Saturday, 13 April 2013

Phil Daintree's shameless lies - Part 5

This page is written in response to the lies that +Phil Daintree has written about me, and spread on the internet. Despite years of searching he has been unable to find anything I have written that is untrue, and he has had to resort to vague generalities, faked emails, and badly fabricated screenshots (you can see the joins if you zoom in using any bit mapped image editor). +Phil Daintree is welcome to make any comments to these pages, as he has done in the past. If I agree with what he says I will amend my writings, if I do not agree I have allowed his comments to stand next to mine so that people can make their own judgements. I have every confidence in the intelligence of readers to make a sensible judgement based on the facts. +Phil Daintree will not allow me the right of reply to any of the lies he has told about me. It seems to me significant that he realises that if people see both sides of the argument they will see through his lies.

Phil's claim to own the copyright of all the webERP code.

The Berne convention asserts that the copyright is owned by the author of a work unless they have explicitly handed over that ownership to a second party. It further states that no copyright message is needed to assert this right, and that proof of authorship is sufficient. Some free software projects (most notably the GNU project) ask that the copyright on all contributions be physically signed over to them. This has never been done with webERP and given that as he himself has said he has fallen out with most contributors it is unlikely that he would retrospectively given this permission.

In September 2012 Phil Daintree unilaterally took the decision to alter the footer on webERP to state that the copyright to all the code was owned by, a domain name owned by himself. This was, in the words of Fred Schuettler (a contributor to webERP) an adolescent attempt by Phil Daintree to goad me into an argument on the subject.

However it is important to those of us who have contribute significantly to webERP (my contribution can be found by following the link Phil Daintree suggests in this email). Phil has suggested in the past that he wished to change the license to the Apache license, which would mean that anybody could take my code and turn it into a commercial closed source application. I am certainly not alone in the world of Free software by being opposed to my code being licensed in this way as a simple Google search will show you. Phil Daintree says he will swear in court to the fact that "Tim is violently opposed to this for his own reasons". This implies that:

1 - I have been violent on the subject. Even in writing I have merely stated that I don't like permissive licenses. Can Phil Daintree produce any example of violence, or would this be perjury if he swore to it in court?
2 - That my reasons are somehow devious. Is he stating that the libreoffice developers antipathy to the apache license devious?

When I queried why Phil Daintree had decided to make this change without speaking to any of the other contributors, he initially claimed that he was not the owner of and that was owned and controlled by all the contributors. However while trying to get the launchpad site set up by Zhiguo Yuan removed he asserts that "I am the owner of the weberp domain.". Also a simple whois search shows that Phil Daintree is the owner of If the contributors have any control of then how come Phil Daintree has asserted that only content that he agrees with will be included? How come only he gets to decide who can help people on the forum? Come on Phil get real!

I then pointed out that did not exist as a legal entity and so could not own the copyright. Phil countered here by saying that " did exist as a legal entity by vitue of the statement ol intent". However his recent statement on this issue says "To even suggest that a domain name could actually own anything is foolishness in any event". Who is the fool Phil? It appears that he has done a 180 degree turn on this and still ended up pointing the same way!!

In English law there is a concept (and most countries have a similar concept in their law) called the man on the Clapham omnibus. This basically asks what the ordinary reasonable person approaching an issue would think. I assert that any reasonable person on viewing webERP would believe that the copyright is owned by, and on looking up that domain name would believe it was owned by Phil Daintree, and thus the copyright was owned by Phil Daintree.

Phil Daintree now asserts that when he is saying that owns the copyright then "any idiot" would see that he meant that the copyright was owned by the contributors. Obviously I am not an idiot then!! If this is what Phil Daintree means then why the subterfuge? Why not just say that? All I have ever asked him to do is to clarify his motives for making that change at that point in time.

Phil Daintree likes to pretend that the only person who is upset by his claims to own the copyright of all the code. Not so. This has been an going issue with other developers since that start of the project.

So I say, "Come on Phil tell us the reason you made this change".

+Phil Daintree
that he creates a COPYRIGHT.txt file in webERP he clearly lays out that the copyright of the contributions belongs to the author of those contributions, which if he wants he can then link to from the footer of every page. +Phil Daintree refuses to even consider this. People can decide for themselves why he will not make a clear and unequivocal statement like this>

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