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PaulOBrien

No imei-check Kaiser unlock (or Florin_m vs pof)

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Hi there,

So have you received a reply from Pof? I'm curious to hear about his version.

The question whether unlocking is legal was answered as "yes in the UK". Now, being outside the UK, I assume the online method is available to me as well.

The kaiser is proposed here 20% cheaper by Orange than everywhere else. Why? Because it got an unlimited simlock (no way to get it unlocked, even after the contract is over).

Now, I am ready to believe it is legal, but is it ethical? Could it be here a "robber being robbed". Well I don't personally think so. IMO everyone enjoys their business or hobby the way they want to. What matters is to respect each other.

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Let's analyze this a little more in-depth from a technical point of view...

After balancing florin's claims against POFs posts at XDA-Developers I have the following throughts on Florin's claims:

"The "softSPL" (RAM BOOT) technology was an IMEI-CHECK invention"

There are two things wrong with this assertion. The first is suggesting that the 'technology' of running code from RAM as opposed to ROM is an 'invention'. The second is the implication that since florin used that method, it is wrong for POF to do the same.

Technically: The claim that running code from RAM as opposed to ROM is an IMEI-check invention is absurd. Any embedded system developer worth one's salt will know that code on the target platform can be executed from either RAM or ROM. It doesn't take a genius to realise that running the bootloader from RAM is less risky. The claim that this is an 'invention' is rather ridiciolous. As other's pointed out, a similar technique is used (for a different purpose) in gnuharet, among MANY other projects.

Ethically: If the 'invention' is in fact obvious, as argued above, the claim is moot. Even if it wasn't, I'd argue that there is NOTHING wrong with POF examining florin's method, learning from it, or even using it himself. It's how human beings make progress. We look at what others are doing, and use that as a starting point to create our own solutions. There is no shame in not starting every project by re-inventing the wheel.

Legally: 'Stealing' an idea is not a crime, with the exception of patented ideas. Even if, hypothetically, florin had patented this 'invention', the patent would only be valid if the idea was shown to be original, with no prior art. As explained in 'technical' this is far from the case.

"The radio firmware patch used by pof was 'stolen' from IMEI-CHECK"

This is a more substantial allegation, which would place POF on shakier ethical and legal ground. Florin's allegation is backed up with the convincing evidence that his birthday remains embedded in POFs unlock tool.

Technically: The patched firmware consists of 99.99% HTC code, with presumably a few bytes changed by florin to ensure the patched radio ROM accepts the same key on all devices. Although there are probably only a few ways of patching the HTC firmware, the exact same patch was copied from florin, as evidenced by the birthday key.

Ethically: If an original work containing a significant amount of creativity or expression was copied, I'd argue it would be wrong. However, is a simple substitution of the unlock code with a fixed 8 byte number a form of creative expression? Of course not. If florin's business model relies on keeping a 10 byte modiciation to a ROM secret, I'd argue his business model is fundamentally flawed.

Legally: Contemporary copyright law is based on the above ethical viewpoint. It grants the creator of an original creation exclusive rights to use that creation. However, only creative works can be copyrighted. To quote Wikipedia, it is not designed or intended to cover the actual idea, concepts, facts, styles, or techniques which may be embodied in or represented by the copyright work. What has been copied is a *technique* and possibly an *idea*, and therefore the action was not illegal under copyright law. It's difficult to argue that the 10 byte patch is a form of expression.

That POF did not mention the source, and released it under his own name.

POFs XDA-Developers posts clearly indicate that he had no intention to misrepresent florin's work as his own. He was pretty clear that he was using Florin's method.

Technically: POFs posts show that he completely understood the method of operation of florin's unlocker. He posted this method of operation, never implying that he was responsible for 'inventing' it.

Ethically: It's not plagiarism - POF did not try to conceal the true source of the information he obtained.

Legally: It's a non-issue. Plagiarism is an ethical consideration, not a legal one.

That POF attempted to profit from his actions by accepting donations

I don't see how this is relevant. If what POF did was wrong, it makes no difference if it's done for fun or profit. I, like others, value the time POF has spent studying the Kaiser unlock, and releasing his findings to the community - and hope that he keeps up the good work. I'll be making a donation, in order to show my support for this.

