Yesterday Neowin reported that Microsoft's MSN China joint venture - Juku, was accused of copying popular social networking site, Plurk. Today Microsoft admitted that portions of the sites code were copied. Not only did Microsoft China copy code snippets from Plurk, but they even copied a large section of the design.
Microsoft admitted today that they hired an outside vendor to handle the design and code for MSN China Joint Venture's Juku site, who later admitted to Microsoft that the design and code were copied. Microsoft's contract with the outside vendor was clear that the design and code of the site must not infringe the intellectual property rights of other sites.
Microsoft has issued a statement taking responsibility for the situation and will be contacting the site owners of Plurk to explain what exactly happened and the necessary steps to fixing the situation. Microsoft said that they will be looking into future practices with third-party vendors to ensure situations like this do not happen again.
Plurk supplied images that proved Microsoft had ripped some of the design and code. This is the second time in a month that Microsoft has been caught stealing code and using it illegally in their products. In early November blogger Rafael Rivera discovered that Microsoft illegally used GPLv2 code in a Windows 7 USB/DVD tool. Microsoft officials came clean and recently offered the tool for download alongside the tools source code.
Microsoft has suspended all access to the Juku beta indefinitely.