Plurk Assesses Options In Microsoft Code Lifting Fiasco

Microsoft’s public apology for pilfering microblogging site Plurk’s code to use them in its own similar service Juku has apparently failed to mollify Plurk.

News has emerged that the start-up has severely condemned the act of stealing and hinted that it has sought to hold the software giant answerable The outraged microblogging company has even discussed the possibility of dragging the software maker to court.

Along the same line, the company wrote in a blog post: “We are still thinking of pursuing the full extent of our legal options available due the seriousness of the situation. Basically, Microsoft accepts responsibility, but they don't offer accountability.”

Earlier, Plurk charged Microsoft with picking around 80 percent of its codes to develop its own Juku microblogging service for MSN China. Microsoft responded to the charges by pulling the service down, and issuing a public apology for the same.

As yet, Microsoft has agreed that some portion of the codes was indeed picked and used, though it held a vendor responsible for the theft, which was in “clear violation of the vendor's contract with the MSN China joint venture”.

The matter has pushed Microsoft in a peculiar situation, as the software giant has grumbled about software piracy in China for years and has been a vociferous proponent of implementing stringent measures to safeguard intellectual property rights.

Our Comments

China is an extremely complex and important business centre for Microsoft; the company knows that it needs to get it free right as soon as possible or face the eventuality of heavy fines or the potential loss of some senior management staff. Clearly someone (or a group of people) at Microsoft China took the wrong decisions.

Related Links

Microsoft Apology for Code Theft May Not Do, Plurk Says

(PC World)

Plurk: Microsoft went to great lengths to steal code

(Ars Technica)

Startup Plurk 'considering options' against Microsoft


Plurk holding Microsoft's feet to code-copying fire


Plurk not satisfied with Microsoft's apology for copying code

(Seattle Times)