AMEN TO THAT! Damn this thing pisses me off! POF is a great guy, I know him for some time now. If one member of our beloved comunnity is willing to share his knowledge and NOT make any money out of it, it is POF! he is the one that helped most of us guys when we &^#@& up our phones, we could even come to his house if you happened to live in the neighborhood.

imei-check.co.uk has to be ashame of them selfs for making sooooo much money out of all of us! POF shares his knowledge for free, yes you can make a donation but nobody forces you!

'Zone-MR' was the one who created the free smartphone unlocker, that's the way how it should be! we all share our knowledge and when we find something we share it for free and not ask $30 to unlock you phone!

I think we should all stand behind POF he deserves that much!

But that's just my humble opinion..

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The new business model simply will ensure that POF will not steal again our hard work and cause us a big loss again.

Like mentioned before: "IF YOU DON'T LIKE THE SITUATION FEEL FREE TO COMPLAIN TO THE THIEVES"

I'm pretty sure that PoF didn't decide on this business model...

As a business you should always keep in mind that your stuff can be stolen/copied/reverse engineered,

And that should be reflected in the price, if I can get an unlocker for 20GBP or for free (with a risk of bricking it)

it's a no-brainer.. i'd go for the free one

(I said if I'm happy with my t-mobile locked phone)

If on the otherhand the unlocker was say 5GBP I'd probably go for the safe solution, with such prices there isn't hardly any

need for a "free" unlocker because it's so cheap..

Yes that's a 15GBP reduction, but you will probably sell more in the long run, at least more than with your "new policy"

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Well I am on the POFs side. I have used POF unlocker but only to do a CID unlock (I have an unlocked HTC TyTN). Now as far as I know florins company does only SIM unlock and POFs unlocker has both SIM/CID.

When we speak about donations, unlocker and every other tool on xda-developers is free of charge but you have a choice to donate if you appreciate the work done by developers. Now there are a lot of developers who create useful tools for our beloved devices and non of them founded a company and requested 20 pounds (per device) for their hard work.

Also, imei.check cooperates with paypal, which until recently did not have my country (and a lot of other countrys) on their list, so please tell me should I wait forever for my device to be unlocked???

Now, we all know that xda-developers are a thorn in Microsofts eye. How do I know that Microsoft did not pay imei.check or better repaired for free all devices broken in testing, just so xda-developers lose credibility???

One more thing, xda-developers is not a warez site.

Edited by ibeqa

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they need to relize that any software, game, operatign system, ANYTHING that is made, will always be cracked and stolen by someone. this doesnt mean that because a stolen application is out there, everyone will get a hold of it, infact most people dont, they're not easy to find.

also, completely cutting off the program will lose them more money than it would if they would have just let people buy it and others to steal it.

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This is utter crap.

He's stolen a number of things from US in the past, calling US thieves really annoys me.

So... to address the issue; http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?p=1572884

and as a PostScript: I'd like to add that one of your moderators, whom clearly doesn't have a sodding clue what he's talking about; should learn to shut his mouth and not be such a gobshite.

Edited by Olipro

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Having read the arguments it does rather look like POF hasn't actually stolen florin's material and it does deem like florin is throwing his toys out of his pram.

I'd just like to say a big thanks to all the guys at xda-developers for all your hard work,

Maybe the other side of the story should have been obtained before posting florin's rant?

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Well I am on the POFs side. I have used POF unlocker but only to do a CID unlock (I have an unlocked HTC TyTN). Now as far as I know florins company does only SIM unlock and POFs unlocker has both SIM/CID.

FYI, Florin's method unlocks both SIM and CID

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I stand by Paul for publishing this. I think he did the right thing, regardless of whether it's one-sided or not, the truth tends to always come out on forums like this.

I read POFs answer on XDA Dev's, found the following quite funny:

The main difference between Florin Mandache from imei-check and me is that if we both invented a machine to produce bread by spontaneous generation, I will allow to clone the machine to end with the hunger in the third world, and he will just sell the bread.

