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Microsoft Steals Code From Microblogging Startup

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the did-they-think-nobody-would-notice dept.

Microsoft 315

Readers davidlougheed and TSHTF both let us know that microblogging service Plurk reported today that Microsoft China not only copied look and feel from its interface, but also copied raw code from Plurk's service, when it released its own microblogging service called MSN Juku (or Mclub). In instances of the code released on the Plurk blog, the layout, code structure, and variable names were very similar or in some cases 100% identical. The story has been covered in multiple media sources. The software theft is hypocritical, given Microsoft's past threats against Chinese software piracy."

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Pookee! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30441344)

This is not a news!

Of course being in China, (5, Insightful)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441348)

the Chinese portion of anything is going to deny it's theft and call the original coders liars. The Chinese are great about this, the government mindset is embedded in the younger citizens - such as "We do not filter our Internet access, we have a few routing issues."

Yeah, right.

Re:Of course being in China, (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30441424)

Troll? Seriously? Has anyone seen the way younger Chinese react to anything even resembling the mildest criticism of China or Chinese people or the Chinese government? Dude! They're pricklier than a porcupine.

Re:Of course being in China, (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30441468)

Chinese moderators.

Re:Of course being in China, (3, Insightful)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441606)

It never ceases to amaze me just how holier than thou Americans are vis a vis the Chinese. FD: I've never been to either country. I have, however, traveled extensively, and I know many, many people from both places. I am also familiar with the foreign policy of both nations, and pay attention to news coming out of there and in the world generally.

I think I am in a position to say that the US is in no position to be pointing fingers at other countries,m criticizing their behavior in any respect.

- China has the Great Firewall.
- The US has illegal wiretaps.
- China subjugates Tibet and the Uygur and threatens to annex Taiwan.
- The US subjugates every nation in Latin America, and simply depopulates [wikipedia.org] places that it decides it wants.
- China's police often behave like little more than Jackboot thugs.
- Anyone seen footage from how the authorities handled Katrina? (Unedited footage I mean, not the sanitized stuff for TV).
- China polices its culture pretty closely with state organizations.
- In the US government and the media maintain an ostensible distance, but for all intents and purposes, are one and the same.

Come now. Cut with the "CHINEZE ARE TEH EVILZ!" crap. If you want to point fingers at other nations and go around spreading your brand of Democracy (tm) then make sure you get it right first.

Re:Of course being in China, (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30441652)

"Cut with the "CHINEZE ARE TEH EVILZ!" crap."

Just because there are multiple evils, doesn't make one of them less evil.

Re:Of course being in China, (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30441690)

Americans are pretty much 100% in support of the policies of the Chinese government. That's is why we Americans give their country over 300 billion dollars a year in financial support.

Surely we wouldn't give them so much money if we opposed them??? Right???

Re:Of course being in China, (2, Insightful)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441806)

America's government is pretty much 100% in support of the policies of the Chinese government. That's is why America gives their country over 300 billion dollars a year in financial support.

Surely we wouldn't give them so much money if we opposed them??? Right???

Fixed that for you.

Re:Of course being in China, (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 4 years ago | (#30442060)

America's government is pretty much 100% in support of the policies of the Chinese government. The United States of America is being bankrolled by China, we borrow money from them even though it is really our money that we used to purchase items from there that used to be made in the USA, thus making the USA in support of communism and leaking money to our supposed enemy. That is why America gives their country over 300 billion dollars a year, to pay back the loans.

Surely we wouldn't borrow from them and support their economy through trade if we opposed them??? Right???

Fixed that for you.
-----
Truth Fixed, also grammar.

Re:Of course being in China, (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30441718)

Sorry, you are wrong. I'm neither American nor Chinese, but I have spent significant time in both countries. Yes, some things are bizarre in the US considering the country's history of being recipient of religious fugitives from Europe. For a country that celebrates freedom so much, there is a remarkable level of control, censorship and restrictions. HOWEVER, in the US you may mostly express criticism against government and judicial system without being put in jail for up to 15 years. Save Guantanamo, people are not dragged away to torture, incarceration and sometimes murder without trial. The lack of respect for the most basic human rights in China is amazing.

