In a Blog Post: Polygon Accuses Matter Labs of Code-Copying
Polygon, a prominent Ethereum scaling firm, recently alleged that Matter Labs, the company behind the zkSync rollup, copied parts of its open-source code without proper attribution. The matter came to light in a tweet from Polygon on Thursday, leading to a response from Matter Labs denying the allegations and asserting that the code had been “prominently attributed” within their files.
Open-source software licenses commonly permit outside developers to read, copy, and contribute to the code, but it is crucial for third-party developers to acknowledge the origin of the code they utilize. Polygon emphasized this community norm and open-source licensing requirement in their blog post, claiming that Matter Labs had copied code from their “Plonky2” software library without providing proper attribution.
Polygon’s Allegations and Matter Labs’ Response
In their blog post, Polygon pointed out specific instances where Matter Labs allegedly included code from Polygon’s library without clear attribution to the original authors. One such instance was in Matter Labs’ “Boojum” proving system, where Polygon observed the absence of original copyrights and proper acknowledgments. The lack of proper attribution, as per Polygon, was against the principles of open-source ethos and had potential implications for the broader ecosystem.
Matter Labs’ spokesperson refuted Polygon’s claims, asserting that the Boojum high-performance proof system indeed leveraged 5% from Plonky2, and this fact was prominently acknowledged in the very first line of their module. They questioned where else such attribution would be more prominent if not in the opening line of their library.
Polygon’s blog post contained screenshots comparing their own code with that of Matter Labs, highlighting the alleged lack of attribution. However, Matter Labs’ CEO, Alex Gluchowski, pointed out in a tweet that the first line of the “mod.rs” file, which explicitly referred to Plonky2, had been excluded from Polygon’s screenshots.
Matter Labs’ Acknowledgement and Promise
Following community feedback, Gluchowski later addressed some of the examples shared by Polygon in a comprehensive tweet, admitting that they could have handled attributions better. He acknowledged the standard approach to proper attributions and vowed to apply it wholeheartedly moving forward.
The situation between Matter Labs and Polygon regarding code-copying allegations highlights the importance of proper attribution in the open-source community. Transparently acknowledging the origin of code is a fundamental aspect of open-source principles, promoting collaboration and fostering a healthy ecosystem for blockchain projects.