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Wall Street Traders Charged With Copying Code To Start Their Own Company

Unknown Lamer posted 1 year,22 days | from the awesome-business-plans dept.

Businesses 145

coondoggie writes "Talk about starting a business on shaky ground. The Manhattan District Attorney's office says former Wall Street traders stole electronic trading source code and data from their then trading firm in an effort to start up their own financial business." Sending yourself pilfered code through your company email account is probably not the wisest plan.

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It's about time... (2)

slick7 (1703596) | 1 year,22 days | (#44681251)

to send all these bastards to prison for the longest time possible.

Re:It's about time... (5, Insightful)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | 1 year,22 days | (#44681331)

Information wants to be free, man. Seriously though this is par for the course in business. The only unusual thing is that they got caught and the courts are taking the claims seriously. Low hanging, fat, and easy, just the way the justice system likes 'em.

Re:It's about time... (2)

budgenator (254554) | 1 year,22 days | (#44681719)

I was thinking these guys are some major idiots because everybody knows that these nests of vampire have to maintian copies of all Emails to prevent insider-trading and all manner of illegal bloodsucking activities, not to be confused with the SEC santioned bloodsucking.

Re:It's about time... (5, Interesting)

ottothecow (600101) | 1 year,21 days | (#44682111)

Yeah, this is pretty much just a story of idiots.

I have a friend who used to work for a prop trading firm and it sounds like this was par for the course. You trade based on a model...lots of traders are working it from different angles, so while it is guiding your actions, you don't actually know how it works inside. If you stick around long enough and work enough different desks, you might start to get an idea of how it works and if you become important enough, you might actually be told how it works (or help improve it).

Where did that model come from? Your bosses probably stole it from the trading firm they used to work at (where they stuck around long enough to get the model and get enough capital to seed a new trading firm). They probably didn't steal any actual source code, but they took the proprietary model and hired some new programmers (or took some of the original programmers) and had them recreate a version for their new firm. Its a trade secret, so it doesn't have protection like copyright or patents (but it lasts forever if you can keep it secret). Barring NDAs and noncompete clauses, you can't do anything if somebody copies your model and starts trading on it...so the mistake these guys made was that they stole actual code instead of just figuring out the algorithm and re-implementing it.

Re:It's about time... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44682259)

Yeah, this is pretty much just a story of idiots.

...
Where did that model come from? ...

I guess it depends on the firm. The ones I worked for based their model on Black-Scholes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black%E2%80%93Scholes) But that may have been specific to the instruments they were trading. The models were well known and based on published work and any edge they had was based on application or speed.

I agree they were idiots as Sarbanes-Oxley requires the retention of all company email.

Re:It's about time... (2)

icebike (68054) | 1 year,21 days | (#44682267)

Information wants to be free, man. Seriously though this is par for the course in business. The only unusual thing is that they got caught and the courts are taking the claims seriously. Low hanging, fat, and easy, just the way the justice system likes 'em.

Its highly likely the company stole some of that code from their competitors in the first place.

Software reverse engineering is the cheap, but not as cheap as slipping some competitor's employee a couple hundred grand under the table, especially when there is potential for huge profits involved.

Re:It's about time... (1)

atomicxblue (1077017) | 1 year,22 days | (#44681345)

You think that.. I think that.. Most of the American public thinks that.. Sadly, I doubt that this will happen because people on Wall Street seem to be above the law.

Re:It's about time... (4, Interesting)

slick7 (1703596) | 1 year,22 days | (#44681455)

...because people on Wall Street seem to be above the law.

No they are not. Madoff, Millikan, Skilling, Fastow. These people are convicts, no passports legally, no firearms legally. I would like to see the CONgressMAN who would do business with them, you know, the one's that go to prison themselves.

Re:It's about time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44681525)

...because people on Wall Street seem to be above the law.

No they are not. Madoff, Millikan, Skilling, Fastow. These people are convicts, no passports legally, no firearms legally. I would like to see the CONgressMAN who would do business with them, you know, the one's that go to prison themselves.

Jon Corzine disagrees with you.

Re:It's about time... (2)

tragedy (27079) | 1 year,21 days | (#44681943)

Which one is Millikan? Do you mean Milken? He's a free man and a multi-billionaire.

Re:It's about time... (1)

tragedy (27079) | 1 year,21 days | (#44682199)

Whoops, just realized I replied to the wrong level of the thread.

