profiled eyeOS, which had just launched its 1.0 version. This week the eyeOS team contacted me to claim that a new competitor, MyBooo, has broken the Open Source license of eyeOS 0.9.x and is using it as a base for their project.Last week we
The WebOS space is made up of a number of small startups, many of them in Europe, and it seems to be prone to flare ups and disagreements between developers. In May 2006 I blogged that eyeOS claimed Orca was vaporware - and a heated discussion took place. Part of the issue there was confusion about whether Orca is open source, which is the bone of contention with MyBooo too.
So to the current controversy. eyeOS is claiming that MyBooo has used the eyeOS 0.9.x source code and subsequently published their version as closed source. eyeOS says that MyBooo integrated some eyeOS 0.9 open source software with other pieces of open source software, e.g. some ajax frameworks. Whatever the case (and I'm in no position to judge), it's clear that MyBooo has used some eyeOS code. Here for example is a screenshot that Spanish blog wwwhatsnew.com took, which shows an eyeOS document on the MyBooo server:
Although the eyeOS 0.9x code has since been superseded by the 1.0 version, eyeOS wants MyBooo to "recognize that they broke the GPL license". In the comments to wwwhatsnew.com's post, a representative from MyBooo (Jeremy, no last name given) admits they used some eyeOS code, but otherwise he vigorously defends his company:
"Today few developers of EyeOs cummunity who spread a rumor in the Blogs and have shamefully attacked MyBooo. They mentioned and I quote "stolen their code and broken the GPL(General Public Licence)". We DO NOT appreciate this kind of slander and insult to our work via Web.
We are totally transparent with our sources and we have never intended nor thought of stealing the codes of EyeOS.
We confirm on the other hand that we have used a small part of EyeOS for developing MyBooo. We have found a small part, again a small part only, of EyeOS code useful to use hence we had integrated it to our system rather than re-developing the same. We were also encouraged that our project is compatible to them in case of any future partnership (which has been largely breached because of false accusations of our open source vision)."
It's unclear to me whether or not MyBooo has broken the GPL license terms, but they have certainly used some eyeOS code. It seems the stand-off can easily be rectified by MyBooo giving eyeOS the credit they deserve, in the MyBooo licensing.
The WebOS market is a fiercely competitive one, so these tiffs will continue I suspect until a clear market leader emerges. Right now, eyeOS is a leading contender, along with others such as YouOS and DesktopOnDemand.