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 Stockfish sues Chessbase!

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mwyoung

mwyoung

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PostSubject: Stockfish sues Chessbase!   Stockfish sues Chessbase! EmptyTue Jul 20, 2021 10:41 pm

https://stockfishchess.org/blog/2021/our-lawsuit-against-chessbase/

2021-07-20
Our lawsuit against ChessBase
The Stockfish project strongly believes in free and open-source software and data. Collaboration is what made this engine the strongest chess engine in the world. We license our software using the GNU General Public License, Version 3 (GPL) with the intent to guarantee all chess enthusiasts the freedom to use, share and change all versions of the program.

Unfortunately, not everybody shares this vision of openness. We have come to realize that ChessBase concealed from their customers Stockfish as the true origin of key parts of their products (see also earlier blog posts by us and the joint Lichess, Leela Chess Zero, and Stockfish teams). Indeed, few customers know they obtained a modified version of Stockfish when they paid for Fat Fritz 2 or Houdini 6 - both Stockfish derivatives - and they thus have good reason to be upset. ChessBase repeatedly violated central obligations of the GPL, which ensures that the user of the software is informed of their rights. These rights are explicit in the license and include access to the corresponding sources, and the right to reproduce, modify and distribute GPLed programs royalty-free.

In the past four months, we, supported by a certified copyright and media law attorney in Germany, went through a long process to enforce our license. Even though we had our first successes, leading to a recall of the Fat Fritz 2 DVD and the termination of the sales of Houdini 6, we were unable to finalize our dispute out of court. Due to Chessbase’s repeated license violations, leading developers of Stockfish have terminated their GPL license with ChessBase permanently. However, ChessBase is ignoring the fact that they no longer have the right to distribute Stockfish, modified or unmodified, as part of their products.

Thus, to enforce the consequences of the license termination, we have filed a lawsuit. This lawsuit is broadly supported by the team of maintainers and developers of Stockfish. We believe we have the evidence, the financial means and the determination to bring this lawsuit to a successful end. We will provide an update to this statement once significant progress has been made.

We would like to thank our fans for their support, and encourage them to download and use the official version of Stockfish that we enjoy developing and sharing freely.

The Stockfish team.

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adminx

adminx

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PostSubject: Re: Stockfish sues Chessbase!   Stockfish sues Chessbase! EmptyTue Jul 20, 2021 10:47 pm

Laughing Laughing Laughing ROTFLMAO
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Admin
Admin
Admin

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PostSubject: Re: Stockfish sues Chessbase!   Stockfish sues Chessbase! EmptyTue Jul 20, 2021 10:52 pm

Without the details it's hard to judge if SF team has a chance in court. As long as the download version contains the SF source code I don't see how CB breaks the law. Lawyers are always optimistic. But they managed to get Houdini and the FF2 DVD version out out the shop.
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mwyoung

mwyoung

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PostSubject: Re: Stockfish sues Chessbase!   Stockfish sues Chessbase! EmptyTue Jul 20, 2021 10:57 pm

Admin wrote:
Without the details it's hard to judge if SF team has a chance in court. As long as the download version contains the SF source code I don't see how CB breaks the law. Lawyers are always optimistic. But they managed to get Houdini and the FF2 DVD version out out the shop.

We will let the court decide. But it is clear, they are selling a free engine. Unethical! IMO.

And I recommend to all of my many subscribers not to buy Fat Fritz or Fat Fritz 2.


Last edited by mwyoung on Tue Jul 20, 2021 11:07 pm; edited 5 times in total

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Mclane

Mclane

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PostSubject: Re: Stockfish sues Chessbase!   Stockfish sues Chessbase! EmptyTue Jul 20, 2021 11:01 pm

I keep the fingers crossed for the stockfish team.

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Admin
Admin
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PostSubject: Re: Stockfish sues Chessbase!   Stockfish sues Chessbase! EmptyTue Jul 20, 2021 11:04 pm

mwyoung wrote:
Admin wrote:
Without the details it's hard to judge if SF team has a chance in court. As long as the download version contains the SF source code I don't see how CB breaks the law. Lawyers are always optimistic. But they managed to get Houdini and the FF2 DVD version out out the shop.

We will let the court decide. But it is clear, they are selling a free engine. Unethical! IMO.

Sure, the law and unethical are 2 different things.
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matejst

matejst

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PostSubject: Re: Stockfish sues Chessbase!   Stockfish sues Chessbase! EmptyFri Jul 30, 2021 7:24 pm

I wrote a long post about SF here, but... It is very difficult in broken English to make myself clear, so I deleted it.

Nonetheless, I think that the SF project is ethically in a gray area, for several reasons: for the ideas it used, the way it gets its ideas, and the whole atmosphere around it. Ethically, they are not better than CB. Legally, they are in the clear though.

What bothers me most is the way SF feeds himself from the computer chess ecosystem. Collaborative projects like SF are mostly about optimizing. A single programmer can only make a breakthrough if he has a great new idea. But ideas are not protected, while code is. The pressure made lately on all new authors to open their code -- and reveal their original ideas -- is destroying diversity in the cc world.

So... I think that SF does nothing for computer chess and chess in general, while CB is useful in many ways: by providing bases, news, and sometimes means to programmers. So, in this case, I will root for ChessBase.
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