Stockfish clones in the AppStore: it's becoming a plague...

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mcostalba
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Re: Stockfish clones in the AppStore: it's becoming a plague

Post by mcostalba » Sat May 28, 2011 5:46 pm

Don wrote: Human nature once again at it's worst. Some of them will no doubt take full credit for the chess engine.
IMHO they couldn't care less of taking credit....it is just money that they are interested in.

It is just a small fraud to get easy and cheap (and dirty) money out of casual buyers.

....Apple should care more than us about this if they are interested, as I suppose, in keeping their application store a trustful and safe place for their customers.

Sean Evans
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Re: Stockfish clones in the AppStore: it's becoming a plague

Post by Sean Evans » Sat May 28, 2011 8:29 pm

Good job Julien!!! 8-)

Cubeman
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Re: Stockfish clones in the AppStore: it's becoming a plague

Post by Cubeman » Sat May 28, 2011 9:34 pm

Perhaps this is one good reason why StockFish should have being a paid app,this way you would have financial resources to go after these guys.Apple would not like to get involved if they don't have too, they make money every time someone buys these apps, where if they download StockFish the only money they get is the annual registration from Tord.
The whole chess app market on itunes is probably the most saturated of all categories, I find it hard to believe that any serious money could still be made, perhaps Christope Theron could enlighten us all on what money there really is, but perhaps this is to commercially sensitive.

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Don
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Re: Stockfish clones in the AppStore: it's becoming a plague

Post by Don » Sat May 28, 2011 9:58 pm

Cubeman wrote:Perhaps this is one good reason why StockFish should have being a paid app,this way you would have financial resources to go after these guys.Apple would not like to get involved if they don't have too, they make money every time someone buys these apps, where if they download StockFish the only money they get is the annual registration from Tord.
The whole chess app market on itunes is probably the most saturated of all categories, I find it hard to believe that any serious money could still be made, perhaps Christope Theron could enlighten us all on what money there really is, but perhaps this is to commercially sensitive.
I think apple will respond favorably. If they don't they risk a lot of bad publicity and in this day and age even the little guy can make a lot of noise via the web. I don't know if Tord is inclinded to do so, but with enough blogs and posts you can get your message across and you can even TELL apple what you are doing and show them where you posted.

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tiger
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Re: Stockfish clones in the AppStore: it's becoming a plague

Post by tiger » Sun May 29, 2011 5:21 am

mephisto wrote:After contacting Deep Fish Chess yesterday they assured me that they would remove my Modern piece set. Looking on the apps store now, Deep Fish is still there but the screenshot which had shown my pieces has been removed, although it may still exist in the program. If these lads, Andrew and John had designed and developed Deep Fish themselves instead of stealing it from Tord and then asked me if they could use my graphics, I would have been more than happy. But to do what they have done is just wrong especially when Stockfish is free and Deep Fish isn't.

They can find plenty of new pieces sets on the internet so it does not matter at all if you give them yours or not.

Stockfish is free but published under the GPL. It means that ANYBODY can sell it as long as they comply with the GPL, which in this case will simply be to make the source code available. Nobody cares about this code and nobody will download it anyway, so the guys should just comply and that's all.

Tord does not want to make money from Stockfish and it is legal for anyone to make money from it.

So what are you complaining about?

It's open source, which automatically makes it a good thing, right?

I have also complained to Apple about it being a cloned version of Stockfish.
Bryan

There is nothing to complain about. It's legal.



// Christophe

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tiger
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Re: Stockfish clones in the AppStore: it's becoming a plague

Post by tiger » Sun May 29, 2011 5:23 am

mcostalba wrote:
Don wrote: Human nature once again at it's worst. Some of them will no doubt take full credit for the chess engine.
IMHO they couldn't care less of taking credit....it is just money that they are interested in.

It is just a small fraud to get easy and cheap (and dirty) money out of casual buyers.

....Apple should care more than us about this if they are interested, as I suppose, in keeping their application store a trustful and safe place for their customers.

Can you explain exactly what the fraud is?


// Christophe

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tiger
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Re: Stockfish clones in the AppStore: it's becoming a plague

Post by tiger » Sun May 29, 2011 5:43 am

Cubeman wrote:Perhaps this is one good reason why StockFish should have being a paid app,this way you would have financial resources to go after these guys.Apple would not like to get involved if they don't have too, they make money every time someone buys these apps, where if they download StockFish the only money they get is the annual registration from Tord.
The whole chess app market on itunes is probably the most saturated of all categories, I find it hard to believe that any serious money could still be made, perhaps Christope Theron could enlighten us all on what money there really is, but perhaps this is to commercially sensitive.