This once I choose to post anonymously to protect myself and my Chinese visa.

Re:Of course being in China, (0)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441776)

"HOWEVER, in the US you may mostly express criticism against government and judicial system"

Fat lot of good it does. The government still has the power to drag the population kicking and screaming into war. The RIAA and all moneyed elite prey upon the population the way sharks prey upon fish. People are allowed to disagree because the neo-nobility have discovered that its easier to remove people's freedom if you don't make it obvious.

No people are so hopelessly enslaved as those who truly believe they are free.

Re:Of course being in China, (4, Insightful)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441808)

No people are so hopelessly enslaved as those who truly believe they are free.

I'm not going to ask what you mean by "free"; I'll just say this: there is essentially no difference between believing you're free and actually being free. Your behavior doesn't change if you go from merely believing you're free to actually being free. (After all, if you believe you're free, you will behave as if you are actually free. In other words, it makes no difference.)

Re:Of course being in China, (1)

furball (2853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441846)

That's rather insightful. Thank you for that beautiful nugget of wisdom.

Re:Of course being in China, (1)

Nikker (749551) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441976)

there is essentially no difference between believing you're free and actually being free

That's a real quote to keep. I'm scared and disgusted at the same time.

Re:Of course being in China, (2, Interesting)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441832)

- China has the Great Firewall.
- The US has illegal wiretaps.
- China subjugates Tibet and the Uygur and threatens to annex Taiwan.
- The US subjugates every nation in Latin America, and simply depopulates [wikipedia.org] places that it decides it wants.
- China's police often behave like little more than Jackboot thugs.
- Anyone seen footage from how the authorities handled Katrina? (Unedited footage I mean, not the sanitized stuff for TV).
- China polices its culture pretty closely with state organizations.
- In the US government and the media maintain an ostensible distance, but for all intents and purposes, are one and the same.


Good Lord, don't lay on a spiel about your cosmopolitan sophistication, and than lay out sophomoric statements like that. You'll give readers whiplash.

You're basically making errors of scale. Comparing wiretapping to the attempt at national censorship? Comparing sanctioned violence in a police state to foulups individual officers made during a crisis situation? Comparing the annexation of Tibet with, what? Panama?

That's like comparing a shoplifter with a murderer. Show some sense of perspective. It's not like YOUR government doesn't wiretap; it does... and I don't even need to know where you live.

Re:Of course being in China, (4, Insightful)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441860)

Well, while I mostly agree with your post, Guantanamo and the Patriot act have demonstrated that the american government can very well be as bad as the Chinese one, albeit under the terrorist cloak. The scale is different, but the harm done is about the same in quality.

Re:Of course being in China, (4, Insightful)

foobsr (693224) | more than 4 years ago | (#30442030)

Comparing the annexation of Tibet with, what? Panama?

Texas? California? Or, much better, Hawai'i?

CC.

Re:Of course being in China, (1)

darinfp (907671) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441924)

I read this far...

- China has the Great Firewall.
- The US has illegal wiretaps. ... and figured if you think those two things are equal, then you have nothing to offer in intelligent debate.

One involves selective monitoring by the government of people of "interest". The other involves denying information to the entire population of the country.

Now, if you'd compared the great firewall to the half-arsed australian Tin Fence, you might have some kind of point. Probably on the top of your head.

Re:Of course being in China, (3, Interesting)

HNS-I (1119771) | more than 4 years ago | (#30442016)

Always America this, America that. We used to be badasses in Europe too! My country the Netherlands have colonized the world. Not only did we take slaves from Africa to South America. Noo that wasn't enough: we also had to take people from Indonesia, and the Middle East. So think about that next time you pick a random target to demonize.

