Microsoft Apologises for Code Theft

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Microsoft has apologised to social networking site Plurk after it emerged that Microsoft China’s Juku service contained a significant amount of code that appeared to be ripped directly from Plurk’s own service.

Word emerged via the Plurk blog yesterday that Microsoft’s Juku social networking service in China copied not only its design and UI directly from Plurk’s own, but that the code for the two sites was “eerily similar.” Plurk’s word on the situation was that it was, generally speaking, not too bothered by imitators, but when it came to Microsoft’s offering the whole affair was a little too much to let slide.

Microsoft’s initial response was to pull Juku fairly quickly. Everyone was waiting for an official response since then, and now the BBC is reporting that the word is in from Microsoft itself. According to Microsoft,

“The vendor has no acknowledged that a portion of the code they provided was indeed copied… We are a company that respects intellectual property and it was never our intent to have a site that was not respectful of the work that others in the industry have done.”

When it comes to Plurk, Microsoft has said that it’s going to be reaching out to Plurk to “explain what happened and the steps we have taken to resolve the situation.” We’d imagine that Plurk will be relatively pleased to see that Microsoft is being so apologetic about it, though it’ll probably take a fair bit to mollify the company.

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