Plurk Milking This Microsoft Thing for All It’s Worth
As earnest as it might have been, Microsoft’s apology to Plurk, the microblogging service whose code and design it copied, has not eased the start-up’s outrage over the incident or its desire to squeeze all the PR it can out of it.
Though Microsoft (MSFT) has taken responsibility for the offense–perpetrated by a third-party vendor with which it contracted–it has not offered accountability, says Plurk. And that makes the microblogging outfit inclined to pursue legal action, or threaten it, anyway.
“We are currently looking at all possibilities on how to move forward in response to Microsoft’s recent apology statement,” Plurk co-founder Alvin Woon wrote in a post to the company’s Web site. “We are still thinking of pursuing the full extent of our legal options available due [to] the seriousness of the situation….”
Elaborating, Woon added, “This event wasn’t just a simple matter of merely lifting code; Due to the nature of the uniqueness of our product and user interface, it took a good amount of deliberate studying and digging through our code with the full intention of replicating our product user experience, functionality and end results. This product was later launched and heavily promoted by Microsoft with its big marketing budget.”
It would seem, then, that Plurk is angling for some sort of financial settlement. And given the situation, it may get one–though perhaps it would be better off seeking it not from Microsoft, but the vendor that actually pilfered Plurk’s code. Not as good a PR angle there, though, I suppose.