Monit’s DMCA Takedown Notice for Inspeqtor

While reading Github’s new DMCA policy revamp related post, I stumbled upon an interesting conversation in Monit’s DMCA takedown notice for Inspeqtor. The entire public-facing conversation calls for some thinking. The hackernews conversation surrounding this adds another dimension to this.

The DMCA notice:
https://github.com/github/dmca/blob/master/2014-10-05-tildeslash.md

[expand title=”excerpt…”]Dear Github,

  1. We are the copyright owner of Monit [http://mmonit.com/monit/], an Open Source project released under the GNU Affero General Public License (AGPL). It has come to our understanding that user [private] [https://github.com/mperham] has created a derivate work of Monit called Inspeqtor which infringe upon Monit copyright work.

The work, Inspeqtor which is hosted at GitHub, is far from a “clean-room” implementation. This is basically a rewrite of Monit in Go, even using the same configuration language that is used in Monit, verbatim.

a. [private] himself admits that Inspeqtor is “heavily influenced” by Monit https://github.com/mperham/inspeqtor/wiki/Other-Solutions.

b. This tweet by [private] demonstrate intent. https://twitter.com/mperham/status/452160352940064768 “OSS nerds: redesign and build monit in Go. Sell it commercially. Make $$$$. I will be your first customer.” – [private] (@mperham)

  1. The unauthorized and infringing material is located at:

https://github.com/mperham/inspeqtor

We ask that this material is removed.[/expand]

The counter notice:
https://github.com/github/dmca/blob/master/2014-10-06-tildeslash-counternotice.md

[expand title=”excerpt…”]This is my DMCA Counter-Notification in response to the notification below.

  1. I am [private], copyright holder for the identified material.
  2. The material is located at https://github.com/mperham/inspeqtor
  3. I state under penalty of perjury that I have a good faith belief that

the material was removed or disabled as a result of a mistake or

misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled.

I consent to the jurisdiction of Federal District Court for the judicial district of California and that I will accept service of process from the person who provided notification or an agent of such person.[/expand]

Monit’s reply to counter notice:
https://github.com/github/dmca/blob/master/2014-10-06-tildeslash-retraction.md

[expand title=”excerpt…”]Dear Github

We wish to withdraw our DMCA Notice regarding this repository https://github.com/mperham/inspeqtor

In retrospect we realise that the copyright violation is open for interpretation and it is not so clear-cut as we were first led to believe. It is therefor unfair to [private] and to Inspeqtor’s users if our action cause the repository to be off-line any longer. We sincerely apologise for this. We will not take any further action in this matter.

Our position was to see the work in question as a whole, together with the history and from there we formed a causal narrative between Monit and Inspeqtor, but we are afraid we have been both naive and misguided in our use of DMCA. We do see the irony, unfortunately to late, that our own action might be considered unethical although our intentions were the opposite. The old saying, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” never felt more true.[/expand]

Interesting conversation on Hackernews:
https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8416773

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