I google open office and the first (paid) link is this: http://www.open-office.us/index.html . It seems to be openoffice from the pictures but i looked at the terms part of the website and I found this: “You can download and use the software OpenOffice for this website totally free. However, you can not modify the software without permission.”. Wtf? this isn’t open source. I’m confused how they can legally do this. Can someone explain it to me.
While there is certainly an interesting conversation attached to this post, there have been no attempts to investigate this site to completely satisfy this query. I couldn’t resist…
It was completely clear to me after seeing the webpage in question that is was not the property of Apache. Though it is quite deceptive. The professional appearance of this page is disturbingly welcoming to its potential prey. Take a look.
The first step was an obvious one. Run a whois lookup on open-office.us. Unsurprisingly, this revealed that the registrant was not affiliated with Apache in any way. Here are the goods from my whois lookup.
Registrant Name: Open-Office.US Team Registrant Organization: Open-Office.US Registrant Address1: 5 Repulse Bay Roard, Flat 3B Registrant City: Hong Kong Registrant State/Province: Hong Kong Registrant Postal Code: 00000 Registrant Country: Hong Kong Registrant Country Code: HK Registrant Phone Number: +852.92694911 Registrant Email: email@example.com
What’s most surprising here is that the registrant used GoDaddy as its registrar, though elected not to use GoDaddy’s whois privacy feature. Now I’m no scam artist, but if I were peddling wares on the outskirts of legality and morality, I would probably keep my personal details out of it. Ironically, this repulsive ‘business’ resides in the Repulse Bay.
The website, while being a fairly simple affair, does try its best to appear legitimate. The domain seems to suggest that they reside in the US and there is nothing there to indicate that their operations are in Hong Hong. The site claims to even offer support to its users, imploring downloaders to email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. They promising a 2 day turn around on support queries.
We’ve emailed them. Do you think we will hear back?
Installing Open Office via open-office.us reveals the true intent of the application. Upon launching the application, it connects to an external download manager. This is what fetches Open Office. Meanwhile, it is nice enough to present you will the following applications for installation.
Cool! Wajam will happily take all of your personal data and do with it what it wishes.