Windows source leaked?

Justin justin-cypherpunks at
Fri Feb 13 16:02:44 PST 2004

Steve Furlong (2004-02-13 22:34Z) wrote:

> Eric is correct in his reply to MV's article. Joe Programmer isn't
> necessarily obligated not to look at leaked trade secrets, but if he
> implements anything remotely related to the leaked secret, he and his
> employers or customers are subject to being sued for using the secret.

Case law on point?  I don't think that is true at all.  Trade secrets
that are leaked are no longer trade secrets.  I think the issue would be
copyright and/or patent violation.

I seem to recall something about copyright periods for trade secrets not
beginning until the secret is released, a similar situation being
patents issued to the NSA or other TLAs... they only start ticking when
the patent is revealed.  So trade secrets offer a copyright advantage.

Obviously, if you can locate the persons who released a trade secret,
you can probably sue them because they're probably under contract.  But
suing random people who happened to have looked at trade secrets and
implemented similar non-patented code?  Sounds shaky.

No humanitarian endeavor can ever fill the void left by my past crimes. -Sloane

More information about the cypherpunks-legacy mailing list