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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GS ought to have better terms.
by jefro on Thu 12th Apr 2012 19:47 UTC
jefro
Member since:
2007-04-13

Big computer companies have had quite extensive terms of employment on this subject.

This will not pass larger courts. It will be ruled as intellectual property and therefore covered.

Reply Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

jefro,

Whatever you want to call it, I'm glad the court recognized that the digital data isn't covered by physical property laws. Copying code doesn't deprive the owner of the original like stealing it would. It's only a copy, albeit an illegal one. It's rare to see this kind of common sense these days.

This shouldn't get him off the hook, but at least prosecute him under the right laws.

Reply Parent Score: 5

Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

This will not pass larger courts. It will be ruled as intellectual property and therefore covered.


It *should* pass higher courts, for the very reason you give. This case is all about intellectual property, which has its own laws, and is very clearly *not* covered by laws pertaining to physical theft.

Reply Parent Score: 2