Window source code leaked

Benjamin J. Weiss benjamin at
Wed Feb 18 16:37:02 UTC 2004

From: "T. Ribbrock" <emgaron at>

> On Sat, Feb 14, 2004 at 02:54:42PM -0600, AMAZING POWERS OF OBSERVATION
> > On Sat, 2004-02-14 at 14:02, M.Hockings wrote:
> [...]
> > > I would not be so confident that the above is true.  Say you were to
> > > obtain and view the MS source code ( in fact you may not even have
> > > looked at it but simply possess it you cannot prove that you have not
> > > examined at all of it).  Say that you then wrote and published some
> > > piece of software, for you or your employer.   If MS had the
> > > (maybe your software competes with something they are doing or wish to
> > > do) they could examine your published product for "similarities" with
> > > their own code and start legal proceedings if they find any.  Yes, I
> > > know that reverse-engineering is prohibited in most license agreements
> > > but it happens anyway.
> > > Don't be fooled into thinking that this does not happen, I *know* that
> > > it does.
> [...]
> > > If you are a software developer it would be best not to even peek at
> > > leaked code (IMHO).
> >   thats a bit of a stretcher isn't it ?
> Can you spell SCO? I knew you could! >:-/
> Simply put: If a company like MS sees a chance to sue developers of Open
> Source Projects or companies supporting those projects, I'm sure they
> will, regardless of whether they'll win or not. At the very least they
> might be able to delay a few things and in the worst case stop them
> entirely. Given the deep pockets they have, they'd be stupid not to try
> this.
> Hence, I agree with the statement that one should steer well clear of
> that code if one is involved in any OS project.

I'm not a lawyer, but I remember when I interviewed for a job at a
California company that makes BIOS's (I'll let you figure out which one.
;) ).  I thought that I'd have a good chance, as I'd done a fair amount of
x86 assembly at the time (this was back in 1992 or thereabouts).  Instead,
the company decided that I'd gotten too familiar with various code, such as
various BIOS and such, and decided that it could lay them open to lawsuits.
I didn't get the job, they said, because they needed somebody who could
claim that they'd never seen any code of any other BIOS manufacturer,

Oh, well.


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