Home > Delphi, Object Pascal > The Lazarus conflict, what happened

The Lazarus conflict, what happened

October 31, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

Apparently my post about Lazarus and the way I was treated hit a nerve. And in true Lazarus forum tradition, the most loud of my critics is also those that know little or nothing about the case (yet paradoxically also one that is at its epicenter). But I’m getting a bit tired of this so this post is me drawing a line in the sand. People can make up their own minds if I have acted wrong, but I’m putting this behind me. So here is the full story and that should be the end of it.

What I truly feel about FPC and Lazarus

First let me underline that FPC and Lazarus are fantastic products. Both represents a herculean effort – and I applaud and give my respect to the key members that have built this from scratch. It is custom to pay your respect when a fellow student graduate with flying colors, and to stand up and applaud when a scholar or scientist has his research verified and papers published. And the core developers behind Freepascal and the Lazarus IDE deserves both. I have no problem with FreePascal or Lazarus, but it’s clear that some of the members on their boards have a problem with me.

During FreePascal and Lazarus long voyage, the core developers have done a remarkable thing: they have written everything themselves. Rather than falling for the temptation of “borrowing” a little here and there, these guys have run a tight ship. Considering the size of the codebase and the amount insight and skill Freepacal and Lazarus represents – that is so impressive that any object pascal developer cannot but show admiration for these achievements.

But the conflict did not start with Lazarus or Freepascal, but with a nickel & dime operation in Greece: Pilot Logic.

GPL violations

A couple of years ago I had a look at Pilot Logic’s fork of Lazarus. Not really my taste, but I was impressed by the overwhelming amount of libraries and packages they offered. Wow, these guys must work 24/7 to produce so much code! And the libraries were of high quality as well.

Building a large repository of code is not hard if you ignore laws, regulations and morality

Building a large repository of code is not hard if you ignore laws, regulations and morality

Then suddenly I realized that I was looking at my own code. They had taken one of my libraries and blatantly renamed every class, data type and function. But what really pissed me off was that they also deleted the license in the header of every unit and replaced it with their own! My name was completely erased from my own codebase, but more importantly, so was the modified license. A license modified so that my name and the files could be used by anyone – but never altered. Bugfixes could be committed, but the library was to remain as it was unless you had written permission from yours truly to do otherwise.

What Pilot Logic had done was not just theft, but to gravely misrepresent someone elses intellectual property. And those units were never free to be altered like already stated. But everyone that has asked me to use the code in their products, commercial or otherwise, have gotten a positive reply. Just ask and leave the header-text alone. That’s not too much to ask for a library that took me so long to write.

But I would never have agreed to the utter re-branding of my code. If you look at other projects, like the Jedi code library and components – they have done a pretty great job by simply asking. Why should this be so hard for Pilot Logic when everyone else seems to manage just fine? Most people are kind and open if you just show them ordinary, universal respect. You don’t take someone elses work, brand it as your own, adapt it to your codebase – and then blatantly delete/ignore their complaints; Nor do you finish by blocking the original authors from the forum so their voice is silenced. That is the act of cowards and thieves.

be careful when you cast out the devil, lest you cast out the best in you

But it didn’t stop there, turned out they had done the same with libraries and code belonging to two of my best friends. I was quite shocked to learn that both of them had registered with Pilot Logic’s web forum earlier, posted their complaints, but were subjected to the same treatment: verbal abuse followed by their accounts blocked.

A pattern started to emerge here. If something occurs once, it can be an accident. Twice, we call that a co-incidence (from the latin word con; meaning “with”). But three times? My gut feeling told me there was more to this than meets the eye.

To see if we were the only group of people who has been subjected to this treatment after having their code rebranded – we decided to publicly ask other Delphi developers. The response was overwhelming. On Delphi Developer (Facebook group with 5000+ developers) alone more than 30 coders voiced more or less the same story: first their code was taken, re-formated, all licenses and even their names scrubbed clean, and any complaints they had made to Pilot Logic was ignored followed by a ban from their forums.

