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[Fsuk-manchester] Why it's important to educate journalists and lawyers
[Fsuk-manchester] Why it's important to educate journalists and lawyers in the basics
Sat, 11 Dec 2010 14:13:47 +0000
Reuters have an article on a case you may have heard of-a Goldman
Sachs programmer has been accused of stealing code for a
high-frequency trading platform. The man's facing 10 years in prison,
and this is what he's up against:
Marino said in his opening statement that Aleynikov told the FBI after
his July 2009 arrest he had copied Goldman directories that were
loaded with "open source code," which no person or firm has
proprietary control over.
He said Aleynikov mistakenly violated a confidentiality agreement he
had as a Goldman Sachs employee, but criminal prosecution was
"This was a breach of confidentiality, he shouldn't have done it,"
Marino said. "Regrettable? Pretty regrettable, but it is not a federal
Many programmers have created and promoted the computer programming
language known as "open source code" to be shared on public sites at
no cost, but licensing issues are murky.
Aleynikov was a longtime adherent of open source code, his lawyer told
the court as Aleynikov sat at the defense table in a black suit,
Brent Cossrow, a lawyer who practices in the area of employee
defection and trade secrets, but is not involved in the trial, said
little case law exists around open source code licensing.
"There are hundreds of different open source licenses. They don't all
say the same thing," said Cossrow, of law firm Fisher & Phillips LLP
in Radnor, Pennsylvania.
"There are some who believe on the one hand that when you drop open
source code into this type of larger program, it dilutes the whole
thing. There are others who believe that it really doesn't because it
is one piece of a larger proprietary pie."
Prosecutor Joseph Facciponti told jurors Aleynikov put the code on a
storage website and also copied it onto a flash drive and other
Facciponti said: "The evidence will show that he thought he had found
a foolproof way of getting around the security barriers" at Goldman
Aleynikov, an immigrant from Russia who became a U.S. citizen, has
been free on bail since his arrest. If convicted, he faces up to 10
years in prison on two criminal counts.
"To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the
highest skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the highest
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