Is SourceForge hijacking project accounts?

In today's open source roundup: Did SourceForge hijack The GIMP's project account? Plus: Valve enmeshed in Tux logo drama. And SwiftKey for Android updated

Is SourceForge hijacking project accounts?

SourceForge has gotten heat in the past for its advertising practices, but now the site is drawing criticism for possibly hijacking project accounts. A recent thread in the Linux subreddit had some users pointing fingers at SourceForge.

Patdavid started the thread by talking about an abandoned account for The GIMP that SourceForge has apparently taken over:

It appears that SourceForge has taken it upon themselves to take over the project account for GIMP-WIN that was previously handled by our windows maintainer, Jernej Simončič, without our permission.

The account that took over the project is listed on SF as sf-editor1[1] , and apparently has quite a few different FL/OSS projects associated with it (just a little suspicious).

They are distributing ad-enabled installers of GIMP that are not officially recognized by the GIMP team. (We abandoned SourceForge as a distributor back in 2013). They have also not responded to comment or questions so far.

As a gentle reminder, please be aware that GIMP is only officially distributed from the website (http://www.gimp.org/downloads[3] )

More at Reddit

Linux redditors responded to Patdavid's starter post about SourceForge:

Adys: "I'm one of the lead devs of LXQt and an LXDE sysadmin. We use Sourceforge for our mailing lists and some LXDE legacy stuff.

I'm absolutely sick of them. It's not the first time this has happened. I've been pushing for us to move off SF for a while and this is a good occasion to push for it harder.

I've sent an email[1] detailing plans to move. I am urging everyone who still has projects on Sourceforge to do the same.

If you have similar migration problems to solve as the ones I've highlighted in the email, please contact me directly and we can share the workload. My email is available on my Github profile[2] .

KayRice: "This isn't the first time it's happened either. They have a track record of ruining their brand, because they "lost to Github" for their core audience so whoever is running it now just tries to salvage it with crap ad-enabled installers."

Px403: "They lost to Google code like a decade ago, which then got its ass handed to it by github. People who still use sourceforge are like people who still use Slashdot. Several generations behind."

Fudeu: "I can see github moving to those tactics.

Remember that sourceforge was the github of yesterday. well, you probably won't... but it was. free sites were rare, and here is sourceforce, giving you free site+wiki+issues system+CVS!!! awesome! all for free! they love open source! ... just like everyone says of github.

The problem was, that was all they did. when the corporate customers that were footing the bill moved on, they got desperate. Slashdot bought them, and then slashdot was bought by someone who sells ads. and that happened.

So in 5 yrs, when all the corporate clients abandon github (do they even have a profit already) and all their VC money dries out, they will probably be bought by AOL or conde nast and the very same will happen.

Artefact2: "...git is decentralised. It's trivially easy to switch to something else if Github turns into the new Sourceforge."

Draco1200: "Sourceforge died, BUT the brand was kept alive, because a brand name is a valuable commodity."

More at Reddit

SourceForge responded with a post on its blog:

There has recently been some report that the GIMP-Win project on SourceForge has been hijacked; this project was actually abandoned over 18 months ago, and SourceForge has stepped-in to keep this project current. For more details, read on…

The GIMP-Win project was registered on SourceForge in October of 2004. In 2013, the GIMP-Win author discontinued use of SourceForge for download delivery.

Based on our prior outreach to the GIMP-Win author, we understand that they had concerns about the presence of misleading third-party ads on SourceForge. They were not alone in those concerns — we were also concerned — leading us to establish a program to enable users and developers to help us remove misleading and confusing ads.

In cases where a project is no longer actively being maintained, SourceForge has in some cases established a mirror of releases that are hosted elsewhere. This was done for GIMP-Win.

More at SourceForge

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