Learning With Texts (LWT) has been discontinued and deleted

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Stefan
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Learning With Texts (LWT) has been discontinued and deleted

Postby Stefan » Sat Sep 19, 2020 3:45 pm

I got a notification about a new update for LWT but was greeted by the following:
In order to avoid legal disputes, the LWT software is no longer available.
Try LINGQ: lingq.com

https://sourceforge.net/projects/lwt/

It seems the creator has decided to delete all the files, discussion forum and all info about the software.

Sure, LWT was becoming a bit dated but I had tremendous use for it during the years before I reached the level that I could read comfortably in my target language. There was a fork made with some improvements a few years ago if anyone is looking for a near identical replacement. Unfortunately it hasn't been updated since 2016.

https://github.com/andreask7/lwt

Thought it was worth a mention since LWT has been a recurring tool through the years.
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Re: Learning With Texts (LWT) has been discontinued and deleted

Postby rdearman » Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:01 pm

I wonder what legal disputes? He wrote the software from scratch.
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Re: Learning With Texts (LWT) has been discontinued and deleted

Postby Doitsujin » Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:17 pm

rdearman wrote:I wonder what legal disputes? He wrote the software from scratch.
Since the LWT developer described the project as:
Learning with Texts (LWT) is a tool for Language Learning, inspired by:
Stephen Krashen's principles in Second Language Acquisition,
Steve Kaufmann's LingQ System and
ideas from Khatzumoto, published at "AJATT - All Japanese All The Time"
and the LWT and FLTR download websites now have LINGQ download links, it was most likely LINQ.
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Re: Learning With Texts (LWT) has been discontinued and deleted

Postby rdearman » Sun Sep 20, 2020 6:00 pm

Inspired by isn't copied. The source code was written from scratch so the copyright is the authors and since you can't copyright ideas, and they don't have a patent I personally would have taken the bastards to court. And if the author (who is a member of this board) wants to crowdfund some legal defence, I'm happy to chip in.
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Re: Learning With Texts (LWT) has been discontinued and deleted

Postby t123 » Sun Sep 20, 2020 6:28 pm

Before everyone assumes LingQ is to blame, they deny that. There is a reddit thread with some more information.
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Re: Learning With Texts (LWT) has been discontinued and deleted

Postby Gordafarin2 » Mon Sep 21, 2020 8:46 am

The SourceForge page is a total 404 now. On Reddit they are gathering links to a couple of recent mirrors.

LWT and FLTR were two independent projects with similar functionality, right? So it seems like a third party has threatened them both at the same time?

There are mutters in the Reddit thread about, if someone is hitting all of these kinds of programs, how ReadLang could be threatened as well (the same kind of functionality but hosted online). That gives me a chill and makes me want to download one of those LWT mirrors right away so at least I can have something that works on my local computer.

There used to be a couple online hosted versions of LWT, are those still up?
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Re: Learning With Texts (LWT) has been discontinued and deleted

Postby Arnaud » Mon Sep 21, 2020 11:34 am

I have a FLTR.exe file on my windows 7 machine, if someone is interested.
Will check tonight if it's still working, as I'm on a debian session right now.
Edit: I have attached the file I have on my computer...
Attachments
FLTR.zip
FLTR v0.8.6 for windows
(266.02 KiB) Downloaded 35 times
Last edited by Arnaud on Mon Sep 21, 2020 5:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Learning With Texts (LWT) has been discontinued and deleted

Postby ivargas2 » Mon Sep 21, 2020 2:53 pm

I started learning with LWT like 1 month ago. Thankfully, I just tested it, and is still working on my computer.
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Re: Learning With Texts (LWT) has been discontinued and deleted

Postby Cainntear » Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:28 pm

ivargas2 wrote:I started learning with LWT like 1 month ago. Thankfully, I just tested it, and is still working on my computer.

Yes, the code is independent of the site, so it will continue to work until such time as updates to Windows break it. It'll probably be possible to get it working on Linux until the fall of civilisation though. ;-)

Does anyone know how to contact the author? I'd be interested to try to get a cease-and-desist from whoever threatened them to find out what the hell the claim is....
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Re: Learning With Texts (LWT) has been discontinued and deleted

Postby ryanheise » Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:03 am

While I think we should avoid speculating in a way that could lead people to jump to unwarranted conclusions, I DO think it is useful to hypothesise on whether there is a real legal threat here, and what its legal basis may be, to the extent that anyone who wants to build their own language learning tool and share it on the Internet should always be aware of potential legal threats.

So on that understanding, Mark from LingQ has added his own theory:

I suspect the projects got tired of maintaining their service for free. I'm not sure there's anything patentable. It's reading and listening.

Let's of course not speculate on motives, but it is at least worth considering that there might actually be no legal threat here, and that there is nothing to worry about. I do sort of agree with Mark that it is hard to imagine what the legal threat might be.

I can imagine people potentially sharing copyrighted content on their forums which is a very real issue, but that should not affect the code. Looking at the code linked on the reddit thread just now, I also see that it uses various online translation services without necessarily going through the paid APIs, so there might be some terms of service issues there. If one or more of those companies issued take-down notices, it would be worth sharing those to educate us on the legal threats.
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