Code Isn't Property; Therefore it can't Be stolen

Gh0sti

iOS Guru
OP
Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2009
Messages
1,380
Trophies
1
Location
Inside you, all around you
XP
1,604
Country
United States
code-theft.jpg


During a court ruling of a man nameed Sergey Aleynikov while working at goldman sacks was acquitted with stealing code from the company but during his court ruling the judge decided code isnt property thus cant be stolen
The case hinged upon the definition of both property and economic espionage, and the court found that code, being an intangible, couldn't be property that's capable of being stolen within the definition of the statute -- affirming a state of affairs that's been in place since the British case of Oxford v Moss from 1979

icon11.gif
Endgadget
So what does this mean for the future what do you guys think, now anyone can use anyones code?? The judge has asked Congress to be able to amend the law for the rest of the world to be able to do this

Does this in a sense of open pandora's box does this mean games are essential made of code and can be copied?? your thoughts
 

Jamstruth

Secondary Feline Anthropomorph
Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2009
Messages
3,462
Trophies
0
Age
31
Location
North East Scotland
XP
710
Country
Well...pirates are always arguing that piracy cannot be considered "stealing" because it copies the original instead of actually removing it. Possibly the judge is pointing out this in a situation where everyone agrees that the man is in the wrong?
So yeah... we're showing the double standard not the judge. As far as he's concerned this is a copyright violation (and the code probably hadn't been copyrighted yet) so it cannot be considered "stealing"
 

Midna

Banned!
Banned
Joined
Apr 13, 2008
Messages
3,336
Trophies
0
XP
1,044
Country
Albania
Theft involved depriving someone of their property. That is the legal definition. Of course copying code isn't theft.

It may be any number of other crimes, but it isn't theft.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 7 people

FAST6191

Techromancer
Editorial Team
Joined
Nov 21, 2005
Messages
36,798
Trophies
3
XP
28,375
Country
United Kingdom
An interesting ruling and potential piece of case law (I would be surprised if a lot of IP lawyers are not getting calls about now with an eye to doing things and later on more people are not lining calls and meetings of "interest groups") as to my reading it has potential to do a lot to damage software patents (both the industrial espionage and property part as both of those have fundamentals in common with patents) which is no bad thing from my perspective but various groups fight tooth and nail to keep it that way and increase powers. More than that though it has some interesting implications for straight up copyright but going on what I read previously on the matter it does not seem to have been tried as a copyright infringement and possibly trade secrets.

"The judge has asked Congress to be able to amend the law for the rest of the world to be able to do this"
How very amusing- people often joke about the US and especially US IP law riding roughshod over the rest of the world when it comes to legal matters but the parties concerned usually stop short of a tacit admission.
 

FAST6191

Techromancer
Editorial Team
Joined
Nov 21, 2005
Messages
36,798
Trophies
3
XP
28,375
Country
United Kingdom
"If someone has access to the code, doesn't that mean that the program is open-sourced?"

Not related at all but it got me wondering if this has further ramifications for decompilation (or indeed languages based upon an interpreter of some form) and other forms of previously potentially interesting reverse engineering.
 

CyborGamer

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
113
Trophies
0
XP
134
Country
Even if it's not theft, it's still considered plagiarism, no? That in itself is still considered a crime wouldn't it?
 

Kioku

猫。子猫です!
Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2007
Messages
12,018
Trophies
3
Location
In the Murderbox!
Website
www.twitch.tv
XP
16,178
Country
United States
So, this means my Code, which I wrote, Isn't my property? By that standard, books aren't property, therefore they can't be stolen.


>> lol no. Just... no...

A book and code are two completely different things. One can be altered numerous times by numerous people.. Whereas the other is usually written by one person and copyrighted. [Note the bold kthx]
 

FAST6191

Techromancer
Editorial Team
Joined
Nov 21, 2005
Messages
36,798
Trophies
3
XP
28,375
Country
United Kingdom
Mchief298 I can see where you are coming from and there is a kind of related piece of copyright stuff with the public domain books (the text might be but the typesetting and such does constitute a new work so scanning and releasing your nicely new typeset version of [insert chosen public domain work] could see me up in front of the beak) but I can not stand behind the logic for a moment.
 

