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Slashdot: GPL'd Code Finds New Home; GPL Violation with Everybuddy Instant Messenger Code

Jan 03, 2001, 15:45 (11 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by michael)

"A few days ago, we were contacted by one of the developers of Everybuddy, a "universal" instant messenger client for Linux. It seems that they were scoping out the competition, and found a Windows-only program offered by a company called DSF Internet. Many users of Everybuddy had asked for a Windows version of the software, but none of the Everybuddy developers were very familiar with the Windows platform, and so a port had never been completed. This program, MessengerA2Z, seemed to offer all the functionality of Everybuddy for Windows machines. Probably because it was based on Everybuddy's GPL'd code."

"The proof was in the pudding, so to speak. Or at least, the proof was in downloading and installing the Windows version, then running the strings command against their compiled binary. Lo and behold, some of the strings of text included such gems as "Visit the Everybuddy website at http://www.everybuddy.com". Now how did that get in there?"

"Both Slashdot and the developer contacted this company, which is based in New Delhi, India. They initially denied that there was any GPL'd code in their product, but when presented with the evidence, the story changed, and it now seems that they're going to take some action. The final outcome isn't known - perhaps they'll publish the Windows code, perhaps they'll rewrite the whole thing from scratch, perhaps they'll just edit out the Everybuddy references and recompile. <shrug>"

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