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Presentation about software forensics:

Detecting Software IP Theft

Plagiarism and theft are problems of growing concern at universities and corporations. Intellectual property theft may be purposeful to gain an unfair advantage over a competitor, or it may be unintended as when a programmer takes code from one project and uses it in another project without first obtaining the appropriate rights. This presentation discusses the science of software forensics for accurately detecting when software has been copied.

This talk was given at the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery on August 15, 2018.

Article about keeping confidential materials:

Protecting and Tracking Confidential Materials

When you send your confidential material to an outside expert, do you know how it is handled and what steps are taken to protect it? Through our years of working on numerous high tech intellectual property disputes, we have developed several policies that we follow to protect our client’s valuable confidential materials. We describe these polices and practices in this article.

Article originally published in Intellectual Property Today magazine, May 2012.

Article about a case where egos got in the way:

The Case of the Arrogant Expert

Bob Zeidman was an expert on an intellectual property litigation over a patent for a simple but clever transistor circuit. His client was a small company and the accused infringer was a very large company that had hired an experienced and well-respected expert. This is an article about arrogance on the part of that expert and his client's attorneys and executives, and how that helped bring down their case.

Article originally published in Intellectual Property Today magazine, February 2012.

Article for attorneys on using whitespace patterns in source code as an indicator of software copying:

Measuring Whitespace Patterns in Computer Source Code as an Indication of Plagiarism

There are several different methods of comparing source code from different programs to find copying. Perhaps the most common method is source code correlation, which involves comparing source code statements, comments, strings, identifiers, and instruction sequences independently. However, there are anecdotes about the use of whitespace patterns in code. Experts have presented this analysis in court, but is it a valid argument? This article summarizes a study we did to show that this type of analysis does not work.

Article originally published in Intellectual Property Today magazine, October 2010.

Research paper on plagiarism detection:

Measuring Whitespace Patterns As An Indication Of Plagiarism

There are several different methods of comparing source code from different programs to find copying. Perhaps the most common method is comparing source code statements, comments, strings, identifiers, and instruction sequences. However, there are anecdotes about the use of whitespace patterns in code. These virtually invisible patterns of spaces and tabs have been used in litigation to imply copying, but no formal study has been performed that shows that these patterns can actually identify copied code. This paper presents a detailed study of whitespace patterns and the uniqueness of these patterns in different programs.

Paper given at the ADFSL Conference on Digital Forensics, Security and Law, May 20, 2010.

Article for attorneys on how to measure changes in software IP over time:

Measuring Changes in Software IP

Transfer pricing cases in particular require a determination about how the software for a particular program has changed over time as new versions are released. The factors that go into determining software value are numerous and varied, including the amount of effort involved in developing the code, amount of time debugging the code, the complexity of the code, the degree of expertise required, the selling price of the finished program, and the size of the market for the final product. In this article, we describe a court-accepted, quantitative method that is particularly useful for transfer pricing cases.

Article originally published in Intellectual Property Today magazine, June 2009.

Article for attorneys on defining and detecting software trade secret theft:

What, Exactly, is Software Trade Secret Theft?

Software source code correlation and the iterative process that was developed to detect software source code copying can also be used make an initial determination whether software trade secret theft has occurred. This article describes how that can be done.

Article originally published in Intellectual Property Today magazine, March 2008.

Research paper on search technology:

Iterative Filtering of Retrieved Information to Increase Relevance

Efforts have been underway for years to find more effective ways to retrieve information from large knowledge domains. This effort is now being driven particularly by the Internet and the vast amount of information that is available to unsophisticated users. In the early days of the Internet, some effort involved allowing users to enter Boolean equations of search terms into search engines, for example, rather than just a list of keywords. More recently, effort has focused on understanding a user’s desires from past search histories in order to narrow searches. Also there has been much effort to improve the ranking of results based on some measure of relevancy. This paper discusses using iterative filtering of retrieved information to focus in on useful information. This work was done for finding source code correlation and the author extends his findings to Internet searching and e-commerce. The paper presents specific information about a particular filtering application and then generalizes it to other forms of information retrieval.

Paper given at the 11th World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics, July 11, 2007.

Article for attorneys on defining and detecting software plagiarism:

What, Exactly, is Software Plagiarism?

Determining whether computer software was copied has often been a subjective process without standards. This article describes a quantitative measure of source code correlation combined with an iterative filtering process to eliminate reasons for correlation that are not due to copying. What is left is copied code. This process has been used successfully over 80 times in litigation.

Article originally published in Intellectual Property Today magazine, February 2007.

The People's Computer Company Newsletters:

PCC (3.5 Gb)

PCC OCR (385 Mb)

PC & RC (3.9 Gb)

PC & RC OCR (310 Mb)

The People's Computer Company was founded and produced by Dennis Allison, Bob Albrecht and George Firedrake in Menlo Park, California in the early 1970s. When I (Bob Zeidman) was a young teenager in middle school in Philadelphia, this newsletter showed me that computer programming was not only intellectually challenging, but that it could be fun and offbeat, and that there were lots of other programmers from whom I could learn. and share ideas. Skimming through, you may see my articles and letters that I contributed. It seems that I may be one of the few people on the planet who kept copies of the tabloid sized newsletter on cheap, flimsy newspaper. The PCC newsletter later morphed into People's Computers magazine and later again into Recreational Computing magazine. Thanks go to Erik Klein for sharing his copies of these later editions for scanning. Thanks also go to the Computer History Museum for their contribution of a few early issues that I was missing. Rare issue Volume 1 No. 5 came from the Stanford Digital Repository. And many thanks to Bruce Damer who runs the DigiBarn Computer Museum and who seems to have the only copy of Volume 2 No. 2 in existence. Thanks also to Mike Naberezny who scanned it for the collection.

The links are to large zip files of PDFs. The OCR versions are lower resolution.
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