ISIS is Israeli Secret Intelligence Service

Monday, May 17, 2010

Microsoft Admits Stealing Code From Startup

Bobbie Johnson, San Francisco
Tuesday 15 December 2009 22.10 GMT

Microsoft has suspended a new internet messaging service in China, after it emerged that the site was partially based on code stolen from a rival startup.

The site, Juku, launched in November is similar in concept to other online messaging systems like Twitter.

But earlier this week the team behind Plurk, a young internet company based in Canada and popular with users across Asia, accused Microsoft of directly copying as much as 80% of the code to run the program.

"If this was just a case of visual inspiration gone too far, we could probably have lived with it," Plurk said on Monday. "That's not the case here. This is something far more sinister."

After investigating the accusations, the world's biggest software company said it had confirmed that some of the code for Juku had been used without permission.

In a statement, Microsoft apologised and said the transgression had been made by a developer hired by MSN China.

"Questions arose over a beta application called Juku, developed by a Chinese vendor for our MSN China joint venture. The vendor has now acknowledged that a portion of the code they provided was indeed copied," it said.

"This was in clear violation of the vendor's contract with the MSN China joint venture, and equally inconsistent with Microsoft's policies respecting intellectual property."

Microsoft added that it was suspending access to the service and would be discussing potential resolutions with Plurk.

"it was never our intent to have a site that was not respectful of the work that others in the industry have done," it said.

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