Re: It's about time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44681955)

It's only illegal when you're stealing from rich people - like these guys 'stealing' code from their firm's wealthy partners - or was competing the crime? Does it matter when the DA is in your back pocket anyway?

Re: It's about time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44681979)

Bernie's Rule: If you steal from the rich, they will drive your children to suicide.

Re: It's about time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44682809)

Well, you know how the rich play the game.

This is America. If you know the right people, you can have custom law made almost as easy as getting a custom-made burger at the local eatery.

You want to do fast-trade? Usually, the "per trade" fees will wipe you out pretty fast. "Work with" the system so it will waive those pesky overhead fees - get the little guy who does not know how to play this game to pay them.

Sales taxes? "Work with" your Congressman to have this kind of sales take place tax-free. Call it an "exchange" so it does not get taxed.

Make income? "Work with" your Congressman to have law passed so that income routed through offshore banks is not taxed. "Work with" your Congressman to make sure this law only applies to your taxation, definitely not for people who may use offshore systems to avoid copyright obligations.

By "working with" Congress, you can have one set of law apply to you, and another law apply to those who failed to "work with" their Congressman.

Example: a business writes off against their taxes a company car. Since when have you seen some workman, who also needs his car to get to work ( or even a bus pass ) be eligible for the same tax credit, even though in both cases, the item in question is a necessity for earning a taxable income?

More than ever, it is increasingly profitable to "work with" Congress to have your road to prosperity paved by favorable law, having others bear the burden of taxation, while you enjoy the benefits of favorable tax law. Its why our tax law today is so convoluted.

Why produce anything anymore? Its a heck of a lot easier to have some Congressman take what you want away from someone else and give it to you with his legal pen.

Re:It's about time... (5, Interesting)

dkleinsc (563838) | 1 year,21 days | (#44682121)

Yes they are: Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, HSBC, and a few others were prosecuted for multiple massive felonies, and settled out of court for a fraction of the profits from their crimes with no admission of guilt, after which the "Justice" Department dropped the cases against them. The people who were responsible for those crimes were never even prosecuted, much less sent to jail.

And we're not talking small-time crimes here. For example, HSBC was nailed for laundering $2 billion worth of drug money. All of the ones I just mentioned were nailed for approximately 2 million counts of fraudulent mortgage foreclosure documents. Many were guilty of multiple frauds valued in the hundreds of millions. We're talking about organizations that have between them stolen the equivalent of at least 2 million new cars in numerous premeditated and carefully executed schemes. These guys make Al Capone and Pablo Escobar look like a penny-ante operators.

That's something Occupy Wall Street types and the Tea Party types generally agree on: The bankers responsible for these kinds of criminal schemes need to be in jail for the rest of their natural lives.

Re:It's about time... (3, Informative)

tragedy (27079) | 1 year,21 days | (#44682207)

I'm not sure who Millikan is. Do you mean Milken? He's a free man and also a multi-billionaire.

Re:It's about time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44682861)

Madoff got away for it for long enough to say that he got away with it. Thanks to incompetent regulators and methods.

Re:It's about time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44681519)

Above the law? That's your explanation? They're the fucking darlings of the US government. Why do you think Bush and Obama bent over backwards to give them your tax money? Well, your children's and grandchildren's tax money.
 
And for those of you who still think Obamacare is there for you? It was a bailout in disguise of progressive legislation. Those of us who paid for insurance before the legislation are paying more than ever and those who didn't pay for it before won't be able to afford anything beyond the most shoddy of healthcare. Anything beyond that and the insurance industry will be squeezing your tit for blood. If Obama was willing to sacrifice his 'blank check' for that kind of asshattery guess what he'd be willing to do now that the honeymoon is well beyond over?

Re:It's about time... (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | 1 year,22 days | (#44681575)

*cough* yeah.. for stealing paperclips..

Scientific? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44681255)

Vuu, Lu and another former Flow Traders worker, Glen Cressman, all have been charged with unlawful duplication of computer-related material and unauthorized use of secret scientific material.

As one who maintains code for the securities industry, calling it "scientific" is an insult to science.

No Cure for Stupid (1)

Endovior (2450520) | 1 year,22 days | (#44681259)

There will always be idiots out to make a quick buck, without much concern for legality. Nice when it actually catches up with them.

Re:No Cure for Stupid (1)

atomicxblue (1077017) | 1 year,22 days | (#44681353)

It's delicious when those people sometimes turn out to be the MPAA, RIAA or one of the copyright trolls.

