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    I can’t put my finger on what I dislike about this story. What’s AWS supposed to do, mail him a cheque? Take him out for dinner?

    If (hypothetically) AWS deployed one of my open source projects right now I’m pretty sure I’d put it in the README and in my resume and feel like I got what I wanted out of it.

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      Its not about what is legally required, but what is just nice and collaborative behavior. Nobody is forced by law to be nice to each other, but generally people are. If somebody is a dick there is no law preventing them from being one, but there are still a dick.

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        They’re supposed to credit him, at minimum. It’s in the article.

        There’s definitely a discussion to be had about what AWS could or should have done beyond that - for example, whether they have should paid him in some way is definitely a gray area since it’s open source and offered free of charge, and the author knew that. But they couldn’t even put the original author’s name anywhere in the product UI? Even if that wasn’t intentional, it’s a symptom of a larger company culture problem inside AWS that causes them to have a relationship with open source that is at times collaborative and what we would generally define as good open source citizenship (as Andi Gutmans points out) and is at other times frankly parasitic.

        Gutmans appears to be asserting that AWS contributes a lot to various upstreams and is a good open source citizen (probably true) and that therefore they couldn’t possibly be copying/stealing from different open source upstreams (probably false). This argument is a complete non sequitor. I mean, am I reading his argument incorrectly or unfairly? Someone correct me if so.

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          They could easily pay author some kind of royalty per customer and both sides would be better off for it.

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          Personally I think it’d be both sensible (nobody knows the code better) and polite (what better way to say thankyou) to offer the author a job working on the ‘as a service’ team.

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            Quoting the post:

            He said he hadn’t given the license for Headless Recorder a lot of thought because it’s just a browser extension full of client-side code

            I guess this is the issue. If it upsets you so much that a company uses your code with no upstream collaboration, you should actually give more thought to which license you choose for your project. There are licenses out there that prevent exactly this type of situation.

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              About the only thing that most permissive licenses don’t allow you to do is claim you wrote someone else’s software. In a lot of locales, there’s a notion of ‘moral rights’ in copyright law (it’s per-state in the US and is a complete mess). In the copyright page for a book published in the UK, for example, you will find something like ‘the moral right of the author to be associated with this work has not been infringed’. This is something that’s been baked into copyright law for a long time: the understanding that even if someone else has bought or otherwise acquired the rights to profit from your work, you still retain the right to be credited.

              Amazon has fulfilled the letter of their obligation here by including something in the notices file but they’ve done so in the absolute minimal way possible. It wouldn’t have cost them any more to be a bit more public and say ‘this product is built on top of X, thanks to the author for their great work!’.

              Imagine if you’d written a book and the publisher put someone else’s name on the cover and yours in tiny text on the copyright page. It’s exactly equivalent from a legal and moral perspective: both are fine legally, but doing either without explicit approval from the author makes you a dick.

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                Imagine if you’d written a book and the publisher put someone else’s name on the cover and yours in tiny text on the copyright page.

                I don’t buy it. The more appropriate analogy is if I put my book on a public book-sharing website, with a license that allowed people to do whatever they wanted with my book, and then complained when people did whatever they wanted with my book.

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                If you’re making money out of someone else’s work, even if it is in public domain, with even no license at all, buy them a gift. It didn’t even need to be Amazon (the company). Members of the very team that built the service could have done so.

                Basic politeness and courtesy.

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                  The cloud protection license is a great development. But yes the article seems to be about people who’re grumpy they didn’t think of it earlier. Amazon isn’t really known to be an ethical company, you can’t expect them to treat you better than any of their employees out of politeness.

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                  I’m no legal expert myself and although I dislike AWS and their business practices in general, I fail to see what they did wrong here. The article clearly states:

                  There is a mention buried in the NOTICE.txt file bundled with the CloudWatch extension that credits Headless Recorder, under its previous name “puppeteer-recorder,” as required by the license.

                  which is exactly what they are obliged to do by law. Yeah, mentioning the original author more prominently and giving him public kudos/endorsement would be nice and would certainly make them look much better, but they decided not to and there’s not much else anyone can do about that, except not using AWS and giving them any money. Vote with your wallet.

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                    And people thought RMS was grumpy

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                      I sympathize with this guy. I’ve worked on a project that used a BSD 3 clause license and got picked up by a company and sold as a service. I had left the project by then but I didn’t love it.

                      It was at a university and they would not allow us to release it under GPL because they were concerned that if it turned out to be something that could be turned into a business, they would not be able to build a business around GPL licensed software. Once it got picked up by a company, my first reaction is that the university lawyers made a mistake, on the other hand their goals and the projects goals were not aligned and the lawyers achieved their goals.