As the original developer of FREE!ship I can confirm that the two programs are completely identical.
I've had the opportunity to look at the "modified" source code of the "new" program. There are no features added (or removed for that matter). The only modifications made were:
- The startup screen image has been replaced with a new image.
- All references to the original program name have been removed from the sourcecode.
- References to the GPL license have been removed.
He did the same to the manual, but he was smart enough to leave the original copyright notices in place.
In other words, the program has just been renamed in an attempt to hide its open-source nature. The guy has a reputation of doing this.
In addition to FREE!ship he also sells an open-source flight simulator. (see the remarkible simularities between http://www.flightgear.org/features
Coincidently the latter has exactly the same look as the 3Dboatdesign website...........
It's not completely illegal but I think it's very immoral (to say the least!).
And yes, several screenshots o the website are ripped from the original FREE!ship website (which was copyrighted!).
Regarding support, he has no knowledge whatsoever of boats (or programming) so don't get your hopes up.
The good news is that all future updates will be for free!! I'm anxiously waiting for the first update
Considering the way "irlandes1" is defending this whole scam I wouldn't be surprised at all if he is in fact Andrew Casey from New Zealand, the guy behind 3Dboatdesign.com.
I think it would be very easy for Jeff to trace back the origins of the IP address connected to his posts.