Re:Of course being in China, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30442114)

Americans are happy to keep giving up freedom for a little safety from muslims. Their problem isn't that China does these things it's that China does the same things as them but better and will eventually over take the US.

You still get English people who have higher sense of importance because they used to have the world's largest empire. Americans will be like that but ten times worse in a few years.

Meanwhile China will be getting on with things and making the US its bitch.

Re:Of course being in China, (4, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441482)

Or has anyone seen the way Americans react to anything even resembling the mildest criticism of USA or it's people or how they try to shove their laws and "freedom" (the fact you cant smoke pot, can get up to 800 years in prison and are fucked over by RIAA really is freedom)?

You can say that about any country in the world.

Comments like the GP did really just make Americans seem more stupid and completely without knowledge about the other countries. Guess what, your government is master in shoving mindsets and specific thinking to its citizens. So much that I'll probably get lots of angry "no it isn't so, we have freedom!" to this reply. It's the true mind controlling.

Re:Of course being in China, (0)

Asclepius99 (1527727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441514)

So the American government forces mindsets on us and any disagreement with you about that just proves that we're being controlled by those mindsets? Yeah, I don't see any problems with the logic you used there.

Re:Of course being in China, (1)

DMiax (915735) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441564)

So you have just proven the GP point, by saying that we can call anyone brainwashed if they do not agree with us. Now you need to notice that doing it with USA citizens is not that all different than with Chinese ones.

Re:Of course being in China, (2, Funny)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441950)

"You're brainwashed!"
"No, you're brainwashed!"
etc.

Re:Of course being in China, (2, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441522)

Much of the vociferous criticism of the USA and its people comes from other Americans, so it doesn't seem like a particularly apt analogy. I'm admittedly not as familiar with the Chinese blogosphere as with the American one, but are there really Chinese equivalents to, say, DailyKos, that spend extensive time excoriating their own country's culture and government?

Re:Of course being in China, (1)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441688)

Actually, yes, yes there is. Oh, and iPhone, there's an app for that! [slashdot.org]

The big difference is, the DailyKos, which granted is a bunch of drivel, is a privately run bunch of drivel pushing an agenda. The Chinese drivel sites are either government run or government censored/dictated sites pushing an agenda.

Re:Of course being in China, (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441752)

I'm aware there's a Chinese blogosphere. What I was curious is whether there was a part of the Chinese blogosphere that focuses on criticizing Chinese society and government, rather than promoting it.

Re:Of course being in China, (1)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441766)

Oh, well, not FROM China. That's why we have Slashdot.

Re:Of course being in China, (2, Insightful)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441642)

Of course, there's Americans like me who criticize our own. As a matter of fact there's lots of Americans who criticize our own. Usually those of us in the U.S. like to defend or condemn individual issues and yes, like it or leave it is often the answer, but I think you'll find not all of use generalize as much as you are.

I'm with you. We should legalize pot, the RIAA is a bunch of A-Holes that need to get shut down, and yes, our government is way to powerful and sticks its nose where it doesn't belong. One of the biggest fights in this country right now boils down to just that, the ones who think the federal government is to strong and needs to be boiled back down to what it was, and those who want it to get bigger.

I think you, personally, are overgeneralizing the entire populace based on a little bit of what you've seen on TV or some message board rhetoric, I hope not everyone in your country overgeneralizes as much as you do. Granted, I did a bit of generalizing in my original post, but I'm making a projection based on past trends, I have a feeling the denial will happen at first, at least internally, but in the end I think the problem will be cleaned up, not because they're Chinese, but because they're Microsoft.

Oddly enough, I'm a long term Microsoft hater, but I'm starting to like them more and more these days.

Re:Of course being in China, (0)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441672)

Your characterization is very poor. I have a few points about why you are wrong so I will be concise and supply a list.

