[wp-hackers] When shady people resell your work...

Brian Fegter brian at fegter.com
Tue Apr 8 20:38:46 UTC 2014

The best thing you can do, in my opinion, is to keep making a great product
and forge ahead. Users have bought into the value of your software and
direction it is going. When someone forks your software maliciously, that
fork rarely if ever runs parallel to your original vision and passion for
making that software. It will, in time, divert from the origin intention of
the first developer or team. A good fork is when software diverts from its
original intent and value, and a course correction needs to be made or
there can be added value in another direction. A bad fork almost always
leaves the users out in no man's land.

At the end of the day, you are the one who had the idea, you've own it, and
will continue to have a passion for it. Someone who comes in and copies
your work won't have the same passion, vision and forethought for roadmap,
they are there for a quick buck. They most likely don't understand the
software as thoroughly as you do as well. When support requests begin to
pour in (and they will as they do for all WP plugins), upgrades need to
happen, etc..., they will buckle at some point and abandon the software. If
you stay true to your principles, give your users security that you aren't
going anywhere, they most likely will stick with you. The ones that abandon
you will come back at some point when they see the other is just a fraud.

Knockoffs are never quality anywhere you look. Those who steal ideas always
cut corners and make a substandard product. It might look like your product
now, but it won't in the future. Make your's even more awesome to get ahead
of their 'fork'. Dig in and refactor your codebase if need be so they can't
just plug and play with your updates. Offering a quality product, excellent
support, and a great vision the future of the product will pay off. My two
cents. :)

On Tue, Apr 8, 2014 at 12:33 PM, Otto <otto at ottodestruct.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Apr 8, 2014 at 11:45 AM, Dino Termini <dino at duechiacchiere.it
> >wrote:
> > Hi list,
> >
> > we were recently informed that someone was selling our plugin (available
> > for free on WordPress.org of course), WP SlimStat.
> >
> > While this is allowed by the GPL license, they re-branded it as Keyword
> > Swarm and removed all the references to the original author.
> >
> > On top of that, they purchased all our premium add-ons and bundled them
> > with their package, even if our license agreement explicitly says that
> you
> > cannot include any of our premium add-ons
> > within a free or commercial theme or plugin or other package.
> >
> > This will end up damaging not just our small group, but the entire
> > community around our plugin. If the already little revenue stream is
> > choked, we won't be able to invest our time to improve WP SlimStat, which
> > is sad.
> >
> > So I thought I would come to this list to ask for opinions.
> >
> > Thank you,
> > Dino.
> >
> >
> The licensing you use really has nothing to do with it. They would violate
> your license even if it was more restrictive or less restrictive. People
> pirate games and business software and such too, right? This is really no
> different.
> The long and the short of it is that you're basically dealing with the
> problem of software piracy. There is no solution. There isn't going to be a
> solution. At most, you can call a lawyer and sue the offenders for damages,
> which is difficult to prove at best. And even then, you probably won't get
> any real money out of it.
> In the long run, I think that the only way to really cope with this sort of
> issue is to sell something else; something which is not software.
> If you have never read it, give The Magic Cauldron a read. I like Chapter
> 3.
> http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/magic-cauldron/magic-cauldron.html
> -Otto
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