Misuse: How to go about reporting massive reupload of product

I think this has been happened to others before, but it’s a first for me.
I’ve had people re-upload my products with minimal modifications like a color changed from the provided config or even less than that. Usually I would report a clone or spam and it would get sorted. Thank you @opendesktop for the moderation by the way.

Today I became aware that a certain user is massively re-uploading a theme of mine with different wallpaper images (which is part of the KDE config rather than the theme’s to begin with…). I already reported a few of these with its ID from the clone button. I realize that this is a flattering result of the quality of my work but mind this:

I just checked and the user in question has been uploading minimally modified SDDM themes (and other themes in fact) for months (changes colors and sets a different wallpaper then makes a screenshot)…Is this how this is supposed to work? Mining cents by quantity with no real effort involved like Walmart?
After investing weeks of programming I have to do a shitload of different configurations with my provided config options and upload every single one of them so users do not have to go through the unimaginable hassle to do it themselves? (That’s why themes provide a config file to begin with and the reason I make them highly customizable…). This is not right to me.

@userinquestion I would actually appreciate it if you removed these yourself. (Yes it is open source but I see you are quite active and should understand why I’m not ok with this. Before monetary involvement nobody would’ve given a dime and just used the theme to their liking…)

Also note that I’m not talking about forks but rather dead brain clones. If you think there’s an option missing or the elements should be positioned different or whatever; In short: things that are not part of the user configuration of the theme; then go ahead and make a fork!

Another side note:
I do not create a new product for every new option I implement!
I update it…
I do not create a new product for every update I make!
I update it…
I do not create thirty versions of my product to confuse people and mine downloads
I just update it…
I do not try to exploit opendesktop

Maybe I should start doing every single one of those instead though? Maybe it’s actually more time invested in doing all those uploads and slight modifications to justify the payout? Thoughts oh thoughts…

But generally speaking:
@opendesktop What do you suggest how to go about this?

  • Search every clone and report as SPAM?
  • Search every clone and report every freaking ID as clone from my original product?
  • Report the user in question?
  • Post to forums?
  • Accept abuse?
  • Accept that it’s not abuse but rather how open source can naturally be exploited?

I’m currently working on a KDE window decoration fork with extensive modifications writing tons of C++ resulting in billions of possible combinations not taking desktop wallpapers into account…Am I supposed to upload 250,000 different looking versions that could have been made by the user from system settings?


Hi, Marianarlt

I recognized myself in this text.
I just wanted that every Plasma Theme, has the appropriate SDDM Login Screen.
I apologize for the inconvenience.
In the future, I will no longer use your wonderful SDDM Login Theme for my products.
Please accept my sincere apology.


@l4k1 I deeply appreciate your kind answer to this matter. It shows empathy. I suppose I explained myself well. Thank you for understanding my point of view.

@opendesktop my question still remains though because it is a general topic. I would appreciate any guiding from your side about generally speaking how to go about such situations.


I understand your point, but unfortunately the GPL is a license too open that many users abuse it.

I do not say that this bad forks, but there are situations that only make one or two changes and already upload it to opendesktop to earn easy money.

I think the administrators of opendesktop should regulate who can earn money for their own merits and who should be limited by forking simple clones without so many changes.

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Thanks for chiming in mcder. Apparently we are all aware of the fact that in general open source licenses are permissive and not restrictive in a legal way. That’s the whole point after all, it’s why we’re here to begin with. Even more so I appreciate the position of l4k1 towards my doubts.

Still so I am indeed waiting for a statement from @opendesktop since I think the platform is being flooded with superfluous clones. Which, remembering the opendesktop blogs from back then, was not the idea when throwing money into the mix, was it?

Supposedly from what I read back then the idea was to stimulate the open source community to invest in quality work for Linux. Which, at least for me personally, worked. I have worked on some open source stuff before, but being able to pay at least my coffee or even a bit more than that apparently encourages me to invest more time in “creating quality programs”. So I sit down and see some Linux interfaces which, as a professional graphic designer, I say to myself: man these lack this and that. I do some programming also, so I sit down, do a fork and implement what I thought was lacking.

