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06-18-09, 08:52 PM   #1
Satrina
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Brothersoft hosting addons without permission

So I got this email from Brothersoft.com informing me that I needed to activate my new account. Wait, new account? Who the hell is Brothersoft? Then I get an email telling me that Digits has been successfully released on Brothersoft. Wait, what? So I go and look, and sure enough there is Digits 1.0.3. Meh, no big deal I guess, since 1.x is actually under GPL. Clicking on my name in the publisher link, I see that SBF is also there. SBF is most certainly not licenced with a free-to-distribute licence. I have just issued these guys a third polite request to take down SBF. Tomorrow is a DMCA takedown if they don't comply.

They have a bunch of addons up there, in fact. Authors, you might want to take a look and see if your addons are there: http://www.brothersoft.com/games/tools_and_editors/
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06-18-09, 09:07 PM   #2
voodoodad
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I'm not an author but I certainly feel your outrage over this. I just sent them an e-mail informing them that they are violating copyright and should immediately take down any addons that are not GPL.
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06-18-09, 09:23 PM   #3
Jaffy
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That place looks a little.... sketchy. Who took the time to post the addons there? And who would really download em?
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06-18-09, 09:52 PM   #4
Syxx
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Brothersoft is actually pretty renowned for "hosting" software for download.

It's pretty crappy though to put someone's code up for distro without permission then putting THEIR email in for verification.
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06-18-09, 09:59 PM   #5
Petrah
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Originally Posted by Syxx View Post
Brothersoft is actually pretty renowned for "hosting" software for download.

It's pretty crappy though to put someone's code up for distro without permission then putting THEIR email in for verification.
They may be renouned and all that, but my comp security won't even let me visit their site. Something on that site is obviously not safe.
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06-18-09, 10:01 PM   #6
Xrystal
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Originally Posted by Syxx View Post
Brothersoft is actually pretty renowned for "hosting" software for download.

It's pretty crappy though to put someone's code up for distro without permission then putting THEIR email in for verification.
Yeah I noticed that even though they listed the authors name, the website is WoW and the email is Brothersofts. So, erm, how would people contact the developer of the addon .. hmm .. hmm .. rofl.
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06-18-09, 10:11 PM   #7
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Well as of right now, when I click on the link for SBF it says it has been removed so I guess they responded fast.
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06-18-09, 10:15 PM   #8
Satrina
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Yep, the threat of a DMCA takedown got them moving pretty quick.
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06-18-09, 10:27 PM   #9
Petrah
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Originally Posted by Satrina View Post
Yep, the threat of a DMCA takedown got them moving pretty quick.
That's good! I hope they are as quick at removing any others when authors contact them. Hopefully they will not require anymore threats.
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06-19-09, 12:15 AM   #10
pmats
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I work for Brothersoft. Here is the thing. Somebody submitted and published addons for the World of Warcraft in Brothersoft.com. And we are totally not aware of any details about the author, the license and relvevant promotion conditions about that. But we are now dealing with some letters from authors indeed.

Moreover, we will be quite hopeful to keep these addons on the case that we get licenses from its author. Do anybody provide some pieces of suggestions? Thank you so much, guys.
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06-19-09, 12:42 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by pmats View Post
I work for Brothersoft. Here is the thing. Somebody submitted and published addons for the World of Warcraft in Brothersoft.com. And we are totally not aware of any details about the author, the license and relvevant promotion conditions about that. But we are now dealing with some letters from authors indeed.

Moreover, we will be quite hopeful to keep these addons on the case that we get licenses from its author. Do anybody provide some pieces of suggestions? Thank you so much, guys.
I'm not trying to be belligerent or anything, but let me make sure I have my facts straight. You guys will allow and post submissions to your site without any knowledge of license, author or anything else about where the software came from? If all that is true, then wow, that's kinda scary. One more question, do you guys scan submissions for viruses?
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06-19-09, 12:52 AM   #12
Tristanian
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Originally Posted by pmats View Post
I work for Brothersoft. Here is the thing. Somebody submitted and published addons for the World of Warcraft in Brothersoft.com. And we are totally not aware of any details about the author, the license and relvevant promotion conditions about that. But we are now dealing with some letters from authors indeed.

Moreover, we will be quite hopeful to keep these addons on the case that we get licenses from its author. Do anybody provide some pieces of suggestions? Thank you so much, guys.
So, let me get this straight. You claim that "someone" published addons on your website and you have no idea whether the licenses of said addons allow such an action, but you are keeping them anyway (!?!), in case their authors don't contact you and ask for their removal. With all due respect, such practices can only be described as "shady" at best. If there was indeed a malicious user that uploaded copyrighted content, without the copyright holder's permission, common sense dictates that you should remove said content, without question and not just wait and see what sticks and what doesn't.
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06-19-09, 01:12 AM   #13
voodoodad
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LOL! I'm thinking the quote beneath my main sig may be very applicable here!
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06-19-09, 01:20 AM   #14
Syxx
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Originally Posted by Silenia View Post
They may be renouned and all that, but my comp security won't even let me visit their site. Something on that site is obviously not safe.
Perhaps "renowned" wasn't the exact word I should have used. I was trying to be somewhat nice about saying from what I've seen they are more notorious.