If all you have to do is change a few graphics in Stockfish, compile it, and sell it on the App Store for a buck, clearly it does not matter how much money you make: in the end you are going to earn something from it.

It is legal, does not even require to learn how to program, and you will get money.

Nobody can stop you from doing it. Not even the original author.

And it's open source, which automatically turns it into a good thing I suppose.


// Christophe

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tiger
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Re: Stockfish clones in the AppStore: it's becoming a plague

Post by tiger » Sun May 29, 2011 6:16 am

Tord Romstad wrote:
mar wrote:These "authors" are violating GPL IMO as I can't find sources anywhere.
Technically I am not sure there is a GPL violation here, because the source code doesn't seem to have been modified at all, which means that the source code is available.

On the other hand, these apps clearly do violate Apple's iOS App Store rules. If they include Bryan Whitby's "Modern" piece set, they are also guilty of using his art without the author's permission.
I don't know whether they got an exception from the authors.
They did not.
I think the StockFish team should do something about it, but it's up to them.
I am trying to do something about it. I contacted Apple concerning "Deep Fish" yesterday (without receiving a reply so far), and will inform them about the other clones Julien mentioned (and by the way, thanks for bringing them to my attention!) as soon as possible. I used the "Contracts and Legal" => "Rights Infringement" form on the iTunes Connect web site to report Deep Fish. If anyone knows a better way to contact Apple against issues like this, please let me know.

I would also appreciate if those who have downloaded some of these apps could help by writing a review and explain that these apps are clones, and complain directly to Apple if you know a good way to contact them.

Tord, you are joking, right?

You DID read the GPL before publishing Stockfish under this licence, did you?

You did not miss the part where it says that it is LEGAL to sell a GPL program as long as you comply with the GPL: in order to do so you just have to provide your source code to any CUSTOMER who ASKS FOR IT.

Technically they are not in violation until they refuse to send you the source code. Did you contact them and ask for the sources? Oh and be sure to purchase their product before asking, because they don't have to make it available to you if you do not possess their product.

If they are in violation because they are using graphics made by someone else, it's not your business. The author of the graphics has to ask them to stop using the graphics, or sue if he feels like spending a few thousands of dollars in legal action. Or ask Apple to do something... Good luck with this.

Now imagine that tomorrow I package my own version of Stockfish, with some changes in the graphical appearance, and sell it on the App Store for $0.99. And I comply with the GPL: I make the source code available to any CUSTOMER who asks for it so I'm in perfect accordance with the law.

Could you please tell me if you are going to complain about this, and if so, why?



// Christophe

mcostalba
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Re: Stockfish clones in the AppStore: it's becoming a plague

Post by mcostalba » Sun May 29, 2011 6:46 am

tiger wrote:
Can you explain exactly what the fraud is?


// Christophe
The fraud is that a buyer could get exactly the same product for free, so the fact to hide that what I am selling is an exact copy of another product available for free it is a fraud IMHO.

/* Marco */

Tord Romstad
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Re: Stockfish clones in the AppStore: it's becoming a plague

Post by Tord Romstad » Sun May 29, 2011 7:02 am

tiger wrote:Now imagine that tomorrow I package my own version of Stockfish, with some changes in the graphical appearance, and sell it on the App Store for $0.99. And I comply with the GPL: I make the source code available to any CUSTOMER who asks for it so I'm in perfect accordance with the law.

Could you please tell me if you are going to complain about this, and if so, why?
You are missing the fact that this isn't about the GPL or about copyright rules. I agree with you that most of these programs don't violate the license or any copyright laws. I even pointed this out in the very message you replied to. The point is that these apps very clearly violate Apple's own App Store rules. They do not allow apps which are copies of another developer's work, and state in their guidelines that such apps will not just get deleted from the store, the developers will also be expelled from the developer program. My impression is that Apple takes matters like this very seriously, and I am quite sure they will take action if the clones are brought to their attention.

As to why I care at all: I wouldn't care much as long as the clones were free, but by charging for a program also available for free, they are effectively stealing their customers' money. Arguably they are stealing a tiny bit of your money too, since another commercial chess program may mean a handful of less sales for Chess Tiger. It is true that I am not hurt by these programs in any way, but I care about other people, too.

;; Tord

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