Glenn Dufke which is one of Delphi Developer’s moderators together with Peter Dunne decided he had enough. He works with data analysis and is very good at what he does. He basically took the CodeTyphon codebase and its libraries and ran the whole thing through a file analysis program, comparing against a truck-load of Delphi libraries.

The result was beyond any reasonable doubt. Pilot Logic had pretty much taken code from every popular open-source Delphi project out there, re-branded it and presented it as their own. The same story kept on coming: complaints deleted, emails ignored and forum accounts blocked.

Stolen Firemonkey code

The biggest mistake Pilot Logic had done was to include code from VGScene. This product is no longer available because Embarcadero bought that framework lock, stock and barrel. They also hired the author. The result? Oh nothing big, just that framework we call Firemonkey today! VGScene and all its code was never open-source, it was a commercial product with a copyright clause carved in stone. No human being capable of reading English could possibly misunderstand the legal status for VGScene, neither before or after it was sold to Embarcadero. Every line of code in VGScene belongs to them.

VGScene here running on OS X. Today its called Firemonkey

VGScene here running on OS X. Today its called Firemonkey

The only people who can legally use VGScene today, are those who bought the initial product when it was on sale. I actually own a legal copy myself. But I sure as shit would never even consider rebranding it as my own. Besides, why go for the prototype when you can use the finished product in Delphi?

Yet here was Pilot-Logic using and distributing Embarcadero code. And they knew perfectly well that VGScene is Embarcadero’s property. That is not just theft, but a very real, very tangible threat to the whole Freepascal and Lazarus community. Even if FPC and Lazarus are clean as a whistle (which they are), legal proceedings of this nature can go on for years. And it would cost a fortune regardless that Codetyphon is a fork and not Lazarus itself. Codetyphon is not Lazarus, but judges and lawyers might not make that distinction.

If Embarcadero found out about this and decided to enforce their legal rights, Freepascal and Lazarus could find themselves in the proverbial eye of a real typhoon; a legal one; all of it thanks to Pilot Logic’s disregard for laws and individual programmers work. They should change their name to Pirate Logic. And to be honest, Freepascal and Lazarus would not survive a legal battle with Embarcadero. Development would have to cease until the differences between the products had been established.

We also found code from GLScene in their codebase, code written by Eric Grange. Eric was previously in a legal case against Embarcadero since Firemonkey, which is VGScene on steroids, contained code copied straight out of GLScene. It was code Eric had written (he was a part of the GLScene project), and thus – Embarcadero found themselves shipping code they had no legal right to use. Turned out the VGScene author had copied quite a lot out of GLScene and rebranded it. Just like Pilot Logic had done.

So the threat to FPC and Lazarus was very real. Had Embarcadero known about this they would have shut down Pilot Logic completely in a matter of days, and the next logical legal step would have been a source-code analysis of both Lazarus, Freepascal and associated forks.

A great database

A great database

I should perhaps mention that the memory-mapped file classes that is/was distributed in the user library contribution section of FPC is actually pirated as well. It belongs to DBISAM and was written by Elevate software. I know this because I own a source-code licenses for this old gem. My favorite database engine that I used daily for many years. When we did a procedure-by-procedure comparison there was no doubt left: this was stolen code.

But again, it was not FPC or the Lazarus organization that had stolen it, but rather a third-party (individual in this case). But that doesn’t change the fact that it would have been FPC/Lazarus that would suffer the consequences. If I have links to pirated software on my website, I am in fact contributing to piracy regardless of whether im aware of it or not.

And this type of conflict was exactly what I wanted to avoid. Not because I represent any aspect of either FPC or Lazarus – but because “Pirate Logic” had bloody taken my code and mangled it! I also understand the value of both Freepascal and Lazarus, and recognize how important they are for object pascal in general. The world would be a much darker place without FPC and Lazarus. And I never tried to represent the Freepascal organization in any way. I don’t even know where accusations like that come from (although I have a pretty good idea who planted it).

So myself and others set out to inform the Lazarus community about Pirate Logic‘s disregard for intellectual property, how they misrepresent code written by others – and we also supplied concrete evidence for all of it.

