I have detected an abuse of GPLed software...

Luca Mercuri luca at evy.it
Fri Jun 14 16:04:53 UTC 2002

Hi, all!

I've just struck myself into what looks like a blatant abuse of a piece
GPLed software, and I'd like some advice as to how to deal with it.

I've just found the site of an Italian web agency/software house named 
BlueSoft (see <http://www.bluesoft.it/>).  They offer a CMS software
they call WPS -- Web Portal System.  This software is, in effect, the 
well-known PHPNuke program, as anyone can see from their online demo 
(located at <http://www.bluesoft.it/swdemo/wps/>) and their technical 
support pages (located at <http://www.bluesoft.it/bst/>).

The folks at BlueSoft have just taken PHPNuke, with its default skin, 
renamed it, and changed its copyright notice, which now reads "Copyright

(c) 2001 by BST - BlueSoft Supporto Tecnico" or Copyright "(c) 2001 by
- Web Portal System."  They retained the original META KEYWORDS and 
GENERATOR tags, although they otherwise deleted any reference to PHPNuke

and its status as a GPLed software.  To be true, though, nowhere in the 
site they directly claim that this "Web Portal System" was developed by

I would like to know whether this is really an abuse, as I really
and what steps I should better follow to bring it to an end.  Of course,
thought about writing to them to inquire about the software they sell
example, with questions like:  did you develop it?  and may you quote
price for it?), or directly and openly warn them that I think they're 
committing an abuse and ask them to cease.  I'd also like to make their 
infringment public by writing a letter to Italian IT news portals and
forums sensitive to free software matters and open to reader's posts.
Any advice as to how proceed would be greatly appreciated.


Luca Mercuri & Tommaso R. Donnarumma

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