Re:No Cure for Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44684749)

Whatever. You're still the one who'll get sued in the end. You're a half wit with a one track mind and I'm sure your overall lifetime accomplishments will reflect that.

Re:No Cure for Stupid (1)

rtb61 (674572) | 1 year,21 days | (#44682841)

In this case it's the corrupt idiots in the law courts. They are making a huge and very corrupt distortion in terms of copying information. This is basically a copyright infringement as no data was stolen only unpublished programs but still non-unique programs. The distortion is corporations via a corrupt court attempting to twist this into national secrets disclosure. This is a straight up economic and civil court matter not a criminal court matter. Basically the idiots are putting the corporate corruption of courts on display.

Not copyright laws (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | 1 year,21 days | (#44683893)

Theft of trade secrets.

Re:Not copyright laws (1)

rtb61 (674572) | 1 year,21 days | (#44684059)

No, not theft involved except maybe a few dollars worth of computer processing time and network traffic. That being all that was taken from and denied to the original owner. Trade secrets, see now that is really just a corporate flim flam, usually used when they are cheating people and trying to hide that cheat from the public when being dragged through the courts. If it is protected it is protected by either copyright or by patent, those are the laws in place, so trade secret is pretty much just bullshit, basically it is just corruption, in fact pretty much is all about buyer beware 'Caveat emptor' and doing everything possible to keep the buyer unaware and like some fucking douche calling that a trade secret.

Re:Not copyright laws (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | 1 year,21 days | (#44684455)

Trade secrets, see now that is really just a corporate flim flam, usually used when they are cheating people and trying to hide that cheat from the public when being dragged through the courts. If it is protected it is protected by either copyright or by patent, those are the laws in place, so trade secret is pretty much just bullshit

Let me guess, you got your JD at DeVry?

Trade secrets absolutely do have legal status, the same as copyrights and patents.

If you're going to parade your ignorance in public view at least try to be witty or amusing about it.

No decency among thieves (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44681295)

Wall St is all about gaming the markets to steal from people. They use techniques to illegally creating spikes in stock prices, as well as depressions of stock prices, to permit themselves to constantly buy low, sell high. Meanwhile your average Joe has no idea that the system is rigged in this way and wonders why he keeps losing money in the stock market.

Re:No decency among thieves (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44681463)

I've made money in Stocks.... I don't day trade, but I do generally make money.

Knowing that the game is rigged is part of the game. You can play that to your advantage.. Usually...

Re:No decency among thieves (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44682019)

Sure the game is rigged, as all such games are when money is on the line. It's always been rigged so that those at the top get the most, those in the middle get some, and those at the bottom get nothing little or nothing at all.

Re:No decency among thieves (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44683193)

Those at the bottom lose. So that the others can win.

So read between the lines when the ads start telling you "it's time to take stock". If they can find someone with money that still listens to them, soon that money will change hands.

Its just some thing that has went through business schools in the last few years - this paradigm of screwing the customer for a quick profit. A lot of businessmen actually believe this and are presently destroying their customer base, burning it for a few pennies on the dollar which was invested to build that business.

Recent example: Yesterday ( Sunday afternoon, no less ), some Starbucks executives held a meeting with their baristas, tying up all the outside seating. Yes, on Sunday afternoon, when the place is usually teeming with customers. Today, I find my barista nickel-and-diming me for every squirt of anything. I tell my barista I think I am already well overpaying for coffee just to have it served here, but having it priced over $5 a cup is just too much. I have a budget too. But I understand, he has to answer to Management.

Management does not have Engineering training. I am trained that if I am pulling power from a 20 amp circuit breaker, if I try to pull 21 amps, I suddenly find I get zero amps. I find business executives, whose salaries and benefits are not coupled to the customer's decision to patronize their business, have little concept of their customer's willingness to pay ever increasing hikes.

No-one likes being nickled and dimed to death. The next problem faced by the management team will be how to restart the customer stream. Its easy to run a customer base to your competition... getting them back can be a problem. Executives need to look to their Management Team with the knowledge that the techniques their Management Team are pushing is destroying the Customer Relationship. Executives need to trade off the value of the Management meeting-holder versus the customer at the counter ( wallet open ) and make a determination as to how valuable that customer is and how much they value the manager that's discouraging the customer from maintaining a relationship ( i.e. spending money ) at the store.

