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Microsoft Software Windows

Ex-Microsoft Employee Arrested For Leaking Windows 8 197

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the that'll-show-them dept.
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "Alex Kibkalo, a former Microsoft employee has been arrested yesterday for stealing and leaking company secrets. The former software architecture engineer is accused of leaking early Windows 8 builds to a French tech blogger with whom he was communicating inside a forum. The ex-Microsoft employee also stands accused of leaking some Windows 7 program files and also an internal system meant to protect against software piracy. Kibkalo is said to have leaked the Windows 8 code in the middle of 2012 because he was angry over a poor performance review."
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Ex-Microsoft Employee Arrested For Leaking Windows 8

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  • Re: Stealing? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tysonedwards (969693) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @08:33AM (#46533289)
    It wasn't solely his work.
  • Re:Which is it? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by McWilde (643703) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @08:45AM (#46533449) Homepage
    Not really. The early build is probably a lot like the release build that came after. You might see some bugs that were later fixed, but I wouldn't think it comprises any company secret. The code on the other hand is secret. And the early code will also be a lot like later code, so you could now roll your own Windows 8 from this code (if you did your own bug fixing as well).
  • Apple vs Tree? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tomxor (2379126) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @08:49AM (#46533511)
    It's not pedantic there's a huge difference... take your ignorance and leave.
  • Re:Stealing? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by flagg9483 (940242) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @09:03AM (#46533691)
    Yeah, blah, blah, corporations are evil and holding down the poor hard working honest guy. Nonsense. If I start a small corner store business making widgets, then hire you to help. I instruct you have to make my widgets, give you the tools and material to do it, pay you as we agreed, then you steal my inventory and give/sell it to someone then you are a THIEF. Just because it is software doesn't make it belong to you, and just because it is a corporation doesn't give you moral superiority.
  • Re:Which is it? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Dan Askme (2895283) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @09:08AM (#46533763) Homepage

    Stop being pedantic. It doesn't matter if the terms are interchanged or not, the underlying principle is still the same.

    Source Code and Compiled Code are every so slightly not the same.
    Considering the impact and difference in both, lets at least get the correct information from these "stories".

    On the funny side, this will be the 1st person to be arrested on the charge of "leaking shit" :)

  • Re:Which is it? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Threni (635302) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @09:15AM (#46533833)

    It matters if you're reporting A happened and actually it was B. Yes, in both cases something happened, and we can agree perhaps that they both fall into the "bad" category. But..so what? How does that make the story more accurate?

    Oh, and "period".

  • Re:Which is it? (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 20, 2014 @09:30AM (#46534007)

    So, according to you, releasing all the CAD drawings and engineering specs for, say, the Mercedes C and handing Geely a Mercedes C off the factory floor are exactly the same thing, no difference at all?

    They're both illegal. One represents Geely getting to drive around in a nice car, instead of a Merrie 300. The other represents Geely basically crushing any possible Chinese sales of the Mercedes C.

    I hope the difference in the level of damage done is clear now with the typical slashdot car analogy having been given. And thus you understand why someone would like to know which one actually happened. :P

  • by organgtool (966989) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @10:07AM (#46534421)

    You are confusing patent law and copyright law.

    No I am not. Patents and copyright were BOTH set up for the purpose of encouraging people to release their work.

    The intention of copyright law is that you write things.

    No, the intention of copyright law is to encourage people to make their works available to the public by motivating the creator with the power of monetization. It's the ARTS in the constitutional clause "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts".

    There is nothing wrong with writing things and keeping them secret.

    Of course not. But if you want a monopoly on a body of work, you are supposed to actually release that work, not sit on it.

  • Re:Stealing? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RabidReindeer (2625839) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @10:25AM (#46534647)

    The developer stole nothing, one element necessary for theft is intentionally depriving the owner of their property and the owner was never deprived of their property. This is conversion [wikipedia.org]

    In an interesting sense, you are technically correct because the owner is not being deprived of anything. The owner, Microsoft, still has the code and is thus deprived of nothing. This fits better under industrial espionage law. Unfortunately, case law precedent makes it possible to prosecute the actor under theft statutes.

    Theft of secrets. Yes, the original blueprints, code, whatever, remains with the original owner. What has been stolen, however, was the exclusivity of the trade secrets. And trade secrets are only protected as long as they are secret.

    This being Windows, 8, probably the most applicable route to prosecution is Illegal Disposal of Toxic Waste, but nevertheless...

  • Re:Stealing? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by The Grim Reefer (1162755) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @11:01AM (#46535043)

    The employer then essentially provides a spec (which is often just a extremely vague set of requirements) and a monthly salary. We can therefore say that most of the software is created by the creative talent and skill (the raw material and machines in your analogy) of the developers. Does the work created by the software dev still completely belong to the employer for a few thousand dollars because of a few words written in the employment contract? I think not! Most of software is written by developers with little contribution from the employer and therefore should be licensed to the employer the same way a song is licensed by the musicians to record labels, how writers license their books to publishers etc.

    That sounds great, except that's not the contract that was agreed upon. If the agreement states that the developer is licensing the code to the employer, then great. But if a developer chooses to enter into what is currently the standard contract, then no, it doesn't work that way. If the developer enters into this type of agreement, then they can't simply decide it's going to work the other way. They can renegotiate with the employer for a different contract or leave the company.

    And there is a considerable investment by the company. Not only do they need to pay for the items that you describe, but software, network expenses, and keeping those computer up to date. Chairs and desks do wear out. And rent and electricity are not one time investments. However the real expenses are in the marketing, packaging, support of the product, etc. If it was as simple as one guy sitting at a computer and coding all day, then every developer would have their own business. But it's not that simple. How many software companies go under and lose all of the invested money? Someone has to finance it all, so they are taking a big risk. If you think otherwise, you are even more naive than I would have guessed.

  • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @12:25PM (#46536097) Homepage Journal

    Prosecute Microsoft. ;-)

We don't know who it was that discovered water, but we're pretty sure that it wasn't a fish. -- Marshall McLuhan

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