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Someone had their vbulletin license revoked for moral reasons only

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by 30k Challenge, Dec 23, 2006.

  1. #1
    This is very disturbing. While I don't personally agree with the content the revocation of license by the software provider is as ridiculous as it is scary.

    http://www.hongfire.com/

    And this is the text between PirateReports.Com and the board administrators.
    http://www.hongfire.com/vbulletin.txt
    SEMrush
    What is especially alarming is the advice given by Howard of Pirate Reports during the exchange. He suggested the administrators remove offending posts. I wonder if he took into consideration the legal problems that are created when a site owner chooses to moderate some posts. This makes them responsible for all content on the site rather than the person posting it even if they just happened to not see it.
     
    30k Challenge, Dec 23, 2006 IP
    SEMrush
  2. 30k Challenge

    30k Challenge Peon

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    #2
    This is what the site has published that is said to have been included in the exchange.

    Howard G Spinks
    Dec 21st '06 02:18pm

    Hello

    The matter is not up for debate as you can either remove the morally devoid items as requested, or take your activities to another software.

    You have had time to act as requested and I am having your license revoked under the Jelsoft Acceptable Use Policy and continued use of the software will be illegal and will result in your forum being deleted by your network.

    I assure you that my 35 years in law enforcement have not been wasted as you appear to be insinuating.


    Regards

    Howard G Spinks
    Jelsoft Licensing & Anti Piracy Agent

    www.piratereports.com
     
    30k Challenge, Dec 23, 2006 IP
  3. Austars

    Austars Active Member

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    #3
    Yea I just saw this on digg, its ridiculous.
     
    Austars, Dec 23, 2006 IP
  4. 30k Challenge

    30k Challenge Peon

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    #4
    I've got one for you Pirate Reports

    www.gofuckyourself.com

    They have all kinds of material most would find morally wrong. Revoke them and let us laugh at the legal precedings when they sue. Pretty please?
     
    30k Challenge, Dec 23, 2006 IP
  5. 30k Challenge

    30k Challenge Peon

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    #5
    30k Challenge, Dec 23, 2006 IP
  6. saadahmed007

    saadahmed007 Admínistratör

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    #6
    Yep, even my friend 2 vbulletin licenses cancelled becuase he allowed users to post ebooks on forums..wtf.Anyway he is on IPB now..
    Saad
     
    saadahmed007, Dec 23, 2006 IP
  7. 30k Challenge

    30k Challenge Peon

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    #7
    It looks like the vbulletin developers have a different view than the company representing them.

    This is taken from a post on the vbulletin forums regarding this issue and was made by a vbulletin developer with forum name Freddie Bingham.

    "Considering that it is Saturday and tomorrow is Christmas Eve, it is going to take a few days before we can straighten all of this out. Please be assured that we are not going to start policing our customer's forums and revoking licenses because we do not agree with questionable content that is contained within."

    http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/showthread.php?p=1275652
     
    30k Challenge, Dec 23, 2006 IP
  8. saadahmed007

    saadahmed007 Admínistratör

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    #8
    Yep, even i think then users will use nulled vb instead of registered one since they dont want thier money/license to be wasted! :mad:
    Saad
     
    saadahmed007, Dec 23, 2006 IP
  9. sanlands

    sanlands Active Member

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    #9
    They refund their money so they're not losing any. Jelsoft just doesn't want to associate themselves with that sort of material. They have the right to refuse service.
     
    sanlands, Dec 23, 2006 IP
  10. routed11

    routed11 Peon

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    #10
    routed11, Dec 24, 2006 IP
    30k Challenge likes this.
  11. Piratereports

    Piratereports Guest

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    #11
    The same posters using half the facts and misinformation to press a point.

    Just so you can at least get something right, I DO NOT HAVE THE CAPABILITY TO REVOKE ANY VB LICENSE NOR DID I REVOKE THIS ONE.
     