  • A growing concern in America among Americans is the rapidly accelerating loss of freedoms on a monthly basis. (ala Patriot Act, police brutality, endless legislation, etc). The segment of Americans who feel "free" is shrinking.
  • The ones who react abnormally are by nature reactionists. The majority don't react, so your perception becomes skewed due to biased sampling (and possibly selective memory mixed in as well).
  • Americans as a whole do well on the income scale and make large contributions toward funding global tourism and charity: travel = exposure.
  • It is true Americans are arrogant (military/economic power, "freedom"), but so are Europeans (culture, legacy, Euro vs USD). It's unfair to characterize Americans as unusually arrogant and self-centered, while giving other nations a free pass. In fact, you invoked the common Euro versus US insult in your post (dumb American).
  • Americans are sensitive toward criticism because America is genuinely #1 on the list of targets. This is due to America's military power and willingness to use it for good or worse, justly (WW2) or unjustly (Iraq 2.0). It is also due to our prominence and visibility in world media outlets and strong (armed) influence on other nations.

I'm not sure why you zeroed in on the American bit because it actually took a few clicks to determine he was located in USA, but irrespective of that your post will likely be highly regarded and modded up to the max. That won't surprise me because anti-American sentiment is at an all-time high and if it helps pacify those holding those thoughts, then all the better.

Re:Of course being in China, (0)

wolf12886 (1206182) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441822)

You claim the intellectual high ground, and yet you have no problem extrapolating the opinions of all Americans from those of a random selection of commenters?

Re:Of course being in China, (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30442134)

What's the problem here? It doesn't matter if the country you throw valid criticism at throw valid criticism back at you. It just shows that you're both equally (or sligtly/majorly unequally, doesn't really matter, that's not the issue at hand) fucked up.

It's succesfull trolling at it's best. It doesn't matter how much feces you can find in each others pool, it's there and it's fucking disgusting, do something about it instead of doing flawed chromatofraphic testing of each others shit-water.

Re:Of course being in China, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30442110)

s/Chinese/America/

Re:Of course being in China, (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30441518)

the Chinese portion of anything is going to deny it's theft and call the original coders liars. The Chinese are great about this, the government mindset is embedded in the younger citizens - such as "We do not filter our Internet access, we have a few routing issues."

Yeah, right.

Sort of like "we do not use intelligence agencies to overthrow foreign governments, the terrorists just hate us because of our freedoms" then?

Re:Of course being in China, (0, Offtopic)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441748)

Oh look! I got a -1 I disagree urhmm, uhmm, I mean over rated!

I wonder (0, Troll)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441352)

I wonder how much our dear kdawson checked the background of the history before he began salivate when he saw the words "Michrosoft" and "steals" in the same sentence... Oh well....

Re:I wonder (4, Funny)

ahankinson (1249646) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441452)

Yeah! If only there were links in the story where you could go and see that it is actually a blatant and shameful copy-and-paste job, instead of just complaining about the editors and not bothering to actually RTFA for yourself.... If only....

Re:I wonder (1)

ta bu shi da yu (687699) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441856)

Another way of finding out if it was true would be to navigate to the offending website.

But of course, you won't see it any more, instead you will get the following (translated by Google from Chinese to English - so excuse the poor translation):

Dear users:

We regret to inform you that some poly-cool function code is an internal review of service is temporarily not available. Please visit the site again later. For more information please check Microsoft's MSN's official blog.

The inconvenience caused to you, sorry.

Shanghai US msn Network Communications Technology Co., Ltd.

Re:I wonder (4, Informative)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441918)

Well, Microsoft has answered [techcrunch.com] some to it:

Earlier today, questions arose over a feature developed by a third-party vendor for our MSN China joint venture. We are working with our MSN China joint venture to investigate the situation.

Unfortunately, when these questions first arose, it was the middle of the night in China. Now that the day has begun in China, our teams are working hard to track down the information.

