those who don't want to sign up for passport (my company uses it - sigh).


        Microsoft Communications Protocol Program
        NDA Request Form

        Complete the form below and click the "Submit" button to request a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) for the Microsoft Communications Protocol Prgoram. You will need to sign and return this specific Prgoram NDA even if your company has signed some other type of NDA with Microsoft.
        Required questions are marked with an asterisk (*). Although a DUNS number is not required to request an NDA, it will be required at the time of submission of the signed NDA to proceed through the license process. The information you provide will be retained by Microsoft, associated with your Passport authentication account, and used throughout the license process and for all correspondence in the Program. Subject to confirmation, the NDA will be sent to the address provided on this form.

        *Company Legal Name: required

        *Company Mailing Address: required

        *Company City: required

        *Company State or Province: required

        *Company Postal Code: required

        *Company Country: required

        *Phone Area code: required

        *Phone Number: required

        Fax Area code:

        Fax Number:

        *Company Contact First Name: required

        *Company Contact Last Name: required

        *Company Contact Email: required

        *Company Type: Corporation Partnership Sole Proprietor Other required
        If "Other", enter here: required

        *Legal Jurisdiction where Company is organized: required

        Company DUNS Number

        The D&B DUNS Number is a unique nine-digit identification sequence assigned by the D&B Corporation, which provides unique identifiers of individual business entities, while also linking corporate family structures together. For more information visit www.dnb.com.

        • I'm not sure I'm really all too interested in being part of any prgorams..

          is it a typo you made, or one on the site itself? :) Something that long would be rather annoying to retype, so I can't see why you wouldn't just copy and paste it, but of course.. (perhaps i'm wrong here), but I'd figure they'd spell check something like this.
      • Just a little update. After starting (but aborting) the registration-process-to-request-the NDA-to-request-the-protocols, I got the following delivered to my inbox. Not a big deal, probably just a confirmation message, but the "newsletters" subdomain on the e-mail address kinda scares me... I hope the Hotmail filters work against MS spam.

        From: "Microsoft Registration System" no-reply@newsletters.microsoft.com
        Reply-To: regsys-ndr@newsletters.microsoft.com
        Subject: Microsoft.com Registration System Message

        The next time you visit Microsoft.com, please remember your important login information.
        Your Passport e-mail address is: ...@hotmail.com
        Your Microsoft.com e-mail address is: ...@hotmail.com


        Actually, I don't think there's anything at the other end worth jumping through so many hoops to sign any NDA (let alone theirs). Other posters have suggested that they are only "releasing" a bunch of already available and open third party protocols anyway. Perhaps the real intention is a combination of the following:

        1. Appease the DOJ by suggesting that "We're opening up cough*our*cough source code. Yeah, that's the ticket."

        2. Encourage curious developers to sign up for Passport and sign over all their personal info for tracking^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hconvenience purposes.

        3. Goad some weblog user into posting their NDA and/or other documents verbatim on Slashdot for copyright entrapment...
      • 2 Things I read, one it states that the work will be for connecting to a MS OS, but in the DOJ letter, it states server OS's, not specifically MS, so they have not met the agreement there. Second, one of the main reasons was to make this stuff available to the public without fee, but they seem to want to charge people for it........ Not an option in my book
    • Can someone explain to me how 'releasing' their source in this fashion helps anyone other than Microsoft?
    • Yeah, MS Passport has done a lot of damage to the Microsoft.Com pages.

      When MS tried to give themselves access to my one Microsoft machine by changing the MS Media Player license, I tried to see if they had any further info in the Support section.

      I couldn't get to the Support section for Media Player through a web search engine because I don't have a Passport.
      I couldn't get in the appropriate area from the main Support page because the Javascript topic menu doesn't work in Netscape.
      I couldn't report problems because I don't have an MS Passport.
      I can't reach the Microsoft Contact pages because I don't have an MS Passport.

      So I couldn't find if MS had further info about the Media Player license, I couldn't get info on how to remove Media Player, I couldn't report those problems, and I can't find a phone number to contact Microsoft.

      I had to use a phone book to call a Microsoft office in a nearby large city and ask them for a Support phone number.

      Gee, guess what. I can not remove MS Media Player. I can only remove the icon. So I can not just view pictures and get beeps for errors, I must keep the Media Player bloat.

      Boy, I'm sure that .NET will be just wonderful...

    • vis. what happens next, if you actually do try to sign up. (yes, I feel like I'm selling my soul - but I really want that source code.)

      Browser Not Supported
      Microsoft® .NET Passport no longer supports the Web browser version you are using. Please upgrade to a current Web browser, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer version 4.0 or later, or Netscape Navigator version 4.08 or later.

      I'm using Opera 6.0. Any http/user-agent strings other than MSIE 5.0 will generate this error.

