Elasticsearch accuses Floragunn of lifting source code for Search Guard plugin

Elasticsearch Inc has accused floragunn GmbH of copyright infringement with its Search Guard plugin and warned third parties they might be running allegedly infringing code too.

Dutch-born, Silicon Valley-based Elastic claims floragunn “directly copied source code from our proprietary security features into their product” Search Guard, which is a security plugin for Elasticsearch clusters.

Elastic has also warned the German firm’s users that they may be running infringing code – but has helpfully informed them that “Elasticsearch now includes free security features by default”.

Floragunn has rejected Elastic’s claims, and said it will vigorously defend itself.

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Elasticsearch, in a statement announcing the action, said “about a month after we made the code of our proprietary features publicly accessible, developers of Search Guard directly copied the source code for some of our more advanced security features and used it in Search Guard.”

As Elasticsearch looked deeper into the issue, it claimed it uncovered further examples of floragunn copying code going back “many years”.

“We have now identified a number of examples spread across several parts of Search Guard, where their developers copied or created derivative code from our copyrighted code, in some cases shortly after we made deep technical changes to our code,” it continued.

“Most of these instances of copying occurred before we opened our proprietary code last year, which means the Search Guard developers intentionally decompiled our binary releases in order to copy our code.”

The court papers, filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, go into much more detail, including side by side examples of Elasticsearch and floragunn’s code.

As well as asking for damages, the suit asks for “an order restraining and enjoining floragunn and third parties using Search Guard from further infringement of Elastic’s copyrights.”

ElasticSearch said it had also “issued a DMCA takedown notice to GitHub and Sonatype, to prevent distribution of the infringing code to new users.”

Floragunn rejected Elasticsearch’s claims and said in a statement that it would “vigorously defend itself and its reputation”.

“Floragunn sees no basis for any copyright infringement, vigorously rejects any and all of Elastic’s accusations and has consistently denied such accusations from Elastic in the past,” it said.

“The work related to Search Guard dates back to a point of time when a security solution from Elastic was unavailable. floragunn has put a lot of hard work and effort into Search Guard over the years.”

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