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18 November 2010, 13:24

SourceForge apologises to Audacity team for malicious ads

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SourceForge Logo In a post on the SourceForge blog, OSS Outreach Coordinator Elizabeth Naramore has apologised to the Audacity team for malicious ads that were being shown on Audacity’s download page. Naramore says that the popularity of the Audacity project made it an attractive target. Scammers would "spoof the Audacity name, and trick the user into clicking on their links to download something that was decidedly *not* Audacity (and usually for a fee)".

These malicious ads resulted in complaints, not directed to SourceForge, but to the Audacity development team. SourceForge now admits that, over a period of some months, the Audacity developers repeatedly asked for something to be done about the ads, but because of "higher priorities" due to limited resources, SourceForge did nothing to resolve the issue. Eventually the Audacity team to took their download page elsewhere in hopes of saving their reputation before it was permanently tarnished in the eyes of their users.

Audacity Logo Naramore goes on to say that, "Instead of helping an open source project succeed, we did just the opposite" and, based on recent conversations and feedback from the Audacity project, helping projects with these types of issues has now become a priority. Some restructuring has taken place at SourceForge and they hope that learning from their past mistakes, as well as open communication, will help to fix the issue. SourceForge notes that, while they don't have complete control over the third-part ads, they can manually filter out domains. Until a new system is in place, projects and users that see malicious ads are asked to email Naramore at with the name of the project and the domain the ad points to.

Audacity is a cross-platform, open source audio editor and recorder that can be used to, for example, import live audio, import Ogg VOrbis, MP3, WAV, or AIFF files, cut, copy and mix sounds together and alter pitch in recorded audio. The GPLv2 licensed application won the 2009 SourceForge Community Choice Award for the Best Project for Multimedia and its features include several different tools which can be used to remove background noises or add various effects, such as an echo or phasing.


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