  • Difference (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 08, 2002 @08:04PM (#4036591)
    Neonapster is not a rippoff of cdex...its a gnutellla filesharing app....its NeoAudio thats the Cdex ripoff...i recommend cdex to anyone ripping cds, ive used it for year and its great
    • Re:Difference (Score:3, Informative)

      Neonapster is not a rippoff of cdex.

      Correct. NeoNapster ripped off CDex to create NeoAudio. NeoNapster is not only a Gnutella servant, its also the collective name of the people who make it. Thats why you can download NeoAudio from NeoNapster.com [neonapster.com].

    • .i recommend cdex to anyone ripping cds, ive used it for year and its great

      Therefore i also recommend neoaudio!
    • That's true. NeoNapster is a ripoff of Gnucleus, as is the new morpheus.
    • Even better is EAC [exactaudiocopy.de], or Exact Audio Copy. Alongside LAME [mp3dev.org], OGG Vorbis [vorbis.com], or, for you lossless zealots, Monkey's Audio [monkeysaudio.com], you've got the most accurate copy of the CD that you can get.

      Of course, if it's N'Sync, it won't really make a difference -- it's crap no matter which CD ripper you use.
      • Even better is EAC, or Exact Audio Copy. Alongside LAME [mp3dev.org]

        I vouch for these! Lame encoding is the next logical step in encoding MP3. It encodes it with a variable bitrate, so that you get better quality in the parts that need it. It's really a shame that there aren't many out there...

        As for the other options, can't say anything...
        • It encodes it with a variable bitrate, so that you get better quality in the parts that need it. It's really a shame that there aren't many out there...

          For Mac OS X users, iTunes does it. Just change the bit rate for encoding to "variable" under Preferences.

          (This may also be available in iTunes 2 for OS 9, but I'm not going to reboot and install it just to check.)

          --saint
          • The problem with said program is that it doesn't really let you customize it (and if it doesn't use LAME, it's not really giving you the best signal). Using LAME with the "--r3mix -q0" options will give you THE best size-to-quality ratio. (l33t audiophiles couldn't tell the difference between files encoded with it and the original recording.) That's just something I forgot to mention :)
  • by spectral ( 158121 ) on Thursday August 08, 2002 @08:06PM (#4036606)
    The source code [for NeoNapster's softwares] has been at that exact same link since the story first hit slashdot front page. It's just some people are too quick to yell about violations, and not check what's actually going on. So yeah, it's good a "front page" story cleared up the issue, but it shouldn't make it sound like they just changed it, since it's been there the entire time.
    • Have they fixed the credits page they altered to remove any mention of CDex's original developers (and therefore violating the GPL)? Oh well no one is going to answer that unless I check it myself.. well it states so on their source download page, so I guess they'd have that in their source zip..

      Still, I wouldn't trust such a company, scums who are forced to be nice would turn to scum the moment no one's watching anymore.

      Speaking of scum, how the fuck does MS get away with calling that scheme of theirs "opening the source", when it's locked away down in a dark basement with broken stairs and light behind the door which had a sign "beware of the Jaguar"? Or the equivalent of knowing who to sue when the source gets out, hell why the fuck would they want an email address which is traceable! Fuck, and that's just to get a bloody fucking NDA!!! Somoene post that shit here, they probably want your soul for a peek at their source code/protocol information.
  • by Mr. PJR ( 589069 ) on Thursday August 08, 2002 @08:09PM (#4036619)
    Those of you who registered your disgust with NeoAudio at download.com might want to take a look at the comments page--every commment prior to 7 August has been deleted. Magically their rating seems to have jumped. go figure http://download.com.com/3302-2140-10137006.html
    • must be paying download.com off with the revenue from the spyware.
      Probable the plus posts are neoaudio creators/rippers anyway.
    • That pisses me off. How can they do that??? What's the point of a rating system if the ratings can get reset when they're not doing too good?

      Yay download.com! You've turned into 100% pure corporation!

      =-Jippy
    • Well I just left a new negative comment, and I can only encourage others to do the same.
    • You don't think that's because we /.'ed the site with negative comments the other day do you?
    • I'm not surprised... in fact, it's as I predicted [slashdot.org].

      The backlash from the HardOCP incident was quite loud, and painful for the offending parties.

      • There really are some gems on the download.com pagethat guy points to for neonapsters ripping player, these are from the "only positive [com.com]" remarks option for their CD ripper (old?), i didnt dare read the "only negative"

        "Superb! Just like CDex, but with spyware"
        I love this program. I used to use CDex, but I was annoyed at the lack of useless spyware included in the download. Since I switched to NeoAudio, all those troubles have gone away. I now have way more spyware and adware than I know what to do with. Thanks, NeoNapster! "


        and

        "Best spyware I've seen in years!!!"
        I've been using NeoAudio anally since it was first released. Forget CDex!!! CDex doesn't invade your privacy and solicit like NeoAudio does... NeoAudio is the BEST spyware out there, BAR NONE!!!


        even cmdrTaco gets in on the action with...

