Here We Go Again

I guess I should be flattered, but it appears that not one but two companies have decided to build commercial products on OpenNMS. Both of them were brought to my attention by members of our community.

The first product is called “RuggedNMS” by a company out of Canada called RuggedCom.

If you look at the screenshots, it is quite obviously OpenNMS with a slightly different skin. If you zoom in on their “Extensive Reports” screenshot you can see “uei.opennms.org” in the unique event identifiers.

How they can sell this as a commercial product without violating the GPL is a mystery, especially when you read their terms which state:

RuggedCom provides a trial copy RuggedNMS™ solely for the direct use of the person who is identified in the trial software request form. This is only a 30-day trial.

Redistribution of RuggedNMS™ software files by any means is prohibited.

The second case is a product called OpenGate by Encodex TeleSystems. They at least mention OpenNMS which is a good sign, but I am also confused by their use of the phrase “Encodex TeleSystems developed a proprietary Network Management product using OpenNMS platform and framework”. While technically possible, I am at a loss to understand how OpenNMS can easily be used as the basis for a proprietary product under the GPL.

While it is unfortunate, we do have experience in dealing with this in the past. One major difference over last time is that all of the OpenNMS copyright is now held by one entity, which makes enforcement of the license much, much easier.

I’ve contacted our team at Moglen Ravicher and asked them to look into this. My hope is that it can easily be resolved. We chose to make OpenNMS open source for a reason, and I have to wonder if it is too much to ask for others to respect that.

UPDATE: Okay, now I’m starting to wax sorely pissed. A friend of mine pointed me to this link on the RuggedCom site about discovery. Now compare that to the How-To I wrote years ago. Seem familiar?

UPDATE 2: Got a reply about OpenGate

Hi Tarus,

Thanks for your email. OpenNMS base product that you see on the website will be deleted, as this was never a product and was not built.
This was a conceptual design activity that never progressed.

We will remove it from the website right away.

Thanks

Arun Joshi, CEO
Encodex Telesystems

5 Responses to “Here We Go Again”

  1. teneo.wordpress.com/ Says:

    Now, I figured you can *sell* the software, as GPL doesn’t mean free as in cost. Right?

    You totally have them by the genitals, regarding their terms of use. Crazy!

    And even though they call their product RuggedNMS, the how-to clearly shows opposition. They didn’t even change the name!

    Some people are just lazy cowards looking for a quick buck! Terrible! You guys put so much effort into a great product, grown a business from a small product used at Rackspace, (I can’t remember the investment group’s name), and have actually made a name for yourselves.

    Kudos to you! And curses to them!

  2. ajb Says:

    Hmm, it’s even more annoying that the RuggedNMS product seems to be node limited which flies in the face of OpenNMS’s ability to scale until your hardware can’t take it.

    Good luck with your enforcement action.

  3. Mark Turner Says:

    Book ‘em, Danno.

  4. jonathan Says:

    Don’t people ever do any research before they pull stunts like this?

  5. jon.netdork.net/ Says:

    Welcome to open source…

    We’ve had similar issues before too. They are allowed to sell the product, even if they do modify it, but they are not allowed to remove your copyright information on it, and they *must* give access to the source and changes they have made if asked for it. So whilst RuggedNMS is possible, they must mention that it is based on OpenNMS, though the blatant rip of the documentation you wrote on discovery is rather frustrating.

    I wonder how many companies publish documentation on a product they didn’t ever progress past design phase? The second company still hasn’t taken down the pages they said they would.

    Good luck on getting them dealt with.