HolidayBuyer's Guide

If the data is open, is it free game? (Palamida vs. Black Duck)

Is Black Duck stealing from its competitor?

Black Duck has admitted to "borrowing" Palamida's database of open-source projects/licenses, without giving attribution or any other indication that it had taken the data from Palamida. Legal? Yes. Wrong? Seems like it to me.

After two days of intense investigation, we have confirmed that most of our database has been copied directly--word for word and misspelling for misspelling, with very few original additions to our initial work," said Palamida spokeswoman Melisa LaBancz-Bleasdale.

Just because one can do something doesn't mean that one should.

Black Duck argues that it only uses a "small slice" of Palamida's data. Maybe. But apparently it was enough to be noticeable to Palamida. It seems to me that the two should collaborate on this sort of database, but this kind of action hardly leads to the trust required for collaboration.

Is Black Duck in the wrong? Thoughts?

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