Forum: Ruby Aaron Bedra@Relevance Inc fraudulently claiming ownership of BSD licensed code -- how to protect?

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Eceb5a31c67be3331ce165e63de832ad?d=identicon&s=25 Rudi Cilibrasi (Guest)
on 2008-11-30 18:03
(Received via mailing list)
Hi everybody,

I have been programming open source for about fifteen years and have
many projects, including a small contribution to the Linux kernel and
Ruby.  I had the singularly unpleasant experience for the first time
this morning to be notified thru email that somebody has taken one of
the projects I made about six years ago (MPI-Ruby) and removed my name
(and COPYRIGHT info) as well as all other contributing authors.
http://aaronbedra.com/2008/4/18/mpi-ruby-officially-released

http://sourceforge.net/projects/mpiruby          (see, same source
code on sourceforge -- 2003 -- but with my name and the previous
author, E. Ong, removed, as well as the University of Chicago, another
supporter as well as the US Government)

Then he added his own name.  Apparently he is well-known enough to
speak at Rails Conf.  I notice that his company website, Relevance,
describe Aaron's abilities thusly:
---

http://thinkrelevance.com/about

Aaron Bedra

Programmer

Aaron brings the ability to quickly ninja any application.
---

At this point, because Relevance markets their company as "supporting
open source", I wanted to point out that it seems to me they are
actually just removing names, copying, and putting their own names on
other people's work.  This is my experience and it feels like a
violation of open source principles.

http://thinkrelevance.com/open-source

I was surprised that Aaron never even tried to email me and also
surprised that he didn't just add his name to the list of noble
contributors kept in the original source code.  I'd have been fine
with that.   I hope the Open Source community has a plan for how to
defend against fraudulent IP claims and would appreciate any advice.

Best regards,

Rudi Cilibrasi
E22bfc507fcbbd807a7b6519aa9070f7?d=identicon&s=25 Marcelo (Guest)
on 2008-11-30 19:34
(Received via mailing list)
On Sun, Nov 30, 2008 at 10:57 AM, Rudi Cilibrasi <cilibrar@gmail.com>
wrote:

> I was surprised that Aaron never even tried to email me and also
> surprised that he didn't just add his name to the list of noble
> contributors kept in the original source code.  I'd have been fine
> with that.   I hope the Open Source community has a plan for how to
> defend against fraudulent IP claims and would appreciate any advice.

Did you contact him or his company?  If your code is GPLed, you might
get some help from http://www.gpl-violations.org/

Marcelo
8666d1ebabcea440585dfe831a4af9f1?d=identicon&s=25 Brian Adkins (Guest)
on 2008-11-30 19:41
(Received via mailing list)
Rudi Cilibrasi <cilibrar@gmail.com> writes:

> http://sourceforge.net/projects/mpiruby          (see, same source
>
> other people's work.  This is my experience and it feels like a
> violation of open source principles.
>
> http://thinkrelevance.com/open-source
>
> I was surprised that Aaron never even tried to email me

From the following page on Aaron's site:
http://aaronbedra.com/2008/2/1/mpi-ruby-now-availa...

"I tried emailing the people that were in charge of the project
according to the info on the site, but all the emails just bounced
back...If you were part of the original project it would be great to
hear from you. I would love to keep things going and would like to see
what other people are doing with Ruby and MPI."


If someone has in fact removed your copyright notices and name, I can
understand you being very upset; I would feel the same way. However,
may I respecfully suggest you contact Aaron personally (if you haven't
already) rather than continue this in a public forum; you may be able
to resolve things amicably.

It's possible that there was simply an error in judgement rather than
any malicious intent.
Eceb5a31c67be3331ce165e63de832ad?d=identicon&s=25 Rudi Cilibrasi (Guest)
on 2008-12-01 12:42
(Received via mailing list)
Thank you for pointing out that at least there was mention of Emil in
the COPYRIGHT file that Aaron distributed; that is better than
nothing.  It gave me sufficient cause to investigate in greater detail
what has happened. I am now happy to report that I found one of the
critical bug fixing lines that is in mpi_ruby version 0.4 (when I
started contributing) but not in Aaron's fork of the project.  (line
68, mpi_request.c)  This implies that Aaron did not intentionally
remove my name, but instead just started with a an old version of the
project that I inherited from Emil rather than starting with the
updated version that includes critical bug fixes.

If we try Google searching the single word "mpiruby":  This returns
for me, on my first hit at the top, the "main" MPIRuby page as I
understood it for the last ten years:
http://freshmeat.net/projects/mpi_ruby/
The fist main-pane project related link is here:
http://www-unix.mcs.anl.gov/mpi/mpi_ruby/

This gives the accurate history of the project as far as I recall.  I
think probably Aaron and Relevance were actually honest about this all
along (contrary to my earlier implications) but were also a bit remiss
for not websearching enough.  I was just told about this this morning
and the email made it sound like more of an intentional mistake; I now
disagree with this position (copied below) and consider it simply a
fork off an out of date version.  I would like to suggest that we move
forward by first having Aaron try to merge in all his improvements to
mpi_ruby 0.3 into  0.4 branch and make the bigger copyright notice
that includes my name too as well as his and Emil's.  Then, let's list
Emil, Rudi and Aaron as AUTHORS.  If we can do that then I am happy to
give my blessing to Aaron and Relevance to "officially" inherit the
project and I will also forward you the unprocessed patches in my
email box.

Best regards and sorry for the hasty implication,

Rudi

P.S.  Here is the email Bruno sent me that made me think it was
intentional before.
--Bruno Azisaka Maciel
 to cilibrar

show details Nov 28 (2 days ago)

Hey man!

The Ruby MPI project still alive?

The lastest new was published on 2003. I've found a fork of your
project on GitHub (http://github.com/abedra/mpi-ruby/tree/master), but
he, shameless, overwrited your copywrite.

I would like to contribute to your project. If the project is still
alive let me know.

Regards
Bruno Azisaka Maciel
B988f05edd27e18eb63b0c5abfdc113c?d=identicon&s=25 Aaron Bedra (Guest)
on 2008-12-01 13:02
(Received via mailing list)
Rudi,
I started researching Ruby MPI just to see what was available.  The code
I
found must have been the outdated version.  I have been contributing to
opensource software for more than 8 years and would never intentionally
remove anyones efforts or history and hard work on a project.  I would
be
more than happy to work with you on getting the latest bits merged into
the
repository on GitHub and getting the proper credits in place.  Please
feel
free to contact me off list and we can chat about it.  I would also be
more
than happy to add you as a collaborator on the GitHub repo if you are
interested.  I would love to have your feedback on progress going
forward
since you have been involved with the project from what seems to be the
start of it.

Cheers,

Aaron
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