[This project has been discontinued due to license compliance issues. Thanks everyone who assisted with your ideas and feedback.]


  • What is this? - this was a project dedicated to building an up-to-date collection of great, free portable software for easy installation and use.
  • What's in it? - list of included freeware
  • v. 1.3 beta - note that this release is over a year old and contains very out-of-date software. I haven't worked out how to solve licensing issues. Download


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Kitchen Sink currently offline

So just got a letter from the owner of portableapps.com saying that I'm violating trademark law, the GPL, and several software licenses.

Unfortunately Kitchen Sink will need to be offline until I can get that ironed out.  Here's why:
  • I'm doing this for the love as I'm not getting paid.  I've got some revenue sources (adwords and donations), but I have yet to make a dime off either one.
  • I'm unemployed and don't make near enough money to hire a lawyer to help me make sure I'm totally in compliance with 200 different licenses.
  • I'm a big fan of the GPL and violating the license even implicitly is not something I'm comfortable with.
If I can't get this cleared up, I'll shutter the project for good.


Vishnu said...

My heart goes out to you :-(
I goggled "portableapps.com violating trademark GPL licenses" and found several projects that share the same accusations from John Haller.

This is a very sensitive topic. You have done everything you could (like listing individual licences etc). Again I am very sad about your current predicament..

Folding Home said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Evan said...

I really don't know what to say. I came across your application yesterday for the first time and thought "this is going to be a great suite for my thumb drive".

I started downloading it and it stopped at 95%. About the only thing I can think of more annoying (in regards to this particular download) is for you to find out you can't have it up.

I wanted to offer my help going through any documentation (such as the legal docs you mentioned on the blog) if it can help you get everything back into compliance. If you're interested let me know in the comments and maybe we can work on this.


PcWinTech & PcWinTech Forums Site Administrator and Editor

Folding Home said...

The collection is still available on several torrent networks -- I don't have any control over that. I'm very sorry you got cut off from trying it out.

As far as the licenses - any help would be greatly appreciated. So far I've been able to iron out a few issues on 3 or 4 programs, but there's many more to go. Any ideas on how to tackle this? I recently got a sourceforge page setup and they have a wiki that might be a good start for a collaboration, but I'm available to any suggestions.

Thanks for your post!

Evan said...

If you don't mind emailing me, we can start a dialog and see what we can figure out. We won't know till we try.

You can reach me via "my name" at PcWinTech.com


Tim said...

I think we should all get together and help you out. You were trying to help the community and it falls flat on it face. I am a webhoster, webmaster and computer engineer. If I can help in anyway let me know.

Folding Home said...

Thanks man, that really makes me feel better. When someone writes you up and tells you your whole project is broken on a very basic level and that a 100 of hours of work my have to be thrown away, it certainly stings.

That said, I understand Haller's position.

Regardless, a little understanding goes a long way -- so thanks. :)

Folding Home said...

> If I can help in anyway let me know.


The current plan (which Evan is helping out with) is to organize a list of all the licenses and go through to see which ones have obvious problems.

If you don't mind reading a lot of boring legalese, I definitely have some work for you. If that sounds like more tedium than your spare time allows (and I don't blame you) please just give me thoughts and advice on the archive as it stands. Send me an email (foldinghome / gmail) and lets get something started.

Whatever the case, thanks so much for the good words. Its really nice to hear this type of response from people. Makes me feel like the project I created to do some good really succeeded, even if its in the middle of a hiccup.

Binary said...

Hey, I just wanted to say that I am fully behind (moral support anyways) you and your new helpers for getting this project back into play. I wish I had the time to aide you all, but with three jobs, full-time school, and just moving into a new place, I just don't have the available time. I will check back with your progress in a month or two when I have a little more time.

On a semi-helpful note, if I am not mistaken, aren't a lot of these programs freeware under the GPL license? From what I can 'vaguely' remember don't a lot of these licenses state that you can distribute the software as long as you don't modify the program or license? Also, aren't a lot of these licenses titled as "GPL version 2" or something? Could that info be used to sort the licenses for quicker scanning?

Alright, I will check back with you all asap. Good Luck!

Folding Home said...

> I just don't have the available time. I will check back with your progress in a month or two when I have a little more time.

Any help you could provide including just posting a message like you did is really helpful. It reminds me that people are really using this thing and my work is really finding a home. That's a big help on its own, so thanks.

> Could that info be used to sort the licenses for quicker scanning?

Yes -- I'm working on a system to sort all the software and figure out what has similar licenses. From there, I'll try to iron out what each program requires and make sure we're following the wishes of each developer. I see myself doing them a service by packaging and redistributing their work but they may not see it that way.

Either way thanks for posting. I'll be pushing everything over into a SourceForge account to start building some collaboration tools so please join us if and when you can.

gary said...

John Haller is being a jerk. He wrote that to scare you, because he views your project as competition to his own. As far as most open-source projects, including GPL +mozilla license, you don't need anyone's permission to distribute. Just do it! Yes, even with firefox. You only must include a copy o the license, and make available the source code to anyone who wants it. But if you modify the code, you must make that modification available as well. You CAN advertise on your site. No one has any legal right to stop this, so just ignore Haller and his ilk.

gary said...

PS: RE: Free software that is NOT open-source, and has its own unique license, may legitably restrict for any distribution. you'll need to ask them.

gary said...

John Haller attacked another portable-suite competitor: 'Liberkey'. They have sucessfully resisted him. Read here:


Folding Home said...

Thanks for your post, Gary. I had not heard that Haller was doing FUD against competing projects. I was startled by how unfriendly and then unhelpful his emails were, but you don't have to be a nice person to be a powerful advocate for good things.

As far as I know, the MPL does not allow for

1. Skipping the license agreement at the beginning
2. Changing the home page

Both of which I was doing. Its the reason that the Debian project created IceCat.

Anyway, thanks for the encouragement.

ZP said...

lost my copy of kitchen sink and 1.3 beta has no seeds :-(

Folding Home said...

ZP: I'm sorry to hear that, but I can't distribute the Kitchen Sink in its current form without violating a lot of licenses. I may restart the process again soon based on your comment and others.