Happy Birthday vBTruth – One Year Later

Today has gone by so quickly I nearly forgot it was an important moment here at vBTruth. Today marks one year ago when Chronos and I said enough is enough. We’ve had it. We’re tired of being forced fed decisions by Internet Brands’s Management that ultimately compromised our communities and in some cases, have driven our members away.

Looking back at the entries we’ve written in the last year, I have to say I’m sad. Looking back at the entire year, I could cry. One year later, nothing has changed. vBulletin itself is no longer the king of forums. In fact, it is the court jester of forums. The monetary value of a vBulletin license is completely depressed. From an all time high of $285.00 license, people are dumping their licenses for a fraction of the price. I’ve seen licenses as low as $50.00 for a vBulletin 4 Suite. That’s an eighty two percent drop in the price. People aren’t even recovering HALF the money they paid for vBulletin 4. They are simply looking to get rid of it.

Looking at everything a year later:

The CMS is still horrible to use. It’s nothing but stress and headaches to post updates.

The Forum still shows regression in features.

Bugs are being squashed, but it’s still difficult to work

Performance of vBulletin is dreadful.

Competing products like Invision Power Board have made significant leaps in innovation.

We’ve seen xenForo

vBulletin 4 still has attention deficit disorder, with no idea of what it wants to be. Not to mention Internet Brands still thinks WordPress is still their biggest competition.

We’re already seeing talks that vBulletin 5 is coming out in a few months. HELLO $200.00/LICENSE IN RENEWAL FEES AGAIN!


We desired change, but we’ve seen none. No innovation. The v in vBulletin no longer means value or valuable. It now stands for victims. We’ve become victims of the lack of vision, and direction of Internet Brands.

So sadly, Happy Birthday to us. We thought a year is enough for things to change, but evidently time has shown us the truth. There’s no real change on the horizon.

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♫ So Long, Internet Brands! ♫

I caught a production of Hello, Dolly! last night and this song kept ringing in my ears after I left the theatre. I’ve adapted So Long Dearie to the plight of vBulletin customers. Enjoy, and here’s the music to it.

♫ Well Internet Brands, it looks as if there’s nothing more for me to say but

♫ GOODBYE! GOODBYE! GOODBYE!
♫ GOODBYE! GOODBYE! GOODBYE!
♫ Don’t try and stop us, Internet Brands, Please.

♫ Wave your lil hand and whisper so long dearie
♫ You ain’t gonna see me any more
♫ But when you discover that business is dreary
♫ Don’t you come a knocking at my door

♫ Cause my Forum will be all dolled up
♫ and singing that song, that says you DOG
I told you so
♫ So wave your lil hand and whisper so long dearie
♫ dearie should have said so long, so long ago.

♫ Because you treated me so rotten and rough
♫ I’ve had enough of feelin’ low
♫ so wave your little hand and whisper so long dearie
♫ dearie sould have said so long, so long ago

♫ For I can hear xenForo calling me on
♫ to a fancy new address
♫ Yes I can hear xenForo calling me on
♫ board to that happiness express
♫ I’m gonna learn to code, n’ style my new site today
♫ I’m go’n far away from you, that a customer can get.

♫ And on those cold winter nights Internet Brands
♫ You can snuggle up to your cash register
♫ It’s a little lumpy but it rings.

♫ Don’t come a knockin’
♫ my forum will be all dolled up
♫ and singin’ that song
♫ that says you DOG, I told you so
♫ So Internet Brands, you find your life a sad old story
♫ when you see your Customers shuffle off to glory
♫ Oh I should have said so long…
♫ So Long Ago!

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Let’s Think – The Real Reason for Internet Brands v. xenForo

I would like to believe that I am by far one of the most vocal people out there that has ranted, and raved about Internet Brand’s continued mismanagement of vBulletin Solutions, and vBulletin. My phone started vibrating like with extreme madness as I picked up a rash of alerts from colleagues and twitter notices on the morning of the filing. With my travelings these last few months auditing various companies, I’ve been regrettably away from this site and unable to comment or refresh content as frequently as I’d like to.

Now that my latest rounds of audits have been complete, I am able to properly sit down and analyze the highly publicized notice on vBulletin.com. Interesting enough, I have not been able to locate the complaint in any UK Legal Information System or any filings in the UK Court System.
(more…)

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Internet Brands v. xenForo – A Lawyer’s Opinion

Take a look at a lawyer’s opinion on the potential case of Internet Brands v. xenForo.

Fair Use Excerpt:

After having read the claims made by Internet Brands for myself, the best that I can conclude is that (a) many of the fiery opinions contained in the flurry of comments are misplaced and factually and legally incorrect, and (b) Internet Brands considers Xenforo, which hasn’t even been released yet, a serious potential player in the forum and community software market. There isn’t much information available as to the allegations in the lawsuit against Kier, Mike and Ashley, all former employees of Jelsoft – the original company that created the “beloved” vBulletin software. Many forum owners are outraged that Internet Brands (the subject of at least one controversy) would actually “stoop so low” so as to sue these good people who brought them the software that made their magic possible. From my perspective, it is impossible yet to tell whether Internet Brands has been wronged by well paid former employees and is vigorously attempting to rightfully protect its property or whether the lawsuit is a frivolous claim by a big corporation with deep pockets designed to unfairly thwart the efforts of a new competitor in the marketplace that leaves an especially bitter taste in its mouth.

