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posted by cmn32480 on Sunday November 06 2016, @11:46AM   Printer-friendly
from the big-blue-going-for-the-kill dept.

Several years ago Platform Computing (now owned by IBM) released an open source version of LSF (Platform Load Sharing Facility) -- their premier software product. LSF is a workload management platform and job scheduler for distributed HPC environments. In recent years that open source product has begun to flourish, and now IBM is using the DMCA in an attempt to erase all progress made on the project since it was first released. I guess if you can't compete, you call your legal team...

As posted on the OpenLava mailing list:

> Hello all, this is David Bigagli the founder of OpenLava, I am writing
> on behalf of the OpenLava project. As some or most of you might have
> noticed the GPL2 OpenLava project is under attack by the IBM
> corporation. The github software repository have been shut down under
> the US DMCA law and now the OpenLava website, hosted
> on Amazon S3, which provides the source code to the latest 4.0 and 3.0
> version will be shut down in the next 24 hours unless the source code
> is removed.
> IBM claims that the versions of OpenLava starting from 3.0 infringe
> their copyright and that some source code have been stolen from them,
> copied, or otherwise taken from their code base.
> I have developed most of the OpenLava code and I have reviewed all
> contributions. All this development was done without access to any
> IBM code. All IBM claims regarding the source code are false and
> fabricated.

Full release from OpenLava is here:

Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Sunday November 06 2016, @06:51PM

    by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Sunday November 06 2016, @06:51PM (#423213)

    While true, that's not much help. Costs of defending yourself against that kind of attack are unreasonably brutal, and even if you win you won't get back the time, effort, and money it cost to defend yourself, but more likely you'll be driven into bankruptcy. If the guy behind this attack isn't immediately canned it will be a blot on the name of IBM forever. And if I don't hear about it, it will be a blot on my image of IBM forever. Even then, if restitution isn't made it will be hard to forgive them....and I don't even know what OpenLava is.

    OTOH, this is just one side of the story. And an adequate public explanation (that I heard and accepted) would also suffice to remove the blot.

    Now this is stated in a very egocentric way, because I see the world through one pair of eyes, as does everyone else. Others will react as they see fit, but I doubt that I'm the only one that will react this way. (Of course most people will ignore this, but the ones IBM needs to consider the most are those who influence purchasing decisions [or leasing]. IBM got a lot of cred with the open source community for the way it handled the SCOX case, this will impair that evaluation.)

    Put not your faith in princes.
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  • (Score: 2) by Anal Pumpernickel on Monday November 07 2016, @02:56AM

    by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Monday November 07 2016, @02:56AM (#423374)

    OTOH, this is just one side of the story. And an adequate public explanation (that I heard and accepted) would also suffice to remove the blot.

    DMCA notices are never justified regardless of the situation, so I'm not sure what they could say to make things better. Maybe that they didn't use the DMCA at all? That seems unlikely.

  • (Score: 2) by driverless on Monday November 07 2016, @12:42PM

    by driverless (4770) on Monday November 07 2016, @12:42PM (#423457)

    OTOH, this is just one side of the story.

    And that's the critical point. So far the one side has said "IBM is claiming copyright on code they never wrote". This seems pretty implausible, an IBM exec doesn't just wake up one morning and decide "hey, let's shut down $random_oss_project with baseless accusations just for the lulz". I'd like to hear the other side of the story before I spend too much time bitching about IBM. I have no affiliation with IBM, just thinking there's got to be a bit more to this story than the SJW version we're hearing now.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 12 2016, @04:33PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 12 2016, @04:33PM (#426070)

      I'm wondering if what happened was that an IBM employee nicked some OpenLava code and claimed they wrote it, it was later spotted that the OpenLava code was the same as their code and IBM assumed the copyright infringement happened the other way round.

      Another explanation is that maybe one of the contributors to the project did take IBM's code and include it in the project. For now I'd take the main author at his word that none of his code is infringing, but how could he be sure that all the contributions aren't?

      Unless the whole project or a large part is infringing, it would certainly have been better if IBM tried to resolve just by getting the infringing part removed by talking to the main author, but at the moment we don't even know that they didn't try.