We never confronted Pilot Logic on behalf of anyone but ourselves, regarding our code and how it had been renamed, rebranded and had both our names and its license removed. The fact that pieces of VGScene had been located in the codebase should light a fire under any programmers behind – because that puts you in direct conflict with Embarcadero.

And the more we investigated and compared packages, the more license violations we found. In the end we had to inform someone about this – otherwise Lazarus and FPC could end up taking the rap for something they didn’t do. So we never blew the whistle on this to cause harm, we did this so that FPC and Lazarus could take the necessary steps to avoid harm.

Kill the messenger

I posted a clear-cut warning on Pilot Logic’s forums that I would contact a lawyer if my code was not immediately removed; And I was prepared to do this. It was infuriating because Pilot Logic showed no respect for the hours, weeks and months we had invested in our work. And I mean normal human respect and decency. It costs nothing, it opens doors and it builds communities.

rogears_logo_colour_whitebackground-squarish-900pxAs a comparison, take a look at Remobjects; Remobjects SDK contains a lot of open-source code. And Remobjects as a company have deployed this without breaking a single law or license agreement. They just leave the units unaltered and then build components around it. Like their Indy channels, BPX server channel, Synapse channels and a few others I don’t remember right now. Remobjects have respected the licenses of each library down to the letter. That way they can deliver the functionality without re-inventing the wheel and at the same time respect the original author(s) wishes. Remobjects is a perfect example of how you deploy open source correctly. Pirate Logic is the exact opposite. Their modus operandi is how you destroy communities, break the law and piss people off.

I mean, would you go to a bookstore and buy a novel, then scan the pages, rename the characters, change the title – and then publish it under your name? No. That’s not even something you would do with books that are free! Sooner or later someone will recognize it and you face the consequences.

You might not know this but the most open-source licenses are very well protected. The Mozilla foundation, Apache foundation and Gnu Linux foundation offer free legal support to programmers when their licenses have been broken. Because any breach of such a license is not just unfair to the author, to you and me, it indirectly represents a threat to open source in general. If one get’s away with it – more will follow. This is why the Linux foundation support developers rights with an iron fist.

And with the evidence, analysis and 1:1 examples of piracy we had collected, Pilot Logic wouldn’t stand a chance.

Defending FPC and Lazarus

With the complete lack of respect demonstrated by Pilot Logic, I was both angry and frustrated at the same time. Angry about their behavior but also worried for Freepascal and Lazarus. It would be devestating if these got entangled in a lawsuit because some guys in Greece decided to use code belonging to Embarcadero, Elevate Software and all the developers who got their code kidnapped and rebranded. It really is a textbook example of how to kill both open source as a concept and international law at the same time.

But the worst part was that a fork of Lazarus was now shipping with Firemonkey code inside it. That is not just illegal in any civilized part of the world, it is disrespectful and had the potential to cause serious damage to Freepascal and Lazarus, who would risk becoming guilty by association. Even if Lazarus and Freepascal is clean and follow the rules (which they do. The maintainers of both compiler and IDE have done a great job keeping things clean), there is no denying that there is a lot of code moving between Lazarus and CodeTyphon. Lazarus could end up using copyrighted code without even being aware that it is stolen to begin with.

Lazarus: write once, crash everywhere

Lazarus: write once, crash everywhere (just kidding!)

When I posted the information we had found, I expected the Lazarus and FPC community to be thankful. I know I would be very happy if someone pointed out to me that one of my suppliers was dealing in stolen goods. Because then I could take steps to exclude that code until its origin was clearly identified. I would either implement something similar from scratch, or (drumroll) contact the original author asking for his or her’s permission. Which is what Pirate Logic should have done in the first place!

Instead, they decided to kill the messenger. I was branded a devil (literally) and accused of inciting a “civil war” in the object pascal community. I kid you not, those were the words they used: “a civil war”. So instead of being thankful that we blew the whistle on the dodgy practices over at Pilot Logic and thus helped them avoid a potential showstopper — they turned right around and made us scapegoats. Like it was our fault that these crimes had been committed!

