Removing the MyBB Copyright Illegally is a Bad Idea

All administrators of MyBB probably know of the MyBB License one way or another. However, it has come to my attention that there are some people who just can’t get their head around one statement in the license. It happens to be this one:

The MyBB Group has several copyright notices and “powered by” lines embedded within the product. You must not remove, alter or hinder the visibility of any of these statements (including but not limited to the copyright notice at the top of files and the copyright/powered by lines found in publicly visible “templates”).

Is the text too difficult to understand? Personally I think we have made this as clear and as inambiguous as possible. Would you not agree? To me, it is quite easy to understand from this quotation that I am not allowed to remove any copyright notice and “powered by” statements which have been already written into the files distributed in the MyBB package. I don’t see any other way of interpreting it.

Is the license too difficult to find? The license is distributed in the Documentation folder of the full MyBB package. It is also displayed when the forum is installed. By installing a forum, the administrator has to at least see one, if not both instances where the license is displayed during the installation of a forum.

Are you that ashamed of running MyBB? I have seen MyBB forums changing the “powered by” line to other software such as vBulletin. I mean, if you like vBulletin, or IPB, or the other software that much, why not use that instead? Why mask MyBB as another software? Is there something wrong with using MyBB? If so, I’d suggest you voice your feedback on the MyBB Community Forums. We respect all feedback, and we take in your suggestions when we’re developing the next version of MyBB. We want to make MyBB something that you and your users want to use. This isn’t just for our own benefit.

I spent an hour tonight surfing the web looking for violators, and with a simple web search, I was able to find around 40 within the time I spent. And that was only for one search. I’m sure there are hundreds of forums out there who have removed the MyBB copyright and/or “powered by” lines.

To the MyBB forum owners who have removed the copyright and/or “powered by” lines, it isn’t a matter of if your forum will be found, it’s when. We enforce our License to the fullest extent possible, including legal action if required. How would it feel if you spent hours working on something to have it taken by another person who claims it is theirs? Not too happy I’d assume. We aren’t either.

Support us, and we will support you. It’s only two lines with links to the official MyBB homepage at the bottom of your forum. Is that too much to ask really?

If you really despise the copyright lines that much, please consider purchasing the privilege of removing the copyright on one board with a small payment to Chris Boulton. Please contact him for more details about this.

PS: Thanks to everybody (the majority of MyBB administrators) who is adhering to the License and thus supporting us 🙂

38 Replies to “Removing the MyBB Copyright Illegally is a Bad Idea”

  1. It’s a sad fact that there will always be people like that in the world. At least they are found and dealt with in the end.

    I’m glad however, that it’s not everyone. Many people in the community do support MyBB and follow the license accordingly.

  2. Paretje said:
    There will be people who don’t read the license too

    Actually, most people don’t read the license (many studies have found…). BUT we made it extremely clear to people when we put a huge comment in the footer template about not removing the copyright. I can’t see how you can get out of that one!

  3. This may not sit well with some of you, but maybe you should take the approach used by Jelsoft with vBulletin, and that is to exact a fee for removal of the copyright notice.

    That would provide development income, assuming the fee is reasonable, say $150 per license and/or installation.

    What do the rest of you think?

    Understand that I have no problem at all in putting your copyright notices on the two sites that use a MyBB forum, but some folks seem to have other priorities.

    Peace,
    Gene

  4. This is a disgrace… I am a proud mybb User and would love to make mybb grow. After all mybb is free and to recall all the time and effort the staff worked to release this software it’s worth it to add 2 or three lines of text..

  5. I do not disagree (and I do that with my boards), but I posed this as a possibility, so that the folks who put “all the time and effort” to “release this software” can receive a small amount of money for their efforts.

    Understand that vBulletin is a retail product, so they have a right to charge as they see fit. But SMF, for example, sells annual support contracts as a means to raise capital. And it’s otherwise free.

    So consider the possibilities anyway.

    Peace,
    Gene

  6. Hi Gene,

    There is a way to remove the MyBB copyright legally, and that involves paying for it, just like vBulletin as you have alluded to. I’m not sure of the exact amount, nor if it is a recurring payment, but if you ask Chris Boulton I’m sure he can answer those questions for you if you are indeed interested in removing the MyBB copyright legally.