        "Wow! The best of its kind I have seen!"
        This is an incredibly well made piece of software. It completely outperforms CDEX and the SpyWare is only enabled if you request it, and in return, you get 100+ free songs. This completely rocks. Don't use anything but this!


        Thing is props for giving out the source code as GPL but is this just another morpheus [musiccity.com] type company who get GPL code change a few words and brand it their own, and give it away with spyware contributing nothing to open source ,

        or

        are they a honest company only wanting to advance the concept of filesharing [gnucleus.net] further by contributing something worthy to P2P other than "free spyware" and a fancy GUI ?

        __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ __ _
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Uh...is C|Net starting to censor comments?
      Your comments will be reviewed and, if approved, will appear on our site in two to four business days. We reserve the right to decline any submissions that don't meet our guidelines.

      When sharing your opinion of a product, please observe the following do's and don'ts. Do's

      • Do be succinct, accurate, constructive and objective.
      • Do compare the product to other competing products (or to previous versions of this product) that you've used.
      • Do provide examples of how the product or its manufacturer did or did not meet your expectations.
      Dont's
      • Don't use offensive language.
      • Don't submit an opinion of the product if you don't own or have first-hand experience with it.
      • Don't submit more than one opinion of the product.
      • Don't submit an opinion of the product if your company makes or resells it, or makes or resells a product that competes with it. (CNET intends to create vendor-response opportunities in the future.)
      • Don't submit any self-serving, commercial links or comments.
      • You must be 13 years of age or older to submit personal information to CNET. In compliance with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998, CNET is no longer accepting name and e-mail address information from users who are under 13 years of age.

      All submitted ratings and written comments become the sole property of CNET, Inc. (CNET) and may be used at CNET's sole discretion. Ratings and written comments are generally posted within two to four business days. However, CNET reserves the right to remove or refuse to post any submission for any reason. You acknowledge that you, not CNET, are responsible for the contents of your submission.

      Did anyone else get this?


      • To clarify the parent post for those who can't read between the lines:

        1. Content of ratings and comments become the sole property of CNET.

        2. But if you post a comment, you are solely responsible for the content, not CNET.

        Now those are two ridiculous and contrary statements. My interpretation of ownership and/or copyright law (whichever apply here if now both) was that if you were the sole owner of a piece of intellectual property it was also explicity implied that you were the one responsible for it as well.

        I wonder if there's a good way to challenge that. Maybe sue CNET for slander/libel/IP copyright infringement, etc AFTER you've had a friend (with stealthy anon skillz) post an objectionable comment on their comment boards?

        Or maybe post a comment or 500 to the effect of "The poster of this comment does not agree to the CNET comment posting disclaimer and as such, CNET holds only 50% ownership of this comment and CNET is the party solely responsible for its content."
    • by ---- ( 147583 ) on Thursday August 08, 2002 @09:19PM (#4036891)
      Technically, the product was 'updated'.

      You can still access the old comments thru this url. http://download.com.com/3302-2140-10132447.html?ob =0&pn=1&fb=2 [com.com] (378 comments strong)

      And if you click on the 'NeoAudio' link in the bar labelled "CNET > Downloads > Windows > Audio > Rippers & Encoders > NeoAudio > User Opinions" you will see this 'update' message.

      Once you do this, you will be brought to the new comments section for the updated neoaudio. Which resides on http://download.com.com/3302-2140-10137006.html?ob =0&pn=1&fb=0 [com.com] (at 32 comments and increasing)

      This makes me curious. Can an author of a product on download.com simply erase a ton of bad publicity on it's own by simply releasing minor point releases every couple of days ?
      • This makes me curious. Can an author of a product on download.com simply erase a ton of bad publicity on it's own by simply releasing minor point releases every couple of days ?

        Yes, they can. On the other hand, they're also erasing any good publicity they have.
    • What I find a lot more interesting is the fact that they claim that average rating is 3 out of 5 for every category, when approximiately 35 or 36 completely panned it (out of the 44 or so that were posted when I last looked), and of the rest, only one or two had 5's, and the rest were mediocre.

      Ah, statistics ... with them you can say anything you want.

    • Weird that they have removed older comments, but at least download.com are warning potential users on the NeoAudio download page. This is from download.com [com.com]:

      Editor's note: This download includes additional applications that are bundled within the software's installer file, some of which may be provided by parties other than the developer of this download. These applications may deliver advertisements, collect information, overlay content or graphics on the Web site you are viewing, or modify your system settings. As with all downloads, CNET recommends that you pay close attention to the options presented to you during the installation process. Known third-party applications bundled with this download include SaveNow and TopText. For more information, please read CNET News.com's report [cnet.com] on bundled software.


      /Hans
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Maybe you should read some of the positive comments:
      "So good it stops jesus crying"
      Well, I go out and buy this shiny new 160 GB hard drive for my computer. I ask myself, what should I do with it? Before I even get a chance to rip one song with it, Jesus says to me "Ripped music is wrong" and so instead I download this software. Instead of filling my hard drive with excellent music I now have enough spam, spyware, and adware to fill 100 hard drives. Thanks for making sure Jesus doesn't cry by putting that your software is GPLed and ripped off from CDex in _small_ print! You guys are the best!