Personally, I'm really surprised Florin's run has lasted this long. I used his (very reliable) service extensively a couple of years ago, but was surprised that nobody else had managed to do the same for free. Although I completly understand where he is coming from (nobody likes to get their worked ripped off), POF is just doing for unlocking what torrents and P2P have done for music and videos.

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News just in...

Mercedes Benz have decided not to sell any more cars to customers. A spokesman for Mercedez Benz said "Its just not fair! We spend millions developing our models and they are the most technologically advanced production cars in the world and other manufacturers just come along and copy our ideas and make money out of it.

"For example we were the first people to launch anti-lock brakes on our S Class a few years ago - this safety invention massively decreased the numbers of deaths and serious injuries amongst wealthy people, then companies like General Motors and Ford came along and blatantly copied our idea. Now poor people are protected by anti-lock brakes too!

"Its just not on. We are going to lock up all our expensive cars we havent sold yet, in our expensive state of the art factories and we are going to go home and sulk"

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News just in...

Mercedes Benz have decided not to sell any more cars to customers. A spokesman for Mercedez Benz said "Its just not fair! We spend millions developing our models and they are the most technologically advanced production cars in the world and other manufacturers just come along and copy our ideas and make money out of it.

"For example we were the first people to launch anti-lock brakes on our S Class a few years ago - this safety invention massively decreased the numbers of deaths and serious injuries amongst wealthy people, then companies like General Motors and Ford came along and blatantly copied our idea. Now poor people are protected by anti-lock brakes too!

"Its just not on. We are going to lock up all our expensive cars we havent sold yet, in our expensive state of the art factories and we are going to go home and sulk"

Hehehehehehe.

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Although I completly understand where he is coming from (nobody likes to get their worked ripped off), POF is just doing for unlocking what torrents and P2P have done for music and videos.

That is not true, Florin used a method that was known before he "invented" it, there was just no one with enough knowledge of the new devices to make a unlocker for it for free.

Florin used something everyone (with enough knowledge) could use, only he charged 20 pounds for it, Pof just did the same thing but gave it away for free.

Music and Movies are copyrighted, the method of Florin is in NO way!

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News just in...

Mercedes Benz have decided not to sell any more cars to customers. A spokesman for Mercedez Benz said "Its just not fair! We spend millions developing our models and they are the most technologically advanced production cars in the world and other manufacturers just come along and copy our ideas and make money out of it.

"For example we were the first people to launch anti-lock brakes on our S Class a few years ago - this safety invention massively decreased the numbers of deaths and serious injuries amongst wealthy people, then companies like General Motors and Ford came along and blatantly copied our idea. Now poor people are protected by anti-lock brakes too!

"Its just not on. We are going to lock up all our expensive cars we havent sold yet, in our expensive state of the art factories and we are going to go home and sulk"

LMAO!

It is a pathetic reponse from imei-check - tha vast majority of people who buy a sim locked phone (kaiser or not) won't be bothered about unlocking it at all - of those that do, the vast majority will have no idea that sites such as xda-developers exist, where there is a community of very clever and helpful people who will help them unlock their device - they will therefore either go the route of the mobile provider (who may or may not do it) or use a service like imei-check, which tends to be more publicly known. If, therefore, imei-check choose to not offer the service because they feel aggrieved over someone allegedly stealing their code (although how someone can steal something that was not yours to begin with is beyond me), then they force the person looking to unlock their SIM down an alternate path - if they're lucky they will end up at xda-developers where hopefully a solution will become available. All imei-check do by reacting in this way is close a revenue stream - well done!

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I can understand Florins grievance if he feels elements of his work has been used to then deprive him of a revenue stream... (who wouldn't) but the way he entered into this diatribe leaves him with very little dignity.

Edited by Wam7

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Maybe the other side of the story should have been obtained before posting florin's rant?

Oh wise sage Confucious, how true....how true. Ah, hindsight..... If only someone had said this yesterday? ;)

Maybe if Pof was also a 'Plus partner' ( or indeed if IMEI-check wasn't) this propaganda news story would have had due diligence before being posted...It isn't just IMEI-check who've taken a credibility hit here IMO.

