Identifying plagiarised software carries with it significant challenges in identifying instances of derivation. Derivative software may be reorgainsed, restructured and renamed so that it bears little outward resemblance to the original. Common components relied upon by sets of software may be the cause of undue confusion. Moreover, derivation may be in terms of design (architecture) or in expression (source code).
This requires a hybrid set of digital forensic techniques and software development knowledge and experience. We bring over 20 years experience in developing software across a range of platforms, operating systems and languages, coupled with a in-depth of knowledge of software forensic analysis techniques.
A former employee (a software developer) of a software company established a competing company with an equivalent software based service. The former employer claimed that the new company's product was built from their software. The defendant denied copying any of the former employer's source code, and asserted that any similarities were due to the usage of common, open source components between the two products.
A forensic analysis of the source code of both products was undertaken under a strict confidentiality regime. Portions of the defendants source code were found to have been derived from the former employer's source code.
The evidence obtained was sufficient for the parties to enter into a settlement agreement.