Microsoft halts micro blogging service in China amid plagiarism charges
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Microsoft has suspended MSN Juku, its new microblogging service in China, amid allegations that much of the code was lifted from a Canadian startup, Plurk. The startup has enjoyed tremendous success in Taiwan.
AFP - Microsoft has suspended MSN Juku, its new microblogging service in China, amid allegations that much of the code was lifted from a Canadian startup, Plurk.
The Redmond, Washington-based software giant said it was suspending MSN Juku, which was developed for MSN China by a third-party independent vendor, while it investigated the charges.
The move followed allegations by Plurk that much of the basecode used in MSN Juku was plagiarized from Plurk, which claims to be the biggest microblogging service in Taiwan, ten times bigger than Twitter.
"At Microsoft, we take intellectual property very seriously," the company said in a statement late Monday.
"We make our (intellectual property) available for others to license, and we license other people's intellectual property as appropriate when we use it in our products," it said.
"Because questions have been raised about the code base comprising the service, MSN China will be suspending access to the Juku beta feature temporarily while we investigate the matter fully," Microsoft said.
Plurk said it had been tipped off by bloggers and users in Taiwan that Microsoft's Juku service, which was launched in November, "looked eerily similar to Plurk."
Plurk said some 80 percent of the MSN Juku codebase "appears to be stolen directly from Plurk."