Plurk holding Microsoft's feet to code-copying fire

A microblogging site whose code was copied for use on MSN China indicates that Microsoft's apology isn't sufficient to settle the matter.

Microsoft's apology Tuesday about a contractor copying blogging site software from a small company called Plurk might not be enough to take the lawyers off alert.

"We are still thinking of pursuing the full extent of our legal options available due the seriousness of the situation," Plurk co-founder Alvin Woon said in a statement posted Thursday. "Basically, Microsoft accepts responsibility, but they do not offer accountability."

Microsoft accepted responsibility for the copying, blaming it on a third-party company. It suspended access indefinitely to the site at MSN China, called Juku. "We apologize to Plurk and we will be reaching out to them directly to explain what happened and the steps we have taken to resolve the situation," Microsoft said Tuesday.

But Woon still sounds plenty steamed about what he clearly sees as something beyond a little copying and pasting.

"This event wasn't just a simple matter of merely lifting code," he said. "Due to the nature of the uniqueness of our product and user interface, it took a good amount of deliberate studying and digging through our code with the full intention of replicating our product user experience, functionality, and end results. This product was later launched and heavily promoted by Microsoft with its big marketing budget."

Plurk raised the issue on Monday , calling the move "blatant theft of code, design, and UI [user interface] elements."

Via Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Plurk accused Microsoft China of ripping off its design and code to create its Juku microblogging service.
Plurk accused Microsoft China of ripping off its design and code to create its Juku microblogging service Plurk
About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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