All of a sudden I find myself writing shit like the following to accommodate for every users need:

        height: parent.height
        width: parent.width
        anchors.left: config.HaveFormBackground == "true" &&
                      config.FormPosition == "left" &&
                      config.BackgroundImageAlignment == "left" ?
                            formBackground.right :
                            config.HaveFormBackground == "true" &&
                            config.FormPosition == "left" &&
                            config.BackgroundImageAlignment == "center" ?
                                parent.left : undefined
        anchors.right: config.HaveFormBackground == "true" &&
                       config.FormPosition == "right" &&
                       config.BackgroundImageAlignment == "right" ?
                            formBackground.left :
                            config.HaveFormBackground == "true" &&
                            config.FormPosition == "right" &&
                            config.BackgroundImageAlignment == "center" ?
                                parent.right : undefined
        anchors.leftMargin: config.HaveFormBackground == "true" &&
                            config.FormPosition == "left" &&
                            config.BackgroundImageAlignment == "center" ?
                                formBackground.width / 2 : undefined
        anchors.rightMargin: config.HaveFormBackground == "true" &&
                             config.FormPosition == "right" &&
                             config.BackgroundImageAlignment == "center" ?
                                formBackground.width / 2 : undefined
        source: config.background || config.Background
        fillMode: config.ScaleImageCropped == "true" ? Image.PreserveAspectCrop : Image.PreserveAspectFit
        asynchronous: true
        cache: true
        clip: true
        mipmap: true

(which is actually still on the easier side of coding in general, imagine that…)
So I debug, I code, I rerun the program a thousand times, I find errors, I redo them, I optimize code, I rewrite whole blocks cause they don’t work as I thought they would then redesign and rewrite again. And so on…
I invest “time” to “create quality prodcuts”. Then people may or may not find it here or with some system plugin and I get some real money for it. How very nice. This encourages me to invest even more time in return. Even better for the community.

Now I do the maths for myself. A login manager theme with a lot of config options can have more than tens of billions of possible combinations to make it unique for just about anyone. That’s the idea behind a configuration file/dialog. I upload this super customizable program and then people go “hey wow!” and download it. Once.
After that they start to customize it. So I can do x cents a day by winning new users to my product.

Now I have thought this before, way before this whole situation came up and I decided against it for what I said earlier already. If I made like 60 different versions of my product, which could easily be created by a user himself, now the user will find all these different versions in his system settings and will be like “hey that looks nice too, I’ll try it out; way easier than editing files!”. Now it’s not about gaining new onboarding anymore now it’s about flooding existing users with superfluous clones which make them think they need to try them out. This is a psychological topic well abused by platforms like Facebook, Google, Instagram, Tumblr etc. etc. The infamous “inifinite scroll” made this possible. We keep scrolling in hopes to find something better than what just appeared not conforming to what we already got.

From here the maths get wicked sick. Apparently not all users will go for my 60 versions, but sufficiently enough will do. Because it’s way easier to scroll scroll scroll and click a button than to edit a system file or a pop up dialog. So instead of x cents, I now get let’s say x / 10 * 60 which is still six times more than if I had uploaded only one. So apparently this is a HUGE base for abuse.

To get practical: I don’t understand why factors are not yet implemented in a way that would make this kind of practice less or even none profitable. As I said before never ever would have anybody bothered before to duplicate open source software if it wasn’t for real reprogrammed forks based on functionality.

If @opendesktop was to say “well that’s how this platform works” then you know what? I’ll start doing that too, as there’s some SERIOUS money behind this concept. Although being completely opposite to what I would consider “quality content”.

I suppose that’s actually what you were saying as well @mcder, I just wanted to express my thoughts again to the staff because I’m really bothered/worried. Thank you everyone for understanding.


It happened a lot with me too.

The same user used my same icons theme to create more than same 4 icons themes, but with different folders colour. It shows laziness and lacks creativity and talent.

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When I think of misuse, usually overreaching de-platforming comes to my mind though certainly tons of copycats are purring everywhere. :volcano:


I never used your theme! What icon are you talking about?
Please give me an example!

Hi @l4k1,

I am not referring to you. I am referring to another user. See the: https://www.pling.com/u/felipefacundes/.

OK, sorry!

Felipe is your Brazilian :slight_smile:

Sorry, I do not understand. We both are Brazilians, but I do not understand that he is mine.

Small joke. In Serbia, we say, “What do you do, your countryman, do not be angry”

I do not know how good this translation is through Google Translate?

Ah, the correct is: Felipe is your countryman.

Also the correct: “Your countryman does what you do, do not be angry"

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Exactly and it seems such users just want to make easy money with the plings.