I’ve been working on a new template to be used on Pligg.com in the near future, and it has come to be known as Fraxi among the Pligg developers because I originally began designing the template for the domain Fraxi.com. The new template will be made as a Pligg template and as this point I am not intending on making it available for download. Right now it only exists as a Photoshop .psd file of what the future homepage will look like for Pligg, but over the next couple weeks I will finish designing the 14 other pages that need to be made.
We are going to use this new template to help launch the next version of Pligg and help increase the traffic to Pligg.com by demonstrating Pligg on the homepage. I don’t want to give away too many details early on because I’m not sure if we can offer all of the features that I have imagined. I also don’t want to over-hype something that doesn’t exist yet because it’s ridiculous when people get excited over a series of images. To give everyone an idea of the style and color scheme I’ve decided to share a small snippet from the current image. More information will be shared about this template in a follow up post to come soon.
In recent weeks Pligg has received two letters from SuperGu (SG) and their law firm. The first letter stated that Pligg’s template yget infringed on SuperGu’s copyright. At first we wondered how could this be since SuperGu has never released any code and the beta code they did release (SuperGu 1.3) was a template that was ported to be used with Meneame as a base. For those not familiar with Meneame, Pligg forked from it over a year ago. Meneame is based on the Affero General Public License (that’s why Pligg uses it, too). The beta that SG released would have fallen under this license, also.
Some of the claims SuperGu made was that they held copyrights to the following features: 1) Pagination (the next and previous page buttons) – SG claimed that Pligg’s pagination is too similar to theirs. 2) “Powered by Pligg” – SG claimed that the verbiage is too similar to their “Powered by SuperGu” so we have to remove it. 3) RSS feed icon – Yes, SG claimed they owned the copyright to the orange RSS feed icon. After some research we found that Mozilla actually owns the rights to it. These are just a few of the many claims SG made in their first letter sent to Pligg. Overall, there were almost 15 so called “copyright infringements.”
Pligg’s law firm sent SG a letter back a few days later asking for proof of copyright. It has now been over a week and we received another letter. Let me take you back a few days. After sending letter back to SG’s first letter we came across some files that were publicly accessible on supergu.com but have since been removed. There was one very interesting file that got my attention called ‘notes.txt’. The contents of ‘notes.txt’ are copied below. The only change is that we removed his email address.
Thank you for working on this project!
If you would be so kind…
1. Please use my files located here: http://www.hostcity.com/files/ as I have
modified them to suit my needs. The meneamesg.zip file is my version of
meneame, converted into English. The pligg-9.1.zip file has been modified
also. I’ve deleted the templates I am not interested in. The template to
clone is ‘yget’.
2. Pligg history: At its core, Pligg is built on Meneame. The main difference
is Pligg added the Smarty templating system. I DO NOT NEED SMARTY as I will
NOT be sharing this software with anyone. Please do NOT add Smarty to my
version of Meneame as I do not need it. Thanks.
I am only interested in cloning the ‘Yget’ template found in Pligg here:
3. Your mission is to clone the yget template including it’s functionality
I do not want to lose any of meneamesg’s functionality at this time, so
please be careful to comment and note any necessary changes. I understand
there are differences between Pligg and Meneamesg, and I wish to maintain
the meneamesg functionality as much as possible.
4. Please comment php code and make as many notes as you can, thanks.
5. I’ve moved some things around like the sidebar from right to left, etc.
Please look at my sample image located here:
6. The opening page should display ‘Register’ instead of ‘Login’ as
denoted in the newsite.jpg image. The ‘Register’ dialog box should read:
“Every article on this web sitewas submitted and voted on by its members.
Join us to submit, discuss,and promote the news that’s important to you!”
7. Please please do NOT contact anyone at pligg.com or pligg.com/forum for
help or questions about this project. Thanks.
If you have any questions, please email me. I will do my best to quickly
respond to your inquiries.
