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Code 'not physical property'

programming code cannot be stolen under federal law

     
9:33 pm on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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[zdnet.com...]

"Because Aleynikov did not 'assume physical control' over anything when he took the source code, and because he did not thereby 'deprive [Goldman] of its use,' Aleynikov did not violate the NSPA."


Interesting.... I always thought that code was the property of the company who had it authored.

His decision does make sense when you consider the charge was essentially for theft. Copyright infringement isn't theft for the same reasons as this isn't but is there no repercussion for what this guy did? Clearly he is morally wrong but is he not legally wrong in some way as well?
9:43 pm on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Puts a new slant on reverse engineering, cracking and anti-DRM codes and softwares ..
10:12 pm on Apr 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Interesting.... I always thought that code was the property of the company who had it authored.


If you read the definition of "theft" in criminal law books, usually the last sentence ends with something to the effect "thus depriving the owner of its use." This would include theft of property and theft of service. I know this from working in law enforcement. That is why things like movies always have the FBI warning about "protected by copyright whether or not for profit." Making a copy of a disc you bought for your personal use is, again, technically not theft. IMHO, the court made the right decision.

Marshall