There are executives out there who will actually pay to have their customers disappointed over a squirt of coffee flavoring. The art to high income is finding that executive and lining up to shake his hand in employment.

Charged with upsetting wallstreet, rich people (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44681307)

Have they been charged with stealing code. Or charged with Stealing Code - Meaning that they dared create some competition for entrenched interests and are being slapped with frivolous charges to strangle the upstart company? In that part of town the police seem to have little trouble arresting whoever bankers point their fingers at.

Re:Charged with upsetting wallstreet, rich people (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44681627)

Hint: The summary usually has links in it that you can click on that will direct your browser to something called an article. There you can find answers to many of the most bewildering questions that many slashdot "readers" have...

Re:Charged with upsetting wallstreet, rich people (1)

jedidiah (1196) | 1 year,22 days | (#44681667)

With the state of modern journalism, you can't necessarily trust the contents of the linked article.

Re:Charged with upsetting wallstreet, rich people (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44682745)

With the state of modern journalism, you can't necessarily trust the contents of the linked article.

Therefore you shouldn't read it before commenting.

Guilty before proven innocent? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44681313)

A new low from the owners of Slashdot. It is incredibly common practice for the former "owners" of wage slaves to use their political clout to have said former wage slaves charged with various crimes, when they leave their "master" and set up a competing enterprise. Are the accusations ever warranted? On far fewer occasions than you may imagine, but even when the accusations are proven FALSE and MALICIOUS, the damage is done, the target is destroyed, and the company responsible for bringing the phoney lawsuit never faces punishment or sanction.

So why is Slashdot pushing this "presumed guilty" crap. Could it be something to do with the surnames of the accused?

The sent this via Email??? LOL! (4, Interesting)

gweihir (88907) | 1 year,22 days | (#44681323)

But it explains why the stole the code: They obviously do not have what it takes to write their own....

Side note: I have worked with some pretty locked down notebooks from jobs at customer-sites, and there was always an easy and untraceable way to export data, and I did not even try hard. Only exception so far is a job my boss did where he was not allowed to remove the computer from a locked room and had to leave all his own electronics outside. Of course I only ever used it to export data that I would be allowed to export anyways (but where that would be painful in the official way), or not at all (stumbled over it by accident, just copied a few freshly created test-files). But basically, if you have access to the physical hardware, can take it home and can boot it up, run software and write simple code (shell-scripts/word macros are quite enough), you have won, no matter how locked down the thing is.

Re:The sent this via Email??? LOL! (4, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | 1 year,22 days | (#44681579)

"They obviously do not have what it takes to write their own...."

You can say this about nearly all programmers, artists, singers, etc. To pretend that your creation is unique means that you have to ignore everything that you've learned in your life up to that point. It's the height of hubris.

Even Einstein based much of his insights on what Maxwell did.

Everything is derivative. The only difference is magnitude.

--
BMO

Re:The sent this via Email??? LOL! (5, Funny)

fustakrakich (1673220) | 1 year,22 days | (#44681799)

Everything is derivative.

That's certainly true on Wall Street...

Re:The sent this via Email??? LOL! (0)

tlambert (566799) | 1 year,22 days | (#44681877)

Everything is derivative. The only difference is magnitude.

So your claim, if I have this straight, is that there is no such thing as revolutionary ideas, only evolutionary ones, and that there's always a route from the status quo to the most desirable future, and that route can always be travelled incrementally?

I call BS. I've known engineers who thought this way, and they, without exception, never had a revolutionary idea in their lives. Incrementalism is the refuge of the small mind.

Re:The sent this via Email??? LOL! (1)

bmo (77928) | 1 year,21 days | (#44682073)

>never had a revolutionary idea in their lives

Name an invention that was never based on a previous invention.

I'll wait right here.

--
BMO

Re:The sent this via Email??? LOL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44682149)

Or go even further
Name an invention that was never based on a previous invention or observation.
The wheel could possibly have been "invented" when someone saw a tree roll down a hill with a root ball.

Re:The sent this via Email??? LOL! (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | 1 year,21 days | (#44683669)

How do you incrementally get from a horse to a motor car?

