The Mike Hardy Saga, Part I: The Beginning

Michael James HardyHello, everyone. I’d like you to meet Michael James Hardy. Mike has a wife, name removed. (Correction/Update: Mike used to have a wife.) He also has a daughter, name removed. Mr. Hardy is a prolific software developer, with over five years of experience with C++ and Visual Basic. Mike has released all sorts of software to the Internet: games, web browsers, and the like. Sometimes they are free, and sometimes they are not. But as always, there is more to the story.

You see, Mr. Hardy has admitted himself that he was a little confused for awhile. He thought that the GNU General Public License (GPL) gave him free reign to use the source code of others and claim their work as his own. And, as KimVette points out on the forums, although selling software is allowed under the GPL, access to the source code must be provided as well; in some cases, Mr. Hardy provided the source code, and other times he did not.

Mr. Hardy insists he is an innocent man; he claims in several places that he is not a hacker, scammer, or ripoff artist. But much of the evidence points in the other direction. Also, note this little tidbit (reference here, as apparently Mr. Hardy tried to pass off Transfusion and/or Quake 2 Evolved as his own); is Michael J. Hardy even his real name? For the sake of simplicity, unless I have more conclusive evidence, I will continue referencing the person in question as Michael J. Hardy.

As that astute forum user pointed out, Mr. Hardy grossly misrepresented the amount of work he performed on the programs released in question, and also failed to give credit to their creators. What programs, you ask? Well, in the next few weeks, I will be continually updating this site (posting under this category, Software Saga) with the continuing adventures of Mike Hardy.

Although I cannot point out where all the original programs came from (I need help in that area) that Mr. Hardy has claimed as his own, the fact that so many of his “creations” are actually the work of others sets a defining precedent when examining Mr. Hardy’s work. Many of his pages have been shut down due to copyright violations, mostly the pages he hosted on Angelfire. Not to worry, though; I have local mirrors of many of them here on But some of his sites are still active. Stay tuned.

» Continue to Part II

35 Responses to “The Mike Hardy Saga, Part I: The Beginning”

  1. Jon Says:


  2. Mike's former wife (name removed) Says:

    I am so sorry that he has been doing this I had no clue he was doing all of this. He was telling me all those things were his. I left him over a year ago and don’t plan on going back to him. Once again I am so sorry about everything he has done, I had not a thing to do with what he is doing. If he were doing something like that to me I would sue him. One more thing would you please take my name off of you write up. Please

  3. Bill Koch Says:

    I offer my condolences. Your name has been removed from my writeups, but it is still present on many of his sites. I can’t remove it from there.

  4. WaltDe Says:

    Very good reading. Peace until next time.

  5. Takis Says:

    From his “Ultra Software” page:

    “My very first Computer (PC) Was An Apple IIe and An Apple IIGS System”


  6. Takis Says:

    Ouch, forgot the link:

    I came across it when reading Sam Hocevar’s blog:

  7. Eres programador independiente? Licencia tu trabajo :: Masio IT&#174 &#9786 Says:

    […] Cuando el autor original se enteró, se armó toda una telenovela. Entre otras cosas, decidió que cerraría (al menos en parte) el código para evitar futuros robos. El programador que copio el código es ya un viejo veterano en robo de código. Inclusive intento hacer pasar Doom como suyo (aquí la saga completa).En su pagina (, no añado link para no ayudarle :)) tiene otras joyitas de trabajos que intento hacer pasar por suyos. […]

  8. Tom Moran Says:

    Well… here I am.. another author ripped by Mr. Hardy. My iQ WordProcessor source code and interface was ripped off from Planet Source Code and is being distributed as Ultra-Pad on his web site. He’s asking for donations and of course the credit for the entire project goes to him and is dedicated to his daughter as well. I also understand he is uploading this software to several other sites. My attorney is searching for and contacting these site. I contacted my copyright attorney today and we’ll see what we can do to stop this guy. Incredible! He’s not even a good thief much less a programmer!


  9. Curt Says:

    @ Tom Moran: This is sad what have happened to you. Can you please direct us to this program of your’s? I have not been able to find anything close to the name “iQ WordProcessor”.

  10. Erol Says:

    AOL what Curt said.

    I installed “ultra-pad” as a replacement for the old, no-longer-developed Cetus WordPad. And now I learn that it’s stolen goods. So I’m looking for a WordPad replacement again.

    At least I’m only embarassed, and not out actual money from this.

  11. Alain Aupeix Says:


    I am a member of the team of developers K-Meleon, which as you perhaps know is free software under the GPL.

    This license allows everyone to freely use and modify freely as the software in question.

    The sources of K-Meleon are of course available online, and many programmers modify the source to have the software they fit. And all this is very good.