That’s like blaming the red-cross for war; or Greenpeace for whaling because after all, they were there. So yes let us quickly find someone to blame so we can continue to live in la-la land where weird-ass conspiracy theories and ego-massage is the spice of life.

Did I just walk into a cartoon?

I was shell-shocked at the response. After 2-3 full pages of accusations I just left the forum. Apparently they kept it going for quite some time, I never really went back to check. This was a side of the object pascal community I had never experienced before. People so openly paranoid and desperate to shift blame that they forgot all about who and what we blew the whistle on. Yet they managed to twist the whole ordeal into being about them. Sorry guys, but it was not about you – but about Pilot Logic.

The next day they issued a public warning about a possible breach of licenses (or words to that effect) in Codetyphon’s codebase. So after treating both me, Peter and Glenn as crap for helping them out, they still took advantage of the information and used it to save their sorry asses.

The number of lies being told on the Lazarus forum about me, especially by one individual which is at the epicenter of all this drama, has reached a height where Lazarus users have started to question this person’s credibility (he is one of the administrators). The nature of lying is that it can only survive through more lies. Which is where this individual finds himself today. And clearly lacking the balls and spine to admit his mistakes, he has painted himself into a corner. And I have you right where I want you – because we made time-stamped and digitally signed PDF’s of the original threads. Both on Pirate Logic’s messageboard and the Lazarus forums. So keep it up. Perhaps those PDF’s will find their way to Google+, Facebook and every syndication channel you can think of. What will you do then? Accuse me of being an alien? Or continue with the mentally ill claim that I am in fact an undercover Microsoft employee out to destroy object pascal.

You guys are so messed up I dont even know where to start.

End of story

Loke, ancient of days, son of heaven and hell

Loke, ancient of days, king of Niflheimr, bringer of light. Lucifer the morning star.

Well, that’s all folks. If you were hoping for more excitement or drama, there really is nothing to find here. The drama sadly occurred on the Lazarus forum with a handful of members whipping the whole thing into a frenzy. A storm in a glass of water was we say in Norway.

This whole case should have been a footnote. We informed the forum of what was taking place, and expected a simple “thanks, we will look into it” in return. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s like “oh by the way there is a storm on the way, you better cover up your garden furniture and get that sweet grill into the garage“. I have neighbours that tell me that, and I do the same with them. We look out for each other.

And the same applies in Delphi. When I find a crack or some website with serial numbers, I send it to the company that is being robbed. Last one I helped out was PaxCompiler. Not because I expected to get anything in return, but because as a community we depend on people helping us out. Kindness costs nothing. And stuff like this has to be dealth with head on.

Not in my wildest dreams (and im pretty creative) would I have imagined the shit-fest that followed on the Lazarus forums, or how nasty and personally insulting this group would become. Everyone warned me about Lazarus, but I didn’t believe them. I am positive, I always give people the benefit of the doubt. I always chose to focus on the best outcome. But when that is disproven, I never give them a chance again. This is an old codex of living, probably out of date by centuries – but it’s a healthy one. Always think positive. But when you face negativity, deal with it.

You, the reader, are free to believe what you want. I have now told my side of this story – and I am putting the whole circus behind me. I actually did that a long time ago, until I was told that someone quit their job because the boss is one of my friends. This individual, who is also a Lazarus admin, used my name as an excuse to cover up his incompetence. And this was the same guy that whipped up this shit fest to begin with. So he clearly has an axe to grind with me.

But hey — if you so desperately need someone to blame for your own mess, I’ll play along. I have no problem being the devil in the deck. Of-course people talk, both about me and others. Just like we talk. People do that. And my blog have articles that deal with subjects most people don’t touch out of fear of stigmata. If everyone liked me I would be worried, because then you can’t trust anyone. I am under no illusion about the facts of life. But I am secure in my own self enough to deal with these subjects, and I have no problem taking the heat for it – as long as it is just and fair.

If I make a mistake I apologize, publicly. That is what you do when you have made a mistake. You don’t try to wiggle your way out like a snake by blaming others. You stand for what you have done. And I expect nothing less from others.

