Pirates vs Ninjas

9 May 2008 by Jeremy WhiteJeremy White
So today, Stefan was helping someone that posted a cry for help on our forums.

In digging a bit further, he discovered that this guy was actively working against us, as you can see by searching for bonkeykong on this pirate site.

So this is like stealing a car from me, then giving the garage door opener in the car to a buddy so the buddy can go to my garage and steal my other car. Then, after he's driven around a bit, he calls me up and asks where to find the gas cap. If I had that much gall, I'd be a much richer man.

It's also terribly amusing that the poster doesn't realize that we essentially give away our work for free, and that there is a straight forward way to get this for free, that has forums where people will help him, and where his willingness to help will in turn be entirely a force for good.

Further, if he wanted to go with CrossOver, we have a free trial, and we offer a money back guarantee (which, if you're a clever Pirate, is a perfect way to get a free copy and annoy us at the same time). Heck, you can sign up to be an Advocate and totally p0wn us!

But no, bonkeykong decided car jacking was his thing.

It hurts a little; people like this seem to assume we're a nameless faceless and therefore somehow 'evil' corporation. We're not. We're people; hard working, overly idealistic, often underpaid people.

Of course, I'm not a stooge for the RIAA. Digital technology changes things; making a copy of a bag of bits is not the same as knocking me over and taking my wallet. bonkeykong isn't going to roast in a circle of hell because of this, although maybe he'll be darned to heck if we're lucky 😊.

And I am adamant that I only want people's money if they are cheerful to give it to us.

But I think it's positive proof that Pirates aren't very bright, so this counts as a point for the Ninjas!



About CodeWeavers
Founded in 1996 as a general software consultancy, CodeWeavers focuses on the development of Wine – the core technology found in all of its CrossOver products. The company's goal is to bring expanded market opportunities for Windows software developers by making it easier, faster and more painless to port Windows software to Mac and Linux. CodeWeavers is recognized as a leader in open-source Windows porting technology, and maintains development offices in Minnesota, the United Kingdom and elsewhere around the world. The company is privately held.

The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.

New Comment

Posted 2008-05-09 14:04
My dad bought CrossOver for my little brother's birthday so he could play Team Fortress on his MacBook. I was trying to install it for him as a surprise, so I tried to get help on the internet by posting at various forums. I would still appreciate any help installing it as it doesn't seem to work.

This is like purchasing a car, giving it to a new driver, teaching them how to drive it-except the car won't start. Then when the car owner goes to get it jump started from a friendly neighbor, the car dealership owner accuses the customer of stealing the car because he doesn't like the neighbor.
Marcus O'Dell
Posted 2008-05-09 18:51
Hmmm, posting on pirating websites.  Who visits those?  Oh yes, Pirates.
Jeremy White
Jeremy White
Posted 2008-05-09 19:19

Actually, we get a fairly steady stream of emails from folks horrified to discover that CrossOver is available at various warez sites.  So it's something we're constantly made aware of.  It bothers some of us more than others. I'm in the not very bothered camp; I know it's something I can't successfully fight, and the irony of a Free Software company fussing about piracy is not lost on me.  I think our job is to continue to improve Wine and to continue to make a good case for folks to contribute to our efforts.

But this particular case just seemed a too juicy to pass up, and I was looking for something to write about anyway...


Kevin J. McVitty
Posted 2008-05-09 21:04
Jeremy, I think you judged this guy a little too quickly. Given the large volume of emails on the subject of piracy you receive, I can understand why you're prone to jump so fast on a guy for trying to get help from a piracy site. And, bonkeykong, I can see why you might call for help from fellow nerds to get a program working, whether it be on the official site or a piracy one. I hope you get it working!
Posted 2008-05-09 21:29
Looks like that belongs in the wine darwin awards.

I did want to suggest if you are looking for things to post on. Maybe take one popular app a week and talk about where it is and where you see it going in x time frame. For example: Itunes currently works but has a couple flaws blah blah and still needs a fix for syncing an ipod and codeweavers expects these bugs to be pretty tricky because blah blah blah.

I would like to see those blah's filled in with some cool updates. Or here's where we are on CS3 and what the big clincher bug is and so on so forth...

To me any progress updates no matter how small are a good boost and place to point to for people that I'm in the process of converting from windows. ;)
Marcus O'Dell
Posted 2008-05-09 23:18
Well you have my support (and $).  Keep up the great work!
Tom Wickline
Tom Wickline
Posted 2008-05-10 04:55
bonkeykong Posted:
the car dealership owner accuses the customer of stealing the car because he doesn't like the neighbor.

