SoundTells Reader application
David A. Desrosiers
desrod at gnu-designs.com
Fri Jun 30 16:42:57 CEST 2006
It has come to our attention that you are using our software in your
"SoundTells" PalmOS products, distributed and sold to the public.
While we support and encourage the spread and sale of our software, we
do not encourage the violation of the licensing that binds our software,
in this case the GNU General Public License, or GPL.
One of your downloadable "Trial" versions is called "AcuPressure",
and ships with a recompiled version of our viewer and our compression
library, but lacks the proper licensing to do so.
You are required by the GPL to grant the users the same rights you were
granted by downloading the software, in this case the Plucker viewer
and distiller components. You are also required to ship the software
with the proper license file included (in this case, the file called
COPYING, which you received when you downloaded Plucker for your
Your AcuPressureGuideTrialPalm.exe installer places several files into
the user's Windows environment, one of these is named "eula.txt".
Volume in drive C has no label.
Volume Serial Number is 04D8-6A6D
Directory of C:\Program Files\SoundTells\AcuPressure
06/30/2006 09:56a <DIR> .
06/30/2006 09:56a <DIR> ..
03/21/2006 09:56p 106,720 AcuPressureGuide.pdb
05/02/2004 01:18p 5,005 eula.txt
06/30/2006 09:56a 746 install.log
06/04/2004 05:11p 502 readme.txt
02/22/2006 07:30p 31,226 SysZLib.prc
05/16/2006 11:16a 248,008 viewer_en.prc
6 File(s) 392,207 bytes
2 Dir(s) 471,828,896,768 bytes free
This End User License Agreement states that the software is owned by
SoundTells and that the user is limited to one copy of the program for
LIMITED USE LICENSE: SoundTells and its suppliers grant you the
right to use one copy of the Program for your personal use only.
The Program is owned by SoundTells as set forth in the Program
or associated documentation and is protected by United States
copyright laws and international treaties. All rights not
expressly granted are reserved by SoundTells.
While you are correct, this software is protected by US Copyright Law,
the law resides on our side, as we have a registered copyright on the
software you are shipping and selling, while you do not.
This clause you've added to the "eula.txt" file puts you in posssible
violation of several sections of the GPL, as paragraph 4 of the GPL
"For example, if you distribute copies of such a program,
whether gratis or for a fee, you must give the recipients all
the rights that you have. You must make sure that they, too,
receive or can get the source code. And you must show them
these terms so they know their rights."
You have not done any of these things. Your claim that the software is
owned by you is also known as "False designation of origin", a potential
Lanham Act violation.
Section 5 states:
5. You are not required to accept this License, since you have not
signed it. However, nothing else grants you permission to modify
or distribute the Program or its derivative works. These actions
are prohibited by law if you do not accept this License.
Therefore, by modifying or distributing the Program (or any work
based on the Program), you indicate your acceptance of this
License to do so, and all its terms and conditions for copying,
distributing or modifying the Program or works based on it.
Section 7 states:
"..If you cannot distribute so as to satisfy simultaneously your
obligations under this License and any other pertinent
obligations, then as a consequence you may not distribute the
Program at all."
You have distributed a compiled binary version of our viewer application
to the public, which is based on the GPL, and built with sources covered
under the GPL, however I do not see any offer for sources or proper
licensing mentioned anywhere on your website or in your installer or in
any of these installed files. I cannot determine what, if any, changes
you have made to the viewer components, though the md5sums do not match
with our version of the same number. The viewer you ship is not v1.8 of
our viewer, as the md5sums do not match with our public release.
If I am in error, please point me to the publically accessible links to
clear up this confusion, because I am unable to find it and your
installer must have forgotten to put that file in place, and mistakenly
put your "eula.txt" file there instead. I have made a complete copy of
your website, including all links, to be sure I did not miss anything.
In short, you are relicensing code for which you have no right to
relicense, and you are adding additional restrictions on the end-users
of this code (our viewer, our Palm application) which is clearly
forbidden by the license which you agreed to abide by when you started
selling and distributing this code. You do not provide any means or
mechanism to obtain the sources for the modifications you may have made
to the viewer application.
I look forward to working with you to clear up this "mistake" on your
Thank you for your time.
David A. Desrosiers
desrod gnu-designs com
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