Re:The sent this via Email??? LOL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44683845)

Horses to motor cars was never a revolutionary idea. It was the result of a long process with a lot of incremental steps, and required a lot of parallel technology and infrastructure.

horse
horse drawn cart
horse and carriage
steam carriage (derived from lessons learned from the use of steam engines in trains/boats/industry)
combustion engine (derives from the discovery and refinery of oil and all the lessons learned from steam engines)

Re:The sent this via Email??? LOL! (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | 1 year,21 days | (#44684475)

steam carriage (derived from lessons learned from the use of steam engines in trains/boats/industry

The steam engine fell out of the sky, did it?

derives from the discovery and refinery of oil

How do you get to oil refining from making hay?

Re:The sent this via Email??? LOL! (1)

tlambert (566799) | 1 year,21 days | (#44683515)

>never had a revolutionary idea in their lives

Name an invention that was never based on a previous invention.

I'll wait right here.

--
BMO

The Archimedes screw, the earliest known water pump. Leonardo's helicopter, the first attempt at rotary lift flight. Written language. Tesla's invention of radio.

If you want to get more primitive: starting a fire via friction. The wheel. The spear. The stone axe. The scarping tools used by early man to cure hides. The idea of curing hides in the first place. Cheese. Beer. Domestication of animals. The fishing net.

Re:The sent this via Email??? LOL! (1)

retchdog (1319261) | 1 year,21 days | (#44682189)

For you to have a point, it would also be necessary to know engineers who thought the other way and have had a revolutionary idea.

So, any examples (of the revolutionary ideas of your colleagues, that is)?

Re:The sent this via Email??? LOL! (1)

EricTheGreen (223110) | 1 year,21 days | (#44682403)

Not sure about the stuff you tagged on afterwards about route to future, etc....but if you'd like to propose an example of a truly out-of-nowhere, no-antecedents, Black Swan-class revolutionary *idea*, we're all ears....your thoughts?

Re:The sent this via Email??? LOL! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44682501)

Except Music and Film! Every single song has a virgin birth, and an eternal life (just like God!) That's why copyrights last forever! Each is completely separate and unique and there are none that are ever derived from previous songs! Even if you read artist profiles, they are never ever influenced by previous artists, and never influenced by songs that others have created!

Re:The sent this via Email??? LOL! (5, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | 1 year,22 days | (#44681617)

That's because they aren't trying all that hard. I once thought security at a place I worked was lax because of several reason I took to the security director. He then explained to me that security in a corporate sense is not about securing anything. It's about shifting responsibility away from your employer. For example, your company has a large customer contact list. Is this really important or secret data? No. You don't want it just laying about but if it did get swiped it's not that terrible. But you're under legal and civil obligation to "Secure" it. So, instead of going through a multi-million dollar project to protect this data you really don't give a crap about you farm it out to the lowest bidder. Some off-site place that will store it for you. If they screw it up and the data gets stolen, they and their insurer pay up. You blame the event on them. Etc... You're legally and financially off the hook.

For things that we really needed secure, there were locked cages, palm prints, 30 digit passwords and key cards. There was no taking that information off site. Period. Data was encrypted at rest, the OS was a custom build. Not only would you have to decrypt it you'd be working in a strange environment devoid of all sorts of basic utilities that would make your life difficult. You can make things secure. It's just a real pain in the ass to do so.

Re:The sent this via Email??? LOL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44681951)

Hello, my friends Bulle and Shite have a bridge in New Yourke that they would like to sell to the grade school you attend. Please reply with your fathers american express card number, in order to facilitate the transfer.

Re:The sent this via Email??? LOL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44682083)

Hello, my friends Bulle and Shite have a bridge in New Yourke that they would like to sell to the grade school you attend. Please reply with your fathers american express card number, in order to facilitate the transfer.

He's actually right, there are at least two big parts to corporate information security, actually securing information systems, and meeting contractual agreements like audits.
System admins largely do the first part, infosec makes sure we do it in a way that checks all the audit boxes and legal requirements.

They may from time to time make up requirements outside of that, but they will have to fight that out with an IT Director and work it out in the budget.
You might scoff at that, but without a specific business need to do something, infosec has as much authority as the next team does to spend money and disrupt operations.

If things didn't work this way, you'd end up with every conceivable security inconvenience... hellooooo epoxied USB ports.

Re:The sent this via Email??? LOL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44682171)

the OS was a custom build

Is that what they call security through obscurity now?

No its not (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | 1 year,21 days | (#44683921)

Large customer contact lists can be very lucrative a director level contact at [Large Jobsite] told me that some people had left with the entire [REDACTED] candidate list and went to a competitor they apparently got paid a lot for this data.