Here’s what we know at this point. Our MSN China joint venture contracted with an independent vendor to create a feature called MSN Juku that allowed MSN users to find friends via microblogging and online games. This MSN Juku feature was made available to MSN China users in November and is still in beta.

Because questions have been raised about the code base comprising the service, MSN China will be suspending access to the Juku beta feature temporarily while we investigate the matter fully.

We will provide additional information as we learn more.

Re:I wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30441470)

The thing is he couldn't find any "stories" from or about his beloved Australia, so he ran with this one instead.

Re:I wonder (2, Funny)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441634)

I hate to be a grammar Nazi, but it seems you misspelled "OMG teh internetz is bringing me into contact with poeplz from outher coutnriez!"

third party code (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30441354)

"In the statement, it noted that the Juku code had been provided by an independent vendor."

Seems like microsost is having a bad run lately with third party vendors.

They failed at copying (5, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441366)

That's why, when I copy source code I always change all variables, functions and classes to a, b, c, ...

Copyright immunity and job security all in one.

Re:They failed at copying (4, Funny)

bezenek (958723) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441554)

That's why, when I copy source code I always change all variables, functions and classes to a, b, c, ...

Whenever I copy code, I make sure it follows my current employer's coding standard.

Unfortunately, this makes it hard to find code to copy, so I always have to write my own.

-Todd

Re:They failed at copying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30441620)

You copied me. Pay up.

I'll pay up after, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30441820)

After you pay my equivelent petition-fee, then I'll pay up; and wouldn't you know that the right I granted you to petition me is the same value of what you claim I owe you so we are even. Nice doing business.

Re:I'll pay up after, (2, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441842)

The verse: "and wouldn't you know that the right I granted you to petition me " is part of the lyrics from my latest hit "Petition me, my love".

You owe me $65.000.000 in copyright fees and damages to my artistic image.

Re:They failed at copying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30442056)

The question is; whom the chinese Plurk-blog "company" stole THEIR code from. I swear I've seen pretty much exact replicas of the Plurk frontpage, flickr had similarities back in the days, but I just can't pinpoint it, maybe some travel blog or such.

let me be the first to say (-1, Troll)

jeffstar (134407) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441394)

who cares!

This is slashdot. (1, Insightful)

Sparx139 (1460489) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441456)

Any opportunity to flame Microsoft will be taken advantage of.

Re:This is slashdot. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30441624)

Yes, poor little down-trodden mistreated Microsoft. How fortunate they have you, their little tool, to defend their innocence. What could they ever have done to deserve the harsh words of various posters on an obscure website? How will this injustice ever be made right? I say we all just write blank checks to Steve Ballmer personally with little notes begging his forgiveness for our misdeeds.

Or, I don't know, you could just get a life you fucking lame fuck.

Re:This is slashdot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30441716)

You should heed your own words there. Telling people to get lives over the internet is all kinds of epic failure, you pathetic keyboard warrior.

Re:This is slashdot. (1)

f0dder (570496) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441632)

kdawson. Checks submitter.. yep

Re:This is slashdot. (5, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441686)

Poor old Microsoft, getting flamed for STEALING code. Clearly it's Slashdot that deserves the blame for mentioning it.

Re:This is slashdot. (3, Funny)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441964)

But you can't STEAL code because duplication of a purely digital medium doesn't deprive anyone.

Wait, what's that you say? Oh yeah, I forgot it was Microsoft we were talking about for a minute there. Carry on.

Re:This is slashdot. (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441972)

Hey wait a second! Isn't one of Slashdot's recurring themes copying != stealing?

at least they open sourced it (1)

SchroedingersCat (583063) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441404)

at least they made it open source this time

Re:at least they open sourced it (1)

orta (786013) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441492)

Its front-end web programming (HTML/CSS/Javascript) that was stolen, these are always open to read, they could only obfuscate that if they felt the need. Howeever the backend code would probably have to have been written themselves (especially as its more likely the startup used ruby/php than asp)

Re:at least they open sourced it (1)

fotoguzzi (230256) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441546)

So, it's a clone with a skin taken from plurk?