    I guess I was a bit negative when I was posting this and neglected to mention thanks to everyone (the majority of people actually) who are abiding by the License and supporting us.

  7. Well, I am not interested in what the amount is or a legal method of its removal, but that merely confirms my suggestion that it be an income generator.

    Thanks for the apology.

    Peace,
    Gene

  8. I dont think you need to apologise at all. I – for one – am tired of people thinking absolutely everything on the net is up for grabs even if it clearly says its not. People work hard on programmes like these, and on other things such as content and graphics on their websites and it’s bloody rude to just take it and give no credit and/or financial contribution. In many cases it’s not just rude its ILLEGAL.

    It’s beyond me why people would prefer to pretend this software comes from some commercial company instead of from the open source community (seriously!!! I would rather stick hot pokers in my eye than associate myself with vBulletin). Are they that sad and insecure??? But I guess that is entirely consistent with the type of person who steals other people’s work. If it’s good enough to use then it should be good enough to be credited on your site or for you to pay for it.

    Anyway, sorry for the rave. I just got annoyed when I saw you feeling the need to apologise just for pointing out the obvious and asking people to treat other people with a little respect.

    Good on ya guys.

    This is a great forum.

    BTW As far as I can tell you DID already mention that you can pay a fee to have the copyright notice removed, in your original article.

  9. oops! and Arrrrgggghhhh!

    This is in the wrong bit. Really not sure how that happened. LOL

    It should be added to the post about copyright infringements. If anyone can fix these things can you please move this to the right article. Thanks 🙂

  10. If it’s open-source, wouldn’t that give people the right to remove the copyright from the myBB forum? I’m not saying that people should, but because the developers release the source code out to other “developers”, these so-called “developers” would be able to modify the code themselves, and by removing the copyright from myBB too?

    I really do like myBB and I’m not doing this to pay you guys out. You do an awesome job with the scripting and graphics work, but this is one such perspective that’s been floating around on the net lately.

    I intend on creating a new forum, powered by myBB, instead of phpBB and I intend on leaving everything intact, apart from modding and adding more styles.

  11. Dan said:

    If it’s open-source, wouldn’t that give people the right to remove the copyright from the myBB forum? I’m not saying that people should, but because the developers release the source code out to other “developers”, these so-called “developers” would be able to modify the code themselves, and by removing the copyright from myBB too?

    No, there’s a difference between “open source” and “source visible”. The PHP language is “source-visible” and there’s nothing we can do about that. That means anybody is able to view (and modify) the code.

    But MyBB is released with a specific license, to which all users (administrators) of MyBB must adhere at all times while using the software. The license can be viewed here: http://wiki.mybboard.net/index.php/License .

  12. Just to play Devil’s Advocate for a moment.

    I personally thing the “Copyright © 2002-2007 MyBB Group” tag is very over reaching as far as a copyright statement goes for a piece of software. Sure, The scripts are copyright and the templates (assuming they have not been altered), but none of the content is copyrighted by the MyBB Group and having a generic copyright statement there seems to imply otherwise. I’d much rather see “Powered by MyBB, Copyright 2002 – 2007” on one line, that at least implies the copyright applies to MyBB and not my content.

    Just my two cents.

  13. We didn’t say you couldn’t add your own copyright in addition to our own, if that’s what your insinuating.

  14. Oh I’m perfectly aware that you can add your own, what I dislike is that if I dont, it seems as if it’s stating the website is copyright the MyBB Group. Just a bit of semantics, but still, I personally think that the Powered by MyBB is plenty of credit, but if it is really desierable, at least put it all on the same line or a little more specific as to what said copyright applies too.

  15. As far as I can tell, vB does this too (and other forum players). I don’t see why it would be a problem just now.

  16. um, hey i did’nt read the license at all..lol but you know what everyone knows its copyright! no1 wud jsut be lyk, “it says powered by mybb” hmm oh w/e i’ll change it to powerreed by *yourdomain.com*

    Some ppl are just plain stupid!
    by the way while i w8 for my account , “grt” on mybboard.com to be accepted to post my thread about my bug/error
    okay searhc.php on ym forum dont work in ftp i see it there tho 😕
    any idears?

    i’m running another theme tho :/ http://phatdragons.rune-nation.net/search.php dont work . 🙁

  17. Tikitiki said:
    They’re just people who are either retarded or blind.

    Pretty harsh…

    Nothing retarded or blind about it, pretty offensive to suggest otherwise. Those are people who don’t have “respect”, I think you’ll find that the problem. You see people will always try to trick a system and some people are just rule breakers, they seek thrills and probably see it as a cat and mouse game.