Once again, thanks for assisting me with this project!
http://www.flickboy.com (my pligg reference site)
http://www.sortby.us (meneamesg ref site)
Yes, you read that write. James Phelps, the SuperGu “owner” has hired someone to copy the template he just sent us a Cease and Desist over.
Now that you’ve seen this lets move on to the second letter Pligg received from SG. This letter was received after finding the notes.txt file copied above. The second letter received from SG contained a photocopy of the copyright form and the copyrighted SG material.
Lets take a look at the copyright document and see when SG created this so called “copyrighted material”
Notice that the work creation date was in 2005. Also note that date of publication of Jan. 1st 2006. Both of these dates were made up and SG must have lied on this copyright form. Meneame released their code, which the old SuperGu was based off of, in December of 2005. SuperGu didn’t even come into existence until mid-2006. The first Published date of SuperGu’s work was late Summer 2006, months after Pligg had been in development using the Mollio (mollio-beat) template. Now lets get to the good part. Lets see what SG spent so much time and effort on that they felt the need to copyright. If you take a look pages 8-18 in the PDF below you will see that SuperGu has filed a copyright for Pligg’s CSS code!
The code SuperGu claims to copyright is a direct copy and paste from this changeset on Pligg’s Source forge log http://svn.sourceforge.net/viewvc/pl…89&view=markup
Remember, SG has never released any code so how can they claim that we copied their CSS code when their code has never been released to anyone?? Another thing, the code in the C&D letter includes many code snip-its that Pligg coders personally wrote. Pligg has been using a variation of this CSS since the conception of Mollio-beat template on 4/19/2005 http://www.pligg.com/forum/showthread.php?t=643
This template and it’s CSS (which is most of the CSS in the C&D letter) was created by beatniak months before SG was ever thought of. If this doens’t convince than I don’t know what will.
We felt the need to make this public because this cease and desist is ridiculous and the copyright application is infringing on our, along with other web designers, work. Pligg has contacted the Free Software Foundation and the Electronic Frontier Foundation about this case and we are seeking help from anyone who specializes in internet copyright and patents.
The following document includes all of the legal papers received by Pligg.
High quality (20.3 mb) PDF
Medium Quality (7.7 mb) PDF (right click, save as)
* Pligg.com Mirror
We changed our hosting over to a DreamHost server about a month ago to try to lessen our downtime from the previous server, but it looks like a standard account on DreamHost isn’t enough for Pligg.com. We are going to attempt to upgrade the server from a shared hosting account on DreamHost to a VPS account on Midphase. Midphase seems to offer great service and support and unlike DreamHost they have both VPS and Dedicated plans to choose from. The server change will happen sometime over the next few days and after the move we should be set at least for the rest of this year. Hopefully the move will be the last time we see downtime. Like the previous move that we made recently, it will take a while for some nameservers to update appropriately. Please be aware that some posts on the forum/wiki will be lost during the transfer due to nameserver syncing. Thanks for your patience and understanding everyone, we’re doing our best to accommodate the large amount of traffic that’s being driven to Pligg.com.
Open source scripts are great and all, but sometimes authors of web scripts need to make a few extra bucks or even a full time career from their hard work. This blog entry is dedicated to some of my favorite commercial web scripts that I have purchased in the past, and why I decided to drop my hard earned cash on them.
The first script I would like to talk about is vBulletin. This forum script has two price ranges that might seem steep for most casual web developers. A $160 option lets you run the script indefinitely with one years worth of updates, the $85 dollar option leases the script for one year at a time and as long as you continue your annual lease you can keep getting the latest updates. Both of these options only let you run vBulletin on a single domain for a year and get you access to view all of the content on vBulletin.org, a support forum for vBulletin. vBulletin.org offers a lot of great modifications, templates and other amazing resources for helping you setup your site. vBulletin is worth purchasing in my case because it offers a humongous amount of features that you can control from the administration panel and the vBulletin community has a lot of great module authors willing to contribute their mods for free. Pligg’s forum runs about a couple dozen mods at this point in time, and every one of them is free. When I first purchased a license a year ago when Pligg first started I hesitated because $85 seemed like a lot when you compare vBulletin to other open source forum scripts like phpBB or Vanilla. If you have a chance to run a handful of open source forum scripts and then run vBulletin you will immediately see a difference in features that help demonstrate why it’s well worth your money to purchase a vBulletin license.