Read the full opinion

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xenForo goes on sale

For those of you who are sick of Internet Brands’s incompetence, and continued failure at meeting business requirements, xenForo, developed by former vBulletin developers Kier Darby, Mike Sullivan and former vBulletin business manager Ashley Busby, went on sale.

Go buy it. Enough said.

P.S. HURRY UP AND BUY BEFORE THE 100.00/license sale ends!

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Internet Brands claims against xenForo

If you have not read this yet, here it is. Internet Brands is suing xenForo for violations on intellectual property, and Kier, Ashley, and Mike for breach of contract, taking intellectual property, and unfair business practices.

Here’s what Internet Brands has posted.

Internet Brands today has commenced a lawsuit in the courts of England and Wales against Xenforo, and its founders, Kier, Mike and Ashley. The lawsuit is about these claims: infringement of our copyrighted intellectual property, breach of contract, and unfair business practices.

The suit is simple: we claim that Kier, Mike, and Ashley have infringed and violated contracts they signed with us to gain unfair business advantage. As such, Xenforo’s software unfairly stands on the shoulders of more than a decade of development by Jelsoft. Internet Brands owns this intellectual property.

In total, we are stunned by the actions of Kier, Mike, and Ashley and believe they must not fully understand the laws of copyrights, contract or business torts. Perhaps Kier and Mike think they have “refactored” enough of the code to skirt copyright law. Our analysis strongly indicates otherwise and we believe anyone skilled in understanding such things will concur. Perhaps they are of the misguided belief that because they created some of the vBulletin code as Jelsoft employees, they somehow have unique claims to that property. If so, that too is wrong. Kier’s and Mike’s work as Jelsoft employees was the exclusive property of their employer, and the former owners of Jelsoft not only paid Kier and Mike well during their employment, Kier was paid a handsome bonus when Internet Brands bought the business, although no such payment was required.

If the proverbial shoe were on the other foot and rather than buying vBulletin, Internet Brands had instructed our engineers to essentially copy the software, we would have been law breakers. But Internet Brands chose to play by copyright rules and bought the vBulletin intellectual property. And, in our opinion, no matter how Kier, Mike, and Ashley try to “spin” their actions, they have not. A key test for infringement is a determination as to whether a substantial portion of the underlying work amounts to an expression of the prior work. We believe we will be able to easily show that Xenforo is infringing under this test. We have numerous other claims against Xenforo that we believe are equally strong.

We trust that software purchasers understand the risks of infringement of copyright law and act accordingly. We have requested that Kier, Mike and Ashley refrain from selling the software while the issues, inclusive of our infringement claims, are heard in the courts. We intend to pursue our rights broadly and vigorously.
We consider Kier and Mike to be talented developers, but ones who potentially fail to grasp the implications of their actions.

We imagine that many of you in the community will have questions or concerns and we want to be as open and straightforward with all of you throughout this process as possible; however, since this matter is now being handled by the court system, we may be limited in some regards to what we can discuss.

Internet Brands

At the end of the day: Why am I not surprised?

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Letter to vBTruth – Can You Help Me?

We got another letter from one of our readers, who stumbled upon our site.

I’m toying with the idea to, like many people, grab a CMS/forum system and get an idea rolling. I’ve run a couple VB sites for a few years now FOR someone, and would like to actually get a taste of success (at the top most level) myself.

However, I’m trying to decide if VB is right for me. When 4.0 released we blindly of course planned to upgrade to it on a few of our sites – until we started reading all the complaints. So, we held off and are on 3.8.x still.

Fast forward to now – I’m trying to do some fast research to see if things have resolved a little, if perhaps the staff has come back or if the bugs are getting under control (from 10 reports a day to 800 as of now, for real?) or what. If staff has not returned, where are they now?

At any rate, I found your site during this process. I read the top few articles and decided to email you and ask for an update as the newest is 40 days old at this point. Please either in form of an article or in reply to this email give me your current take on the situation. Short or long answer. Is it any better, recommendable? If not – is there a competing product you would recommend?

Thanks,
Frustrated

Well Frustrated, I know it’s going to be tough to swallow, but the fact remains is things are changing, much slower than we’d like it, however significant change will not come for quite some time from where I stand. I’m looking as an external auditor, and there are risks still associated with staying with vBulletin.

From my perspective, we’re still having an extremely high attrition rate in staff. Just last month, Don Kuramura resigned from Internet Brands and joined Nokia.

My recommendation stands at this. Check out xenForo. It’s a new forum application that has just started up recently Kier Darby and Mike Sullivan, former developers of vBulletin, and Ashley Busby, former business manager of Jelsoft. I’ve thus had an excellent track record with the three of them and would not hesitate for a second to buy a license. I’m extremely impressed at what I’ve seen thus far, and I’m extremely interested in seeing what’s in store.

I will say that as soon as a proper importer has been tested for vBulletin 4 to xenForo, I will be making that jump, moving all my sites from vBulletin 4 to xenForo.

It goes on sale October 5 for $140.00. If you happen to catch the twenty four hour sale, you get to save $40.00.

I will point out, that you will be buying a license to participate in their beta. The bright side. At least you have a rough idea on what you’re buying.

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