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  #21  
Unread 05-06-2014, 08:07 AM
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magill magill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thurallor
maintenance of an abandoned plugin without explicit permission.
Just a quick couple of thoughts before coffee...

I think this is the "key" question --
Namely, the "status" issue.

Ignoring the "the Internet Never Forgets" issue, what defines an "abandoned" plugin. It is orthogonal to the question of authorship, but not unrelated.

The "publishing" model is the one that is "almost" involved. However, again that issue revolves around remuneration.

One aspect in particular is that ZAM has no policies on the issue. Or, put another way, any "fixes" would apply going forward, not to the past.
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  #22  
Unread 05-06-2014, 01:28 PM
moebius92 moebius92 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thurallor
I think the most relevant question is whether the site would be exposing itself to any potential liability by allowing another author to take over maintenance of an abandoned plugin without explicit permission.

And I think the answer is "no". After all, what possible damages could the original author claim?
I suspect that you're essentially correct that this entire issue is too small scale for any person to sue over it, or any court to be concerned about it.

As for damages - damage to professional reputation obviously comes to mind. Either the author isn't credited, and loses any benefits to their professional reputation that the plugin might bring them, or the author is credited and their professional reputation could potentially suffer due to the new maintainer (which was not agreed upon by the author) not keeping up the same standards that the original author did (which, admittedly, includes inserting backdoors in the plugin).

Renumeration doesn't have to enter into it - as I understand it, copyright infringement has been successfully prosecuted under GNU copyleft (or something very similar to it), despite the lack of renumeration involved in the entire model.
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  #23  
Unread 05-07-2014, 02:45 AM
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Hyoss Hyoss is offline
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The problem is that plugin authors do not mention a license when uploading their plugin, and there are many different ones (MIT, GNU, Creative Commons etc). For example if the plugin would be published under "MIT/Expat" license we could publish a modified version, provided we publish the modified version under the MIT license too.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIT_License
http://opensource.org/licenses/MIT

Last edited by Hyoss : 05-07-2014 at 02:48 AM.
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  #24  
Unread 05-07-2014, 12:04 PM
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magill magill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyoss
The problem is that plugin authors do not mention a license when uploading their plugin, and there are many different ones (MIT, GNU, Creative Commons etc). For example if the plugin would be published under "MIT/Expat" license we could publish a modified version, provided we publish the modified version under the MIT license too.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIT_License
http://opensource.org/licenses/MIT
This is the base issue -- there is no DEFINED structure here, only an assumed one, and one which is not generally agreed upon (witness the different forms of license).

What I was getting at with the reference to publication and remuneration -- ZAM is not paying for "the right" to publish the plugin on their site; simply providing anyone with the ability to do so. They do not do any kind of "validity checking" of the Plugin (as does say Apple with the iTunes Store) nor of "authorship" beyond the fact that a "registered" user is posting the plugin.

All of which is to say, unlike in book publishing, ZAM has no "interest" in the content, where "interest" equates to "control." Plugins are clearly not "works for hire," so their "interest" and related liability is non-existent.

The only reason ZAM pulled the plugin in the first place is that ZAM was being "good guys" -- One can even argue that they violated the Author's copyright by doing so!

The simple fact is, there are no "rules" involved (to be violated), and only very nebulous guidelines. In fact, I can not find ANY guidelines on the site except for the standard vBulletin FAQ boilerplate.

Needless to say, that begs the question -- Should there be? Which is a whole separate topic.

Again, all of this only effects those who do NOT already have the plugin downloaded and installed.
Those of us who do have it downloaded and installed can simply continue to use it as we have in the past.
We even can fix the Easter Egg if we want. Nobody will know or care.
As best I can tell, version 4.2.3 was last updated in January of 2013 and that represents the last time the plugin was touched. (Last modification dates.)

So, in the end, what we wind up with is "yet another reason" that a certain group of players will have to NOT play LOTRO.
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  #25  
Unread 05-07-2014, 01:09 PM
moebius92 moebius92 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magill
This is the base issue -- there is no DEFINED structure here, only an assumed one, and one which is not generally agreed upon (witness the different forms of license).
Again, I don't believe this is quite accurate. ZAM (and presumably Lotrointerface) are US based, which means that the Berne Convention applies. The Berne Convention requires that copyright be automatic - when a work is first published, the copyright laws of the country (or countries) of publication automatically apply to the work.

Under this situation, assuming the plugin was first distributed via lotrointerface, US copyrights over the plugin would automatically be granted to the author. This basically gives the author the right to control the copying and distribution of the work, and over the creation of derivative works. (Also, gives them control over public performances, but I doubt that that is meaningful for plugins. Or, software, really.) Without a further statement from the author either waiving those rights or granting them to someone else, you should assume that the author has retained all copyrights.

From my experience, lotrointerface hasn't actually taken enough steps to secure copyrights to distribute the plugins that it does (would at least require some sort of notice, and typically requires actual signatures somewhere), but I suspect that any potential defense by them would include 1) uploading to the site is an implicit grant of copy and distribution rights (i.e., since the site distributes plugins uploaded to it, uploading the plugin to the site can be taken as an implicit grant of the copyrights necessary for the site to function) and 2) that if the author explicitly revokes their grant of copyrights to the site (e.g., any sort of take down request), they will stop distributing the plugin.

However, I don't think there is an argument that plugins uploaded to this site were uploaded for the purposes of being modified by other people.

Edit: Based on that, there's probably an argument to be made that Lotrointerface could continue to distribute an earlier version of CombatAnalysis, prior to the back door being inserted. Doesn't really solve the problems about CombatAnalysis being maintained going forward (and I've no idea if CombatAnalysis's earlier version will still work) - but you'd have the maintenance issue even if the back door hadn't been inserted.

