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Software Scan

The President's Column

Was MS-DOS copied from CP/M? The answer was revealed last Saturday at the Vintage Computer Festival. The answer is no and yes. Read the details in this month's Scanning IP section of the SAFE newsletter.

Send me your comments and critiques. I'm always interested in hearing from you.


Bob Zeidman
President, SAFE Corporation

Scanning IP

Was DOS copied from CP/M?

Gary Kildall started Intergalactic Digital Research (later shortened to Digital Research or just DRI) and created the first microcomputer operating system, CP/M, used on many hobbyist personal computers before Apple and IBM introduced their machines. But Microsoft captured the microcomputer OS market, and with it the market for software applications, with its MS-DOS that came out years later for the IBM PC. For decades, a rumor has persisted that DOS was illegally copied from CP/M and that the fortune accumulated by Bill Gates rightfully belonged to Gary Kildall.

Read the details of my forensic analysis and my conclusions here. The result may surprise you.


A Look Inside the Forensic Analysis of Software Copyright Infringement

When a program contains trade secrets or other confidential material, the copy of the software filed with the copyright office may consist of only a small amount of actual code. What is particularly strange about this accommodation for software, is that the purpose of copyright law is to give protection to authors to encourage them to release their works so that the ideas expressed within can be disseminated, understood, and improved upon. With software, you can submit 50 pages of almost entirely redacted code (i.e., nearly blank pages) and still register the copyright.

There is, however, a downside. In order to litigate against an infringer, the copyright must be registered with the copyright office. It can be registered any time before the litigation is filed, and I've seen copyrights registered minutes before. To perform a forensic analysis of software in a copyright infringement case, these steps should be performed:

Read further here.

Advanced Tools to Detect Plagiarism and IP Theft

CodeSuite® & CodeSuite-LT®
Sophisticated sets of tools for analyzing software source code and object code including:

Check binary object code for plagiarism.

Measure software IP changes between versions of a program.

Cross check source code for plagiarism.

Compare source code to find differences and measure changes.

The premiere tool for pinpointing copied source code.

Scour the Internet for plagiarized code.

Speed up your analysis on a multiprocessor system.

Turbo charge your analysis on a supercomputer grid.

HTML Preprocessor
Divide HTML pages into their basic elements for easier analysis.

Find signs of copying in any document.

Get Smart

SAFE offers training at our facility or yours or on the Web. Contact us to make arrangements:

MCLE credit in software IP

CodeSuite certification

Your New Office

Remember that you can have your own secure office at the SAFE facility for storing proprietary software, running CodeSuite, analyzing the results, and getting onsite support. We're located at

20863 Stevens Creek Blvd.
Suite 456
Cupertino, CA 95014
(408) 517-1167


This newsletter is not legal advice. Views expressed herein should be checked for accuracy and current applicability.
Copyright 2016 Software Analysis & Forensic Engineering Corporation