    In the case of Internet Spirit (also named GhostFox), everything would be ok if the author did not violate the terms of the license.

    The author of the modified code is not required to seek permission from the author of the official version, but he must :

    – mention the origin of the product (don’t change copyrights)
    – provide sources of codes used
    – keep the product changed under the same license.

    On all these points, there is flagrant violation of GPL.

    – copyrights have been cleared.
    – source is not avalaible
    – the license has been changed from GPL to Eula

    We have ask a few download site webmasters to remove these products from their pages, and a lot of them give positive answer to my request

    For now, just cnet (all the group), and betterwindowsoftware haven’t answered to my request.

    Have answered positively:


    You can read the post on K-Meleon’s officials forums, where is related the discovery of this guy for K-Meleon Team, and the actions we are making now to isolate, and more, if we can, HARDcopY (as I call him),83865,84013

    HARDcopY is announcing that he will release soon a Firefox 3 fork. I’m not sure he can handle it the same way he does with K-Meleon. Or he is completelly nutcase…


    A. Aupeix

  12. Weather Says:

    “We have ask a few download site webmasters to remove these products from their pages, and a lot of them give positive answer to my request

    For now, just cnet (all the group), and betterwindowsoftware haven’t answered to my request.”

    It is unbelievable that C|Net are so easily duped and still unaware. As if K-Meleon could have escaped their attention.

    Good grief; even I knew about it a long time ago, way before I ever considered trying it.

    OK, making a case against someone online isn’t easy if you are not a lawyer. Harder still if you are not at home with the English language. And next to impossible if you are just messing with code as a part time hobby with no real interest in stuff like Groklaw and the Free Software Foundation.

    While that might be the case with some foreigner in a shed in Spain or somewhere, it hardly applies to C|Net.

    Or does it?

  13. Bill Koch Says:

    Hi Alain,

    Thanks for your comments. You didn’t need to post twice though, so I removed your comment from the other entry.

    Weather, your mention of the FSF gave me an idea. Maybe they’ll go after Mr. Hardy given enough information about them. I, or someone else, could contact them and explain the situation.

  14. Phil S. Says:

    LMAO! Changed from GPL to the “EULA license”! That’s even funnier than WTFPL.

  15. Dave Says:

    While I understand the concerns, I do feel perhaps differently from others on this issue.

    Let me explain:

    If you own physical property, IE, a cd for example & try to sell it. Someone comes along, takes it without paying. Well, that was yours, they stole it, that was WRONG! When they pay for it, that is the right thing to do, since that did belong to you.

    Intellectual property? Get real! I know things are easy to copy, but once someone buys 1 copy, are you seriously suggesting that you have to have control over all future copies? Imagine the innocent farmer who buys a grain of corn. Instead of eating it, he plants it & gets 1,000 free & easy copies! Is that illegal? He paid for the seed! Should he have to pay for all the future “copies” as well?

    I see software the same way. We exist because certain things are shared. Language for example. If everyone has to learn a different way to say “I love you” because anything anyone says is copy-written, or even “plagiarized”, then I guess we will totally fall apart as a civilization! What is the point of existing but not being able to say anything without paying everyone for something that should have been free to start with? You are born free, you cannot control “intellectual” things! There IS NO “intellectual” property!

    Let’s face it! People have long been seeking the “perfect” job where they create 1 copy, & all other millions are paid for by people! (Translation, work hard 1 time, get paid for it for a lifetime!)

    This is not only lazy, it just doesn’t work as a role model. The truth is, you have to work if you want to eat, & that’s the bottom line! Humans have tried to get around this truth unsuccessfully for every since they have existed. Sure, there are some born into rich families, or families that illicitly gained wealth, but there are few who legitimately gained these riches as we see when company scam after company scam hits the mega pages on the news!

    There is really no shortcut to hard work.

    How are you going to protect a “thought” or “idea”? What makes you think that just because you thought of something, that it is yours, & yours alone? This does not make sense at all! How can a thought be protected against copying? IT CAN’T! Once something is in human readable/viewable format, it is ALREADY CRACKED/UNENCRYPTED! It always has to be in a form we can use when we are using it, right?

    How can we copy protect things that already existed, we just happened to think of the idea? I can see the logic of producing furniture, or machines, selling them, sure, because you can OWN physical things. But you cannot exclusively own a thought. It is impossible!


  16. Anonymous Says:

    To Alain:
    I’m pretty sure Ghostfox is not based on K-Meleon, but actually on Firefox. K-Meleon and Firefox both use Gecko (last time I checked), but when you look in the about dialog of Ghostfox (Help > About), It talks about firefox, but nothing about K-Meleon. Also, I do not understand why says that the newer version of Ghostfox is Internet Spirit, cause Ghostfox says nothing about Michael J. Hardy.