The Milkman

GBATemp's Official Asshat Milkman
Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2011
Messages
3,471
Trophies
0
Age
27
Location
Throwing milk at the bitches!
XP
1,337
Country
United States
I half agree with this fact. I don't think code can be stolen because it can be replicated by different maners and its no real possession or item. However it can be copied and distributed without permission of the creator, which is pretty much piracy. Take it like this.
I can make an amazing new comic and copy right it, however if some one TAKES the comic without my permission, I can report it as stolen. But if someone buys a copy of it from me and then decides to scan it and distribute my comic for free, without my permission then he's pirated it. That's how I see it. Two totally different crimes that should have totally different punishments. If you steal it then you should be punished the standard way. If you pirate you should just have to buy the amount of copys you distributed, if you pirated a copy you should simply be required to buy it. Fair punishment for a victimless crime I say.
 

Hadrian

Literally as TIGHT as a gnats chuff.
Former Staff
Joined
Oct 12, 2004
Messages
16,991
Trophies
3
Age
42
XP
5,032
Country
United States
I don't think this will lead to anyone being able to copy anyone's code, it just means anyone who does copy code will be accused of something else other than theft, maybe plagiarism.
 

Magsor

I am watching you
Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2010
Messages
1,358
Trophies
1
Location
Amos
XP
1,338
Country
Canada
Theft involved depriving someone of their property. That is the legal definition. Of course copying code isn't theft.

It may be any number of other crimes, but it isn't theft.
Wow! Those 7 words are the reason i don't take part in the piracy debate. If you cannot protect your code properly your just dumb and greedy.
Theft involved depriving someone of their property. End of debate.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 person

Site & Scene News

Popular threads in this forum

General chit-chat
Help Users
  • K3Nv2 @ K3Nv2:
    YT music apps pointless tbh
  • ZeroT21 @ ZeroT21:
    playing old music mostly while browsing/going through comics at archive.org
  • ZeroT21 @ ZeroT21:
    me doin' simple stuff
  • K3Nv2 @ K3Nv2:
    Don't always need a bunch of electronics to enjoy electronics
    +1
  • K3Nv2 @ K3Nv2:
    Issue is we want new and best then it piles up
  • ZeroT21 @ ZeroT21:
    i'm all gud if my browser don't lag
  • K3Nv2 @ K3Nv2:
    I fixed a 2010 netbook for someone and they were happy
  • ZeroT21 @ ZeroT21:
    i did something similar to for a friend, was a old acer netbook, he was over the moon, guess guys are just that simple
  • K3Nv2 @ K3Nv2:
    Still had xp all the works at least got 7 on it
  • ZeroT21 @ ZeroT21:
    even if MS says newer windows works fine on 1 Gb of ram, I'd still go for the default or similar OS
  • K3Nv2 @ K3Nv2:
    It loaded youtube with like a 5 minute lag lol
  • ZeroT21 @ ZeroT21:
    it's a old potato, can't expect much
  • K3Nv2 @ K3Nv2:
    I told her it's not a good porn book
  • ZeroT21 @ ZeroT21:
    it's fine if it work and can watch their fav porn
  • K3Nv2 @ K3Nv2:
    For images maybe
  • ZeroT21 @ ZeroT21:
    it's not a vibrator la, ...that lags
  • K3Nv2 @ K3Nv2:
    No haptic feedback in laptops
  • ZeroT21 @ ZeroT21:
    you ain't paying for that kinda realism with this hardware
  • K3Nv2 @ K3Nv2:
    Need to give apple $600
  • ZeroT21 @ ZeroT21:
    the more you give apple the more features they will take away
  • K3Nv2 @ K3Nv2:
    Apple finally invented folders
  • ZeroT21 @ ZeroT21:
    i still want headphone jacks for my shit
  • ZeroT21 @ ZeroT21:
    i dont want do deal with low on battery earbuds and shit
  • K3Nv2 @ K3Nv2:
    I hate cords but my life is a cord will probably make a noose from cords
  • ZeroT21 @ ZeroT21:
    we'll all croak one day, no need to fuss so much
    ZeroT21 @ ZeroT21: we'll all croak one day, no need to fuss so much