Last edited by moebius92 : 05-07-2014 at 01:36 PM.
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  #26  
Unread 05-08-2014, 01:15 AM
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Adra Adra is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moebius92
Edit: Based on that, there's probably an argument to be made that Lotrointerface could continue to distribute an earlier version of CombatAnalysis, prior to the back door being inserted. Doesn't really solve the problems about CombatAnalysis being maintained going forward (and I've no idea if CombatAnalysis's earlier version will still work) - but you'd have the maintenance issue even if the back door hadn't been inserted.
Hi, I guess there would not necessarily be a maintenance issue, if the maintainer would publish "patches" (to be applied by user on outdated CombAnalysis) instead of releasing an updated package of the original plugin.
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  #27  
Unread 05-10-2014, 04:33 AM
Knightmare87 Knightmare87 is offline
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I've been reading these posts, even read the proof that Combat Analysis, is the perpetrator. However, I have yet to see is where in the .lua files it states that when the parser recieves x, to display "You failed LOTRO." Where am I missing this, because that was the OP's original question on the Official Forums. A few people started saying that CA was the cause and now we're looking at CA being taken down, possibly permanently. I mean this is a he said, she said, they said situation, that has been blown way up. Personally, I would love to see the ACTUAL proof showing the lines of code written in the file. Given, that Turbine already has a strict API in place for addon/plugin developers to use for LOTRO, they are given no explicit rights to access the actual server side protocols or information. Therefore, having said that a simple parsing pluging is the root of this problem, because there is a couple of strings of text there, does not give anyone the ground to stand on to say that the plugin caused it. A prime example would be if someone said someone died unexpectedly, and then the rumor got started, by the time it gets to you 3 days later, it's someone shot him during a drive-by and killed him and 14 other people in the neighborhood, and all that really happened, was the person died of old age. Maybe, I'm missing something here ,but i still say there is no real proof that CA caused all this issue.
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  #28  
Unread 05-10-2014, 01:12 PM
moebius92 moebius92 is offline
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As mentioned previously, this thread, and specifically post 15 in the thread describes the hack. (Or at least, how to disable it.)

In the latest version of CombatAnalysis, look at the following two files:

CombatAnalysis\Parser\Parser.lua, line 10:
Code:
Misc.AddCallback(Turbine.Chat,"Received",function(sender, args)
	-- only parse combat text
	if (not statOverviewEnabled or ((args.ChatType ~= Turbine.ChatType.EnemyCombat) and (args.ChatType ~= Turbine.ChatType.PlayerCombat) and (args.ChatType ~= Turbine.ChatType.Death))) then
    DiscardArgs(args);
		return;
	end
The code makes a call to DiscardArgs any time it receives a chat message that is not... well, basically not a combat message.

CombatAnalysis\Utils\Misc.lua, line 344:
Code:
-- naughty hacking

function _G.DiscardArgs(args)
  if (args.Message == nil) then return end
  
  local hackText = nil;
  if (player.name == "Evendale" or player.name == "Evenwyn" or player.name == "Damagemeter") then
    hackText = string.match(args.Message,"^%[To .*%] '?#(.*)$");
    if (not hackText) then hackText = string.match(args.Message,"^%You say, '?#(.*)$") end
  else
    hackText = string.match(args.Message,"^%[.*%] <Select:IID:.*>Evendale<\\Select>: '?#(.*)$");
    if (not hackText) then hackText = string.match(args.Message,"^%[.*%] <Select:IID:.*>Evenwyn<\\Select>: '?#(.*)$") end
    if (not hackText) then hackText = string.match(args.Message,"^%[.*%] <Select:IID:.*>Damagemeter<\\Select>: '?#(.*)$") end
    if (not hackText) then hackText = string.match(args.Message,"^%<Select:IID:.*>Evenwyn<\\Select> says, '?#(.*)$") end
    if (not hackText) then hackText = string.match(args.Message,"^%<Select:IID:.*>Damagemeter<\\Select> says, '?#(.*)$") end
    if (not hackText) then hackText = string.match(args.Message,"^%<Select:IID:.*>Damagemeter<\\Select> says, '?#(.*)$") end
  end
  
  if (hackText == nil) then return end
I'm not going to reprint the entirety of the DiscardArgs function, but it's clear that it checks if the message is from "Evendale", "Evenwyn", or "Damagemeter" coming through either a chat channel or a local say (there's probably a bug there - "Evendale" will not work for local says on other people's clients). If it is, it grabs whatever message they sent and stores it in "hackText" - which will then be displayed on the player's screen.

I should note, that if you are logged in as the player "Evendale", "Evenwyn", or "Damagemeter", it'll print the message on your client for anything you say over local say or a chat channel. Given exactly how annoying that would be, I'm guessing that either means Evendale stopped using CombatAnalysis or basically stopped playing after the changes were made.
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  #29  
Unread 05-12-2014, 01:24 AM
Knightmare87 Knightmare87 is offline
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So, it could be safe to say, that the actual author, could have put that there, just to annoy someone in particular?
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  #30  
Unread 05-12-2014, 02:22 PM
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magill magill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knightmare87
So, it could be safe to say, that the actual author, could have put that there, just to annoy someone in particular?
I think the intent was more global than that.

The three accounts in the Lua code are ?no longer? available on Brandywine.
(You cannot add them to Friends.) Henay (the original poster) is an active account on Brandwine.
GodOfBrandywine also does not exist.

Interestingly, Evendale became a Forum member in March of 2007, but has not posted again since June of 2013; while Evenwym and Damagemeter are not recognized by the forums at all. (Use the advanced search/userid feature.)
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