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Software Patents Linux

CherryOS Goes Open Source 370

Posted by Zonk
from the curiouser-and-curiouser dept.
netsniper writes "The CherryOS website now acknowledges a forthcoming alliance with Open Source Software! After going 'on hold' recently, a re-release of CherryOS is purported to be coming in May according to the site. This is great news on the surface, but let's see how it pans out. This move is probably a result of the many reviews of their product that set out to prove it was bogus."
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CherryOS Goes Open Source

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:55AM (#12164362)
    ..that they are popping their Cherry?
  • by RangerRick98 (817838) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:55AM (#12164363) Journal
    Heh, first time I tried to load this story I got "Nothing for you to see here. Please move along." I can't help but wonder if the CherryOS people might make a similar statement in May when they're supposed to open the source.
    • Re:Nothing to see. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rpozz (249652) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:56AM (#12164373)
      It seems unlikely that they're doing it voluntarily. Maybe they came to an agreement with the people behind PearPC in order to keep the whole thing out of court?
      • Re:Nothing to see. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by RangerRick98 (817838) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:59AM (#12164395) Journal
        Actually, now that I've looked at the site, I can't help but wonder if they're announcing something else entirely. Maybe they mean that the "CherryOS" product is gone, and the cherryos domain is now for some phantom open source project that they plan to create under the name "Cherry" to try to regain some semblance of legitimacy.
        • by kfg (145172)
          Whatever. All I know is that I can't wait to see if I can get it to run on my Phantom gaming console.

          Shit, if that works out I figure I'll go whole hog and create the worlds first vapor super cluster.

          It certainly won't take up much space.

          KFG
      • Re:Nothing to see. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Wolfier (94144) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @09:16AM (#12164511)
        If this is true, then the agreement sucks.

        At the very least, it must include an admission of guilt and a formal apology, or some form of other punitive measures.

        It seems they can *totally* get away with it now, and nobody will even know they did something wrong.

        Don't let it happen.
        • Re:Nothing to see. (Score:3, Insightful)

          by sepluv (641107)
          (Assuming these allegations are true) you have a point; however, the alternative was probably to have a big fight were all the money goes to the lawyers. Most people would prefer criminals remedied their unlawful behaviour as opposed to running them (and possibly those fighting them) into the ground.
    • You must be new here.
  • oh please (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eobanb (823187) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:56AM (#12164374) Homepage
    Oh please. Can this whole shenanigan just end already? By now, it's already been proven beyond any reasonable doubt that CherryOS is a repackaged version of PearPC (google for "spiro multimax 3000"). Arben and MXS are using absolutely any tactic to get attention. He must have a serious ego problem.
    • by nenolod (546272)
      Come on now, it's a repackaged version with pretty graphics!
    • Yep - I'd almost rather read GNAA and Frost Pist trolls than any more product ripoff^Wannouncements from these thieves.

      Come to think of it, CherryOS announcements ARE trolls.

  • It's Easy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CypherXero (798440) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:56AM (#12164375) Homepage
    It's easy. All they had to do in order to avoid all the bad press is to start out with it being Open Source. The GPL states that you can charge for a product, or do whatever you like with it, just as long as your provide the source code. And if you use source code from another project (PearPC), then you have to acknowledge it.

    It was so simple and easy, I don't know why they didn't Open Source Cherry OS from the begining.
    • Re:It's Easy (Score:5, Informative)

      by mikepaktinat (609872) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @09:05AM (#12164425)
      And if you use source code from another project (PearPC), then you have to acknowledge it.

      The problem being that the developer has sworn up and down that he used none of the PearPC code.
    • Yeah, but where's the source? I bet they'll "announce" being open source, but they won't release any of the incriminating evidence!
    • Re:It's Easy (Score:2, Insightful)

      ...there's no such thing as bad publicity...
    • Re:It's Easy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Chris Kamel (813292) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @09:19AM (#12164535)
      Probably because they thought they'd get away with it. Developers tend to think that noone will understand a thing in the inner workings of their applications as long as they protect the sourcecode.
    • Re:It's Easy (Score:2, Insightful)

      by a16 (783096)
      And of course the first 'customer' has full rights to distribute the product for free as they wish. Hence why 'selling' a 100% GPL product is never going to be a wise business move.
      • Re:It's Easy (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jb.hl.com (782137) <joe@joe-b[ ]win.net ['ald' in gap]> on Thursday April 07, 2005 @09:39AM (#12164685) Homepage Journal
        Hence why 'selling' a 100% GPL product is never going to be a wise business move.

        Which is why Red Hat crashed and burned all those years ago.

