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gc
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April 24th, 2008, 9:41 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: Anthisgc, nice contribution to the topic, but i think this case has a significant portion of industrial espionage whichi guess is not applicable in arsenalboi's situation.You are probably right... then in which case it would reccomend not to copy a single line of his code: the risk if you don't have anyone backing you legally are too high.Of course if he memorises the code and then one day after leaving the company he types it on a new computer, I am pretty sure it's totally legal. Re-writing from scratch is fine because they cannot expect you to un-learn what you know.There was another case (and probably many) a few years ago about IT counsultants, spending maybe 1 year working for an institution and doing something first hand. Then going and contract for a competitor and using the knowledge they gained to do something similar only faster and better.In this case no copyright is broken because no code has been copied, and what the person has learnt remains his own. It's up to the companies to decide how wise it is to use contractors (or not motivate its own people enought to keep them) in terms of costs of know-how lost and given to competitors.
 
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Anthis
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April 24th, 2008, 9:58 am

QuoteOf course if he memorises the code and then one day after leaving the company he types it on a new computer, I am pretty sure it's totally legal. Re-writing from scratch is fine because they cannot expect you to un-learn what you know.Exactly thats my case. Especially if the math underlying the code is public knowledge. Anyone can find it our in books and journals. And probably there is no need, memorize every single line of the code. Its enough to memorize the general concept of the "solution" you try to implement. The rest is a matter of time. If this was not legal, i can argue that after a certain number of job moves a "lawful" quant is essentially enforced to change profession.
 
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arsenalboi
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April 24th, 2008, 12:41 pm

Thanks guys.Regarding the memorising of code. Couldn't one just copy the code or (even print the code), rather than trying to install the huge amounts of data in your brain? Or are we back to square one where this is illegal? (I.e. my question: is there anyway to tell the difference between code that has been copied/pasted and code that has been written out?)
 
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TraderJoe
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April 24th, 2008, 12:51 pm

Quotegc: I am starting to get really annoyed about all the cheap moralism we have in the CityAh! Welcome to the real world! How do you think The City/Wall Street stays on top?
 
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gc
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April 24th, 2008, 1:12 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: TraderJoeQuotegc: I am starting to get really annoyed about all the cheap moralism we have in the CityAh! Welcome to the real world! How do you think The City/Wall Street stays on top?Eh eh... not for much longer...
 
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TraderJoe
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April 24th, 2008, 1:23 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: gcQuoteOriginally posted by: TraderJoeQuotegc: I am starting to get really annoyed about all the cheap moralism we have in the CityAh! Welcome to the real world! How do you think The City/Wall Street stays on top?Eh eh... not for much longer...Always. Are you from china ?
 
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gc
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April 24th, 2008, 1:34 pm

Quote (I.e. my question: is there anyway to tell the difference between code that has been copied/pasted and code that has been written out?)It depends on how long your code is, how much time you want to spend hiding the old one and so on.If you end up in a court case, they will typically take a copy of the whole code trees and history (sourcesafe/CVS/subversion), parse it and load it into a database to make statistical analysis on class, function, variable names, database schema, etc to see if there are many repetitions (a repeated class name can be by chance, more are suspicious). If there are some matches, generally more indepth check on the code and the algorithms follows, expecially on the core classes/libraries.In the Cantor vs Tradition case the 2% code found copied was around a class that would have been obsoleted soon after. The fact is that they did try to conceal it was the same code but without luck.If I were you I wouldn't copy the code. I would write notes about the generic algorithm, the mathematical formulas and then re-implement it afterwards yourself.And maybe (even if you work at home on your PC), maintain everything withing a source revision system so that you can eventually prove that you have been writing the code bit by bit and it didn't just appear in one day on your hard-disk (it's true you can always modify the timestamps, but if the police comes and put a seal around your hardware you can argue that you didn't have time to tamper with it)Whatever you do, good luck!
 
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gc
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April 24th, 2008, 1:42 pm

QuoteAlways. Are you from china ?No from Italy... it's a national trait to bite the hand that feed us :-)
 
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dirtydroog
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April 24th, 2008, 3:34 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: gcQuoteI mean within EU, math models, software, code, ways of doing business cant be patented. Thus, and subject to legalities i may ignore, probably cant be considered as IP i think. There was a milestone court case for software patents in UK a few years ago.And another recently:http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/03/19 ... re_online/
 
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dirtydroog
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April 24th, 2008, 3:37 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: arsenalboiThanks guys.Regarding the memorising of code. Couldn't one just copy the code or (even print the code), rather than trying to install the huge amounts of data in your brain? Or are we back to square one where this is illegal? (I.e. my question: is there anyway to tell the difference between code that has been copied/pasted and code that has been written out?)Yes, there are loads of tools to detect plagarism. You cannot take a physical manifestation of the work you did at your old employer, be the digital copies, emails, notes...
 
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EOrion
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April 25th, 2008, 6:04 pm

You were paid to create the IP and you have no claim on it unless agreed by the person paying you. Any replication would be legally and ethically wrong.
 
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Y0da
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April 26th, 2008, 12:20 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: EOrionYou were paid to create the IP and you have no claim on it unless agreed by the person paying you. Any replication would be legally and ethically wrong.But where is the line between replicating and using the knowledgeyou have accumulated over time? I'm finding it rather shockingthat knowledge and brainpower of quants can get depletedmore and more as the quant works at more and more firms??Ridiculous. We need some kind of a union of quants totake care of quant rights. Are you telling me a quantshould do as much as he can to work only at a one bankall his life?If a quant leaves a firm to a new one, and recreates somethingat that new firm, what types of recreations are classified asillegal and what types aren't? This should be well defined in law.
 
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TraderJoe
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April 26th, 2008, 2:12 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: Y0daQuoteOriginally posted by: EOrionYou were paid to create the IP and you have no claim on it unless agreed by the person paying you. Any replication would be legally and ethically wrong.But where is the line between replicating and using the knowledgeyou have accumulated over time? I'm finding it rather shockingthat knowledge and brainpower of quants can get depletedmore and more as the quant works at more and more firms??Ridiculous. We need some kind of a union of quants totake care of quant rights. Are you telling me a quantshould do as much as he can to work only at a one bankall his life?If a quant leaves a firm to a new one, and recreates somethingat that new firm, what types of recreations are classified asillegal and what types aren't? This should be well defined in law.They are. Have you never worked in industry? Any industry? It's called IP and it belongs to your employer, whether you like it or not.
 
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StatTrader
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April 26th, 2008, 4:39 pm

The code and trading models belong to your employer, not you.There have been quite a few cases recently where developers and quants have been sued for re-implementing the methodologies used at their prior firms.
 
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gc
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April 28th, 2008, 6:58 am

QuoteThe code and trading models belong to your employer, not you.Agreed... QuoteThere have been quite a few cases recently where developers and quants have been sued for re-implementing the methodologies used at their prior firms.Do you know the outcome of the cases? And were those cases mostly in the USA? There is something really perverted in the copyright laws in the States, by which people try to patent ideas and mathematical formulas (e.g. famous case of RSA encryption algorithm) that wound't be acceptable in Europe (or at least couldn't: Dirtydroog's link worries me).
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