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LGPL violation/Missing references to Ethereumj project (github.com)
210 points by hamstercat on Jan 15, 2018 | hide | past | web | favorite | 60 comments

For those that haven't heard of TRON, it is what I would call one of the most successful scams in the history of cryptocurrency. It is a currency that was made on top of Ethereum (thus, it took no actual effort to create, as this can be done instantly and for free), paired with a significant amount of hype and lies to investors.

The TRON Whitepaper (what investors are 'supposed' to read and invest off of) is written terribly and copies significantly from other successful projects: https://www.reddit.com/r/ethtrader/comments/7oeh92/trons_trx...

It's possible that the CEO of TRON made at least $300M USD from selling his own coins that he created out of thin air: https://www.reddit.com/r/ethtrader/comments/7oh01s/trx_tron_...

The CEO tweets in ways specifically designed to entice investors to speculate on his coin, such as specifically telling people it will go up in value: https://twitter.com/justinsuntron/status/947463313775927297, or specifically saying the downwards price movement is due to changes to CoinMarketCap information (completely false): https://twitter.com/justinsuntron/status/951191786902274048

Some investors in TRON have lost up to 66% of their net worth thus far (https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/tron/), making it one of the largest crashes that has been seen in the top 10 coins on CoinMarketCap in quite awhile. Some of the things investors believe are completely absurd, citing that the Chinese government or Amazon will use TRON. It's unfortunate the levels of misinformation that so rampantly spread and cause many to lose their hard-earned money.

Wow. Thanks for the sources.

His Twitter profile says

"@Forbes Asia 30 Under 30丨the Only Millennial Student of Jack Ma from @alibabagroup"

My favorite part of the 30 under 30 lists is the part where there are literally thousands of people claiming they are on a list of 30 people.

Kind of like how literally every book nowadays is a "New York Times Bestseller".

Don't forget the senior Alibaba Developers lol

Tron foundation website is a "showcase" of the ceo guy, nothing more.

Gotta admit, he is a DAMN good marketer

More like a prophet at this point.

It's very interesting to see how bubbles plays out. I do think cryptocurrencies are real and have big potential, but after seeing likes tron, verge, and doge, I also believe the current valuations are biggest bubbles of our lifetimes. Yet, you see people justifying ~10b$ valuation on the premise of a whitepaper written with broken english, then partnerships that are merely vaporware (remember iota announced msft partnership, yet it was more like iota was using azure products).

Interesting times. Just play into people's irrational decisions and you'd make big bucks.

With <30 transactions/s, which is state-of-art, they don't have any future. If a better protocol keeping Satoshi's goals but more scalable is invented, then we will see something that might not be just a bubble.

Technology isn't even the biggest issue - even if you had fast zero fee transactions you still have the problem of inherent volatility and deflation. Volume doesn't help with volatility here, at least not in the current designs that have fixed money supply - the incentive to hold becomes even larger the more use a coin sees - you make a contract for x coins in 10 months that's worth 10x - that just makes everything too complicated.

If someone figured out a way to peg the value of crypto to some other big currency that would have potential - but then the speculators wouldn't be making 10x.

Services like BitPay require transactions to go through quickly. If your transaction arrives an hour too late the bitcoin price in usd has changed and bitpay refunds you your money or asks you to send more money. In both cases you have to pay the transaction fee again.

I wouldn't be surprised if a high transaction fee increases the speed of deflation. Smaller transactions are stuck and will be forgotten. Spending the currency is difficult. All you can do is hold or convert to fiat.

There are inflationary cryptocurrencies like monero.

> , but after seeing likes tron, verge, and doge...

Just clarifying for uninitiated: doge coin is a "joke currency" (literally) that has a huge market cap anyway. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogecoin

bitL, check out raiblocks, byteball or other DAG based coins.

For blockchain based coins, bitcoin-ng does provide ways to improve current way.

And any PoS/dPoS-coin with blockchain sharding. Like Ethereum, Cardano, EOS, Steem, BitShares, etc.

More like criminal.

Ssh dont let them know. They like their dreams.

Who "invests" that much of their net worth in such a thing? Who must bear the responsibility for that?

Phew! As the owner of https://tron.pk I literally spilled my morning coffee over the keyboard, just reading the title.

You should get a ThinkPad, at least, one of the models with an under-keyboard drip tray.


I think Apple have the same basic design, just they use the motherboard, which has to be replaced after each spill ;)

Weird, the title literally does not mention the word 'tron' in it. So that means you must be violating LGPL?

mods changed the title, having realised my perplexity.

It used to

> appear to be straightforward imports from sphlib ( http://www.saphir2.com/sphlib/ ), with just the license removed and replaced with their own.

That is so blatant:



It's written right there in the license block they cut and replaced "The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software".

The BSD style license is the problem. The LGPL license is not. They are fulfilling the LGPL license.

> For those who are whining about this issue. All these issues are common in development. If you say it's not, you haven't worked on serious projects with so much pressure to deliver.

Don't most "serious" companies have lawyers that will spit venom at you if you even think about looking at code that doesn't have a permissible enough license?