The next script that I use on Pligg.com is Mint. Mint functions as a very clean stats package for your site. Think of it as Google Analytics, only usable. I’ve always hated Google’s stats program because it’s really ugly and difficult to read at a quick glance. Mint makes things as easy as possible to read and offers add-ons called “peppers” to give you even more advanced stats. Mint costs a one time fee of $30, $19 to upgrade to the next major version. I’ve had to pay for both the original fee and the upgrade and I haven’t been amazed by the difference between Mint 1.x and Mint 2.x. Let me also mention that Mint’s website design is pretty awesome and I applaud them for their original design and interface.
See a demo of Mint by clicking here.
Tufat.com is probably one of my favorite commercial script sites because everything offered by the author is just $5. The author even has a few free scripts like osDate and MyBackup (highly suggested). Don’t think that paying just $5 is going to bite you in the butt in the end, Tufat scripts include free upgrades and they even have a support forum. Some of his more popular scripts are FlashChat and FlashBB.
In just a few weeks we were able to reach our donation drive goal of $1,000. A lot of people have been wondering where our money is going to, so this post will detail exactly that. Our first plan is to file for nonprofit status and some other legal documents. We have wanted to form a 501(c)3 for several months now, but we never had enough money to comfortably spend money and still have enough left over for other purposes. Our goal for the next few months is to keep a minimum of $1,000 in the “Pliggy Bank” in case of a rainy day. We want to keep a thousand dollar buffer mostly because we are fearing that it will be needed some day to pay some small legal fees.
Last night I took a look at some nonprofit forms trying to figure out what I needed to do to start filing the papers. I realized during this process that we have never written a manifesto or business outline for Pligg, which is required for when you file for nonprofit status. I’m not the best when it comes to legal papers, so I think that we will hire a company to assist us in filing for nonprofit status. If anyone out there has a connection to someone who has experience in this area and is able to help out let me know. We need to draft a business objective and summary about who we are and what we represent.
I’m one of the few Pliggers excited about MacWorld, which starts today. I wanted to keep track of what exactly they are going to update so I’ve created an image gallery filled with Apple Store screenshots from early today. Later today after Apple announces it’s new products and updates their online store I will take a second wave of screenshots and post a second gallery with the newer products and prices. The idea is to help track the technical and price changes for some of the most popular products from Apple. I’m hoping for a Final Cut update, some suprising new features in Mac OS X Leopard, new displays, a bigger (screen) and better video iPod and last but not least… the holy grail, iPhone/iMobile. Rumors have been circling for about a year now about the Apple iPhone and it just happens to be the perfect time for me to upgrade my phone. Unfortunately the rumors are that if the iPhone exists Apple won’t let cell carriers bundle the phone with contracts tto reduce the cost of the phone. Great business model for Apple to allow them to keep their iPods in the $250 price range, horrible business model for someone who likes to bundle cell phone contracts to get huge discounts. If I don’t see an iPhone by the end of the day I’ll have to settle for a new Sony Ericsson.
I’m also in the market for upgrading my MacBook to the latest version, or stepping up to the big brother MacBook Pros. Hopefully there will be some announcement to lower the cost of the refurbished MacBooks just a few more bucks, or alternatively Apple could come out with some crazy new tablet PC to rock my world.
I’ll update this post with a link to the second gallery with post MacWorld pics tomorrow after the keynote. For now check out the Pre MacWorld Slideshow
Here are some links to keep you in touch with all things Mac:
Site’s providing live MacWorld coverage: