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Incoming Mastodon Lawsuit, To Fight or Run?
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Incoming Mastodon Lawsuit, To Fight or Run?

I learned about "Mastodon" from @Jar who runs a very large free speech "Mastodon" server. I've been running Mastodon for about 1 year & just upgraded my software to Pleroma/Elixir because of inherent weaknesses in Ruby that powers Mastodon.

Only problem is that the creator & CEO of "Mastodon," Eugen Rochko/@Gargron noticed my "Mastodon.tech" server had switched to Pleroma & he's private messaged me his intent on legal action unless I abandon my domain. See our back & forth here:
https://mastodon.social/@Gargron/109177601618496744

This is going to get expensive but I'm going to hire an attorney & fight this because:
1) It's not right that someone can tell you what software you must run on your domain which I don't charge users or make money from.
2) I have a bunch of Trademarks so I quickly looked up that Eugen Rochko was bluffing & doesn't have a US Trademark on "Mastodon." He has a German Trademark which carries no weight in the USA.
3) To be infringing I would have had to create a competing software, call it "Mastodon" & be making money from it.

Therefore I'm selling my assets to fund my legal fees including HostBoards.com. If you think I'll lose & should run, please let me know why?

Thanked by 1Logano
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Comments

  • You will lose it, because you rely on German law or trademark, but you forgot that Germans are Usa colonised and Usa dolls/pussies in which whatever Usa want the Germans will do it.

  • MumblyMumbly Member
    edited October 22

    @SloMail said:
    You will lose it, because you rely on German law or trademark, but you forgot that Germans are Usa colonised and Usa dolls/pussies in which whatever Usa want the Germans will do it.

    I won't comment silliness of your writing above, but read more carefully who rely on German tradermark in this story at least ;-)

  • jarjar Member, Patron Provider
    edited October 22

    Just put mastadon back on it and call it a day. If you want to protest, make it a "mastadon for white nationalists" instance and you'll both conform to his demands and send him into the absolute maximum amount of rage possible.

    No one needs a mastadon for white nationalists instance, and it's a stupid idea, but damn would it be an effective revenge tactic because it's something that would specifically target that guy's internal rage. Might come with endless death threats though but these days, what doesn't? I've watched people on Facebook make death threats over things that would look petty in a PTA meeting.

  • Do nothing lol. Good chance they won't end up doing shit and it's just bluffing. Not enough financial gain for them to pursue it. Even if they won somehow they wouldn't likely recover legal costs in my non legal opinion

    Thanked by 1Offshore_Solutions
  • ralfralf Member

    Put mastadon on that domain, make it laggy as hell using tc, and make a notice on it saying that due to legal action, you've been forced to "downgrade" to mastadon and that for security reasons you recommend everyone migrate to your new server as soon as possible.

  • The term "inherent weakness in ruby"... What the actual f is that? Digitalocean runs on ruby, should I abandon my server farm? Also how about shopify?

    Thanked by 1crilla
  • @james50a said:
    Do nothing lol. Good chance they won't end up doing shit and it's just bluffing. Not enough financial gain for them to pursue it. Even if they won somehow they wouldn't likely recover legal costs in my non legal opinion

    Very true 👍
    They can't get "blood from a stone" as they say.

  • raindog308raindog308 Administrator

    @Offshore_Solutions said: This is going to get expensive but I'm going to hire an attorney & fight this because:

    ...because you like to tilt at windmills.

    @Offshore_Solutions said: Therefore I'm selling my assets to fund my legal fees including HostBoards.com.

    Are you mortgaging your house, too, as you gear up for the legal battle of the century?

    You're going to spend a lot of money and it does not matter if you win or lose.

    If you lose, you have spent a bunch of money and have nothing but a sad story.

    If you win, you have spent a bunch of money and have nothing but a sad domain.

    @Offshore_Solutions said: 1) It's not right that someone can tell you what software you must run on your domain which I don't charge users or make money from.

    Get outta here with that. If you ran anything other than a Mastodon competitor on that site, they would not complain and you know that, so stop trying to rephrase this as some fascist attack on liberty.

    Obviously you chose mastodon.tech to advertise that you're running Mastodon. Now you change to different software but when people go to your site, it still says "Mastodon.Tech" in big letters. You don't think that's obviously confusing? You don't think this has a fantastic opportunity to pollute the Mastodon trademark?

    Forget legalities for the moment: why would you want to do have a server called Mastodon.tech and run a Mastodon competitor on it? To save $3 on registering a different disposable .tech domain?

  • I am not taking sides, but I can see potentially confusing situation in running competitive technology under the name of former.
    Nobody likes to be told what to do or being threatened, but sometime's is just matter of common sense - is it worth it? And for what?
    (I am not telling you what to do, it's just my thinking)

    Thanked by 1mrTom
  • edited October 22

    @LTniger said:
    The term "inherent weakness in ruby"... What the actual f is that? Digitalocean runs on ruby, should I abandon my server farm? Also how about shopify?

    Your best & most efficient upgrade is a conversion from Mastodon to Pleroma. Many experts say Ruby is a dying language. Some say it will be largely abandoned in the future. In this video programing expert Clement Mihailescie predicts that Ruby has about 1 year left until it's universally abandoned by the coding industry:

    I quote:
    "Top learning platform Coding Dojo believes in Ruby so little that it’s altering its curriculum so it no longer has to teach Ruby on Rails, a seemingly popular language framework. All the rage in the aughts, Ruby has now slipped to the edge of TIOBE’s top ten, and has similar placement on IEEE’s list. Rails’ popularity is seemingly on the wane in the wake of JavaScript’s broadened libraries. Because of that, fewer people are using Ruby, which makes it one to watch out for (and not in a good way)." Source: https://insights.dice.com/2017/08/10/5-programming-languages-die/

    The reason is that Ruby on Rails was built for ease of programming without the performance necessary for large Mastodon instances. Ruby in Mastodon makes it easier to program, but with all the dependencies in Mastodon, it has a ceiling of performance and you will be a victim of your own success. If your instance gains popularity, and you hit over 20,000 users, you will see server lockups and instability. Please see my more detailed discussion of the Mastodon issues here because I'm a member of Mastodon.technology & watched first hand as this server failed to the point that the creator is now permanently shutting it down.

    Pleroma was built with Elixir so built for performance. That is why Pleroma instances can run on a raspberry pie, it uses low resources and will save you a lot of money in hosting costs over time versus Mastodon. Lastly, Pleroma is connected equally to the Fediverse. Think long-term for you and your users by converting to Pleroma which can be done via migration.

    A full-time Ruby developer on Reddit named
    https://www.reddit.com/user/simonask/
    writes:

    "The structural, technical debt of any large Ruby project I've ever worked on has been nothing short of massive. Ruby and particularly Rails are both great for building new things, but they both fall short when it comes to maintaining. Rails core devs have a habit of being very keen on refactoring and applying different and mutually exclusive patterns at different points in time, turning it into a monumental task to port a Rails 2.x app to Rails 4.0. Frustratingly, most of these breaking changes are idiosyncratic at best, buggy security breaches at worst.

    On one hand the project to upgrade the app is almost as large as building it again from scratch, and on the other the technical leadership rarely wants to actually spend time doing the upkeep.

    Every Ruby project needs a unit test suite, not because it makes refactoring safe — refactoring always means refactoring your tests anyway — but because they essentially end up working as a spellchecker. You will not know before runtime if you made a typo, so there is a whole new class of errors that you can only realistically catch with a comprehensive set of unit, integration, and feature tests.

    Where does that leave you? What are the benefits of using a dynamic, late-binding language like Ruby with a vibrant and progressive framework like Rails?

    Let's imagine that the alternative is a statically compiled application in your favourite language (be it Java, Go, C++, C#, or whatever).

    Are you saving time during development because you don't have to compile things? No, an average test suite for a large Rails app with feature tests will easily take upwards of 20 minutes to run, which is the time it takes to compile an absolutely massive C++ app that makes heavy use of templates.

    Are you saving time because you can more rapidly build things, not having to deal with the overhead of a static type system? Initially yes, but all it means is that the structural integrity is in your mind instead of the type system. Eventually it will get out of hand, and nobody will know what the hell is going on anywhere. Especially if you're employing some of the dirtier tricks that have become popular in Ruby, where you will often have to keep a large number of concepts and source code files in mind in order to understand a single line of code.

    Are you saving money because Ruby developers are younger and cheaper than C++/Java/Go/whatever developers? Again, in the short term yes, but in the long term you won't. The technical debt, with interest, will come back to haunt you, and in the end I think you will spend more time understanding code, refactoring things, dealing with surprising bugs, doing upkeep with external libraries and tools, and training people. Ruby developers don't tend to stick around for long. I know precious few people who have stayed in the same place developing Ruby apps for more than 2-3 years. This is also because team morale is very sensitive to technical debt — and since we're Rails developers, we want to build things, not maintain them! But that's the majority of software development: maintaining things. If someone else built those things, around a mental model you have no chance of understanding, in an environment that makes no guarantees that you won't break it, it becomes very frustrating, and people leave. This is not to say that statically typed codebases cannot grow unmaintainable, but that a person who is used to thinking in terms of pleasing a statically typed compiler is usually worth the extra money, simply for the ability to think in models and contracts up front — and when you're doing it up front, why not engage the compiler to enforce it for you while you're at it?

    In the end, I don't honestly believe that Ruby has a bright future as full-scale app language. Scripting is always something that people will need, because it is useful. But at the core of mission-critical apps, it just doesn't pay off in purely economic terms."

    Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/programming/comments/1oi8wd/comment/ccs8yr8/

  • It’s like you registered some signal.fun domain and ran telegram code on it. Assuming no trademarks/copyrights involved, it’s still super weird and very natural for them to be pissed. Think it is so unfair and prefer going bankrupt over it? Go ahead. It’s so much fun that way.

  • edited October 22

    @jmaxwell said:
    It’s like you registered some signal.fun domain and ran telegram code on it. Assuming no trademarks/copyrights involved, it’s still super weird and very natural for them to be pissed. Think it is so unfair and prefer going bankrupt over it? Go ahead. It’s so much fun that way.

    For the first year, we did run Mastodon software but I watched the Mastodon.technology server become unstable & expensive to the point that the creator is shutting it down. I decided to learn from his experience because he spent 5 years running Mastodon, acquired over 23,000 users, only to close completely.

  • @Offshore_Solutions said:

    @jmaxwell said:
    It’s like you registered some signal.fun domain and ran telegram code on it. Assuming no trademarks/copyrights involved, it’s still super weird and very natural for them to be pissed. Think it is so unfair and prefer going bankrupt over it? Go ahead. It’s so much fun that way.

    For the first year, we did run Mastodon software but I watched the Mastodon.technology server become unstable & expensive to the point that the creator is shutting it down. I decided to learn from his experience because he spent 5 years running Mastodon, acquired over 23,000 users, only to close completely.

    Not at all an excuse. Raindog308’s comment is spot on.

    Thanked by 2ralf stevewatson301
  • edited October 22

    @jmaxwell said:
    Not at all an excuse. Raindog308’s comment is spot on.

    @raindog308 has had an axe to grind against me for sometime. I take everything he says with a grain of salt because he appears (in my opinion) to hold grudges.

    The last time he commented on my thread he chose to act like being "mentally ill" was something to joke about & throw around loosely:

    @raindog308 said:
    You have a mental illness and will be both happier and more successful in life if it's treated

    Thanked by 1Pilzbaum
  • jarjar Member, Patron Provider

    @Offshore_Solutions said:

    @jmaxwell said:
    Not at all an excuse. Raindog308’s comment is spot on.

    @raindog308 has had an axe to grind against me for years. I take everything he says with a huge grain of salt because he appears to hold grudges.

    I don't though, and he's on point. This isn't a fight worth fighting.

  • edited October 22

    @jar said:

    @Offshore_Solutions said:

    @jmaxwell said:
    Not at all an excuse. Raindog308’s comment is spot on.

    @raindog308 has had an axe to grind against me for years. I take everything he says with a huge grain of salt because he appears to hold grudges.

    I don't though, this isn't a fight worth fighting.

    Respect @Jar 🙏
    When you talk I listen
    Thank you for your good advice 👍

    Thanked by 1jar
  • ralfralf Member

    Whatever beef you have with @raindog308, these 3 lines are spot on. I liked after reading these, didn't need to read anything further, because this is the best advice you can get.

    @raindog308 said:
    You're going to spend a lot of money and it does not matter if you win or lose.

    If you lose, you have spent a bunch of money and have nothing but a sad story.

    If you win, you have spent a bunch of money and have nothing but a sad domain.

    Maybe "sad domain" is provocative, put that aside and think about it logically.

    Your cheapest and least effort is just to close the server.

    Anything else is spending a lot of money and you don't really gain anything from it.

    You don't have to give up the domain name, that's yours and you can do what you like with it, but he does have a justifiable point about the trademark infringement, I guess. my bad, I didn't realise it was commerical and when I made my flippant response, I thought mastadon was OSS and this was just someone being petty about a fork. If you have to pay for to host the server, forget it. Just stick a webpage on it and mention the conflict of interest and tell them where to find your new domain.

  • @ralf said:
    Whatever beef you have with @raindog308, these 3 lines are spot on. I liked after reading these, didn't need to read anything further, because this is the best advice you can get.

    Good advice @Ralf & thank you for being well-meaning with good intentions 😊

  • angstromangstrom Moderator
    edited October 22

    "Pepsi-Cola upgraded to Coca-Cola for more taste & fewer calories"

    Thanked by 1Offshore_Solutions
  • @angstrom said:
    "Pepsi-Cola upgraded to Coca-Cola for more taste & fewer calories"

    But will it blend?

    Thanked by 1tjn
  • edited October 22

    @angstrom said:
    "Pepsi-Cola upgraded to Coca-Cola for more taste & fewer calories"

    LOL! 😄
    Clever, & I see your analogy:
    "Fediverse Upgraded to Pleroma for more efficiency & lower resources"
    Source: https://mastodon.tech/

    Thanked by 1angstrom
  • acidpukeacidpuke Member
    edited October 22

    I can give you a little incite as someone that has multiple federal trademarks and deal with intellectual attorneys pretty regularly.

    These type of matters run on avg $600hr for the office attorney pushing paperwork to $900hr for the litigators if it goes to trial.

    If you do get a lawsuit anticipate a retainer 15-20k just to get a competent attorney firm to be interested in defending you with a answer to the complaint nothing else. Then the hourly billing starts and it can get crazy high. Think 100k plus if it gets complicated, that's not even getting to trial.

    These type of disputes command more money and have to be filed in Federal court.

    When I go after infringers I always look to settle things as quick as possible the costs are insane. I'm not saying your infringing but you still have to defend yourself.

    The ones that win are the attorney don't forget that. If you think your going to recoup your attorney costs that's a long shot.

    Thanked by 1Offshore_Solutions
  • raindog308raindog308 Administrator

    @Offshore_Solutions said:

    @jmaxwell said:
    Not at all an excuse. Raindog308’s comment is spot on.

    @raindog308 has had an axe to grind against me for sometime.

    I do?

    I don’t.

  • MumblyMumbly Member
    edited October 22

    @acidpuke that's in case this goes to court which isn't most likely as there are other more sensible, cheaper and less time demanding mechanisms to resolve internet domain name disputes like WIPO, agency of the United Nations with 193 member states who provides dispute resolution services also for .tech domain.

    https://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/gtld/
    https://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/cctld/

    WIPO UDRP Complainants must file their complaint, including all annexes electronically. To facilitate your filing with the Center, the following Model Complaint options are available:

    https://www.wipo.int/export/sites/www/amc/en/docs/complaint-lock-eudrp.doc or online https://amc.wipo.int/udrp/complaint.jsp

    Thanked by 1Offshore_Solutions
  • You still have to defend yourself if a federal lawsuit is filed, if you can mediate it will always be cheaper. I agree the chances of going to trial are very small.

    Thanked by 1Offshore_Solutions
  • MumblyMumbly Member
    edited October 22

    Yeah, but in this specific domain usage case with entity which have no ties with US he would most likely file the case under UDRP with one of approved dispute resolution service providers (like WIPO above - there are also some others) where he would need to prove that domain is registered and used in bad faith.
    At least this seems the most cost effective and logic thing to do in cases like that where is not about the money but about taking down gTLD/new gTLD.

  • edited October 22

    @Mumbly said:
    Yeah, but in this specific domain usage case with entity which have no ties with US he would most likely file the case under UDRP with one of approved dispute resolution service providers (like WIPO above - there are also some others) where he would need to prove that domain is registered and used in bad faith.
    At least this seems the most cost effective and logic thing to do in cases like that.

    I concur. ".Tech" is operated by Radix, based in India & founded by Indian Billionaire Bhavin Turakhia.

    I had to use my IP/Domain attorney only once vs. Former Godaddy Attorney Jenny Jones. We won for less than $1K because it was settled before reaching WIPO. I have great faith in him & I think you're correct this would go straight to our two Attorneys to be settled in the processes leading up to WIPO.

  • MumblyMumbly Member
    edited October 22

    @Offshore_Solutions said: I concur. ".Tech" is operated by Radix, based in India & founded by Indian Billionaire Bhavin Turakhia.

    Yeah, .tech (as "new gTLD") is still covered under Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy.

    Things would get interesting with random ccTLDs where UDRP in most cases don't apply and he would need to open case in every random country with different set of rules for domain (or tradermark) disputes :)

    Thanked by 1Offshore_Solutions
  • Move to Sealand. Ignore 100% of complaints. Now you can be truly offshore.

    Thanked by 1Offshore_Solutions
  • @CheepCluck said:
    Move to Sealand. Ignore 100% of complaints. Now you can be truly offshore.

    If it wasn't for the 2006 HavenCo fire at Sealand, that wouldn't be a joke:
    https://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2006/06/25/sealand-data-haven-badly-damaged-by-fire

    Consider that HavenCo would have otherwise been able to continue selling data storage services & investing back into the expansion of Ruff's Tower.

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