      "WOnderfuL"
      Includes spyware for your computer! And its FREE FREE FREE. No longer do you have to pay for your spyware you can just install this. Enjoy
      And my favorite from the old comments:
      "Awesome! Great advertisement emails!"
      Ever since I downloaded this, my e-mail box has been full of great, insightful advertisements! Also, all of my pop-ups are custom-tailored to my browsing preferences!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 08, 2002 @08:14PM (#4036637)
    Well, I looked at their protocols that they're "opening" - nothing earth shuttering.. USB, FireWire, IPv6 and stuff like that are already available and running well under Linux and other open source OS's...

    I don't see anywhere that MS gives the Exchange protocol for example, so whats the point?

    Also- regarding LWN, most of the donations have been bounced back due to some stupid company thinking, so PLEASE re-send them your donations by other ways (PayPal etc..)
    • what do you mean bounced back...can you provide some more doc or a link for that.....
      • can you provide some more doc or a link for that.....

        I dunno, I'm sure there's some information [lwn.net] somewhere. I guess you just gotta look a bit.
        • by Archfeld ( 6757 ) <treboreel@live.com> on Thursday August 08, 2002 @09:53PM (#4037011) Journal
          well this is BS, we can't pay with a credit card but we can happily finance F'n paypal. Sorry LWN guess you aren't getting a donation.I refuse to use paypal, after thye locked my account for 5 weeks because of a paperwork error and their side. They refused to even respond until they finished their internal investigation, in the meantime they held my money, the purchase I was trying to make went south and the one of a kind item was sold, and then PAYPAL admitted their mistake and gave me my money back with out even so much as an apology.

          PAY PAL is run by idiots who make a buck freezing accounts with NO recourse.

          • PAY PAL is run by idiots who make a buck freezing accounts with NO recourse.



            Actually, from your story, it seems that paypal is run by some fairly intelligent and quite successful con-artists

            :-) / :-(

          • From the tone of your mail, it sounds like you're chastising LWN for only accepting PayPal at the moment. I don't think this is especially fair as it appears the reason they've had to fall back to only using PayPal is that their credit card clearing company did the same kind of shitty thing to them [lwn.net] as PayPal did to you.

            They do say in the article that they're shopping around for a new clearing company. Maybe you'll feel differently about donating when they find one.

          • I agree that your story is horrible...and many a person has a similar one with PayPal.

            But "mak[ing] a buck freezing accounts"??? That doesn't make any sense. They LOST money by not letting you use your account. It's bad business practice, pure and simple. Not only did they lose that specific piece of business, and any that you would have made in the next 5 weeks/future, they lose the business of people who read your story.

            So keep telling people. So they don't make a buck. Idiots usually don't.
          • well this is BS, we can't pay with a credit card but we can happily finance F'n paypal. Sorry LWN guess you aren't getting a donation.I refuse to use paypal, after thye locked my account for 5 weeks because of a paperwork error and their side.

            It is stories like yours (of which there are a vast number it seems) which is why I have never, and will never, use paypal.

            Even when not doing so is damn inconvinient, or expensive.

            When I made my $100.00 donation to the Free Blender Fund [blender3d.com], I paid $20.00 to Western Union to wire the money to Holland rather an open a paypal account. At least I know Western Union won't "freeze" my account indefinitely the way Pay Pal is wont to do, and while I'm sure there are more effecient ways to wire money overseas, paypal will never be an option.
    • Well, I looked at their protocols that they're "opening" - nothing earth shuttering.. USB, FireWire, IPv6 and stuff like that are already available and running well under Linux and other open source OS's...

      If what you looked at was the list of "Microsoft Communications Protocol Program Standards and Other Published Protocols" [microsoft.com], that's not a list of the formerly-closed protocols for which they're publishing information, it is, as they say on that page:

      If the protocols used for communication between Windows 2000 and Windows XP client operating systems and Microsoft Windows NT Server, Windows 2000 Server and Windows .NET Server operating systems are already published by third parties, those protocols are listed below for your reference. Many of the reference documents for the protocols identified below are available online. For each of the communications protocols listed below, a link is included that points to either the most recent version of the specification document (of which Microsoft has been apprised at the time this listing was prepared) or, if not available, to the Web site of the source for the published documentation for the protocol. Third-party sources of this documentation and information are solely responsible for their published information and its availability at these links.

      a list of already published protocols that they use.

