back to article Google gags Facebook code leaker

Google's legal Luftwaffe has swooped on Facebook's behalf to shoot down an anonymous blog which posted two sections of source code leaked by the social network utility. Facebook Secrets was at the centre of the embarrassing code exposure over the weekend after it republished code served up by the site to student Trae McNeely. …

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Soooo...

Content gets taken down from a Blogger site. Person then sets up *another* Blogger site with almost the same name... I don't think he's just here for the fishin'.

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Ash

Misread

Did anyone else read '... Google deleted it itself yesterday.' as 'Google deleted itself yesterday'. Now that would be an interesting development.

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Inconsistent line

"Facebook's spinners had taken the slightly inconsistent line that the code was useless and no security threat, but that posting it was super-illegal."

It's not really that inconsistent. They've just chosen to assert the rights afforded them by the DMCA, as the material is copyrighted and is not released under an Open-Source license.

The code itself is pretty innocuous. The developers have quite sensibly decided to abstract all their interesting stuff into lower-level functions, and the leaked code is just a bunch of API calls. Their "cease and desist" notices are probably prompted by the developers' equivalent of wondering whether they've left the iron on. Or maybe they're embarrassed by the comments:

"Holy shit, is this the cleanest fucking frontend file you've ever seen?!"

Yes, Mark. Yes it is.

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Silver badge

ROFLMAO

OK, so they take it down, but leave a copy where anyone with any knowledge of the net would be able to find it?!?

So, either they arent realy bothered and it was just a Cartman-esq "RESPECT MY AUTHORITAAAH!", or they are dumbasses.

I suspect the latter :) LOL

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So tempting...

to post the code on here...

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Anonymous Coward

Swearing in comments is cool

Hmmm, i think not

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Law

RE: Swearing in comments is cool

Didn't you get the memo? It's now officially cool again!! :)

*fights urge to type in a swearword that would make a nun blush........ *

phew....

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RE: Swearing in comments is cool

Well then for fucks sake don't read any of my code, it's chock full of colourful Anglo Saxon verbiage, crude, childish toilet humour, shameless nob gags and pop culture references.

At the top of a recent C# class called 'KeyMaster' for instance :

/// <summary>

/// During the rectification of the Vuldrini,

/// the traveller came as a large and moving Torg!

/// Then, during the third reconciliation of the last of the

/// McKetrick supplicants, they chose a new form for him: that of a giant Slor!

/// Many Shuvs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Slor

/// that day, I can tell you!

/// </summary>

If I'd wanted to work in a profession without a sense of humour I'd have been an accountant.

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I understand why it is illegal to distribute the Windows 2000 code...

because someone hacked in and obtained it illegally, but how in the hell can you censor something that you openly served up to the world? At that point in which it is served up to any web browser that happens to visit the URL, I would take that as legally putting it in the public domain.

The whole thing reminds me of a school child shouting "no fair, give it back".

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@ Steve...

Dr. Peter Venkman: Egon, this reminds me of the time you tried to drill a hole through your head. Remember that?

Dr. Egon Spengler: That would have worked if you hadn't stopped me.

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ian

Comments are for the feeble minded

Good code should be self explanatory.

If you need a comment to explain trickery, remove the trickery.

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Copyright notice

I don't see any copyright notice in the posted code. One of two things happened. Either the poster removed the copyright notice, which is illegal. Or there was none. In the later case, the Berne Convention applies. Which applies a copyright to the code. So the poster is screwed, either way.

But I certainly admire him for doing it, even if I wouldn't do it myself. Now, in the words of my father (and every father on the face of the planet) "Don't let me ever catch you doing that again". Which, of course, means you have to be stealthier.

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Shoddy work again from FB

Facebook's dubious diligence and Stalinist tendencies also manifested themselves last December, when they changed their internal country codes without warning, and lots (all?) existing UK users suddenly found in their profile that they had moved to "Cote d'Ivoire". I think there are still loads of us in virtual exile there.

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@ Dillon Pyron

"I don't see any copyright notice in the posted code. One of two things happened. Either the poster removed the copyright notice, which is illegal. Or there was none. In the later case, the Berne Convention applies. Which applies a copyright to the code. So the poster is screwed, either way."

In the latter case, proof of authorship is required to assert copyright; I didn't look at the code (my own code is boring enough, I don't need to read Wankbook's), but if there's no copyright statement, and the code exists on two or more Web sites, ownership of the code is open to question.

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@ Brent Gardner

"because someone hacked in and obtained it illegally, but how in the hell can you censor something that you openly served up to the world? At that point in which it is served up to any web browser that happens to visit the URL, I would take that as legally putting it in the public domain."

Just because something is posted on a public website doesn't make it public domain or free from copyright/IPR.

The Register publishes news stories on their website for the whole world to read but that doesn't mean you can take them and stick them on your website or otherwise reproduce them as you wish.

The people who got the code served up to them did nothing wrong, those that took it and treated it like their own are in breach of copyright and probably other things as well.

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Comments

@Ian: If you need a comment to explain trickery, remove the trickery.

Depends on the level of "trickery", and the audience. I have been known to insert comments explaining, e.g. hashes that use "well known" properties of twos-complement arithmetic, at the request of a supervisor who offered the alternative of a 4x slower approach. These days, there is no real lower limit to the skill and knowledge of potential code readers.

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Anyone lost a dog?

Here's how to be stealthier when stuff like this comes your way. Don't post it up in a blog post saying, "Look at this cruddy Fastbuck/Microsludge source code I found". Post it up on a blog, saying "Found: one bunch of cruddy source code. Will return to owner on application."

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Anonymous Coward

Comments

"Comments are for the feeble minded" - good jobs are for those who comment. No job for you.

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Promote my site by publshing the source.

To be honest I think the publishing of the facebook source was done deliberately. It has certainly generated a lot of interest in facebook and there is no such thing as bad publicity. Nice work.

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@Ian

"Good code should be self explanatory.

If you need a comment to explain trickery, remove the trickery."

Well, I could spend all day arguing with you about that, but I'm not going to. OTOH no matter how good and self explanatory a piece of is, one thing it can't explain is the the context of the logic which caused it to exist, e.g the particular piece of business logic it implements, and why that 'logic' must *be* implemented, even if it looks, on first glance, to redundant, pointless, or just insane.

This is especially true if you are unlucky enough to spend a lot of time working with hairy legacy systems. I often leave little humorous/explanatory notes both for myself, and for the next poor sap who comes along and starts digging through the code. It can save hours of head scratching. This is particularly true in situations where coder turnover is high and this kind of contextual knowledge is not retained within the organisation in any meaningful way.

Like most coding style issues, I realise that is an intensely personal issue, but as a snidey aside, I've been unlucky enough to work with a few developers over the years with the "Real Men Don't Write Comments" attitude, and every single one of them has been mediocre at best, and usually, not even that good.

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what tripe

Anyone can code a face book if they want I have ways they would

kill for but I am not considering it secret in any way it's just being creative not really programing as such of course it doesn't hurt to know several other languages to think in sometimes. If it's secret no one can laugh at you is what I think if you had their code all of it I bet you would go WTF,

over and over and also lol, and this is sick. As it is they can hold their heads up till it's needing to be rewritten by other coders not their friends and they will laugh.

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