EDIT: and I just checked the site 2:30AM central and they are continuing to load up on addons. By they I mean the who ever is doing it (Be it (Oh!)Brothersoft.com or some nameless evildoer).


Last edited by Syxx : 06-19-09 at 01:23 AM.
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06-19-09, 01:31 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Tristanian View Post
So, let me get this straight. You claim that "someone" published addons on your website and you have no idea whether the licenses of said addons allow such an action, but you are keeping them anyway (!?!), in case their authors don't contact you and ask for their removal. With all due respect, such practices can only be described as "shady" at best. If there was indeed a malicious user that uploaded copyrighted content, without the copyright holder's permission, common sense dictates that you should remove said content, without question and not just wait and see what sticks and what doesn't.
IANAL, but AFAIK in such a case, it is up to the copyright holder to issue a takedown notice to get them removed. It was their user(s) who uploaded the files and not themselves, and so while it is up to them to remove anything which does not belong there, it is up to the user(s) to follow the laws regarding what can be uploaded. I'm sure they have rules about what can be uploaded and what cannot, and if the user(s) violated these rules (which they seem to have), then they will likley be reprimanded (account suspension?), I would think.

However, they said nothing about "well, we're just going to keep them". They just expressed hope that the authors would give them the okay to keep them, which is totally different. From the way they worded it, some authors have contacted them and said "hey take that down, it's mine and copyrighted without distribution license", and Brothersoft is "in talks with them", ie. asking for permission to retain them as downloads.

Even so, I don't imagine many authors would say yes due to not wanting to update yet another distribution point with their updates (I know I wouldn't). Also, some of the addons (like Satrina mentioned) seem to be released under the GPL, and so they do have the right to distribute copies of those (I'm not sure which of them are okay and which aren't offhand).

Anyhow, this seems to have been an issue with WM lately as well, though WM is a bit more hesitant to host something, checking the licenses first and so forth. So, I wonder - are there any opensource type licenses which are safe to use for authors who wish their addons to not be distributed without permission, or is it more of a custom license authors need to implement? I know I searched through quite a few, but never found one that really suited what I wanted a license to do exactly.

In the case where there is no commonly accepted limited-distribution license available, perhaps we as a community should create and share our own license?
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06-19-09, 01:42 AM   #16
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It would seem to me that accepting the submissions is one thing, but to actually go ahead and post them without any knowledge of what they were and if they should post them would be a whole other ballpark. I could post the entire text of a popular novel for download somewhere, but I wouldn't because I know it's copywritten. Now, even if I didn't know that for sure, I should and would assume the worst case scenario, and not post it anyway. To me, this is the same thing.
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06-19-09, 02:13 AM   #17
Tristanian
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First of all, I wasn't referring to GPL'ed licensed addons, obviously they have every right to (re)distribute those. Imo, it comes down to their download submission and approval process (if any). I know for a fact at least, that if a single person (especially a new account) attempted to upload multiple files/addons on WoWI, it would be something worth investigating, before we could actually move forward with the approval process.
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06-19-09, 03:31 AM   #18
pmats
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First, we do the auditing work on publication requests from users instead of direct release on Brothersoft by somebody. If there is any kind of person fills and submits the software author information, this is really hard to identify.

Next, we will immediately handle it depending on the status verification once we get any email from real authors.

Finally, we Brothersoft do respect copyright of authors, and we are always aiming at providing the safe and fast downloading service for all the users.
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06-19-09, 03:34 AM   #19
Xrystal
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Originally Posted by pmats View Post
First, we do the auditing work on publication requests from users instead of direct release on Brothersoft by somebody. If there is any kind of person fills and submits the software author information, this is really hard to identify.

Next, we will immediately handle it depending on the status verification once we get any email from real authors.

Finally, we Brothersoft do respect copyright of authors, and we are always aiming at providing the safe and fast downloading service for all the users.
Well, seeing as you have found this site, assuming you never knew it existed, perhaps a search for the authors on here and message to them would be good. Oh, and if you weren't aware of it, try curse.com too.
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06-19-09, 04:33 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by pmats View Post
I work for Brothersoft. Here is the thing. Somebody submitted and published addons for the World of Warcraft in Brothersoft.com. And we are totally not aware of any details about the author, the license and relvevant promotion conditions about that. But we are now dealing with some letters from authors indeed.
Well Mr pmats if you're still here , your submission policies don't sound very safe.

You should be treating addons exactly like every other piece of software that gets uploaded to your servers.

IE you should check that the person uploading that piece of software is actually the author of said piece of software.

Otherwise you're not only creating more work for an addon author . You're also potentially defaming that addon author.

I don't accept the whole "but it'll make it easier on people to find x addon" excuse. There's things like google , curse , wow interface or that are better equipped for people wanting to find addons.

When someone uploads an addon without an author's permission 75% of the time they don't keep up with uploading later versions , don't keep up with answering comments and don't offer the end users any shred of support.

Of course the addon users don't know this all they know is they downloaded it from SomeSiteA and when they have a problem with it they either post something on SomeSiteA or go bug the author about it. About a bug the author has probably already fixed. Of course when the author doesn't respond on SomeSiteA then users start assuming the author is being lax , hasn't updated or just doesn't care.

Now can you imagine if someone uploaded a keylogger in a .exe file for a populour addon to your site. What you think will happen then ? That author gets defamed _even_ _more_
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