      Only one of them is a Microsoft-proprietary protocol, namely CIFS (and even that has been published elsewhere). In fact, on the Microsoft Settlement Program Communications Protocol Program [microsoft.com] page, which links to that other page, they quite explicitly say that those protocols are not being licensed under this program:

      In connection with the proposed
      Consent Decree [microsoft.com], Microsoft is making certain client-server communication protocols available for license by third parties. Many of the communications protocols used for communications between Windows client and server operating systems have been developed and are available through standards organizations or are published and available from third party sources. Microsoft is identifying the standards-based and other published protocols used by Microsoft Windows 2000 and Windows XP operating systems to interoperate or communicate with Microsoft server operating systems and is providing a link to a source for documentation of these published protocols, where available. These published protocols will not be licensed pursuant to the Communications Protocol Program license agreements. To view a list of these standards and other published protocols, click here [microsoft.com].

      There's probably some legal reason why they have to, or think they have to, enumerate all those protocols, even though you don't have to license most of them from Microsoft or sign an NDA or anything.

  • by TrollsamaBinLaden ( 599568 ) <fyrbug1@msn.com> on Thursday August 08, 2002 @08:18PM (#4036652)
    The article mentioned microsoft and I saw 7 of 9 comments. Coincidence?

    Knowing MS I think not.
  • Isn't the requirement for a MS Passport a furthering of their anti-competitive practices, I mean really what does a MS passport do more then just leaving a form for you to submit your address to. Also, I dont agree that whatever is in my passport is the property of Microsoft, why should I submit my information to an insecure service, if it wasnt blantantly insecure they wouldn't be agreeing to make it secure according to the FTC. The first steps of getting to the NDA further their monopoly, and are anti-competitive. Why should furthering their monopoly be part of their settlement? It makes no sense
  • So? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Clue4All ( 580842 ) on Thursday August 08, 2002 @08:23PM (#4036672) Homepage
    I really don't get this. The exact same thing happened when Morpheus used Gnucleus as the basis for their new product. Much like MusicCity, NeoNapster isn't in violation of the GPL and offer source for their application as shown. Isn't "ripping off" (derivative works) what the GPL encourages? There shouldn't be a problem here, if the project doesn't like someone else using their code, then they SHOULDN'T HAVE USED THE GPL.
    • Of course its legal. No where have I seen complaints from the CDex developers. They are totally okay with what NeoNapster did to make NeoAudio. But are the users okay with it? The users should know other versions of the same software are available, in their original unadultered form. And now that download.com censored [com.com] the NeoAudio comments, users are left in the dark.

      Personally, I'd love to see a products--commercial or otherwise--which use GPL'd works in a productive manner. Gnucleus + CDex + Ogg + LAME + Freenet + OpenNap + VirtualDub...now that would be cool, if they where integrated correctly. Would definitely make one hell of a file sharing program.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 08, 2002 @08:27PM (#4036686)
    Using fair use rights to quote and snip sections of the Microsoft faq...

    "...Microsoft will make available, on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, any communications protocol implemented in a Windows 2000 Professional, Windows XP or successor desktop operating system that is used to interoperate or communicate natively with a Microsoft server operating system..."

    "...Microsoft's Communications Protocol Program will make available for license by others, on a royalty basis, more than 100 proprietary protocols that were not previously available. These protocols can be used, in accordance with the license and payment agreement terms, to develop a broad range of server software products that use the protocols solely to interoperate or communicate with the covered Windows client operating systems..."

    "... Consistent with industry practice, licensees of these protocols are required to protect Microsoft's intellectual property appropriately and are further obligated to pay specified royalties for the use of the licensed communications protocols and associated intellectual property..."

    "...Third parties that want to license protocol information related to authentication and digital rights management must also pass an entry requirement related to their ability to reliably and responsibly maintain the security of this information and integrity of such systems..."

    and finally...

    "...Five years, but a licensee may also sign up to a new license at any point up until the end of the consent decree - which has a five year term. Throughout the term of the consent decree we will continue to make the covered protocols available on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms..."

    • by Anonymous Coward
      So, to get the open source code one has to agree to a license. Fair. However, to obtain a license agreement, one needs to agree to an NDA and to get the NDA one needs a PassPort(TM) account - and oddly giving a HotMail(TM) address isn't sufficient.

      So, to obtain this "open" source code, one has to agree to three ongoing licenses - one or more which will probably be perpetual and subject to change without notice. And loyal MSN(TM) users are excluded.

      This is not open. This is not reasonable or non-discriminatory.
  • Philly picnic (Score:3, Informative)

    by reflexreaction ( 526215 ) on Thursday August 08, 2002 @08:31PM (#4036704) Homepage
    I went to my first Philly LUG yesterday, and look forward to celebrating the 11 anniversary of Linux at a the FDR park in south Philly near the stadium. Check out the PLUG's webpage [phillylinux.org]. For those of you who weren't there. There is also going to be a hardware swap on the Saturday before the picnic. Unupdated information is available here [linux10.org]
  • As mentioned elsewhere, the source code has been available for download this whole time. The GPL violation was they ripped out the copyright from the original authors and replaced it with their company's copyright, still claiming to be releasing it under the GPL license.

