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iPhone Application infringes on Bulbapedia license

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Archaic

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This is something that came to our attention at the start of this month. We've tried playing nice, and they don't seem to be interested, so now we're releasing this information to the wider community. I'm sure you're all as unhappy about this as I am.

http://studiobebop.net
Application is "Pokedex App" on the iTunes App Store.

My email exchange with them below.

Archaic - October 4th (Australian local time)
Hello,

My name is Liam Pomfret, a.k.a. "Archaic", webmaster of Bulbagarden and the Bulbapedia. I am writing to inform you that your application, while a welcome and worthwhile addition to the iPhone of any Pokémon fan, is currently in violation of Bulbapedia's Creative Commons license (viewable at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/), specifically in regards to the non-commercial portion of that license. If you would be interested in continuing your application as a non-commercial free project, our editorial team on Bulbapedia would be interested in working together with you to help continue to improve the application for the Pokémon fan community. Under such an arrangement, we would be prepared to allow the application to be branded as Bulbapedia's official application for the iPhone (with potential eventual expansion to other wiki's in the Encyclopaediae Pokemonis network - http://www.encyclopaediae-pokemonis.org/), together with recognition, linkbacks, etc, from Bulbapedia and Bulbagarden.

Kind regards,
Liam Pomfret
Studio Bebop - October 6th (US local time)
Good morning Liam,

I'm afraid you are mistaken in your claim that the Pokedex App is violating your creative commons license. When someone purchases the Pokedex App, they are not purchasing access to Bulbapedia, nor are they purchasing any of the information hosted on Bulbapedia. Instead, they are purchasing a tool that streamlines and organizes the information one accesses from Bulbapedia, and presents it in a more refined, user-friendly fashion. Studio Bebop is NOT charging or collecting a royalty for your work, but is merely providing an additional method by which people can access the Bulbapedia database.

So for the moment, the Pokedex App will remain a commercial application. If you have any more questions or concerns, please let me know.

Best regards,

Brandon Smith
Archaic - October 7th (Australian local time)
Hello Brandon,

I'm afraid to inform you that your interpretation of the Creative Commons license is incorrect.

Following are relevant sections from the legal code of our license agreement, with several important sections highlighted.
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/legalcode

1. b) "Derivative Work" means a work based upon the Work or upon the Work and other pre-existing works, such as a translation, musical arrangement, dramatization, fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording, art reproduction, abridgment, condensation, or any other form in which the Work may be recast, transformed, or adapted, except that a work that constitutes a Collective Work will not be considered a Derivative Work for the purpose of this License. For the avoidance of doubt, where the Work is a musical composition or sound recording, the synchronization of the Work in timed-relation with a moving image ("synching") will be considered a Derivative Work for the purpose of this License.

3. License Grant. Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, Licensor hereby grants You a worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, perpetual (for the duration of the applicable copyright) license to exercise the rights in the Work as stated below:

a. to reproduce the Work, to incorporate the Work into one or more Collective Works, and to reproduce the Work as incorporated in the Collective Works;
b. to create and reproduce Derivative Works;
c. to distribute copies or phonorecords of, display publicly, perform publicly, and perform publicly by means of a digital audio transmission the Work including as incorporated in Collective Works;
d. to distribute copies or phonorecords of, display publicly, perform publicly, and perform publicly by means of a digital audio transmission Derivative Works;

The above rights may be exercised in all media and formats whether now known or hereafter devised. The above rights include the right to make such modifications as are technically necessary to exercise the rights in other media and formats. All rights not expressly granted by Licensor are hereby reserved, including but not limited to the rights set forth in Sections 4(e) and 4(f).
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In summary
As you have noted, your application "streamlines and organizes" the information accessed from Bulbapedia, and presents it in a fashion different to what is displayed should someone simply be accessing our web page.
Your parsing and display of the material from Bulbapedia in an altered format constitutes a Derivative work.
A derivative work is only permitted under the conditions of section 4. Restrictions of our license.
You are currently in violation of 4.c, in that you recieve private monetary compensation, and thus 4.a in that your distribution is in a manner inconsistent with the terms of the license agreement.
You may also further be in violation of portions of 4.b or 4.d, which I am currently in process of confirming, and have highlighted in the above for your convenience.

If you wish to continue this project in a non-commercial fashion, we are still willing to work together with you on it in the interests of the Pokemon fandom, however if you do not intend to do so then I must formally request that you cease and desist your distribution of this application.