Re:at least they open sourced it (3, Interesting)

orta (786013) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441826)

Yeah, what's probably happened is they've hooked up a quick database to store users / tweets etc Then all the front end work is just shamelessly taken and they only have to work on making a similar API for it to work with. I wouldn't be surprised to find that a Plurk client would just work with the MSN one if you change the URL. The design is also painfully similar, so I imagine they just threw on the microsoft branding on the front and uploaded some new images and colours in the CSS.

It's a difficult problem for MS (1)

HappyClown (668699) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441506)

Of course it's not really Microsoft that copied it, it was someone within Microsoft, who clearly didn't think things through and is probably rather unlikely to be employed there much longer. Of course that doesn't mean it's not Microsoft's problem since they now have to do damage control due to the egg on their faces.

As an aside, I wonder how feasible it is to put some automated checks in place to compare a signature of some code against every other known piece of open source (or otherwise?) out there to search for similarities?

Re:It's a difficult problem for MS (4, Interesting)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441630)

It's not someONE. A company of the size of Microsoft doesn't have the same person doing the UI design and the coding. Yet here they very clearly stole both the UI design AND the code. It's very clearly Microsoft China that is responsible. They don't get to lay the blame on some rogue coder.

Re:It's a difficult problem for MS (1)

HappyClown (668699) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441792)

Of course for a product like Windows or Office, what you say definitely applies. I'm not sure I agree here though, for something like this I can quite easily imagine scenarios where one person would do a substantial portion of the work. The code samples provided look to me like there's not a lot of separation between the code and UI anyway.

Plenty of large companies I've worked for have had single people working on side projects that later get the attention of management and have more resources diverted to it. Look at Google and their 20% time philosophy for a well known example. Alternatively, imagine a situation where a senior developer is given a project and allocated a couple of junior developers to help. It wouldn't be at all difficult for the senior developer to pass off the stolen code as his or her own.

Of course we'll probably never know exactly what really happened, but if you're right then the rot is very deep indeed.

Off topic but... (2, Interesting)

ltrm (845045) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441992)

Of course it's not really Microsoft that copied it, it was someone within Microsoft, who clearly didn't think things through and is probably rather unlikely to be employed there much longer. Of course that doesn't mean it's not Microsoft's problem since they now have to do damage control due to the egg on their faces.

Sorry, this is off topic but hopefully still interesting...

I've often wondered how language shapes how we think about corporations. In the American dialect of English corporations tend to be treated as nouns where as in the British/Commonwealth dialect of English they are treated as collective nouns.

E.g. Microsoft is doing something - we're talking about the legal entity Microsoft vs Microsoft are doing something - we're talking about one of the company (employees) of Microsoft doing something.

It's a small but, I think, interesting difference. At what point would can a corporation be blamed for the actions of it employees? This case involving Microsoft will probably be sorted out without much fuss but in other, more serious cases, such as corporate manslaughter it's a much stickier issue.

Why does this kind of stories (4, Insightful)

crazybit (918023) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441512)

rarely reaches the mass media news? but when a filesharer "steals" some software things happens in a completely different way.

Re:Why does this kind of stories (1)

Matrix14 (135171) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441724)

You do realize that nobody reads post titles, right?

Re:Why does this kind of stories (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30441740)

Because in this instance, the theft is used to build something productive for anyone to use.

Tsk (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30442028)

Get this citizen and get this straight. When the king rapes a maid, that is all well and proper and his divine right. When a maid rapes the king, that is treason.

It is called, double standards. Much better then having just one standard which is the way of socialists and other enemies of freedom to screw those below you.

Plurk (1)

chip_s_ahoy (318689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441526)

Plurk. A battlecry for the ages. Rally Plurk mingions! Plurk?