There's a bright side (5, Funny)

HangingChad (677530) | 1 year,22 days | (#44681337)

Sending yourself pilfered code through your company email account is probably not the wisest plan.

The bright side is the NSA used the code to make enough money to pay for their company picnic this year.

Backups ? (1)

alexhs (877055) | 1 year,22 days | (#44681409)

Sending yourself pilfered code through your company email account is probably not the wisest plan.

Depends what your goal is. Now, everyone has backups of that code: NSA, China, Russia... I'm sure these algorithms will perform well when put against each other.

Re:Backups ? (2)

budgenator (254554) | 1 year,22 days | (#44681783)

The NSA will always win due to having the lowest ping times.

Wasn't that how Microsoft got started? (0)

themushroom (197365) | 1 year,22 days | (#44681411)

Bill Gates borrowing some code from a small computer company, then starting his own business to sell the OS?

Re:Wasn't that how Microsoft got started? (5, Informative)

sconeu (64226) | 1 year,22 days | (#44681443)

No, he actually bought it... at bargain basement prices because he didn't tell Tim Paterson that he had IBM as a customer.

Re:Wasn't that how Microsoft got started? (3, Insightful)

GumphMaster (772693) | 1 year,22 days | (#44681507)

Exploiting the difference between ethical and legal for the betterment of one's hip pocket. The American Corporate Dream.

Re:Wasn't that how Microsoft got started? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44681577)

I sure do hope you plan on selling your house for no more than what you paid for it. Anything else would be unethical.

Re:Wasn't that how Microsoft got started? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44681861)

Way to go! You totally decapitated that straw man!

I'm sure when you sell your house you'll be the one that doesn't tell anyone you know there's termites, and you didn't get them treated just to make sure you wouldn't have to.

Re:Wasn't that how Microsoft got started? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44682219)

I'm sure when you sell your house you'll be the one that doesn't tell anyone you know there's termites, and you didn't get them treated just to make sure you wouldn't have to.

Caveat Emptor!

Re:Wasn't that how Microsoft got started? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | 1 year,21 days | (#44684501)

I'm not sure why a capital gain is in any way equivalent to a hidden defect. Probably because it isn't, they're two entirely different things.

Both examples are full of bugs though, I'll concede that.

Re:Wasn't that how Microsoft got started? (1)

eulernet (1132389) | 1 year,22 days | (#44681739)

The difference between ethical and legal is also called the "profit margin".

Re:Wasn't that how Microsoft got started? (1)

dbIII (701233) | 1 year,21 days | (#44682541)

There's also the dumpster diving stuff but that was a university. Thus Microsoft BASIC and Applesoft BASIC were born. The Paterson stuff came later.

Re:Wasn't that how Microsoft got started? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44681467)

A small company clean-roomed an existing DOS, and Gates bought that--for $75k [wikipedia.org] . Technically speaking it wasn't arbitrage because it wasn't immediately flipped to IBM and there was some assumed risk that nobody would buy it. OTOH, he definitely bought cheaply in one market and sold dearly in another--one of the greatest trades of all time.

Re:Wasn't that how Microsoft got started? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44681723)

Indeed. If IBM had decided to drop the deal, Bill Gates and Microsoft would have effectively been wiped out then and there.

Re:Wasn't that how Microsoft got started? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44681471)

MSFT has always bought stuff from other companies since they've never been able to innovate their way out of a wet paper bag. Every time they've come up with something it's turned out to be technologically inferior or an outright failure (Microsoft Bob, Zune, Win 8 Metro).

Re:Wasn't that how Microsoft got started? (2)

PPH (736903) | 1 year,22 days | (#44681731)

They got their start writing a Basic interpreter for the MITS Altair. Bill and Paul had access to a PDP-10 at school. And their Basic looks a lot like the Basic I remember from my PDP days.

And then Bill got on his high horse about people stealing 'his' Basic.

Sounds like a company I worked for.... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44681453)

The place I used to work for was re-engineering the C++ Source code of their biggest client, rewriting it into Java, and calling it their own... It was basically an improved rip off of the customer's system, that the customer had paid them to develop in the first place. In my view, they where stealing their own best customer's intellectual property.

When I found out about it I asked "Can you legally DO that?" They insisted that it was fine... I didn't last 3 more months there and ended up quitting in the midst of a huge office blowup. I should have known a lot sooner it would not end well. Had I quit sooner I might have not needed to hire a lawyer to defend myself from their lawsuit against me. (Which they didn't win.) They eventually went into business that competed directly with their customer.

