Largest Pligg Partner Defects After Announced Sale

Pligg, a popular open source content management system that lets developers quickly create Digg-like clones, put itself up for sale a week ago.

Today VideoSift, which has 1 million monthly unique visitors and claims to be the largest user of Pligg’s software, emailed to tell me they have developed their own software and will stop using Pligg. The new site goes live this Friday, August 25.

VideoSift says their new platform is built exclusively for video aggregation and will serve their needs better than the Pligg software. They were also hesitant, they say, to continue to contribute to the Pligg open source project. They cite a “serious security breach” that compromised part of their database and was based on a simple exploit that shouldn’t have existed. The Pligg community moved quickly to respond and patch the problem, they say, but it left them feeling vulnerable.

The sale of the company put them over the top, and the company says they have some misgivings about the Aferro GPL license, particularly about how code resales are handled.

VideoSift is a loss for Pligg at a crucial time during their sale process. Not only is the site generating more traffic than other Pligg sites, they were named the best video aggregator by PC World late last year. These are the kind of banner partners Pligg needs to get a good sale price.

A screenshot of the new site launching this Friday is below.

Update: After reaching out to us to write this story, the founder of VideoSift is now saying that we mischaracterized his position. Instead of trying to properly characterize his position, here’s his email to us. You decide if the story is inappropriate or not.

Pligg is a good general CMS, but there were a few considerations for moving off:

We started VideoSift shortly after Pligg was ported from the Spanish language Digg clone written by a talented Spanish coder, Ricardo Galli. ( Pligg has gone through a lot of revisions and changes since then – and we haven’t moved with them.

About 2 months ago, there was a serious security breach at VideoSift (and other Pligg based sites) that compromised part of our DB. The breach was based on a simple hack that would have been found by analyzing the Pligg source. Although the Pligg community was quick to respond and patch the problem- This pushed us farther down the road to closed source.

And lastly, although we were well on our way to writing our new software, we have some misgivings about the pending sale of Pligg. Pligg is licensed under the Aferro GPL which is pretty strict about the re-sell of code.

The new VideoSift has been rebuilt from the ground up to work well around video aggregation. Our community loves it, and we can’t wait to launch it this Friday.

Thanks and cheers,

Brian Houston
Sydney, Australia