I’m certain that the title of this post will raise some eyebrows, and not just for the bad pun. I’m not talking about the Hyperic we all know and love. As much as I disagree with open core software’s business strategy of using the term “open source” that doesn’t mean I don’t like the people involved, and the Hyperic crew are pretty nice folks.
No, the Hyperic I am talking about is a company calling itself Hyperic IT.
I was working in Milan today when I entered some search terms into Google. Google uses your source IP address to direct you to the site most customized for your location, so while I am in Italy http://www.google.com takes me to http://www.google.it.
One of the terms I searched on was “opennms” and I noticed that Hyperic had bought an adword link. I clicked on it and was taken to http://www.hyperic.it. There I saw the expected orange and blue, and since the site was in Italian I just figured they had opened an Italian office like with our http://www.opennms.it.
I dropped Javier a note to ask him about this and he replied that he had no idea that site existed. On further examination it appears that a company called netEdge Srl is taking the open source part of Hyperic, forking it, and selling it as Hyperic IT.
Look, I personally think taking the open source part of an open core project and forking it is fantastic. But open source code does not mean you can steal someone’s brand. That is most uncool.
For a company like The OpenNMS Group, the OpenNMS brand represents most of our value. What more do people want – we give away all of the source code under a free license – at least let us build our identity and reputation around the trademark. Yet some people don’t understand this and think they can take that, too.
By calling the product Hyperic IT, using the same color scheme and even the Hyperic HQ logo in their screenshots, this company is obviously trying to rip off the real Hyperic. If their product was any good they could have renamed it something else, easily removed all of the trademarked logos (a la CentOS) and worked to build their own business instead of trying to steal someone else’s.
If they are willing to so blatantly steal from others, would you really want work with them?
From what I can understand from my friend Antonio, this company is an Srl or Società a responsabilità limitata, similar to our LLC (I could be wrong since my Italian is weak). If this is the case, since Hyperic is trademarked in the EU, the people at netEdge may not have the protections of a corporation and could be held personally liable for their actions. Not too smart.
I’m hoping this blight is soon removed from the Internet.