Last night, I caught a glimpse of a few Tweets that mentioned Microsoft ripping off Plurk… and decided I’d do some digging this morning.
It turns out, I didn’t have to dig too far, Plurk’s blog post kind of say’s it all. TechCrunch, NYT, WSJ and many others have also covered this news.
To put it simply, Plurk, a Canada based micro-blogging service that is very popular in Asia is claiming that Microsoft China has “ripped off” their code, UI and design, for their own MSN Juku micro-blogging service. From the looks of the images representing the UI and the code base it appears to be a blatant copyright violation on Microsoft’s part.
So far, only TechCrunch seem to be reporting a statement made by Microsoft:
“Microsoft takes intellectual property seriously, and we are currently investigating these allegations. It may take some time due to the time zone differences with Beijing.”
It’s a weak statement, and looks like Microsoft is going to have a pretty bad week with this headache. However, I don’t think this is just a standard copyright violation, politics is playing a part here…. especially as Plurk is blocked in China!!.
What do you all say?