Page 1 of 1

Open office org scam?

PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 9:20 pm
by markie
I have just recently Baught Open office org off a website, they are charging 12 dollars for the software and im pretty sure they are ripping it off as their own product, they called it Opal office, but once youve downloaded it the installer is Open office.

Here is the link: officebestdeal.com


just thought you guys would be interested. (if u didn't alredy know)

Re: Open office org scam?

PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 9:41 pm
by Caracalla
D'oh!, i tried to leave a little message on their messageboard but all i got was this.
Post new message

Your message has been saved but will be reviewed before it can be published.

[url]Go back...[/url]


EDIT:hmm, maybe we should have a thread of scamsites like this one (this is hardly the only one out there).

Re: Open office org scam?

PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 9:47 pm
by acknak
Well, it's not illegal to sell OOo, or even re-brand it. You just can't change the license.

I edited your post so that at least we don't give them any free advertising.

Re: Open office org scam?

PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 10:47 pm
by markie
man they have a comment thing for people who have baught and there is 700+ comments saying how good it is and stuff, so thats a minimum of 700 people who have baught it, they must be making some serious cash!

Re: Open office org scam?

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 12:16 am
by DrewJensen
FYI - I ran across that site roughly 4 months ago and noticed that they mention in passing support. I sent them an email, via their contact page, with a question as to just what that support entailed - to date no answer.

Still, Acknak's comment is correct - they are doing nothing illegal, not even unethical, they are simply doing what is allowed within the license for the software.

I would like to make one comment on this though - it is about our attitude towards users of that package and others like it. I hope that we as a community will be willing to offer them the same support we offer anyone that downloaded a copy of the software from the OO.o site, or received a copy with their OS distribution. For the last 4 months I have been subscribed to the mailing list user@openoffice.org and note from time to time that people come onto the list, with questions, using software purchased from some source - sometimes after having paid a fee on eBay just to get a download link - ( Now I do find that unethical... ) - but what bothers me is that there is often a reaction to these users of:

1) Chiding them for being 'dumb'.
2) On a few occasions a withholding of help - the reason given that to do so would be to help support the person selling the link.

My hope is that this would never be the attitude here - it just feels to me that this would be like throwing salt into a wound.

On the other hand - if folks would like to go to be pro-active and maybe try to organize an email campaign to eBay or drop an email to those folks on the list of happy customers, supplying an email address, and informing them that the update to the software they have can be had for free...well, I believe that is well within our rights also...

Anyway - it is just something that I noticed on the mailing list and it has been bugging me for a while, forgive me for pulling up the virtual soap box...

Re: Open office org scam?

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:04 am
by acknak
Wow, excellent points Drew.

Personally, I would consider any comment along the lines of your #1 to be out of bounds here--for anything.

As far as #2, no one's forcing anyone to help; if someone feels that the source of the software is a problem, they can just help someone else. There's no need to organize some kind of boycott.

I feel pretty irritated sometimes when someone has a commercial project, presumably with a real budget, and yet comes by for free support, but it really is counter-productive in the long run to withhold help from anyone. The issues that a forum like this can deal with are by nature short and sweet. No one is going to get "free consulting" here: "Hey guys, would you plan my deployment and tell me how to do it?" No one's going to answer that here, except to send them to the "Paid Support" board.

At the same time, I do think it's appropriate to gently point out to such marks, er customers, that in the future, they'll be better off with the official product release, from a reputable free or low-cost channel.

Re: Open office org scam?

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 10:04 am
by Caracalla
Last night (CET) i sent these people a little e-mail, to my amazement there was an answer this morning...
Hello,

OpenOffice team encourages their community members to distribute the product
and allows to charge money for it. We spend about 90% of our sales for
advertisement and donate another 5% for OpenOffice.org

Please visit this link for more info:
http://distribution.openoffice.org/index.html#community

Most of our clients never heard about this wonderful program and would buy
MS Office otherwise.

I hope it all makes sense for you.

Kind Regards,
Russ.