A healthy eco-system, be it natural or digital, depends more on those that dare deal with and write about the negative sides as well as the positive, more so than those who pretend everything is ok. This is also the distinction between the Delphi community and the Lazarus community. The Delphi community is much better at dealing with things like this in a civilized manner. Perhaps Delphi users are more willing to grab the bull by the horns because we make a living from object pascal and have more to lose if piracy is left to fester.

But not everyone is negative over at the Lazarus forums, of course not! Most are kind, easy-going and good people. But there are a handful of individuals that does more harm to the organization than good. One of them is an admin that in my view – is abusing his position and enjoy bossing people around far too much. But that’s for the FPC and Lazarus project leaders to sort out.

We should be thankful for the devil, because his job is to make sure life doesn’t stagnate. All good stories have a devil in it. In fact: be careful when you cast out the devil, lest you cast out the best in you.

And it’s Loke by the way, I am Norwegian after all.

  1. October 31, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    Sometimes FPC and Lazarus community act like crazy blind fanatics, sometimes it’s hard to believe that they work with logic. I hope they analyze it very well instead of yelling like crazy.

    • October 31, 2016 at 3:11 pm

      Most of the lazarus forum users are good people. But you have a few bad apples that seem drunk on their little admin status, or feel that ordinary social rules dont apply to them.
      Its a shame really. FPC and Lazarus are fantastic products. I honestly think the core authors deserves better than this. But blaming someone else that actually tries to help you — it makes no sense what so ever.

      If you knocked on my door warning me of a fire down the road, and that the wind could carry with it burning debrees — i would be thankful for that. I wouldnt tell you “oh and now you bring that fire here” or accuse you of starting some imaginary war.

      All nerd groups have a few individuals that are odd or different. But there is a fine line between being a bit eccentric and raving insane.

  2. October 31, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    This has all been replied to earlier. If they violate your copyright, sue them. If they violate KSDev (which is unrelated to Lazarus) have their copyright holders drum them. But stop making wild accusations and stop try to drag Lazarus into it. I’ve summoned up what I thought about it before

    • November 1, 2016 at 7:42 am

      Lazarus drags itself into it with admins and group members keeping it alive. Or is your voice omnipresent and you represent every single user on that board?
      And when shit like this turn up in my personal life, like that juhanen of whatever the fuck his name is, then you better be prepared for a very real response.
      This was never about you, lazarus or fpc, which i should have made very clear by now -that i care greatly for.
      So try to wrap your head around that fact: this was never about you guys, but pilot logic.
      Pilot logic is the group that have put both lazarus and fpc in danger by breaking the law.
      How you guys manage to make me the villain of your mess, something you guys should have noticed and dealt with years ago – is quite frankly absurd!
      The Lazarus forum made it into their own lamentation song, “oh the horror, jon, glenn and peter found a potential threat and fixed it for us, those bastards”.

      But software dont speak. People do. And when one or two individuals over in your camp start hitting, i will hit back.
      So instead of commenting here, perhaps you should tell your lynch-mob admin to get his shit together and grow the fuck up?
      Had i known, I would have sent the whole damn folio to Embarcadero and have them eat lazarus for lunch.

      I mean “civil war!”, remember that one? Can you honestly say that such a comment is a mentally healthy one? Is the level of drama pouring out of the lazarus forums normal? I dont think so. And this is the flaw in open source software: everyone’s a cook, but no one wants to follow the recipy.

      But you kno what? Keep it up. I am so done with this case, and I was done with it for over a year.
      Until one of your admins used me and my crew as an excuse to cover his own incompetence.
      Perhaps you should have a little chat with him rather than me? Have I written a word about this until that incident? No.

      So you want this to go away, I want this to go away. But you have some members that needs a serious, mental debugging session.
      Get your own house in order before complaining about mine.

  3. November 1, 2016 at 10:10 am

    I had a talk with the Pilot Logic guy some months ago ( I’m Greek also ) . Didn’t go well …

    • November 1, 2016 at 10:17 am

      Very sad. The guys are clearly talented, they could have used their abilities to build up the community rather than dragging it down.

