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

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

Post by Roman Hartmann » Sun May 29, 2011 7:04 am

Wow, that's annoying.

I thought Apple would review all the applications prior to release. Why do they allow to release the same chess program over and over again when the difference is only the name of the program?

In the end Apple will probably prevent Tord from releasing a new version of Glaurung/Stockfisch because he obviously just copied the program from Tran Van Luong without even giving credit to him.

Roman

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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 7:07 am

mcostalba wrote:
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 */

If they mention that it's Stockfish, is it still a fraud?

Or would you go further and say they have to put in bold capitals "you can get the same product for free here (with a direct link naturally)"?


// Christophe

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

Post by tiger » Sun May 29, 2011 7:21 am

Don wrote:
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.

Unless you are several thousands to lobby, they don't care.

From a financial point of view, Apple is making money from these separate products which are based on a GPL program. For Apple, the right thing to do is to force the authors of these products to comply with the GPL and provide their source code if a customer asks for it (which will almost never happen anyway).

I think it's always what the FSF does first: I remember a case where a router was based on Linux, but the manufacturer did not provide the source code. The FSF did not try to prevent the manufacturer from selling this product. They asked the manufacturer to comply with the GPL and to provide the source code. Which they did.

If the presence on the App Store of several almost identical products is a problem then, still from a financial point of view, the right thing to do for Apple would be to remove the ones that do not generate money, that is, the free ones.


// Christophe

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

Post by mcostalba » Sun May 29, 2011 7:49 am

tiger wrote: If they mention that it's Stockfish, is it still a fraud?
There is one 'if' more than needed in your reply. I was thinking you were talking seriously not just arguing for the shake of it. Sorry I misunderstood your posts.

P.S: There are no mentions to SF anywhere in the posted examples btw.

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

Post by tiger » Sun May 29, 2011 8:11 am

Tord Romstad wrote:
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.

I'm sorry I don't see anything like that in the App Store Guidelines.

There is a part that talks about copying another developper's work, but I think it's about illegal copying.

In the case of a legal derivative of a GPL program I think it's clearly different. Apple clearly knows about them, as some of them clearly state what they are, and just lets them be.

These derivatives are actually pouring money in Apple's coffers. I think you will have to demonstrate that they are seriously violating some law before they pull them from the App Store.



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


What you are saying is that charging for a program available for free is stealing.

You are in essence saying that the GPL explicitely allows and encourage stealing.

If you have a problem with someone selling a GPLed program, then you have a problem with the GPL.

This is an exerpt from the preamble of the GPL licence:

Code: Select all

  The licenses for most software and other practical works are designed
to take away your freedom to share and change the works.  By contrast,
the GNU General Public License is intended to guarantee your freedom to
share and change all versions of a program--to make sure it remains free
software for all its users.  We, the Free Software Foundation, use the
GNU General Public License for most of our software; it applies also to
any other work released this way by its authors.  You can apply it to
your programs, too.

  When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not
price.  Our General Public Licenses are designed to make sure that you
have the freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for
them if you wish), that you receive source code or can get it if you
want it, that you can change the software or use pieces of it in new
free programs, and that you know you can do these things.

The fact that you are the author of a GPL program does not give you the right to prevent others from selling it.

By releasing Stockfish under the GPL licence you have given up the right to prevent anyone from selling it.

Stockfish is not under your control anymore. You cannot dictate what others can do or cannot do with it. If you are not pleased with it, it's too late.



// Christophe

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

Post by tiger » Sun May 29, 2011 8:13 am

mcostalba wrote:
tiger wrote: If they mention that it's Stockfish, is it still a fraud?
There is one 'if' more than needed in your reply. I was thinking you were talking seriously not just arguing for the shake of it. Sorry I misunderstood your posts.

P.S: There are no mentions to SF anywhere in the posted examples btw.

I'm talking seriously.

What if I release a legal derivative of Stockfish on the App Store and charge $5 for it?


// Christophe

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

Post by mephisto » Sun May 29, 2011 8:17 am

Christophe
These are my design and if anyone wants to use them they can for free if they ask. Otherwise as you say, there are plenty more (many might say "better") free on the Internet.
As for your other subject remarks, I suggest that you might have had too much sun & gin when you wrote them.
Bryan
Last edited by mephisto on Sun May 29, 2011 8:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
What's my next move? - to the fridge for another beer !!

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

Post by tiger » Sun May 29, 2011 8:18 am

Roman Hartmann wrote:Wow, that's annoying.

I thought Apple would review all the applications prior to release. Why do they allow to release the same chess program over and over again when the difference is only the name of the program?

In the end Apple will probably prevent Tord from releasing a new version of Glaurung/Stockfisch because he obviously just copied the program from Tran Van Luong without even giving credit to him.

Roman

If you comb thru the App Store you will find many surprising things.

The derivatives are bringing money to Apple. Do you think they want them out? If pressed to act, they will first ask the developpers to comply with the GPL.

If this business makes money, the "developpers" will comply and that will be it.


// Christophe

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

Post by tiger » Sun May 29, 2011 8:26 am

mephisto wrote:Christophe
These are my design and if anyone wants to use them they can for free if they ask.
Otherwise as you say, there are plenty more (many might say "better" than mine) on the Internet.
As for your other forum remarks, I suggest that you might have had too much sum & gin when you wrote them.
Bryan

Bryan I think we are at the heart of an interesting debate.

It's about the responsability of open source authors and the use of the GPL.

I thought the more open source programs we had the better it was. And now I hear that the author of an open source program is against the use of open source.

Let's get to the bottom of this.


// Christophe

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

Post by Gian-Carlo Pascutto » Sun May 29, 2011 9:25 am

tiger wrote: I'm talking seriously.

What if I release a legal derivative of Stockfish on the App Store and charge $5 for it?
// Christophe
It is not possible to legally publish a GPL program on the App Store by anyone but the original author. This is because the App Store terms of service are not compatible with the GPL.

This hasn't stopped many people from doing it anyway. Apple appear to be knowingly let its store be used for fraud and copyright infringement.

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