    Why state that? I think that’s very rude, childish even.

    You probably meant nothing by it but then again same could be said for those who remove the copyright and neither are okay.

    Now, I would never dream of removing the copyright. I see it as important to support something and chris and the rest of the time work hard. It’s small and not at all in the way, it only becomes an issue with mod makers who want to add lines there and I don’t install them simple because to many looks horrible. (otherwise I would)

    @Dennis I’ve seen many types of packages fiddled with to remove such lines and I’m strongly against them. To create something for free and not to ask for a penny in return is something I admire, you and the other developers deserve credit.

    ~Kerrang!

    P.s I’ve said nothing out of line, just voicing my opinion. I don’t wish to argue or scrobble over something petty, but that doesn’t mean my views regarding the comments above aren’t acceptable in a way.

  18. Kerrang! said:

    Tikitiki said:
    They’re just people who are either retarded or blind.

    Pretty harsh…
    Nothing retarded or blind about it, pretty offensive to suggest otherwise. Those are people who don’t have “respect”, I think you’ll find that the problem. You see people will always try to trick a system and some people are just rule breakers, they seek thrills and probably see it as a cat and mouse game.
    Why state that? I think that’s very rude, childish even.
    You probably meant nothing by it but then again same could be said for those who remove the copyright and neither are okay.

    No, it’s actually true. We have a comment block right above the powered by / copyright lines that you absolutely can’t miss. So the only reason you would is if he / she was retarded or blind.

    What’s childish and rude is the people who do remove the copyright illegally. Not me.

  19. Tikitiki said:

    Kerrang! said:

    Tikitiki said:
    They’re just people who are either retarded or blind.

    Pretty harsh…
    Nothing retarded or blind about it, pretty offensive to suggest otherwise. Those are people who don’t have “respect”, I think you’ll find that the problem. You see people will always try to trick a system and some people are just rule breakers, they seek thrills and probably see it as a cat and mouse game.
    Why state that? I think that’s very rude, childish even.
    You probably meant nothing by it but then again same could be said for those who remove the copyright and neither are okay.
    No, it’s actually true. We have a comment block right above the powered by / copyright lines that you absolutely can’t miss. So the only reason you would is if he / she was retarded or blind.
    What’s childish and rude is the people who do remove the copyright illegally. Not me.

    You think name calling isn’t childish?

    The choice of words “retarded” and “blind” is ignorant and childish. Would a blind person be able to setup a forum? I doubt any of those who remove the copyright are indeed blind or retarded.

    If you think it’s fine to call a minority group such those who are blind or retarded then that’s down to you. However I strongly think those words aren’t the issue and could be put a cross in friendlier way, those who remove the copyright are just people who have no respect for other peoples work.

    Do respect people who are blind or retarded?
    ~Kerrang!

    P.s I’ve got nothing more to say but if you insist to call those people blind and retarded then it shows that your insensitive to those who can’t help the way they are. (which is saddening)

  20. You’ve taken what I meant way out of context. I think it’s pretty fair to call someone something if they did something illegal – they rightfully deserve it, as a punishment. You obviously don’t understand how a word can be used as multiple meanings in different contexts. That’s all I’m saying.

  21. @Tikitiki

    No offence but that’s weak.

    You shouldn’t of referred to them as “blind” or “retarded” in the first place. it isn’t acceptable however you claim to of meant it, which part don’t you understand?

    “I think it’s pretty fair to call someone something if they did something illegal – they rightfully deserve it, as a punishment.”

    That’s amusing because you as a “Team member” should set an example, you know it’s not me. It’s how you respond, you just go further and further into the ground. I’m not at all being funny and I think those who break the rules as punishment should be forced to face up to the law or have the right of using myBB taken away.

    So you claim I don’t understand context. Wow, you must see that your comments are uncalled for? however you try to defend it.

    I’m discussing this and you go into defence mode and follow up with something which wouldn’t stand. Without replying pointlessly, would you like seeing someone calling you? In any case think about those WHO ARE.

