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As noted in the update to our review of Paterva Evolution, a personal data mining tool, Roelof Temmingh has removed the binaries for the application after having received legal threats over its use. In an email on the Paterva announcement's mailing list over the weekend, Temmingh revealed more about why the binaries had to be removed and unveiled his plans for future work on the project.
On Thursday August 30, soon after the Linux.com article, I received an aggressive mail from someone (that will remain unnamed) that told me I'll be hearing from Novell lawyers real soon - because of alleged trademark infringement on Novell's Evolution. Note - this person was not actually from Novell, but did CC three addresses at Novell.com. I responded to the email, and CC-ed the 3 other email addresses saying that I never intended confusion (and doubt it very much), have no intention of stealing Novell customers, and if they have a problem with the name they should let me know and I'll make a plan to change it. I have not heard from either Novell or the individual that wrote the email. But - this is not the reason why I took down the system or changed the name.
Later the same day, I received a letter from a lawyer representing a large social network.The letter was very official looking and said 'cease and desist'. I had to Google it - but from the tone of the email it was clear that they were not pleased with what I did with Evolution. They had a couple of demands - one being that I stop the offending transform immediately. This was a wakeup call - and I pulled the plug. It was indeed a tragic day and I taught me a great deal about what the Internet has become.
Temmingh says the new version of the application will not use any Google-related sources, opting instead for the Yahoo search engine. He said in his note that "It appears that the Yahoo TOU allows for automation without heavy restrictions. Currently the queries from the web interface are limited to a couple of thousand a day but I'll apply at Yahoo for more queries in a bit (so if you don't get any results it might be that we're out of queries for the 24h period)."
The new version -- called Maltego -- is available now on the Paterva website. Temmingh says the new name is pronounced "maal tee goh," adding that you can use "My Alter Ego" to help remember it.