  4. November 5, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    I just read your whole post from start to finish. I fully agree that Pilot Logic and CodeTyphon are very much in the wrong. They are distributing illegal code left and right. I also personally raised the issue regarding VGScene’s code that was copied verbatim and simply renamed in Code Typhon. Oh, and I have some of my own code copied and included with their IDE too – so I know how you feel.

    But I must say one thing, and here I agree with Macro (and that says something, because we don’t agree often)… Don’t drag the Free Pascal (that’s how you spell it by the way – it’s not one word, but two) or Lazarus projects into this, which from what I can see in your post, is what you are doing. Those two teams develop open source projects, and have NOTHING to do with what other people do with that open source projects.

    As for pirated code in Free Pascal or Lazarus… I actually raised this issue some 8-10 years ago with software I found that can do code comparisons. That code is now included with FPC in some tools directory I believe. Both open source projects, especially Free Pascal, immediately removed the illegal code, sought out a developer that has never worked with Delphi, and the code was promptly rewritten from the ground up. A clean room implementation. BTW: the illegal code in FPC was very small amounts – a few methods here and there – it was not as if the whole code base was illegal! The FPC team also promptly removed all earlier releases for download, so as not to distributed any FPC release with tainted source code.

    I’m not clear on what steps the Lazarus project took, as at the time I was more concerned about FPC, as that is the only one I use out of the two. ps: You are welcome to search the mailing list archives to see these discussions from all those years ago.

    I also believe that Embarcadero is pretty happy with the state of FPC at the moment, otherwise they would not have included a copy of FPC in Delphi XE2 to give them iOS and OSX support. This brings me to my next point…

    As a open source developer myself, I am also concerned about companies stealing open source code and passing it as their own. We have no way of knowing, and no way of finding out what processes they have in place to avoid something like that. I guess the only way is to look at commit logs and the timestamps to see who did want first. But then, most commercial companies don’t share their source code to the public either. It’s a two-way street, and a fine line to walk.

    • November 5, 2016 at 4:27 pm

      I didnt drag fpc etc. into this. In fact, we warned them because they would eventually get dragged into this. What caused this was their response. Instead of just “great, thank you for letting us know” and dealing with it, they went into panic mode and blamed us. Me especially.
      The whole point was to avoid fpc/lazarus to be infected with potentially stolen code- that way their clean codebase would be secure.
      I would not have reacted like I have if their behavior was normal. I still cant believe how they treated us. PLs response in one thing, but the lazarus forums that i would never have expected. Not in a million years.

      • November 5, 2016 at 6:47 pm

        There is on reason for FPC or Lazarus to get dragged into something that Pilot Logic is doing with Code Typhon. FPC and Lazarus has nothing to do with that project, so they are not liable for anything Pilot Logic does. Hence, don’t give to projects a bad name (by association), when they are not associated with Code Typhon at all. Both the FPC and Lazarus projects are using the GPL 2 license (predominantly), and that license clearly states they are not liable for anything somebody else does with the code.

        If I was you, I would not drag this out any further. Simply report Pilot Logic and the Code Typhon product to Embarcadero and let their lawyers take it further. Anybody breaking the law should be stopped – I have no issues with that.

        From your post it seems you (or somebody else) posted in the Lazarus Forum about Code Typhon & VGScene. Again, I was simply the wrong thing to do, as Lazarus has nothing to do with Code Typhon, so why raise the issue in a Lazarus forum?

        As for you not being treated well – I am sorry to hear that, but know how you feel. I’m know for being direct and to the point, and the FPC & Lazarus mailing lists often don’t take kindly to me either. I can say that back in Nov 2007 when I raised the issue in the FPC Devel mailing list about copyright infringement I was not treated badly, and the FPC team was prompt with there actions. After I supplied them with the SIM tool (which was used in a copyright infringement case between Linux & Minix) they could easily see the issue with the Runtime Library. They immediately contacted CodeGear at the time to let them know, and that they are rewriting the offending code to resolve the issue.

