Google Blogoscoped

Monday, April 9, 2007

Google’s IME Caught Plagiarizing

Google has been caught copying some of its competitor’s data for the recent release of their Chinese Input Method Editor (a desktop tool to convert Pinyin characters into Chinese characters). It turned out that some of the words bore a striking resemblance to the dictionary of an IME by Sohu. PC World reports:

The dictionaries used with both software from Google and Sohu shared several common mistakes, where Chinese characters were matched with the wrong Pinyin equivalents. In addition, both dictionaries listed the names of engineers who had developed Sohu’s Sogou Pinyin IME.

Sohu indicated they might take legal action – arguing they never licensed their dictionary, nor made it public – and Google in a post on their official Chinese blog now apologized, and updated their tool. PC World says that Google however does not tell how they got hold of Sohu’s database.

In other reports, Google’s IME was being accused by China-based Rising Corp of posing Windows Vista users under heavy security problems that allowed attackers to remotely delete files on a user’s computer. Soon after Google’s release of their IME, “guides which teach people how to control Vista computers with the input software were widely available online,” Shanghai Daily writes. According to PC World, Google says they fixed this hole now.

Google is moving very fast in China today trying to get a piece of the market – maybe they’re moving too fast for their own good.

[Thanks Xujie, Colin C. and Tony Ruscoe in the forum!]


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