        Obviously.
      • Re:It's Easy (Score:3, Interesting)

        by raynet (51803)
        It all depends on who you sell the GPL product to and for what price. If the customer is a individual and price is 25euro, your source code will probably 'leak' to the world. But if you sell it to some company with price tag of 10.000euro, the company probably won't share the source code with anyone because they don't want their competitors get the software they paid for.
    • by elgatozorbas (783538) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @10:47AM (#12165325)
      It was so simple and easy, I don't know why they didn't Open Source Cherry OS from the begining.

      Because someone would copy it and call it Banana OS?

    • Re:It's Easy (Score:3, Informative)

      by mrwiggly (34597)
      And if you use source code from another project (PearPC), then you have to acknowledge it.

      Actually, this is not a requirement. Remember that a similar attribution clause (the so-called "advertisement clause") in the BSD license made it incompatible with the GPL.

  • how lies work... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jhealy (91456) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:58AM (#12164384)
    If your friend lies to you, and then comes clean... you maybe forgive them, but you never really respect them all that much, because you know they can lie to your face.
    CherryOS will never look that cool to any of us, because they only came clean because of being caught in a lie.
  • by BabyDave (575083) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:58AM (#12164385)

    s/demand/threats of legal action/

    It would be funny if the OSS release proved that it wasn't a rip-off of PearPC. Unlikely, but funny.

    • I think it would be great if someone buys "OFFICIALCHERRYOS.COM" (available) and forks their code and calls the new project "The Official CherryOS".

      Their being a relative term.
      • Re:Even funnier... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Ciaran_H (579351) *
        That brings up an interesting point, actually. The website talks about it being an open source project, and they use the GNU logo on the page. From this, people can reasonably assume that it'd be GPL. But I don't think it actually says anywhere that it'd actually be GPL. They could have another trick up their sleeve

        Obviously, as PearPC is GPL, legally CherryOS would have to be GPL, so I could be on an entirely wrong track here, but is there a form of open source license that prohibits forking?
        • Re:Even funnier... (Score:3, Insightful)

          by neurojab (15737)
          but is there a form of open source license that prohibits forking?

          Prohibiting forking is against the spirit of the GPL. Part of the beauty of open source is that you CAN fork a project to give it your unique features... but you have to allow access to your changes to GPL code to the original author, so they can incoroporate them if they like them. Sometimes what begins as a fork overtakes the original project. This is what makes open source projects greater than the individual that started them. I fo
  • Delay Tactic (Score:3, Insightful)

    by crypto55 (864220) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:58AM (#12164390)
    It seems like this is all just a delay tactic for CherryOS to get it's code in line. I'm surprised that they didn't stay on hold for a while longer to gain more time. As far as the "Due to Overwhelming Demand," that's ridiculous. The entire OSS community has been up in arms about their crap. This is just them trying not to get sued, although it would be hilarious if they were actually legit... no comments there
    • It won't happen (Score:3, Interesting)

      by CdBee (742846)
      The creators of PearPC have withdrawn MXS' right to use their code (The GPL allows for this, apparently), due to prior illegal use thereof..
  • Ummm... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DoubleDangerClub (855480) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:59AM (#12164391) Homepage
    I'm confused, PearPC is already open source...
    *scratches head*
    Oh well, I guess they finally realized, if you can't beat them, join them.
    This whole CherryOS thing has been completely stupid. Why do people think they can slap a different name on something and sell it, when it's already free?
    • Re:Ummm... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by rpozz (249652) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @09:01AM (#12164405)
      There were some absolute bastards who registered azureus.org a while ago (seems to have changed now), and offered a version of Azureus which came bundled with spyware. Hopefully this sort of practice of exploiting free/open software doesn't become too popular.
      • Re:Ummm... (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        It seems to be a popular tactic, especially in the P2P world.

        Shareaza suffers from this a lot: this free, open source application has been rebranded under a lot of different names (Etomi, bt86, etc.). Some sell the application (they actually sell 'support', if you read the fine print, with the 'support' being a copy of the Shareaza wiki), some bundle spyware with it, most do both.

        Limewire suffers from that too, and eMule probably too.

        They get users by paying for google ads that come up when you search fo
    • Why not? There's nothing in the GPL against charging for it. All they would be doing is complying with the GPL by making the source available. They can still charge for the binary version with the manual and the box and the logo. There are plenty if non technical windows users who want to try out MacOS X who would pay.
  • by The New Andy (873493) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:59AM (#12164396) Homepage Journal
    From the GPL:

    4. You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Program except as expressly provided under this License. Any attempt otherwise to copy, modify, sublicense or distribute the Program is void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License. However, parties who have received copies, or rights, from you under this License will not have their licenses terminated so long as such parties remain in full compliance.

    Does this mean that CherryOS has already lost their license to use the source code from PearPC?

