MPAA violates software license

Written by Brett Thomas

February 19, 2007 // 3:03 p.m.

Tags: #forest-blog #mpaa

Everybody knows that the more a person or organisation stands in the spotlight and preaches from a soapbox, the more that it will be scrutinized. The old adage of "People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones" didn't come from nowhere...but perhaps the MPAA should reread several old adages like that. Maybe it could even post the results of that reading on its blog, which is running on pirated software. Oops.

It's not all bad for the MPAA...the blogging software, written by 29 year old programmer Patrick Robin, is actually released freely under the "linkware" license. This means that as long as you don't pay for the software, you simply must keep links back to the program (Forest Blog, for those curious) to help spread the word. If you would like to remove the links, an individual license costs ten quid, and a corporate license is 25. That's all - 25 measley pounds for someone's hard work.

Of course, the MPAA didn't really want to pay 25 quid...and why should it, when the program is available freely? So, it put up the blog - and in an effort not to look like it was using free software, it stripped out every reference to either Mr. Robin or his site, which completely violates the license. Patrick actually discovered the theft on accident, cruising around the net from a link a friend sent him.

The MPAA has taken down its blog for now, but TorrentFreak was nice enough to grab a screencap beforehand. But you don't need the blog - a quick visit to the MPAA website will show you logos and discussion and everything else about why creative content should be respected and how copyrights are important for everyone involved. That is, of course, unless you're bigger than having to pay 25 quid for some poor programmer's paltry software. Oh, the irony.

Personally, I think that Mr. Robin should receive fair compensation for this violation of his intellectual property. As calculated in the **AA tradition, that will be 25 quid for each person who may have witnessed the code posted without those links, times the distance between the earth and the sun, then squared. And if the MPAA goes bankrupt or ceases to exist, then the suit should immediately be passed on to all of the board members' deceased grandparents, who may have somehow allowed this theft to occur by having children in the first place.

Feel free to leave your own calculations (and thoughts on the matter) in our forums.

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