Regards,
Liam Pomfret
Webmaster, Bulbagarden.net
Archaic - October 14th (Australian local time)
Brandon,

Given your published intent to release a new version of your Pokedex application, and your updating of its description in the App Store, I can only assume that you either failed to see my previous email, outlining exactly how your application is in fact in violation of our usage license, or that you've chosen to ignore it. For now, I've chosen to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume the former. I must again request that you either make this a free application in full compliance with terms 4a, 4b, 4c and 4d of our license. If you are unwilling or unable to do so, you are hearby requested to cease and desist all distribution of the application immediately. If you do not respond to this email within a reasonable timeframe, we will be contacting Apple to have your application removed from the iPhone App Store. At our discretion, we may also seek to have the code of this application released as open source under the Creative Commons license, and for refunds to be issued to users who have downloaded the infringing application.

Sincerely,
Liam Pomfret
Webmaster, Bulbagarden.net
 
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Transfinite

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Re: iTunes Application infringes on Bulbapedia license

This guy is such a tool.
 

Rellik

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Re: iTunes Application infringes on Bulbapedia license

I just checked iTunes. I sincerely hope that some kind of agreement can be reached between both Bulbagarden/Bulbapedia and Studio Bebop.
 
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Transfinite

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Re: iTunes Application infringes on Bulbapedia license

It displays all of the Pokemon, their moves, stats, and so forth, using the data from Bulbapedia.
 

Archaic

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Re: iTunes Application infringes on Bulbapedia license

Link has been fixed.

Their app basically rips the information off of Bulbapedia, then displays it in a custom format. Nothing in the ap itself actually gives any acknowledgement to Bulbapedia, as I understand. The only acknowledgement that they pull the info from us is given in their application description and in some of the update messages on their website. It's done in a way that an unobservant person could easily miss it.
 

Falconwing

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Re: iTunes Application infringes on Bulbapedia license

I smell a potterwar coming...

Seriously, this guy is asking for trouble. You guys worked hard to get all that data up.

Heh, maybe we should sabotage the data for a short time and make users of the app angry.
 

Every Breaking Wave

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Re: iTunes Application infringes on Bulbapedia license

The data will probably already be integrated into the application; any "sabotaging" of the data would only result in Bulbapedia hosting incorrect information.
 

Rellik

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Re: iTunes Application infringes on Bulbapedia license

The data will probably already be integrated into the application; any "sabotaging" of the data would only result in Bulbapedia hosting incorrect information.
From the app description, it doesn't seem like it's a copy of the data, more like a very stylized redirect. Though, I agree, sabotaging it like that would be just as bad for Bulbapedia as it would the app.
 

Rellik

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Question! What exactly does this part mean?
At our discretion, we may also seek to have the code of this application released as open source under the Creative Commons license
 

Every Breaking Wave

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Since aspects of the code are a derivative of Bulbapedia's contributions under the Creative Commons license, and Bulbapedia's contributions can only be modified under that license, Archaic et al can try to change the application's license so that it too is Creative Commons instead of whatever it is now.
 

Transfinite

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Question! What exactly does this part mean?
Releasing the code as open source means anyone would be able to see and edit the code and use it for themselves in whatever way they see fit, so long as they don't profit from it.
 

Rellik

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Releasing the code as open source means anyone would be able to see and edit the code and use it for themselves in whatever way they see fit, so long as they don't profit from it.
So in essence, we'd be forcing them to make it freeware?
 

Rellik

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Cool. Do that then. 'Cause as messed up as it is that these guys are profiting of your work like that, the App in question would be a seriously welcome addition to my iPhone.
 

Archaic

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Not in its current state it's not. It's currently broken due to a template change on Bulbapedia, which demonstrates that the ap doesn't actually have our data, it's actively pulling it off our servers.

Or to put it another way....it's not just about the data. They're stealing our bandwidth, and they're stealing processor load on our databases. It's like image hotlinking images off the Archives wiki, only a lot worse.
This means that they're actually having a direct impact on our server health, while those using this ap are not viewing the advertisements that allow us to keep the servers up. They're not just profiting off of the work of our staff. They're profiting off the work of the community of people here at Bulbagarden who have volunteered their time to edit pages on Bulbapedia, and they're profiting at the expense of everyone's enjoyment of any part of Bulbagarden, Bulbapedia, or the Japanese Pokemon Wiki (which we host).
 

lthiele

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Cool, wait til they fix it, then change the templates again. :) An alternative if you can't reach an agreement.

I was joking but it's probably not such a bad idea?
 
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