Thraxis
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:36 pm

RaspBMC vs Xbian = FUD and Slander

Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:48 am

I spent a good amount of time today going over why the Xbian site suddenly went up in smoke. The gist of it seems to be that the Lead of RaspBMC project decided to slander Xbian as part of their announcement of RaspBMC RC 5.

Let's look at the core of his complaint:
It was brought to my attention a couple of weeks ago that someone had posted a Windows installer for XBian in their forum. The theft of code from Raspbmc was quite obvious with identical, but renamed DLLs and the same functions and routines visible.
The problem I see here is that DLL from the installer in question comes from http://www.alexpage.de/usb-image-tool/download/ it is called usbit32.dll and as far as I can tell.

Interesting enough the license.txt file for usbit32.dll includes the following copyright statement:
USB Image Tool 1.59
Copyright (c) 2006-2012 Alexander Beug
And a bit further down in the license:
The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all
copies or substantial portions of the Software.
If you downloaded the RaspBMC windows installer prior to this post you'll notice there is not a usbit32.dll license file included. No is the copyright notice included in the program or readme. Yes he does acknowledge that is where the DLL is from, the same DLL he accused Xbian of stealing from him.

As to the other arguement of Xbian not providing source... Yes they probably should do so... IF they have changed the source files. Even if so, it is the owner of the project (XBMC, etc) who should be demanding that this happen. NOT a competing project.

The outcome of this whole issue is that I personally backed up my Xbian SD image and installed OpenElec. Why? Because I don't feel I can trust a project run by someone who uses underhanded methods to discredit a competitor such as claiming a .DLL that is free for ANYONE to use as their own and publicly accusing the other developer of theft.

rey
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 8:01 am

Re: RaspBMC vs Xbian = FUD and Slander

Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:20 am

I think you have got the gist of it completely wrong but, as always, people are welcome to believe whatever they want.

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RaTTuS
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Re: RaspBMC vs Xbian = FUD and Slander

Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:31 am

I see no reason to bring it here.
I would ask the mods to lock this topic
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Thraxis
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:36 pm

Re: RaspBMC vs Xbian = FUD and Slander

Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:00 am

Actually I have a correction. The DLL in question is part of a package. The license is for the distribution of the entire package. No where on the site where the DLL comes from is there a license for use of the DLL. Nor is there an API or DLL export.

I have posted in the creators forum requesting a licensing clarification for if I wished to distribute software I wrote using just the DLL.

JoeDaStudd
Posts: 274
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:34 pm

Re: RaspBMC vs Xbian = FUD and Slander

Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:11 am

Read through the raspbmc post carefully.
The biggest issue Sam had with the installer was they refused to remove his installer when asked. The Xbian lead guy actually went out his way to reinstate the installer links/posts and if the transcript is correct baited Sam to respond in the way he did every step of the way.
I'm sure the Xbain had removed the links, apologized then asked nicely Sam would have been more then willing to let them have the source as well as helping them set it up.

What happened was like something which happens at a playground.
One child (1) stole another child's (2) toy, then continued to show the stolen toy to the child 2. After child 2 asked nicely for the toy back child 1 continued to show the toy and taunt child 2. When kid 2 finally when and told child 1 ran off and the half of the playground blamed child 2.

Its pretty much what's happening. Sam could have handled it in a far worse way (legal action) however he handled it in the best way he could.
  • Ignoring it would have only left the field open for others or more theft.
  • Legal action would have been overkill.
  • Asking nicely behind closed doors didn't help (as per the transcript).

TomDoe
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:11 pm

Re: RaspBMC vs Xbian = FUD and Slander

Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:20 am

RaTTuS wrote:I see no reason to bring it here.
I would ask the mods to lock this topic
Thats just silly.
We the users would like to discuss the matter and as long as its done in a civil manner there shouldn't be a problem with that.

Thraxis
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:36 pm

Re: RaspBMC vs Xbian = FUD and Slander

Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:35 am

JoeDaStudd wrote:Read through the raspbmc post carefully.
The biggest issue Sam had with the installer was they refused to remove his installer when asked.
Umm... it wasn't his installer.

The installer looked nothing at all like the RaspBMC installer. The only thing the two had in common was the use of the usbit32.dll which at this point I'm not even sure RaspBMC is authorized to use as it doesn't have a license to be used as a library, only one to be distributed with the rest of the items in the USB Disk Imager Tool package.

The place he should have gone to with complaints, questions, etc. is : http://forgottencoders.co.uk/ - The site of the person who created the Xbian Installer.

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malakai
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Re: RaspBMC vs Xbian = FUD and Slander

Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:01 am

You are a bit off they took the source code and compiled it along with the dll and the accusation about the dll is they actually renamed it. The source code is linked on his site

http://www.raspbmc.com/wiki/technical/w ... installer/

It appears that the owner of the dll actually might have written some of the code

quote out of the actual code
USB Image Tool is based on a C# gui and a C++ Win32 interface.
Alexander Beug (http://alexpage.de) has been generous enough to share his I/O routine's API, as well as some comments
His comments have been tidied a bit, also wish to thank Christian Dosti for some translations.
We do not know the relationship between the two but it is not impossible for the dll owner to have given him unlimited use of the dll including not needing a copyright when distributing it. He shouldn't do that but for all we know he did.
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chrisb
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:53 am

Re: RaspBMC vs Xbian = FUD and Slander

Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:04 am

Thraxis wrote: Even if so, it is the owner of the project (XBMC, etc) who should be demanding that this happen. NOT a competing project.
This is incorrect. The GPL states that every recipient of a program has the right to a copy of the source (not just the original author):
"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." - https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/blob/master/LICENSE.GPL

smonkey
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:44 pm

Re: RaspBMC vs Xbian = FUD and Slander

Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:28 pm

I'm not really sure where I stand on this. Obviously the installer violates the GPL but that wasn't created by the XBian team.

