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by adam mathes
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Post-licensing Fees

daily for January 23, 2004 -

"Orkut could probably also accurately be thought of as an outgrowth of Orkut's previous years of work on social networking programs, like Stanford's InCircle."

Well, it’s alleged in a lawsuit that it may not just be an outgrowth, but actually the same code

Lawsuit: Google Stole Orkut Code -

A small social networking software company filed a lawsuit against Google, claiming that much of the source code behind Orkut.com, the search engine's popular social service, was stolen by a former engineer.

In its lawsuit, Affinity Engines, based in Palo Alto, California, said engineer Orkut Buyukkokten illegally took the code the he had written for the company -- which he co-founded -- with him when he joined Google. Affinity Engines also claimed that Buyukkokten promised Affinity Engines that he wouldn't develop a competing social network service for Google.

Anybody that used the old Stanford Club Nexus or InCircle would have noticed a resemblence. But it sounds like they have some pretty damning evidence that it’s more than just passing resemblence:

In addition to nearly identical text found in similar features in Orkut.com and Affinity Engine's social networking products, the suit cited several identical software problems in each company's service.

"In its initial investigation, AEI (Affinity Engines) uncovered a total of nine unique software bugs ... in AEI's inCircle product that were also present in Orkut.com," according to the lawsuit. "The presence of these bugs in both products is highly indicative of a common source code. Orkut.com contains software and source code copied, developed or derived from AEI's inCircle software or source code."

Of course, this is all further complicated by the fact that this was code for the company Orkut founded. My guess is Google will deal with this by paying AEI a hefty settelement that they will claim is a “licensing fee.”

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