    • by Drantin (569921) * on Thursday April 07, 2005 @09:29AM (#12164601)
      Yes, actually. Remember nmap vs SCO?
    • Does this mean that CherryOS has already lost their license to use the source code from PearPC?

      OK, but can I get the source for Pear, call it BananaOS, rerelease it, and let Cherry use Banana instead? Seems like an endaround to me. Anything to prevent that?

    • by ari_j (90255)
      It's merely a question of enforcement. Your license to the software under the GPL is terminated when you violate this term, so any further use that would require a license is now copyright infringement instead of licensed use. The question is whether you are going to get sued for the copyright infringement.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:59AM (#12164397)
    The developer of the Altivec emulation (the one who was collecting money for a lawsuit) has already revoked their rights to his code. Even if they try to open source they still have problems as they are now dealing with copyrighted code.
  • Thank you (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 07, 2005 @08:59AM (#12164400)
    I for one wish to thank CherryOS developers for being so generous to give the fruits of their so hard work to the community.
  • by ardor (673957) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @09:01AM (#12164411)
    This move is probably a result of the many reviews of their product that set out to prove it was bogus.

    1. Say Windows XP/Longhorn is bogus
    2. Wait for them to release it as Open Source
    3. ???
    4. Profit!!!
  • by Anita Coney (648748) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @09:02AM (#12164412) Homepage
    They're only admitting it now.
  • Can they do this? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by strider44 (650833) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @09:04AM (#12164419)
    Can they just open source their "project" now? Is it not too late? Hasn't several developers permanantly revoked the GPL license from CherryOS so they can never use their code?
    • If it's on an older code base with a licence that wasn't restricted to them, I don't see why not. I'm guessing their source code is at least 5-6 months old and they've done a good bit of string replacement in the code.
    • by benjcurry (754899)
      I think it is too late, but once they come out with the source code, it can be clearly demonstrated that they used PearPC code, then they'll be fscked.
    • well, the cherryos guy lives in alternate universe it seems anyways so finding any logic kinda hard.
    • Well, but everyone has the right to sublicense the code to everyone else, as long as it's done under the GPL again. So it suffices if they find one third party who has a valid license and gives them the code again under the GPL. Or did I miss something?
      • Quite obviously you did:

        4. You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Program except as expressly provided under this License. Any attempt otherwise to copy, modify, sublicense or distribute the Program is void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License. However, parties who have received copies, or rights, from you under this License will not have their licenses terminated so long as such parties remain in full compliance. (copy-pasted from another post)

        They have vi
    • Re:Can they do this? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by temojen (678985)
      As their project was a GUI wrapper for PearPC, they can open source the wrapper, but they can't distribute PearPC with it because their license has been revoked.
  • by dangitman (862676) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @09:06AM (#12164432)
    In today's other top stories, Fox News just went liberal, and hired Al Gore as their director of programming. Michael Moore also decided to become a warblogger, and said he was wrong about everything he said about the Bush administration.
    • You forgot: Microsoft releases Windows XP under the GPL. The RIAA officialy declares that DRM was the wrong thing and stops sueing file downloaders, who reply instantaneously by paying for all songs they downloaded via P2P. SCO redraws their lawsuite against IBM. And the congress passes a law which voids all software patents.

      Ah, and before I forget it: Did you hear that the temperature in hell has fallen lately? Climate scientists predict it to freeze over in a few years.
  • YES!

    I can finally breathe again!
  • Good luck (Score:3, Funny)

    by Underholdning (758194) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @09:08AM (#12164444) Homepage Journal
    Hope this goes better than Cherry Coke.
  • by Wolfier (94144) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @09:09AM (#12164453)
    It smells more like a half-assed effort to calm down legal threats than anything.

    The moment you see their words "popular demand" you know they're STILL trying to lie and get away with something.
  • If it's GPL this is actually legitimate. They're saying it's a code fork I guess...

    Wow.
    Months of FUD and a version of PearPC with a few superficial modifications! What a contribution to open source!

    Somehow I doubt this will be a very successful fork, as the PearPC developers are probably not opposed to incorporating any real change.
    • Re:Open sourced how? (Score:2, Informative)

      by mr.mighty (162506)
      It is not legitimate. By violating the GPL previously, they lost their rights under the GPL. Now they have no right to use the PearPC code unless the owners of that code explicitly give them permission. If they continue, even if they open source it, they are guilty of copyright violation.

      What do you suppose the odds of that happening are?
      • Legally, you're right, but to block distribution would go against the intent of the GPL which is to ensure that derivative works are themselves free software. As CherryOS have capitulated, it clearly serves that intent better to give them permission. This is, after all, a success for the GPL.
  • I bet you that their Open Source project will just be a part of CherryOS and not the whole application.