Some people have no ethics or morals. Many don't get caught, some do. Where I was able to prove they broke the law in their dealings with me, they never got caught by their best customer to my knowledge. I'm just LUCKY not to work there anymore. Those guys where NOT people you want to work for...

Re:Sounds like a company I worked for.... (2)

recharged95 (782975) | 1 year,21 days | (#44682125)

"The place I used to work for was re-engineering the C++ Source code of their biggest client, rewriting it into Java, and calling it their own..."

Basically what every SBA company does daily. Every SBA company... and typically copying from paid [by us tax payers] gov't work.

I remember working for a Chap11 company that basically took code from it's former self (chap 11 several times!), which originally came from some Wall Street Firm--messaging algorithms used for trades we were rewriting it for use in cellphone messaging.

This type of copying happens daily, nothing new here. Is it illegal--well it's up to what lawyers say.... in court. Ethically, it's wrong unless credit is given.

Pilfered Code (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#44681609)

There is a fundamental problem with "pilfered code", or re-stated, "intellectual property".

Logic/functions/procedures/programs are binary math expressions.
Digital media is a string of Digits... a number.
It's odd that bought laws can claim ownership to equations and their constituent numbers themselves.
Greedy Gangsters Grabbing at ether wind.

 

Most trading firm code is open source ripped (5, Interesting)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | 1 year,22 days | (#44681711)

The problem is that most trading firm code is actually Open Source software that was ripped off in the first place.

Proprietary? Um, no.

Never believe an exec at a trading firm. Ever.

Re:Most trading firm code is open source ripped (2)

antifoidulus (807088) | 1 year,21 days | (#44682051)

Do you have any actual evidence to back that up?

Re:Most trading firm code is open source ripped (2)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | 1 year,21 days | (#44682071)

Oh just go read the Vanity Fair issue on the newstands and stop whining.

Re:Most trading firm code is open source ripped (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44682095)

lmao. yeah right.

Re:Most trading firm code is open source ripped (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44682167)

The problem is that most trading firm code is actually Open Source software that was ripped off in the first place.

Proprietary? Um, no.

Never believe an exec at a trading firm. Ever.

How is USING Open Source software with your own modifications 'ripping it off'?

That is the ENTIRE G.D. POINT OF GIVING THE SOURCE AWAY.

Personally I think it's a stretch to say publishing modifications in binary form takes anything away from anyone since they still have the same source you started from... However, "use as-is or share" runs 100% counter to OSS principles of freedom, you are absolutely not taking anything away from anyone, and your use restriction is just evil.

Re:Most trading firm code is open source ripped (1)

DirtyLiar (796951) | 1 year,21 days | (#44683707)

How is USING Open Source software with your own modifications 'ripping it off'?

That is the ENTIRE G.D. POINT OF GIVING THE SOURCE AWAY.

That depends on how it's licenced. Some people don't want companies profiting off of their code, and there are licences that prohibit that.

Others just want, if their code is used for-profit, to get a cut of those profits, and there are licences for that.

And some people don't care who uses it, or if it's sold for a profit, they just want to share it with others, and not loose the right to use their own code. (The entire reason for the "Open Source", "GNU" and "Copy-Left" type movements: Companies were taking [IE stealing] code that people shared with the world, and copyrighting it. Meaning that the original author could be sued for using his own code, and never get compensated for it.)

Re:Most trading firm code is open source ripped (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44682169)

Would you believe a fork at a trading firm? Ever?

How can it be ripped off? (2)

maroberts (15852) | 1 year,21 days | (#44684373)

If the software is GPL, you're perfectly free to modify and use it privately - it's only when you distribute the software that you have an obligation to also distribute the source code. BSD and similar licenses have no restrictions whatsoever, so you can use them how you like.

AFAIK, you retain copyright on the delta changes from the original software too.

Remember? (1)

ChrisMaple (607946) | 1 year,22 days | (#44681903)

Remember when Avanti was created by stealing Cadence's source code, complete with bugs?

I'm shocked! Shocked, I tell you! (3, Funny)

Livius (318358) | 1 year,21 days | (#44681969)

There are Wall Street traders that are unethical?

Re:I'm shocked! Shocked, I tell you! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44682127)

I'm shocked, they are the most ethical bunch of crooks we know, after all we trust them with billions of dollars every day, what could go wrong?