As for not making source code available, I'm not certain. If I installed raspbian, cloned the xbmc git repository and compiled it, then made some tweaks to raspbian on the pi (not changing source, just things like changing the SSH server, and removing services), then dumped the image and made it available, where would I stand in terms of the GPL?
In this case there would be no source for me to show to people as I just tweaked an OS, installed XBMC, and released it.

I don't know if XBian is much more than that. I believe that they compiled a kernel for it (and the config would presumably be on the image), and had some python/bash scripts for things like their XBMC addon (which aren't compiled, so technically the source is available). I'm also assuming things like libcec were just cloned and compiled rather than actually modified, so the source is available to anyone who looks on their github.

TomDoe
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:11 pm

Re: RaspBMC vs Xbian = FUD and Slander

Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:42 pm

On that note; does anyone have the latest stable release for Xbian, I dont have access to the disc I had it on and now that the site is down theres no way of getting it.
Can someone upload it to dropbox or something like that and post the link for it?

smonkey
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:44 pm

Re: RaspBMC vs Xbian = FUD and Slander

Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:06 pm

TomDoe wrote:On that note; does anyone have the latest stable release for Xbian, I dont have access to the disc I had it on and now that the site is down theres no way of getting it.
Can someone upload it to dropbox or something like that and post the link for it?
There are links to the latest release and beta patches here:
https://www.facebook.com/xbianrpi/posts/413711932012155

TomDoe
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:11 pm

Re: RaspBMC vs Xbian = FUD and Slander

Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:21 pm

Thanks smonkey, I forgot to look at their FB page, much appreciated mate :)

kintesh
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:36 pm

Re: RaspBMC vs Xbian = FUD and Slander

Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:49 pm

This is so bad. I been using XBian for long time now and I am very happy with it. Rasbmc on the other hand never worked for me. I could not even install because the install over internet is gimmicks. There are many problems with Rasbmc and who come up with this idea of having net install on RPi? Why cant you have images like other distros. I even consider OpenELEC better then Rasbmc!

sam nazarko
Posts: 150
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:05 pm

Re: RaspBMC vs Xbian = FUD and Slander

Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:13 pm

Raspbmc has permission to use the DLL as licensed with Alexander Beug.

I tried to settle this with Koen politely via email but he made it difficult to do so. Granted, it is easy for one to say the blog post was excessive, but unless this had been published, I doubt we would have seen any form of redaction.

Cheers

Thraxis
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:36 pm

Re: RaspBMC vs Xbian = FUD and Slander

Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:42 pm

Are you saying that no other projects have permission to use that .DLL?

Either way where is the appropriate license for the .DLL giving Raspbmc permission to use and distribute it with GPL source code (which if no one else has the right to use that DLL pretty much violates the GPL as your code would be useless without the closed source DLL)

Now as to the USB Image Tool distribution. I'm still waiting to hear back from the programmer as to if using only the .DLL(s) and including the proper MIT License / Change log files would be appropriate use. And will probably suggest he make that point clear on his site.

caravela
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2012 3:47 pm

Re: RaspBMC vs Xbian = FUD and Slander

Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:42 pm

i would like to see what was patched changed in XBMC, because it handles ssa subtitles as normal str, no font applied, no colors, if there is a karaoke style stuff everything is dumped as text. SSA is slow has hell in the PI

smuggly
Posts: 112
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Contact: Website

Re: RaspBMC vs Xbian = FUD and Slander

Sat Sep 22, 2012 1:24 am

This is over a piece of code from a installer? This hardware is all about getting things done better & cheaper. I would throw all of em off the site. Xbian Was good before the installer. The usb tool in question was junk anyway. But whoever stole the code should be punished not Xbian.. Grow up or go work for Microsoft!

castalla
Posts: 558
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:46 pm

Re: RaspBMC vs Xbian = FUD and Slander

Sat Sep 22, 2012 7:43 am

I imagine that I'm like many other end-users. I have no idea what this silly spat is actually about ... nor do I want to wade through convoluted references to GPL, etc. Just call a truce!

Let's get back to where we were with a choice of distros.

chrisb
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:53 am

Re: RaspBMC vs Xbian = FUD and Slander

Sat Sep 22, 2012 8:27 am

Thraxis wrote:Are you saying that no other projects have permission to use that .DLL?
license.txt is in usbit.zip. It does appear to be something close to the "BSD with advertising" or MIT license, but it doesn't explicitly state what the license of derivative works is. Without knowing any more, I would assume that other projects can use it without any further licensing.
Thraxis wrote:Either way where is the appropriate license for the .DLL giving Raspbmc permission to use and distribute it with GPL source code (which if no one else has the right to use that DLL pretty much violates the GPL as your code would be useless without the closed source DLL)
The installer source is in the Raspbmc svn repo. It does not have an included license, so it is not clear if it is meant to be GPL or not. The installer does not include a binary of XBMC itself, so it probably does not form a GPL derivative work. It might have a hardcoded URL, but I'm not sure that would be enough to quality as a derivative work.

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
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Re: RaspBMC vs Xbian = FUD and Slander

Sat Sep 22, 2012 8:55 am

This is nothing to do with the Foundation - please take this elsewhere. Any further posts on the subject will be deleted without warning.
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