nov 24, 2017

Netgate / pfSense acts in bad faith

WIPO decides in favour of OPNsense

Some of you may have come across OPNsense.com a domain that until  September 21, 2017 was home to a controversial website with content targeted to harm our open source project.

On the fore mentioned date we filed a complaint with WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organization to try and stop this website from being operated.


Until our legal action we were unable to determine the owner of the domains as it was registered using Domains By Proxy, LLC, however we believed the site was created by a pfSense enthusiast who had gone a step too far.

Much to our surprise we received an email on September 26, 2017 stating that the owner of this domain was in fact Jamie Thompson, Rubicon Communications dba Netgate also known for the competing pfSense project.

Maybe this should not have come as a surprise as ever since we created OPNsense they have tried to harm our project and aided in spreading false information, mostly done using anonymous accounts. Their aim has been to scare off new users and keep our project from Wikipedia, this way depriving others from making their own choice.

Their actions have been bad for the open source community as they undermine the very basic principles of open source.

Today we have been able to stop Netgate and although we are glad this chapter can be closed, it does not feel like a victory at all  as the time, effort and money could have been spend much better.

The full text of the WIPO panel’s decision on OPNsense.com can be found here: http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/search/text.jsp?case=D2017-1828

The content of OPNsense.com prior to our action can still be seen on the WayBackMachine, the internet archive (beware it contains shocking material):  http://web.archive.org/web/20160314132836/http://www.opnsense.com/

The video that was not cached contains scenes taken from the film “Downfall”, the historical war drama film depicting the final ten days of Adolf Hitler's rule over Nazi Germany, along with a comment reading “From deep within the OPNsense development bunker”.

As Deciso, the company behind OPNsense we have not yet decided upon further action, but ask all who read this to push back to those who try to harm our community and open source in general.

As a final note, we wish to thank everyone for their overwhelming supporting and are proud to have witnessed the positive development of the project as a whole, a rapidly growing community and the next major release 18.1 almost at our doorstep.


Stay safe,
Your OPNsense team