Plurk Overplaying Hand After Microsoft Code Copying; Meanwhile Status.net Says 'Take Our Code, Please'

from the take-the-publicity-and-go-with-it dept

Lots of people got a good ironic laugh from the news that Microsoft, which has repeatedly complained about “piracy” in China, got caught blatantly copying code from a small startup named Plurk. Microsoft blamed a vendor and shut down the service. Plurk, for its part, got a ton of free publicity, and apparently it doesn’t want to give it up. It’s sent out a statement to lots of media folks (and us) with absolutely nothing of substance, but which says that the company is still considering legal action, while going on and on about how its just a small company that can’t even afford sales people or a marketing person to write this email. And yet, it thinks it wants to distract itself with a lawsuit against Microsoft? If it can’t afford sales people, those lawyers might be a bit costly. Yes, Microsoft copied your code. Time to use that to your advantage, and whining about the legal action you might take doesn’t get anyone else to actually care about your product.

Meanwhile, another provider of similar software (though open sourced), Status.net took a smarter approach. Blaise points out that Status.net put up a blog post telling Microsoft to go right ahead and take its code. After all, it’s open source (and they have a Chinese translation already). That’s what you’re supposed to do.

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Companies: microsoft, plurk, status.net

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Comments on “Plurk Overplaying Hand After Microsoft Code Copying; Meanwhile Status.net Says 'Take Our Code, Please'”

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11 Comments
Will (profile) says:

Code every actually unique?

I’m not that experienced in the industry, but what I have learned is that almost every bit of code ever to be written has most likely already been written in some very similar form. The only unique part of it is combining different pieces into something that is mostly unique. I don’t understand how anyone can claim copyright on code when the code used probably contained many pieces of code that the programmers got from the internet or have saved from old projects (like really useful functions) that may again also be copyrighted.

Is there anyone who can explain this to me? Like why it makes any sense at all to be able to copyright code?

Will (profile) says:

Re: Re: Code every actually unique?

The difference is when your actually creating the work. When writing something, exactly what you say isn’t always as important is what the message you are trying to convey.

But when programming, you run into something you need your program to do, maybe it is sort 2 lists of words into one that is alphabetized. To do this part of your program you could either create the code from scratch or just search google and probably find either exactly what you need or something every close.

I feel like that is a major difference between the two. One can create an amazing program with close they only copied from the internet and a few minor fixes. But for a book or a paper to be written you need more then just sentences copied.

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