Somehow, i am left sceptical. I know that what they are doing is completely legal, but i do consider it unethical (except for their selling of CDs, that's something Sun or its partners should do too).
Obviously withholding help from any user of OOo would be very counterproductive.

Re: Open office org scam?

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 3:18 pm
by markie
it's just the fact that they called the product 'Opal office' , had i known i was buying Open office i wouldn't have payed since i know it's free.

Seems to me like their scaming people because their not saying they are selling Open Office, they are calling the software Opal Office.

Re: Open office org scam?

PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 12:47 am
by DeShock
I agree since they are calling it **** Office and then you actually install Open Office exactly as it is from the Open Office site with no additional benefit. Still there are some people who are unaware of Open Office and this is a much cheaper alternative to MS Office. Also, there are people who think if something is free there must be something wrong with it, so buying it from **** Office legitimizes it for them. No real harm.

Re: Open office org scam?

PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 1:57 am
by Bhikkhu Pesala
Caveat Emptor

They didn't post my comment in their GuestBook, politely advising that OpenOffice was free, and that there was nothing illegal or unethical in distributing Opal Office, but that those who download Opal Office should expect something for their $12 such as a CD, technical support, or other extras.

Re: Open office org scam?

PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 6:18 pm
by pandula
re Open Office, misrepresentation. What is annoying is that the top 3 results on a Google search produces the scam/fake/misleading site.

Re: Open office org scam?

PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 6:26 pm
by TheGurkha
pandula wrote:re Open Office, misrepresentation. What is annoying is that the top 3 results on a Google search produces the scam/fake/misleading site.


I know. Makes my blood boil to think people are being misled this way, and then ripped off 'in the name' of OOo.

Re: Open office org scam?

PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 6:39 pm
by Villeroy
When Sun was going to publish the open source version of StarOffice as "Open Office" they were threatened by "one of those US companies" with nothing but names and patents in their portfolio. This is why the name of this software changed to "OpenOffice.org" according to it's web-site. Now the name "Open Office" is obviously misused and nothing happens.

Re: Open office org scam?

PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 6:45 pm
by Caracalla
Villeroy wrote:When Sun was going to publish the open source version of StarOffice as "Open Office" they were threatened by "one of those US companies"

No,as far as i know they were sued by these guys. A dutch company that already had the name openoffice when Sun wanted to take it too.

Re: Open office org scam?

PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 6:56 pm
by Villeroy
Caracalla wrote:
Villeroy wrote:When Sun was going to publish the open source version of StarOffice as "Open Office" they were threatened by "one of those US companies"

No,as far as i know they were sued by these guys. A dutch company that already had the name openoffice when Sun wanted to take it too.


LOL, they are surfing the same wave: http://winkel.openoffice.nl/ So we can not expect any legal action against the other scam.

Re: Open office org scam?

PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 7:15 pm
by Caracalla
Villeroy wrote:
Caracalla wrote:
Villeroy wrote:When Sun was going to publish the open source version of StarOffice as "Open Office" they were threatened by "one of those US companies"

No,as far as i know they were sued by these guys. A dutch company that already had the name openoffice when Sun wanted to take it too.


LOL, they are surfing the same wave: http://winkel.openoffice.nl/ So we can not expect any legal action against the other scam.

No they're not. Charging 2.95€ for an Ubuntu CD is not unreasonable i think, not everyone wants to download. Mainly they offer software installation/support/advice.

Re: Open office org scam?

PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 7:25 pm
by acknak
pandula wrote:re Open Office, misrepresentation. What is annoying is that the top 3 results on a Google search produces the scam/fake/misleading site.

This is not so much misrepresentation as it is Google making a buck--well, several billions of bucks. The scam sites pay Google to put their sites at the top, based on what you search for.

Learn to tell which Google results are purchased as advertisements and which are not--it's not that hard to tell (hint: look at the colored background), and it's something you need to be aware of with every Google search you do.

Of course, you could complain to Google, they claim to "not be evil", but this is their bread and butter. I wouldn't imagine them being very quick to get involved.