    Ìt will ressemvle at a simple SDK so that software developers could somehow use some part of CherryOS.

    If CherryOS was really programmed by XMS (Which I REALLY doubt), then a company would never just abandon a project like that. You don't abandon a program that you've used a lot of time and money to program.

    Time will tell...
    Time will tell...
  • by pklong (323451)
    You're too late. April 1st was ages ago.....
  • Does it really matter to the common user that wants to run OSX on their windows box? I'm sure they're still going to charge for it. Most people don't know the difference between open and closed source software.

    They tried to pull a fast one, the OS community caught them, and now, what are the consequences?
  • by StateOfTheUnion (762194) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @09:26AM (#12164574) Homepage
    On the first link of the topic, Cherry OS's website, there is a GNU image from the FSF . . .

    Can Cherry OS put that on their website? Because they've alledgedly packaged up GPL software and sold it as their own closed source software, would the FSF allow them to use one of their trademarks?

    I am surprised by this behavior and chalk it up to what appears to me to be blatant disregard for GPL and the law.

  • by koehn (575405) * on Thursday April 07, 2005 @09:55AM (#12164829)
    I guess the threat of legal action can be pretty "overwhelming."

    Of course, they've already lost their rights to distribute under the GPL (once you've violated the GPL, you lose all distibution rights, even if you come clean), so the PearPC folks could still legally enjoin them from distributing even in open source form.
  • by CDarklock (869868) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @09:56AM (#12164849) Homepage Journal
    Assume the project starts up and hires some fly-by-night guy to design and build this system. He promises he can do it in four months for X amount of money.

    This guy tries like hell to build the project, but gets stymied by some stuff. So he downloads PearPC and tries to figure out what he's doing wrong.

    Eventually, he figures out that what he did wrong was promise something that nobody could deliver, so he panics and starts mucking around in PearPC to conceal its origin.

    When the deadline hits, he sends them his "obfuscated" version of PearPC and collects his check. He runs off into the night hoping nobody ever finds out.

    Meanwhile, the completely innocent company puts this project up for sale. The open source community raises hell. The company goes "OMG! WTF?" and yanks it off the market.

    After some examination, the company decides that the only possible way to recover from this (according to their lawyers) is to GPL the project. Since it qualifies as a work made for hire, they own all the rights to the non-PearPC code, so they can license *that* however they like.

    Just playing devil's advocate. Maybe the big bad company isn't the villain here; maybe it's just one crappy little ass-hat developer.
    • by drew (2081)
      while theoretically possible, it doesn't make the company any more respectable in my eyes, as they swore up and down that the entire project was written in four months by their lead developer, who has shown a blatent disregard for the GPL several times on the past.
    • by saddino (183491) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @10:40AM (#12165257)
      That was my initial impression as well, but that is clearly not the case. As the developer, Arben Kryesiu has been extremely vocal about his "creation" of CherryOS and has granted many interviews proudly describing his "inspiration" to write CherryOS -- hardly a "fly-by-night" developer who got caught up in a lie and skipped town after delivering a bogus product.

      The "company" that owns CherryOS, Maui-X Stream, has the following in their bio:

      Jim Kartes is the president of Maui-X Stream. He and Arben Kryesiu started the company in the winter of 2003.

      So, this publicity hounding "developer" is a also co-founder of the company, and hence: the company is not an innocent player in all of this.
  • by rincebrain (776480) on Thursday April 07, 2005 @10:22AM (#12165093) Homepage
    The company site has removed CherryOS from their product listings.

    http://www.mxsinc.com/ [mxsinc.com]
  • by GoRK (10018) <johnl&blurbco,com> on Thursday April 07, 2005 @11:45AM (#12165883) Homepage Journal
    This dude should have kept a low profile from the start. He has been ripping of OSS Projects for years. CherryOS is only his latest victim. MXS has already pulled PDF Creator after it was shown to be a total ripoff of opensource, and their "flagship product" the VX30 java/web/video/whatever thing rips code from the following projects according to an analasys by 'eventhorizon' on the pearpc.net boards. These packages were all found by examining text strings, so there likely could be many more libraries, etc. that the strings have been stripped from.

    XviD
    MplayerC (windows gui frontend)
    FileDropListCtrl (no credit was given)
    DEFLATE code
    Inflate code
    JOrbis
    LAME

    Arben et al are lately trying to hide the stolen code by packing the executables via UPX or some similar or slightly modified PE compressor, so the analasys is being done on memory dumps of the binaries after decompression.

    Their VX30 products are priced from $1,000 up. Oddly enough, the VX30 product actually seems to work pretty well. At least in this particular case, it's a shame that with little more effort and perhaps the choice of a couple different libraries and methods of writing their application that could have legally produced and sold this product... at least until people find more stolen code in it :)

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