    Lastly, regarding your comments directed at myself. You know, it tells me a lot about your attitude and how you believe what you said wouldn’t bother someone. Certain words should never be used within a sentence, polite people don’t. Don’t worry, I understand where you’re coming from but I still don’t accept what you said.

    ^^^ That’s what your not getting.

  22. I am actually against removing of any copyright. When it is legally removed, you will always have those people who will go and report you, perhaps post something bad on your forum publicly, despite the fact. Same goes for any copyrighted service. Scripts, photographs, templates, themes, graphics, you name it.

    Fact of the matter is that people will remove the copyright. And in addition to that, a forum will NEVER be successful if they do it illegally, I guarantee it. Warez forums are a completely different story.

  23. Kerrang! said:
    @Tikitiki
    No offence but that’s weak.
    You shouldn’t of referred to them as “blind” or “retarded” in the first place. it isn’t acceptable however you claim to of meant it, which part don’t you understand?
    “I think it’s pretty fair to call someone something if they did something illegal – they rightfully deserve it, as a punishment.”
    That’s amusing because you as a “Team member” should set an example, you know it’s not me. It’s how you respond, you just go further and further into the ground. I’m not at all being funny and I think those who break the rules as punishment should be forced to face up to the law or have the right of using myBB taken away.
    So you claim I don’t understand context. Wow, you must see that your comments are uncalled for? however you try to defend it.
    I’m discussing this and you go into defence mode and follow up with something which wouldn’t stand. Without replying pointlessly, would you like seeing someone calling you? In any case think about those WHO ARE.
    Lastly, regarding your comments directed at myself. You know, it tells me a lot about your attitude and how you believe what you said wouldn’t bother someone. Certain words should never be used within a sentence, polite people don’t. Don’t worry, I understand where you’re coming from but I still don’t accept what you said.
    ^^^ That’s what your not getting.

    Well thats just it now. I’m not polite, am I?

  24. Well thats just it now. I’m not polite, am I?

    Tikitiki said:
    Well… Not always atleast

    Well whatever light you’d like to put yourself in I really don’t care, now I don’t mean to sound offensive but you are yourself. I was only pointing out what you said in the first place, regardless of if your polite or not and either you personally look at it doesn’t project well.

    I hope MyBB will attempt to crack down on these people and get the deserved credit, that’s the main issue but if you want to label innocent people with the likes of them well do it.

    Being witty or thinking you are is okay, like I said I’m discussing this.

    ~Kerrang!

    P.s I don’t need to answer you question, take a look for yourself. (I guess you can when you want)

  25. Just for the record;

    Someone such as yourself can do a lot more than name people with what you did, I’m sure you know better words which wouldn’t cast shadows over this issue.

    Now can we focus on MyBB itself and the whole issue of people removing the copyright?

    Does the website have an actual place people can see where to report this? This is something I’ve never actually seen but have always wondered about. Time to time I see people mentioning the e-mail to report it but if it isn’t on the site, would it help with cracking it down?

    Goodluck.
    ~kerrang!

    P.s Last reply, I honestly don’t wish to continue talking about the minor thing. (although not minor to some) =)

  26. Kerrang! said:
    I hope MyBB will attempt to crack down on these people and get the deserved credit, that’s the main issue but if you want to label innocent people with the likes of them well do it.

    Who said innocent people? Did you seriously think I’d call innocent people retarded or blind? Of course not! Only the people who remove the copyright

    Kerrang! said:
    Just for the record;
    Someone such as yourself can do a lot more than name people with what you did, I’m sure you know better words which wouldn’t cast shadows over this issue.

    Morons? Idiots? Stupid people? I’m not sure a better way to describe those that remove the copyright illegally

    Kerrang! said:
    Does the website have an actual place people can see where to report this? This is something I’ve never actually seen but have always wondered about. Time to time I see people mentioning the e-mail to report it but if it isn’t on the site, would it help with cracking it down?

    http://www.mybboard.net/contact/piracy

  27. changing Powered by MyBB to Powered by VBulletin? lol lol lol

    You’re kidding me right. LOL

    I believe no matter what, if you’re using software created by someone else, respect their work. Leave the copyright. I am just assuming that most people are doing this because they dont want to be seen using free software, but come on… The largest forums in the world use free software, and none can still compare to the features found in MyBB.

    Powered by Vbulletin.. lol. That’s just so funny

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