    Don
  • Are they still including spyware and profiting from that and just changing a few strings? Why have the secrecy with where they got the original code from? The small font on the bottom of the main page and the download page makes it seem that they want to hide something. They would miss out on their spyware being installed if the people who were going to download or have download their program to found out.

    As for the current download.com's removal of ratings and comments only decreases my already low trust of reviews on download sites. Now it seems more evident that if you are the author/spyware writer/company and do not agree with the review/accusations/etc, or you get too many bad reviews, the site runners will "fix" things in your favor. Does anyone know if Download.com responded to those of you that contacted them about the GPL violation?
  • by Istealmymusic ( 573079 ) on Thursday August 08, 2002 @08:51PM (#4036770) Homepage Journal
    cdex.n3.net [n3.net] has been updated with a message from Alber L Faber:
    There is an application called NeoAudio, which is a straight CDex rip off. They changed some string (i.e. replace CDex with NeoAudio), changed the logo and added some nice SpyWare and Adware. I contacted Richard M. Stallman about this issue, but unfortunately I can not do much about it, except for the fact that they are removing/changing copyright strings which they should not. So please do not download and install NeoAudio (they probably make quite a few dollars by shipping the adware) and also advice other people NOT to download NeoAudio either, and warn innocent users not to download this application but download CDex instead.

    In addition there is a small but worthwhile discussion [freedb.org] over at Freedb. Some Slashdotters have missed the fact that Mr. Faber does not claim NeoAudio violates the license, he is merely suggesting potential users make informed decisions on whether to use CDex or NeoAudio. Logically, there is no reason to use NeoAudio -- it offers no improvements over CDex.

    Of course, there's always Exact Audio Copy [exactaudiocopy.de], which has proved itself in the mp3 scene as the de-facto standard for ripping.

  • If I read the register article right, the protocol source code is payware. Charging for source code which is already part of Windows functionality (you don't get anything extra)? Seems sleazy to me.
    • If you buy a house, you get the house. If you want the blueprints to your house, they usually cost extra. You usually have to pay either the architect or the city planner for a copy. Having the blueprints allows you to build something with the same functionality, but having the blueprints isn't the same as having the functionality. You have to do something with the blueprints to make them useful.

      And as you said...the functionality is already in Windows, and exposed through interfaces. If you are on Windows and just want to use the interfaces without knowing about the plumbing, you still can...just like you can use your front door without a schematic of the lock.

  • by /dev/trash ( 182850 ) on Thursday August 08, 2002 @09:01PM (#4036802) Homepage Journal
    Yes, we know we said there would be no LWN.net Weekly Edition this time around, but, in the end, it was worth the trouble to put together a mini version. So here it is; with luck, the full Weekly will be back on August 15. "

    mod me as troll if you want, but this is what I honestly think.

    Do you really think they were going away? When places run out of money/go bankrupt, they just disappear, they don't ask for money and put 'just one more edition' out This whole begging for money is starting to sound like those commericals in the 80's "Going out of business, get a good deal now!" But they never did go out of business.

    • LWN report [lwn.net] that they got $25,000 of donations and advertising just after they announced their financial problems. While this isn't enough to guarantee their long term survival, it does seem to be keeping them going in the short-term.

  • by Andy Tai ( 1884 ) on Thursday August 08, 2002 @09:04PM (#4036808) Homepage
    The "opening" of the protocols actually extends the power of Microsoft over third parties. Previously one can implement the protocols in a clean room manner and does not need to deal with Microsoft. Samba, for example, implemented CIFS on their own without depending on any help from Microsoft. Now if you sign on to this Microsoft program you essentially recognize Microsoft's claim of ownership over many protocols. You have to sign an NDA first, and then who knows what will be in the actual license agreement. The anti-GPL CIFS protocol license is a clear example of the kind of restrict licenses Microsoft can put out.

    Standard protocols should not be owned. Now Microsoft is trying to use the settlement with the DOJ to actually extend its IP ownership to common protocols, beyond actual source code/implementations. Microsoft's power over third parties and the market actually increases, contrary to the original motivation beyond the anti-trust suit.

    • Do you know what irks me to no end? Am I the only person who still remembers that MS didn't even invent Netbios, the backbone of CIFS. They stole it from 3Com back in the middle 80's. Don't believe me? Google search on 3Com Lanmanager.

      Back to your topic. I just informed my boss, that his backend SQL Server software might cost him a lot of money to talk to our numerous front end Linux clients. He might just finally spend some money on a Oracle or DB2 license. We are in a "wait and see what Microsoft does mode".

      And before the flames begin, I just started with this company a little over a year ago. And yes, I am slowly introducing MySQL, PostGRES, etc. as options, so byte me :)

      Enjoy.
    • that's exactly the type of stuff the other 9 states are going after, as they recognized such things were gonna happen. Testimony during the recent hearing against MS (by Dell, and some other OEMs, I think) actually illustrated this quite well.
    • Heh, it's funny, you know.