If you would have went to the support system, the C4 compat forums, or the mailing list and ask for help.. and not received help, then I might have bought this...
You see this site is FULL of help forums and there is a active mailing list. So even if your not a thief you surly made yourself look like one. :)

Just my $.02

Ryan Martinez
Ryan Martinez
Posted 2008-05-19 16:47
Since Wine is already free and you eventually offer your modifications for free anyway I guess the best way to see this is like a construction job. Sure a future home owner (user) can go get all the materials for a house (Wine) and build it all by his lonesome, but future home owners (Linux [Windows game] gamers) hire people, construction companies (Codeweavers), to do that for them for a reason, they just want to have a house to live in (CrossOver). You do the heavy lifting to tweak Wine for those of us too impatient or inexperienced to do it themselves and you offer it in a neat and user friendly package I can do no less but to praise. Thanks for this. Many other dyed in the wool Linux programmers wouldn't even think to do this because it's beneath them. "Configure Wine like the rest of us!" I think the term "RTFM" is taken tooooooooooo far sometimes for inappropriate things.

I bought CrossOver Games the minute I found out I could play City of Heroes with the only problem being is that the mouse pointer is just a black square. "If that's all, then I'm in" was my thinking.
Posted 2008-05-20 08:00
You have my support too!!
Mathieu Jobin
Mathieu Jobin
Posted 2008-07-01 19:46
other people goes the other way around.
I did not know about the advocate program.
I went to buy your products which I was very excited about before I buy it (5.0)
then I wanted to submit comments and reports, as I am use to do with free software
so I became an advocate, which gave me a free upgrade to pro.
did some testing but I did not have much success with any of the app I wanted to run.

time has past, there isn't so many windows application I need anymore. but maybe one day...
so I keep up with your news...

John Heidingsfelder
Posted 2009-05-03 03:47
I appreciate the venting.  I wish I could do the same about the some people that get help from me.  But, I can't.

I've noticed something, and it's particularly interesting seeing this on an Open Source application blog.  Some lack of understanding, and some lack of courtesy.  Mainly in that order.

There are two premises in conflict here.  One group believes that knowledge is equivalent to planting crops in a field which are tangible and finite objects that can later be sold at market for a price.  The other group believes that knowledge is not a scarce or finite commodity, and that it may be in fact immoral to obscure knowledge for personal gain.  I gather this is the perspective you're imagining for if you are a developer calling a person a pirate.

The purpose of property rights in all their forms and function are to prevent conflict between people over a scarce resource, such as land or food or any finite resource.  1-1=0.  When 1=1, then that isn't property.  

An example of recent intellectual property, consider the Dark Ages, where information was considered only to been given to the noble or religiously ranked in society.  During that time mankind halted in it's progress of invention and understanding of the world around them.  It sucked, and we all suffered because of it.  Yes, even today.  We would technologically now be 500 years ahead if knowledge was not considered property between 400-900AD.

But this isn't what you are angry about(is it?)  The irritation here is not the fact that you put a gui on a project that already existed, and did so with what was freely given to you.  It's that you gave a person your time and labor freely that didn't deserve it in your mind.  I feel for you, and we've all been there.  All people that live off their labor have been in that situation- daily.  I'm sorry, but this is a possibility in every transaction.  It can and does happen to everyone.

In reality knowledge is not a finite resource(no matter what the current laws say), especially in open sourced products(not secret), so I disagree that the greater harm is to share information and then ask your for help with what you modified.  Which is what people in the news today call pirates/ninjas/crackers.  They used to call them librarians.  But whatever the name, that's what they do.

I get paid for the same thing that you get paid for.  Information management and the support of that information.  I don't get paid more for helping idiots or working weekends.  I figure the more idiots I help the less idiots there will be.  It can't hurt.

And after doing this for nearly two decades, I realized that there are only two physical properties to information.  It is either secret or it is not.  And eventually, nothing is secret.  

I agree with you that helping a guy that isn't giving back in the way you think will benefit you is angering.  I get that.  But think a step further.  The open source file that you modified and made better is replicated throughout the world.  People that wouldn't know who you are or what you do would use it and like it.  Many many people.  A few of those many people would then decide to support you that otherwise wouldn't know you from a hole in the wall.  This is more than your website and registered download can accomplish on it's own.  If this wasn't the case, then there would be no reason to replicate it.  There would be no use for a pirate.

But you say you already give it away for free with little effort.  In what language?  On what network?  Is it as easy as clicking a link?  Does it matter?  Your goals are reached faster and more efficiently.

I don't know if this guy asked for support and didn't buy the program, put it on a peer to peer network in guam, or turned coke to pepsi.  It doesn't matter.  The fact is that you helped a guy, which may or may not have helped you craft a better way to do things.  

As for me, I give money to people for their labor if I like what they're doing.  There is nothing more to it than that.  There is no law to govern this other than natural law.  Intellectual property is an oxymoron.  If it was property(which is finite- which means it is secret), nobody would know about it but the owner.  So it is therefore rendered moot.  If a tree falls in a forest and there is nobody to hear it..

Anyhow, I've pissed you off or bored you long enough.  I do want you to know that I do like what you are doing and I am paying you.  Don't sweat helping people that you think don't deserve it.  We're all in the same boat- even the idiots.  We'll get there faster if we give according to our ability.  That's it.  Take care.

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