Any further response from Florin Mandache proving he invented everything in the (windows mobile unlocking ) world ever then? :wub:

And why did Pof's name get spelt out in full before Paul's edit, yet Florin_m's didn't, and now it's gone from the title? I always did wonder what Pof stood for before now though...

M.S

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And why did Pof's name get spelt out in full before Paul's edit, yet Florin_m's didn't, and now it's gone from the title?

I requested to Paul via PM to please remove my full name from the title.

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PoF asked me to remove his name, and I did. I did - at time of posting - ask pof for a response to this story, which he's posted at xda-developers, which is now linked.

I maintain the story is in the interest of the readership, and it HAS generated some interesting discussion ;)

P

PS Enough with the 'Plus partner' snipes already, it's not at all relevant. The story DID have due diligence, and remember the purpose of the story is to highlight 'no Kaiser unlock from imei-check'.

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Has anyone considered that the SIM unlock technique for the Kaiser is significantly new and different, and imei-check may have invested significant time and money in circumventing it? I do know Florin has had a Kaiser for a long, long time (longer than me even) and the unlock has been a nightmare.

If this is the case, then it's quite feasible that Florin wants to protect his revenue streams (from bulk unlocks?) by not revealing his techniques to those who (by their own admission) will reverse engineer it to offer the same for free?

P

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It WILL be interesting to see if pof and co CAN unlock the Kaiser, good luck to them - we all like things for free if we can right? ;)

P

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I dont think this issue/debate/coverage has adversely affected Modaco...

I wonder as to the agenda's of some of the people who contribute to the dicsussion though.

Unless you work for either of the two parties - what does it matter?

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I'm not sure how Florin can generate a revenue stream (is there a market for bulk unlocking?) And I'm sure the guys at xda-developers will unlock the Kaiser - there are some very clever guys there.

Florin is always first with unlocking and it is a shame he can't offer his unlock for sale but it has sparked an interesting debate!

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I did - at time of posting - ask pof for a response to this story, which he's posted at xda-developers, which is now linked.

You asked 'at the time of posting'. Not before posting...and you didn't wait a day for his reply! Was this story so time-sensative you just had to run and be damned? His explanation seems pretty sound to most commentors. Imagine if print / television media ran an inflammatory story without fact checking or waiting for a response / rebuttal. There'd be lawsuits a-plenty!

I maintain the story is in the interest of the readership

And I wholeheartedly agree. But in the interests of the readership it should be accurate, not posted and corrected / added to afterwards. You assume that readers will do their own followup. If it had been posted in the lounge etc then perhaps. Casual / RSS readers however, who don't follow up on news stories themselves will have left with the impression the Pof is a theif 'cos it says so in Modaco news! If they don't come back to the thread again they'll always think that. And that's down to you. A personal rant on a company webpage can be dismissed as a vendetta, copying it into a news item on a respected windows mobile website elevates it onto another level it may or may not deserve.

PS Enough with the 'Plus partner' snipes already, it's not at all relevant. The story DID have due diligence, and remember the purpose of the story is to highlight 'no Kaiser unlock from imei-check'.

How did you try to contact Pof? Directly? PM through modaco? Through XDA-devs? Through his website? Through WHOis on his domain and getting a phone number? Something as serious as repeating an allegation of theft would warrant extreme measures to get the other point of view before posting IMO.

M.S

Edit - 30 seconds searching provides a valid Retevisión Móvil mobile number for Pof. 30 seconds!....

Edited by Mysterious Stranger

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Florin is always first with unlocking and it is a shame he can't offer his unlock for sale but it has sparked an interesting debate!

Always? Didn't he kill the radio stage of his Himalaya using xda-devs xda2unlock and ask for help from others who had used it before?

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=221773

Or are there two florin_m's in the (xda) world?

Strange for someone who's always first for unlocking. Stranger still how someone who once relied on other's help / work now lives off the back of the same community for profit now he's learnt what he needed to.

M.S

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