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Open-Source Projects Are Getting Ripped On Amazon

Free Software

Published on 18 January 2011 05:48 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software
54 Comments

It's been brought to my attention today by a Phoronix reader that several major open-source projects are being ripped off and sold for-profit on Amazon by a small company out of the United Kingdom. FlightGear, InkScape, and Scribus are among the free software projects being affected right now and Amazon apparently has yet to catch onto this or act.

One of the developers behind Dangers of the Deep, a free software World War 2 era submarine game, informed me today via IRC (#phoronix on FreeNode.net for those that don't know) that their game was being resold on Amazon. The game was being sold as "U-Boat Simulator" (link) by some company being listed as "Butterfly Media" on the shopping site. This is a problem for the project seeing as their artwork and other assets is CC At-Nc-Nd 2.0/2.5 licensed and this Butterfly company had never sought permission from the project nor do they attribute anything to whose software they are profiting.

This rip-off company isn't just reselling obscure free software either. They are reselling FlightGear as Advanced Flight Simulator 2010 (link) for a price of about $25 USD when it can be obtained for free via FlightGear's web-site.

Butterfly Media is also ripping off the popular Scribus layout/publishing program too. The company is reselling Scribus as "Desktop Publishing Studio" (link). They aren't just taking the programs and reselling it, but even their screenshots shown on the Amazon product page are ripped.

This image is a copy of this screenshot from the Scribus gallery. The Butterfly people just blurred out the Scribus title bar.

InkScape is also being ripped off as "Photo Studio" software (link). Where they do a poor job at blurring out the title bar in this product screenshot. The Photo Studio description even tries to pass off this program as being an Adobe product.

The list goes on, but you get the point by now. Butterfly Media is currently selling 34 software titles on Amazon.

Edit: They're also violating licenses of non-free software too.

The story is continued here.

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