The formal opinion has not yet been released but is one that I will be somewhat anxious to read.  I wondered about the entire case from following it in the news and from what was stated as really how do you get a jury of peers with citizens chosen at random and expect them to understand and comprehend the complexities of such a case.   Actually after the case verdict was in the news I made a few statements of doubt about the entire case, not saying he was innocent but rather about how such cases are handled. 

Sergey Aleynikov Found Guilty of Stealing Goldman Sachs Code

What I said back then…

“When I read the part about only transferring less than 32 megabytes, just common sense would tell me this is indeed only a portion of what would be required, however it could be a module that could be used elsewhere, as I used modules written by others in some of my projects, which by itself was pretty useless as it only did one or two things, and of course a full program like an EMR needs lots of modules and SQL (structured query language) statements.  On the other hand too, I could see a programmer accidentally scooping up some code accidentally if multi-tasking with other items on the computer he’s working on.” 

I continued on to still question here as again the file size was so small which would indicate just a code module.

Goldman Code-Theft Trial Begins–Did The Stolen Code Have The Potential to Create Algorithms for High Frequency Trading

How does a layman jury know the difference between open source and proprietary code?  They don’t.  Heck even programmers can have issues here and the comment where he said it was an accident, well I’ve done that when writing and granted I was not working on high frequency trading algorithms but when you have a screen of code open working on different portions, that can be done unless you are using SVN capabilities to where you have to knowingly “check it out” and all who are party know you have checked it out, but a swift copy and paste of a small module is very possible. 

This seems like a good spot for a little humor with this satire on Goldman Sachs the documentary (like the Civil Ware film) that came out not too long ago. How much code does CEO Lloyd know?  We all have heard that Mayor Bloomberg said he’s going to learn <grin>.  BD 

Goldman Sachs the Movie (Satire)

NEW YORK, Feb 17 - A federal appeals court has thrown out the conviction of Sergey Aleynikov, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc computer programmer who had been convicted of stealing part of the Wall Street bank's high-frequency trading code.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the conviction on Thursday night, and said an opinion explaining its reasoning would follow "in due course."

The appeals court also directed the trial court to enter a judgment of acquittal. Generally, this means the defendant cannot be retried.


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