        Either way, back to the point at hand…. report Code Typhon to Embarcadero!

        • November 6, 2016 at 12:39 am

          First of all, FPC/Lazarus are root projects. CodeTyphon is a fork of Lazarus.
          Secondly, there is a steady stream of code, packages and products going from codetyphon’s repository – directly into the lazarus groups. There has always been close ties between these groups — because most of the time, its the same people that use both.

          When it comes to reporting the situation to the maintainers of lazarus and fpc, what would the alternatives be?
          The alternatives would be to slap PL with a lawsuit. In which not only the evidence for our violated rights would be made public — but a full investigation into the whole codebase. This is the first a lawyer would demand. Which means Embarcadero would have picked up on it — and what would be the odds that once their lawyers got the taste of blood, that they would not demand a full analysis of Lazarus and FPC as well, to determine if the code in question was localized to PL, or that in fact some code also existed in the root repository. Or indeed, if there are any trace of copyright code in there at all. These are logical steps that, if you have ever been in a court regarding source-code, you would know about.
          I have been in two trials as a witness regarding software, so I have some first hand experience with the process and how lawyers go about securing evidence.

          If you can read between the lines here, im sure you will understand that informing FPC and Lazarus about what was going on – was the only way to ensure that we didnt give Embarcadero a good excuse to kill Lazarus and FPC, which believe you me – they have been interested in doing for quite some time now. This is common knowledge and plain buissiness. This is how companies work to secure their IP. You have to remember that FPC and Lazarus are reverse engineered pieces of Delphi. You can dress it up in whatever coating you like, but that is what they are. FPC has also other aspects, like being compatible with Turbo Pascal, again a Borland product. So this is not just “another” compiler, its a competing compiler that is so compatible that the better they get – the more of a threat they are to Delphi and Embarcadero. There is no denying this.

          Add to this the fact that the build on GetLazarus.org contains code from CodeTyphon (and the now defunked Spartan project, which operated much like PL did), I think it stands to reason that the only people we could possibly inform about what would play out if we went to court ourselves — was lazarus and fpc’s maintainers. That was the only way to make sure they got a chance to avoid getting the blame should we jump into this mess and contact a greek court.

          Otherwise they would have no protection should a lawsuit start pulling at the lose threads here. And if you have ever done a source-code analysis on the Lazarus LCL codebase and compared that to Embarcadero’s VCL — there is code there that have to many familiar similarities for it to be a “mistake”. Even though they based the LCL on a fork of CLX, there have been copy & paste operations going on for years. Everybody knows it. Its not much, but its enough to cause serious damage if it’s allowed to stay there.

          So we had a choice: blow the whistle on PilotLogic to the maintainers of Lazarus and fpc — or just go to court which would bring the whole foundation, including fpc and lazarus, under close examination. At which point it would be game over for both.

          What we wanted was to resolve these issues internally within the fpc/laz/codetyphon camps. That way Lazarus and fpc would be shielded by any blame, since now they could take a stand against codetyphon and wash their hands of it. They could also take the required steps to make sure none of the copyrighted material had made its way into their codebase.
          Instead of understanding this, which we spelled out in plain text for them, they decided to burn us at the stake.
          A simple “thank you for shielding us” was obviously to hard for them, nor did they get the fact that we had just bought them time to flush out any violations from their codebase.
          They just instantly went into panic mode and put on their shit-for-brains hats and went after us instead. Personally.

          I left the whole case alone and gave up on having a rational conversation with these people (you should see how they treated us and you would be shocked) and put it behind me.
          Then it was all brought up again when (drumroll) one of the admins over at lazarus was about to get fired. He then decided to quit and blame it on me, that he quit because of of me and my friendship with the company owners. That is a personal attack once more. And one to much. And he is messing with the wrong guy, I can tell you that. Im not afraid of a fight be it in a court or on the streets.

