Google is facing legal action after Affinity Engines (AE) accused them of using their code in their Orkut social networking site. This is all splendid timing for a company that is planning a major IPO.
They claim that the code was taken to Google by Orkut Buyukkokten, who had also promised Affinity Engines that he wouldn’t develop a competing social network product.
It’s not looking good for Google – nine bugs present is Orkut are also present in Affinity Engines’ inCircle product. In addition to the bugs, AE claim that there are textual similarities between the two sets of source code.
Google refuted the claims in a statement to Wired News: “Affinity Engines has not provided any evidence to Google that their source code was used in the development of orkut.com. We have repeatedly offered to allow a neutral expert to compare the codes in the two programs and evaluate Affinity’s claims, but Affinity has rejected that offer.”
Orkut is a Turkish citizen and was working on inCircle when he ran into some visa problems. Taking a job at Google was a way to get round this, but he kept working on inCircle – though signed agreements not to develop any further social-networking technology and confirming that any code he developed belonged to AE.
The name of Google’s new social networking site couldn’t be a more obvious indicator of who has been working on it.