Some Additional Factors for Inclusion in Software Copyright Infringement Forensics

Some Additional Factors for Inclusion in Software Copyright Infringement Forensics

Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 29
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5804-2.ch007
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Abstract

This chapter takes upon itself the task of looking into and discussing the forensic importance of some new features, which are not currently considered important but which need to be included in any forensic procedure or method or approach in software copyright infringement cases. The need to incorporate cyclicality as a new feature is stressed and the forensic roles of two other new features, post piracy modifications and programming blunders, are also discussed here with the ultimate objective of achieving more reliability in the forensic procedure and reporting. It is argued that the incorporation of these new features and their conclusive, corroborative, and supportive role in the expert's report will inevitably make it more convincing to the judiciary.
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New Developments And The Need For Updating

The previous chapter discussed the strength and weaknesses of the Abstraction-Filtration-Comparison test as a tool to establish software copyright infringement. It also stressed the need to be proactive about not letting legal professionals lie back complacently on the legacy of forensic tools like the AFC test (more than two decades old) and pointed out that when forensic tools tend to be old and outdated, the results of forensic analysis might be incomplete and inadequate.

New developments in software copyright infringement forensics have opened up further room for judiciary-friendly, comprehensive methods for comparing two software packages both through automatic means and by applying human intelligence, insight and common sense. Hence both manual and automatic forensic comparison procedures need to be updated in order to make the forensic comparison procedure state-of-the-art. Forensic reports from such a modern and updated procedure are what a judge normally expects from a forensic expert. Any such state-of-the-art procedure or method of comparing two software packages needs to address not only comparison-issues related to various parts of the software like the source code, object code, databases, and fingerprints (which are the thrust areas of the most existing tools, like the AFC test) but also, in addition, other related issues like post-piracy modifications, design patterns, and programming blunders. This chapter therefore takes upon itself the task of discussing the forensic importance of such further elements which must needs to be included in any forensic procedure or method or approach to achieve more reliability in the forensic reporting in software copyright infringement cases (see also box 3 in chapter 4). Three features, cyclicalty, post piracy modifications and blunders will be discussed here.

Box 3.
Secondary or inconclusive programming blunder genes

Most genes of programming blunders can be conclusively identified. But, there are certain elements in a program that may not have yet surfaced as blunders but are potentially prone to surfacing later as programming blunders. Conversely, all ideas which are successfully expressed but are superfluous to customer requirements also may not surface as a blunder because such expressions (or a code segment) may affect the semantics of the program and thus end up as an error at some point of time during the life time of the program (if not during its pre-implementation testing stage). Any such code segment is basically a gene of an error and not of a blunder. However, any such code segment in a time-tested program may eventually form the basis of a blunder because such an item or a code segment does not justify its being there at all for long unattended. But, such blunders are very difficult to be conclusively identified and used.

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