Unofficial Nextion/TJC User Forum

How Nextion respects your (copy)rights

Note: this topic comes a few weeks later than planned but I think it’s still worth sharing

Introduction

Apologies! (28.09.2021)

Most of this post has been written some evening because I wanted to get this out there. Since I wouldn’t be able to include any sources (explanation below) I just wrote it off memory. That might have worked the week after the events took place but not a month or two later.
The consequence: the original post - which you can see through the edit history - contained incorrect information and gave a wrong image of Nextions actions. While I still strongly disagree with some of their positions it should never have been a biased and untruthful post. Sorry for that.
I think I got most things correct now but if not, please let me know.

Nextion and their copyrights

As many of you know, Nextion is more than strict about its own copyrights. In a nutshell, their position is that any open source tool that reveals any technical detail that they haven’t disclosed on their own would be illegal and violate their intellectual property rights. A font editor whose code shows you how to read their font files? Illegal (in their opinion). To be clear, this is not true. And when confronted with examples that prove this, the narrative shifted towards „even if it was legal, can‘t you just respect our wishes?“. I‘d say I consider it once you got at least 50 Nextion devs voting for it. I mean, if I have a wish for the Nextion Editor (like a search and replace function) you ask for at least 1000 upvotes to even consider it - in a forum where only ~800 users ever posted. So 50 dev votes seems fair to me.

Anyways. The point is, they absolutely want their copyrights to be respected - beyond their legal rights. One would assume that they‘d thus respect other peoples rights in a similar way, right? Spoiler: nope.

What’s the point of licenses anyways?

There‘s one little thing I got to get out of the way, bear with me. No license means all copyrights belong to the author - no more no less. This is pretty much universally true for any sort of work that is not generic or public domain (1+1=2 f.ex.) and is more or less the same all around the world. Since the Nextion editor comes with no license agreement, the copyright laws are all the laws applying to the editor. That means nothing prevents us from developing our own tools or even our own Nextion editor - as long as we don’t use their source code because that’s copyrighted. So. No license does NOT mean public domain (=free for everyone to use in any way they want).
The author can grant additional rights (or enforce restrictions) via licenses. Open source licenses f.ex. allow you to reuse the code but usually require any user to share their code, too, when using the licensed work and to name the author (f.ex. GPL, CC-BY-SA).
Considering the years of discussions between users and Nextion and their dead clear position about their rights one would assume they‘d at least know the basics you all know by now.

They copied!

Here‘s what happened. @SeventyNine made a post, seeking for help with his code - which he attached. A couple thousand lines of his own work. Granted, it wasn‘t the most efficient code but it is nonetheless his work.
The guys at Nextion saw this, too, and recognized that the source can be shortened drastically. They made a blog post based on this, explicitly naming and praising Patrick for making the optimization. However, what‘s entirely missing is a name, a link or any sort of source and credit for the forum post they copied entirely including all code. They haven‘t asked him whether he‘s fine with that. They haven‘t respected that all posts in this forum are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Which - among other things - requires the author to be named and any derived work to be licensed similarly. They, who so often complained about us not respecting their rights and will, didn‘t even care to think about ours.

Their reaction

I asked Patrick and Thierry about it - maybe they had contacted @SeventyNine. Their answer was clear: no. The “justification” was

  • Nextion Editor doesn‘t have a license either
  • The user did not include any copyright/license notes either - f.ex about the instruction set
  • The instruction set is public domain
  • Patricks solution does not use his source
  • They wanted to do something for the community.

Nextion Editor not having a license does absolutely not fit into the picture since - as I said above - no license still means copyrights can apply.

As I understood it they consider any code examples (including the instruction set) as public domain and thus see no need to include any sort of license notes in things like blog posts. The user doesn’t have to include license notes in his code for using the instruction set or related examples and they don’t need license notes for things like this blog post.
I don’t know if it happens intentionally or not but this is yet another example of them shifting the topic slightly to their advantage. I was not talking about Patricks code itself. I was only talking about the blog post which has a full quote of a post from here. I agree that Patricks code alone doesn’t need any sort of license but I still think they not only should but must include a source in the blog post for the quote. Either that or remove the quote and original source and make it a more generic post. Not my preferred solution but still a valid one.

