Google acquires reCAPTCHA

  • UPSGuy
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I've always thought the reCAPTCHA device was an interesting way to help a common cause while also providing functionality for my sites. It allowed users to not only prove they're human (in theory), but also translate texts that couldn't easily be deciphered via OCR. Today, Google announced that they have acquired reCAPTCHA. What's that mean for us? Well, nothing too shocking. Google promises to uphold the service that's found its way on to so many pages, so if you're currently using it, don't be alarmed. In fact, I imagine that Google will go a good bit towards improving on the tool, as is typically the case once they're involved.

On a more subtle, yet very interesting note, Google must be pushing forward with their books and news projects, despite all the flack they're currently catching for them. I guess they're not too worried!

Source: Google Blog
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Post 3+ Months Ago

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Isn't reCAPTCHA a product of academic team / work?
  • UPSGuy
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From their about page:

Quote:
reCAPTCHA started as a project of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.

Credits

* Luis von Ahn — executive producer.
* Ben Maurer — software engineer.
* Colin McMillen — software engineer.
* Mike Crawford — software engineer.
* David Abraham — software engineer.
* Edison Tan — software engineer.

reCAPTCHA is mostly powered by open source software. We'd like to thank all open source developers for creating tools that help in developing applications such as ours, but especially the developers of:

* nginx — the blazing fast webserver that powers reCAPTCHA.
* Hadoop — Distributed programming made easy
* Thrift — an RPC framework that allows for easy versioning
* Python — much of reCAPTCHA is written in Python.


The key word is mostly. The project became open-source with a structured leadership at the helm following its origination in academics. I would imagine it's this team and the originators who profited from the acquisition.
  • mk27
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Post 3+ Months Ago

UPSGuy wrote:
The key word is mostly.


Why? It seems largely irrelevant to the context here. The project could be 100% open source, it is still your project and if someone wants to AQUIRE it (keyword) they still have to negotiate with you, and that COULD include money.

"Open source" is open in the sense that it is freely available for use, eg, Mr. Torvalds does hold a copyright on the name "Linux". If you claimed Linux as your own (which is different than just "using" it) or -- as is the key with this deal -- attempted to develop and distribute it as your own product without crediting the (open) source, then you would be "open" to a law suit. But someone could come out with a "Minex" OS kernel tomorrow, 100% identical to the Linux kernel, acknowledge the use of the source according to the "open source" license (in this case, the GPL) and sell that for money if they want.

Sorry if I misunderstood your cryptic highlighting here...I just think you have inexplicably fixed on a mostly irrelevant detail. Google did not buy this because they had to in order to use or even modify and distribute it, they did it because they wanted control of the project.

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