C-Right: Copyright Infringement Analysis

Status: Completed

Introduction

C-Right is an ongoing investigation aimed to improve the state-of-the-art in software copyright investigation and protection. Our aim is to make advanced tools and capabilities available that can help analyze software for copying or similarity in contexts related to: software asset management, such as in purchases and licensing agreements, mergers and acquisitions, copyright infringement actions or litigation, plagiarism, and so on. Our toolset, called “C-Right” (pronounced “see right”), analyzes and compares source code and displays various visualizations in an exploration interface.

Background

The C-Right project started out with a copyright dispute. The legal team sought out expertise in documenting the amount of overlap between two software systems, and contacted Arun Lakhotia. He created the first C-Right prototype for use in this case.

The next step involved improvements to the tool and building a partnership with members of the legal community. C-Right was made more easily customizable for use in a variety of code analysis scenarios, and its speed and comparison capabilities were improved. Concurrently, the lab partnered with lawyer Kirk Reasonover, and the litigation support firm Evidence Management Systems, L.L.C.

Status and Future

C-Right is not currently being actively developed, but a vigorous research program in software comparison is still going strong at SRL. At some point we expect to be add proven capabilities from the VILO project to C-Right so that executables, in addition to source code, can be compared so that infringement can be found, documented, and quantified. While the Vilo server can currently assist in finding copyright infringements in executables, we expect that the adding C-Right features and Vilo will enhance the capabilities of both.