For nearly the past two weeks, I have been expounding the emphatic engineering exploits of one Michael J. Hardy. As best as I can gather, his wares have been happily traipsing across the Interweb for approximately four years. I have not addressed some issues in depth, however.
During one of my many Internet digs of information on Mr. Hardy, I found a site or forum post, I cannot remember which, that claimed he was disabled. Now, ignoring the fact that programming is not incredibly physically demanding, unless you have back problems and cannot sit for long periods of time, why could Mr. Hardy not draw disability benefits instead of fraudulently selling software? It should pay at least enough to get you by, not to mention it is not legally shady unless you falsify your claim. If he truly is disabled, I am sorry, but that does not excuse him for what he has done.
What happens to anyone who has bought a piece of software Mr. Hardy was selling? I have no doubt at least a few people were duped into purchasing several of his offerings. What happens when they find out they had been suckered? It is not unlikely that they will throw up their hands in frustration and vow to never buy anything using the Internet again. Worse, what about those who are gullible enough or, bluntly, too ignorant to realize that they were fleeced? I fight ignorance everywhere I go, but on the Internet, it seems to attack from every angle.
Worst of all, think of all the people Mr. Hardy has royally pissed off over the years after they found out what he was doing with their hard work. Some of them may be inclined to avoid releasing anything under an open-source license ever again. Because of people like Mr. Hardy, we may lose the freedom that comes with open-source software. (By the way, thanks to the creator of Fiend 3D for posting a comment here. At least we know he is not one to be driven from open-source by Mr. Hardy.)
And last but not least, I certainly hope Mr. Hardy did not think he could perpetually get away with what he was doing. Someone was bound to figure out his scheme sooner or later, and I know I am not the first to do so; I am merely the first to bring it to such an extensive public light. What Michael J. Hardy has done is inexcusable.