      When anoyone discusses the disadvantages of te GPL, the response is a resounding "if you don't like the license, just don't use the software." Although that's usually besides the point in my observations.

      Now, everyone gets to throw stones at microsoft because the license to their protocols is too restrictive! Come on. This doesn't take away your right to use Samba under the GPL. It doesn't take away your right to reverse engineer some Microsoft protocols. If you don't want to follow their license, then JUST DON'T DO IT!
      • I think part of the problem is that under the DMCA, you can reverse engineer something to provide compatibility. However, I recall there being a statement that said you need to contact the company first, to see if they will release the protocol/whatever to you without reverse engineering. If they do, you can no longer "reverse engineer the program to provide compatibility".

        Obvious implications, although I doubt even Microsoft is that devious.
      • Ordinarily I would agree with that. But isn't the point of this code release, to partially undo the damage caused by Microsoft's illegal acts?

        This is sort of like if I'm stalking/harassing you, and you go to a judge to get a restraining order against me. The judge agrees with you ... and then tells me (?!) to write up the terms of the restraining order.

        Sleep tight. [Sloppy peeks through evilviper's window, breathing heavily.]

        • Well, it's a negotiated agreement... The judge really has nothing to do with it.

          I agree that the terms aren't good, but I was just trying to deflect the posts saying how this was some evil tactic to force SAMBA to release under the M$ NDA. Crazy things like that, which were moded to +5.

          As for staking, go right ahead! You'd get tired of me before I got tired of you! Come on... Stalkers are just the groupies of those that don't have bands. And groupies are a good thing.
  • Has no one... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    ...but me noticed that the DOJ web page does NOT give an e-mail address to send letters to? They used e-mail to allow people to send letters the last time - they should do it this time.
  • to clarify.

    NeoAudio was the problem (though NeoNapster might also be in violation too).

    The problem was not that it was a rip-off of CDex, or that the source code was not available - AFAIK it was.

    The problem is that the copyright strings were removed and replaced with new strings attributing only NeoAudio/NeoNapster, not the original authors of CDex.
  • by 0xA ( 71424 ) on Thursday August 08, 2002 @09:58PM (#4037024)
    Why do you have to sign up for the NDA request on the Microsoft stuff as a company? They even want the Dunn & Bradstreet number!

    I can't, as a nice person looking to learn about whatever protocol, go and get a copy of the source. Why the hell not? Probably never occured to the bastards that a student or hobby programmer would be interested.

    How am I going to become a good coder if I don't have any good code to learn from!

    • Probably never occured to the bastards that a student or hobby programmer would be interested.

      Au contraire. They specifically intend to eliminate hobbiest programming, because that's where a lot of GPL software comes from. As was pointed out repeatedly in various fora during the comment phase of the settlement, Microsoft wants to condition release of this sort of information on such criteria as whether the company is deemed (by Microsoft) to have a sound business plan.

      "Sorry Red Hat, you just aren't profitable enough to see this."

      The part that irks me most (and there are a lot of them) is that you can't even know the terms of the license until after you've signed the NDA. Fsck that!

    • I thought this was a serious post until I read the last line.
    • This article [slashdot.org] about the DOJ's response to the Tunney Act comments gives some useful background info.

      This reponse from the DOJ is especially damning because it contradicts the requirement of having a DUNS number to submit the NDA.

      from here [usdoj.gov]:

      " 74. Other commentors express concern that individuals, particularly individual developers writing and trading code within the "open source" community, might not qualify as "entities" and so might not qualify as "ISVs" under Definition VI.I.(80) The RPFJ, however, sets no minimum size or organizational standard for an "entity." Any individual or group of individuals, whether incorporated or not, that otherwise meets the definition of "ISV" is considered to be an ISV within the meaning of the RPFJ."

      and here [usdoj.gov]:

      " 464. Several commentors express concern that Microsoft somehow may claim that an open source developer, or a network of open source developers, or a marketer of open source software, should not be considered to meet Section VI.I's definition of an "ISV" and so should not receive the benefits and protections given to ISVs by the RPFJ.(437) The United States believes this concern is groundless. See the discussion in Section III(A), above."

      Gee I wonder how many more of the commentators' concerns turn out to be groundless just like the DOJ says...
    • How am I going to become a good coder if I don't have any good code to learn from!
      If you want to be a good coder, you'll benefit a lot more by following OpenBSD's example than Windows'.
    • If you think about it for a minute, it may actually be a GOOD thing that individuals are discouraged from looking at the source code. Say for example that a Samba programmer gets a chance to peek at Microsoft's network file sharing source code. Said programmer gets ideas from it, and these ideas end up in Samba. M$ would then have a potential argument against this programmer, *and now against the entire Samba project*, because regardless of what NDAs were signed, there is a chance that their IP has gone into a project that is not theirs.