Re:Plurk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30441638)

Not just Plurk. MSN Juku? Mclub? Microblogging?

I'd be embarrassed to have had anything to do with any of the above "words".

WHAT?!?!? (2, Insightful)

isaac.anthony (1700676) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441534)

Microsoft? Hypocrites? NO WAY! Welcome to what you can do when you have exponentially more money than the people you're stealing from.

Re:WHAT?!?!? (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441866)

...when you have exponentially more money...

It doesn't mean what you think it means.

As someone who works with outsourced Chinese labor (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30441544)

I'm sure this is simply a case of the engineers in China being told "make us this product", and when waiting until they deliver a finished product without questioning it properly. Their American MSFT overlords probably took no time to apply the same oversight that they would give to their domestic employees.

How do I know this? Because it's happened with my company before too.

And why does it happen? Language barrier and time zone difference.

Re:As someone who works with outsourced Chinese la (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30441622)

Ding!

It's extremely likely that this project was designed and built in China, and the Chinese aren't exactly known for their respect for copyright. Things like this happen all the time, and they don't see it as "wrong" like Americans do.

Ex: http://www.japanprobe.com/2007/05/02/disneyland-in-china/ [japanprobe.com]

Re:As someone who works with outsourced Chinese la (1)

MrMr (219533) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441682)

Ok, so when Microsoft steals chinese code it must be Microsoft chinese doing the stealing, so it doesn't count?
Does that myopic trick work with the profits for Microsoft as well, as in "profits made in foreign countries do not count"?

Re:As someone who works with outsourced Chinese la (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30441726)

Ah the good old "It wasn't me!"-defense. Big corporations are never responsible. It was always somebody else's fault. Good for them.

Re:As someone who works with outsourced Chinese la (5, Insightful)

sapphire wyvern (1153271) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441892)

Oh, I think Microsoft will take responsibility - my personal bet is that the service isn't going to come back online, and someone is going to cop an absolute reaming within Microsoft (probably someone at MS China). The real question is whether MS will attempt to settle with Plurk to head off a lawsuit - I'd say they've probably got one justifiably incoming. Because MS takes such a strong anti-infringement position, they're not going to be able to just shrug this off.

Why is anyone surprised? (1, Insightful)

Whuffo (1043790) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441562)

They've been doing this kind of thing for years. The history of personal computing is littered with the corpses of companies that invented something that Microsoft wanted and acquired by the expedient means of stealing it.

Anyone who wants to dispute this needs to review history first. And anyone who doubts this also needs to review history. Has Microsoft changed their ways? Maybe - but it doesn't look like it given stories like this.

Re:Why is anyone surprised? (3, Funny)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441668)

Wouldn't it be great if there was a large on line repository of knowledge that could be linked to when making broad claims and repeated insistence that a reader should "review history". That way you could make broad claims and actually link to the facts that you are referring to. We could call it the "World Wide Spider's Home" or something like that.

Re:Why is anyone surprised? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30441838)

You mean like http://msversus.org/ [msversus.org] ?

Re:Why is anyone surprised? (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441988)

Mod parent up!

Re:Why is anyone surprised? (4, Insightful)

upside (574799) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441696)

People always read too much into events like this. Microsoft is not a monolithic entity where every action is centrally planned and intentional. It's not like Steve Ballmer sat down with managers to figure which startup to rip off or part of the Microsoft induction is Ripoff 101.

What happened is most likely a subcontractor taking a shortcut.

If you want to blame Microsoft, put it down to poor IPR training and lacking due diligence. These are doubly important in developing countries that don't have the same awareness of these issues. I'm not defending Microsoft, but I'm sure code theft is something they genuinely try to avoid. At least where I work open source is an important part of our work and we are trained on how to use it correctly.

Re:Why is anyone surprised? (1)

upside (574799) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441768)

In case that last part was ambiguous: I've never worked for Microsoft.