    Piratereports, Dec 25, 2006 IP
  12. DishsanKshar

    DishsanKshar Peon

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    #12
    I've been following this on both VB forum, Hongfire and another site and figured i'd throw in my 2p worth.

    Firstly as to the legality of the material. I asked my wife about this since she is a social worker who specialises in child abuse. While like most people she found the loli content to be disgusting, she confirmed that as the law stands in the UK at the moment, it is not illegal.

    The current law on loli in the UK is under review and will most likely be altered sometime next year.

    As for the poll on incest, yes incest is illegal, however that applies to the ACTION, not the discusion of. So a poll on incest on a forum would not be illegal.

    As for this supposed AUP that your claiming they're in breech of, this has been proven false already by VB themselves:

    Who said we had an AUP? I certainly never said that.

    What we have is the license agreement.


    The above is a quote taken from the Hongfire thread of the VB forum by Customer Service Manager Steve Machol.

    So that imediatly casts a shadow over the revoking of a license, how can they be in breech of something that dosent exist??

    Now, i found the above comment rather funny:
    This may be factually true, but in reality its a lie. When you pass along information that a sites license should be revoked VB most likely just actions it, trusting in the belief that you've dont your job right and that there is a genuine reason. So they dont check every single one that comes through.

    So while you may not be the actual person that revokes a license, you are responsible.

    The company i work for uses an out sourced company for our licenses on the software we produce, and at the times we recieve word from them a user has breeched the contract we inform them that their license is revoked. We dont verify every one we recieve, since thats why we hired an out side company, we trust them to do their job.

    Just because you feel a sites material is morally wrong dosent give you justification to revoke a license, not unless you are planning on revoking the license of all such sites, and after just a few brief searches i found a number of sites using the VB software that i personally found more morally wrong than Hongfire.

    The problem here however lies in the moral issues, if you revoke a hentaisite simply because you found it morally distasteful, where does it end. Would you later revoke a pagan sites license just because they're pagan and you're christian and find them morally objectionable.

    Once you go down that road you're on the road to the end, the press gets invollved and once they're on a roll nothing stoips them. They could all but ruin the company by the time they're through.

    As has been pointed out on the VD forum all hell has broken loose over this and a number of other sites have picked up on it, as well as some smaller enewspapers that cover such things.

    Over all though, the fact that you claimed breech of a nonexistent AUP to revoke a license gives rise to a lot of questions, such as have you done this to other sites?, will you do it again?, and what will the backlash be?

    I currently have 5 VB licenses for 5 forums, im wondering if i should be concerned over someone deciding im morally in the wrong and revoking them.

    Oh, and before i go, for the record i agree with you Spinks, i also found the material of hongfire morally wrong, however it isnt legally wrong.

    Also you have to give the person whose license your revoking ample time to make back ups and stuff, not 2 says, usually its 30 days.

    But, meh, i'm interested in how this ends

    EDIT:

    Seems Jelsoft thinks Spinks was in the wrong and have reinstated hongfires license:

    Good for them, both Hongfire and VB
     
    DishsanKshar, Dec 25, 2006 IP
  13. joeychgo

    joeychgo Notable Member

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    #13


    Ok - - So, just to clarify --- You didnt revoke their license -- so who did? Jelsoft seems to be saying they dont revoke licenses for this kind of activity. Further they say they dont have an Acceptable Use Policy, which you apparantly claimed in your email.

    Also, I just found this:



    SO -- who did what to whom? Straighten us out.. This should be a simple thing to do....
     
    joeychgo, Dec 25, 2006 IP
  14. Icheb

    Icheb Peon

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    #14
    For me this looks like some bored guy with a grudge who wants to go after Jelsoft for whatever reason.
    I have seldomly seen a company that's more professional than Jelsoft and I'd like to see some evidence that this stuff actually happened besides mere finger pointing by one guy.
     
