Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 12th Apr 2012 19:05 UTC
Legal "Former Goldman Sachs programmer Sergey Aleynikov, who downloaded source code for the investment firm's high-speed trading system from the company's computers, was wrongly charged with theft of property because the code did not qualify as a physical object under a federal theft statute, according to a court opinion published Wednesday." This could be a huge deal, if it ever were to be upheld in higher courts. More specifically, "because Aleynikov did not 'assume physical control' over anything when he took the source code, and because he did not thereby 'deprive [Goldman] of its use', Aleynikov did not violate the [National Stolen Property Act]". Well paint me purple with white and red dots and call me a girl scout.
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RE: Makes sense
by MollyC on Thu 12th Apr 2012 20:14 UTC in reply to "Makes sense"
MollyC
Member since:
2006-07-04

It's a good call legally (maybe), but colloquially, "theft/steal" does applies to misappropriating code, IMO.

"theft/steal" often apply to non-physical things in layman's vernacular.
"stealing secrets", "stealing identity" (also known as "identity theft"), "stealing ideas", etc.

That being said, just from the very small bits I've read on this case, this guy should've been charged with the violations you cite (espionage, violating trade secrets, etc), rather than theft of physical property.

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