Oh, and they also suggested at some point that I’d be against this sort of effort for helping the community.

What about my sources?!

I’d have liked to show your their original replies to give you an unbiased view. Since it was a private conversation I don’t want to share any direct quotes without their permission. I thus asked them if they’d allow me to use their replies here.
However, at the time of writing (two months after having asked) there’s still not been a reply to that request. So unfortunately you’re limited to my view of things.

Conclusion

I still don’t understand what’s their issue. I guess they just can’t bring themselves to mention the UNUF in any way, shape or form. If so, I think that’s sad and dishonest.

Regards,
Max

3 Likes

A while ago I suddenly get this warning from the Nextion Editor:

I reported this to Nextion with the message how they came up with why I should use crack software, after all, the editor is already free?
The short answer I got:
“Will be fixed in the next Nextion Editor version”
The thing that annoyed me the most are those threats that my data will be destroyed.

2 Likes

Welcome @Frizie!

This is not new; it’s an issue that’s been fixed over a year ago. It’s been covered in their forum (requires account to read) and in this forum, too, though the people here were - understandably - a bit more pissed.
Long story short, any editor version from v1.60 on should not have this issue anymore.

The reason why they started such things is because people here had modified previous Nextion Editor versions to support the much cheaper Chinese version of their screens. If you read through some older topics here you’ll learn about it. Those cheaper screens are sold by “TJC” (the keyword to search in this forum; there’re lots of infos about them).

While I totally agree that threatening your data is not okay, Nextion actually never attacked your data nor was it their intention AFAIK. In their words, they intended to warn users about a (IMO theoretical) risk. Yes, one could modify their software such that it would corrupt your files but this never happened (!).
To be dead clear, their “warning” doesn’t read like they’d try to help you. There is no “make a backup, just in case”, no “here’s how to solve this”. Having read this message I feel - like you - threatened. And I can’t help me thinking that was the intention. Your guess is as good as mine whether they did themselves a favor with this…

I have to say I can’t quite follow why you ended up posting in this particular topic…? Anyways, I hope I answered your questions.

Regards,
Max

Sorry, I didn’t know this had been mentioned before.
The reason I put this in this topic is because this also proves that Nextion doesn’t care about everything, given the threats of data erasure.

It’s laughable that Chinese manufacturers get upset or protective of their own intellectual property, when it’s been entrenched in their culture for decades, to clone and make cheap and nasty knock-offs of products, predominantly from the West.

Unless TJC can bring about legal action outside of China via their own representatives in the USA, EU, etc, then nobody should have anything to be concerned about. Open slather, free-for-all, just like the Chinese treat everything themselves.

Would be great to see an English hack of the USART Editor in the public domain.
The Chinese do not respect copyright or IP, so the precedent has been set.

1 Like

Seeing that Nextion is actually an exellent (in my opinion) product that will sell itself without the help of some weirdos who may or may not have a stake in the sales thereof. I cannot for the life of me understand this issues revolving around this product. They are simply doing much much more harm to this brand than they are doing any kind of good nevermind if they are brilliant programmers or not. He or they should really not be in any kind of job that deals with the public at all as they clearly have some serious personality issues. To be honest I would rather bin each and every Nextion I own before going anywhere near there forum where they are supposed to assist people but are clearly more interested in displaying there superiority in programming and belittiling people than anything else. This is a very weird situation and I would really like to know how much stake they have in Nextion and if this company even realize how much damage they are doing to this product. If there ever comes a product that can give any kind of competition to Nextion I would move away from them in an instant.

3 Likes

Apologies!

Most of this post has been written some evening because I wanted to get this out there. Since I wouldn’t be able to include any sources (explanation below) I just wrote it off memory. That might have worked the week after the events took place but not a month or two later.
The consequence: the original post - which you can see through the edit history - contained incorrect information and gave a wrong image of Nextions actions. While I still strongly disagree with some of their positions it should never have been a biased and untruthful post. Sorry for that.
I think I got most things correct now but if not, please let me know.

Regards,
Max

1 Like

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