$title = "Relations with forked.net"; $cvs_author = '$Author: gecko2 $'; $cvs_date = '$Date: 2014/10/25 09:41:56 $'; include "header.inc"; ?>
Note: This page represents the view of Fink project leader Christoph Pfisterer. Other people, including other Fink project members, may have different views.
written October 23rd, 2001
Here's the story of the relations between the Fink project and the ports archive at forked.net. Once more, an unpleasant story, but I want to make this known to the public.
The macosx.forked.net site offers ported Open Source software packaged in .pkg installer packages. The site has undergone several changes in the last two weeks and now requires a subscription fee to access the ports. For a short while the site also offered a CD; this seems to have been widthdrawn now. The person behind the website is Jon Daniels, who seems reluctant to use his real name and prefers the nickname "apex". (I only found out this last name through the whois domain registration database.)
A significant part of the packages offered by forked.net are straight repacks of Fink packages, with the package description and usage info removed. The packages themselves have no indication of their real origin, instead the splash screen states "brought to you by macosx.forked.net". Some of these packages have a small "ported by fink" note in the package listings on the website, but there is quite a number that is unmarked. In addition, macosx.forked.net doesn't have any information towards the licenses or the source code, thereby violating the GPL and possibly other licenses.
I recently contacted Jon about the situation since I felt he was unfairly taking credit for other people's work and taking advantage of that. His initial reaction was quite positive, and he asked me what exactly I wanted. I told him, but unfortunately he didn't follow through. Instead, he took a range of steps that make it obvious he's desperate to make money from the site, bespite his original claims.
Our e-mail exchange is available for reading. Unfortunately, the initial exchange took place on the forked.net bulletin board, and Jon deleted the topic. As usual, judge for yourself.
Update October 25th, 2001
One day after I posted this page, the macosx.forked.net front page changed again. All PayPal buttons are gone, the downloads are freely accessible again, and there are news items mentioning Fink and the GPL. I guess I should have made daily backup copies of their front page. It will be interesting to see how long it lasts this time...include "footer.inc"; ?>