The Hijacking Of An Open Source P2P App

from the scammy dept

TorrentFreak has been following the ongoing alleged hijacking of an open source file sharing system called Shareaza. Late in December, somehow a New York-based company (Discordia Ltd.) gained control of the domain name Shareaza.com and put up a new site, though using much of the artwork from the original Shareaza site. Rather than offering up the open source Shareaza software, the new site started offering a subscription service that included adware. To add insult to injury, Discordia has also threatened the real Shareaza developers due to comments in a forum about what to do about the hijackers. The latest news is that Discorida (which TorrentFreak claims has connections to the recording industry) is trying to trademark the Shareaza name, which you would think shouldn't be possible, given that the open source developers were working on the project for a few years before Discordia got access to the domain name. The whole thing sounds like quite a mess in a way that's designed to likely trick users and/or discredit the open source Shareaza project.


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  1.  
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    Le Blue Dude, Mar 3rd, 2008 @ 3:48pm

    .... Wow...

    Seriously, why the heck are Discordia doing something so stupid? I mean that's just about a surefire way to cheese the entire internet off at you, and then some. And since they seem to be involved in a internet app...

    Well, I predict DOS, Malicious hacking, and all sorts of bad-crap happening to Discordia, followed by bankruptcy. I mean, that's almost inevitable. And no, I'm not threatening them: I don't even know enough to script kitty.

     

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  2.  
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    Quantity Surveyor Man, Mar 3rd, 2008 @ 5:13pm

    Re: .... Wow...

    >Well, I predict DOS, Malicious hacking, and all sorts of bad-crap happening to Discordia, followed by bankruptcy. I mean, that's almost inevitable. And no, I'm not threatening them: I don't even know enough to script kitty.

    Amen bro. I wonder how long they have to live? Even if they don't get hacked down to their neurons, they'll be listed in malware guides everywhere in just days.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2008 @ 6:08pm

    Sounds like they are spreading discord.

    What fool named that company ?

     

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  4.  
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    Xanius, Mar 3rd, 2008 @ 6:15pm

    Why the delay in posting?

    It's not really a somehow, in the article it says that the guy that owned the domain can neither confirm nor deny that he sold it to the company. That means he most likely did because if he hadn't then he would say "No, I did not sell them the domain and have no idea how they got it".

    Also, the trademark link points to the wrong link it should be http://torrentfreak.com/scammers-move-to-seize-shareaza-trademark-080302/

     

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  5.  
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    Chris Maresca, Mar 3rd, 2008 @ 6:23pm

    What's really stupid ...

    ... is that they could make FAR more money by using open source as a key part of their strategy. Just look at the valuations of some open source companies sold recently....

    Chris.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2008 @ 7:39pm

    There is more

    Until recently the Shareazza application (the real one) checked the domain that Discordia purchased for updates. The authors never got around to changing it (as far as I know, most people used source forge to get the program and all the talk was going on there anyways).

    Oh and that talk on the forums was not posted by a developer (at least official developer) and while the effect is akin to something illegal (DDOS) it really isn't.

    The suggestion was to make the app "call home" and use the original setting for updates (eg the domain Discordia owns now). In effect it would be a DDOS attack but the funny thing is many programs do this already!

     

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  7.  
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    linuxamp, Mar 3rd, 2008 @ 8:19pm

    I'm no lawyer but this must break at least a few laws. They obviously had intent to deceive. Did the update include a new license to inform the users of the new "features"? Isn't using a prior application to install a new application pretty much a trojan?

     

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  8.  
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    SteveD, Mar 4th, 2008 @ 3:59am

    Re: linuxamp

    You need money to enforce laws or make legal challenges, and the hobbyests who work on the software don't have the finances to take this lot to court.

    The conspiracy theorists claim Discordia is a shell company of some anti-piracy group or at least receiving funding and pointers from them. On the other hand maybe they're just trying to cash in on the filesharing networks. But as Shareaza is normally used for music sharing, how would a company registered in the US manage to make money off it and keep off the RIAAs radar at the same time?

    Its all a bit fishy.

     

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  9.  
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    Dean Landolt, Mar 4th, 2008 @ 7:30am

    F**k it...

    Fork it and rebrand. It shouldn't be hard if they already have a decent community, and it would be a very *Streisand* way to build that community further. Make a stink about your plight, do a name/logo competition and drum up as much chatter as possible...

    It seems to be working for dataportability.org, who just got a c&d from, of all people, Red Hat re: their logo vs. fedora's. It's all quite a mess (the only thing they have in common is the symbol for infinity), but the dataportability group decided it would be more advantageous to turn this into a positive rather than waste resources pissing in the wind.

     

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  10.  
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    Melissa, Apr 8th, 2008 @ 7:09pm

    Shareaza

    I found this link on the CMS Made Simple Forum regarding Shareaza! Please give it a look:
    http://forum.cmsmadesimple.org/index.php?topic=20984.msg102048

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Jim Holder, Mar 26th, 2009 @ 5:17pm

    exospection

    You might find this interesting: www.exospection.org

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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