A competent team would take it seriously. That said, you can be naive about it all too and not realize how serious licensing is to a company. So in my opinion it must be a company directive, and part of induction to make sure your developers understand the issue properly.

legal doesn't know what it doesn't know

implementing controls to prevent or detect this kind of copypasta is very hard.. even more so at larger "serious" companies that have dozens of development teams spread across the world working on an enormous catalog of products

this happens far more than people want to admit.. there's a very slippery slope when it comes to searching for help online.. it's amazing how quickly a google search leads to a stackoverflow post that has sample/example code which then winds up in your company's codebase.. even at "serious" places

writing a clear external code usage policy that's covered in those yearly training programs that developers hate and blow through as fast as possible is about as good you're going to get stopping this kind of thing

It's different to copy/paste code from SO and to copy/paste code from an open-source project with a non-permissive license and remove/ignore the license.

The controls to prevent developers from doing this sort of stuff in a serious company should be to let them know they will face disciplinary action/lose their job if they pull it.

Plenty of companies out there that blatantly violate the GPL.

What company? Tron? I do not believe it really exists, or if they do, they are serious.

There does not exist a license permissible enough that allow you to remove the license and replace it.

Three are a few licenses that allow the copyright reassignement target to do exactly that. This includes sometimes a termination clause.

They are rarely used.


Would you feel confident that a person could take a WTFPL licensed software, replace the license with GPL under their own name, and then go out and enforce the license?

Doing WTF you want is still limited by copyright law. You could argue that WTFPL is also an implied copyright reassignment, but I would not bet on it.

Public domain or CC0?

Public domain is special since its a natural aspect of copyright law rather than a license, where a person don't need permission once a work is in public domain.

CC0 tries to mimic this but here the tricky part of permissions comes into place. If I give you permission to do anything and you remove the permission text and claim the work as your own, do you still have permission? It a rather popular discussion in regard to cc0, and the consensus where I have seen it seems to be that you need the license in order to have permission. I have also seen lawyers arguing that copyright law itself has limits on what rights a license can give, such as attribution.

Is tron name itself a violation of trademark, or copyright of Disney? Not much knowledgable on IP laws in the US, hence the question.

> Is tron name itself a violation of trademark, or copyright of Disney? Not much knowledgable on IP laws in the US, hence the question.

Copyright would apply to the actual film, script, perhaps other elements. For the title, I believe this would be a trademark issue. Whether it is enforceable here is beyond my knowledge. I tried a quick search on the status, but didn’t see the info I hoped for in the top several hits.

I wouldn't have thought so.


I _think_ the TRON franchise was a nod to the TRON command in BASIC, which predated the name.

The other TRON that's vaguely related to computers is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRON_project

Titles can't be copyrighted. Words can be trademarked, but they aren't exclusive. As long as there is no risk of confusion, then the same word can be trademarked by different people for different purposes. Think: Apple Computer vs Apple the record label -- it wasn't an issue until Apple Computer started getting into the music business.

Apple Computers were already taken to court before they entered the music business but settled and part of that settlement was not to enter the music "biz".

Obviously they did later enter the music business, which is when Apple Corp (the record label) litigated for a second time.

Pretty sure they had signed and entered an agreement preemptively, and their subsequent violation is what caused the later suit.

Nope. That was just the last in a series of different suits:


so called tron foundation claims to be an "entertainment on blockchain", sounds like a reason for confusion with some weak definition. I suspect disney lawyers could be taking as a bit more stronger.

"Tron" is just a sound generically associated with futuristic high tech, most likely originally because of the word "electron".

From OED: "tron" is "used in the names of devices and machines, spec. particle accelerators, as cyclotron (1935), betatron (1941), phantastron (1943), levitron (1960)."

It is also the name of the BASIC command “tron”, reflecting the role of the program created by Alan Bradley, specifically to trace the MCP and find weaknesses (which are later exploited to delete the MPC and release the evidence of Dillinger’s fraud).

Also klystron (1937) and magnetron (1910).

But in the cases of the movies, wasn't it form Trace-ON/Trace-OFF in some programing environments?

Tron wasn't just the movie ... there was software embodied as a video game so in my opinion, you can't argue that you're in a different business. domain.

Nope! Trademarks are granted for a specific use cases or industry, movie titles can't be copyrighted .. they are only protected by MPAA(Motion pictures association).. and MPAA only can regulate Movie names, video games or toy lines are however... See https://www.applebank.com and get amused by their Apple logo.. they did the fruit depiction right

Thank you all who responded.

...annnnd no relation to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRON_project - the Japanese RTOS. Also no relation to JTRON - the Java implementation of TRON.

I think the ethereumj commenters come-off as whiny in all this and they are most certainly confusing LGPL with GPL. Calm the f down, seriously.

The code seems most heavily copied from ethereumj


I don't think that's the issue, here: the person who opened the issue is complaining about legal mention not being there, not about the code being reused.

This is not a minor problem, because turn over is high in developers world. If you don't leave a comment mentioning the code came from somewhere else, it's easy a few years later for a new dev to think their predecessors wrote that code and to recommend their company to sue projects around where they see the same code (possibly without legal mention too).

Not to mention that when you give your code for free and make other people's job easier, the least you deserve is to be credited.

> I like that people publish their code and then cry when people take it.

So because I want to show the world something I wrote and think is cool, it’s ok for others to copy it, and I shouldn’t complain if they do so illegally?

Tron will be an interesting beast. So many believers there.

There is another nice project which just copy pasted others papers to get own white paper: https://www.cubeintel.com

A little more analysis about cube: https://medium.com/@ak239spb/how-to-build-fake-ico-9f837a4eb...

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