Microsoft suspends Juku, admits code copying by vendor

December 15, 2009

Microsoft on Tuesday indefinitely suspended MSN Juku, its new microblogging service in China, after its Chinese vendor was caught lifting code from a rival Canadian startup, Plurk.

"We will be suspending access to the Juku beta indefinitely," the Redmond, Washington-based software giant said in a statement.

"The vendor has now acknowledged that a portion of the code they provided was indeed copied," Microsoft said.

According to Plurk, as much as 80 percent of the basecode used in MSN Juku was "stolen directly from Plurk," which claims to be the biggest microblogging service in Taiwan, 10 times bigger than Twitter.

Microsoft said the plagiarism of the code was "in clear violation of the vendor's contract with the MSN China joint venture, and equally inconsistent with Microsoft's policies respecting intellectual property.

"When we hire an outside company to do development work, our practice is to include strong language in our contract that clearly states the company must provide work that does not infringe the intellectual property rights of others.

"We are a company that respects intellectual property and it was never our intent to have a site that was not respectful of the work that others in the industry have done," Microsoft said.

"We are obviously very disappointed, but we assume responsibility for this situation," the company said. "We apologize to Plurk and we will be reaching out to them directly to explain what happened and the steps we have taken to resolve the situation."

Juku was launched by Microsoft in November.

Explore further: Briefs: iVillage and MSN renew agreement

Related Stories

Microsoft redesigns MSN, adds Twitter, Facebook

November 4, 2009

(AP) -- Microsoft Corp. is giving its MSN Web portal a long-overdue makeover and says it hopes the new site will funnel more people to Bing, the software maker's search engine.

Recommended for you

Customizing 3-D printing

September 3, 2015

The technology behind 3-D printing is growing more and more common, but the ability to create designs for it is not. Any but the simplest designs require expertise with computer-aided design (CAD) applications, and even for ...

Team develops targeted drug delivery to lung

September 2, 2015

Researchers from Columbia Engineering and Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have developed a new method that can target delivery of very small volumes of drugs into the lung. Their approach, in which micro-liters ...

Magnetic fields provide a new way to communicate wirelessly

September 1, 2015

Electrical engineers at the University of California, San Diego demonstrated a new wireless communication technique that works by sending magnetic signals through the human body. The new technology could offer a lower power ...

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

jonnyboy
not rated yet Dec 15, 2009
OOPS, we're sorry, we didn't mean to do this, please accept our sincerest apologies, we promise not to do it again, OK?
OZGuy
not rated yet Jan 16, 2010
A Chinese company involved in theft of intellectual property, hands up who's suprised! This is becoming an all too common occurrence.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.