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Source Code Theft?

PostPosted: 22 Jul 2007, 09:22
by soulsonic
I was wondering; how much trouble could one potentially get into for stealing source code from another website and using it in his own? Not just source code, but specifically a Java program. Does this count as copyright infringement? No credit was given to the original author and nothing was changed in the code - just a straight copy/paste.
So, how much trouble could the thief get in to? Just a slap on the wrist, or maybe a fine? Jail time? Maybe get dumped by their ISP?

PostPosted: 22 Jul 2007, 15:27
by briggs
Who's in trouble? I suppose it would depend on the way in which the code was being used and the level to which it was protected. It could technically be looked at as "software" piracy.

PostPosted: 27 Jul 2007, 19:21
by modman
I think that if it is really copyrighted, it is illegal to use the source code. But the more pragmatical question is of course: will the owner go through the trouble of a legal case for it?

All depends on how much money there is to be gotten. If you do source theft for a major corporation website, the owner wil surely sue. If you're just a poor diy guitarist the owner will be unlikely to take legal action.

copyright law struggles to deal with the digital multiplication (copy/paste).

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PostPosted: 27 Jul 2007, 19:34
by magikker
The DMCA gives you the ablity to do some real damage to people that steal software of any type. At least I think it does.

PostPosted: 28 Jul 2007, 06:29
by grolschie
modman wrote:I think that if it is really copyrighted, it is illegal to use the source code.


The second that you create a work, it's already covered by copyright law. With source code, if no license is specified in the code, then it's best to ask permission.

Here is the cool Open Source Web Design site where you can get legally some really cool CSS.

PostPosted: 29 Jul 2007, 11:38
by briggs
That site has some nice templates!