Re:Why is anyone surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30441772)

You bothered posting this broad claim yet couldn't be bothered giving even a single source for it?

The reports are too soft (5, Informative)

DMiax (915735) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441578)

Reading most of the press reports it would seem that the allegation is based on similarities in the look, shown by screenshots. If you read from Plurk's post you will see that the code is identical apart from some variables that were called *Plurk* and got renamed to *Wall*... It sounds much more serious this way.

Not the first time. (0, Troll)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441600)

In the past, MS has been caught red-handed stealing code from DR, from Stacker, and from Apple. IBM showed them how to buy their way out of jail.

-jcr

Re:Not the first time. (1, Troll)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441990)

And what code did they still from these companies? The controversies that I know with these companies are:

  1. DR-DOS: A pre-release version of Windows 3.1 had code to prevent it loading on non MS-DOS systems. This code was not used in the production version. There was also a vapourware announcement of MS-DOS 5 to kill off a new release of DR-DOS. However, DR-DOS was later found to have stolen some FreeDOS code.
  2. Stacker: This was a patent dispute, not a code stealing dispute. Microsoft had thought it had changed its code enough to get around the patent, but it wasn't enough and they got sued.
  3. Apple? Umm.. Look and feel perhaps? I'm not sure what you mean on this one.

BSD code? (0, Offtopic)

NaCh0 (6124) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441602)

Maybe MS thought it was MIT/BSD licensed because this is what you get when you use that license.

Open Source (2, Insightful)

Jkasd (1663231) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441608)

This is why open source will ultimately win. It's just too tempting to use someone else's code rather than writing your own code to do the same thing. The fact that a large software company like Microsoft has succumbed to this simply shows how widely adopted this mindset is becoming. Of course, Microsoft was still wrong to do this.

Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30441960)

How does it follow that open source will win (presumably, by winning you mean that closed-source sales of software will no longer be economically viable) as a result of Microsoft violating someone's copyright?

Yeah whats plurk? answer me MS CN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30441616)

so thats what happening behind the great wall . //0_o

But what should they do (1)

Youngbull (1569599) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441854)

Does anyone know what kind of legal action plurk can take? they claim [plurk.com] copyright of their content, but does that cover code? and since this is in China who knows what kind of rights plurk has...

The good borrow, the great steal. (1)

TheRealRainFall (1464687) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441882)

What more else needs to be said? There are no new ideas just people hybridizing previous ideas.

Wow, shocking (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441904)

Not like this hasn't happened before...

Can't believe! (1)

alukin (184606) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441908)

Is it first time?

kdawson (-1, Flamebait)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441968)

this is a typical kdawson story, meant to flame the outrage and fog the mind.

i bet this is a case of the bloggers seeing a line like " if 1 then: 3 " which is so generic and thinking it belongs to them SCO style.

Speaking of hypocrisy... (5, Insightful)

Spasmodeus (940657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30442020)

How can this be stealing?

Nothing physical was lost, only data was copied and Plurk lost nothing!

Also, it's not piracy, because we all know that piracy only happens on ships at sea!

Therefore, it is only logical that the title of this article be changed to "Microsoft Shares Code with Microblogging Startup".

What's going on here? (1)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 4 years ago | (#30442052)

What's all this, first there's an article about a patent troll and the discussion goes about nothing but communism, and then there's a post about Microsoft stealing code and the discussion goes about China! Why can't I see discussions about the topic anymore?

Aha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30442126)

Thats three strikes, they must close down and dismantle!

The people are the culture of the company location (2, Insightful)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 4 years ago | (#30442128)

Folks it's Microsoft "China" which means the Chinese culture working in a Microsoft owned building in China. There is likely major cultural misunderstanding or forces that are at work here beyond the fact the brand is Microsoft. That's a very hard thing to manage for any transcontinental company.
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