    Icheb, Dec 25, 2006 IP
  15. aeiouy

    aeiouy Peon

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    #15
    That was my first guess, someone else is trying to stir up trouble.
     
    aeiouy, Dec 25, 2006 IP
  16. Alvin

    Alvin Notable Member

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    #16
    Its like Microsoft saying "We are canceling your license because you were watching "PORN" on the net using your P.C (with windows ofcourse)

    To. Jelsoft people

    Please concentrate and bust people that are using illegal copies of your software. not on the content people have on their forums.... * THIS IS NOT YOUR JOB*
     
    Alvin, Dec 25, 2006 IP
  17. Icheb

    Icheb Peon

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    #17
    Let's not fuel this any more until we have some evidence that this ACTUALLY HAPPENED.
     
    Icheb, Dec 25, 2006 IP
  18. slipxaway

    slipxaway Active Member

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    #18
    This seems like a cop out to me. A company may outsource this type of work, because they don't want to spend the time to search the entire Internet looking for violators. I understand that completely. But if that outsourced company comes to you and says that a person breeched the contract, wouldn't you want to know how? And possibly a link to verify it before ending a relationship with a customer? Maybe there are companies out there who are lazy, but that doesn't mean that they all operate that way and I can't imagine that it would help their image in any way.
     
    slipxaway, Dec 25, 2006 IP
  19. ablaye

    ablaye Well-Known Member

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    #19
    What happens when vBulletin revokes your license??
    You bought the script and installed it on your server. What can they do??
     
    ablaye, Dec 25, 2006 IP
  20. DishsanKshar

    DishsanKshar Peon

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    #20
    Not really, we're a small company trying to fight big companies, as such we dont want to be spending time checking every single license that comes through.

    At our last review it showed we were issuing on average around 1000 licenses per month over the last half year, with an average of 100 licenses being revoked over the same period for various reasons. Of those, 25 were randomly verified and the rest let through.

    The company gave the out sourced company a set criteria to follow when revoking a license (i have no idea which, im not in managment). From what im told if the licensing company dosent adhere to those, and revokes a license wrongly, they can lose the licensing contract.

    I'm not 100% how it works, since im not on the managment, however what i do know is that every member (includingthe managers) work on the floor coding with the rest of us. It's the only way we can effectivly beat the bigger companies, undercutting them in both price and time. Down side is by the end of a contract we're usually all pretty worn out.

    With software like this (VB) they probably have 1000's of violations coming through, and its realisticly impossible to verify them all. Yes they'd request links and proof of violations, but for the most part they'd just prpcess them, taking random ones to verify for 'quality control'. It's only when something like this happens and there's an out cry, that flaws in the system become apparent.

    Also we handle complintsdifferently (since we're a small company we can be more hands on when its needed) For example if we revoked a license for one of our databases, the client would complain (naturally), and then we'd physically investigate. However we'd finish it all in one day, even if it meant over time. We dont believe in the 'customer is always right' but we do believe in putting them first. In the 4 years we've been in business we've had 20 complaints over license revokes, of those only 2 were found to be wrong, 1 was the clients fault for not reporting stolen software, and the other was a computer glich in the out sourced company.

    But, all that said, this is moot now since spink has been over turned and Jelsoft has given Hongfire their license back, though i'll be interested to see if they're allowed to renew that license when it expires. Thats the quiet way of revoking a license, let it run it term and then refuse the renewal request.

    Not alot really lol. Firstly they'll request you remove the software yourself giving you a time limit (usually around 30 days). If after that time you haven complied they'll contact your host and inform them your license has been revoked and that you've refused to remove the software.

    Your host will then request (if they havent recieved it already) proof of the license revocation, and then kill the forum for them. I think if they refuse then the host can be sued aswell.

    Depending on your host you may at that point find not just the forum but your entire site gone aswell. My host has a clause in the T&C about using crack/hacked or illegal software on the site. If its reported and verified i wont just lose the site, they'll delete my entire account and wont allow me to have another.

    I'm starting to look at free forum software now after this, SMF looks okay, has similar features as VB especially if you add some of the other addons that are available.
     
    DishsanKshar, Dec 25, 2006 IP