Copy Cat

Someone else has clearly directly copied my original screen layouts included in BW Lite and claimed copyright on it. When challenged they claimed:
"There is some resemblance, but that will be the case with every software written for the Program Track and the Intellibox"

So below I present screen images of mine (on the left) and his (on the right) and you can judge for yourself at to whether or not this is 'resemblance'! I challenge anyone to demonstrate that any software was published, before my screens were published, that bears such a resemblance. A lot of design effort goes into making a good screen layout and is intellectual property.

My s88 decoder screen first published on the web in 6 October 2002

Original URL: http://free.dominoserver.de/leisure/layout.nsf/1/20021006s88Testscreen
Now at http://layout.mixmox.com/1/20021006s88Testscreen

The copied screen:

My s88 decoder screen first published on the web in 6 October 2002
After checking the sound checkbox

Original URL: http://free.dominoserver.de/leisure/layout.nsf/1/20021006s88Testscreen
Now at http://layout.mixmox.com/1/20021006s88Testscreen

Shortly after publishing this screen and describing the audio feedback feature, I recived an email from someone else asking if they could use the same idea and I willingly gave permission to do so.


The copied screen:
After checking the sound checkbox

My decoder programming screen first published on the web in 22 January 2004

Original URL: http://free.dominoserver.de/leisure/layout.nsf/1/PTrack
Now at http://layout.mixmox.com/1/PTrack

The copied screen:

BW Lite start up screen first published on the web on 10 April 2004

Original URL: http://bw.mixmox.com
The copied screen:
Note the claim of Copyright for the program!

Although some changes to the layout have been made here, other software published by the same person differs wildly from the above. I do not care so much about this screen as this user interface is fairly obvious and does not take much design effort. It is shown here to show the claimed copyright as well as the amazing resemblance of how the build number is expressed!

Copy of an email sent to Wim Ros on 2004-4-17

Hi Wim,

Although I am grateful for your attempts to help me with my program. I am angry that you have taken so much of my screen layout design and used it in a program that you have published and for which you have claimed copyright. You know as well as I do that you have directly copied a number of my screen layouts and your product's resemblance to mine goes way beyound the similarities that would be expected by software that do similar things.

Your statement that my program would not be working without your help is simply a load of nensense. My program has been working well for many years on my system. Please also do not delude yourself into thinking that I have used any of your code, or your ideas. Neither have I used sample code published by Stefano in IBE.BAS. I did study it very well though and I noticed that the code that you have in a VB 6 project called Intellibox2.vbp that you sent to me in June 2000, which proclaims "(c) RoSoft Author Wim Ros RailRoad Software http://home.planet.nl/~wimrosoft" contains a version of significant parts of IBE.BAS converted to Visual Basic. It even uses the same variable names.

Some of the progress that you saw in BW Lite is due to bug reports sent in by yourself and others but I am afraid that I cannot recall a single instance where your guesses at what was wrong were ever correct. (Machine speed was a factor, etc). I repeatedly thanked you in my replies to your reports and suggestions. If you would like a public sign of gratitude for your problem reports I will do that. Sending in bug reports does not grant you the right to publish screen designs nor any sort of copyright over my work.

I will also continue to ignore suggestions from you or anyone else that every reply from the IB has to be consumed before sending the next command. I know that scheme is very simple and thus very foolproof but it is not the most efficient way and certainly not the correct way of doing serial port communications. Others who truly understand CTS flow control share this same view. Just because it works does not mean that is the way it has to be done. Sample code such as IBE.BAS is often expressly written to be illustrative, not efficient. I have elected a design architecture that is very much more complex and is totally event driven by OnComm events. With increased complexity comes additional code complexity and potential for errors but I would rather have a better system than one that is easy to code.

I insist that you do not use my software anymore. In other words you are specifically excluded from running any of my train related software that I have sent you or that I have published or will make available in the future.

Sincerely

Dale Schultz
This mail is digitally signed


In 2004 Wim Ros agreed to acknowledge that the screens were mine in a 'Help->About' screen. I now see that his current version of his program has removed any acknowledgment and he is once again claiming copyright of the material so I am no longer withholding this comparison.

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Updated 2005-9-28