This is kind of like... (2)

klingers48 (968406) | 1 year,21 days | (#44682003)

2 groups of drug dealers shooting each other in the street and taking each other out. As long as no one else gets caught in the crossfire, I'm OK with it.

Bogus Charges (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44682053)

There is no software available to game the system. However if they stole software that would help them connect and set up a trading service that would compete with others then you'll see stuff like this start to fly. Wall Street hates competition and know how to toss false allegations to rile up the mobs. The ignorant mobs getting all indignant are the slashdotters here. Don't let wall street frame a couple of people so easily. Ask what it was they emailed and if they can't tell you then treat it like the BS it is.

They need a consultant... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44682555)

I bet they could learn a thing or two from Snowden.

cisco (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44682593)

Somewhat reminiscent of cisco's start [nocrew.org] .

Those guys.... (1)

mark_reh (2015546) | 1 year,21 days | (#44682619)

will steal ANYTHING from anybody.

Re:Those guys.... (1)

DirtyLiar (796951) | 1 year,21 days | (#44683717)

Wishing I had points to give!

on e-mail (1)

fightinfilipino (1449273) | 1 year,21 days | (#44682725)

"Sending yourself pilfered code through your company email account is probably not the wisest plan."

apparently sending ANYTHING through e-mail period is not the wisest plan, either.

Where I worked once.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44682891)

I worked at a place where they fired the developer who had written most of the code that was running the company. They let him go back to his desk to clear his stuff and he then decided to also start uploading the full code base to his personal home server. He had an arch enemy developer who noticed the traffic and busted him on it. The owners called the cops who showed up and made him delete the code with his arch enemy looking over his shoulder. He wasn't all in the wrong as the owners had promised him a small percentage of the company never delivered.

So what? (1)

macson_g (1551397) | 1 year,21 days | (#44683443)

A person steals employer's source code to seed it's own startup. Happens all the time. Why is this a news?

Ah, I see, because it's about the "Wall street". A sure way to get plenty of attention on /.

Re:So what? (2)

DirtyLiar (796951) | 1 year,21 days | (#44683795)

A person steals employer's source code to seed it's own startup. Happens all the time. Why is this a news?

1) They got caught.
2) They are getting prosecuted.
3) (It get's attention HERE because) Coders are a significant fraction of /. readers.
4) It WAS both illegal and immoral don'tchaknow. (And unethical to boot!) Some misguided people care about things like that. They are called "Suckers"... I mean, "Not Sociopaths".

Ah, I see, because it's about the "Wall street". A sure way to get plenty of attention on /.

5) Well, I suppose there are still a few people a smidge upset over the 2009 crash. You know, blaming Wall Street gamblers and big banks for the loss of jobs, life-styles, and life-savings. (While the big firms and their COs still managed to rack up record pay and bonuses.) Petty grudges to be sure, but some people just can't let anything go. *rolls eyes*

A person steals employer's source code to seed it's own startup. Happens all the time. Why is this a news?

This is quite an indictment modern business practices. You do know that doing those things that "Happens all the time" are the shameful acts of a parasite. Not just a parasite on society, but a parasite on the business world. Defined as a "person" who lives off the work of others, and that adds nothing of value to the system it benefits from. Like the banks that buy up oil just to take it off the market, and so create an artificial scarcity that drives the price up. Except they don't actually STEAL anything, that I'm aware of.

Ob (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | 1 year,21 days | (#44683629)

Sending yourself pilfered code through your company email account is probably not the wisest plan.

Unless you encrypt it.

# to do: perl joke goes here

I am surprised (1)

maroberts (15852) | 1 year,21 days | (#44684353)

...that this is a criminal and not a civil case.

Stereotyping (0)

freudigst (1778168) | 1 year,21 days | (#44684497)

Wow, employees with Asian backgrounds stealing secrets from Western companies? What a surprise!

Re:Stereotyping (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44684575)

Wow, huge racists on the internet? What a surprise!

I've heard of this sort of thing before. (1)

Iridium_Hack (931607) | 1 year,21 days | (#44684835)

Back in the dot com boom, a friend told me about a company he had worked for that built up a number of software products that represented the company's intellectual property. When the dot com went bust the company went bankrupt. When the writing was on the wall, the management of the company formed another company and bought up the best of the IP. Then they started again.

No, it's not right. The Investors should be the owners of the property or at least compensated rather than managers sneaking in and grabbing it. Maybe there should be laws or something to stop this. But it does happen and it is what it is.

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