          There is a limit to how much shit i will take before I hit back. And that limit was reached 2 years ago — and they just decided to refill the glass. So fine, they can choke on it for all I care. I hope Embarcadero burns their whole piracy camp to the ground. When you kill the messenger like they did – people who are trying to protect them, that cares about their project and wants to avoid damage — and they burn us for it? Well it just underlines where their loyalties lie – and its not with the end user, but with the piracy shop called PilotLogic.

          • November 6, 2016 at 10:02 am

            I’m pretty darn confident that FPC will not disappear any time soon – even if Embarcadero would like them too. It also doesn’t make a good case for Embarcadero because they felt FPC was good enough to be included as part of their Delphi XE2 product. How’s that going to look in court??

            The FPC code-base was well scrutinised and all possibly offending code was rewriten. Also remember, they contacted CodeGear – in good faith. Not the other way round.

            As for Lazarus… I have no idea what there stance is, I’m not that vested in Lazarus at all, and don’t use LCL personally. But again, being a open source project, I doubt they will be going away any time soon.

            As for the GetLazarus.org website – again, as far as I know, that is an independent website, and has nothing todo with the Lazarus team itself. The same applies to Code Typhon. Open source means anybody can do anything with the code – that doesn’t mean the original authors are to blame for what those 3rd parties do. Otherwise, I could use a Linux machine to hack the Pentagon and the lawyers put the blame on Linus Torvalds because he created Linux – that is ludicrous!

            My best advice, is to simply report Pilot Logic to Embarcadero. I don’t even know why you hesitated not to do. Stop worrying about this or that, simply report Pilot Logic and Code Typhon and be done with it. Let Embarcadero and their lawyers get to the bottom of it. If you don’t know who to contact, I do know some key Embarcadero employees hang out in their Google+ group, so simply post the message there.

            Again, I don’t believe FPC has anything to worry about. Here are the two mailing list posts where I reported this to them back in Nov 2007.

            My first report:

            An update from the core team a few days later:

            The Free Pascal team had nothing to hide.

            • November 6, 2016 at 10:55 am

              I dont think so either. Except for a few copy & paste operations here and there. In fact, that was why i posted at their forum to begin with, to make sure that would not happen. But am I angry at the amount of emails and messages from forum users? Yes.
              I love pascal and want it to thrive, but the forums over there are notorious for being full of very.. different.. people. Which is sad, because the core developers deserve to see their work respected more.
              It is equally sad that there is such a level of piracy in the community – it seems the bar is much lower in the fpc groups to just copy things than under Delphi. Perhaps it has to do with the notion of “free”. If you get so much for free, what are the odds that you are willing to pay for something? I have seen it with other open source projects as well. Linux is a very hard market because companies with closed source are almost worked against it seems.
              So when you launch a closed source, binary only product – people will reverse engineer it just for spite it seems.

              But listen, i dont want to fight over fpc or lazarus. I have promoted them as best i could, and i have advocated the use of fpc on linux so much that i dont want anger or frustration to get the better of me. I was angry last night when i replied, I apologize for that — i love pascal in all its forms, and I was quite shocked at them biting us when we actually tried to shield them by being open about the threat.
              And we were not the first. We got the distinct impression that there had been several others before us who did the same thing. They seemed more worried about getting negative exposure due to my name, and some naive fear that I would take fpc and rewrite the RTL – which i also intended to do because its lagging behind. They had obviously followed up on my work, both the qtx compiler toolchain and sms. But without sounding to up in myself, I can and have written compilers an-par with fpc. I dont need to fork fpc just to build a compiler. Nor do I need to copy anything to write an RTL, I have written several. But I thought that was a good thing (sigh): the more pascal options we have the better right?
              I have happily used fpc and lazarus for linux work, and I will continue to do so. But they dont have to fear anything from me. In fact I can pretty much guarante that I will never set foot in their forum again. And should I make a new IDE for FPC, I think they will find out anyways.
              Lets just leave this and focus on better things. Im kinda tired of the whole topic to be honest.

              As for proof, you may want to read up on this: https://jonlennartaasenden.wordpress.com/2016/11/04/the-never-ending-story-piratelogic-evidence-claims/

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