      This is the same kind of reasoning behind non-compete agreements that many in the tech sector are required to sign before accepting employment: without these agreements, the employer would go into job #2 with knowledge of proprietary information from job #1, and it would be too much of a legal minefield to try and disprove the use of any of this IP.
  • A RIPOFF OF GNUCLEUS!!!

    i really hate texts like: similar interface like morpheus... why?

    MORPHEUS IS A RIPOFF OF GNUCLEUS...

    conclusion:

    NEONAPSTER = MORPHEUS == Gnucleus...

    Gnucleus is a rather good gnutella client... not that stable, but it works... if you use windows, visit their website [sourceforge.net]. and all linux/unix users, use mutella :oP...

    i guess NEO stands for NEON@ZI!...

    and yes, i also noticed it... NEOAUDIO is a ripoff of CDex... never ever heard of before...
  • The LimeWire Basic has some adware.
    http://www.limewire.com/ [limewire.com]

    But there's also GPLed source code now (not very easy to compile though).
    http://www.limewire.org/ [limewire.org]
    • Yes, Limewire basic has spyware, ~but~ they own that code. They can do whatever they want, not just legally, but morally as well.

      Neonapster is adding adware to someone elses code which is OK legally (since it's GPL), but morally ....?

  • As I read the microsoft page there, it looks like you have to sign the non-disclosure agreement before you can even see the license - does this mean you cant disclose the licensing terms?
  • Its rather interesting that the comments about the NeoNapster software were removed but CNET services reserve the right to do so. This is the list of their guidelines - so I imagine they figured we were just upset and decided to delete everything.
    Guidelines

    When sharing your opinion of a product, please observe the following do's and don'ts.

    Do's

    Do be succinct, accurate, constructive and objective.

    Do compare the product to other competing products (or to previous versions of this product) that you've used.

    Do provide examples of how the product or its manufacturer did or did not meet your expectations.

    Dont's

    Don't use offensive language.
    Don't submit an opinion of the product if you don't own or have first-hand experience with it.
    Don't submit more than one opinion of the product.
    Don't submit an opinion of the product if your company makes or resells it, or makes or resells a product that competes with it. (CNET intends to create vendor-response opportunities in the future.)
    Don't submit any self-serving, commercial links or comments.
    You must be 13 years of age or older to submit personal information to CNET. In compliance with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998, CNET is no longer accepting name and e-mail address information from users who are under 13 years of age.

    All submitted ratings and written comments become the sole property of CNET, Inc. (CNET) and may be used at CNET's sole discretion. Ratings and written comments are generally posted within two to four business days. However, CNET reserves the right to remove or refuse to post any submission for any reason. You acknowledge that you, not CNET, are responsible for the contents of your submission. [http://download.com.com/1200-20-861626.html]
  • Perhaps it's time to make a new version of the GPL that includes some clause(s) prohibiting derivative works from incorporating spyware/adware? I realize that since the derivative work must release source code you can always compile it without the spy/adware, but what about Joe Blow who just downloads the binary version? Seems reasonable, and I don't think anyone who is currently GPLing their code (but not also adding spy/adware) would object...
    • Think the folks at neonapster have noticed the slashdot backlash.

      "NeoNapster and NeoAudio are open source software under the GNU General Public License."

      The source code IS available on the site.
  • by ninewands ( 105734 ) on Friday August 09, 2002 @08:11AM (#4038272)
    Let me see if I understand this correctly ...

    I have to agree to the license terms and pay a fee to get the source.

    I also have to provide MS with a Dunn & Bradstreet ID number to prove that I'm really a company.

    I have to authenticate all my requests via Passport, thus I am required to provide Microsoft all kinds of personal information AND give them permission to use it in any way they see fit.

    Finally ... I have to agree to an NDA that I can't read until I receive it, and which PROBABLY, having read Microsoft's various legal docs before, prohibits disclosure not only of the code, but also the terms of the license agreement, before I even get to decide whether I agree to the terms of the license or not.

    Thanks Microsoft. You've just done the non-settling states job for them. You have conclusively proven the need for more stringent antitrust penalties against yourself.

    I WILL be filing my comments with the DOJ later this morning.
  • Microsoft... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by edgrale ( 216858 ) on Friday August 09, 2002 @09:02AM (#4038517)
    Has anyone else noticed that you cannot authenticate with Passport if you are using Mozilla!
    I get the following error with Mozilla 1.0

    Browser Not Supported
    Microsoft® .NET Passport no longer supports the Web browser version you are using. Please upgrade to a current Web browser, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer version 4.0 or later, or Netscape Navigator version 4.08 or later.

    It used to work just fine, oh well... guess they don't think that Mozilla is worth supporting.
  • So what happens when these API docs are "accidentally" leaked to somebody that never signed any NDA. It would be nearly impossible to find out who leaked them after 100's of companies go through with the official procedure. What are they going to do even if they find someone with an unauthorized copy? Sue for copyright violation of $5 material? And suppose somebody writes their own API docs in their own words using the leaked M$ docs as reference, then destroys the originals.

To thine own self be true. (If not that, at least make some money.)

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