Tuesday, March 03, 2009

GNUmed website

Hi all,

I recently came across the website of the banshee project and imediately liked their nice webdesign. Being under the impression that their website is under the CC-By-SA license I started to reuse it for GNUmed giving credit to the Banshee project in the footer.

Here is their footer as of 3rd of March 2009.

All text and image content on banshee-project.org, unless otherwise specified, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. This does not include the Banshee name, logo, or icon. The Banshee name is a registered trademark of Novell. This does not include Banshee source code, which is licensed under the MIT X11 license. XHTML, CSS.

Turns out the members of the the Banshee project are very proud of their work and did not like what I did at all. I personally feel that no website is worth any copyright dispute and the GNUmed project should not be harmed in any way by my doings.

I therefore decided to change as much as I thought neccessary to not fool the viewers into thinkig this is somehow affiliated with Banshee.

I am currently awaiting their response on how to proceed. This may wll turn into a call for help as I might be forced to take down the GNUmed website for a complete redesign.

While I fully understand the Banshee project's wish for excellence and uniqueness I sincerely hope we get by without creating any uproar inside the FOSS community.

Please take the time to go over the GNUmed website at www.gnumed.org to spot any items that might still lead to the assumption that GNUmed is somehow affiliated with Banshee.


Alan said...

It's one thing to reuse, it's another to copy 1 for 1. Even with your modifications, more than 95% of banshees content remains.

You've made very minor changes to the look and feel which have actually broken the website. You removed the background at the top, which means if you hover over any of the buttons (home/download/about etc) they become unreadable.

You've used banshees playlist icon (which contains a banshee trademark music symbol) as your bullet point marker.

Anyone who has been to banshees website will immediately recognise that the GNUmed website is 95% (or more) the same as Banshees.

While it would be flattering if you copied their design, it is most definitely not flattering if you use 95% of their content.

Whats worst is that you're now the number 1 hit in google for "banshee release notes". My advice, ditch the new look asap and purge your server of all banshee material.

Alan said...

"While it would be flattering if you copied their design, it is most definitely not flattering if you use 95% of their content."

Let me just clarify that a little further, you've used 95% of their content even in places where it clearly doesn't suit.

Sebastian Hilbert said...

Hi all,

You are right the content has been reuse as in re-used under the impression that the footer of their site applies.

I am not saying I did not reuse their content. I even explicetly state so in GNUmed pages footer.

The question to answer here is simple. Is it legal to copy the material covered by the CC-SA-By license or not ?

I will immediately remove all references to Banshee so we get this google issue resolved.

I am awaiting response from the Banshee team to have their take on the issue.

No intent to stab someone in the back. FOSS community should show that we can work on things.

Sandy said...

Sebastian, no one is disputing that you correctly interpreted the license. You are free to do whatever you want.

What the Banshee developers have been trying to tell you is that they did not intend to put the site design under that license. There is useful CSS, Javascript, content, etc that it makes sense for others to reuse. But why would you want to copy the design? It does not benefit anybody.

As I think Aaron mentioned, they will be updating the footer of the Banshee website to be more clear about things so this doesn't happen in the future.

Still, I hope you can understand that even though you are allowed to do what you did, it hurts the Banshee project (and yours!) for you to do it. We open source projects should help each other out and respect each other's identity and branding.

Remember how upset people were when Phoenix was renamed to Firebird (diluting the Firebird DB project's brand), and Mozilla eventually renamed the project again to Firefox? This is similar, as in this day and age, a project's website is almost as big a part of its identity as its logo and GUI.

Sebastian Hilbert said...

This issue has been resolve in a way that mostly benefits the Banshee community. We have decided to replace the website with older content again.

A call for help with a new website still stands unanswered.