Copyright infringement on forum posts

Yesterday I was searching the web in an effort to find a solution to a technical issue I’m attempting to resolve. Among the results was a link to a new site I hadn’t checked out before.

As I started reading the site, I realized I was reading my words; words that I had posted on vmware.com two days earlier to describe my problem.

This other site had just copied my words verbatim. This behavior isn’t uncommon, as I frequently find the same content from one online forum reflected on another online forum. But it is the second time I discovered it happening to my content.

Original Content

VMware copyright

Stolen Content

spininfo copyright

VMware’s Terms of Use for the community form states that users retain copyright to their content but grant VMware the right to publish and alter it. This right, however, does not extend beyond VMware; something this other site seems to ignore.

The site in question does not have any contact information or a WhoIs entry of any value, so I reached out to their ISP. I sent their ISP a DMCA take-down notice. They now have 24-hours to remove the content they stole from VMware’s site or will have their site shutdown.

Content Reprint

Since this is my content after all, I may republish it anywhere I like. So just for kicks, here is the content that belongs to me but VMware may keep posted on their website based on their Terms of Use.

ViewClient_MAC_Address is missing

I am running a VMware View 4.6 desktop pool of Windows 7 x86 with SP1 virtual machines. We rely on the OEM version of ThinPrint that comes bundled with the VMware View Agent to perform location-based printing.

Via a Group Policy, we map physical client MAC addresses physical printer IP addresses so that each virtual desktop has the nearest physical printer mapped as its default. The lookup tables in the Group Policy looks something like this:

DefaultPrinter,IPRange,ClientName,MACAddress,UserGroup,PrinterName,Destination TRUE,*,*,00:08:64:98:99:A6,*,SFM 1W SherFM 024206,HP Universal Printing PCL 6!IP_172.52.88.206 TRUE,*,*,1C:6F:65:0C:CD:13,*,NFM 1S NobImg 021214,HP Universal Printing PCL 6!IP_172.52.88.214 TRUE,*,*,00:80:64:94:99:E4,*,NFM 2S NoblFM 021194,HP Universal Printing PCL 5!IP_172.52.88.194

The problem is that 1/3 of the virtual desktops in the desktop pool are not properly mapping their printers.

Here’s what I understand is supposed to happen.

  1. An administrator maps MAC addresses to IP printers (Group Policy Management Editor > Computer Configuration > Policies > Software Settings > AutoConnect Map Additional Printers for VMware View > Configure AutoConnect Map Additional Printers)
  2. Group Policy updates the printer MAC to IP lookup table in the virtual desktop’s registry (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\thinprint\PrinterCreateListEx2) When a user logs onto their virtual desktop, the VMware View Agent reads some environmental variables from the physical client and writes them into the virtual desktop’s registry (HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Volatile Environment), with one of those variables being the physical MAC address (ViewClient_MAC_Address)
  3. The OEM ThinPrint application in the VMware View Agent then reads the physical MAC address (ViewClient_MAC_Address) and begins mapping printers based on their IP addresses

So if the VMware View Agent fails to either read the physical MAC address or write the value into the virtual desktop’s registry, ThinPrint is unable to map printers. The result is the end user gets a virtual desktop without printers.

All of this happens in the same desktop pool, so the virtual machines are linked-clones and are identical. It also doesn’t matter if the physical device is a WYSE C50LE, a HP desktop, or a Lenovo laptop. So far, I’ve been unable to identify what is preventing the MAC addresses from being mapped or how to make the process more consistent. Does anyone have any advice? Thank you for your time.

1 Comment


  1. The SpinInfo website did honor my request and removed my post from their website. I had to submit my request through their ISP, which is dyndns.com, but they must have forwarded it on.

    Shortly after having this forum post removed, I decided to check if any of my other VMware Community-posted content was also being copied and posted on SpinInfo without my permission. It was — all of it.

    Instead of going through the DMCA take-down request for each one of my posts, I decided to engage VMware to see if they had any interest in doing this for me. After all, SpinInfo appears to be stealing forum content from many VMware Community users.

    A few days later and I received a call from VMware saying they have some interest in the situation and would like to work with me.

    Nice. It would be nice to stop this kind of blatant copyright infringement behavior. I’ll certainly help VMware however I can.

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