  17. Alan Says:

    Sadly, thanks to the likes of Monsanto, the farmer who plants that one grain that he bought and gets 1000 “free” copies of it DOES INDEED have to pay for all of those copies. I’m not sayin’ it’s right. I’m just sayin’ it’s so. Corn, soybeans, cotton, etc. Since goods are finite the capitalist way is to figure out ways to charge for stuff that by all rights should be free … like water, and air, and the stuff between our ears.

    But I digress.

  18. Kennythefox Says:

    This dude stealed super mario war.And many other work.

  19. Christian Says:

    His has stolen again a lot of software and my website design. He wrote a mail: “Hi, I found the template on free I was not aware that this was your design”. But within the source of “his” site you can find this: ““. He is such a stupid copy cat. And have a look to the RSS-Feed of his “great” Internet Browser (a clone of K-Meleon): “PellesC News / News und Aktualisierungen von Pelles C – News and updates of Pelles C”. I don’t know if I should laugh or be angry about such a moron…

  20. DEFENDER OF SMWar Says:


  21. Brian Mitchell Says:

    Michael J. Hardy has passed away to let you all know. It was in this weeks obituaries. He died from a car accident

    no more worries about stolen software he’s gone forever.

  22. Christian Says:

    If he “died” before June 7th, how could he create a website on June 9th???

    He will never stop, if no-one stops him…

  23. lol Says:

    he is so gay ! He steals games

  24. Another GMCist Says:

    @lol: This isn’t the place for GMC trolls.

    MJH is a nasty person, but shit happens. You should almost be proud that your software is worth stealing. :P

  25. Darthvender Says:

    Hey. I come in peace from the Game Maker Community forums, where apparently Hardy has ripped a game created by one of the users over there.

    Link to the topic:

    Link to the original game:

    Just letting you all know.

  26. Butterfly Says:

    Hey thanks for this article. He also ripped my game (Aztec God). Do you have the mirror where he sells it?

    That’s what it was, but he took it off:

  27. SPY-maps Says:

    it’s indeed a big idiot, and a huge looser too.

    i did read long ago about his steeling and in one forum even his ex-wife commented that she didn’t know that he did steel
    all this software and games, and that she hated him for that, and that she wasn’t any longer with him. so, it’s his ex, or he
    has married again.

    but what i actualy wanted to say is that writing about him here and on lots of other forums about his steeling is probebly
    already helpfull enough to harm him (in the long run).
    because when you google his name you see page after page nothing else as him steeling stuff.
    and that info will never go away, what means he has to change his name, or he will always be remember as to what he is.

    so, keep writing about his steeling and it will break him in the long run.
    and, all you can think is that we can only be glad that we are not him.
    just imagen that you are him, man, i would kill myself, being such a sad person that can’t do anything by himself.
    its rather sad actualy.


  28. Christian Says:

    Just for info: his page is offline :-) (Once again)

    Let us see for how long…

  29. den24 Says:

    Hi Mike, Just downloaded your old program ‘SkullZilla’.. just to see how good/bad it maybe (and how small/fast).
    Question1: is the picture for ‘Skullzilla’ from the game ‘Blood’? as the ghost/wraith looks the same.

    I found a site where people are saying/stating that your a blatent hacker but to be honest which programmer isnt?, they all edit/fix someone elses coding and editing/making a site isnt hard.

    at the moment im trying to start learning c++ programming so that i can have my own company that create programs/games to help others.. have you got any idea of where i could start? what machine? what language?.

    Anyhow rambling aside.. ThankYou for ‘Skullzilla’ and Hope you make more good programs (if so email them me please) :).

    Thanks From: Den

  30. ibm5155 Says:

    And he attacks again look
    this projectm was done by doomero
    and he even get permition to use the mod and doom II informations.

  31. Bushdick Says:

    Already posted this beneath part XI but I’ll also add it here:
    Yup, the guy is still at large.

  32. Better Explorer Team Says:

    he also forked our project and sold it as his.

    we noticed him and he claims it is not his work. it is quote: “Duclee” ‘s work .

    He also threatened us with removing the domain he bought us. ( as i am a PRO in internet and such things, we have now a secure domain provider)

    If you want some proof feel free to contact me.

  33. A Word about Michael Hardy (CopyCat) | Better Explorer Says:

    […] ( A series of posts about this guy. It is ridiculous.) […]

  34. Tailsman67 Says:

    Oh your so loyal Mike’s former wife STACIE,staying by his side,besides I think he is connected to a guy name Shane who would be 24 right now but they said he died when he was 17,ya see I don’t think he is really dead.

  35. Kara Says:

    To tailsmann I am the former wife that is in the blog an all I can say is he is a liar, a thief, and an all around bad guy

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